Regarding Tucker

The hole stands at four feet long, three across, three feet deep. It’s not done yet. Today I sawed apart the wind-tipped apple tree, pulled the stump, and got started. Tomorrow, I’ll shovel more dirt out of the hole. I’m well into the clay layer now, and the sides are holding up proudly. As for … [more]

Boxing Day

It’s not much of a present: kind of a lumpy little box, knocked up from plywood with brad-pinned butt joints. Its four stubby legs are sawn sections of thick oaken doweling, and the vaguely shoe-shaped carrying handle doubles as a foot rest for a man receiving a shine. Shoe shine boxes were a classic shop … [more]

Remission Rates & Dog Rebates

I’m almost afraid to post this. One year before the day before Halloween 2013, Tucker Dog had his leg taken off due to cancer. In medical terminology, he was “disarticulated at the hip,” which is just as horrifying and brutal as it sounds. He came home on Halloween night shaking with terror, crawled up on … [more]

No one ever buys a dog

…nor do you get one as a gift. Dogs aren’t slaves or property. You earn dogs, the way you earn children: by cleaning up their poo; by never giving up on them; by firm corrections; by loving forgiveness when you know damn well they knew better; by playing with them anyway when you’re just too … [more]

Nut ‘n’ Honey

“Wanna walk up to the post office with me?” “No. I hate walking to get mail. It takes like forty minutes, and nothing gets done,” Pretty Wife said. “It makes me crazy.” “OK.” Couldn’t blame the lass. I tore a little cartilage in my right knee about a month ago, playing at Aikido with people … [more]

Corporate Benfeasance

Some years before I met Pretty Wife, she was gifted with a mighty fine spade by her excellent mother, who is a gardening dynamo of distinguished taste. Even several years later, it remains a lovely thing with the kind of gleam to its ever-honed stainless steel blade that exemplifies a friend’s description of my snappy … [more]

Breed Bans

When they came for the scary black pit bulls, I didn’t speak up. My only pet is a gentle, crippled Great Dane. When they came for the scary black rifles, I didn’t speak up. My deer gun is an old, bolt action Winchester. When they came for the scary black hoodies, I didn’t speak up. … [more]

For Edichka, who asked

What is it that I like about guns? Nothing specific. Good gear is good gear. It’s no more about the guns than dancing is about shoes, or dutiful service is about collecting ribbons on your blouse. My dad inherited three rifles and four shotguns from his father. Grandpa was a longtime hunter and fisherman in … [more]