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
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 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
A lot of dog training books and websites promise to teach you how to train “the perfect pet” or “the perfect dog,” but that’s just not going to happen. Your dog will never be perfect and it’s better to understand that from the start. Much like your children, spouse, friends, and boss, your dog will have quirks; expecting them to be perfect is a recipe for unhappiness at best and a dog bite at worst. Read More The Perfect Pet
You won’t find dogs more elegant and sleek in appearance than sighthounds, and greyhounds are the most prominent representatives of this category. But all is not as it seems: if Basset Hounds are the WYSIWYG (What You See is What You Get) dogs, Greyhounds are the Not-At-All-What-You-Think dogs. Read More Joining the Cult of Greyhound
My life is exploding and my dogs haven’t been on a walk in 2 weeks. This is temporary and they’re just going to have to suffer with me. Sometimes you aren’t going to be the ideal pet parent and that’s okay. Read More Good Enough Pet Care