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Culture: Stories & Lit
Pet Smarts
The verdict is in—the dog did it!
When Mr. Dad and I, not wanting our kids’ psyches to be forever twisted into the knots of emotional angst that produce those hideous “parents dearests” tomes, decided that, yes, getting a dog could help build their little characters. After responsible-parent research into breed sizes, temperaments and personality profiles and scouring the local animal shelters, we narrowed the list to a number of...
Culture: DogPatch
Talking Dog with Geraldine Brooks
A Q&A with one of our favorite writers
  For Geraldine Brooks, the road from her native Sydney, Australia, to the fraught landscapes of the Middle East, Africa and the Balkans was littered with hair-raising experiences, moments of grace and prizes for the quality of her journalism. As a multipublished author, she continues her winning ways with a Pulitzer Prize for her novel March, as well as critical acclaim for People of the Book,...
Guardians of Being
MUTTS’ Patrick McDonnell on his new book, Guardians of Being
Q: Tell us about Guardians of Being and how the project came about. A: Guardians of Being reminds us why we love our companion animals. While we are lost in our thoughts and busyness of everyday life, they have become the key to the present moment, our guardians of being. In his books, Eckhart Tolle often says that true happiness is found in simple things, but you need to be present. He says...
Culture: Stories & Lit
Love, Squared
Nine years ago, when our family got our first dog, I never could have imagined the number of lessons he (and eventually they) would teach us about love, connection and responsibility.   As a child, I didn’t have an opportunity to understand the bond that could exist between humans and canines. My parents didn’t think of dogs as pets, much less as members of the family. Neighborhood dogs came and...
Culture: Stories & Lit
Dogs I Have Known
Culture: Stories & Lit
A Lifetime Dog
A companion, a friend and a source of joy
So there I was, alone, sitting outside Tully’s and enjoying a latte when a woman approached me. “Excuse me,” she said, looking concerned. “Is your dog okay?” Puzzled, I reassured her that Elvis was fine. He’d gone on a walk earlier and couldn’t be budged off his La-Z-Dog recliner. I had to ask. “I’m sorry, but do I know you?” “No,” she replied, smiling. “It’s just that I see you around town...
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...
Culture: Stories & Lit
Team Building
Take one anxious dog, add a talented agility trainer, and good things can happen
Dusty and I weren’t the most difficult team Dee—our wisecracking, charismatic agility instructor—had ever trained. There were plenty of dogs whose exuberance could not easily be funneled into a structured activity, and there were handlers whose thickness made your average two-by-four look like Stephen Hawking. “Try that again with the dog on your right,” Dee would call out after a botched jump,...
Culture: Stories & Lit
Professor Burt
What my dog taught me about being a mom
When I had my first child at the age of 32, I knew nothing. Or so I thought. I had never changed a diaper, never held a newborn baby—in fact, I don’t think I’d ever seen one. I hadn’t experienced a sleepless night since college, and the only bottle-feeding experience I had involved a baby woodchuck. But it turned out I did know a few things about parenting. Things I learned from my dog. A...
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How I Found My Dog
Little Big Dog
Dink is half-Chihuahua, half-Mini Pin. She is a little over a year-old now. She came into my life as one of the rescue angels at a pet clinic where I worked when she was about six- to eight-weeks-old. Someone had left her to die, abandoned in a cardboard box after crushing both her front legs.    In spite of the severity of the injuries inflicted upon her by humankind, this little blessing was...

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