A Collar Worthy of Your Dog

In one of my most vivid memories from childhood I am holding Indy, our aged and infirm family Dalmatian, on the floor of the veterinarian’s office with my mother. Suffering from interminable seizures, and nearly unable to walk, Indy is past the point where we can convince ourselves that even the most dedicated and loving care offers him comfort.

The vet speaks to us kindly in a hushed voice and we soothe Indy while I watch the viscous pink fluid push through the IV. I’m shocked by how quickly Indy dies. One moment I’m holding my dog, and in the space between breaths he is gone.

What sticks with me most about that moment is not Indy’s death. It is the strange feeling I had that the lifeless body I held afterwards was not him. A feeling that the spotted coat in my arms was just that, a coat Indy left behind as he flew away with the air of that last breath.

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The Love We Share

I used to believe love was a spark. That feeling when the steel of my soul struck against the flint of another’s and set my heart on fire.

We remember sparks vividly. The electricity of a first kiss. The awe of holding your child for the first time. The serenity of first meeting your dog and realizing they were always your dog – it just took a bit of time to find each other.

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The Most Wonderful Time

One Christmas Eve my father told us a story. Gathered on my brother’s bed, he whispered conspiratorially of stamping hooves and shaken bells he once heard on the roof as a child. Awed, we asked the questions children ask. Did he run outside? Did he see them? Did he see him??

“I heard the reindeer leap off the roof, and that was enough,” he said.

He kissed us each goodnight and left us to wonder. Was the story true? We quietly mused on the matter, shushing each other to listen at any perceived creak above our heads. Would this be the night we answered the question of whether the magic was real?

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The Rhodesian Ridgeback Parenting Model

Do I have any idea how to raise a child? No. But do I dedicate myself to reading parenting books and trying to learn? Also no. Thus far my fall back plan has been taking care of Lincoln by taking care of the dogs. It may lead him to a predilection for eating out of a dog bowl, but nonetheless I’m pretty happy with the results!

Borrowing Courage From Our Dogs

Our fears are our own. No one can take them from us, so we must find a way to face them. Thankfully, our dogs are willing to lend us their courage when we find our own lacking. I’m grateful Lincoln already finds inspiration in Penny and Zero.

A Year After A Year After

As a child, I remember my parents crying. A quiet tear from my mother as we drove past our old home. A short breath and watery eyes from my father while sitting together on the edge of my grandmother’s pool.

I could not understand why these seemingly innocuous moments overwhelmed them. When I asked what was wrong the answer was always, “Nothing,” said with a wry smile. If pressed, they might share a hint of a stirred memory, but no more. Then they’d wipe their eyes and quickly return to the present moment.

Life is inextricably lived in one direction – forward. But it can be understood through an infinite number of vectors, intersecting at angles and times known and unknown. I now recognize that in those moments with my parents I witnessed a juncture of self-discovery through some revelatory vector. A moment they had once lived, experienced again with new perspective.

This past Saturday was a juncture in my own life. One I pass for the second time living forward, but a crossroads well-worn in my heart. September 29th marks two years since Eko died.

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When Should You Spay or Neuter a Rhodesian Ridgeback?

Rhodesian Ridgebacks, Montrose Dog Beach, Chicago, Marking Our Territory

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.

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[VIDEO] Rhodesian Ridgeback Lion Hunting Training

First, we’d like to humbly accept the adulation we’ve received for keeping Chicago safe from lions all these years. It’s not glamorous work, but if it means the people of this city can finally sleep without fear of a lion invasion, it’s worth the effort. Many of you may get Monday off, but I can assure you Penny and Zero will be hard at work!