Better Versions of Ourselves

Whoever we are, we are better for having a dog. While we can often hide from ourselves, there’s no hiding from our pups. They need our love, our care, and our best effort.

In the moment, I’m not always excited to go out in the freezing cold in the morning, but I’m always grateful Penny and Zero get me out there. I am unequivocally better for it.

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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A Snowy Start to 2019

December was all bark from Mother Nature in Chicago, but in January she’s shown she has plenty of bite!

There’s nothing better than cozying up with Penny and Zero by the fire, but we think that warmth always feels best after we earn it with wild romps through the snow.

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.