Animals, Ave Atque Vale, Friendship, Love


She is, unequivocally, the most charming puppy it’s ever been my privilege to know.  (For those interested or even just wondering–or perhaps choking a bit over the unfamiliar word–it’s pronounced SHOO-sha, being a Basque girl’s name, native to the Pyrenees.) “She has such a feminine head,” said my veterinarian, when I texted her a photo.  And… Continue reading Xuxa!

Animals, Literature, Quote of the Day

“How Pleasant to Know Mr. Lear!”

So there I was, yesterday, wandering around my favorite antiques store (real antiques, very little junk--although, on occasion, I'm fond of junk stores too), looking for a mirror to set above my restored oak chest of drawers.  Discovered one.  It's walnut, and in a completely different style, but it works! And I found myself in… Continue reading “How Pleasant to Know Mr. Lear!”

Animals, Beauty, Farming, Pets and Livestock, Rural Living

Changes: Down Here on the Farm

About a week ago, I made an executive decision:  Come this next Sunday, I’m sending almost all of my sheep to the auction. All that is, except: Dizzabel, the tiny lamb who entered my life last January when I discovered her, down the bottom of the field, in the snow, crying, at about 10PM when… Continue reading Changes: Down Here on the Farm

Animals, Book Review, Family, Quote of the Day

“The Gift of My Childhood”

My childhood in Corfu shaped my life. If I had the craft of Merlin, I would give every child the gift of my childhood--Gerald Durrell I was a voracious reader as a child. If it came between endboards, I read it. Too young for me (I loved the Peter Rabbit tales for years longer than I should… Continue reading “The Gift of My Childhood”

Animals, Love, Pets and Livestock

Happy Birthday, Xena!

She is, indeed, my Warrior Princess.  Eleven years old today.  And a survivor. She was born on June 17, 2011, and–as a Great Pyrenees puppy–somehow ended up living in an apartment in center-city Philadelphia PA.  God knows why.  Or how.  GPs are not–as a rule–high-energy dogs, and they can do quite well without an extensive… Continue reading Happy Birthday, Xena!

Animals, Farming, Friendship, Pets and Livestock, Rural Living

No Matter What: Contrarian Pets, and the Owner Who Loves Them

As some of you know, I’m currently owned by two dogs: Xena, an elderly Great Pyrenees, and Odo, a puppy of the same breed. My last experience with a puppy was in 1986 (Wulfie, the Old English Sheepdog), and I’d forgotten how exhausting, challenging, charming, and occasionally hilarious, such a thing can be.  In the… Continue reading No Matter What: Contrarian Pets, and the Owner Who Loves Them

Animals, Life

Bears Lives Matter: #IStandWithHankTheTank

“Hank the Tank,” the 500lb black bear and scourge of Tahoe California, has been cleared (through DNA evidence no less) of many of the burglaries he’s been accused of committing over the past several weeks.  It appears that there are at least two more bears who are culpable, and who haven’t yet been named.  (One… Continue reading Bears Lives Matter: #IStandWithHankTheTank

Animals, Farming, Life, Loss, Love, Pets and Livestock, Quote of the Day

Giving My Heart (Just Once More) For a Dog to Tear

Well, OK.  Einstein was wrong.  (I say this because I refuse to believe, just because I indulge this particular sort of repetitive behavior--always believing that, next time, when the end comes I'm going to weather the storm without incident--that I’m insane.  Obtuse, stubborn, and human, perhaps.  But not insane.) Shortly before Christmas, it fell to… Continue reading Giving My Heart (Just Once More) For a Dog to Tear

Animals, Ave Atque Vale, Loss, Love, Pets and Livestock

Ave Atque Vale: The Greatest Pyrenees

He was the biggest--in every sense of the word--dog who's ever owned me.  Big of size, big (well, reasonably big) of brain, big of spirit, but most of all, big of heart. Levi's long, and very good, run came to an end this morning.  He'd been having increasing trouble hauling his 150lb frame to its… Continue reading Ave Atque Vale: The Greatest Pyrenees