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Dog Culture: Stories & Lit
How Do I Love Thee?
A valentine from the heart.
I have to admit that, for a few weeks following the adoption of my new dog—an ex-racing Greyhound I named Elvis (Hey! Costello, not Presley!)—I was a bit concerned. Not about him. He seemed like a nice enough dog. No, it was me I was worried about. After all, Elvis was well behaved. Gentle. Mild-mannered. Practically perfect. And he was certainly pretty enough, with big doe-eyes and an...
Dog Culture: Stories & Lit
Color of Joy
Beauty in every detail, love in every look.
Imagine a scaled-down, delicately boned German shepherd dog, black and gray and tan instead of black and sable like a purebred, her face the color of ink with a faint gray mask. This is Lucille, a most ordinary-looking dog. She does have some exceptional features—her two forelegs are white, one halfway up from the paw, the other about a quarter of the way, which create the impression that she is...
Dog Culture: Tributes
Callie’s Papers
A gift of love.
Callie the Magnifica, our 14-year-old Shepherd/Husky Mix, has been living with us for the past seven years, but lived with another family for her first seven. When we met her, she was called Kali, and led a nomadic-urban life with a poor couple and their two children; the family lived in a small trailer parked at the end of our street. Kali was never tied up and was allowed to roam as she wished...
Dog Culture: Stories & Lit
Wedding Bell Blues
In which Rex meets the love of his life.
Now that Ted and I were engaged, we had two big decisions to make: when to have the wedding and whether to include the dog in the ceremony. Both answers, you’ll be surprised to note, were made with rapid—or shall we say rabid?—certainty. The wedding, we decided, would be held in May rather than September (with the idea that, if we did it sooner rather than later, we would freak out for only 5...
Dog Culture: Stories & Lit
Play Dogs of the New West
She may have washed out of cow-dog school, but her new life suits her just fine.
My cow dog Daisy and I are going to work. We’re eating goldfish crackers—two for me, one for you—in my pickup truck and howling Buck Owens and Merle Haggard ballads off the tape deck, when we come across a broken pickup 39 miles down 40 miles of bad road. Old blue-and-rust Chevy. Open hood, pair of boots sticking out from underneath. Four tires bald as apples, three with air. I roll the window...
Dog's Life: Lifestyle
Notable Reads
Books multiply like bunnies around the Bark editorial office, distracting us from our duties with their beautiful covers, interesting themes and flat-out wonderful writing. Here are some that made it onto our reading list in 2008, as well as a few we’re keeping an eye out for later this year.   FICTION & MEMOIRThe Daily Coyote: A Story of Love, Survival, and Trust in the Wilds of Wyoming, by...
Dog Culture: Stories & Lit
The Dinner Party
A screen treatment
Premise: What social life would be like if people behaved like dogs. Opening scene: A living room. Some of the guests have already arrived and are racing around the room, variously hugging, colliding, dancing around each other, patting one another vigorously on the shoulders and jumping up and down. Another guest arrives at the door and rings the bell. Everyone runs over to the door,...
Blog: Show & Tell
Put Fido on the Phone
On-call for roundup work
My mother was born 1916 to immigrant parents; her mother was from Hungary and her father was German. She grew up in New Brunswick, N.J. Fido—who was, I think, a Border Collie mix—was their pet, but he was also a working dog, and he took his job quite seriously. My German grandfather was a butcher, and in those days (the 1920s), worked right next to the stockyard. Sometimes things would get a...
Blog: Show & Tell
How I Found My Dog: The Right Dog for Me
The list goes out the window when the perfect dog comes in the door
I used to stop at Point Isabel, a sprawling off-leash dog park after work for my minimum daily requirement of canine affection. On occasion, a dog owner would ask why I didn’t have a dog. “It’s complicated,” I’d say, remembering the dogs I’d had in my life. Job, child, husband, aging parents, a weedy garden, house in need of constant repair—the dog wound up being just another burdensome...
Dog Culture: DogPatch
People Who Matter: An Interview with Doris Day
April 3, 2012, marks the 88th birthday of Doris Day — adored for her nonpareil career as a singer and actress, and equally admired for her dedication to animal welfare and the creation of the Doris Day Animal Foundation. In 2006, Bark had the opportunity to interview Ms. Day by phone, and was joined by singer Nellie McKay, an incredible singer and animal activist in her own right. She said "Call...

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