Talk the walking stick

I can take or leave walking sticks, and even when I take them I usually leave them, which is part of their problem. Walking sticks are just extra gear to forget somewhere along the way. Consider the “knobby walking stick” employed by author Bill Bryson on the Appalachian Trail tramp detailed in A Walk in... Continue Reading →


Wyatt rocks the boat

Wyatt the dog is not a fan of water unless it is placid and contained by a bowl. Baths are preceded by an exhausting, French Connection-esque chase sequence. On post-precipatory walks, he has jerked me into puddles so he can circumvent them and prevent his damp paws from growing wetter. If he was human, he’d be... Continue Reading →

A blast from the pasture

The Sunday dawn broke unseasonably warm and bright. I was the lone human at home and suffering cabin fever, so I smuggled Wyatt out of the house and set off for the Front Range foothills to the west. (Though Miles’s hiking days are over, he becomes indignant if he thinks he’s being left behind; every... Continue Reading →

About Boy: Peter Mayle’s shaggy dog story

When British author Peter Mayle died on Thursday at age 78, every obituary mentioned A Year in Provence (1989), most referenced A Good Year (2004), and many even exhumed his sex education books from the 1970s (Where Did I Come From? The Facts of Life Without Any Nonsense and With Illustrations). Few noted A Dog’s Life (1995), which is one of the all-time great dog books.

The dog who devoured Walden

“Books,” Thoreau declares in Walden, “must be read as deliberately and reservedly as they were written.” In his puppyhood, Reese had a voracious yet discerning appetite for books. And if he could have read them as well as literally consumed them, I’m sure he would have. He shared with Thoreau a hardwired curiosity. “It is... Continue Reading →

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