What Dogs Have Taught Me About My House

Honey the golden retriever looks at Cape May Lighthouse.

Houses fascinate me. Most people, whether they rent or own, express something about themselves by where they live. The psychologist Carl Jung built and designed a small castle to express his psychological development. And I look at my own house to see what it shows about how I’m feeling or how I live every day. […]

What Do You Mean I Spoil My Dog?

Honey the Golden Retriever is a lap dog.

Has anyone accused you of spoiling your dog? Any number of people have said it to me. It’s a statement usually delivered with a smile, as if the person saying it is making a moral judgment but pretending not to. The more I think about it, the more I wonder what they’re trying to say to […]

What Kind Of Dog Should An Introvert Have?

Honey the golden retriever makes a friend.

Introverts are hot! And no, I’m not talking about the way my introspective husband looks when he gets out of the shower (although he is awfully cute). I mean that introverts are tired of feeling undervalued in a culture (I’m talking of the U.S., in particular) that rewards brash and talkative people. Introverts are fed up […]

Your Dog Doesn’t See The World The Same Way Twice

Honey the golden retriever on a rock in Fall Creek.

We like to think of our dogs as Zen masters. They, unlike us, are present in the moment. When they walk, they walk. When they sniff, they sniff. They don’t eat while watching tv. Or plan their weekend while chasing a ball. But did you ever think of what it means to be totally engaged in […]

Do You Wonder If Your Dog Is Happy?

Does Honey the golden retriever look happy?

Is Honey sleeping because she just had breakfast and she’s tired? Is she just doing what dogs do? Or is she depressed because I didn’t take her for a long walk this morning? Does my dog look at other dogs and wonder if they have better toys? When I take Honey in the kayak, does […]

When What You Think Is True About Dogs Isn’t

Honey the golden retriever puppy wades in the water.

Has anyone ever told you you should only foster dogs of the opposite sex from your own dog dogs who get excited by small animals on a walk can’t be trusted to live with a cat if your dog is happy to meet a new dog at the shelter, they’ll get along fine once home […]

Work Through The Fear To Get To The Fun

Honey the golden retriever sits on a stump.

As Honey and I sat on the floating dock watching the ducks, I couldn’t help overhearing the woman talking to her friend behind us. “I could never swim in the lake. Who knows what’s in that water that might touch me? Nope, it’s chlorinated pools for me.” I grew up having a pool. So I understand […]

Don’t Play It Cool

Honey the golden retriever stands in Fall Creek.

When Honey sees someone she wants to greet, she starts off by slowly swishing her tail. If she gets the least little encouragement, she starts dancing in place. Front paw up, both rear paws hop. When her new “friend” comes over to say hello, Honey explodes with joy. She spins around. She leans into the […]

Curse of the Eager to Please Dog

Honey the golden retriever enjoys sailing.

I’ve read the complaints on Facebook and blogs. I’ve heard them on the streets. “My dog never comes when I call her.” “He’s just stubborn.” “I could never trust my dog off leash.” “My dog wouldn’t give me a kiss if I smeared steak on my lips.” You’re lucky. At least you don’t know the […]

When You’re As Scared As Your Dog

Honey the golden retriever sits on the porch.

The panting, quivering, cowering—no one likes to see their dog feeling scared. So we turn to tools to make them feel better. We buy Thundershirts and calming treats. We use training to build up their resilience to scary experiences before they’re terrified. And sometimes we just cuddle them and stroke them while telling them everything […]

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