Category: Dogs

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Cages

After reading Adam Gopnik’s masterful examination of the American prison system in a recent issue of the New Yorker, in which he examines our fetishistic compulsion to warehouse millions of errant citizens in prisons, it’s easy to conclude that our conception of “cruel and unusual punishment” needs reconsideration. Gopnik burrows through the rotten veneer of...

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Brooding on Death

The remains of my dear friend Ella the dog arrived from the crematorium in a nice fabric-covered box. The ashes themselves were in a plastic freezer bag, which was probably a good thing, since in addition to a fine grey powder there were many pinky-nail-size bone fragments and flakes from the few teeth Ella retained...

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Ella Konik: 1993-2008

Ella Guinevere Konik died peacefully last night at home in her bed, surrounded by family. She was close to 15 1/2.  Frank Sinatra once told an interviewer, “They say you only live once. But if you have a life like mine, once is enough.” Ella’s time on Earth was like that. A white-lab and greyhound...

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The Ella Update

Ella Guinevere Konik, the lab-greyhound mutt who inspired the best-selling book “Ella in Europe” and the subsequent Animal Planet TV show “Ella & Me” is getting old. Not just “older,” but old. Depending on which set of medical records you believe, she’s either 14 or 15. Iin human years that’s around 100. She’s dealing with...

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Dog Fighting

My sweet old mutt, Ella, is napping in her corner bed, dreaming, I reckon, of squirrels that are slower than she and big plates of rare prime rib (bone in) that someone mistakenly, providentially, left on the floor for her to bolt. When she was much younger, thinking she was providing essential security for her...

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Anthropomorphism

Being a dog owner, I understand completely the impulse to anthropomorphize our pets, imbuing them with human traits that canines and felines — and goldfish and hamsters and salamanders — don’t really have. Our furry (or scaly) friends seem so much more than mere animals. They’re companions and confessors, students and teachers, and they magically...

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Philippines Notes, Part Two: Using Dogs

Some people in the Philippines eat dogs. (A recent documentary about the country, made by a native, was entitled “Dog Eaters.” Some expatriate Pinoys didn’t appreciate the label, but the verity of canine consumption wasn’t ever in question.) Occasionally, pet-owners here suffer the heartbreak of having their furry friend kidnapped — dognapped? — and transformed...

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The Ella Update

A reader of this space wrote to say that she was in the middle of “Ella in Europe,” my book about traveling abroad with my American dog. She was afraid to ask — but she wanted to know if Ella was still with us. She also suggested that I post an update every now and...

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Poem: Doggerel

May your days be hairy, and bright. And may all your puppy dogs be white. I’m dreaming of a white puppy Just like the ones I used to pet Where the Labs are wagging And the hounds are dragging Their ears, blithely to the vet. I’m dreaming of a white puppy With every furry friend...

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How Good is Ella the Dog?

We ask that rhetorically, of course. But, really: how good can one dog possibly be? Yesterday, she started a gantlet of being subjected to her master’s needs by submitting to a photo shoot for Reader’s Digest at Runyon Canyon, the local dog park. While the photographer snapped away, calling her name for attention — “Ella! Ella!”...