What do you do when the woman you’re falling in love with has a dog that, seemingly, can’t stand you?
Beef jerky, trust and patience are key, but it also helps to be Jon Katz.
The author of numerous dog books recounted in Parade last week how he came to marry Maria – an artist who was using one of his barns as a studio – and how that required much woooing of her Rottweiler-shepherd mix, Frieda.
Katz was still married when he met Maria and cut a deal with her allowing her to use a barn as a studio in exchange for helping with his animals (a herd of sheep, four donkeys, four chickens, three dogs, and two cats) at his farm in upstate New York. Both later saw their marriages end, and they began developing a friendship — or at least to the extent Frieda would permit.
Frieda was fiercely protective of Maria and, Katz writes, ”whenever I approached the barn, Frieda would fling herself against the door in a frenzy, barking ferociously.”
Frieda had been dumped, pregnant, along the New York State Thruway by a man who had been using her as a guard dog. She lived in the wild before she was captured and brought to a shelter. That’s where Maria met her and adopted her, Katz says:
“They were the perfect pair, the human-canine version of Thelma and Louise, united in their devotion to each other and in their great distrust of men.”
As Katz and Maria made the transition from friends to something more, Frieda continued to act out in the presence of Katz and his dogs. At night, Frieda stayed in the barn. Even though it was heated, it was not a desirable arrangement.
“I was falling in love with Maria,” Katz writes, “and I hoped she would agree to marry me one day, but I knew I had to work things out with Frieda first.
Katz says he bought $500 worth of beef jerky, and began a morning ritual, tossing a piece to Frieda every day. He started getting a little closer to the dog on each visit and, after months, Frieda let him put a leash on her and walk her. “My goal was to get her into the house by Christmas, as a surprise for Maria, evidence of my commitment and good faith.”
Katz and Maria and their animals are one big happy family now, and you can read all about it when The Second-Chance Dog: A Love Story, comes out next month.
To learn more about Katz and his other books, visit his website, bedlamfarm.com.
(Top photo: Maria and Frieda and author Jon Katz at Bedlam Farm; by George Forss)
Posted by jwoestendiek October 25th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: a love story, animals, author, barn, bedlam farm, behavior, books, books on dogs, distrust, dog, dog books, dogs, farm, frieda, jon katz, lovers, maria, married, mix, new york, parade, pets, rottweiler, shepherd, studio, the second chance dog, trust, wife
There’s a rising star in the North Carolina legislature, and she has four legs.
A miniature Pomeranian named Diva comes to work every day at the General Assembly with her owners, Republican representative Nathan Ramsey and his wife, Robin Ramsey, a legislative assistant — and the fuzzy four-pound dog is said to be developing quite a following.
The Ramseys, who live on a farm in Fairview during the off-season, say they started bringing Diva to work in February, because they thought she’d be lonely staying at the condo they reside in while in Raleigh.
Since then, she’s shown herself to be a valuable asset, both a diplomat and a crowd-drawer.
“… In a short time, the taffy-colored rescue pup has arguably become the most chased after creature at the legislative building. Walk in on any given day and you’ll see a steady stream of bipartisan visitors knocking on the Ramseys’ office door,” North Carolina Public Radio station WUNC (91.5 FM) reported.
“It certainly opened the door to more visitors, which is good,” said Robin Ramsey.
On building tours for visiting schoolchildren, Diva’s office has become a regular stop — and, we’d guess, one of the more exciting ones.
“I make it a point to stop by,” said Democrat Rick Glazier of Fayetteville. “You can’t leave after playing with Diva and talking to the Ramseys unhappy or in a bad mood, and that is not always true around here.”
Ramsey, a former county commissioner, says Diva helps breaks the ice and cut through frosty exteriors. And he suspects she has helped him garner support for at least a couple of measures he has introduced.
“A lot of this is about relationships, and really, unless you’re a seat-mate with someone, there aren’t a lot of opportunities to reach across the aisle,” he said. “You don’t develop relationships by sitting in a committee meeting. You have to find out about other people’s lives and families and get to know them in more depth.”
Speaker of the House Thom Tillis recently stopped by Ramsey’s office with his boxer, Ike. A spokesman for the speaker reported the get-together was ”like many meetings in this building — more sniffing around than anything else.”
Back home on the family dairy farm, Diva likes to spend her time circling the baby calf pen.
She likes to round things up, Ramsey says, and those skills seem to have translated from barnyard to state house.
(Photo by Jessica Jones / WUNC)
Posted by jwoestendiek April 26th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, diva, dog, dogs, dogs and politics, fairview, fans, farm, general assembly, ice breaker, legislature, nathan ramsey, north carolina, pets, politics, pomeranian, raleigh, representative, republican, robin ramsey, state house, visitors, workplace
Attention wine-drinking dog owners: There’s an opportunity to enjoy sampling wines with your dog at your side this weekend — and to support a good cause in the process.
The fourth annual Bark and Wine event is Saturday (May 1) from noon to 4 p.m. at the Fiore Winery in Pylesville.
The event, which features wine, dog treats, music and raffles, is being held by Best Friends Fur Ever to raise funds for Fallston Animal Rescue Movement (FARM).
Best Friends, a dog daycare and overnight resort, is part of the foster network for FARM, an organization that has found homes for 8,000 animals.
Tickets are $10 per person, with an additional $5 fee for the wine tasting. For $5 dollars more, you can ride the bus from Best Friends (1009 Philadelphia Rd. in Joppa) to the event with your dog.
If you’re interested, RSVP to Best Friends at 410-671-7529 by April 28th.
(Photo: Painting by Amy Reges, a former wildlife biologist and current Lab lover and artist whose Otter Tail Art studio is located in Burdett, New York.)
Posted by jwoestendiek April 27th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, bark and wine, best friends fur ever, dogs, event, fallston animal rescue movement, farm, fiore winery, fundraiser, may 1, ohmidog!, organization, pets, pylesville, rescue, tasting, wine, winery
A New York dog may have been executed for a crime he didn’t commit.
Suspected in the death of six alpacas at a neighboring farm in Forestburgh, Nubis, a Belgian malinois, was shot by an employee at the farm — five days after the alpacas were found dead.
Now, a report issued by an animal control officer says there’s no evidence connecting Nubis to the alpaca attack.
The dog belonged to Ben Wechsler, neighbor of Stuart Salenger, who owns the farm. The two men have a history of not getting along, according to the Times Herald-Record.
Animal Control Officer Arnold Burger said the likely culprits in the slaying of Salenger’s animals were coyotes, not dogs, and that photographs provided by Salenger are insufficient evidence to confirm the dog was shot in the alpaca pen. The photos show the dog’s body in two locations, he said. Salenger said his farm workers removed the dog from the pen because the body was bothering his animals.
(Photo courtesy of Peter K. Bertine, Jr.)
Posted by jwoestendiek January 11th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: alpaca, animal control, animals, arnold burger, attack, belgian malinois, ben wechsler, dog, executed, farm, forestburgh, innocent, killed, livestock, new york, nubis, pets, shot, stuart salenger
Two pet dogs were found shot to death Sunday — execution style, authorities said — in Pennsbury Township in Chester County, Pennsylvania.
A woman walking in the woods came upon the bodies of Emma and Luna, laid out tail to tail “like bookends,” along the railroad tracks, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
The dogs had been reported missing Saturday from a family farm three miles from where they were found, according to Rich Britton, spokesman for the Chester County SPCA.
Each had been shot once between the eyes.
“The dogs were placed with their backs to the tracks and their tails towards each other,” Britton said. “These were two young dogs – one was two; the other, a year and a half. It breaks your heart that anyone could do this.”
Neighbors reported seeing a red Ford 150 pickup truck in the area around the time the animals disappeared. Authorities are seeking that vehicle, and ask that anyone with knowledge of it call 610-692-6113, ext. 213.
The pets had the run of a 100-acre farm, Britton said, and there were no known issues with neighbors.
The SPCA is offering a $500 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction.
Posted by jwoestendiek October 28th, 2009 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: bookends, chester county, dogs, emma, execution-style, farm, ford, found, luna, pennsbury township, pennsylvania, pets, pickup, rich britton, shot, spca, two dogs