I’m Down With OPP (Other People’s Puppies)

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This week Schmoop and I are hanging with niece puppy, Kota. She’s a four year old GSD who combines Karmann’s slobberful loveyness with just a hair of Cal’s grumbliness. So although I am separated from my own hounds as I explore the west with the extended furbaby family, I sort of feel like they’re with me.

Kota would like to lick you. Unless you happen to be walking outside, in which case she would like to eat you. But only until you get within actual eating distance. Then she would like to lick you. She also has a very charming (if you’re a dog person) need to jump onto all beds and rub all of her all over the pillows, before trampling them into nestable perfection and flooping down dramatically. So I’m also spending this week sleeping on fluff covered bedding. Which is pretty much exactly what I’d be doing at home.

Also: GSD ears are the best.

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Reunited!

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I am a horrible cat mom.

Mr. Naughtypants has finally figured out how to apply his brute kitteh force to the cellar door, thereby popping it open, so he’s been spending some time down the basement while his stupid humans are out of the house. We generally return to find him hunkered on the steps, as if to insinuate that he cracked the door open but did not–would not ever–explore the basement. There’s nothing down there that is particularly dangerous to him, I just don’t want to have to pry him off the top of a storage cabinet, or remove him from the laundry lines, so I haven’t been particularly pleased with his new love of interdomicile travel. I’ve been pleased, these past couple days, to discover that all his door digging (and there has been a lot) has come to naught and, try as he might, little stripey kitteh has been marooned on the upper levels of the house.

Fast forward to today, when I was in the basement sorting laundry. In the middle of chucking some socks into the workout pile, I spied an aberration on the pale blue duvet cover heaped onto the floor, awaiting it’s go in the washer. A small, kind of icky, animal-printed aberration.

Tiger.

Apparently Mortie took Tiger with him on one of his subterranean adventures and the little guy wound up abandoned. On an admittedly comfy portion of pending laundry because Mortie may wake the household humans every day, without fail, at 4am, but he is exceedingly kind to his stuffed and squashed-headed bestie.

And then I stopped to think about the last time I saw Mortie with Tiger and . . . DOGS HELP ME I CANNOT RECALL.

He has been without Tiger for so very long that I have no idea when the dynamic duo were last seen together. Bad kitteh mom! Bad!

So I abandoned my laundry sorting to take Tiger upstairs and Mortie immediately batted him around, then picked him up and walked him all over the house–never letting Tiger touch the floor–for about 20 minutes. And then they laid down and I took the above picture and came upstairs to post it because I’m supposed to be cleaning the house but bleh. And then Mortie picked him up and brought him upstairs, where he’s spent the last 10 minutes reacquainting his truly-baby-kittehood buddy with the living quarters.

Tiger is currently being shown the bed.

Me and Karmann and Calvin and the Asshats

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Leave Calvin ALOOOOOOOOONE!

Let’s talk about second amendment rights. Lord knows enough people can’t shut up about them, and now I have decided that I want them. Specifically, I propose amendment 2b.

Amendment 2b affords me, a single, unincorporated person (disregard all that “well-regulated militia” crap since everybody seems to ignore it anyway) with dogs, the unalienable right to–if not outright shoot–at least threaten people with an angry-looking piece of weaponry any time they attempt to approach, converse with, or otherwise capture my attention while my poor little Beagleish is losing his shit.

I dropped something?
Don’t care.

My other dog is very adorable?
I am aware. Shut up.

My (ALSO ADORABLE, PEOPLE!) small hound is hilarious when he’s angry?
I’d flip you off but my hands are full, so please accept this withering look of disdain instead.

Can you pet my dogs?
Are you fucking stupid?

Upon my arrival home this afternoon–covered in bug bites and spider webs, and desperate for my own pee break–I took the dogs out to the back yard, intending them to have a quick pee so that I could hurry up and light myself on fire in an attempt to remove ALL OF THE NATURE from my person.

Cal would not pee.

Cal did not want a pee break; Cal wanted another walk.

I tried refusing, and stomping my feet, and reasoning with him. None of this worked. So, I walked him down the block where he was able to pee on a tree. HOSANNAH.

We then turned around to head back up the street, only to discover a family of three–blonde and smiling and tan and utterly loatheable in their presence, was rapidly approaching between us and the house.

[stay tuned for future blog post in which we take up my immediate and irrational dislike of people occupying the public thoroughfare when doing so complicates my life]

I just wanted Cal to pee. I was not interested in a teachable moment–I had been in such a rush to wash the ticks out of my hair that I hadn’t thought to grab treats. My lack of preparedness just made me hate the blonde happy perky people even more DAMN THEM ALL.

So we turned right.

AND THERE WAS AN OLD LADY WITH A CANE I CURSE YOU YOU INFERNAL UNIVERSE OF SUCK AND DOOM.

Old ladies with canes? Ambulating families for Buddha’s sake??

Well. There goes the neighborhood.

Cal was interested in the old lady. He was looking at her and seemed unsure but in possession of himself. So in lieu of delicious liver treats, which I did not have because blonde people suck, he got copious amounts of scritches and praise. And while I scritched and praised, the stupid infernal family decided to make the same right–probably going to the park because that’s what awful people do.

And the movement was enough to send relaxed but unsure Cal right on over the edge.

So he barked.

So the kid ran toward us, while screaming “DOGS!” because he’s a future Darwin Award winner. Even as we ran behind the bushes to manufacture some sort of visual barrier, the child screamed. And charged. And screamed some more while his parents, Chip and Buffy from the club, smiled huge white straight-toothed smiles.

And as we cut through the apartment lawn, behind the bushes, some joker came out of the building, presumably to yell at me for cutting through, shouting “Miss! Hey! Miss!”

Because what I really need right now is a conversation. About, like, anything.

We ignored everyone and made it back to the sanctity of our driveway where I’m pretty sure I am allowed to throw baggies of dog poop at infiltrators trying to talk to me. Cal, for his part, is to be commended for the quickness with which he calmed down once the terrible hellspawn was safely behind us. And I settled for a vigorous scrubbing rather than self immolation because were I to exit in such fashion I’d not be around to witness–and benefit from–the passage of my very excellent Amendment 2b.

Though, I will accept a very large stick, or also, possibly, a set of brass knuckles in the event the cranky old men of the Supreme Court determine that a walking, unincorporated uterus cannot wield a gun.

Consider this my Christmas list.

Kittehs Got Aim

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Our house was built in 1928 and, for the most part, the original floors are in great shape. The above is a noted exception where some event of history has gouged a not insignificant chunk from the board at the joint.

The above is also exactly where some kitteh deposited their most recent hairball. Lovingly, it would seem, and overnight so that the soggy wad of fluff had time to really fill the crevice before human discovery the next morning.

I now have a positive model of that crevice made of cat hair, if any jewelry makers out there are interested in starting a line of construction-related lost wax obliquely cat centric baubles.

Nobody?

Eh?

Empuddlement of the Canines

I could not take a picture to illustrate this annual phenomenon because the gale-force fan required to keep my un-air conditioned living room, well, living–and not full of very hot, dead mammals–has blown fur from cracks and crevices I did not know existed, exposing my not-terribly-secret shame: that my house is comprised of 90% critter fluff.

But I can paint a word picture.

Karmann. Sprawled on her side in the fan’s breezeway, lifting her back leg like a little drawbridge every time a person walks past, or a kitten sneezes, with the hope of funneling whatever remains of the subsequent breeze onto her belly. Staring blankly, too miserable to bother closing her eyes.

Calvin. Not actually bothered, but pretending to be because Karmann is his lead monkey and what he sees her do, he emulates. Comfortable on his bed until Karmann gets up and staggers over to the water bowl or pants her way around the living room, at which point he pops up and then plants himself on the wood floor near to Karmann’s eventual puddling. He seems to be trying really hard to affect an air of overheated exasperation, but his head is too quick to rise at the sound of people movement. He still wants the walks, even as he pretends not to.

You can almost see the irritated thought bubble that forms over Karmann’s head every time Cal lies too close or blocks the fan.

When Karmann gets up, every 10 minutes or so, to seek a cool piece of floor, she stops by me, staring and panting, with eyes hard-set in her adorable little face as if to say, “You said it would be cooler up here. You said we were leaving the awful season of walkieslessness behind. You are a liar and now I know it and I cannot un-know it. The cats told me this would happen.” *slow slide to floor*

I need to get my girl puppy a window unit, lest she perish in this House of Lies.

I Done Ran for Critters

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IT’S OVAH.

Yesterday, I achieved my goal of running a half marathon without dying AND I surpassed my fundraising goal for the Animal Rescue League. Happy days!

We won’t discuss how I’m probably going to lose a toenail just in time for dedicated flip flop season, or how I was earnestly wishing for death around mile 12. We won’t even discuss the Achilles injury that arose 12 days before race day and threatened to sideline me, only to subside juuuuuuust enough that it made the last 9 miles of the run extra miserable. I will refrain from describing the uncharitable thoughts I had toward the shoes sales guy who convinced me that a pair of Nikes would actually be wide enough for my Flintstone feet.

No. We won’t discuss any of those things. But I will mention that, even in my present, bandaged-toe, please-don’t-make-me-move-mr.-firefighter-just-let-the-house-burn-down-around-me levels of soreness, the race itself was a blast, and I plan to do it again. So if you don’t want to be harassed for another donation this time next year, make a note in your calendar to change your email address by March.

And so for the relevant bit . . .

My campaign raised $750 (of an initial $500 goal) for the Animal Rescue League.

[pause for applause and general whooping]

My donors kick some serious ass, y’all, and to each of them I extend my heartiest thank you.

Donations will be accepted until June 15, but so far the ARL’s total haul is more than $102,000. Which is epic and awesome and killer and just SO FREAKING GREAT. That’s a lot of medical care, food, low cost spay/neuter, and adoption preparation for some very deserving domestic critters, not to mention care and rehabilitation for wounded wildlife. I am so glad to have been a part of their fundraising, and so appreciative of the friends, family, and anonymous internet strangers who contributed to my campaign.

I am a Runner of Steel: yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay!!!

I am a Runner of Steel without a margarita in her hand on Cinco de Mayo: WTF???

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Slow Day at the Crazy Critter Castle

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Karmann waiting patiently for activity on the Squirrel Superhighway

I am icing a recently afflicted Achilles’ tendon that’s threatening to derail my running for critters plans, while binge watching Dawson’s Creek. I’m on the second episode, where Jen goes to the dance with Noel from Felicity and unfortunately forgets to wear pants. So embarrassed for her.

The critters, meanwhile, are mostly lounging in interspecies, sun-seeking nap groups.

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Save Karmann, who seems to be practicing her telepathy as she stands willing squirrels to run across her field of vision so that she can lose her mind and alert the household to their frolicsome presence.

Just another really tough day to be a critter.

Yesterday I . . .

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Pooping everywhere is exhausting

- Had a tour, for which I was getting ready assuming that Schmoop would be taking the pups out while I did so.

- Did NOT adhere to my standard Calvin Anxiety Mitigating Routine because see above.

- Discovered Schmoop had NOT taken the pups out, but rather decided to go get bagels.

- Departed the bathroom to discover stoop poop.

- Proceeded downstairs for cleanup materials and discovered hallway pee.

- Suspended personal preparations in order to clean up two anxiety-related accidents, worked up a sweat, cursed Schmoopie and his damn bagels, became grumpy.

- Ate a bagel after initially refusing bagel out of spite because if it weren’t for the damn bagels I’d have had a lot more than 15 minutes in which to eat a bagel.

- Went to work while contemplating bagel-related Möbius strip of suck.

- Came back eight hours later and began critter feeding preparations.

- Opened kitchen door to take puppies their food and was whacked in the face with poop stench.

- Discovered dining room poop.

- Cleaned up dining room poop and fed puppies.

- Enroute to living room, noticed hallway had dreadful smell, still.

- Discovered stoop poop AND pee.

- Questioned, deeply and profoundly, what my life had become.

- Cleaned the third batch of inappropriate excrement OF THE DAY.

Today I . . .

- Went for a ten mile run having only eaten a spite bagel, 2 meatballs, Cheeze-Its, and a bacon burger the preceding day.

- Spent 7 miles wishing for death.

- Sat passively on the couch while Schmoopie cleaned up YET MORE STOOP POOP WHAT EVEN IS HAPPENING HERE????????

* * *

An epilogue for anyone who may be thinking: House train your freaking dogs, lady!

They actually are.

They were? I don’t even know what to think anymore.

Both pups were fabulously house-trained. But we moved out of the south last summer, and apparently if my dogs had cars they would have those stupid “G.R.I.T.S.” and “American by birth, southern by the grace of god” bumperstickers. Since they are bumperless, they lodge their cultural dissatisfaction through wanton household elimination. This explanation is also known as THE SOUTH WILL HAUNT ME FOREVER, DAMMIT.

Thats one explanation.

The other is that the move caused some stress, which coincided with Karmann developing arthritis, which led to some mobility-related accidents on the stoop, which led to more stress, which caused some anxiety-related accidents on the established-as-potty-zone stoop. All of which coincided with the traditional layout of the new-old house (i.e. not the Househunters preferred “open floor plan perfect for entertaining” type of soul-sucking new construction that we lived in while in Georgia, where asking a perfectly able-bodied Augustan to walk upstairs to the master bedroom is–PERISH THE THOUGHT, but I digress.)

All that basically means that we can’t see the front door, where the pups were trained to sit for potty notification purposes, from any other room in the house. More importantly, I think, they cannot see us. I believe this has caused a notification crisis. If we happen to be present in the front hallway (unlikely) or kitchen when the mood strikes them, they will sit at a door. If we are not, I think they just think, “oh well hey, we have that section of carpet on the landing so . . . “

We’ve been trying since the fall to teach them to ring a bell on the door, but for reasons I cannot fathom they don’t seem particularly interested in learning this new skill. Probably because the stoop is so much less work.

And that is why I bitch incessantly about the out-of-control indoor elimination. I am not used to it, it is not normal (though it is frequently hilarious, because if I didn’t laugh I’d cry) and my dogs are not just totally untrained ruffians.

At least, not in this specific situation.