[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 ›

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.

A Birthday Celebration

Rhodesian Ridgeback, Montrose Dog Beach, Chicago, Marking Our TerritoryLast Friday the sun bathed Chicago in a warmth that day hadn’t felt in over a hundred years. Deep in the heart of winter, a day that should have been gray and dark was blue and bright. I stepped into the morning light with Zero and Penny. In unison we embraced ancient instinct and lifted our faces to the sky.

My neighbor waved and gave a mischievous grin as he jogged past us in shorts, headed towards the beachfront path. Days like this are shared amongst Chicagoans like a joyful secret. In word and in deed we whisper, “Can you believe this?”

The answer, of course, is a resounding“No!” But that does not stop us from reveling in the unexpected gift. I set a course with the dogs for the shore of Lake Michigan. It is there, more than anywhere else in the city, where the power of days like these is felt most profoundly. Where people gather to venerate this first promise of better days ahead. We joined the eastward pilgrimage, seeking our part of that shared serenity. Read more ›

[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?

The Most Important Lesson for a Rhodesian Ridgeback Puppy

Rhodesian Ridgeback, puppy, chicago, lion, zero, marking our territory

There are so many things for a puppy to learn in this great big world, but where to start? For Rhodesian Ridgebacks at least, the answer is easy. Which is why I didn’t waste time telling Zero the hard truth of his existence and the dire necessity of his work. Below is the transcript of Zero’s first day on the job. Read more ›

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 ›