Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The running shoe is on the other foot.

In the past, various people who love me (Thank you.  I do appreciate it.) have encouraged me to exercise. They say things like:  I don't want you to die first.

Isn't that romatic?

Sometimes I have listened to them, but never consistently.  Some of these healthy folks have gone so far as to herd/drag me out the door and try to get me to run with them.

I generally go until the first garage sale, at which point I have to stop and see if there is anything good.  Other compelling reasons to stop include (but are not limited to): hills, flats, empty houses with for sale signs (I like to peek in the windows), seeing people I know (and must chat with, naturally), puppies, pretty gardens,  people working in their gardens (I have questions!), lemonade stands, birdsong, free piles, dumpsters with non-stinky stuff sticking out of them,  etc.


There has been a change in my attitude.  Two changes, to be exact.  In the form of my two lazy dogs. The big one is old and the puppy is a mastiff.  They both really like to nap.  Sometimes the puppy has to be carried when we walk the smaller hooligan to school (4 whole blocks) or else we'll be very late.

Nonetheless  I am afraid to leave them alone in the house unless they are exhausted.  If they're feeling frisky and they get bored I'm pretty sure they will eat the couch.

So every morning  I snap on their leashes.  They roll their eyes at me.  Really?  They ask.  Because we're fine.  We'll just hang out here, maybe play a little biteface in the living room.  You go ahead.  don't let us hold you back.

No I tell them.  You'll enjoy it.  It's good for you.  You need the fresh air.  Come on now.  I can't go alone.  Who will protect me from cougars?

Exactly.  They tell me.  Nothing doing.  We don't care for cats.  See you later.  Have fun.  

At this point I fish the bag of treats out of my pocket and shake it at them.  You want this?  I ask?  Both dogs nod enthusiastically.  The little one starts to drool.

I take off.  They look at each other.  I can almost see them shrug.  Fine.  They haul themselves up and start trotting after me.  I have to remain just out of their reach for at least a quarter mile by which time they have forgotten their reluctance and are loping along cheerfully.  As am I.

The Man Who Lives In My House says that this whole interaction sums up my personality exactly:  I don't want to do anything unless I think it is my idea.

I should have gotten a puppy years ago.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


The puppy has nearly doubled in size since we got him about 3 weeks ago.  He eats a lot, as you can imagine.  He dives into his food dish with wild abandon, gulping and smacking happily, after which he snuffles minutely over every inch of floor, hoping for stray crumbs.

The result of eating so fast and so much, (not to mention so many items that are not meant for canine consumption) are hiccups.  Which sometimes subside....and other times escalate into a crescendo of  heaves, with a projectile finale of dog barf.

Since this is a lengthy process we usually have time to grab him and toss him outside. The other night around four, though, we were awakened (by the horrible heaving noise) too far into the process to intervene.  The man Who Lives In My House jumped out of bed and grabbed the heaving puppy, who  an erupted at that moment.

"He threw up on my good pants!" The Man was outraged.

I was really not very awake.  I was not in a diplomatic frame of mind.  (Am I ever?  Sadly, no.) "That's what happens when you leave your pants on the floor."  was my response.

This was not what the man wanted to hear.  "Well you clean it up while I deal with the puppy and put my pants in the wash."

Deal with the puppy?  What did the puppy need?  I was wondering about this as I fetched the paper towels and the cleaning spray.  It's not a kid where you need to help them brush their teeth.

Turned out "deal with the puppy" meant "prevent the puppy from eating his own barf."

It's like a recirculating dog barf fountain.  How efficient.

I've asked this before:  Why do I like dogs so much?  It is a mystery.

Friday, October 5, 2012

A plague upon my house.

I was making my bed the other morning.  I'm not a neat freak, but I like to make my bed so I can pile stuff on top of it over the course of the day.  Anyway, I picked up one of the pillows to fluff it up and there was a cricket.

Eeeuw.  It may have been there all night.  

It could be worse.  It was not a roach.  But it was an insect.  And furthermore, I recognized it.  This was not a cute little lace-wing or grasshopper visitor from my garden.  This was one of the juicy brown crickets we buy at the pet mart for the Larger hooligan's leopard gecko.

12 for $1, if you're wondering.  I make him pay for them.  And I ask the pet mart lady to put them in a brown sack, so I don't have to look at them on the way home.  It makes a scratching noise as I drive.  Eeeuw.  

I remained calm, as there was no one home to come running if I hollered.  I flicked it onto the floor and stomped on it.  Sorry cricket.  Sorry lizard.  I felt a little bad, but mostly relieved.

I suspect that the cricket container got dumped.   The larger hooligan failed to mention this to me.  This shows that he has a strong sense of self preservation.  That's a good thing.  

Later, on the phone, my mom pointed out that these pet store crickets may be invasive.  Perhaps they will devour every green thing in the neighborhood, starting with my garden. It will be a plague of locusts.  She's not one to look on the bright side, is she?  Bad Grandma.

All because of the Larger Hooligan's insectivorous leopard gecko.  I liked it better when she was living under the stove, unbeknownst to me.  The ants that meander through my kitchen were mysteriously absent during that period.....

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

More excuses (this one barks and drools)

The plan after we got home from Alaska was to get another dog.  Because I don't know why.  I have mentioned our dog on numerous occasions when he does something dreadful or expensive.  I guess we like that, so we wanted more.  No one ever accused any of us of having a lot of good sense.

My vision was something small-ish but not tiny, young ish but not a puppy, and perhaps at least part poodle or terrier, for the low-shedding feature.

I visited local shelters and rescue places for about 6 weeks--one of the reasons I was too busy to post, ok?  I met a lot of dogs, but they were too old or too small or too scared or or or....

And then this guy crossed my path:

Even as I type he is snoring on my lap.  He snores!  And drools!  and has to be let out one or more times/night!  He's so cute!  He's gained 6 pounds in the two weeks since we got him.  He's some sort of mastiff.  So much for smallish.  He won't fit in my lap for another week or so. We named him Magnus.

Reminds me of the hooligans, actually.

Monday, October 1, 2012

my other excuses

For not posting most of the summer.....

I was distracted.  Because we went to Alaska, which is kind of mess-with-your-head-distracting.

Really.  When Alaskans come to the Northwest and their friends show them around our natural wonders, they must be so un-impressed.

To illustrate:

We went on a 3 day kayak trip.  The weather was perfect.  
It's just crazy pretty.  The seabirds make a huge racket.  Some of the coves looked like snow globes with the air full off birds, wheeling and calling.  The water was full of sea lions, otters, Dahl's porpoise, orca and humpbacks.  A pod of orca swam right under the boat.  

That's a chum salmon--the kind they make into dog food.  They're fun to catch because they put up a fight.   

Goons in the wild.  They were doing their Hussein Bolt move.  (We watched the olympics whenever we had access to a TV.)

The smaller Hooligan loves all aspects of fishing, including the guts.  He got covered in fish guts and blood as he made discoveries:  "This fish ate a fish!"  Other tourists were taking pictures of him.  He was quite a spectacle.  

I regret not buying that mask.  

We caught a limit.  

Bear cub in a berry thicket. 
The smaller Hooligan and I found pre-columbian spear points.  We wanted to keep them, but it would have been un-ethical and illegal, so we buried them in a special spot, where we can find them again someday. 

 Our friends Darcy and Chet live in Anchorage.  They graciously took it upon themselves to show us how locals have a good time:  This involved flying us in their small plane to a glacial lake near Palmer. It took 3 trips to get us, our gear, their dog, and the coolers of beer and moose steaks to the site.  Once there, our minds were blown AGAIN, by how wild and remote it is.  We saw mountain sheep and bear tracks.  Moose steak is delicious.

I would go back in a minute.  I told my college kid neighbors to go seek adventure in Alaska instead of Africa.  Sure, Africa is all the rage.  I would like to go there someday, but it's so expensive to get there, and their moms must worry.  Alaska is comparatively convenient/cheap.  You can drink the water.  As long as you avoid mother bears and crevasses, plane crashes, hypothermia, etc.  it's fairly safe.