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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...
Culture: Stories & Lit
Scary Math
What are the odds the past and the present will collide on a Manhattan street?
Scary Math
Jasper gets four walks a day. At 30 minutes each, he is on the road two hours daily, 14 hours per week, or 728 hours per year—equivalent to the month of April—with either Mike or me on the other end of the leash. Given the math, it was odd that I would ask Mike to join us on one of my assigned walks that Sunday evening. But Mike’s mother had died the previous weekend and a code orange terror...
Culture: Stories & Lit
A Dog’s Tale
My father was a St. Bernard, my mother was a collie, but I am a Presbyterian. This is what my mother told me; I do not know these nice distinctions myself. To me they are only fine large words meaning nothing. My mother had a fondness for such; she liked to say them, and see other dogs look surprised, and envious, as wondering how she got so much education. But indeed it was not real education,...
Culture: Stories & Lit
Devotion
My wife finished her first set of chemotherapy in 2002. They were aggressive drugs, and Genie fought hard. In the spring, cancer’s grip was finally broken. We thought we could rest easy. Then something odd occurred, something cold. Cancer took Wylie, our first sweet dog, the summer of 2002. Cancer took Ruby, our tall red dog, the following year. And when Jackson — a bigger, stronger dog — died...
Culture: Stories & Lit
On Responsibility
Caring for two loves
I am not responsible for much. I do not have children who have to get to school on time and wear matching shoes and be taught the difference between right and wrong. I do not have a job in which the well being of a company or the safety of the nation or the health of anyone at all is resting on my shoulders. I have a couple of plants I must remember to water. I make a point of paying my taxes on...
Culture: Stories & Lit
The Dogs Go Too
Blue jeans, blue grass and faithful friends
I’m sorry to tell you, sweet girl, but I might be a writer. I might be a writer who, on occasion, squirms into a tweed jacket and gives a quick reading. I might be a writer who goes to dinner parties and laughs loudest and can sometimes tell the difference between syrah and merlot (not really, but I’m full of bull). I might lift my glass into the light and I might sniff the cork. I might be a...

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