At this time of year most of us are buying and wrapping multiple gifts. We are focused on all the happiness that the season can bring, and not much on its complications. We plan how to decorate our homes and our trees and what will accompany the roast beef for Christmas dinner. We don’t often…

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While for some people December is a season of joy, filled with the happiness of giving and receiving, it can be a tough time of year for others. Amidst the happy revelers ringing their bells and singing their carols, and among those who live for and love the holidays, there are those who walk alone…

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Why would we hug ourselves? Is this an absurd idea? Maybe what I mean is something akin to, “have you received your hug today?” And if so, have you given someone else a hug today–all of which is just another way of saying, “have you taken care of yourself today?” One of the things researchers, animal…

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How many of us have had what is called a “heart dog?” Tons of those reading this, I suspect. If you have finished, or are in the middle of, Bespotted, you will have discovered the inimitable Gulliver, to whom I dedicate the book as “dog of my heart,” which means the same thing. Some of…

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In today’s newsletter and also here on the blog, it is Cody who comes to greet our readers–wagging his tail until it is nothing but a blur, and grinning his crinkly Dalmatian smile. He is the first dog in our household, but not the last, who stayed on when he was not meant to. Born…

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“Bespotted is a brave and wonderful book. The first chapter about the origin of the famous poem by Anne Sexton, “Live,” is precious both for the history it recounts with an authenticity nobody else could claim, as well as for its insight into one of the great poems of the language (hint: it is a poem made…

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