Monthly Archive:: July 2014


We live in a rural – or at least semi-rural – neighborhood, surrounded by fields and farms and private homes set on large wooded parcels.  Our road is not a particularly busy one, though during the course of our half-hour morning or afternoon walk I wave to maybe a dozen or so drivers whom I
Category: Dog

Cat Toys

Each time we bring Willie with us on a visit to the home of our friends Tom and Erik, Willie adopts one of their cat’s toys. “Uh-oh,” I said the first time I saw Willie trotting through the dining room with a catnip mouse in his mouth, “Willie filched one of Fuzzy’s mice.” “That’s okay,”
Category: Dog accessories

The Power of Biscuits

A few weeks after my conversation about dog training with Ann, I brought Willie with me on a writing retreat at the Cape Hatteras National Seashore in Rodanthe, North Carolina.  One morning at sunrise the two of us left the cottage and walked across the dune to an empty beach where I let him off
Category: Dog

Training Camp

So just what’s involved in training my dog in a few of the basics?  Each night at bedtime I’ve been reading a few pages the Monks of New Skete book  — a gift from my friends Joe and Kathleen – but I’m not reading enough fast enough and besides: reading isn’t going to help Willie
Category: Dog

Training Wheels

Willie is now nearly eight months old.  A perfect time, I’m told, to begin training. This pup is smart and friendly and affectionate.  He walks beautifully on a leash, he cooperates during sink baths, and he doesn’t chew things he’s not supposed to.  But he seems to forget his name when he’s off-leash in our
Category: Dog

Lost Dog

It was a busy morning.  Richard and I were working on deadline when a friend dropped by for coffee.  Excited, Willie ran a few laps around us and around the dining table as Richard opened the pantry door to retrieve something to serve our guest.  Just then, the phone rang with a business call, and
Category: Dog

Defiant Doggie

“Willie, come.” The sun is rising, and I’m crouched down beside the front door holding Willie’s harness and leash.  It’s time for our morning walk, which will be followed by breakfast – both his and mine. Willie stands just beyond my reach, looking at me.  Why does he hesitate, holding himself apart?  Does he object
Category: Dog

The Joy of Socks

“What have you got there, Willie?” Julie and I are in the kitchen at first light; I’m setting the breakfast table and Julie is fixing a cup of coffee when I notice Willie, on the rug of the still-darkened living room, pulling and tugging on something between his paws — something that doesn’t look like
Category: Dog