“Get the Name of the Dog.”

From Roy Peter Clark on poynter.org.:

Our dog Rex, a Jack Russell terrier, turned 18 years old this week. He was mentioned in The New York Times a few years ago; I was quoted as saying that my wife Karen and I loved that dog more than we loved each other. More on the consequences of that quote later.

For now, I will use Rex’s birthday to return to the first writing tool I learned at the newspaper previously known as the St. Petersburg Times. Reporters, I was told by the brass, must never come home from a story without the name of the dog.

Stated more directly, “Get the name of the dog.”

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