A Winter Solstice Poem

Dear friends,

Today is December 21st, the winter solstice. It’s the darkest day of the year and for me, the most beautiful. Yes, there is deep beauty in darkness. There is wisdom there too. I have long associated with Persephone, the queen goddess who is cast into the underworld every autumn. For half the year, she stays underground, only to emerge in the spring bringing her warmth and bounty.

I believe that the underworld can be a place of learning and beauty. If we stop fighting the darkness, it will show us its teachings. P.S. Persephone is a poem I wrote recently from the perspective of my favorite queen goddess. I hope you enjoy it.

P.S. Persephone

You know my story.
Abducted to the underworld,
offered pomegranate seeds. Yes,
I ate them. What else was I to do?

My mother, in her rage,
made soils barren, skies bleak.
My father tried to bring me back
but I only come spring through fall.

People talk about us.
My parents, my abduction,
me as innocent pawn.
But they forget:

I am the power.
I alone bring Spring.
My return from the dark
brings the fruit.

I love going dark and cold.
When I’m there,
I don’t miss the sun.

Good News & a Howling Bunker

Dog Medicine has had the huge honor of winning the Nautilus Book Award. Unknown It received a silver in the Psychology category.

This feels extra special because these awards are given for “exceptional literary contributions to spiritual growth, conscious living and green values, high-level wellness, responsible leadership and positive social change.”


Bunker howled whenever he was happy. I’d like to think he’s howling now, wherever he is.

Photo by Bev Sparks, taken in 2000 in the Ravenna District of Seattle.  dogphotography.com

Order a personalized copy of Dog Medicine for the holidays!

Hi friends, ls

For a thoughtful holiday gift, you can order signed and personalized copies of Dog Medicine from Great Good Place for Books, a wonderful local bookstore here in Oakland, CA.

Click here to place an order. You can put your personalization request in the comments.

  • Order by December 18th for free shipping!
  • Order by December 23rd for in-store pickup.

Thank you!

Order Now!

Great News

Remember what I wrote in the last blog post about how the full moon launch of Dog Medicine meant the world to me?

Today at about 3PM PST I got a phone call from the lovely folks at Penguin Books telling me that Dog Medicine has landed a #3 spot on the New York Times Bestsellers list in the Animals category!

And you know what phase the moon is in tonight, right?


Thank you, Bunker. Thank you, readers. I’m so moved by all of this. Truly.

Launch Day, Full Moon

“The moon on June 26, 1996, the day Bunker came into my life, was 68 percent full and waxing. Moment by moment, it grew bigger and brighter. Bunker and I found each other when the moon was half full, the light half returned. We would begin the process of growing and healing together alongside the moon: brighter each day, little by little.”       –Excerpted from Dog Medicine 

wolfmoonToday is the launch day for the Penguin edition of Dog Medicine, How My Dog Saved Me From Myself. The publisher chose the launch date:  July 19th, 2016.

July 19th, 2016 is a full moon. I didn’t realize this until I looked at a lunar calendar last week. I gasped, of course, because it’s the brightest night of the month. There’s light in the darkness tonight.

There are only twelve full moons a year. The fact that Dog Medicine is being launched on one of them is, to me, another sign that this story matters, that it can help some people, that the natural world knows more than we ever could, and she’s on our side. It’s also my beautiful Bunker saying, “Go mama!” Even the skeptic in me can’t overlook this one.

Some Native American tribes believe that wolves howled the moon into existence. Isn’t that a beautiful idea? That the wolf howl–that mournful cry brimming with sorrow, hope, longing, and connection–birthed this incredible lunar life force.

Go out and look at the moon tonight and take a long, deep breath. And remember– just like my mom always says, no matter where we live or who we are, we’re all looking up at the same moon. Even when the world seems so crazy and disconnected, we are all deeply connected.