Browsing articles in readers write
Culture: Readers Write
Graduation Day
One of the interesting things about insecurity is that on any given day, even the most self-aware, seasoned professional in the field cannot say exactly how it will manifest itself. They can tell you with certainty that their hands will sweat, or that they’ll feel an onset of that low-level panicky buzz that is adrenaline surging through their system. But what they cannot explain is why, while...
Culture: Readers Write
My Red-haired Companion
I’ve always been partial to redheads. Unfair characterization or not, they have this certain joie de vivre and bring a radiance, big smile and spunkiness to a room. And four-legged or not, my Ellie was no different.   In the end, I gather that I learned more about life in her death than was evident to me up to that point in my own. I also learned more about myself, valuable data about how I...
Culture: Readers Write
It’s My Yard and I’ll Bark if I Want To
ONE dog can make a lot of noise.   Is there an equation that measures the increase in decibel levels when two dogs see the garbage truck?  Even the smallest dogs, fenced in and highly indignant that a vehicle should appear and stop in front of their house, are likely to wake up the neighborhood at the bracing time of 6 am. Consider it a community-service alarm clock.   Another dog might alert the...
Culture: Readers Write
Breast Cancer in Dogs
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, but chances are dog owners have no idea that their dogs can actually get breast cancer. The bad news is that breast (mammary) cancer in dogs is common; the good news is that the disease can be treated successfully if caught early. According to veterinarian Dr. Race Foster, the most common type of tumor in female dogs is the mammary tumor—especially in (...
Culture: Readers Write
Love Is More Important Than a Clean House
To say I used to be meticulous would be an understatement; I really did sweat the small stuff—including crumbs—and would judge anyone whose house was not “company ready.” My floors were always vacuumed or swept, the dishes were hand-washed and put away immediately after eating and dust was a dirty four-letter word in my house.   If my husband made a mess after eating I would yell at him, and the...
Culture: Readers Write
Low-tech and High-touch
Pet therapy in the courts is a new tool for victims
A chain of traumatic events landed a five-year-old boy and his mom in a homeless shelter, where things turned even more tragic. The little boy was sexually abused by another kid staying at the shelter. Thinking about how best to prepare her young client for the intimidating court process looming ahead, Helene Potlock, victim/witness assistance program director for the state attorney of the...
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,...
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...
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,...
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...