Life in the cemetery (fall foliage pictures)

Mt. Hope Cemetery is a wildlife sanctuary. I spent a bit of time with this critter. Someone called him a whistle pig and said if I whistled he would have stood up for me. I was pretty close; I preferred him in his critter hole.

I spend a lot of time walking in the cemetery. One of our dogs, Bailey, is dog reactive so it's difficult to find places where we can walk and not feed her excitement. It's been two years of training and practice and lots and lots of patience. The more new experiences she has, the less reactive she gets. But it's difficult to find places where we can walk and not run into off leash dogs. (See my discussion about the leash law.) So we walk in the local memorial park and small historic … [Read more...]

Vote for the most unusual pet insurance claim in the 2012 VPI Hambone Awards

Baxter fell from the 11th story window and lived to meow about it. He's just one of the nominees for the 2012 VPI Hambone Awards that honor the year's most unusual pet insurance claim. (Photo: VPI nominees)

Veterinary Pet Insurance Co. is getting ready to award the 2012 Annual Hambone Award, and  you get to pick the winner! Named after a dog that ate an entire Thanksgiving ham while stuck in a refrigerator, the VPI Hambone Award has since been presented for three equally unusual claims. Past winners include Ellie, a Labrador retriever who gobbled up an entire beehive and its thousands of inhabitants; Lulu, a hungry bulldog who swallowed 15 baby pacifiers, a bottle cap and piece of a basketball; … [Read more...]

5 reasons to obey the leash law (yes, I’m talking to you)

Bandit and I on a walk in Corbett's Glen in Brighton, NY.

I took my dog Bandit for a walk today in Corbett's Glen, a nature park here in the suburbs of our hometown of Rochester, NY. In general, I avoid walking in the woods by myself. It's kind of scary for me. I prefer the cemetery. For whatever reason, I feel less alone among the dead. But we've been exploring new places to romp and someone told me this was a great trail When I walk Bandit in the woods or the cemetery, he's usually on a long training lead. That gives him more than ample room to … [Read more...]

The fight for Lennox ends – shame on the Belfast City Council

Lennox, the 7-year-old American Bull Dog/Labrador mix who was seized by the Belfast City Council (BCC) in Northern Ireland in May 2012 has been, according to reports, "humanely put to sleep." The story that has captured the hearts of animal lovers around the world centers on a law in Belfast that makes owning a pit bull illegal. The BCC seized Lennox because they deemed that he was, by appearance, a pit bull, despite DNA testing to the contrary. The Barnes family, Lennox's owners, have … [Read more...]

The results of positive dog training (video)

(Video of Bandit and Bailey; I'm not really that fat ... it's an apron filled with treats ... honest ...) Those of you who have been following along with the dog adventures at my house - Scout's illness last year and his death in January along with the very serious behavior problems we've been dealing with between Bandit and Bailey, problems that for their own safety have prevented the two dogs from occupying the same rooms since last November - will rejoice with us when you see this video. … [Read more...]

Join Patricia McConnell in a discussion about animals at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, Thursday, June 21

Join author and animal behaviorist Patricia McConnell this Thursday at the MMoCA for a discussion about animals and art.

 If you're in the Madison, Wisconsin area and are also an animal lover, here's a don't miss event: this Thursday, June 21, Patricia McConnell, author of fabulous books including "The Other End Of The Leash" and "For The Love Of A Dog" will join Richard H. Axsom, curator at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, for a discussion of the complicated and often contradictory relationships humans have had with animals. The discussion is part of the museum's exhibit, One must know the animals, … [Read more...]

Just another day at the Funny Farm (video)

  Regular readers of my columns and personal blog (ie: my friends and family) know there's a reason I've dubbed my house "the funny farm." Not only do I write humor ... it's just madness over here. Disorganization, clutter and chaos. And that's just me. Add in the animals and it's a non-stop barrel of fun. (No, I don't have a monkey, but that would be fun, wouldn't it?) So I thought you'd enjoy this little video I captured of our rescue pup Bailey. I think she learned this trick from the … [Read more...]

Pit bull shot by sheriff’s deputies; community responds

photo: www.facebook.com/JusticeForDiablo

There's a hot controversy stirring here in my hometown of Rochester, NY. I confess I'm late coming to the story, being wrapped up as I am in family tree research. But I've finally had time to catch up and ... well, it's quite a story. Here's what happened. Last Friday, June 2, two Monroe County Sheriff deputies responded to a call at a home in the Rochester suburb of Perinton, NY. News reports say the officers were responding to a call for a car blocking a driveway at the home of Gary … [Read more...]

Summer Top 10 Reading List – dogs, dogs and a little mystery

As summer nears, we bloggers here at Patheos have been asked to share our summer reading lists. Let me tell you, when you're talking about books, you're talking about my biggest love. I try to average a book a week every year; sometimes I make it. Sometimes I don't. But I always have several dozen books next to my bed, either in various stages of reading or in the "to read" pile. And I'm always adding more. So let me whittle my bedside pile down to a few books I'd love to read this summer, … [Read more...]

A year of animals, blogging and Patheos

Bandit, Bailey and Scout, summer 2011. A year later, two dogs are still here, and they can't be left alone together in the same room.

I was excited this week to receive a notecard in the mail from the staff at Patheos, congratulating me on my one year anniversary blogging about animals and faith. Really? A whole year? Where did the time go? I love writing here. The columnists, bloggers and editors have been kind and welcoming, and I love hearing from readers who have shared photos, shared thoughts and engaged in discussions on a variety of animal-related topics. It's been a nice change from my decade-plus experience … [Read more...]


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