I was honored to be inducted in the Dog Writer's Association of America Hall of Fame in 2012 (their youngest inductee ever)! As I had done several times before, I spoke at the swanky banquet (for decades held the night before the Westminster Dog Show) as well, as I will again tonight, February 10.
Here's a portion of what I had to say:
"As my newspaper columns are syndicated and in around 100 papers - in the paper and online, and I write for USA Weekend....Many millions read what I writes. And using social media and email, I hear back about what they have to say, or ask me about. We'll you'll see what I mean.
"Dear Steve, How do I stop my terrier from chasing squirrels in the back yard?"
My reply. hope for literate squirrels who can read a sign that says, "Danger, Dog in Yard."
Here are more:
*"Do I sleep with my dog, or does my dog sleep with me?"
*"My dog isn’t the most friendly but my 7-year-old Cocker Spaniel mix loves my piano teacher. Katie, the dog, howls when I play the piano? Mrs. Worthington then winks at her. Seriously, could they be conspiring against me?"
*"On a walk with our dog, Payton, we met two lesbians – you could tell, you know the type. They had a female Miniature Schnauzer named Butch. This is wrong. Really isn’t it against the humane society to make their dog into lesbian?"
I do receive many letters which are touching.
*"Dear Steve, your advice was perfect – we’ve kept the dog with my mom, and she’s perked up a lot now that she has her little best friend back. There may come a time when as the dog ages, we’ll need a caretaker for my mom and her dog. Your were right, they will enjoy the rest of their years together. Seeing them with one another makes your heart melt."
"Dear Steve Dale, My name Is Evin Janik and I'm in 7th grade and I live in Batavia IL, I’m doing a research project on Pit Bulls because I have a 9 month old Pit Bull named Ollie and an American Bulldog named Ruby. Today at school while researching I read one of your articles and decided to email you. I have now looked through most of your Pit Bull articles and I am sure to use most everyone for my project. I appreciate your determination to save the Pit bull name and your love for the breed. I'm sure all the Pit bulls appreciate it!"
Following story in USA Weekend about the benefits of sharing your home and life with a dog….and received this note.
"You stupid **expletive***!!! How you can think having an ***expletive***expletive****, dog to ****expletive****all over might make life better? We’re fine – we don’t need an ***expletive****expletive dog. You’re a ****expletive**** you ***expletive!****
my reply: "Dear Sir, thank you for your “articulate” letter, which by the way, illustrates perfectly why I often prefer dogs to people."