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Dog Culture: Stories & Lit
The Great Unwashed
Poem
My golden retriever, four years old, has not yet learned to swim. He is standing chest-deep on the edge of a green, rippling pool on the West Fork of Cold Spring. The sandstone floor of the pool slopes into the deep end, but he stays rooted in the shallows, even though an encouraging lifeguard stands by in the person of his patient owner. Come on, I say. Fetch! I say. The stick floats in...
Dog Culture: Science & History
Myths: Loyalty Rewarded
Ancient Sanskrit Myth
Just as scientific research is confirming that, indeed, the canine/human friendship goes back many millennia, it’s a good time to look at what the ancients have to say about the subject. For example, take the Mahabharata, the Sanskrit masterwork thought to be the longest-ever epic poem. Not only is it 1.8 million words, it’s also one of the oldest, with origins in the 8th century BCE. It has been...
Dog Culture: Stories & Lit
This Hound
Poem
for Creek Wherever scent blows, this hound goes. Flop-eared mutt, three times snake bit, Bound by the black wet leather of his nose. He trots the trail happily, lapping the green hills over & back again. O! to be this dog, pissing & crapping, drinking in the trough of wind—coyote scat, dense fur snagged on outcrop rock, pine duff, the frag & slough of opossum skin, the bear’s...
Dog Culture: Stories & Lit
One Truth of Dogs
Late November the corn is in, stubs litter the ground, frozen and thawed a dozen times since Veteran’s Day. Gopher mounds poke up then collapse across the lawn. This morning I find bear scat halfway down the drive, coming or going I can’t say. While I stand and think, Don Armstrong’s truck bounces across the rows, belching exhaust. Whatever is he doing? Then I see his dog Evie at the...
Dog Culture: Reviews
Dog Songs
Lyrical Poetry
The Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Mary Oliver is arguably one of the most beloved living poets in the English language. She is certainly, according to the New York Times, “America’s best-selling poet,” and the reasons for that are numerable. Renowned for her love of nature, Ms. Oliver writes exquisite, lyrical poems that not only capture the beauty of, say, a rushing waterfall or a blade of grass...
Dog Culture: Readers Write
A tribute to Ike on Your 7th Birthday!
[a poem] When you entered our lives who would have guessed that our humble abode would become truly blessed!  When I first saw your face, those gigantic feet...My firsts thought was “holy crap” how much will he eat? Fast-forward to age 7: Mounds of your discarded fur on the floor, a fastidious cleaner I am no more! Horizontal streaks of mud on the walls...I guess that’s the payback for having “...
Dog Culture: Stories & Lit
Seven Dogs
The life of a man is measured by seven dogs. The first dog says: and now we shall eat and lap water and walk in the woods. We will sleep often in sunny spots. There will be much chasing of squirrels, but we will not speak of death. Then the man speaks of death to himself, but not to the second dog, who must learn to heel and come, and this goes on. Seven dogs. And then one evening the seven dogs...
Dog Culture: Tributes
In Tribute to Maggie Mae
Maggie Mae is buried – there just beyond my kitchen window
  Maggie Mae is buried – there just beyond my kitchen window under the summer canopy of ancient apple trees   Appropriate don’t you think? Her round head, round eyes framed in apples, her greeting a dizzying  round go round.               Today the wind picked up             and a dozen apples fell             one split in two revealing             A chambered heart--necessary dark...
Dog Culture: Stories & Lit
Number 52
Dead dogs feed the vultures Up and down NC route 39 Numbered hounds Cast out once they’re too slow To run down a deer with the pack Wandering through shrinking forests and backyards Starving Too tired and weak to defend themselves against a poodle One Saturday a shivering bag of bones crawled onto our land Must’ve heard our dogs and smelled their food We let him eat and drink all he could Once...