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Balboa Park's dressed-up dachshunds, Kleenex at the pet cemetery, pigeons as mediaries

Writer tells jokes about her pet pig, a man who learned everything from dogs, horse-mad women

Rosie Medlock: "My mom always said the dachshunds were easier to get along with than most people. Even if they get mad at you, they get over it." - Image by Sandy Huffaker, Jr.
Rosie Medlock: "My mom always said the dachshunds were easier to get along with than most people. Even if they get mad at you, they get over it."

Low to the ground

Dachshunds and the people who love them.

“One afternoon in the park I said it would be fun to run one of those free classified advertisements in the Reader and see who shows up with their dachshunds. We decided on a date, Noodle’s birthday, and a rendezvous point, the large fig tree behind the National History Museum. We ran the ad, and we showed up the tree at the appointed date and time not knowing if anything besides immediate friends and their dogs would be there. To our surprise, around 35 people arrived with their dachshunds."

By Judith Moore, October 21, 1996 | Read full article

Jill Siembieda: “If a person has a pet dying or that has died, I encourage him or her to write a poem, to write a letter to the pet."

A Tale of Animal Rites

Death of the loving companion.

"People come in and they want their pets put to sleep. They’ve gone to other vets who won’t do it, because the vets say the pets aren’t that sick. I think,’ he said, ‘that the people who own the animals have a right to say when those animals should be put to sleep. Vets don’t have a right to tell them they can’t do that, if that’s what they want.”

By Judith Moore and Abe Opincar, Sept. 15, 1988 | Read full article

When we went to the Del Mar Fair, I was feeling guilty. I had decided not to tell my brother right away that Chocolate was a goner.

Ascension to Pigeon Heaven

If you are looking at the sky hoping to see your pigeon return, you are more attentive to the shape and grace of bird bodies, the way they coast or dive or fly in funny little flocks like the bushtits. Or you're taken by the Greco-Roman lines of the cedar waxwings. You fear the stealth fighters, the streamlined Cooper's hawks; you notice how the seagulls fly back toward the sea each night. You laugh at the mourning dove who makes squeaky noises when it takes off, as if it had the rusted joints of the Tin Man; and you can even identify the fat-bodied, heavy-winged sound of your own pigeon as it wends its way into the roost. Pigeons are distinct as pets, they are mediaries between the tame and the wild. Different from dogs or cats, who finally become half human, pigeons remain in their birdness.

By Susan Luzzaro, Oct. 21, 1999 | Read full article

Nowhere do I have any scribbled account that mentions rooting. And now, with half the linoleum gone from our kitchen, it seems it might have been an important point to note.

If I Had a Sledgehammer for a Nose, What Havoc Would I Wreak?

I bought a pig because I wasn't ready for children. I wanted something small and helpless but something that wouldn't require college or "quality time." I figured if the pig didn't work out, we could always have dinner. That's not an option with children.

By Jennifer Ball, July 3, 1997 | Read full article

Marriage is Temporary, Dogs are Forever

Love-loss and dog loss.

Terry Wilson and Beau. “For more than two decades he had been the emotional glue that held me together. Now I had to be strong for him."

Terry Wilson has won five Emmys for his television directing, producing, and on-camera hosting; he’s been a national martial arts champion; and his 1998 article on the Marine dogs of World War II won best-short prize in a national contest held by the Ralston Purina Company. If he has been a big winner, he says, it’s because he has learned. Everything in life worth learning, he adds, he learned from dogs.

By Jangchup Phelgyal, Feb. 23, 2000 | Read full article

Diane and Darlene. Like Diane, Darlene started out as a horse-mad girl in the suburbs who at last found herself on the back of a willing horse, in the country, in a trance that seemed to last for years.

Horses and Their Women

Diane carries halters and coffee and bridles and chaps. She looks like someone waiting to hear if her family has survived a plane crash. She looks as if she expects they have not. She’s 43 and she’s ridden in shows off and on since she was 13 years old. She hates this and she loves it. She hates it.

To be a show horse is like being a beauty contestant.

By Laura McNeal, March 7, 2002 | Read full article

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Rosie Medlock: "My mom always said the dachshunds were easier to get along with than most people. Even if they get mad at you, they get over it." - Image by Sandy Huffaker, Jr.
Rosie Medlock: "My mom always said the dachshunds were easier to get along with than most people. Even if they get mad at you, they get over it."

Low to the ground

Dachshunds and the people who love them.

“One afternoon in the park I said it would be fun to run one of those free classified advertisements in the Reader and see who shows up with their dachshunds. We decided on a date, Noodle’s birthday, and a rendezvous point, the large fig tree behind the National History Museum. We ran the ad, and we showed up the tree at the appointed date and time not knowing if anything besides immediate friends and their dogs would be there. To our surprise, around 35 people arrived with their dachshunds."

By Judith Moore, October 21, 1996 | Read full article

Jill Siembieda: “If a person has a pet dying or that has died, I encourage him or her to write a poem, to write a letter to the pet."

A Tale of Animal Rites

Death of the loving companion.

"People come in and they want their pets put to sleep. They’ve gone to other vets who won’t do it, because the vets say the pets aren’t that sick. I think,’ he said, ‘that the people who own the animals have a right to say when those animals should be put to sleep. Vets don’t have a right to tell them they can’t do that, if that’s what they want.”

By Judith Moore and Abe Opincar, Sept. 15, 1988 | Read full article

When we went to the Del Mar Fair, I was feeling guilty. I had decided not to tell my brother right away that Chocolate was a goner.

Ascension to Pigeon Heaven

If you are looking at the sky hoping to see your pigeon return, you are more attentive to the shape and grace of bird bodies, the way they coast or dive or fly in funny little flocks like the bushtits. Or you're taken by the Greco-Roman lines of the cedar waxwings. You fear the stealth fighters, the streamlined Cooper's hawks; you notice how the seagulls fly back toward the sea each night. You laugh at the mourning dove who makes squeaky noises when it takes off, as if it had the rusted joints of the Tin Man; and you can even identify the fat-bodied, heavy-winged sound of your own pigeon as it wends its way into the roost. Pigeons are distinct as pets, they are mediaries between the tame and the wild. Different from dogs or cats, who finally become half human, pigeons remain in their birdness.

By Susan Luzzaro, Oct. 21, 1999 | Read full article

Nowhere do I have any scribbled account that mentions rooting. And now, with half the linoleum gone from our kitchen, it seems it might have been an important point to note.

If I Had a Sledgehammer for a Nose, What Havoc Would I Wreak?

I bought a pig because I wasn't ready for children. I wanted something small and helpless but something that wouldn't require college or "quality time." I figured if the pig didn't work out, we could always have dinner. That's not an option with children.

By Jennifer Ball, July 3, 1997 | Read full article

Marriage is Temporary, Dogs are Forever

Love-loss and dog loss.

Terry Wilson and Beau. “For more than two decades he had been the emotional glue that held me together. Now I had to be strong for him."

Terry Wilson has won five Emmys for his television directing, producing, and on-camera hosting; he’s been a national martial arts champion; and his 1998 article on the Marine dogs of World War II won best-short prize in a national contest held by the Ralston Purina Company. If he has been a big winner, he says, it’s because he has learned. Everything in life worth learning, he adds, he learned from dogs.

By Jangchup Phelgyal, Feb. 23, 2000 | Read full article

Diane and Darlene. Like Diane, Darlene started out as a horse-mad girl in the suburbs who at last found herself on the back of a willing horse, in the country, in a trance that seemed to last for years.

Horses and Their Women

Diane carries halters and coffee and bridles and chaps. She looks like someone waiting to hear if her family has survived a plane crash. She looks as if she expects they have not. She’s 43 and she’s ridden in shows off and on since she was 13 years old. She hates this and she loves it. She hates it.

To be a show horse is like being a beauty contestant.

By Laura McNeal, March 7, 2002 | Read full article

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