fierce attachments

a mother-daughter blog about the fierce attachments in our lives… title inspired by Vivian Gornick's wonderful memoir

Tag: dog training

i’m not getting a rescue dog, okay?

by caitlin meredith

Golden Doodle puppy
I’m about to get a puppy and I’m dancing-around-the-kitchen excited about it. All of the necessary components of my life have finally converged to make this possible: I’m not going to do anymore extended projects in Africa or anywhere else abroad, I’m unemployed (plenty of training and bonding time!) and this summer I got a fence in my back yard. I even finally got the three feral cats living underneath the shed fixed and treated for fleas after putting it off for three years. The dog training books are stacked on my bedside table and I’ve warned all my friends that “dog-friendly” will be my new outing criteria. It’s T minus 28 days and I’m rarin’ to go. There’s only one fly in my liver-flavored canine oral cleansing ointment – my growing fixation on coming up with snappy comebacks to the question I anticipate getting daily on the hike and bike trail.  So let me announce it here: I’m NOT getting a rescue dog, and I REFUSE to feel guilty about it.

OK, so I feel a little guilty about it or I wouldn’t have to protest so much. But only a little! And not because of all the dog nuts that will judge me. Read the rest of this entry »


unleashed aggression: how leash laws protect mother nature

by nikki meredith

Six months ago, after a no-dog hiatus of more than ten years, my husband and I got a puppy – a half golden retriever, half poodle. (Yes, I’m trying to avoid writing Goldendoodle. Owning any kind of doodle in our location (Southern Marin) and in our demographic (empty nesters) is an ubercliché.) Cliché or no, we are both amazed at how much we adore this little creature. I don’t know if it’s because of her qualities – sweet, funny, easygoing and easy on the eyes – or because the last time around we had children sopping up our parental love but something is different this time around. Every time I look at her she makes me happy and she touches me in such a deep way it almost scares me. I tell you this to demonstrate that my dog-adoring credentials are solid. But….

I recently discovered that I part company with some, perhaps most, of my dog-adoring brothers and sisters when it comes to The Leash. Read the rest of this entry »

dominance in the dog house: trying and failing at dog training

by caitlin meredith

This summer I had my first shot at being a pack leader. My house was rented out for two months so I ended up house sitting for a couple that has four dogs. Four. Other than the prodigious amount of dog hair I’ve become accustomed to, I’ve also gotten an inside look at what kind of territory dogs have taken over in the American psyche.

When I was young, there was no dog whisperer or puppy college. You brought a puppy home, hoped it quickly grew out of the shoe-chewing phase and kicked it when it humped guests’ legs. Nowadays trainers instruct dog “guardians” on everything from who should go through the doorway first (you, not the dog) and whether or not tug-of-war is harmless fun or dangerous precedent (seem to be split down the middle on this one.) Clearly out of my depth in the new canine culture,  I’ve  spent most of the summer at the mercy of these damned dogs. Read the rest of this entry »

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