Sit and Deliver

Regular readers may remember my post about my new next-door neighbor, Angus, a Border Terrier puppy. He moved in about six weeks ago, and after some trepidation, I decided to accept my role as Angus’s teacher. I had visions of instructing my young charge in the customs of dogs and the ways of the city. In my mind’s eye, our exchanges would go something like this: Continue reading


New Year’s Resolutions

Humans have a strange tendency to make resolutions that they can’t keep. I, on the other hand, am only going to promise myself to improve things I know are achievable.

1. Smell something interesting every day.

Even well-known haunts, like the fire hydrant at the corner, offer something new if you just approach them with the right frame of mind.

2. Get enough sleep.

This will not be a problem, as long as I don’t have any more houseguests.

3. Be nice to the neighbors.

I am already quite friendly towards all my human neighbors and almost all of my canine neighbors (even the ones who are not so nice to me). But rumor has it that a new puppy may soon arrive next door. This may test my patience; puppies are often inadvertently rude and impertinent, and I have delicate sensibilities.

When I first arrived here, there was a senior Border Terrier living next door. She was always quite patient with me, even in my early days, when I was still a rather harum-scarum young dog who had yet to learn city manners. As the years passed, she began to walk more slowly, and then she started to have trouble with her vision. But she would perk up when she heard a certain beloved voice or smelled a certain special smell, and she’d get a little bounce in her aged step.

After quite a long illness, she died earlier this year, and I’ve been the only dog on the floor since then. But the mourning period has passed, and it sounds likely that I’ll soon have one of these as a neighbor. If so, I’ll do my best to return the favor to my late, venerable neighbor by tolerating the young pup’s energy with patience and good humor.

4. Have my Secretary tidy up the blog

This is more for Her than for me, but we’ll be using the break this weekend to update some of our links, tidy up tags, and possibly even re-visit our look here. We may return looking a little sleeker and slimmed-down next year. Stay tuned.

That’s it for me. What are your resolutions? Do you think you’ll keep them?

Happy New Year, everyone! See you in 2015!

Book Review: Shake Puppies

Today, I’m introducing a new feature here on Albert’s New York: book reviews.  Books are objects that distract humans from playing with, giving treats to, or rubbing the bellies of their dogs. So, generally speaking, I’m against them. However, some books are useful:  Those that help humans understand dogs, those that train humans to live with their dogs, and those that contain pictures of dogs. These are the kinds of books that I will occasionally consider here.

Disclosure: I know some humans at HarperCollins, and they sent me a book, Shake Puppies, in the hopes that I would review it.* The fact that they gave me a copy did not influence my opinion of this book.

Herewith, my appraisal:


Shake Puppies by Carli Davidson

Not an instruction manual.

The first important thing I have to tell you about Shake Puppies is that the title is NOT a command. Humans, please do not shake any puppies. Like human babies, puppies are fragile and must be handled gently.

Continue reading