Dear Blog Readers:

I have some things I need to get off my chest.

1) I told you that I would come back and review Merle’s Door. I lied. I read a little over half of it, and then suddenly I was filled with a deep and powerful rage/nausea. I returned it to the library and I try not to think about it.

2) I told my husband that I would make all of Silas’s dog treats to help offset the cost of his behaviorist expenses. There are four kinds of store-bought treats on my refrigerator right now.

3) Even though I’m unemployed, I find it impossible to stay on schedule with my blog reader and do anything during the day except sit in front of my computer. I love you all a lot. I’m still reading your blogs. I’m trying a new commenting schedule, so let’s hope it works.

4) I worry that you all only read the first and maybe last paragraph of my blog posts. I talk a lot.

5) I will never be a famous blogger, because I am EARNEST and SINCERE. But also, see #3, #4, and the fact that I published two posts last week with crazy italics formatting.

6) I signed up for an account at, and I’m so bad at taking Silas for walks that I actually forgot the name of the website.

7) In my defense, Silas won’t walk from home, and these days it takes a solid ten minutes of terrified trembling before he’ll get in the car. (If you have deep insights into dog psychology, please share. He’s perfectly fine as soon as he gets in.) So do the math: at least ten minutes to get ready. Ten minutes to soothe Silas’s feelings and get him in the car. Ten to fifteen minutes to drive to the closest decent park. Silas prefers his walks in the half-hour range. Then ten to fifteen minutes driving back home. If he’s happy with fetch on the stairs for his everyday exercise, so am I.

8) I donated two leashes, a collar, and two harnesses to a local charity this week. They all violently clash with each other and are mostly made for different sized dogs.

9) My kitchen smells like canned tripe.

10) I’ve never really really LOVED this blog design, and I’m becoming convinced that the type is too small. Is it too small? Or is my laptop too small?

Anything you need to confess?

17 thoughts on “Confessions

  1. I think your font is just fine! Actually, I’m not a fan of huge fonts – they take over the page and make posts look longer than they actually are, which can deter readers (IMO).
    And tripe is the WORST. The smell, I mean. I know it well. When I feed the raw mix that has tripe in it, I only thaw it in the fridge for a day so it’s not totally thawed and therefore doesn’t smell as bad. Luckily, the dogs don’t mind the occasional meat-sicle.
    Silas won’t walk from home? This would definitely put a wrench in most of our walking routine! I’d be inclined to work on that in conjunction with his car anxiety.
    I’ve never heard of Merle’s Door, but pedestrian armchair philosophy tends to induce my gag reflex. I’ll stay away.


    1. Merle’s Door in three sentences: “My dog has freedom and autonomy, so I allow him to roam the neighborhood. I talk a lot about how morally superior this makes me. Unless he does something I don’t like, then I resort to completely barbaric methods to make him stop it.”

      Silas’s non-walking is our biggest issue by far. His utter terror of the sidewalk is actually what pushed me over the edge into taking him to the behaviorist. He’s doing better these days–we no longer have to leave the park if he sees a car through the trees–but we’re still a *long* way from just walking out the front door. It wouldn’t be so bad, except our “yard” is an enclosed patio smaller than the average living room.


      1. I have Merle’s Door and based on your three-sentence review I’m pretty sure I won’t be able to finish it, either. Silases sidewalk fear sounds very trying. Our “out the door” walking options are pretty limited since crossing the busy street to the west of us is fraught with possible meltdowns, and the lovely open space to the east is filled with cyclists. I also have only a postage-stamp-sized enclosed patio. I’ve started to long for a place in the country.


        1. Does Ruby not like cyclists? Weirdly, since he likes neither fast-moving things nor strangers, they’re the ONE THING at the park that Silas handles perfectly every time. But my husband and I both cycle a lot, so he’s used to the bikes just being around.


        2. Ruby does not like anything that moves: dogs, pedestrians, skateboards, bikes, motorcycles and even sometimes cars if she’s used up all her “spoons.” It’s definitely a motion thing with her. If a person is stationary or off to the side, she usually wants to greet them, but walking toward her or even behind her sets her off, the faster their speed the worse her reaction. I started mountain biking last summer shortly before I got her, and I’ve walked her while walking my bike, but I need to do some really focused desensitization with her and me or someone else on a bike. I’m not really sure that will help though, because it will still be “stranger on a bike.” Yes, we have our work cut out for us.


  2. I like your font, too, and the clean, simple look of your blog. I’m getting overwhelmed by my Bloglovin’ feed also, and yet I keep adding to it. I just keep finding so many to follow! Yours is among my favorites, and I read all the words 🙂


  3. I think the type is just right, and I appreciate sincerity and honesty.

    Please share, what about the book made you fill with rage? I have never read it, and am genuinely curious.


  4. The font and size look good to me.

    I thought I was the only person with a bad reaction to Merle’s Door. I have read so many raves about it and I couldn’t get as far as you did. I kept wondering why I was so different.


    1. I think that last part may be a lot of it–it seemed to get worse when we were going to the behaviorist. It’s 1) a long car ride and 2) quite stressful–it had to be, so that she could see his problems. If that’s it, maybe it will dissipate on its own now that we aren’t going anymore.


  5. I can’t blame you for returning Merle’s Door. You made it a lot further into the book than I did. I don’t even remember what exactly it was that put me off – although at the time I probably could have told you.

    I’m sure I am repeating myself here – but I’ll do it anyway if for no other reason than to encourage you to keep working with Silas and his aversion to car rides (as I know you would even if I didn’t put in my two cents here). When I first brought Blueberry home, she vomited on the long ride home. The next day, I put her back in the car – giving her treats and praise and just took her to the park 10 minutes away. We’d go there for maybe 20 minutes (if that) and then come back home. (Thankfully, that first ride home was the only time she vomited.) Still, for quite a few weeks, she would run out the dog door when she saw me pick up her leash. I had to go outside to fetch her. She would cringe but I just remained positive as I put the leash on her and slowly walked with her to the car in the front, where of course, I had to lift her into the back seat. There finally came a day when she realized car rides were positive things and now she loves car rides. Yes, I still use treats to get her into the car – but I think that’s just more her manipulating me to get a free treat than her not wanting to get in.

    So, in short, hang in there! I’m sure you’ll have Silas enjoying car rides more before you know it! 🙂

    One last thing – I read ALL of your blog posts – not just the first and last paragraphs. I enjoy your writing style and so even if it is long – it doesn’t bother me at all. I don’t mind the font – although I do tend to use a larger font on my own blog – I think it has more to do with me and the fact that I need bifocals and so I just imagine everyone else has poor eyesight as well.


    1. Thanks so much for this. I love reading progress stories.

      The thing that baffles me about it all is that Silas is perfectly fine once we’re in the car. It’s just the transition from house to car that scares him. Maybe it’s because once he’s inside, he doesn’t think of it as a CAR anymore. I don’t even know.


  6. I like the font size of your blog and the design and I do read the entire post (and the comments as well) even though I may or may not comment.

    And I will never be a famous blogger either, but I’m learning to be okay with that.


  7. I read Ted Kerasote’s latest book, Pukka’s Promise, and have a feeling it was rather similar to Merle’s Door. Self-righteous in a weird way, and applicable to only about 0.10% of dog owners (i.e., people exactly like him, who live in the middle-of-nowhere Wyoming, without families, children, or real jobs). I like your template, and I always read your posts! Thankful to have found another dog blogger who is honest, sincere, and not trying to get famous by blowing up social media. There is still real blogging to be done!


  8. Honestly, your blog is one of the few blogs I read that doesn’t freak me out when I see no pictures. Don’t get me wrong, I love a cute picture of Silas but I always read the whole post. I think what I like most about your blog is your total honesty and just saying what’s on your mind without going on and on. I always think of insightful things to blog about but forget by the time I sit down at my computer and end up just putting up tons of photos instead.

    Norman is not a fan of the car and walking up to the car or getting in the car but with a lot of time and delicious treats, he’s getting a lot better about it. Though sometimes I have to stand over him and sort of walk his front legs for him the last couple feet, then pick him up and put him in the car. It may be a dumb question, but what if you just carried Silas to the car?


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