Category: Dogs

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...

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...

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...

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!”...

Basic Instincts

The half-dozen or so bird feeders in our back garden attract hundreds of birds. The hundreds of birds attract several neighborhood cats, including our tabby, Sam, who has 24-hour access to delicious cat kibble. (Well, delicious to him and his sister the dog.) Still, he leaps — literally — at any chance he gets to kill one...

Including Dogs in Everyday Life

I’m presently going over the manuscript for my next book, an account of traveling through Europe with my wonderful mutt, Ella. (It will be out around this time next year.) Just as I’m reviewing a section of the book about Ella lunching with me at one of Paris’s finest restaurants, I’m confronted (yet again) by...

Training a Dog, Training a Country

My dog Ella is one of the best-behaved animals anyone’s ever met. She walks beside me without a leash. She can be trusted to wait alone outside unenlightened establishments that don’t welcome four-legged creatures inside their portals. And she responds to conversational spoken English better than most children. Much to my delight, I’m frequently asked...

The Meaning of Dogs

Throughout my early boyhood our family had a succession of German Shepherds, all of whom perished prematurely because of disease and whom I only vaguely remember. First there was Caesar, and then (a second) Brutus. (My family, I realize in hindsight, had a thing for Roman history.) I don’t remember much about these animals except...