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[VIDEO] Sunrise at Chicago’s Montrose Dog Beach

There’s no snooze button on my new alarm clock so we’re always up before the sun these days. I used to dread early morning wakeups, but starting the day with Link and pups at the beach for sunrise has helped me find new perspective.

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The Unreasonable Dog

Rhodesian Ridgeback, Lion, Marking Our Territory

How far can light travel in four years? The answer could be represented as a very long number. Simplified, the answer is four light-years. Most simply, I like to think of the answer as “Penny.”

Today Miss Penny Mayhem turns four (Earth) years old. The tendency with birthdays is to remark how fast time flies, but it seems Penny flies at relativistic speeds because no one in my family believes she’s only been with us for four trips around the sun.

Emily thought Penny must be six. My brother was certain the little wild thing (Penny, not Emily) was even older. I started to question my own sanity so we had to go back and double check the math. Despite the evidence I’m still not sure my brother is convinced. I’m only marginally more confident.

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[VIDEO] Dog Training Mistakes, Mishaps and Failures

I like to think I do my best to show the good, bad and ugly of sharing life with dogs. Still, what ends up on the internet is inevitably more polished than real life. It’s easy to have the camera running when everything is going well, but when things go south I’m the one doing all the running. (And I for one am eternally grateful there is no footage of me trying to catch puppy Penny at the beach)

A full compilation of  all the mistakes I’ve made would last roughly the duration of my life, so today I thought I’d share a very small selection of mishaps I did happen to catch on video. Success looks good on camera, but I’ve found the best way to learn and grow is through failure. And boy have I done a lot of learning. Thankfully my dogs are patient – if opportunistic – teachers.

So next time you’re struggling with training your dog, I hope you’ll find encouragement in the fact that I have failed in ways more spectacular than you can imagine.

Remembering Ourselves Through Dogs

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We forget almost everything. Life is singular and precious, but it is too expansive for our minds to hold in its entirety. We relinquish rote, routine and unremarkable memories willingly, hoping to save space for the occasions we cherish most. But the pernicious flaw of recollection is that we cannot always choose the moments we keep.

So if memories are an imperfect inheritance from ourselves, how can we invest our fortunes today so that despite what we lose, our minds and hearts may be richer tomorrow?
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[VIDEO] Rhodesian Ridgebacks vs Snow

The slow tilt towards spring has begun, but luckily Mother Nature delivered Zero and Lincoln’s first real snow storm before the weather turns. Both outside and inside, we made the most of it.

[VIDEO] My Big Ballerina

I know I’ve been scarce around these parts lately, but it’s certainly not for a lack of action! With Lincoln strapped to my chest and a dog in each hand it’s been easier for me to post daily updates over on instagram. But I have plenty of longer form essays/videos I’m working on to post here.

In the meantime, for those of you who don’t use the service, below is a short video I posted on instagram today.  Zero may be built like a linebacker but he’s doing a wonderful job pirouetting around Lincoln like a ballerina. It’s not easy for an adolescent pup to show restraint so I’m proud of how our training is coming along.

People often ask if I'm worried about having big dogs around a little kid. Thanks to lots of positive reinforcement, I have no concern my dogs will ever intentionally hurt Lincoln. But as Lincoln grows there's definitely a risk the pups might accidentally knock him over, so we're teaching them to tread gently around their little bro. Restraint is not a Ridgeback forte, so I'm especially proud of Zero learning to be dainty with Lincoln in all respects. As always, it's a work in progress, but a supremely rewarding one! ____________________________ #rhodesianridgeback #projectrr #ridgebacksofinstagram #dog #dogs #hound #dogsofinstagram #dogoftheday #primepet #chicago #dogbeach #bestwoof #houndandlife #akc

A post shared by Rhodesian Ridgebacks (@markingourterritory) on

 

Happy Friday, catch up with everyone soon!

[VIDEO] Circle of Life

Elton John sang it, Penny lives it, Will can’t afford to pay for it to use in this video. It’s the circle of life! And Miss Mayhem marshalls each of us to make the most of the endless round.

[VIDEO] There is Always Room For Love

Today marks one year since I lost Eko. Since I lost my heart. In that year I suffered, stumbled and failed. But I also persevered, learned and rebuilt myself. I wear my scars proudly and eagerly share the love and knowledge they’ve earned me. Anything else wouldn’t do justice to my puppy.

The Dog I Loved Least

I never saw Eko die. I never saw him grow old and gray. I saw him bounding joyfully towards me across the beach one day and then I never saw him again.

So even though tomorrow marks a year since he’s been gone, a part of me still looks for Eko. My dogs and my newborn son have unknowingly been recruited to the search party. Lincoln’s fussing wakes us in the early morning darkness and I load the rescue team into the car.

Penny and Zero race into the pre-dawn haze blanketing the beach. If he’s out there, they’ll find him. Lincoln rests snugly on my chest and we walk quietly along the water. I watch my dogs who are here and wait for the one who is not.

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[VIDEO] Vermont Vacation

Sure, it might have been easier to go on vacation without my dogs, but it would have been a whole lot less fun!