Independence Day: My dog’s personal hell

Aside from a scenario in which Katniss is separated from both my wife and me for more than 10 minutesº—OK, 10 seconds—surrounded by vacuum cleaners, and *gasp* out of food and water, what is surely her worst nightmare¹, and maybe your dog’s, too, is the July 4 weekend. As in right now. It’s not that she’s sympathetic to the British rule of early America and hates freedom; it’s the sound of fireworks popping constantly in our neighborhood throughout the evening of the fourth that terrifies her and her very astute sense of hearing. In a selfish way, I suppose it’s … Continue reading Independence Day: My dog’s personal hell

‘Fuller House’: Did anyone else notice the fake puppy? And why wasn’t Comet Jr. Jr. spayed?

My dog, Katniss, the subject of this increasingly infrequent blog, is, aside from her incessant whining and barking, a beautiful, funny, smart and sensitive dog. One regret I could possibly have regarding Katniss is that she’ll never have puppies to carry on her, um, “legacy” of constant kisses, “protecting” our house with barking night and day, a penchant for snuggling and seemingly endless energy. But my wife and I did what the animal shelter and Bob Barker told us to do: We had our pet spayed to help control the animal population. Apparently that doesn’t apply to some television dogs. … Continue reading ‘Fuller House’: Did anyone else notice the fake puppy? And why wasn’t Comet Jr. Jr. spayed?

Ask My Vet: Why do certain breeds look the way they do?

Ask My Vet is a series based on questions I have—and maybe you do, too—about dogs. Katniss’ veterinarian, Dr. Katharine Kennedy of Arbor Animal Clinic here in Austin, provides answers and expertise as a part of this series. Question: Why do certain breeds look the way they do? Dr. K: In a word, artificial selection, the hallmark of human domestication. Our favorite English naturalist, Charles Darwin, is most famous for his theory of natural selection: the survival and reproduction of individuals due to different advantageous traits they possess. For example, the giraffe with the longest neck will be able to … Continue reading Ask My Vet: Why do certain breeds look the way they do?

Dog switches from whining to barking to issue nighttime demands; my sanity slips into danger zone

Sometimes, especially when we’re young, there are movies, and then there are MOVIES—ones that change how we view the world and perhaps alter the course of our lives, if we’re susceptible to that sort of thing. I was/am¹. It was 1986 or so, and 6-year-old Andy saw “Top Gun²” with his parents at a family friend’s house. This was when having a VCR was a big deal, and people rented movies from stores. Sometimes the store ran out of copies of the movie you wanted to see. My younger readers, if there are any, have no idea what I’m talking … Continue reading Dog switches from whining to barking to issue nighttime demands; my sanity slips into danger zone

Wild child Katniss turns 2; yes, I celebrate my dog’s birthday

I’ve heard that some parents are so in tune with their kids that moms and dads can pick out the laugh or cry of their child from among a crowded room of children. I think the same could be said for dog parents. Out of a rowdy PetSmart holding room in which there must have been dozens of dogs, I could immediately discern Katniss’ howling and whining as I went to pick her up from doggie day care today. Then again, she’s so loud and wild that Beethoven, even his current state—as in dead, not to mention deaf—probably could have … Continue reading Wild child Katniss turns 2; yes, I celebrate my dog’s birthday