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[VIDEO] Rhodesian Ridgeback Vacation Adventure

We enjoy romps in Lake Michigan so much in Chicago, we figured we should check in on all the waves Penny and Zero send crashing into the Michigan shore on the other side. Turns out those waves are doing just fine! So the pups decided to send them on back across to meet us home.

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[VIDEO] A Boy Raised by Rhodesian Ridgebacks

There’s no one right way to raise a dog or a kid. But I’ve found the best way for me to raise a dog and a kid is together. It’s not always easy, but the worthwhile things rarely are.

We’re off this weekend for the first of two family road trips. Hope everyone enjoys the Fourth, we’ll catch up with you when we get back.

A Fire Tended By Dogs

One year ago I held Lincoln in my arms for the first time. An ember cast forward from the bonfire of life into the tinderbox of my arms.

He was such a precarious light. His flickering breath barely perceptible against my chest. Just past the corners of my vision I felt the encroaching fear some menace in the infinite darkness of things I could not see would  extinguish this spark.

The temptation was to turn towards the darkness. To claw at it. Build a wall against it. Stand between it and my tiny light. But thankfully my dogs have taught me such attempts are futile. Read more ›

Learning To Walk

With the uncertain, bow-legged steps of a drunk cowboy, Lincoln teetered across the grass towards me. I waited with open-arms under a tree, my heart wavering in rhythm with each one of his steps. I willed him to make it the final few feet into my arms, but he fell short.

Link didn’t seem to mind. He laughed and rolled the last yard to where I sat. He rose with a triumphant smile, covered in sticks. The dogs gave him a victor’s welcome, complete with a massive kiss from Zero.

Who am I to say this joyful boy fell short?

Read more ›

A Vow to Accept Me. A Vow to Accept My Dogs.

“Our anniversary is coming up.”

“Oh, right.“ Emily replied. “April…26th?”

“It’s the 24th this year!” I chided with mock outrage, neglecting to mention I peeked at the framed wedding invitation in our kitchen for the answer.

I’m certainly in no position to comment on the finer details of matrimony. When it was time to select a wedding band for myself I opted for a $20 tungsten ring from Amazon. I added it to an order of dog treats and forgot about it until the week of our wedding. At which point I realized that in my haste to give Eko and Penny their new snacks I had thrown out my ring with the shipping box. Read more ›

[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.

The Dog Who Means Nothing to Me

Last Thanksgiving my family gathered in Chicago and we lifted our glasses to the memory of Eko – the dog who meant everything to me. That same evening, at the top of a winding dirt driveway in Michigan, a dog who meant nothing to me was born.

For five transformative years I spent nearly every moment with Eko. He shepherded me through one of the most uncertain and tumultuous times of my life. I hammered and tempered and reforged my soul under the guidance of my puppy.

I wouldn’t be where I am today without Eko. More importantly, I wouldn’t be who I am. So without Eko, I wasn’t sure who I was anymore. I lost my compass when I lost Eko, but this aching emptiness will be my guide, I wrote.

After years of speaking with a full heart I had to learn to listen with an empty one. I spent each day trying to replace what I lost, but when I lay my head down to sleep and tapped my heart it still rang hollow.

Those empty reverberations led me up a dirt driveway in Michigan one wintry January afternoon. I didn’t want to be there but I had nowhere else left to go. I needed help to find my way again.

Read more ›

[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] From Wild to Mild

I love watching Penny and Zero cut loose at the beach or wrestle across our carpet, but with a new baby in town I’ve needed my guys to learn how to slow down around Lincoln. Luckily they’ve proven themselves to be excellent and doting big siblings.

Lessons From a Hellhound to a Father

Mr. Eko, my first dog, was affable, adventurous and even tempered. I felt quite proud (some might say smug) of the well-mannered pup I raised and trained. I’d look at Eko and marvel at how my puppy grew into the dog I decided he would be.

Because I once believed my dogs were only shaped by my decisions. I was certain their personalities were simply the sum of my choices. Then I met Penny. Read more ›