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Dog Culture: Stories & Lit
I Done Them Wrong
Caught in the act
Key hole with teddy bear
My  daughter, an only child, has been deprived of sibling rivalry, so she does what comes naturally: She takes it out on The Dog. “You love him more than me,” she’ll pout, and of course most times I protest that it isn’t possible. But who could blame her for suspecting differently? When she was nine, Kelly even caught me singing her “special” song to the dog. That was a bad moment. I never...
Dog Culture: Stories & Lit
Why I Write About Dogs
Woman hiking with dog
I can't throw. As a child, I was spared the humiliation of never being picked for either team in baseball by my friend Debbie, a prodigy with ball and bat who always chose me. She was a sort of one-person Red Sox Dream Team. Because of Debbie and in spite of me, our team always won, which is to say that hers did. Because I love dogs, I have never inflicted myself on a Golden Retriever or a Lab....
Dog Culture: Stories & Lit
Ramona Guitar Wolf Jackson
Lending a Hound a helping hand.
Old photograph of man
It was last summer when I found her. I was going to get a coffee at this place on Bull Street right next to a dog park. The heat had come already, but it wasn’t yet the wet, suffocating, thick, thick burning of late July and August. I’d only experienced one summer in the South and I’d quickly learned that it was something you survived— a test of endurance and stamina. Just walking from my...
Dog Culture: Stories & Lit
A Bird in the Paw
Saving robins, one fledgling at a time
A bird in a paw
It was the dead of summer and scorching temperatures had parched the ground and burnt the grass that surrounds our complex of cottages. Helen, my Bull Terrier mix—all white with coffee-colored splotches, heavy-chested, and 58 pounds of tough-looking docility—was gently nosing something in the yard. I approached, quietly asking, “Did you find something, Helen?” (I talk to Helen about everything...
Dog Culture: Stories & Lit
Evolution
Out of the doghouse, into pajamas.
Man & Dog Sleep - Illustration Phil Marden
"This", my dad said, emphatically pointing to the small pink and lime-green house with gingerbread trim located in the middle of our cement patio, “is for dogs. That’s why they call it a doghouse.”He leaned over so far that his unlit cigar tumbled out of the center pocket of his overalls. Cursing, Dad snatched up the cigar and blew on it. Once satisfied that it was free of dog hair and dirt, he...
Dog Culture: Stories & Lit
Pogo Eats Strangers
The taming of a pugnacious pup.
Illustration by Heather Horton
“Pogo eats strangers,” or so I was told, and when I first met him, he exploded. Barking, growling, snarling, lots of teeth, lunging—all the tricks that make scary people go away. To all that, he added a four-foot, straight-up-in-the-air jump, which explained why he was named Pogo. He looked like a small red Chow: lots of russet hair, thick muscular body, curled tail, short, Jack Russell legs (...
Dog Culture: Stories & Lit
Watered Down
…but not out in LA
Black Lab
While walking my dog Ilia one morning, I run into our lovely neighbors Bea and Barry and their cadre of five (!) dogs. “Let’s go down to the river!” Bea suggests. Sounds good, I say, and off we go.  Upon arriving, Barry notices a guy tossing stuff into the river and walks down the steep embankment to the water’s edge to inquire as to why said stuff is being tossed. The guy pretends not to speak...
Dog Culture: Stories & Lit
Return to dog
Second child means second chance for dog love.
Dog Illustration
NO ONE WOULD DREAM of asking a woman walking her dog: So, when are you going to have another one? There isn’t the presumption that a singleton dog is lonely, or will grow up with some terrible maladjustment, perhaps diagnosable,without another dog in the family. I never felt committed to the demographic destiny of two-point-something children. One was not merely enough; one was extraordinary....
Dog Culture: DogPatch
How to sing to your dog
Hummed or howled, tunes find a receptive audience.
How to Sing to Your Dog - Illustration
YES, IT’S EMBARRASSING, but many people have the urge to sing to their canine companions. Don’t worry about it—it’s natural. In fact, singing to your dog can be a lot more fun than crooning to a baby or toddler. For one thing, your dog will never develop the capacity for irony or satirical thinking so annoying in humans, so any stupid or caustic lyrics you make up won’t be understood. And your...
Dog Culture: Stories & Lit
Daisy and Pumpkin
Giving new meaning to the term “assisted living.”
Pumpkin and Daisy Dogs Illustration
My sister left me a phone message : “I think Mom has had a stroke.” It was shorthand for us, a message my sister and I have exchanged many times, whenever our mother was particularly difficult or unreasonable.“Having a stroke” meant our mother was irrational, belligerent, mean, needy or any of the other possibilities that crop up regularly between women who care too much for each other. If I...

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