On Grief and a Shelter Dog

There wasn’t one day in the six months after Peanut had passed that I was not consumed by grief. I didn’t care about anything and had little motivation to do much at all. When I wasn’t working, I’d grab Peanut’s blanket that still held her scent, lie down with it somewhere, and cry myself to…

Ciega Blind Opossum

To The Guy Who Drove Over the Injured Opossum

Unlike with people, there is no emergency system in place for injured wild animals; no expectation that help will be on the way as soon as someone notices your accident and dire need for medical care. Unfortunately, unavoidable collisions with animals happen all the time and many animals don’t die upon impact even when the…

Joel Arden Peanut Zich Family Portrait

Peanut Was Here

Joel started a bedtime routine with Peanut many years ago. He’d place her on her bed, pat her lovingly, tell her she was a good girl (whether or not she had been that day), reminded her of how much we love her, and to have sweet dreams. It made her perky little ears and forehead…

Grackle Catches Sibling Eating Suet

A Season of KinderGrackle

Common Grackles aren’t a common bird at our feeders, so when at least one started making regular appearances around our deck, it caught my attention. Since I already make a habit of watching birds out the kitchen window, I couldn’t help but lock on the unique behavior of suet-dunking from one of the Grackles. When…

Twelve-Year Pugiversary

Joel and I were seconds away from meeting the dog that was advertised for sale in the local paper. As soon as Joel opened the door to the apartment complex, a then two-and-a-half-year-old Peanut* came trotting from around the corner of an open door and down the hall. “CLOSETHEDOORSHE’SESCAPING!” I yelled. Joel replied, “She’s fine, she’s not…