From the category archives:


The intelligence of dogs

March 19, 2012

This video of a golden retriever getting a B+ in solfege and pitch matching, along with many experiences with our dogs have caused me to completely re-evaluate my opinion about dog intelligence. This dog is doing what music teachers teach their students to do at the very beginning of their musical training. If you can’t […]

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The joy of a new dog

March 9, 2012

After our 10 year old dog, Cody, died a month ago, we debated staying with only one for a while. Sadly, I am a very boring animal to live with as far as a dog goes, except when we play ball, tug, go for a walk, give food or affection. Paired species are much happier […]

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Hilarious routines

February 19, 2011

We have two Italian Greyhounds (think: miniature greyhounds) that need exercise everyday: I throw the ball for 15 minutes, play tug, and ideally we hike in a nearby dog park (Runyan Canyon). Inevitably, if I/we watch TV, the dogs go to their toy box and pull out each toy, dropping them at our feet hoping […]

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Study in yellow

July 29, 2010

STUDY IN YELLOW Giacometti Looking at the Dirty yellow Rubber ball on the Round brass Table with the Dying yellow Roses in a Square yellow Box. Photo by Roger Bourland

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Doggy duties

May 12, 2010

For the past week, Daniel and I have been in dog purgatory. Both of our dogs have mast cell tumors near their Achilles tendon, both malignant. Both have now been operated on. Giacometti has almost fully recovered and ready to be a dog again. Cody’s wound is larger and more fragile. Our job for the […]

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Growling together

April 6, 2010

Every day, our dogs require two important activities: catching the ball (Giaco can go forever if we could do it), and playing TUG. While playing TUG, Cody usually growls in a pulsating way: RRrrrrRRrrrrRRrrrrr with accents on the tugs. Giaco is more soft spoken but joins in. I too join in on the growling. They […]

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Passim, end of 2009

December 27, 2009

VACATION: We realized that many times we can have as good of a vacation staying home and pretending we are “on vacation.” Avoid doing the stuff we always do at home. Treat it differently than you usually do. “It’s all in the mind y’know, huh huh, yeah” said Ringo’s cartoon character many years ago. But […]

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The Crichton couch

November 6, 2008

Our late friend Martin Nathan was classmates and old friends with Michael Crichton in Harvard Medical School and subsequently in Los Angeles. My partner at the time, Bruce Westland and I went to the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics with Marty and his partner Sam, and Michael and his wife and had a memorable time. Marty […]

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April 15, 2008

I love how dogs and humans communicate. It’s usually a limited list of things they want: food, play, and affection. In the morning, usually when I write my blog, the dogs will come downstairs to be with me. More precisely, to sit and stare at me to let me know that breakfast time is now. […]

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Some of us charge large hourly wages for our services. Lawyers, therapists, personal trainers, consultants, salaried employees and so on. I guess I’m one of those people. It occurred to me tonight while I was playing TUG with the dogs –– what are my hourly wages for playing with my dogs? $250 an hour? $500 […]

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