Their Favorite Mom

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

Never Buy a Puppy From a Pet Store

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

Unintentional Dog Commands

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

Resolution for 2016: Take That Applause

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

Would You Let Your Dog Fly Cargo?

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?

Someone to Watch Over Me

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