Naptime in the Dog Park

I have not posted any wisdom for awhile. That’s not because the well has run dry or dog folk have stopped making life great for dogs. It’s mostly because my blogging mojo has been channeled into a new gig as web editor for Bark magazine. Over at TheBark.com, I’m still learning and writing about the smarts and commitment of everyday dog people. So check in with me there.

Focus on dogs

img_00791Working on Dog Park Wisdom, I met many people who were inspired by their canine cohorts to take unexpected exits off the same-old, same-old highway — from starting rescues to running marathons to creating beautiful art. Fellow Washingtonian Haley Poulos, who provided some excellent trail-doggin’ smarts for my book, is a perfect example. Since we last talked, she’s been building an archive of luscious, spirited photos of her dogs, Charlotte and Wilbur. Check them out at her blog: She Wears Socks with Sandals.

My dogs on TV

I got last-minute word that Bev and I will be on Evening Magazine tonight at 7 p.m. (NBC, channel 5 in Seattle) talking, as usual, about some of the tips in Dog Park Wisdom. We taped the show back in July, and all I remember was uncooperative demo dogs (our own, of course). Still, I can’t wait to see what it boils down to and I’m just thrilled Lulu, Renzo and their buddy Eddie will be on TV. I feel like a stage mom.

A leash for all seasons

I walk my dogs with simple, 6-foot leather leashes with brass clips. One is black. The other is brown. They feel substantial and responsive in my hand but there is nothing exciting about them. No bright colors, paisley, flowers or rivets. And lately, I’ve been thinking about the fact that I’m pretty much set with these leashes for the long haul. Barring any visits from crazed chewers, I can see these outlasting not just my current dogs but all the dogs of my life and eventually me. While I’m sorry to miss out on shopping for one of the truly blinged-out leashes on the market, I realize that these are the choice for our time. No “green” label. No eco-friendly ad campaign. Just a promise of quality and durability that would satisfy my frugal New England aunt (a woman who reused paper plates from parties and split open flattened toothpaste tubes).

Greenish grooming tote

In case you missed it, Bark featured a sweet and simple recycling trick in the Sept./Oct. 08 issue: Repurpose a cardboard six-pack carton — in this case, for Black Dog Ale — into a carrier for grooming supplies.

Work to end puppy mills

When I talked to folks for my book about the first big decision relating to life with a dog — that is, bringing him or her home — I heard one thing loud and clear: Remember the homeless dogs, the shelter dogs, the dogs in rescues and foster homes. Folks who had purchased their dogs from pet stores told me that while they may have loved their store-bought pups, they regretted and would not repeat the choice. Joining the fraternity of dog people, they learned about the mass breeding operations that supply shops and vowed not to be a part of the problem again. Saturday, September 20, is Puppy Mill Awareness Day — an opportunity to learn more and support efforts to end this cruelty.

Putting the bark in politics

My sister bought me a Bark Obama for President dog tag. Whatever you might think about Barack Obama, you have to admit that’s pretty great wordplay. There are also McCain dog tags available but they read: McCain for Top Dog. Why not McCanine?