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Dog Culture: Readers Write
The Gathering Storm
We all have different learning styles, different ways we make sense of the world. I look for relationships. Even as a kid, I needed to know what something was similar to so I could begin to categorize it and assign it a place in my mind. I need an angle, a point of entry, to understand a concept.   For years, I worked to find a solution to Harley’s thunderstorm phobia. I wouldn't call it severe,...
Dog Culture: Readers Write
Looking for Ben
How does a Lurcher go missing in Paris?
It was 15 months ago that I received a frantic call from my brother, Ted, who was living in Paris, telling me that his newly adopted dog, a Lurcher (Greyhound/Scottish Deerhound mix), had disappeared. Ted had gone to a market on a quiet street, and tied Ben to a magazine rack. Something frightened Ben, and he bolted, breaking his leash. He was last seen running along the Seine. I tried to...
Dog Culture: Readers Write
Call of the Wild
We had already bought our dog a car to chauffeur her properly. The next logical step was to get her some real estate. Our new fifty-eight acres of rocky hillside sat on a dead-end road in the Catskill Mountains, three hours from our apartment in Brooklyn. There, slowly but surely, the three of us (husband, wife and Mercy) could become the wild animals we were apparently meant to be. Well, Mercy,...
Dog Culture: Readers Write
Mondays with Shelby
Learning life lessons from a special pup
The most important thing in life is to learn how to give out love, and to let it come in. —Morrie in Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom In September of 2009, my boyfriend of two years passed away. Just days away from talking to our family about our planned engagement, and I was left alone, wondering how I could love again. Coasting through life on autopilot the first few months after his...
Blog: Guest Posts
How 9/11 Led Me to Dogs
A Bark reader and first responder tells her story
I had worked as an NYPD police officer and detective for 13 years. On September 11, my life, like those of so many others, would be shattered by the events that took place that day, and my vision of retiring as a member of the NYPD abruptly ended. As a result of injuries suffered as a responder to the World Trade Center, I was diagnosed with a condition known as Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome...
Dog Culture: Readers Write
Perfect Match
SWM with allergies seeking SF, no pets
In 2007, in my middle 50s, long divorced and unhappily single, I decided to give online dating a whirl and signed up for Match.com. I posted a profile, scrolled through the profiles of dozens and dozens of potential matches, contacted some, went out on a couple of obligatory coffee dates ... but didn’t meet anyone who really interested me. Then, as I was about to give up, I found Laurie. She...
Dog Culture: Readers Write
Family Dog: Ray & Freckles
At Ray Quesada’s childhood home, there was always room for one more dog. As his daughter, Chrissy Quesada Valentine, tells us, most of the family photos of her father and his sisters include a pooch, usually one they’d found or who had followed them home. Here’s Ray with Freckles in about 1934 on the front porch of the family home in Wilmington, Calif. The inset shows Ray today at 87, visiting...
Dog Culture: Readers Write
A Poem: Getting Tired
I see it in your eyes and in your walk
I see it in your eyes and your walk, the way you close them more quickly, walk more slowly, the way you insist, even while exhausted, on following me everywhere-- even as I dash around, putting olives, nuts, and homemade caramel corn in the living room, stuffed peppers, corn casserole, and paprika potatoes in the dining room, dishes on the side bar, candles in the lav, as...
Dog Culture: Readers Write
Puppies in Poppies
Letter to the Editor
On March 25, 2010, our local police department removed 16 Golden Retrievers from an illegal backyard breeder. The home was filthy and many of the dogs were crated and a mess, physically and psychologically. There were too many dogs for our local shelters to find housing for, so my friends Colleen and Melissa, who have a Cesar Millan-type dog facility, Kings Kastle, took them in. Two of the...
Dog Culture: Readers Write
Divo
A poem about a singing dog
Arrayed in black and white You warm your voice with sumptuous runs You are a wolfish divo with soft loyal eyes Breaking into song of brazen impulse A pitched aria capturing the passion of bliss   Pleasure flooding your upturned muzzle You are absorbed in letting go Which I do admire But see, the thing is, I’m practicing   Yet inspiration has struck you As you continue your opera buffa Chords from...

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