Saturday, January 01, 2011

Changing Directions

About fifteen years ago, I created a little web site called Rat Dog.  This was before Bob Weir of the Grateful Dead created a band of the same name.  The URL for my site was simply an extension of my Internet service provider account, and I do not think Google had been invented yet.

About 12 years ago, in order to avoid problems with Bob Weir, I folded up Rat Dog (losing some pages in the process) and made it a subsidiary of another web site that I started, called

From the beginning this new web site was designed to provide something that simply did not exist in the world of terriers -- a place where people could learn a few basics about how to dig on the dogs without making the kind of mistakes that invariably rain misfortune down on the heads of the four legged.  The site went up like all things -- one brick at a time over a lot of days, weeks, months and years.

About eight years ago, I created an online bulletin board as an outgrowth of the Terrierman web site, but I was unhappy with the format which offered no mechanism for pictures or video, and was almost impossible to search.

About seven years ago, I discovered Google Blogger which provides unlimited free Internet space and the tools to communicate with pictures, video and text to whoever might be interested. Perfect!

A little over five years ago, in anger and in frustration that once again a dog had needlessly died in the field due to human incompetency, I wrote a quick book called American Working Terriers to serve as a rough-and-ready instruction manual on the basics of terrier work in general, and American terrier work in particular. The need for such a book was apparent to me.  To this day, there are only three practical books on terrier work, the first written in 1560, and the second written in 1931. American Working Terriers is the third.

Now, after seven years and over 4,000 posts on this blog, I am calling it quits, at least for now.

The simple story is that I have other things to do and I need time to do them. No, I do not know what they are yet, only that the arc of this blog is over, at least for the moment.   I would rather throw balls with the dogs than feed the Blog Beast, and I have other things to write in any case.

So, for now, it is adios, and yes there is a chance I may be back a year from now after I get a few things off the deck.  

We shall see.


Miki said...

Ahhhhh.... - thank you, Patrick. I've enjoyed reading and learning from your blog for the past couple of years. You will be missed.

Happy New Year!

Unknown said...

I'll miss this blog more than I can say. It is my favorite reading on the internet and I find myself quoting it all the time. I have often wondered how you found the time to put up so much quality content; it seemed like a huge work load for one who had another life or lives, which you clearly do.
This is the worst news of the year for me yet. I hope it proves good news for you and yours and I wish you all the best in the future.

Scott A Webb

P.S. Solved my site access problems just in time!

Unknown said...

Failed to sign my comment posted earlier. Read the Zombie link after the fact. A big "Right on" there too.

And I might have forgotten to say thank you. Thank you for sharing your work.

Scott A. Webb

L Day said...

All the best to you and the dogs. I have learned from your blog and enjoyed it immensely. Thanks for sharing your knowledge.
L. Day
Bozeman, MT

Anonymous said...

I'll miss you! I have found your blog educational, entertaining and occasionally annoying, but always one of my favorites on the web. Thank you so much and best wishes in your future endeavors.
Jane A.

Unknown said...

I'm sorry to here it, but I had often wondered where you got the energy to write so frequently. Speaking truth to power about the dog world is thankless job and we are lucky to have a working dog guy with a global and reasoned POV to put things in perspective. Good luck on your new direction and new projects. Best wishes to you and your family in the New Year!


Lisa said...

I've really enjoyed your blog - it's one of my regular reads. Sorry to see it go but I get it - enjoy what will hopefully turn out to be an extended holiday rather than a retirement.



The Dog House said...

Patrick, say it isn't so!

Your blog has become... a part of my day. I've read, disagreed, argued, agreed, defended, and above all LEARNED from almost every post.

The dog world will be a dimmer place without this blog, my friend. However, we must take us where life leads us. Here's hoping it leads you back, and wherever it leads you it does so in health, happiness, and dirt - like only a terrier can.

Much respect,


Jenn said...

Well, I'll still stop in occasionally to see if you've posted.

Daily is a hard schedule to meet!

Hope to see you 'around'.


Water Over The Dam said...

I'll miss reading your blog but yes, blogging is too much work!

Marie said...

Oh I am so sorry to hear this, I always look forward to reading here, there is always so much to learn. I can totally understand though with the depth you delve into subjects, it has got to take a toll eventually.

I can only speak for myself, I will miss your blogs a lot, as I have learned from many of them.

Take time to smell the roses and dig on the dogs more, enjoy your family. Hopefully you will be back.

In the interim, please be sure to show up on FB from time to time.

Best wishes from a big fan.


Doug said...

Um.... What am I going to read every day now?

Luisa said...

Patrick, I'll miss your posts, and will look forward to future ones, and I wish you all the best during 2011. Give your pups a pat for me, and don't stay gone for too long!

Oh ,and if this is just a ruse to get yourself off my blogroll, dude, it's so not gonna work.

Take care --


jdlvtrn said...

New Year, new directions. Sorry to lose your perspective, but respect your priorities.

non-terrier, but long term dog person

Janice Dougherty

Tom Hardy said...

Thank you for everything you have shared. You'll be missed very much.
Tom Hardy

Tom Hardy said...

Thank you very much for all you have shared. I will miss this blog very much. Wish we could meet and hunt together some day.
Good luck to you.
Tom Hardy

Viatecio said...

I wish you the best,'s been lovely reading all your information and learning about terrier work, veterinary and drug company frauds, and general odds/ends that you find on your travels.

Real life really IS better anyway.

Your family and dogs will probably appreciate the extra time spent with them, too!


J.Deans said...

Aw, really sorry to see you go. Thanks for all the great posts and insights I've really enjoyed this blog.

Seahorse said...

Wow, like everyone else already said. This is not only an essential stop in my daily whirl 'round the net, but it's by far my favorite stop. I have learned an incredible amount I never knew, and have been reminded to be more thoughtful and a more careful thinker in all respects. You've linked out to many interesting sites I never knew existed, which have done more for me than you can ever know. I hope you'll leave the blog up as an archive and reference, because it is such a rich, vast wonder.

I, too, wish you the very best in whatever lies ahead for you, Patrick, and can only hope that you feel the deep gratitude of people like me who have gained so much reading your work every day. You have been more than helpful as I got back into terrier ownership, and my dog thanks you, too. I'm certain I've made far fewer mistakes with her than I'd have done without your help and encouragement. Enjoy what I hope is a hiatus and not a goodbye. I guess I'm gonna have to do the worst, the very thing I'd hoped to avoid...look for a friend request on FB. You drove me to it! HaHA!

Seahorse ---> Needs emoticon for all feelings at once ;)

Unknown said...

Enjoy your time off and know that your writing will be missed. The blog is a wealth of information about terriers and common sense. At least people will still be able to go through all of the great older articles you have written.

Jonathan Setter said...

This is sad news for us who look forward to our daily updates. I cannot tell you just how much I have learned from this blog, and also how much good information has now been passed around in our terrier circles here. So much respect and thanks to you for the many hours of hard work and dedication to your work. Please keep us posted occasionally with some Coffee and Provocation. Maybe a monthly bulletin sometime when you feel like it? God Bless You Patrick. Have a wonderful 2011 with your family and dogs. Jonathan CT

T. Laurel Sulfate said...

You'll be missed. Thanks for the good reading. The Daily Dose has been a regular read for years now, and its absence will definitely leave holes in my days.


Jemima Harrison said...

I am gutted, Patrick, truly.


Sheila said...

Thank you for the time you have already given us - you provide invaluable information and a well informed point of view. I will miss your articles, but you have to live in the now and play with the dogs!

- Sheila

Oatlands Keep -- Jane M. said...

Mr. Burns.
I am So disappointed to hear this news. I was going to nominate you for a Bloggies award for the best kept "secret" blog, I will truly miss your perspective, reasoning and humor. I have learned so much and felt vindicated in my decisions over time to not fall for the vets' push of year round poison, useless pre-anethsia bloodwork and other expensive scams that none of my many rescues have needed...if you ever want to dig Oatlands, drop me a line..Jane M. Leesburg, Va.

Lisa Paddock said...

What a loss! I cannot begin to say how much I have learned here and how indebted I am to you. As another commentator noted, speaking for the dogs is largely a thankless and wearying job, but you have led the pack. So, my thanks. Godspeed.

Lisa in Cape May County, NJ

Rick said...

Thank you for all I've learned on your blog in the last couple of years. See you somewhere else!

mscriver said...

Everything changes. I accept it, but I sure don't like it. Still, you're too valuable to hoard. Every good wish.

Prairie Mary

EMac said...

Your common sense, as well as your senses of humor *and* outrage will be missed. Thank you for all you've done for working terriers and dogs in general. Will look forward to someday stumbling across the next incarnation of The Terrierman.

EMac and Sienna Smile-A-Bull, CGCx3

Smuff said...

Thanks for all of your effort on this blog. It has become a daily check for me over the years. I have truly enjoyed it.

Good luck and take care.

YesBiscuit! said...

All good thoughts for your future endeavors. Lucky dogs getting more balls thrown for them!

Chas S. Clifton said...

I'm bummed, Patrick. Where do I go for dog rants, history, and how to avoid what the vets are marketing now?

Simba said...

Sorry you've stopped posting, but grateful for your insights and observations. Thank you, and good luck!

Megan said...

Thank you, Patrick, for your blog.

I don't always agree with you, but I am always impressed with the level of research, thought, and common sense that goes into your writing. This blog utterly changed the way I look at my dogs, at the AKC, and at the "fancy" that I grew up in. It gave me a starting-point to think about what I want to see changed. I didn't comment much, but I read every day, and you did not disappoint.

Thank you for sharing with us. Best of luck in your other endeavors!


Moderador said...

Liked your articles, liked your comments but specially liked your love for terriers and your willingness to transfer some of your knoledge to people who wanted to learn. Hope you come back soon.

SP from Mexico City.

Unknown said...

Well, bother! I'm a late-comer to your site and blog, and have never (intentionally, at least) dug on any of my 3 terriers but I've sure learned a lot from you and your posts. Enjoy your hiatus, but do come back Patrick.

HurricaneDeck said...

I wish you the very best, and I will miss the hell out of this blog.

I hope though, for my own purely selfish reasons, that the page will stay up so that it can be searched and referenced to. I mean, where else am I going to point people to so that they may learn about Kill Devil Terriers??

Best wishes,

The crazy crew at Hurricane Deck

Sean said...

OH NO! This is hard news. This is the site that I jump to during the day when practicing law becomes tedious and stressful (that is often). The writing of someone who knows whereof he speaks is a great asset and great escape. It will be not easily be replaced.

I have not yet purchased American Working Terriers. Now I have no choice.

Hemingway (and others I am sure) said that the hallmark of good writing is truth. The thing that Patrick has been able to do so often (and so regularly) is express the truth. Reading the truth, even if it is about digging for groundhogs is worth your time every time. That is why this blog has been so successful and the long line of comments above attests to how much people have gained from reading here.

It may sound overly dramatic, but it is a great loss to have an island of truth and reason removed from my little map of the internet. It will be greatly missed. I have read here and become totally absorbed, I have argued with Patrick, but much more often agreed with him. Even when I disagreed, I could not have criticized his logical approach and appeal to authority. You would have made a fearsome lawyer, Patrick.

Good luck and thank you for your work here Patrick,


James Hemby said...

Thanks for all the education and entertainment along the way ... I stumbled onto your blog (not remembering now exactly how) and have read you religiously ever since. Yours was a set of well written, insightful observations and passions in a sea of pablum. Thanks and all the best.

PBurns said...

THANK YOU ALL for the *very* kind comments. I am not ending all -- only redirecting to do something a bit different. The blog has simply prevented me from writing other things, and now I feel a need to write those things. We shall see how long that takes (and if I can actually do it), but to say I am flattered and thankful to you dedicated readers is an understatement. As for the blog, it will stay up for anyone to read or tease through as their time permits.

Again, much thanks!


Mark Churchill said...

Jumping on the bandwagon late, but I just read the news. I will miss reading new posts—though obviously the back numbers can keep me going for a long time—but I understand what a black hole for time TDD must be. Good luck with your next endeavour, whatever that turns out to be, and I hope you'll eventually make it back here.

Best always,


Yardy said...

You will be missed. I visited your blog multiple times daily. Your content and commentary was always first-rate. Thanks for all the information and thoughtful analysis. May God keep you well PBurns.

Warm Regards,


Unknown said...

Thank you Patrick for this wonderful blog I looked forward to each day. I have learned a great deal from you and wish you the very best always. You have been so generous with your time and knowledge....Thank you so much!
Concord, California

Laura L. said...

Well dang it all Patrick. Why in the world would you want to have a life? I'm just kidding. I've gotten so much enjoyment (and learned a lot)from reading your posts. Go enjoy your dogs and whatever it is you decide to do!

Denise said...

I will greatly miss the Daily Dose. As many others have already said, the quality of your Blog was exceptional. It kept me coming back for more.

Best wishes in the new year and in your new direction.


seeker said...

I was mortified to hear you will no longer be posting on your blog. I have learned so much from you. I only have one request and that is that you leave up your previous blogs so that we who found you later in your efforts can go back and read your insightful comments on our shared world. Every time I go back and look up an old link I find more fascinating things.
I'm dearly hoping that someday you will find the time to start posting again, but I understand and hope I can continue reading your older blogs.
Thanks again for everything.

Debi and the TX JRTs

Tenacious T said...

Thanks for all the great articles over the years. I've truly enjoyed your blog.

You'll be back. I've quit blogging no less than 8 times, and I always come back.

I quit once to write a book. When I was done, I was back to blogging.

There are certain people who have something to say, and a need to say it.

Steve Bodio said...

Late to comment but you know we will miss you! Keep us informed on what you are doing next...

Federico said...

Well, so long, and thanks for the informative and interesting blog. One of my most frequent stops, I always enjoyed your writing, and I am not even interested in terrier work!

Best of luck for any future plan, and a pat to the dogs from a reader.

Federico, London (UK)

Anonymous said...

Also late to the party, but wanted to express my thanks for all the wonderful posts, along with my disappointment with their being cut off.

Not that I begrudge you every right to move on to other projects. Just sorry to see you go!

Franziska said...

So sorry to hear you're shutting down the blog, but our reading pleasure was funded by your hard work; totally understand the need to take a break. Great job, Terrierman!

Anton said...

Sorry to see the blog go.

Cat and Daisy Lynn Rudert said...

What a bummer. I hate when this happens. I join the rest in saying that you will be missed.

I am another one that has learned so much from you. I hope you decided to throw us all bone and do a few postings from time to time????

Oh well, we all march on.

Thanks Patrick.

Cat, Chaps and Emma

Jerry said...

I've really enjoyed reading your blog. Thanks for your insight and investigation into the facts.

Best of luck in your new endeavors!


Fast Pup Dog Training said...

Patrick: I am so sorry to hear this but completely understand! I am hoping to catch up on older blog posts since I just discovered your wonderful blog a few months back. Have a great 2011! (Its going to be a VERY interesting year.)

Kate Johansson

AnnB said...

Good luck with the new ventures.

The Scottish Terrier and Dog News will miss you and your insights.

But I understand exactly where you're coming from.

All the very best,


K9-CRAZY said...

It looks like many are missing your posts - I'm one of them. Enjoy the writing, hunting and ball throwing!

The Suburban Bushwacker said...


So long and thanks for all the fish


Ash said...


Just wanted to say that I've enjoyed your blog ever since my days with TAF and I'll be sad to not be able to read new posts for a while. Good luck with everything else!!


jdg said...

Sounds like others have said what I wish to say. Dont always agree, but always enjoy your information, insight, and truth you have learned. Your work is worth reading. Thanks david g. and our family who hunts.