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And some pigeons. Honestly, if you’re a bird, you can audition to be this nice dog’s best friend.

A black duck and a german shepherd dog touch beak to nose in a photograph of the two friends
A black duck and a german shepherd dog touch beak to nose in a photograph of the two friends
Photos: Vendetta and Lemony via Instagram

Vendetta and Lemony are quite close. They share a lot of the same interests, after all, like rainy days, getting lost in the woods, and long walks in nature. But it would be a dramatic failure of journalism to report these facts without also noting that Vendetta is a German Shepherd. And that Lemony is an Indian runner duck. It is also salient, to this reporter, that these two best friends have a pair of sidekicks called Grisella and Heldig, and that Grisella and Heldig are pigeons, who were rescued as babies.

As any self-respecting duck/dog dynamic duo with pigeon…

Purrfect harmo-neigh (sorry!)

Champy, wearing a blanket, nuzzling Morris, wearing a tan sweater and perched on a fence post outdoors.
Champy, wearing a blanket, nuzzling Morris, wearing a tan sweater and perched on a fence post outdoors.
Photos: Champy and Morris

When Jennifer Boyle brought Morris the cat home from a shelter 7 years ago, her horse Champy took it upon himself to be the official welcoming committee. After some initial reluctance to make such a large friend, Morris decided not to look a gift horse in the mouth (sorry again!) and jumped aboard. They’re now such fast friends that Morris wakes Jennifer up as soon it gets light every morning so he can go horse-riding.

The pair have developed a sensible system—if Champy sees Morris waiting at a specific fence post that is their designated “bus stop,” he’ll walk over…

All animals have feelings and personal preferences

My baby after he’s eaten lunch at a doggie restaurant in Yokohama. You can just see that smile. Photo: Ilene Kuehl

It always amazes me when people say that animals don’t have feelings.

“He’s just a dog. He doesn’t know the difference.”

But he does have feelings and he does know the difference — if he didn’t, why would he wag his tail when he has his favorite toy or cry when I leave to go get groceries?

It’s because he’s a feeling, living being — just like you and me.

All animals have feelings and individual interests

When I first got my dog, I was a young teenager who wasn’t thinking about what kind of life I wanted to give my new pet. …

It wasn’t just my diet that changed when I became a vegan

The journey as a vegan was solitary at first. Photo: Jira via Rawpixel

The first sign that there was something wrong between me and George* was when we went grocery shopping.

Ever since becoming vegan a year and a half ago, supermarkets had taken on a whole new dimension: I could wipe out whole aisles entirely, while other pockets of the store that some might only glaze their eyes over had instantly become a lifeline.

But this spring afternoon when the Jacaranda trees were in bloom, purpling an overcast day, all I saw was the tray of prosciutto that George shoved in my face.

It’s been a long time since I’ve eaten any…

Here’s how she won me over

Photos: Kasey May

I grew up in a world where dogs were appreciated in theory but never allowed in the house. This comes standard for many black families in America, especially in the South. While my mother claimed to love dogs, I never actually saw her touch one. In fact, she banned them from ever laying a paw inside our home. They were, however, allowed in the backyard. My father’s affinity for them was a little more literal. He was the one who would rescue stray dogs from roaming the streets. We had a few of them as pets, but their residence always…

It is presence — not presents — that are the best gifts of all

Zeke taught me the gift of presence. And the delights of a good tennis ball. Photo: Jeanne Grunert

Every day when I walk my German shepherd past our neighbor’s house, Zeke casts longing eyes towards their front door. Snorting behind the glass panels flanking the front doorway is Cinder, their boxer dog. Zeke whines and pulls, Cinder snorts, and I tug him away yet again, whispering, “Not today. They have to go to work, and we do, too.”

When Zeke was a puppy, Cinder helped him learn how to walk up our long, curving, tree-dark driveway. …

Or, how I learned to stop worrying and love teaching my friends about the joys of non-dairy creamer

Vegan newbie Joel and his totally normal cat Girlfriend.

Short of an end to global suffering and a decent eggless angel food cake, all I want is to help other people become vegan too. This is a common vegan dream, but what do you do when it actually happens? I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, as a good friend has just seen the plant-based light.

My friend and coworker, let’s call him Joel (because that’s his name), texted me a few months ago, pretty much out of the blue: “I watched Eating Animals last night. Yikes.” Apparently, the Natalie Portman-backed film had affected him so much, he…


good living for every being

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