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Author. Artist. Conservationist. I like writing about animals, ocean life & more. Liz & Toby Adventures, Book 1: My Dog Sees Ghosts. http://www.dakotaduncan.com

Anecdote | Creative

Watch your cat.

Photo of Jasper by Dakota Duncan

My wife often reminds me that our cat, Jasper, is very good at being a cat. He doesn’t worry that he’s not a successful enough cat, or a fit enough cat, or a cat with thousands of followers on social media. He is simply himself and doesn’t strive to be more than that.

On the other hand, people seem to have trouble being good at being human. We want things we don’t have. We don’t do things we know are good for us. …


Perspective | Education

My quest for the perfect chew

Image by Mylene2401 from Pixabay

“Nine dollars for a bully stick!” I mentally shouted my outrage and knew for the time being we were sticking with homemade chew options.

Chewing is a natural activity for dogs. As puppies, they explore their world with their mouths and as their adult teeth start coming in, they chew to relieve pain. Chewing is an instinctual way for dogs to keep their jaws strong and their teeth clean. It also is a way to relieve anxiety, boredom, and frustration. Although I couldn’t find any credible reference to support it, I also think that it’s probably just fun. …


Anecdote | Travel

People are infuriating. Dogs are the best.

Image by Stacey Kennedy from Pixabay

If I had unleashed the primal growl that had been building for hours, I probably would not have been allowed on the plane. I hid my disdain for all that was happening around me behind my facemask while realizing a greater appreciation for a dog’s ability to lash out without anyone thinking he’d lost his grip on reality.

Taking some deep breaths might have helped my anxiety level, but given the mask and that I was surrounded by people on all sides, that wasn’t practical. Instead, I retreated inside my mind and reviewed the past several days. …


Anecdote | Pet ownership

Relinquishing my fantasy of domestic bliss

Image by StockSnap from Pixabay

As parents of human children, dogs, cats, or any type of animal, we want our babies to get along. We dream of them becoming best friends and are filled with joy when we see them playing together happily. My human kids went through various phases of loving and hating each other, leading to times of peace and chaos. I hadn’t considered that these phases would also occur with our pets. I was so naive!

My wife and I live with two cats, one dog, and my two teenagers who occasionally spend evenings and weekends with us. We have two cats…


Anecdote | Pet Ownership

The story of this discovery

Illustration by Dakota Duncan

What superpower would you choose? We’ve all asked and answered this question at least once in our lives. As much as I would like to be able to teleport anywhere in the world, or fly instead of driving my car, it’s not happening. I don’t have a superpower. However, I do think one of our cats, Jasper, has one.

No, Jasper can’t fly, or lift several times his own weight, or become invisible (that I am aware of). His power is a bit more subtle. I’ve been observing him carefully and his power is unquestionable. …


My experience with an animal communicator

Photo by Humberto Arellano on Unsplash

Simply defined, animal communication is the transfer of information from one animal to another. In the world of animal communicators, humans are one of the animals.

I first heard of animal communication about 20 years ago when I saw Lydia Hiby on a local news show. She was supposedly “talking” with people’s pets to solve problems and even find lost pets. She was apparently sending and receiving messages through mental images and feelings. Although this was entertaining, I was skeptical.

A few months later, my then-partner gave me a session with Lydia as a Christmas present. She knew I wouldn’t…


I am not sure if some of this is meant to be humorous. I see the "humor" tag on here, so I am guessing so. This is an entertaining story, which is probably the point. Thanks for a fun read!

I like how you have illustrated the differences in dog parent types. As others have pointed out, there are many people who bring their dog's to the park that shouldn't be there at all because they are too aggressive. I am with the camp of folks who would rather see helicopter parents than those not involved enough. It is great…


Anecdote

For me, that dog was my first Rottweiler, Apollo.

Image by Ilona Krijgsman from Pixabay

How did your “best dog ever” come into your life? If you are a dog lover, there’s an excellent chance you just pictured a scene with a dog from your childhood, or the first dog you adopted once you moved out on your own, or maybe the dog your children grew up with. Perhaps the dog was a gift from your parents, or a stray who wandered into your life, or one you adopted from a local shelter. Was it love at first sight, or a more rocky relationship at first as you got used to each other’s quirks? …


Meeting the Rottweiler Parents

Image by Tom Frydenlund from Pixabay

The day you pick out your new dog, or she picks you, is one you never forget. As it turns out, meeting your dog’s parents can be equally memorable.

I got my first dog as an adult when I was in my mid-20s. After having fallen instantly in love with a Rottweiler in the park, I did my research and decided that was the type of dog for me. I found local ads, talked with breed clubs and rescue organizations, and contacted anyone I could find who was expecting a litter. …


Image by Jan Steiner from Pixabay

While it’s true that I have been mostly in quarantine for over a year now, I don’t think I’ve lost my mind. Not about this, anyway. Even though courses by writing experts and articles offering wonderful advice about improving your writing abound, I believe your furry faithful companion can provide some valuable guidance.

Get You Moving

Taking your dog for a walk is wonderful exercise for you and your dog. Most of us spend way too much time sitting and can truly benefit from a regularly scheduled walking break. …

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