Mail from readers

Part 2: What You Can Do to Avoid Getting Bitten By a Dog — Learn How to Read a Dog’s Body Language

Continuing with Andrew’s question for The Mail Bag: In my last post, I talked about some of the different factors that could trigger a dog to bite when on its own property. It boiled down to roughly three categories: a dog protecting its turf (including people, objects, and food); a dog undersocialized and/or uncertain or afraid of novelty (whether processed through smell, sight, or hearing); a dog in pain.

More than 4.5 million people get bitten every year, in part, because they don’t know how to read a dog’s body language. That’s a scary statistic. But let me put this into some context. There are approximately 73 million dogs in the […]

By |2016-10-24T09:56:35-04:00February 13th, 2011|Dogs in General, The Mail Bag|12 Comments

Part 1: What You Can Do to Avoid Getting Bitten By a Dog –10 Common Mistakes People Make Greeting Dogs

From the mailbag: Andrew writes: “In just the last couple of months I’ve had two scary run-ins with dogs and wish I knew what the reason was. The first incident happened when I was visiting a client for the first time and the dog came out and bit me hard on the leg. This was chalked up to the family’s new baby as it must have been protecting the family. But then today – visiting another new client and an extremely tame Labrador retriever with no aggressive history came after me and snarled like a big pit bull. All I had done was properly held out the back of my […]

By |2016-10-24T09:56:35-04:00February 6th, 2011|Dogs in General, The Mail Bag|21 Comments

How to Choose and Introduce a New Dog to an Old Dog

From the Mail Bag: Renee asks: I have a mini Aussie a little over a year old. I’ve been thinking of getting another dog as a companion for her. I am home most of the time, so I have time for two. I play with Sierra a few times a day throwing Frisbee, etc. but she still badgers me to play at times when I’m busy. I thought having another dog may be good for her. My sister visits every once in a while and brings a much smaller dog and Sierra LOVES having the company. Sierra is a very sweet dog who loves all people and all dogs. She […]

By |2017-07-23T08:36:18-04:00December 10th, 2010|Dog Training, Dogs in General, The Mail Bag|18 Comments

Ree “The Pioneer Woman” Drummond vs. Heather “Dooce” Armstrong


From the Mailbag:  Emma writes: I don’t get it. I read lots of blogs from the “famous” Dooce  (who’s a little too, I dunno, b*tchy for my tastes), and now Pioneer Woman (who seems like a lightweight one-trick pony/cow), to obscure blogs on personal subjects that interest me. And I gotta tell ya, I think some of the more unknown ones are much better written and much more interesting. I’m wondering why you think some blogs that aren’t particularly well-written make it to the top when others that are better don’t? […]

By |2016-10-24T09:56:42-04:00January 25th, 2009|On Writing, The Mail Bag|27 Comments

The Five Ws of Blogging

From the mailbag: Cheryl writes: I just started a blog four months ago and at first had all kinds of things I wanted to write about. Then I started putting too much pressure on myself to come up with something brilliant everyday and I quickly got writer’s block. Then I got obsessed with checking my stats. Then I found myself actually getting really bummed that people weren’t leaving comments. So I just ditched the whole thing. But now I’m thinking of trying again. I really enjoy your blog and wondered what you make of the whole blogging thing, how you came up with what you’d write about, how you keep […]

By |2016-10-24T09:56:42-04:00November 16th, 2008|On Writing, The Mail Bag|9 Comments

Want to Write a Book that Sells? Start With an Outline

writing From the mailbag: Hannah writes: I’ve been writing a novel and have been stuck for weeks. That’s my pattern: I write a little, get stuck, have a breakthrough, write again, etc. It often feels like torture. I’m wondering if you also have this problem and if you’ve found a way to overcome it. I’ve read that it’s a good idea to start with an outline, but doesn’t that work better for non-fiction? For fiction, it seems like it would clash with letting my story tell itself.

Dear Hannah, there are writers out there who feel they work best without an outline so […]

By |2016-10-24T09:56:46-04:00June 29th, 2008|On Writing, The Mail Bag|9 Comments