Getting Our Dogs Ready for a Baby

Rhodesian Ridgeback, puppy, baby, chicago, marking our territory

“What if our kid is allergic to dogs!?”

Emily’s sudden question pierced the sunny serenity of a quiet Saturday morning. We sat in our front room, basking in the bright spring light, each of us with a dog in our lap. Between a growing pup and a growing belly the fit was snug for Emily and Zero, but both were quite content. Read more ›

[VIDEO] Meet The New Pup!

Thanks for all the well wishes and kind words shared with our family over the past few weeks. They’ve been a fun – if a bit sleep deprived – adventure. Can’t wait to share many more.

A Puppy’s Guide to Pregnancy

Puppy, Pregnant, Rhodesian Ridgeback, Chicago, Marking Our Territory

I have been on roller coasters that lasted longer than Emily’s first maternity appointment. I guess when you’re a pregnant OBGYN visiting a colleague in your own office there’s not much to chat about.

Which was good, because time is a precious resource when racing against the clock to prepare for your first child. And there are plenty of people eager to tell you how you need to spend that time. On one side there are articles titled things like The 10 Things You MUST Do Before Your Child Is Ten Minutes Old to Get Them Into A Top Ten College. While other sites feature posts like If You Do Not Deliver Your Child By Yourself, In The Woods, You Are A Terrible Person.

One of the few nearly unanimous sentiments among the disparate voices was, “DO NOT GET A PUPPY!” Even friends and family would ask, “Are you sure this is a good idea?” (As if I have ever based my actions upon the objective quality of the precipitating idea.)
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A Boy and a Dog. A Dog and a Boy

The morning after Eko died, Emily told me she was pregnant.

I can only imagine what my reaction to the news might have been the day before, but at that moment I felt nothing.

I wanted to cheer, but I could find no joy within me. I wanted to cry, but I had shed all my tears for Eko. I loosed every valve in my heart, hoping to give the moment the love it deserved, but there was simply no lifeblood left to pump through it.

I was an empty man.

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[VIDEO] Zero’s First Dog Show

We had a week packed with Ridgeback reunions which culminated with Zero entered in his first ever dog show. I think he may have misheard it as “dog showoff” but either way we had a great time catching up with his littermates and learning the ropes.

Running Wild

Rhodesian Ridgeback, Lure Coursing, Marking Our Territory

Dogs are wonderfully domesticated pets. My two easily adapt to life in a modern metropolitan city.  But inside every dog is a primal switch.  If you’ve ever seen it flipped – in a bloodhound following a scent, a bird dog pointing like an arrow, or a cattle dog herding – you know how incredible it is to watch that instinct at work.

Largely due to Penny’s reputation, we haven’t had any lions in the Chicago area recently. Thankfully there is another way for my guys to embrace their inner hunter. Lure coursing is a dog sport where sighthounds chase a mechanically operated “bunny” around a set course. We attended a coursing trial in Indiana over the weekend, and as expected, Penny ran wild. (I have some video of her run I’ll share in a future post.) Since he’s only six-months old (allegedly) Zero only ran a short-course. He chased the lure, but he also chased a butterfly and pretty much anything else that moved. He had quite the time galavanting across the field. Read more ›

[VIDEO] Zero’s First Swim Lesson

Rhodesian Ridgebacks are known for being allergic to water, but that’s nothing a bit of fun and encouragement can’t cure!

Testing The Waters

Rhodesian Ridgeback, montrose dog beach, chicago, marking our territory, puppy

Many Ridgebacks are water averse, but I suspect Penny Mayhem has some dolphin/Lochness Monster/kraken somewhere in her pedigree. Long before any sane dog tests the frigid water of Lake Michigan after the winter ice clears, Penny is diving in head first. In my quest to teach Zero to swim, Penny’s reckless enthusiasm for the lake has been a huge help.  At first, Zero would hastily brake anytime the water got near his toes. But he always kept on eye on his sister’s splashing. Read more ›

[VIDEO] Head Tilt Compilation

The Rhodesian Ridgeback Taxi service has to hustle to go pick my dad and brother up from the airport this morning. We’re hosting the whole family for my brother’s law school graduation so in the scramble didn’t have a ton of time to make a video. I’m going to let Zero’s cuteness cover my tracks and we’ll catch up with everyone next week. Have a good weekend!

Puppy Physics

Rhodesian Ridgeback, puppy, Montrose Dog Beach, Chicago, Marking Our Territory

The laws of physics govern existence with remarkable uniformity. No matter where you go in the universe you are compelled to obey those laws. Well, unless you’re a puppy. In that case, it’s significantly more enjoyable to bend the laws of nature to your whim. Zero, for instance, seems quite certain he can fly. To his credit, he’s had some success lifting off from the sandy beach runway and clearing the fence. Read more ›