ChokmaWhen I was in elementary school, I remember a class where a teacher asked us, “Who knows what it means to have a dog’s life?” I raised my hand and was called on.

“It means you have everything taken care of for you. All your meals and needs are met. It’s an easy life.” The teacher called on someone else.

But, that’s what dogs lived like in my home. My family has always treated our dogs well, sometimes better than we treated each other!

I have had serial monogamy with dogs until about eight years ago when I started living with two dogs. I like two better than one. It makes for a bit of a circus at times, but it feels like it’s more than twice as much fun and love.

I have had dogs in many sizes, but the big ones have always been my favorites (don’t tell the others!). Whe I first got Chokma I was about 22. He was only 8 weeks old. I didn’t know how big he would get. I measured his paw size by administering paw prints monthly and also recorded his shoulder height and tail length. I was really pleased he turned out to be a big guy. That’s me and him about 1994 when he was about 12.

Chokma and I hitchhiked around the country quite a bit in my younger years. After that his steady companionship outlasted three longterm relationships.

I used to go into McDonalds when we were on the road and buy two hamburgers, one for him and one for me. Then I would go sit on the curb with him and we would eat. I have many Chokma stories.

Sita and meSita bridgeJust two years ago I brought home a puppy that was an Extra Large German Shepherd. That really is the name of a particular subset of the breed. I didn’t know Sita was Extra Large when I got her, but that’s alright with me. She’s about 120 pounds, bigger than half the humans in my house.

I love taking her everywhere, and especially the wilderness where I go for my spiritual renewal.

I kind of like living a life out of the ordinary. So it’s now wonder that in my house, a dog’s life is pretty good.

Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read.


– Groucho Marx