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Archive for May, 2009

Dog Names and the Human-Animal Bond, Part One

Sunday, May 31st, 2009

When I drop Alex at doggy daycare, there is a check-in sheet where I add his name, my signature, and the drop-off time. I’m always amused by the variety of dog names on the list, Alex’s playmates for the day. There’s Bodhi and Kosmo, who must be  wise old souls; Cricket and Frodo; Banjo and Echo; Axel, Cruiser, Diesel and Harley; Macgregor and Midnight; Sadie, Sasha, and Sunny; Sophie and Sweetpea; Roxy and Rosie; Nibbler, Brie and Gumbo; Chance and Cooper; Buddy, Chessie, Vixen and Zoe. There’s a story behind each name, I suspect. (more…)

Little house in the big woods

Sunday, May 24th, 2009

We are spending Memorial Day weekend at our mountain cabin. After a rainy May, this area is finally out of the drought. The rhododendrons are spectacular this year; really vibrant shades of purple. Hummingbirds dart, zoom, and perform their aerial acrobatics around the feeder on the deck.  Alex spends hours by the window, watching them. He also loves to watch the chipmunks as they scurry over the rock walls. It keeps him entertained as I write.

Alex at the cabin

Alex at the cabin

Dog Blessings – recommended book!

Thursday, May 14th, 2009

Following the loss of Marmaduke and Molly, I embarked on a project to compile poems and tributes to dogs that had died. I found them in out of print books and out of the way places. Most of the tributes that were ultimately published in Angel Pawprints; Reflections on Loving and Losing a Canine Companion were written in the early 1900s, although I included a few contemporary poems as well. Through this project I became a collector of antiquarian dog books, vintage photos of dogs, and quotes about dogs. I never tire of reading about dogs and the countless ways in which they enrich our lives. Thus, I was delighted to find this treasure, a new book called Dog Blessings; Poems, Prose, and Prayers Celebrating Our Relationship with Dogs, edited by June (more…)

A Mother’s Day Wish for All Creatures

Friday, May 8th, 2009

My neighborhood has a small pond, which has become home to pairs of wild ducks and Canada geese. Every spring, I delight in watching as baby ducklings and goslings appear. I see them swimming in perfect formation behind their parents, or poking around on the grassy banks, or resting at the pond’s edge. The parents hover by protectively, ready to herd the babies into the safety of the water as we walk by. Alex loves to stop and watch the geese, but he keeps his distance. (more…)

A pet’s worldly possessions

Friday, May 1st, 2009

“Putting their things away is one of the hardest parts,” a friend observed as we compared notes on pet loss. What do you do with the toys, the bed, the collar, the leftover medicines? There is no one right answer. (more…)