Laurie Hertzel is the Star Tribune’s senior editor for books. She is not a dog expert, just a dog lover, chronicling the first year with her rescue puppy.
Medication is not the answer to every difficulty with an anxious dog, but the right drug can help a lot.
After three years of training and tears, Angus' anxiety is starting to ease, thanks to something I vowed I would never do.
When a bunny takes up residence in the garden on the side of our house, Angus is riveted.
Even something as benign as a misplaced broom can strike terror into the heart of our overly sensitive dog.
Even as pandemic distancing restrictions are slowly lifted, Angus stays calm by staying away.
Daily walks with Angus are a balm during this difficult, locked-in spring.
Too much togetherness can spark jealousy between Angus and his big sister, Rosie.
Working from home in this time of pandemic is scary and strange, but Angus and Rosie get us outside and keep us grounded.
We bought Angus a muzzle to help keep vet visits peaceful. But teaching him to wear it was no easy task.
Bring on the snow and the cold, says Angus, who would prefer to put summer off forever.
In his second year with us, our rescue dog stole his first bagel, killed his first squirrel and wormed his way deeper into our hearts.
One dog bite years ago taught me to be super-careful with skittish dogs.
All it took was repeated visits, lots of treats and a T-shirt.
It took me a long time to accept that Angus is a "reactive dog." But once I did, I began to learn how to care for him better.
Angus is back in school, this time learning to peacefully coexist with strange dogs.
Over the past year, Angus and I have slowly gotten to a good place on the daily walks. But oh, it took a long time.
After Angus is calm and attentive with the new dog sitter, I'm starting to think some of the problems lie with me.
Sure, Angus misbehaves. But it's time to recognize his virtues, too.
Twenty years of busy dogs and maturing trees have rendered our backyard grassless. Angus doesn't care — bare ground is easy to dig. And so he digs.
When we replaced a torn screen with an actual dog door, Rosie was fine — but Angus was flummoxed.
Just like this chilly spring, Angus' training can feel like we're lagging behind.
Angus has a habit of hiding, rather than eating, his nightly chewies. Rosie has made it her mission to find them.
A new kind of training means better communication between dog and human.
When the man of the house goes out of town, the dogs outnumber the lone adult left behind. Reinforcements arrive — in the form of more dogs.
Angus has never liked strange people or unfamiliar situations. But when he growled at the veterinarian, it was time to act.
An ear infection, dark and icy walks, mocking squirrels — it's been a tough winter for Angus.
If you could spy on your dog while you were gone, what would you see?
Now it's his turn: Angus offers advice to readers on how to make a puppy happy.
Twenty-five years of owning dogs has taught us one thing: What works for one dog doesn't necessarily work for another.
When the big unleashed dog raced toward us, all I could do was shout.
Readers love their dogs — and they share that love with Angus. They also share tips and advice.
As Angus turns a year old, he's come a long way. But boy, oh boy, he has a long way to go.
He doesn't swim, doesn't fetch, doesn't play well with strangers. How to burn off all this puppy energy?
Angus had developed a bad habit of barking when guests arrived. And then he jumped on one. We needed help.
Sometimes we have to take the infirm with the firm — and sometimes it's a two-way street.
Angus is a mellow dog — as long as there are no small animals in his field of view.
Angus spends all day in the crate while we're at work, and all night in the crate while we're sleeping. Is it time to give him some freedom?
Someone opened our side gate while we were at work, and the dogs took off at a dead run.
When we found out that Angus' brother lived just a few miles away, we knew they had to meet. But would they recognize each other?
We were sure Angus would like the North Shore, if we could just persuade him to get in the truck.
The six-month-adolescence rebellious phase hits, and everything Angus has learned goes out the window.
In the mornings, Angus is sweetly obedient. The evening brings somewhat different behavior.
The rescue group that brought us Angus guessed he was border collie-Lab mix. But DNA testing told us something else.
When Angus suddenly started barking at strangers on the walk, we had to nip it in the bud. But how?
After breezing through puppy kindergarten, Obedience 1 loomed as a bigger challenge.
Crates are not the answer for every dog. But if your dog loves its crate, you — and the pup — are very lucky.
You think you want a puppy? What, are you nuts? Over the next few months we'll tell you exactly what it's like, through the life of a rescue pup named Angus.
If you don't want your shoulder and neck to suffer, train your dog to the leash.
Rosie, our resident black Lab, loves Angus. But at times she gets fed up with him. What then?
If you're foolish enough to adopt a puppy in the coldest month of the coldest winter in years, how are you supposed to housebreak him?
In which we try to teach Angus that toes are not edible, at least not while they are attached to my feet.
A well-trained dog is a good dog. But, oh, the training takes time. And there have been lots of changes over the years.