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
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?
As evident in the adorable photos taken by my wife, Katniss got a bone for Christmas that is approximately the size of Andre the Giant’s femur—a … Continue reading Katniss enjoys Christmas gifts, annoys her grandparents to just shy of a restraining order
Since it’s my blog and it seems like there’s only so many posts I can write about its star, my dog, Katniss, before I drive myself … Continue reading Off the Leash: ‘Star Wars’ fans make me wonder: Am I a nerd, too?
I bet Christmas is a strange time for Katniss. On one hand, my wife LOVES the holiday season. She decorates the house, sings Christmas songs and … Continue reading Dear Santa Claws: Katniss shares her Christmas wish list
At the exact moment I realized I had forgotten to lock the side gate, I looked out the window and saw Katniss’ black-tipped tail pointed to the December sky on high alert—in the neighbor’s yard. I had been coughing all day, as I’m sick—during vacation time, no less—and realized that sick or not, I was going to have to go outside and chase Katniss down. During traffic. With children coming home from school. While Katniss refused to listen. As delivery drivers frequented neighboring homes. Awesome. It was my own stupid fault, though, as I was the one who forgot to … Continue reading Katniss and Andy’s most not-excellent mini adventure
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 items are most harmful to pets, especially during the holidays? Dr. K: Chocolate season—it’s the time from Halloween to Valentine’s Day full of the sounds of panicked pet owners calling vet clinics about their dogs that ate chocolate. This year has been pretty uneventful in terms of holiday toxicities thus far, but the season is young! I find myself wondering … Continue reading Ask My Vet: What items are most harmful to pets, especially during the holidays?