[VIDEO] Zero’s First Week at Montrose Dog Beach

Montrose Dog Beach is undoubtedly my favorite place in Chicago to visit with the pups. When you step over the dune the city fades away behind you. It’s just you, your dog, the sand and the lake. It’s only been a week since Zero was old enough to join us, but safe to say it’s now officially his favorite place too!

Finding Ourselves at Montrose Dog Beach


Rhodesian RIdgeback, Puppy, montrose dog beach, chicago, marking our territory, zeroOver the past few years I’ve learned my dogs are the compass by which I navigate the uncertain territory of my own identity. The needle of this compass does not point outward to true north, but inward to true self. That needle led me across the continent, pointed me down the wedding aisle, lifted me to blissful heights, dragged me through hell, and showed me the way out.  That needle is love. Not the love shared between people, or even the love shared between people and dogs. That needle is my dog’s unmitigated love for the present moment.  And when I let that love guide me, there I find myself. Again. Read more ›

#ChicagoCIVDay – Why I Vaccinate My Dogs

This snowy morning I want to share a quick PSA for any Windy City locals about the recent outbreak of dog flu in the Chicago area.

Statistically speaking, it’s unlikely your dog will ever suffer from canine influenza. Statistically speaking, even if your pup does catch the flu, it’s unlikely they’ll develop serious symptoms. That’s why if you have a social dog (who goes to dog parks, classes, boarding, etc) it’s important to consider vaccinating your pup against the flu viruses. Yup, you read that right. I’m advocating vaccinating against something that will likely never affect you. Read more ›

Ridgeback Puppies Love Fun Stuff! (This is not that stuff)

Some things you love, some you learn to love…and then there are baths. We’re enjoying the stuff we love, and doing our best with the rest!

[VIDEO] Stretching Those Puppy Legs

Beautiful Montrose Dog Beach waits for us just on the other side of the dunes. But until Zero’s had his final round of vaccinations we need to hold off on any visits to public dog-friendly areas. Luckily my brother has a small backyard with just enough room to let my growing pup stretch his legs.

[VIDEO] Rhodesian Ridgeback Puppy School

When he’s whining, acting silly, or I just need his attention, I playfully admonish my pup by saying, “Hey Zero, you’re big for a little dog, but you’re still little for a big dog!” He’s more of a big dog and less of a small dog by the moment, but there’s still a lot for Zero to learn about this big world. And with Penny as his teacher, what could possibly go wrong?

What Does Love Look Like?

Rhodesian Ridgeback, Montrose Dog Beach, Chicago, Sun rise

If the Valentine’s Day commercials were correct, love looks like  expensive jewelry, fancy dinners and as many roses as you can afford to buy. If the romantics are correct, love looks like a poem, a song or a thoughtful note.

I enjoy a nice dinner and a sentimental card as much as the next person, but one of the things I appreciate most about dogs is that their love is not available for purchase or persuasion. Treats and kind words are important (obviously!) but dogs remind me love is best seen in the smaller and quieter moments of each day. Love looks like the sunrise over Lake Michigan after sneaking out for a run with Penny to make sure she still gets the attention she deserves. Read more ›

[VIDEO] Penny, Meet Zero. Zero, Meet Mayhem Incarnate

Some introductions use handshakes and polite conversation, but where’s the fun in that? Penny and Zero found it much more entertaining to meet each other in paw-to-paw combat. It’s still early, but it appears Penny thinks her little bro has the mettle needed to join our crew!

Love is War

Rhodesian Ridgeback, Chicago, puppy, marking our territory, penny, zeo

Valentine’s Day has many wondering the best way to a girl’s heart. Flowers? Chocolate? Well, for one particular lady, the answer is a knock-down-drag-out full on brawl. I don’t expect Penny and Zero to have the same relationship Penny and Eko had, but my hope is to help them cultivate their own brand of companionship and camaraderie. And I know the best way to do that is by encouraging my little David to battle against Goliath. Read more ›

Who is This Puppy?

Rhodesian Ridgeback, Puppy, chicago, marking our territory, zero, adventure

Who is this handsome pup? The truth is that you guys know nearly as much about Zero as I do. Our first week together was a whirlwind of late night whining, early morning wakeups and lots of pee breaks in between. (Most such breaks, I’m happy to report, occurred outside.)

Now that we’re settling into our new routine, it’s fun to learn more about his personality and disposition each day. Because while I once thought of puppies as blank slates, I know now that these guys each come prepackaged with their own unique character. Read more ›