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.
“What you don’t know would make a great book.” This bon mot, attributed to the English cleric and humorist—if such a being can truly exist—Sydney Smith (1771-1845), applies to perhaps no one more than our alleged president, but it is true of us all in a way. In that spirit, I came as close as... Continue Reading →
“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 →
An avid outdoorsdog, unrepentant womanizer and gourmet cheese aficionado, Reese died Thursday, Aug. 24, with his longtime human management at his side. He was 13, or 91 in dog years. Born in northern Montana near Kalispell, the Siberian husky-German shepherd mix was picked up at just a few weeks of age by Flathead County Animal... Continue Reading →
The dogs have had me wondering a lot lately whether ignorance really is bliss. This train of thought began over the long Independence Day weekend, when I sought freedom from further discourse over whatever vitriolic policies our pseudo-president vomited forth that week. The assault is so scattershot I can barely keep up with the targets... Continue Reading →
I had a great editor early in my lately comatose journalism career who loved grammar arguments. He played deaf half the time, but he could hear someone whisper “Oxford comma” from across the newsroom. The one that really stoked his ire, however, was “this past,” as in “this past weekend...” “What the hell does that... Continue Reading →
The first hike of the year, I feared, would be Reese’s last. That early January outing was a hike in intent only. Reese did not listen before he leapt out of the car. His attention was focused on a young golden retriever at the trailhead, but in his haste to frolic with the pup he... Continue Reading →
“Chicken in the backyard!” Anthony blurted as he blurred by. It was not the first time this alert has been sounded, but it still took me by surprise. After all, we live in the city and do not maintain poultry. I recalled a line from an E.B. White essay, which I believe appears as both... Continue Reading →