A New Love: Meeting Monk

A New Love: Meeting Monk

In 1987, my beautiful English cocker died of liver cancer. He was 14 years old. He left me shortly after my mother’s death, the death of my dearest cousin, and in the midst of my divorce. To say the least, it was a difficult year. I was single in New York City, working for peanuts at a nonprofit and trying to finish a master’s degree. I lived in a fourth-floor walk-up, and my dog could no longer make it up the stairs. I was also very poor. The thought of getting another dog, as much as I had loved this one, was beyond consideration. I mourned Troubles for many years, twenty to be exact. Every dog I met would launch me into the story of my deceased English cocker. People listened politely, even sympathetically, until they would finally ask, “Why don’t you get...

Belonging to the Critter Club

Belonging to the Critter Club

It has often struck me, as indeed it has struck most of us who love our dogs with great passion, that the length of life allotted to dogs is exceedingly short. In my humble opinion, this is an unfortunate failure on the part of Mother Nature. After losing my beloved English cocker spaniel in the late 1980s, I swore never to have another dog. The loss was too hard to bear. I could not conceive of going through it all again. Years later,  after moving to New Mexico and living in a house with land, surrounded by open spaces nearby, my husband and I again revisited the idea of a dog. We went back and forth, researching different species and thinking about what breed would be best for us. They all fell short for one reason or another, and then with my many orthopedic...

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