after our two weeks of bitter, arctic cold, we had two days of thaw. it was 50ºF (10ºC) and rainy, which brought down the snow pack a lot and left hard, treacherous ice behind. i ran the hose twice: once at the start of the thaw and once at the end of it. three more … Continue reading fear


i was woken in the middle of the night last night by what was probably three or four coyotes, but sounded like a truckload of bathtub duckies being squeezed in a car compactor right outside my bedroom window. they yipped and howled and squeaked and barked until they got the minpin going, then faded away. … Continue reading howl

wild dogs, tame dogs

after a lifetime of poor circulation and cold extremities, i have reached that age when my body has turned into a furnace that burns around the clock. i used to sleep with a heavy duvet piled up around my head during the dog days of summer. these days, i sleep with my window cracked open … Continue reading wild dogs, tame dogs

a pack

we break into the forest, some dogs and i. we are a pack, one organism with loll-eared, slaver-jawed parts. our paws smash crunching leaves, our feet crush brittle twigs. we charge into the fray, our hunting grins feral our eyes focused miles away, ready to bay, to howl, to laugh. we are a pack.

animals amok!

it has been rifle season, so of course the horses have been getting out and wandering in the woods. this is courtesy of soni, who is undaunted by the electric fence and has been breaking it on a corner twice a day, every day for three days. they all go to the shed, help themselves … Continue reading animals amok!

october night (willow)

the gumboot gumshoe has become a dog-blogger, but this too shall pass. i have a texas a&m quail on the farm now (just one) and it's time to batten down the hatches for winter, with associated fencing and running-of-electrical-cords and i will get to all that, but today is about willow, who, YES, is still … Continue reading october night (willow)

long live the pibble

back in may, i wrote about our new boxer mix pup, oakland, and how he was fitting right in to the family. he did and then he did not. for the last two months, living with oakland has been a constant struggle. he began to roam, his persecution of the cats became worse, he chased … Continue reading long live the pibble

musical dogs

willow is still with us. like the old codger in monty python and the holy grail, she's stubbornly "not dead yet" and every time i think it's time to load her on the plague cart, she decides it's a fine time to go for a walk (and she does), followed by days of badness, inability to … Continue reading musical dogs

willow’s sunset

eleven years ago, i was starting to think about getting another dog. it had been two or three years since our lab, odie, had passed away and it was just too hard to move on from that. i couldn't do it. but eleven years ago, i was beginning to come around to the idea that … Continue reading willow’s sunset