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Culture: Stories & Lit
Grooming Sweetie
Lessons from an elderly Afghan
Afghan
I kneel in front of the kennel that holds my first dog of the day. Sweetie, an Afghan Hound, peers out from a rear corner,where she’s arranged her reddishbrown body into a deceptively small heap.Her large eyes glow with the iridescence of glaucoma. I’m nearly three months and 100 dogs into grooming school and you’d think I’d no longer be nervous, but my trembling hands give me away as I fumble...
Culture: Stories & Lit
How I Found Addie
Addie
At our local humane society, most dogs seem to fall into one of two equally pitiable categories: those who sit cowering in the back corners of their cages, and those who lunge at the chain link with a fierceness infused with fear. But Addie was different; she was sitting dead center in her cage, just watching. Before I came there as a client, I’d been an employee of this particular humane society...
Culture: DogPatch
The Origin of Dog Sayings and Superstitions
When the Dog Yawns, Sleep Follows
Getting catty over cats — jealous even — is not our intention. But it seems like every really juicy superstition, every prickles-on-the-back-ofthe- neck story, every bit of old-fashioned, been-around-forever folklore is in the cat’s corner, leaving dogs out in the cold, pawing at the back door, dolorously. Exhibit A: A black cat crossing your path at midnight stirs up all kinds of heck. Forget...
Culture: Stories & Lit
Dogs Make a House a Home
In the 10 years that my dog Rex and I have been together (and that constitutes nearly the entirety of his life and a quarter of mine), we have moved 10 times. The reasons for this had more to do with indecision than instability, but I admit it wasn’t ideal. We went from a farm in rural Nebraska (Rex’s first place of residence, hence my ongoing guilt that his life has been all downhill from there...
Culture: Stories & Lit
Short Story: Street Dog
Another finalist in The Bark’s First Annual Short Story/Fiction contest
Street Dog
“Wake up, Georgie boy.” The cop gave the bottom of my shoe another sharp kick with the toe of his boot. I opened my eyes just enough to peer through the lashes, but I didn’t move yet. Start moving right away and you give up your dignity. “Let’s go, George. You know you can’t block the sidewalk.” I quietly started pulling my bags together and got to my feet. Dignity is one thing, but if you...
Culture: Stories & Lit
Short Story: The Stepping-Off Place
Dog Island
“Why does the Director want me? Am I in trouble?” My boss shrugged, clueless as usual, and waved me into his office. “That will do, Carl,” said a thin but strong voice. My boss bowed out and left me alone with the woman behind his desk. She was stern, gray and no bigger than a minute. “Meghan, sit.” I did, half expecting a cookie reward. “Your file is interesting.” “I have a file?” I asked,...
Culture: Stories & Lit
Tips on Unemployment from My Dog
Looking at unemployment through the eyes of my four-legged friend.
I am unemployed. There. I said it. So what if I’ve been in denial? So what if I’ve spent the last two months “on vacation,” visiting with friends and family, collecting severance and happily not waking to an alarm for the first time in three years. Now, however, my current state of joblessness is starting to sink in. I’ve finished my “funemployment” phase and have moved into “Uh-oh, I have bills...
Culture: Stories & Lit
Aloha Laka: A Dog Lost and Found in Hawaii
Dog Found
It was the two eyes peering out from the thick foliage that caught my attention. Dark, unblinking. The rain was beating down steadily, saturating the black soil and creating pools of gooey ooze, and I sank in to the tops of my boots with each step. Soaked and tired, I was slowly making my way through a kipuka — a tropical oasis surrounded by a sea of jagged lava — deep within the wilderness on...
Culture: Stories & Lit
The Lady in Holmby Park
Heartfelt wishes bridge profound differences
Hulk
Oh, my! He’s doing so much better!” I looked up from rearranging the sling on my dog Hulk and saw the blonde, smiling, good-looking lady nearby with her little dog, Moses. “Good morning,” I said. “He is doing better, thanks.” She bent over Hulk and let him sniff the back of her hand, the way dog-knowledgeable people do, and said,“I’m so happy for him. I think of him. I bless God.Your brave...
Culture: Stories & Lit
Friday Faithfuls
The day after Thanksgiving is a busy one for the shelter
Friday Faithfuls
As far back as I can recall,my daughter has had a special connection with animals. I remember a visit to a petting zoo, when I said, “Look at the cow,” and from her three-year-old vantage point she observed, “That’s a bull.” Or the time at a farm when a goat jumped a fence and everyone ran away from it—and she, age five, ran toward it. She had more of an affinity for animals than I would ever...

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