Falling hard for pandemic puppy love

I’d always heard having a puppy was a little like having a baby. I’ve learned over the past two months that information is correct. 

Nonprofit to offer support dogs to first responders

When Asheville Fireman Mark Jameson returned to the fire station after responding to a particularly difficult call, the only thing that lifted his spirits was seeing Denali wagging her tail with excitement upon his return. 

Walter moves on to a far greener cow pasture

Maybe we should have named our beagle-mix Lazarus, so often did he seemingly come back from the dead over the years. But we named him Walter and we figure he must have turned 18 earlier this year. There have been days when we didn’t think he could get up, days we found him on the porch flat on his belly, his legs splayed in opposite directions like a beginning skier who has fallen and can’t figure out how to get back up. We’d sit with him, give him more Glucosamine, scrub his ears, discuss our options, and hope for the best.

It’s me, it’s me, it’s Ernest T.

As a parent, I’ve tried hard to avoid indoctrinating my children with my political leanings, spiritual beliefs, sports fanaticism, or who is better, the Stones or the Beatles. I wanted them to be free thinkers. And yet, I could find no way to avoid indoctrinating them in the gospel according to “The Andy Griffith Show.”

Our people are acting crazy again

Our people are leaving. Again. We’ve seen this all before. We see it every year around this time. It’s hot outside. The days are longer. Then, one day soon, they start pulling all the suitcases out of the garage. The folding chairs. The huge canopy. The inflatables. Those stupid-ass pool noodles. Bungee cords to tie all this crap on top of the Subaru.

The dog’s eating our daughter’s college fund

I think our chihuahua has an eating disorder. He’s a rescue, and since we rescued him, he’s twice the dog he used to be — that is, he is twice his original size, maybe more.

We’re afraid to weigh him. We’re concerned about his self-esteem. We tell him he’s “filling out.” We notice that he hurries by mirrors now, instead of pausing — like he used to — to stare down his reflection, as if to say, “Wow, looking good,” or, on his angrier days, “What are you looking at, butt-licker?”

An aging Walter still rules the roost

When Walter comes trundling down the driveway, he always reminds me of what a camera tripod might look like if it had just been granted the wish to walk, but hadn’t exactly learned how yet. He gets along in this sort of halting, stiff-legged gait that looks awkward and uncomfortable, but he is also always wearing that same smile he has been wearing for the 14 years that we’ve had him in the family.

Amazing Grace makes a full recovery

Beth Cline-Stroud, the executive director of PAWS in Bryson City, was on her way to an important event when a call came into the shelter about another dog in need. 

Zeke’s gone, but leaves us a blank verse sonnet

Two German shorthaired pointers named Maggie and Zeke were our constant companions for years. When we went bird watching along the Texas, Gulf and Atlantic coasts, they traveled along in the back of the truck, their heads stuck through the camper top window into the cab.

Chaos comes in several shapes and sizes

As all successful couples understand, the key to happiness is mastering the art of communication. When facing a Big Decision — like whether or not to foster shelter dogs, for example — the successful couple will sit down with flexible minds and full hearts, outlining all of the issues in neat and revealing columns, so that each point can be thoughtfully and compassionately considered and, if necessary, debated until compromises can be forged and a decision is reached.

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