No, Thanks, Really, I Don’t Want Another Dog


I wrote a story for the September issue of the magazine about some very nice dogs. I started working on the story back in February, so for a long time, whenever anyone asked me what I was writing, I would tell them about these dogs. This provided an opportunity for people who knew me to say, “So! I guess you’re thinking about getting another dog!”

This was especially true of my two kids, who, when they were growing up, frequently accused me of loving our dog more than I loved them. There was some truth to this. Homer, the collie/shepherd mix who shared our lives for 12 years, never once kept me waiting, never couldn’t find his shoes, never talked back, never got arrested. It’s been five years now since we had to have him put to sleep, and I guess that’s considered a suitable length of time for mourning, because suddenly everybody is convinced I must want another dog.

“Don’t you miss when we used to take Homer for walks?” my daughter Marcy will ask, apparently forgetting that she frequently had to be hauled out of the house kicking and screaming when it was time for those walks. “A dog would make it easier for you to make new friends,” my son Jake will say. He’s become convinced I need to “make some new friends your own age,” as he puts it, like I’m a socially inept sixth-grader and he’s the parent. He recently guilted me into paying $220 for a special tailgating parking pass at his college, to fulfill some fantasy he has of me clinking highball glasses with the parents of his football teammates before the games. But he’s not going to guilt me into getting another dog.

I don’t want another dog. Read more »

It Is Perfectly Legal to Kill and Eat Dogs and Cats In Pennsylvania

A platter of cooked dog meat in China.

A platter of cooked dog meat in China.

You’ve probably been doing most of your dog and cat eating in secret, ashamed to admit that as much as your pet Fido or Chloe was fun in life, well, they were much, much tastier in death. But it turns out that it is perfectly legal for you to chow down on Schnauzer Stew and Cassoulet de Chat in most of the 50 Enlightened States of America, including Pennsylvania. But the cretins in our state legislature may be about to pull the plug on these socially forbidden delicacies. Read more »

Would You Try Pet Acupuncture on Your Pooch?



A few months back, I took my dog to her groomer and as I left her to get a blueberry facial (I know, I can’t believe my dog gets blueberry facials either) and a bath, I warned the groomer that she’d been licking her paw nonstop for a few days and it might be a bit sensitive. The groomer, who last time I checked had 10 dogs living under her roof—10!—mentioned that the licking could be an indication of pain and asked me if I’d ever tried pet acupuncture. I hadn’t, and if the suggestion had come from anyone else, I might’ve brushed it off as total nonsense. But this lady knows her dogs, so my interest was piqued.

Luckily, my dog’s paw-licking was a thing of the past, post-blueberry-filled bath (I guess a spa day was treatment enough), but my curiosity about pet acupuncture was still alive and well. Then, last week, I spotted an article on Slate slamming the practice of pet acupuncture, which made me even more curious about the controversial treatment. Intrigued, we decided to delve into a topic we rarely explore here on Be Well Philly: pet health.

We spoke with Philly-based animal acupuncturist and licensed veterinarian Christina Fuoco of Whole Animal Gym, who boasts some of the Philadelphia Zoo’s animals as patients, to get the lowdown on how the heck pet acupuncture works and how our furry friends can benefit from it.

Read more »

You Can Now Adopt a Dog Through Free People


He’s more prepared for Coachella than I am.

You read that title correctly: Bohemian brand Free People has collaborated with local no-kill shelter PAWS to launch its new FP Pet Project collection. So all those cute pups that will be modeling pet apparel, accessories (like this tipi), and toys will be available for adoption. Just click on the product page to find some info about the dog including its name and a link to PAWS to adopt it.

So, it looks like Blue the two-year-old beagle might be coming home with me. We’ll take the leash, too.

Hundreds of Cats Being Removed from North Philly Home

Fox 29 reports: “The Pennsylvania Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals says it’s investigating a hoarding case in North Philadelphia that involves hundreds of cats. Humane law enforcement officers are reported to be removing 260 felines from a property on the 1600 block of Filmore Street. According to PSPCA officials, a warrant was executed to remove the cats from what they’re calling ‘unsanitary confinement.'”


Shoppist’s 25 Gifts of Christmas: Day 10

Xmas10Now that the holidays are officially upon us, we here at Shoppist are in full gifting mode. Each day this month, we’ll unveil our 25 top gifts to buy in Philly this season. (Trust us: We’ve shopped everywhere to bring you the best of the best.)

First things first: That bulldog isn’t for sale. And neither, sadly, is Duke, the caramel-colored English bulldog who’s the official mascot of Duke & Winston, the NoLibs-based clothing line known for its sharp polos and soft graphic tees. Naturally, you can’t have a pup mascot without creating a line that nods to him: Enter the Tophat hoodies, ridiculously cozy fleece “sweatshirts” that feature a kangaroo pocket (unnecessary, perhaps, but adorable) and an opening on the back for a leash. Score one online, at the NoLibs showroom, or at the D&W pop-up shop in Bryn Mawr (it’s open until January 8th). Your furry best friend will thank you. Or pee on your carpet. (With excitement.)

The Details: Tophat dog hoodie, $32 at Duke & Winston, Northern Liberties and Bryn Mawr.

Give To: Fido.



Day 1: A weekender for him.

Day 2: A geometric ring for her.

Day 3: A posh nail polish set for your teenager.

Day 4: A tabletop speaker for dad.

Day 5: A made-in-Philly skateboard for your little brother.

Day 6: A set of Narberth-made essential oils for mom.

Day 7: A bag of made-in-Philly gifts for out-of-town pals.

Day 8: A cool pair of diamond studs for your girlfriend.

Day 9: A metallic bag for your sister.

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