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A Father’s Promise

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A Father’s Promise

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On Losing a Dog

In his grief over the loss of a dog, a little boy stands for the first time on tiptoe, peering into the rueful morrow of manhood. After this most inconsolable of sorrows there is nothing life can do to him that he will not be able… Read More

When Should You Spay or Neuter a Rhodesian Ridgeback?

Showing a profound lack of judgment by the people at Google, my site often ends up at the top of search results for questions about Rhodesian Ridgebacks. My qualifications for such prestigious placement are that I have Rhodesian Ridgebacks, I have a camera, and I have a very loose understanding of how to control both of those things.That said, I’m always happy to share whatever knowledge I’ve picked up along the way. I can’t offer the expertise of a veterinarian or behaviorist, so I simply try to share the perspective of what an average owner might experience.Recently, inquiries about the timing of a Ridgeback’s spay/neuter are increasingly common. It’s a question with pitfalls and nuance and a lot of strong opinions. I’ve heard people say veterinarians only recommend spay/neuter because it makes them money, and I’ve heard people say anyone who doesn’t spay/neuter their dog is an irresponsible jerk. Neither of these sentiments is particularly helpful (or true), and the conflicting opinions leave a lot of us feeling uncertain and ill prepared to make the best decision for our own dogs.Rather than attempt to make that decision for you, I hope this post offers some dispassionate context for how to best consider your options. Read More

Why I Purchased My Rhodesian Ridgebacks From A Responsible Breeder

On the day I picked up each one of my dogs I handed over a check for nearly two thousand dollars. That is a lot of money.My decision to pay a large sum for a puppy is a contentious one amongst dog lovers. For many, a line has been drawn and anyone who does not acquire their dog from a shelter or rescue is the on the wrong side.But I don’t see my decision to purchase my dogs from an ethical breeder as oppositional to rescue efforts, I see it as complementary to them. I think it’s worth explaining why. Read More

A Puppy’s Guide to Pregnancy

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.) Read More

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A Father’s Promise

After Eko died, I made my puppy a promise. My children would know his love.Not in the way I dreamed – with his gray muzzle nestled against them. But in the way I lived – with joyful commitment to making the most of the time we share together. I wanted to teach them what Eko taught me – to let go of hoping for tomorrow so that we can hold fast to loving today Read More

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