Tag Archives: Pet

A Morbid Tale: In Which Our Heroine Poisons a Stray

28 Jun

We had no pets growing up. Wait, strike that, we had a bird. When I was eight we took over a parakeet from a neighbor and I named him Nicki. It was the only pet we could have besides fish because my mom is horribly allergic to all animals with fur, and I wasn’t that great at keeping goldfish won at my elementary school’s fundraising fair alive. So when my mom found a stray dog wandering in the road I thought this was my chance to befriend a dog for real.

Hold up, let me back up for a moment. I was in fifth grade, and my favorite book was Where the Red Fern Grows. I thought that if I could only get around the whole ‘my mom will die if we get a dog’ thing, that the lucky canine would be the best friend I’d never had. I would read him books and dress him in my little sister’s clothes, and he would sleep at my feet like a living stuffed animal and lick my ice cream cones like that dog in Beethoven. My grandma had a dog, but by that time he was old and was not interested in listening to my books, much less being dressed up, and I only saw him once a week or so anyway, so he didn’t qualify as a doggie bff. So when this scraggly mutt wandered in front of our house and my tender-hearted mother took him in (and promptly locked him outside in the backyard) all I could think was, “This is it. My chance to have a real dog best friend.”

I totally ignored the fact that the dog had tags and my mom called the owners, who said they’d be by to pick him up in a few hours. It mattered not; this dog and I had a date with destiny.

Mom made dinner with chocolate chip cookies for desert, and we must have had people over because I remember there being a lot of talking and her not paying much attention to me. I only had eyes for that mangy dog, so the details about who was over are fuzzy. But I definitely remember the cookies. Dinner took forever because I couldn’t wait to get back to my doggie friend. I wasn’t allowed to open the steel-gated door (to say the street we lived on in SoCal was sketchy would be an understatement) to pet the “strange” (according to mom) dog, much less go outside and play with it, so I sat at the door talking to the pooch through the metal. To his credit, he was a great listener, though I didn’t want to take my eyes off him long enough to run and get a book to try reading him stories. I appreciated his attention, and wanted to find a way to show him how much I loved him. Yes, we had only just met, but I was convinced that we had a special bond with all the conviction an 9-year-old struck with puppy love is capable of mustering, and I wanted to do something nice for dog as a token of my friendship. So I gave him the second half of my cookie.

Yes, I broke the “don’t open the door or else” rule, but I was quick, and only opened it enough to stick the proffered cookie through the crack. Harmless, right? Just as Fido finished licking his chops, my mom came around the corner.

“Finished your cookie already?” she asked.

“No, I gave it to Dog,” I said proudly, hoping she would overlook my flouting of the door rule and praise my selfless generosity, offering me another cookie (or two) as reward for making the dog feel so at home.

So not what happened.

“You did WHAT?!?” shrieked my mom as she rushed to my side and peered tentatively out the door at the mutt.

“What’s wrong? He’s okay, he liked it!” I insisted, but mom kept looking at Pooch like he was a bomb waiting to explode.

“Christine Marie!” She scolded, “You can’t give chocolate chip cookies to a dog! It’s really bad for them, and makes them sick. Chocolate is doggie poison!”

My eyes filled with tears when she said this. I couldn’t believe it. I didn’t mean to hurt the dog, I’d thought I was being nice. But as in so many tales from the Brothers Grimm, my token of friendship and undying love had turned out to be poison to the object of my affections. She watched the dog for a few minutes. Looking back, I’m sure she was trying to figure out how much to tell the (at that point, very tardy) owners, but I thought she was on a death watch. When she turned around with a big sigh to go back into the living room, I thought she’d given up hope. In reality I’m sure she was just being a good hostess and going back to her guests, but in my impressionistic young mind her melancholy parting said it was all over for my friend.

So I sat back on my haunches and waited for the dog to die.

~ The End ~

We’re Back, and Better Than Ever!

23 Apr

Oh, and when I say we’re back, I do mean we. A’s officially done with tax season, and he’s promised me that he’ll be putting his foot down about working crazy hours on the projects he has coming up. He’s planning on being home at four all this week, and I couldn’t be happier. I always know that having him home will be a huge relief, but I forget the feeling of peace and all being right with the world until it happens.

Per usual we made our annual trek down to the ever-gorgeous Carmel-by-the-sea (it’s not a town, it’s a lifestyle), with one small change. Make that two small changes. We took our doggies with us! Something I’ve wanted since we got Logan almost three years ago. We had a great time, the four of us. We discovered that Martigan – the newest – likes to show bigger dogs that he can still act tough even though he’s on a leash (something to work on) and doesn’t like when I leave him. Not to the point of being annoying, but he would whine and do his ‘talking bark’ very softly whenever I walked away to get us coffees or go into a shop. A and I have never been out in public with him other than taking the dogs for a walk, so this attachment was a new revelation. I would be lying if I didn’t say it melted my heart a little bit.

I thought about doing another One Day picture story, and then thought “meh.” Why spend a perfectly lazy weekend with my man worrying about a photo per hour. So instead a took a picture when I thought about it. If it looks like we read a lot, ate a lot, and drank a lot, that’s because we did.

my handsome man, it's so good to have you back!

a great start to the day...at 11am.

my littlest dog learned the fine art of waiting under tables while his owners were being boring.

logan, our sunshine boy, found patches of light to lie in wherever possible.

trying wines at one of our favorite garden hangouts. the dogs weren't impressed with the vintages, but loved the all-natural seaweed treats their sweet staff offered them.

can you see the relief? the peace? yeah, we can too.

It’s good to be back, I’ve missed you all! How was your weekend?

In the Words of Seth and Amy, REALLY?!?

28 Mar

Ya’ll know I don’t have network television. We watch everything online. Which means we see a few commercials over and over and over again. I keep seeing this one every time I turn on Up All Night or Ru Paul’s Drag Race, and I just have to say, in the words of Seth and Amy, REALLY?!?

Really??? I’m a working woman. I have a full-time career, a home to keep running, a marriage whose health and happiness requires intentional upkeep, family and friends to make time for, a full workout schedule to maintain, not to mention all the volunteer work and relationships with my high school kids that I care about keeping up with. God help me when I have kids. But, really, now I’m being told by the host of Biggest Loser over and over again that I need to make time to make sure my pets get enough exercise? Um, REALLY?!? I know this commercial is about cats and I have dogs, but I see this commercial and all I hear is ‘here’s one more thing you need to be making time for and feeling guilty about if you’re not.’

 “I can imagine as a cat owner, things start to get into a routine.” Really?!? You’re honestly telling me that monotony in a pet’s life is a serious problem that I should worry about?

Really, I love my dogs, I take care of my dogs. I’d go so far as to say they’re pretty spoiled, especially since both were severely neglected rescues before we got them. I volunteer my time at that rescue, and am all about pets being treated very well. This commercial seriously encourages scheduling daily quality time for pets, as if pet obesity were as big problem deserving of public concern as, oh, I don’t know, getting your pet fixed so we don’t have so many unwanted pets being euthanized in shelters. As if people aren’t already so concerned with their pets that pets are a $41 billion a year industry. REALLY?!? Cats get enough exercise. They’re cats. My indoor dogs get (mostly) daily walks and regularly tear around my house after the toys A and I throw for them. I spend time with them and play because it brings me joy; if someone owns a pet and doesn’t feel that way, why are they pet owners? As if a 30 second commercial is going to stop the neglect if someone doesn’t love their pet enough to play with them? Save the public service commercials for things that really matter, like spending wisely to end child slavery, combating kids being used as war pawns, or telling bullied kids that it gets better.

Big Dogs Don’t Cry

14 Mar

My littlest dog hates it when I cry.

We found this out by accident one day. I don’t remember what I was crying about, probably something to do with S.A.D. probably. And Martigan just freaked out. He started trying to crawl into my lap (which he is NOT allowed to do without an invitation, but he really isn’t much of a lap dog anyway) and when that didn’t work, he licked any part of my hands and feet he could reach. When I did let him up, he kept trying to lick my nose until I stopped crying. It was like he was trying to cheer me up.

It’s funny, because he doesn’t mind it if I’m upset. A and I can be mad at each other all day and he doesn’t blink an eye. But turn on the water works and he can’t take it. It’s also funny because he can’t tell the difference between tears of sadness and tears of mirth. I was reading a particularly funny post from STFU Parents, and was laughing so hard that I started to cry. Same thing, the climbing, the licking, the worried look that didn’t go away until my tears dried up.

Honestly, it warms my heart. I don’t know the real reason he does it, but I like to think he just wants to cheer me up when I’m sad. And with that face, how could I not be?

…unlike some fat little dogs I could mention who don’t care how much I cry, so long as I toss him his ball.

Two Doggy Tales, or How Can Such a Smart Dog Be So Stupid?

9 Jan

From right to left: Logan, the ever-handsome A, and the smart dummy.

Tale number one ( I swear I wouldn’t have believed it if it hadn’t happened right in front of me):

We got our dogs a new toy for Christmas, because, yes, we are that kind of dog owner. It was a stuffed giraffe, and it was adorable. Of course, the doggies had to compete to see who would claim ultimate ownership of New Toy. Traditionally Logan loves tennis balls more than anything, but he also is obsessed with whatever is new, especially if our baby dog, Martigan, wants it. Martigan will happily chase a ball, but his true love is stuffed toys, especially if they have squeakers, which New Toy did. So naturally Logan was dominating New Toy while poor Martigan looked mournfully on.

Martigan tried to get him to give it up; he tried to steal it, to muscle it away to no avail. He tried what I can only assume was canine coercion, doing a bark/whine combination while scooting his skinny butt forward. Logan was having none of it. After longingly looking on for five minutes (an eternity in puppy years) Martigan abruptly turned around and started rooting around in his toy box. (Yes, our dogs have a toy box. I already said we’re those kind of dog owners.) He emerged with a green tennis ball held haughtily between his teeth. He pranced around the room until he was in Logan’s direct line of sight, then forcefully dropped the ball, letting it bounce and roll for several feet. Instinctively, Logan was up on his feet, chasing the ball. Faster than you could say “oh, snap!” Martigan pounced on New Toy and carried it triumphantly away, while Logan looked on in confusion, ball clenched protectively between his teeth. All I could think was “dude, you just got played!” and “my dog is so freakin’ smart!”

Tale  number two (occurred about five minutes after tale number one):

I walk into my yarn room to look for an errant ball. My dutiful doggies followed me. As I’m sitting down on the guest bed examining the label on a hank of yarn, I hear a wet, slurpy sound. I look up to see my smarty-pants little puppy trying valiantly to lick a spot of sunshine that’s coming in through the blinds off of the wall. For five minutes. When he finally figures out that he can’t get it off, he switches to another spot six inches away. Rinse and repeat three times. What a dummy.

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