Happy Birthday Miss Penny Mayhem!

Rhodesian Ridgeback, Marking Our Territory, Penny Mayhem“I want you to chase that lion.”

“No way,” says the dog.

“Count me in!” says the Ridgeback.

“Just the one?” says Penny Mayhem.

That, in essence, is the spirit of my spitfire. What qualifies as insanity for most is banality for Penny. Utter the phrase, “No dog is crazy enough to…” and Penny will do it twice, just to make sure you know the first time wasn’t a mistake. Read more ›

[VIDEO] The Mayhem Game

The world is full of rules and comprehensible chains of cause and effect. Penny somehow manages to avoid all those things. I know that, you know that, but Zero is still figuring out how to play The Mayhem Game. Makes for endless entertainment on my end!

[VIDEO] Zero’s First Week at Montrose Dog Beach

Montrose Dog Beach is undoubtedly my favorite place in Chicago to visit with the pups. When you step over the dune the city fades away behind you. It’s just you, your dog, the sand and the lake. It’s only been a week since Zero was old enough to join us, but safe to say it’s now officially his favorite place too!

Finding Ourselves at Montrose Dog Beach


Rhodesian RIdgeback, Puppy, montrose dog beach, chicago, marking our territory, zeroOver the past few years I’ve learned my dogs are the compass by which I navigate the uncertain territory of my own identity. The needle of this compass does not point outward to true north, but inward to true self. That needle led me across the continent, pointed me down the wedding aisle, lifted me to blissful heights, dragged me through hell, and showed me the way out.  That needle is love. Not the love shared between people, or even the love shared between people and dogs. That needle is my dog’s unmitigated love for the present moment.  And when I let that love guide me, there I find myself. Again. Read more ›

#ChicagoCIVDay – Why I Vaccinate My Dogs

This snowy morning I want to share a quick PSA for any Windy City locals about the recent outbreak of dog flu in the Chicago area.

Statistically speaking, it’s unlikely your dog will ever suffer from canine influenza. Statistically speaking, even if your pup does catch the flu, it’s unlikely they’ll develop serious symptoms. That’s why if you have a social dog (who goes to dog parks, classes, boarding, etc) it’s important to consider vaccinating your pup against the flu viruses. Yup, you read that right. I’m advocating vaccinating against something that will likely never affect you. Read more ›

Ridgeback Puppies Love Fun Stuff! (This is not that stuff)

Some things you love, some you learn to love…and then there are baths. We’re enjoying the stuff we love, and doing our best with the rest!

[VIDEO] Stretching Those Puppy Legs

Beautiful Montrose Dog Beach waits for us just on the other side of the dunes. But until Zero’s had his final round of vaccinations we need to hold off on any visits to public dog-friendly areas. Luckily my brother has a small backyard with just enough room to let my growing pup stretch his legs.

Everything You Need To Know About Getting A Rhodesian Ridgeback

Rhodesian Ridgeback, puppy, lionI’m frequently asked here, on Instagram, and on YouTube about the process of finding and adding a Rhodesian Ridgeback to your family. The questions have really poured in since I got Zero so I figured I’d put together a comprehensive public resource I can point people to for answers.

If you’re here it means you’re doing your research – which is great. A lot of work goes into having a Ridgeback, but a lot of work should happen well before you consider bringing a dog home. Read more ›

A Birthday Celebration

Rhodesian Ridgeback, Montrose Dog Beach, Chicago, Marking Our TerritoryLast Friday the sun bathed Chicago in a warmth that day hadn’t felt in over a hundred years. Deep in the heart of winter, a day that should have been gray and dark was blue and bright. I stepped into the morning light with Zero and Penny. In unison we embraced ancient instinct and lifted our faces to the sky.

My neighbor waved and gave a mischievous grin as he jogged past us in shorts, headed towards the beachfront path. Days like this are shared amongst Chicagoans like a joyful secret. In word and in deed we whisper, “Can you believe this?”

The answer, of course, is a resounding“No!” But that does not stop us from reveling in the unexpected gift. I set a course with the dogs for the shore of Lake Michigan. It is there, more than anywhere else in the city, where the power of days like these is felt most profoundly. Where people gather to venerate this first promise of better days ahead. We joined the eastward pilgrimage, seeking our part of that shared serenity. Read more ›

[VIDEO] Rhodesian Ridgeback Puppy School

When he’s whining, acting silly, or I just need his attention, I playfully admonish my pup by saying, “Hey Zero, you’re big for a little dog, but you’re still little for a big dog!” He’s more of a big dog and less of a small dog by the moment, but there’s still a lot for Zero to learn about this big world. And with Penny as his teacher, what could possibly go wrong?