May 21, 2013 § Leave a Comment
In New York, Chris and I would take Nathan to the (from our perspective at the time) mostly adequate dog park in Carl Schurz park. The dog run was about 600 square feet, and depending on the time of day would be packed with anywhere from 8 to 15 large and often aggressive dogs. That wasn’t fun for anyone, least of all Nathan — we’d go through phases where we’d take him a few times, have a bad experience with one of the other dogs and/or owners, then swear off dog parks for good. Eventually we’d worry that Nathan wasn’t getting enough exercise, and the cycle would begin anew. Here in Spokane we won’t have the same kinds of issues; see above, which is nearly 9 minutes of SpokAnimal dog park goodness, shot by doting dogdad Chris. In conclusion, by every metric, I do not understand why anyone would want to live in a big city.
January 14, 2013 § Leave a Comment
January 2, 2013 § Leave a Comment
And Chris discusses things like chew toys. It’s a win-win situation!
October 25, 2012 § Leave a Comment
Happy Nathanween everyone! Also be sure to check out the BONUS FOOTAGE at the end, when we give Nathan a nice smoked bull penis to gnaw on!
October 1, 2012 § Leave a Comment
This past weekend (was it last weekend? Who even knows anymore), Chris and I took Nathan to Central Park. He appreciated music, jingle-jangled through the forest, and of course practiced his AMAZING TRICK. Be sure to watch till the very end for a special bonus scene!
September 26, 2012 § Leave a Comment
Crosspost from Modern Primate! Nathan Scott Phillips-Menning! Obedience training! Don’t troll me, dog!
Perhaps unsurprisingly, our first week with Nathan was a mixed bag. When he was good, he was a cuddlebug darling. But when he was bad, he was a gnawing, destruct-o-tron hell-beast. Initially, this Jekyll and Hyde routine was baffling. Chris and I would be on the couch chatting or at our respective computers minding our own damn business when suddenly Nathan would go nuts. He’d knock over his water bowl, pee on the floor even though we just got back from a walk (dude, seriously??), or bounce off the walls for 10 minutes before trying to eat whatever it was that Chris and I were doing. Sitting on the couch? I’ll chomp the shit out of the armrest, thanks. Sending a text message? Lemmie just kick that in the face for you, sir. Eating dinner? Not anymore friend! –And so on. Whenever Nathan would do something naughty, we’d jump up, tell him that and why we were displeased, then direct him away from whatever forbidden thing. Nonono! Here play with Ducky, the squeaking toy you like! No Nathan! Water bowls are not a Frisbee! Nathan come here, we’re going outside, again! And then we’d go for a walk, the length of which would be commensurate to the severity of whatever offense. The worse he was, the further we’d go—which was the only way he’d learn, we thought.
Boy were we wrong! For the thrilling conclusion, click through to the MP!
September 18, 2012 § 5 Comments
My very first childhood friend was a beautiful (and infinitely patient) Golden Retriever named Treevor. I was just a baby and didn’t know anything, but Treevor took me places and kept me safe and taught me how to be nice. Since then, dogs have been one of the great joys of my life. Few things make me happier than seeing (and even better, snuggling with) a smiling, wiggly dog.
Unfortunately for my mental health and wellbeing, I’ve not lived long-term with dogs since 2002, when I left for college. I have loved dogs during this period, oh yes — my family dogs, the dearly departed Pookie, as well as Rowdy and Sophie, have been my long-distance dogfriends for the past decade. But visiting dogs isn’t the same as being a full-time parent; I have long felt a dog-shaped absence in my heart. But how to fill it? Until recently, adoption wasn’t in the cards, for all kinds of reasons. Too much moving, instability, immaturity — I just wasn’t ready.
But now I am. Now we are. And so yesterday, Chris and I made that commitment (he chronicles the adoption process here). This is a big deal for both of us, in fact is the first time I feel like a proper adult. The PhD had absolutely no impact on my own sense of identity, and certainly didn’t make me feel any more capable or secure in the world. But this does. Because now I am responsible for another creature’s safety and happiness. I am a caretaker now, and that feels different. I already love the shit out of him, and promise to do my best.