Are Pets Important 2, Wood work in Fall

I have read your excellent comments with great interest, thank you all so much for writing. I do agree that in many ways it is far too simplistic to sort the world into two groups as I did in my earlier post. I suspect that it's easy to oversimplify when you are frustrated, and truth be told, I was feeling a bit frustrated when I wrote last week. Part of that stemmed from recently hearing what I believe has been meant as a compliment to Calling All Pets. Several times I've heard people say that Calling All Pets is a good show for Wisconsin Public Radio because "it brings in people who wouldn't normally listen to pubic radio." This presupposes that the show's listeners are different than most listeners of public radio. Does that mean that most people who listen to public radio are not Read More

Are Pets Important? Will Comes into his Own.

I was working on my new book, coming out from Dogwise in early November, and found a section that relates, I suspect, to the cancellation of my radio show, Calling All Pets. The book, coming out from Dogwise, (Tales of Two Species) is a collection of my columns from Bark magazine. One of them is titled "Pet Peeves." In it I write about our country's ambivalent feelings about our pets. On the one hand, many of us love them, treat them like family and can't imagine life without them. They are as important to our well-being as is literature, music and art. (For some of us, I'd add food, water and oxygen.) And yet, look at how often we hear people say, demeaningly, that an animal is "just a pet." Here's an excerpt from the essay: “Just a pet.” How many times have you heard someone say Read More

Goodbye Calling All Pets

Well, this is a hard one to write.  Wisconsin Public Radio has cancelled production of Calling All Pets.  They will still play repeats for several months in Wisconsin, and stations around the country have the option of offering the show until next summer.  I've been doing the show with Larry Meiller for fourteen years, and it's hard to imagine not doing it anymore. It's tough  timing too in that the show had taken off last year, thanks to a lot of work from Larry, me and a new producer and executive producer. The show was even picked up in Washington DC, Dallas and Seattle. However, I have to admit that I won't miss getting up early in the morning to do the show, and working seven weekends a year on pledge drives and fund raising events.  But here's what I will miss: Working with Larry Read More

Happy Faces!

Isn't this a GREAT picture? It is one of my favorites BUT, disorganized doof that I am, I can't find the name and contact information of the wonderful person who sent it to me. Dogwise is doing a new book (Tales of Two Species, coming out in early November) of my columns from Bark magazine and we want to use this wonderful picture in it! If this is you, please write and let Andrea know! Read More

Lambs and Apples, Crates and Dogs

Another gorgeous fall day. Willie and I get to move the lamb flock through the woods every morning. The lambs stay the day in the 'orchard pasture,' so called because it's full of wild apple trees, and the ewe flock gets to forage in the  big, open pasture at the top of the hill. They all chomp on fallen apples all the day long, (they know the sound of a fallen apple; they run toward the tree when they hear the 'plunk'!) It is wonderful to have real work for Will, he has blossomed this year especially since he's had to split the lambs from the ewes and load animals into the truck.  Rather than "practice," this is real work and I think he knows it. I am far less concerned with him doing things exactly right than I am getting the job done, especially when splitting out the lambs or loading Read More