Dying on the Inside


No one is ever really ready for a dog. You think you are, but you can’t imagine the bolt-upright-in-bed terror you’ll feel when your new puppy enthusiastically guards against the evil snow at three in the morning. You can’t prepare yourself for how much your dog will stink when he finds a dead rat and covers his fur in its stink. But these are nothing compared with the two hardest parts of … [Read more...]

Three Reasons We Need a Puppy Right Now


No one really needs a puppy. In fact, it’s probably a good life strategy to assume you will be most productive if you never adopt a puppy. Unless you have four kids under the age of twelve and a long summer right around the corner. First Reason We Need a Puppy Right Now Our dog is a Greyhound and he just can’t handle the kid pressure any more. Greyhounds are so introverted, they really have … [Read more...]

Plug Back Into Each Other: The Family Road Trip


Our family is back from almost two weeks of vacation. We have done justice to the Family Road Trip. We have travelled thousands of miles in our dirty minivan. We have peed in hot gas station bathrooms and eaten terrible breakfasts at hole-in-the-wall cafes. Yesterday we drove 900 miles in a little over 13 hours. Instead of stopping for meals, we ate bags of potato chips and honey-roasted peanuts. … [Read more...]

In Celebration of Old Dogs


Our Cocker Spaniel, Madison, turns 16 this year. Even though she has no major health issues, she's at the upper end of life expectancy, and our vet has started to prepare us for the inevitable. She has lost a few pounds since her last check-up, her fur is slowly falling out, her eyes have cataracts, she can't hear, her nose is scaly, and her teeth are falling out. She sleeps almost all … [Read more...]

The Sweet Spot


 If life is divided into trimesters, I am smack-dab in the middle of the second one, the Parenting Years. The First Trimester was about growing up, finding what I'm good and not so good at, building relationships, and falling in love with my husband. The First Trimester was a selfish one, doing more of what felt good than what was good for me, lots of introspective time, and building up an arsenal … [Read more...]

That Time We Were in a Parade


We wrapped up our Mardi Gras weekend by marching in the Barkus & Meaux Pet Parade in Galveston. As ambassadors for Greyhounds everywhere, the kids walked our hounds (plus a few that we borrowed) down the Seawall in gorgeous 80-degree weather, throwing hundreds of Mardi Gras beads, and introducing everyone they could to the Greyhounds. Here's what wrong right and wrong according to each … [Read more...]

Are Greyhounds Good With Kids? Yes. Golden Retriever Kids.


My friend, who is a vet, calls me a breedist and cringes every time I stereotype dog breeds. She insists that each dog has a unique personality and stereotyping breeds makes people overlook the individual animal. Maybe so, but I think most people are breedists. It's just sort of conventional wisdom that Golden Retrievers are friendly, German Shepherds are smart, and Greyhounds are aloof, right? … [Read more...]

What We Learned on Vacation


Traveling with kids--traveling with four kids, one too young to carry his own stuff--is an ordeal. They want to help with all the packing, and unpacking, and transporting, but they don't know what they're doing. And they have crazy ideas, like stuffing all the bags full of toys, and rollerblades, and pita chips. So, now that we're home. And the four giant suitcases and six backpacks are unloaded … [Read more...]

Friday’s FAQ


Today's FAQ is with Madison, our 14-year-old Cocker Spaniel. She's here to disprove the conventional wisdom, "You can't teach an old dog new tricks." Madison's newest trick is pooping everywhere in the house. We're here to get to the bottom (pun intended) of this new "trick." FAQ #1: Madison, after 14 years as a Hergenrader, why have you chosen now to poop on the couch?...in the kids' … [Read more...]

The CaNine Party


From a party-planning perspective, the most awkward birthday has got to be August 29th. My friend is a Christmas baby, but her celebrations always fit right into the festive month of December. Another friend has a daughter whose birthday falls on the last day of school, which seems about the most appropriate day for a big party. By then she really knows the kids in her class, and they are all … [Read more...]