Hara Arena was authentic before “authentic” was a buzzword and unpretentious before I even knew what that word meant. The dingy, 1960s-era arena was arguably the center of suburban north Dayton in my youth during the 1980s and early 1990s, with the exception of perhaps the nearby Salem Mall. Back in the day, big-time events were either held at Hara or at the slightly larger and (somewhat) nicer UD Arenaº. Hara is holding its last event Aug. 27 after being open for more than 60 years. Even though I left my native Dayton 10 years ago—and believe me, Hara even then had seen way better days—news … Continue reading Off the Leash: Hara today, gone tomorrow—arena from my youth to be shuttered
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
When we brought Katniss home for the first time as a puppy, she weighed 9 pounds and easily fit in my lap, even though she smelled like a truck stop restroom. As time went by, little Katniss grew into bigger … Continue reading Katniss graduates from shotgun lapdog to backseat rider; still spoiled
Father’s Day is this weekend. I am honored to have the best dad¹ one could possibly hope for, not to mention a father-in-law I always enjoy spending time with who has never been anything but exceedingly kind and generous to … Continue reading Does Father’s Day apply to me if my ‘kid’ is a dog?
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 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?
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
Even at about 3,000 feet with the engine running and while wearing a noise-canceling headset, I swear could still hear Katniss, my German shepherd mix and … Continue reading Off the Leash: How was your weekend? I flew a plane
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
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: What does it take to be a veterinarian? Dr. K: If you make it through the academic gamut of the vet school application process and get invited to interview they will always ask you why you want to be a vet. When you are sleep-deprived in your clinical year of vet school and your family hasn’t seen you in months they … Continue reading Ask my vet: What does it take to be a veterinarian?