a church Christmas play

So I said to her, “I don’t care how cute you look, Asia, you CANNOT be Mary in the church Christmas play. The world’s just not ready for it yet, darlin.”


When beagles have free reign indoors

It’s that moment you’re out running errands and realize you left their door open… AND YOU HAVE A BEAGLE!


I’m home now, surprised that so far everything is in place and undisturbed. Blog will be updated as destruction and/or missing food is discovered.


-Out of the Wilderness

Why dogs curl up when they sleep

e Asia

What do you get when you’ve been dog-sitting through Rover.com for almost 2 years? A lot of stories! I’ve had a wide range of big dogs, small dogs, wide dogs, long dogs, young dogs, old dogs, fun dogs, hot dogs… wait, what?

I’ve had all kinds of dogs of all ages but one thing I’ve seen so much of is also a stereotypical trait of dogs. When they decide to lay down, they walk around in a neat, tight circle about a hundred times before plopping down. Why do they do this?

What I’ve found is that it’s an instinctual behavior (like rubbing on dead insects or one dog peeing on another dog’s pee) meant to keep themselves warm and protected.

I have 2 dogs, Piper and Asia, and they do this all the time. I’ve also observed that after they circle around and lay down, maybe 20 or 30 minutes later they sprawl out. I haven’t asked them about it, but my guess is that it’s not very comfortable to sleep in such a tight position and once they feel safe and warm, they loosen up.


Dogs were domesticated thousands of years ago, but I love when a bit of that wild wolf comes out in them. Even if they’re curling up on a king-sized mattress under a light breeze from a ceiling fan. You go wild dogs, go on with your bad selves!

-Out of the Wilderness

Since I Have You: A Poem

piperThere’s not much about you I don’t like,
you’re the coolest gal around.
Even when I lose you in the night,
as you chase a rabbit your nose found.

I know you’re needy,
but that’s not bad.
You could be greedy,
or have issues with your dad.

I know you’re not a gold-digger.
You’re more of a mole-digger.
Because the yard is full of holes with no gold.
But also no moles.

And I don’t mind that you don’t shave,
or that all four of your armpits have hair.
Or that you have hair all over your face,
and legs, and feet, and everywhere.

It could be worse,
like if I brought home your sister and you said you hate her.
Then went on to say every taboo curse,
and confessed that you’re a Gator.

I love you but I’d give you away.
It’s not illegal,
but you see, my darling beagle,
There are just certain things we don’t say.

One is anything good about the Gators,
Or the SEC, but we can get into that later.

Now I don’t know if you know this yet,
but your ears are pretty big.
All the better for hearing my pet,
I mean, would you rather be a pig?

I wonder if you could speak,
what you’d tell me when you bark.
I hope it would be,
“I love you with all my beagle heart!”

And I would say, “I love you, too, Piper!”

Snow day: Piper and I

me and Piper, 2010

We’re Almost On A First Name Basis

I woke up this morning to the realization that my dogs have lived with me for almost 3 years, and they don’t even know my name. Think about it: I say, “Piper, come here. Asia, sit. Piper, it’s time to eat. Asia, where’s Piper?” They know their names and each other’s name quite well, but they would be zero help if someone asked where “Ben” was. So if you hear me referring to myself in third-person, don’t worry. I’m just re-introducing myself to my dogs.

For more stories about my dogs, check out my page: Life With Dogs. It’s funny.

How It Feels When Your Dog Gets Hit by a Car


Obviously you can guess watching your dog get hit by a car is not something preferable. All the emotions you’d suspect to feel are there. To define the initial reaction, shock. I didn’t even have time for fear beforehand, because even though the pieces were falling in place for the scary incident to happen, it’s true what they say, “You don’t think it will happen to you.” I remember not breathing. I remember the shock. What I didn’t expect was how fast it all happened and how I’d feel minutes, hours, and days later.

A dog park buddy and I were taking his dog and my dogs from a fenced-in dog park to another one close by. His beagle was off the leash and my puppy Asia was as well. They both took off like young dogs do and they ran farther than either of us expected. They crossed a nearby street. When they tried to cross back over, the accident happened. His dog sat in the street, howling. Asia popped up, running around stunned at what just happened. Like a deer that is struck, I thought Asia was in pain and didn’t know how to react. The beagle was injured. The owner scooped her up and carted her away to his car. I haven’t seen them since. I think about that beagle every day and pray she is fine. Once Asia was corralled in, I thoroughly checked her from nose to tail. She didn’t appear to have a scratch on her. Nothing broken. No bleeding. Only startled. She and I both.

Since then, not much has changed. I’ve gone to work. I’ve taken them back to the dog park. Asia is completely fine and I’m wondering if she even remembers the accident at all. I love that dog. Even more now, somehow. And the word hero comes to mind when I think of the people that helped me that day. Immediately after the accident, Asia was running around wildly. She would not come to me but there were people who came out of the dog park to help coax her in. They could have staying inside the fenced-in park and watched, but they came out to help. Even though it’s a small non-newsworthy story, they are heroes to me. In a tiny way, it restores my faith in humanity.

For whatever reason, it wasn’t part of God’s plan for her to suffer an injury that day. Now I feel grateful. Extremely thankful. More connected. Appreciating both of my dogs and the time we spend together. That day I didn’t expect anything major to happen and while I’ll never be glad that it did, I’m thankful for a new perspective. I’m thankful for Asia and Piper. I’m thankful for the connection I have with them. I’m thankful for a revived conversation with God. I don’t know how the other beagle is, but I hope she’s chasing rabbits again soon.

Piper and Asia