[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!

Running with Ghosts

The woods are lovely, dark and deep. Just as I remember them.

I spent yesterday driving and I owe tomorrow to the road. But before I pay that debt I have these precious moments alone.

Penny and Zero are with me, but I have always considered my dogs a part of myself. The nameless part I can never share with another person. Not because I lack the will, but because in any attempt to translate it – through word or deed – its truth is lost.

So I silently share this truth with my dogs as we stand in the rain and look down the path leading into the trees. I am here in search of ghosts, but not the Revolutionary War specters many say walk these woods. I am here to commune with a boy and his puppy.

I gather myself, dogs and all, and run into the darkness.

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[UPDATE] Summer Vacation

Our bags are packed, and we’re off! Well, some of us are. By the time you read this, Penny, Zero and I will have snuck out in the morning darkness to hit the road east. (And not because we’re deadbeats.) In the infinite naivete of first-time parents, Emily and I decided to take a vacation to Vermont with our six-week-old. The dogs and I are the pack-mules, traveling over land, while Emily and Lincoln serve as our air(line) reinforcements. Eighteen hours of driving vs two hours of flying with a newborn. Pretty much a toss up.

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[VIDEO] The Greatest Miscarriage of Justice in the History of Dog Shows

I hope the AKC has a good lawyer. We’re ready to take our case all the way to the Supreme Court if need be.

A Boy and a Dog. A Dog and a Boy

The morning after Eko died, Emily told me she was pregnant.

I can only imagine what my reaction to the news might have been the day before, but at that moment I felt nothing.

I wanted to cheer, but I could find no joy within me. I wanted to cry, but I had shed all my tears for Eko. I loosed every valve in my heart, hoping to give the moment the love it deserved, but there was simply no lifeblood left to pump through it.

I was an empty man.

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[VIDEO] Zero’s First Dog Show

We had a week packed with Ridgeback reunions which culminated with Zero entered in his first ever dog show. I think he may have misheard it as “dog showoff” but either way we had a great time catching up with his littermates and learning the ropes.

Running Wild

Rhodesian Ridgeback, Lure Coursing, Marking Our Territory

Dogs are wonderfully domesticated pets. My two easily adapt to life in a modern metropolitan city.  But inside every dog is a primal switch.  If you’ve ever seen it flipped – in a bloodhound following a scent, a bird dog pointing like an arrow, or a cattle dog herding – you know how incredible it is to watch that instinct at work.

Largely due to Penny’s reputation, we haven’t had any lions in the Chicago area recently. Thankfully there is another way for my guys to embrace their inner hunter. Lure coursing is a dog sport where sighthounds chase a mechanically operated “bunny” around a set course. We attended a coursing trial in Indiana over the weekend, and as expected, Penny ran wild. (I have some video of her run I’ll share in a future post.) Since he’s only six-months old (allegedly) Zero only ran a short-course. He chased the lure, but he also chased a butterfly and pretty much anything else that moved. He had quite the time galavanting across the field. Read more ›

[VIDEO] Zero’s First Swim Lesson

Rhodesian Ridgebacks are known for being allergic to water, but that’s nothing a bit of fun and encouragement can’t cure!

Testing The Waters

Rhodesian Ridgeback, montrose dog beach, chicago, marking our territory, puppy

Many Ridgebacks are water averse, but I suspect Penny Mayhem has some dolphin/Lochness Monster/kraken somewhere in her pedigree. Long before any sane dog tests the frigid water of Lake Michigan after the winter ice clears, Penny is diving in head first. In my quest to teach Zero to swim, Penny’s reckless enthusiasm for the lake has been a huge help.  At first, Zero would hastily brake anytime the water got near his toes. But he always kept on eye on his sister’s splashing. Read more ›

[VIDEO] Head Tilt Compilation

The Rhodesian Ridgeback Taxi service has to hustle to go pick my dad and brother up from the airport this morning. We’re hosting the whole family for my brother’s law school graduation so in the scramble didn’t have a ton of time to make a video. I’m going to let Zero’s cuteness cover my tracks and we’ll catch up with everyone next week. Have a good weekend!