The other day my daughter shared some letters she had written to each member of her family, including one to her birth mother, who is dead, and one to me. The letter to me was heartfelt and said how much she loved me. The letter to her birth mother, which she wanted me to read, said that my daughter would always love her birth mother the most. I told her it was OK that her birth mother has first place in her heart, and that she wasn’t hurting my feelings. I wasn’t lying. Read More Their Favorite Mom
In rescue I worked very hard to be diplomatic; in this column less so. Still, this one might be one for the record books. Here goes: if you buy a puppy from a pet shop, you are encouraging animal cruelty. Read More Never Buy a Puppy From a Pet Store
With most foster dogs, training really means acclimating them to living in a house, housebreaking, teaching them to go up stairs. It’s really just about getting them to understand the basics — anything else is up to the adopters, or at least that’s how I viewed it. Read More Unintentional Dog Commands
I think most people have figured out that New Year’s resolutions rarely succeed, for a lot of reasons including the fact that you are probably hungover the day you start them. However, I’ve got one everyone should do. Read More Resolution for 2016: Take That Applause
One of the issues dog owners face is that when they move, they need to figure out how to get their dogs to the new location. Most of the time this is accomplished by automobile; sometimes, though, it needs to be done by airplane. Read More Would You Let Your Dog Fly Cargo?
I’ve reached out to the PMag readership once before for advice on tights, and it was good stuff. I am yet again asking for counsel, and this time it’s about the greeting, “Hey, girl.” Read More Tell Me About “Hey Girl,” My Friends
I never set out to have a protective dog, but soon after I adopted Chowder, my orange* Chow, I realized that I had one nonetheless. He had certain behaviors that revealed this. He would become extremely agitated on a walk if we encountered another dog and I was closer to the dog than he was. When tradesmen (and it was always men, since Chowder was a unrepentant sexist who rarely viewed women as threats) came to the house and were showing me diagrams or estimates, Chowder would wedge himself between us, no matter how little space there was. Considering that Chowder didn’t like a lot of proximity to humans, this was telling. When we fostered dogs, Chowder was the meanest to the ones that I liked the most and ignored the ones I could barely tolerate. Read More Someone to Watch Over Me
“I care not for a man’s religion whose dog and cat are not the better for it.” — Abraham Lincoln
This is my favorite dog quote of all time. Some of the worst dog owners I’ve ever met have been pious hypocrites who told me earnestly that they had prayed about the decision that they had to make. Interestingly enough, the decision they prayed about always seemed to go in the favor of the human doing something despicably selfish. One of the most disastrous adopters we had was a Franciscan nun. During the process of the adopter returning the dog, my rescue partner Victoria was moved to ask, “Aren’t you guys named after St. Francis? Wasn’t he the patron saint of animals?” The response? “Yeah, we’ve dropped all that.” Indeed.
Lincoln got it in one, 150 years before I learned the same thing. Read More My Favorite Quotes About Dogs