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My Dogs and Me

Kiera, Graidy, Wink and Me

We Give Our Dogs This Respect. Why Not Our Kids?

It’s a good thing I get up early, because one of the walkers (with dogs) on our road passes by around 6:30 am. I make sure my dogs are inside and the dog door is closed, so that this woman can walk by in relative peace. Relative peace, I say, because Kiera and Graidy both seem to find it constitutionally necessary to get off at least a few barks each from inside the house.

As the day unfolds, a parade … Read More

Growing Older Together

Cait’s sitting on her favorite seat in the house — me. As she’s done since she was a baby, she brushes the hair back from my face with both her hands so she can see my whole face.



“You’re getting white hairs!”

Cait has announced this with some alarm. As though, for the first time, she’s realizing the clock’s not standing still.

“You can’t get old,” she adds with a hint of worry in her voice.

I joke, … Read More

Professional Dog Trainer?

Andrew, reading the morning paper in one hand with a cup of coffee in the other, started quoting an article on one of the more popular dog trainers du jour. Every time he was about to say what the problem was, I absent-mindedly pre-empted him with the correct evaluation and training procedure.

Finally, he looked at me and said, “Why don’t you become a professional dog trainer? Any time I mention any article or magazine piece on dog training you … Read More

Does Job and is Quiet

“Dad, Finn really likes you,” Cait says.

“I like Finn,” Andrew says.

“Finally, an animal you have no complaints about,” I say.

“That’s because there’s nothing to complain about. He does his job (Finnegan-now 9, Mice-0) and he’s quiet.”

“Sounds like a dating ad: Does job and is quiet,” I say. “Kiera and Graidy do their jobs too, you know.”

“Yep. We’ve got one dog who herds anything moving on the ground, one dog who herds anything moving up in … Read More

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