by Kathy Dannel Vitcak 3 min read


The image that is featured for this blog post is an example of what i do to relax sometimes. Yeah, I wish I relaxed by running or cross-country skiing or doing something monumentally worthy of discussion. But, what I love to do to unwind a bit is create a variety of dog related images to share via social media. Yikes, I am horrified by myself as I type...but it's true. Admittedly, I also watch some Netflix/Hulu/Amazon Prime TV on occasion (every night). I am sounding more slug-like as I type, so let's get onto Jonathan Safran Foer. 

I stumbled across a quote of his "Why does watching a dog be a dog fill one with happiness?" and used it for an image. Nice quote, I thought and did not give it much more thought until today. For some unknown reason I Google Jonathan Foer and was surprised to be lost for a couple of hours as I read more about him. Ah yes, the rabbit hole that so easily ensnares many of us!

"Why does watching a dog be a dog fill one with happiness?" by Jonathan S. Foer

The nuts and bolts: Jonathan Safran Foer is the author of Everything Is Illuminated, Extremely Loud and Incredibly CloseEating Animals, and others. He lives in New York with his wife, Nicole Krauss, son Sasha, and his dog George. My Googling could not determine if George was still alive, she was an adult dog in 2005, so I think probably not. But I dare not write her obit if she is still among us.

In his book, Eating Animals, Foer turns the bright light of why it's ok to eat some animals and not others upon the factory farming industry in the United States. Factory farming offends and sickens me on every level, so I admit to being somewhat (VERY) biased on the subject. By the end of the book, Foer has convinced himself there will be no more factory farmed animals consumed by his family.

"She changed things for me," Foer said. "This dog opened up the way that I thought about animals."

The excerpt below is about his love of his dog, George, and how she changed his life and possibly his career. Enjoy!

Jonathan Foer


FOR the last 20 years, New York City parks without designated dog runs have permitted dogs to be off-leash from 9 p.m. to 9 a.m. Because of recent complaints from the Juniper Park Civic Association in Queens, the issue has been revisited. On Dec. 5, the Board of Health will vote on the future of off-leash hours.

Retrievers in elevators, Pomeranians on No. 6 trains, bull mastiffs crossing the Brooklyn Bridge ... it is easy to forget just how strange it is that dogs live in New York in the first place. It is about as unlikely a place for dogs as one could imagine, and yet 1.4 million of them are among us. Why do we keep them in our apartments and houses, always at some expense and inconvenience? Is it even possible, in a city, to provide a good life for a dog, and what is a “good life?” Does the health board’s vote matter in ways other than the most obvious?

I adopted George (a Great Dane/Lab/pit/greyhound/ridgeback/whatever mix — a k a Brooklyn shorthair) because I thought it would be fun. As it turns out, she is a major pain an awful lot of the time.

She mounts guests, eats my son’s toys (and occasionally tries to eat my son), is obsessed with squirrels, lunges at skateboarders and Hasids, has the savant-like ability to find her way between the camera lens and subject of every photo taken in her vicinity, backs her tush into the least interested person in the room, digs up the freshly planted, scratches the newly bought, licks the about-to-be served and occasionally relieves herself on the wrong side of the front door. Her head is resting on my foot as I type this. I love her.


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