Santa Fe Scoop

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Story: A bond that transcends

Service dogs work hard to give disabled owners a sense of independence

Morgan looks like a typical golden retriever. Come to the door, and he’ll greet you with a toy or kitchen towel, wagging his tail. The dog is quick to sniff out amiable pups and human pals. But once he puts on his vest, he’s all business.

For the past six years, this service dog has been the constant companion of Alice Lee, picking up things she’s dropped,… Continue

Added by Ben Swan on March 8, 2008 at 11:30pm — 1 Comment

Off-leash blog: Unleashing the secret life of toys

Zach loves his toys.

On a recent shopping binge, I couldn’t resist bringing home a box of stuffed animals for dogs: a skunk, a hedgehog and a duck.

In spite of the manufacturer’s promise that the animals look realistic, there’s no doubt these critters are stuffed. But hidden in wads of padding is a sound device that offers “real animal sounds.” The duck quacks, the hedgehog titters and the skunk makes an odd high-pitched tee-hee noise. I haven’t done the research, but I have to trust… Continue

Added by Ben Swan on March 8, 2008 at 11:00pm — 1 Comment

Confessions of a animal trainer...

I will get it out of the way, I am a animal trainer, it is what I do for a living, and ...really, the animals are pretty good at training humans! So mostly, I train people to train their animals and build a more successful relationship with their animals.

My personal goal is to build a healthier, more knowledgeable dog culture in Santa Fe. This is a fabulously compassionate city and it is fabulously ignorant about what constitutes normal canine behavior. And there is not much for… Continue

Added by Santa Fe Dog, LLC on March 6, 2008 at 5:45pm — 6 Comments

"Isaac's Fund"

Helen Larson and Mary Van Ness were introduced to me through DotFoil Computer Services. My friend Jason, one of the primary computer nerds there (but a VERY CUTE computer nerd -- I always imagine he'd make a great son-in-law) told me about two women that were desperate to have a simple website built. When he told me they were a small not-for-profit and were developing a pet memorial park, I knew I'd meet them to see how I could help. Well, to make a long story shorter, once I met them we… Continue

Added by CindyR on March 6, 2008 at 8:04am — 4 Comments

Gayle's tribute to Isaac

Two days after I let Isaac go, one of my best friends ever (Gayle in Las Cruces) sent the following poem to me. I couldn't read it through the first time. It took a few attempts to get through the whole thing, because she NAILED it. It's true, she had never met him, but she knew him nonetheless.


Although I never met him I feel I knew him well,

That little goat called Isaac, from tales that Cindy tells.

How he came to be a member of the… Continue

Added by CindyR on March 6, 2008 at 7:42am — 1 Comment


This is the true story of how Little Bear came to live with me. Both true stories.

In the mood for adventure, I had put up a tipi, in a seriously rural and relatively uninhabited part of New Mexico. It was a five star "gay" tipi, I told people, laughing at my own joke. I dug five feet down inside for warmth and head room and installed a radiant solar brick floor. (I am partial to the herringbone pattern). I pinned chicken wire to the earthen walls and cement plastered them. I ran water and… Continue

Added by lynden bear on March 4, 2008 at 9:30am — 4 Comments

how Dorothy Doggie chose me


Do doggies decide with whom they want to live? Check out the lengths to which Dorothy went in order to live with me!!!

Feb. 17, 1990 --- 6 tiny puppies are born to an 8-mo. old Miniature Schnauzer. Though carefully locked in the barn during the day when her owner was at work, a neighbor felt sorry for her and opened the top door; nearly 6 feet high, certainly secure enough. WELL, little did she realize that a mere superman-of-a-suitor lived in the… Continue

Added by annie whitney on March 3, 2008 at 6:00am — 2 Comments

Walls of memories

All Creatures Memorials in Tesuque honors beloved pets

The death of Aspen, a beloved alley cat, left an ache in Tesuque resident Helen v. B. Larsen’s heart. Ten days later, her neighbor, Mary S. Van Ness, unexpectedly lost her beautiful black Labrador, Baci, to cancer.

The two women commiserated one night over dinner, struggling with the absence of animals who had been such an important part of their lives. “We both had our animals cremated, but still, it just didn’t seem… Continue

Added by Ben Swan on March 1, 2008 at 12:00am — 1 Comment

Finding the way to say goodbye

Krista came to me in a rather dark period of my life. Luckless in love and pushing 30, I had to taken a newspaper job in an Inupiat village above the Arctic Circle. It was the perfect place to feel sorry for myself, I thought.

The 8-week-old black Labrador had no patience for my self-indulgence. Air cargo lost her for a couple of days, but she arrived in that desolate community healthy and yipping for freedom. From the moment I opened her travel cage, she was in command, demanding… Continue

Added by Ben Swan on February 29, 2008 at 6:30pm — 4 Comments

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