My childhood dog didn’t pass away; she got to make someone else’s childhood memorable.

When I turned ten, I entered the phase all kids must go through eventually: Dog. Everything in life turned to revolving around getting a dog. It wasn’t that I’d grown up without one. Buddy, a refined Great Pyr mix, was my childhood best friend and was easily lured on adventures with snacks. But, at the end of the day, he wasn’t mine. He was content to be my mother’s dog, and have me as a companion. When this dawned on me, I became obsessed. I wanted a dog, a puppy preferably, I could love and raise as my own. We’d…

Most of us can make food at home — yet restaurants are still largely ‘essential’ and remaining open.

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Photo by Sebastian Coman Photography on Unsplash

I don’t often work five days in a row. In our restaurant, it’s an unsaid but well-known thing — five days is close to cruel. One day off halfway through the week and then one day off near the end of it gives us a chance to just catch up with sleep and maybe take the dog on the long-delayed extended walk. There are levels to the difficulty of days in the week. I’d take a week full of days with Wednesday-level sales if it meant I wasn’t working the weekend. Lately, things have changed. There’s few of us to…

It wasn’t the way I had remembered it as a child

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Photo: Izabelle Acheson via Unsplash

Growing up, petting zoos were the highlight of any event. I was a shy kid who avoided a lot of unnecessary social interaction, but if someone was having a birthday party with petting zoo animals, you could count me in. Parents always made negative comments, but they were mainly focused on the astronomical prices for handfuls of corn to feed nibbling baby goats or sheep. Years later, when I was offered a position at an educational farm featuring, you guessed it, a large petting zoo, I leapt at the opportunity. Marketed as an educational experience for kids who loved animals…

It doesn’t have to be so hard for your groomer — or your pet

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Photo: Александр Гросс via Unsplash

Even my brief experience as a boarding kennel attendant made me grow painfully aware of just how many people aren’t fully competent as far as basic pet care. We saw plenty of well-maintained Pomeranians and poodles, but there were also dogs with downright concerning baseball-sized mats (often concealing abundances of ticks and fleas) and mysterious objects trapped in layers and layers of never-brushed fur. We had a small grooming facility, with only one full-time groomer; the rest of us came in to assist with basic tasks like bathing or holding our furry friends still for nail clips. For many people…

With fewer people on the streets, our urban birds are going without

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Photo: Viktor Kern via Unsplash

Feeding our urban wildlife is almost always discouraged — by wildlife biologists and business owners alike. Urban wildlife often includes many invasive species that we don’t want continuing to breed and expand into other habitats, and many fear that city birds like pigeons carry diseases transmittable to humans (possible, but very rare). Business owners dislike them because they wander outside buildings and leave excrement wherever they go, leading to an unkempt look that may scare off potential customers. But lately, there’s been a change of heart by some towards pigeons, sparrows, and other scavenging city birds. …

We all know our restaurants’ food isn’t as good the 4th time in a week.

Working long shifts in the food industry, it’s not uncommon to return home later than expected after a large order was placed five minutes before closing and one of the condiment guns exploded, exhausted and utterly unwilling to make yourself food after preparing it for hundreds of others over the day. And that’s perfectly okay. These are the nights when it’s a blessing to take home food; the mistakes, leftovers, ugly and unusable pieces the customers didn’t want. It may not be aesthetically pleasing or perfect, but it’s much better than trying to make your own food before collapsing into…

All the beauty of a Husky or Malamute, without all of the destruction.

Wolves are beautiful, intelligent creatures — that make horrible pets (and if you’re still thinking about it — they’re often illegal). And unfortunately, most dogs who have features reminiscent of their ancestors are, too. Huskies, Malamutes, and other large, hyper, strong-willed breeds that make challenging pets; they require experience, tons of exercise, a secure large fenced-in space, and constant entertainment. Even if you really desire a dog with their body shape and markings — you shouldn’t take the jump if it’s something you can’t handle, at least for the dog’s sake. But luckily, there’s plenty of options if you have…

Often marketed as simple to care for creatures, there’s a long list of demands for these exotic pets.

Pet parrots have long been found as companion animals. Once kept mainly as a status symbol, parrots ranging the chipper budgie (yes, they are parrots too) to the difficult macaw family can now be found in almost any household. Granted — that isn’t always a good thing. Many people have no idea of the commitment they are taking on when bringing home a psittacine pet. Characterized in movies and TV as being able to be kept in a cage in the corner, with pet stores advocating for simply seed diets, proper care for parrots is marketed as much simpler than…

Finding new ways to occupy bored pups in a busy household.

Dogs are versatile, adaptable animals who can live in almost any household situation. From small apartments to mansions, there’s a dog breed that can thrive and fit into almost anyone’s life. Despite how different they’ve become over the years, dogs are still the direct descendants of wolves; and they retain some of their wild instincts and behaviors. If you’re a busy dog owner, it can be hard to keep your pup entertained as you juggle work, family, and daily life.

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Photo by Yuki Dog on Unsplash

Dogs are intelligent pack animals who need challenges; trying to provide the mental stimulation they crave can feel overwhelming and…

Take this “doctor’s note” and stick it.

Let’s be honest here — nobody’s dream is to work at a low-paying cashier job. But for many of us, it’s what we have to do. And despite a bladder disorder that makes it hard for me to stay in one place without breaks and a general dislike of human interaction, that’s where I found myself.

At my former place of employment, we were all permitted one 30-minute lunch break and two 15-minute breaks throughout our shift — more generous than many other corporations, for sure, but not enough to be adequate for my needs. So I politely asked my…

Patrick Kuklinski

I wanted to be a famous and successful author as a kid. Now I do this. Check out my zines at

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