Dogs for Devereux!

Watson at Danehy Dog Park
Watson at Danehy Dog Park

Cambridge Canine blogger and longtime resident Jan Devereux is a candidate for a seat on the Cambridge City Council in the November 2015 election.

Hi Readers,

I’m writing to ask for your #1 vote in this year’s City Council election. As a dog owner/lover and a strong advocate for the equitable sharing of the city’s limited open space resources, I would lobby for more dog parks to accommodate the growing dog population. Cambridge is experiencing a housing boom, and this growth creates an opportunity and an obligation to create more shared spaces where dogs can play safely off-leash and where dog people can enjoy each other’s company and build community.

You can read more about my other political values on my campaign website:

If you would like a frisbee with my campaign logo on it, please contact me at

I hope I can count on your support in November! Remember, I need your #1 vote to win.

Jan Devereux

Luis resting after a game of frisbee



Changes to City’s Dog Regs & New Shared-Use Hours

Sign at Fresh Pond
Sign at Fresh Pond

As residential development spikes and Cambridge’s human population climbs, so too does our canine population. In a city as densely population as ours, such rapid growth increases the potential for conflict between human and canine users of our limited open space resources. For the past several years the City’s Animal Commission (aka Animal Control) has been reviewing its regulations, fines and fees, while in 2013 an Off-Leash Working Group was appointed to study shared-use facilities. The Working Group supports the recommended changes to the ordinance, which were discussed and placed on file at the Council’s June 15th hearing.

All residents dogs are encouraged to review the proposed changes to the ordinance and the working group’s report. In the “stick” department fines for the failure to scoop, license, or leash all would be increased. In addition the Fresh Pond park rangers would gain the authority to enforce the stricter regulations. In the “carrot” department new shared-use hours will go into effect this summer at Joan Lorentz Park (Mid-Cambridge, 8-10 AM), Hoyt Field (Riverside, 6-9 AM), and Greene Rose Heritage Park (Area IV, 6-9 AM).

Off-Leash Working Group recommendations.

Proposed Changes to Animal Control Regulations.

Entrance to Joan Lorentz Park
Entrance to Joan Lorentz Park


“Coffee with a Canine” Interviews Us

One dog, one vote?
One dog, one vote?

Recently Cambridge Canine blogger Jan Devereux and her dog Eddie were interviewed for the “Coffee with a Canine” blog.

The interview includes a shout-out for a favorite local bookstore (Porter Square Books) and a plug for Jan’s recently declared candidacy for Cambridge City Council.

Unfortunately dogs do not have the right to vote, but March is the month when we all need to renew our Cambridge dog licenses. Please be a good citizen and license your dog.

Pet Supply Drive: March 2015

A local dental clinic is running a pet supply drive for the month of March 2015 to benefit Broken Tail Rescue.

FLYERS A local dental clinic is running a pet supply drive for the month of March 2015 to benefit Broken Tail Rescue.

Please consider donating pet food, treats, toys, blankets, collars and leashes to West Somerville Dental Associates at 124 College Ave. , Somerville (near Powder House Sq.). Call 617-625-0543 with any questions.


Letter to Jeff Bezos

Recently I attended a reading by Martha White at Porter Square Books in Cambridge. Ms. White, as you may know, is the granddaughter of author E.B. White and the editor of a new collection of his writing, “E.B. White on Dogs.”

Martha White (R) with members of the audience
Martha White (R) with fans

Last week I went to a local bookstore for a reading by the granddaughter of my favorite author and the inspiration for my other blog, Salutations!. An audience of about thirty people and five dogs (a trio of retired greyhound racers, a three-legged shepherd mix who, according to her companion, enjoys hearing Beatrix Potter stories read aloud, and a boisterous dachshund named for a large biting fly native to Africa) crowded in the back of the small store for the reading and the Q&A that followed. At several points the audience applauded enthusiastically and the dachshund barked loudly. It seemed to me that the smallest member of the assembled book lovers had a great deal more to say, so in the epistolary spirit of several of the selected readings I am sharing a letter she might have penned afterward to Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon. Continue reading “Letter to Jeff Bezos”

Eddie’s Excellent Adventure

I was stunned to get a call from the Cambridge Police last week, informing me my itchy homebody of a dog was loose on a city street about three miles from my house.

Under the table is Eddie's favorite spot. Sometimes he has company.
Under the table is Eddie’s favorite spot. Sometimes he has company.

For the past several months my dog, Eddie, has been hunkered down under our dining room table, afraid to venture out into the maws of the Huron Village Big Dig. I have to bribe him to leave the house, and half the time he drags me back inside once we get to the end of the driveway, and he hears, smells, and sees all the construction activity. You’ve heard the expression, “That dog won’t hunt.”? Well, mine won’t walk. On top of his construction phobia, Eddie has been suffering from severe dermatological problems since last fall, so he wears a Thundershirt 24/7 to control his nervous scratching. Sadly, my hypoallergenic cockapoo is, himself, plagued with allergies.

So, I was stunned to get a call from the Cambridge Police last week, informing me that my itchy homebody of a dog was loose on a city street about three miles from my house. Continue reading “Eddie’s Excellent Adventure”

What’s a Dog For?

Maurice Sendak drawing in "A Hole is to Dig"
Maurice Sendak drawing in “A Hole is to Dig”

A Hole is to Dig by Ruth Krauss (Harper & Brothers, 1952) was one of my favorite childhood books. I still have the well-worn copy I pored over as a child. Only a small child would wonder, “What’s a hole for?”—and only a small child would be completely satisfied with the tautology of the title’s answer. The book’s lasting appeal lies partly in the knowing innocence of its narrative structure (subtitled A First Book of First Definitions, the text dispenses entirely with the questions and jumps Jeopardy-style right to the answers), and more so in a young Maurice Sendak’s drawings of children and dogs cavorting. Krauss opines, “The world is so you have something to stand on.”; “A lap is so you don’t get crumbs n the floor.”; “Toes are to wiggle.”; and “Dogs are to kiss people.” Continue reading “What’s a Dog For?”

Teaching Kids “Dog Literacy”

Just as important as making sure your dog can be trusted around babies and children is teaching your children how to interact safely with dogs. Cambridge’s Adria Karlsson of Click ‘n’ Treat offers training services geared to families with children.

dog & baby together
Babies & Dogs Can Be Best Friends -- with Training

In a previous life, moving to Paris when the first of my three children was a month old would have been great fodder for a mommy blog – if only the Internet had existed in 1988. Back then, I knew even less about parenting than I knew about dogs when I launched this blog a little over a year ago as a way to keep busy during a stretch of unemployment. Time wasn’t the only thing I had on my hands – I also had a new puppy. I needed an organizing principle for my writing, so I stretched the old adage “write what you know” to fit my circumstances. In addition to teaching me how much I still have to learn about dogs, one of the benefits of hanging up my virtual shingle as a dog blogger has been the real-life connections I’ve made through Cambridge Canine with bona fide dog experts. Continue reading “Teaching Kids “Dog Literacy””

Find Snappy: The Search Continues

Lost Cambridge dog is being closely tracked

With Hurricane Sandy bearing down on the Northeast today, most of us are hunkered down safe and dry at home. But not Snappy. The 4-year-old Weimaraner from Cambridge went missing in September while on a walk at the reservoir in Burlington.

The good news is that Snappy is apparently still alive after seven weeks on the lam. The bad news is that she has, so far, eluded a sophisticated search effort mounted by her distraught family. And now the hurricane’s approach has heightened everyone’s anxiety.

A renown K9 detective from Nebraska (Karin TarQwyn) has deployed a tracking dog to follow Snappy’s scent and has installed feeding stations with cameras (and yes, a trap) along her known route.

At last report, Snappy’s path loops through West Woburn, Winchester, Lexington and Arlington, taking her along utility line corridors, across conservation areas and golf courses and through residential neighborhoods (especially on garbage days). She appears to be circling and is likely trying to find her way home to Cambridge, where the gate to her family’s yard stands open.

To spread awareness and share updates, the family has created a Find Snappy Facebook page that has garnered 1,345 likes in just two weeks. The large, laminated flyers with her photo are ubiquitous and hard to miss. No stone has been left unturned, and yet Snappy has managed to stay one step ahead of her trackers.

Snappy is understandably frightened and skittish, so if you spot her do NOT chase her on foot or try to catch her. Instead, call her owner Anne at 617-256-8772. Also, do NOT post the locations of sightings on the Facebook page, as this may encourage well-meaning people to pursue Snappy and scare her into deeper hiding.

Snappy and family: we are all pulling for you to be reunited soon!



Sit. Stay… Read!

Mr. November 2013
Mr. November 2013

Independent bookstores are a dying breed, even in Cambridge, where I wouldn’t be surprised if some of the dogs have PhD’s or at least master’s. So I am pleased to see Porter Square Books thriving and paying it forward by supporting Last Hope K-9 Rescue with its “Sit. Stay… Read!” 2013 benefit calendar. I am also proud to see Eddie among the local dogs featured on the calendar; he’s Mr. November in honor of the Barack’s Best Friend leash he was wearing when he posed for his photo in front of a stack of political books. Let’s hope that in November of 2013, Bo still has the run of the White House lawn.

The “Sit. Stay… Read!” calendar sells for $15, and all proceeds will go to support Last Hope’s mission to keep dogs out of kill shelters through foster and rescue programs. Stop by Porter Square Books and get your calendar while the supply lasts.

Also check out their program of author talks and events. One that caught my eye: Cambridge author, Boston Globe columnist and friend Joan Wickersham will be discussing her forthcoming collection of stories, The News From Spain: Seven Variations on a Love Story (Knopf, 2012) on Thursday, October 18 at 7 PM.