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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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
Culture: Readers Write
Rescuing Rosie
How I Found My Dog
Rosie
When we lost a much-loved little Mexican street dog last fall, we began to search the various adoption sites for an adult dog to keep Virgil, our 10-year-old Hound, company. Preferably a mutt; we’re convinced they’re smarter than purebreds. Not too heavy to lift into the sink for baths (we have a horse farm and all our dogs have found horse manure irresistible— to eat and to roll in). Finding a...
Culture: Readers Write
Increasing Our Compassion Footprint
The human-dog interconnection is the way forward
Earth
Our relationships with animals are challenging, complicated, frustrating, awkward, ambiguous, paradoxical and range all over the place.We already know a lot about animals’ lives and what they want, more than we often give ourselves credit for. Indeed, their lives aren’t all that private, hidden or secret.We know that animals experience deep feelings, and care about what happens to them.When...
Culture: Readers Write
How I Found My Dog
Mattie: Lost, Found, Lost…and Found Again
I found Mattie in February of 2009 in Brownsville, Tex., where I was working temporarily. She was in the middle of a very busy road, dodging cars. I pulled over about the time a school bus was coming right at her. I got out and this matted-up mess came running into my arms. You could barely see she was a dog through all the hair, hence the name Mattie.  There was nowhere to take her but back to...
Culture: Readers Write
Q&A with Katerina Lorenzatos Makris
A two-day writing binge was medicine for one finalist in The Bark’s fiction contest
A flinty old woman searching for a dog at a shelter and finding something more is the central arc of Katerina Lorenzatos Makris’ story “Small Change” (Nov/Dec 2010), which was a finalist in The Bark’s 1st Annual Short Story/Fiction Contest. Any of us who have worked, volunteered or adopted at a shelter know this is a setting for life-changing experiences. We recently asked Makris—who is the...
Culture: Readers Write
Q&A with Shawn Kobb
Unpublished writer sees ink as a finalist in Bark’s 1st Fiction Contest
“Street Dog,” about a homeless man and a stray dog, is Shawn Kobb’s first published story (Bark, Sep/Oct 2010). Kobb, 33, was one of three finalists in our first fiction contest earlier this year. In his non-writing hours, Kobb is a U.S. Foreign Service Officer, currently living in The Bahamas with his wife and their adopted Doberman puppy, which they adopted during a two-year stint in Ukraine....

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