I consider myself a bit of a fan of makeup and fussy dresses. I prefer to overdress and gravitate heavily towards vintage and pin-up style clothing. I generally don’t leave the house without a full face of makeup complete with winged eyeliner, foundation, contouring, blush, […]
A few months ago we adopted a puppy. A really big, really goofy puppy. Brutus is just over 100 lbs. and a little more than a year and a half old. As far as we can tell he has never had any real training on how not to be an idiot. We are working on this.
The first time I saw Brutus he was cowering in the corner of his kennel at the city shelter that I happened to be visiting for work. I specifically told my boss NOT to take me to the shelter because I prefer dogs to humans and I have self control issues. So a week later, while at a food truck festival I lured the Bear into a bacon induced coma and asked if we could visit the shelter. He grunted in a way that I chose to interpret as a consent. We were informed that the particular dog, who’s paperwork I just so happened to have taken a picture of last time, was across town at a pet store adoption center. It was ONLY 15 min away… and we REALLY didn’t have anything else to do that day, so if we wanted.. we could just stop over and meet him.
They put us in a small back room where the Bear now is roused to full consciousness is grumbling about me, life, dogs, and the narcotic effects of bacon. The volunteer strolls in with a very large, timid and skeletal puppy. She explained that he is part Great Dane and other stuff. At this point I have already melted to the floor and am trying to let him get use to me. The Bear has stopped grumbling but does seem to be repeating something about this being a huge freaking dog. He joins us on the floor. As if on cue Brutus puts his head in his lap and earned himself a family. It turns out, that it is incredibly difficult to say no to providing a home to a dog who has laid their giant head in your lap.
Now, according to the volunteer, this dog doesn’t bark, doesn’t pull on his leash, is completely apathetic of other animals and just wants some humans to love. We came to find out that only one of these things were correct.
When he arrived home he quickly learned some important lessons of our household.
- You are not the boss. Mommy is the boss.
- Leave the little fluffy one alone. He is old, senile and will cut you.(R.I.P. Mango we miss you)
- The fat short one thinks all the toys belong to her.
- The Vacuum is scary.
- There is a household budget line for dog toys.
- You are only allowed on the furniture if the humans aren’t home.
We also learned a few things from Brutus
- The Vacuum can only be defeated by peeing on it first.
- The deliciousness level of a shoe is directly proportional to it’s value
- The best time to play “lets wrestle with my teeth” is between 1 and 3 am
- When mommy leaves for work, the world is fucking ending.
- Anything can be accomplished with the liberal application of hot dogs.
- Tall dogs can open doors when they want.
- Other dogs are the scariest thing on the planet and must be killed.
It was that last one that resulted in us paying a professional to train us on how not to be idiot dog owners. Fortunately we have been successful in teaching him some better habits and in training ourselves that when he does something stupid is 100% our fault.
He has been a fantastic addition to our little furry family. Coco seems to enjoy his boundless energy up until the point she no longer wants to deal with his shit. They with each other and have established some good boundaries without conflict. This is a real change from when Mango was still alive and we had to break up bloody dog fights almost weekly. Mango was a broken soul and we loved his angry little ass.
Yesterday we drove out to Thor’s Well and Devils Churn just outside of Florence Oregon. It was really beautiful even with the wind blowing and rain. We hiked around for a couple miles on the nicely paved trails. The bear and I were laughing at our complementary differences. I force him out of his comfort zone by taking him on adventures and doing things he is reasonable certain are going to get us killed. He forces me out of my comfort zone by making me act responsibly and saying No to anything especially crazy or expensive. It works for us. This is well exemplified in these pictures. The picture on the left was taken by the bear from three levels up the hiking trail over view. This was a very safe location with limited to no chance of a sneaker wave blasting in and washing him away.
The picture to the right was taken near the mouth of Devils Churn on the rocks. This isn’t one of those things were you see tourists acting like idiots going into areas they shouldn’t. They have stairs and signs saying that it’s ok to go down there to fish and check out the tide pools. In my mind this means it’s a comfortable level of safe.
The dogs were not interested in hanging out in the rain so they got to nap in the warmth of the RV.
When we got back from the hike and started the RV some alarms went off for the CO and Propane monitor. We figured this was due to idling in one spot for a few min. We reset it, aired out the cabin and headed back to town for lunch.
I’m a firm believer that being on the coast means you should stuff your face with as much local seafood as you can manage. That is exactly what I did at lunch. 6 raw Washington Oysters, 6 BBQ oysters to start, a very nice bottle of wine we didn’t finish and ended up taking the rest back with us, I had a really well done cioppino with all kinds of sea creatures in it, the Bear had some bread with garlic, pesto and garlic butter, fish and chips sampler basket he said was very good and we finished the meal with a Marion Berry cobbler that was very good but not actually a cobbler. By the time we finished gorging ourselves we could barely walk. This is why there wasn’t a post yesterday. I was too full to type.
Hiking no longer sounded like an awesome plan and naps moved their way to the top of the list. It was pouring down rain which really made it an easy choice. By the time we got parked, plugged in, situated and in ready for a nap we were exhausted. It only took about an hour to realize that the sheets seemed a little more damp than was reasonable to expect in such a humid climate. About 20 min after that we realized they were totally soaked and the back wall of the camper was streaming down water. There wasn’t much we could do so we grabbed towels to help protect the sheets, (this was useless by the way). We did’t bring a tarp or anything to throw over the top and it doesn’t have a ladder. It was a moist evening in the least fun sense of the word. We skipped dinner. At 10pm I was still full but no longer wanted to die. The alarm went off a couple more times so we turned the propane off aired out and assumed that it was the result of fart build up in the cabin. obviously from the dogs…. yes.. clearly the dog farts. Some time around 4 a.m that propane CO alarm went off, causing the bear to jump about 2 feet off the bed from the prone position while screaming something in what had to be his mother tongue of a past life. My heart just stopped beating for a couple of seconds while I assumed we were all going to die of carbon monoxide poisoning in our sleep. We called the service people, turns out sensors will go off if you stand to close to them and were extremely laid back about the whole alarms that make sure you don’t die in your sleep acting up. They told us they would get us a appointment at a repair shop in Eugene in the morning. We did manage to fall back asleep after all of the alarms. It wasn’t the early start we had planned. And of course the black water tank was reading full even after getting flushed multiple times. So we busted out the renters manual for the 10000 time this trips and tried to trouble shoot that little conundrum.
So we headed over to Eugene this morning on some little two lane back country road you can barely see on google maps. We are actually at the RV repair place as I write this and the amazing repair guy, (no joke his name is Kevin Smith) just pulled the sensor out and replaced it with a new one. The old one was completely full of water. We have no idea how that is even possible. He also found the source of the leaks, some huge ass crack in the roof of the RV. He just hit the roof and yelled bad monkey. He’s kind of amazing. If we ever get out of here, we are going to check out the city and get some Voodoo Doughnuts.
We had a couple entertaining disasters last night after I finished my post. To start, we found out at a very inopportune time that one of the fuses was blown and of course that fuse was connected to the heater. The low temperature last night was 30 degrees. It only took about 20 min for me to abandon my spacious bunk bed of solitude for the warmth of the bear den. I was smart enough to bring my down comforter with me. Ladies, have you ever tried to go pee in the middle of the night while wearing a onesie when the room is hovering dangerously close to freezing your tits off? Pro tip: wear a sweater UNDER the onesie, that way when you have to take off the top part to access your bottom parts you aren’t forced to expose your lovely lady lumps to frigid cold. Also… check your fuses before you leave the rental place. The dogs were convinced this whole experience was bullshit and way too damn cold but figured out very quickly how to get us to take them outside in the middle of the night. This seemed to make us all even.
This morning was lovely. I woke up early and took the idiots out for a walk so they could sniff things and then pee on them. We saw some cows on the hill behind the camp ground. We also saw some suspiciously huge bunny rabbits. Well, I saw the bunny rabbits. The hunting dog saw nothing and tried to eat a rock…. she’s really pretty…
After dragging them back to the RV I decided to start breakfast only to watch Mango slide on the laminate flooring, down the steps and fall out the door and onto the ground outside. It scared the hell out of all species involved. He was fine but I think his pride took a hit. He curled up in his bed and has been extra snappy at Coco all day.
We eventually packed up and headed out to Fort Bragg to see the Glass Beaches. If you haven’t had the honor of driving on 20, I suggest you do so while driving something sporty that hugs the road. Not something hulking that looks like a shoebox. The whole route is curves and hairpin turns looking over hundred foot drop offs. It was awesome and more than a little terrifying. I have a lot of love for the people who invented and built turn-outs on that road. If they weren’t so frequent we would have been murdered by a mod of angry drivers stuck behind our slow ass.
We finally made it into Fort Bragg and over to the beach which happens to be very dog friendly. The views were spectacular. If you are unfamiliar with glass beach, it used to be a dump. They would shove trash over the cliffs and into the ocean. All of the old glass from apothecary bottles, old car windshields and tail lights was broken up and ground smooth by time, sand and water. They eventually started to show up on the beaches. Turns out people like to find interesting things on the beach. They have since stopped dumping old cars and trash into the ocean, so the glass isn’t as abundant as it once was. People also tend to take it with them as a souvenir even though there are signs all over telling you to leave that shit on the beach so people will keep visiting them. You can’t tell from the pictures we took but the wind was insanely cold. Low tide is the best time to see the glass and tide pools. The dogs were stoked to smell new rocks and mango found out that running in sand is his new favorite hobby.
We opted to save money and just eat bologna sandwiches in the RV before heading out after a quick stop at the part store to buy a replacement fuse to avoid freezing to death tonight. We took Ca State route 1 up to Eureka, this was also full of bullshit twists and turns but it has to be one of the most beautiful drives in the US. You see everything from breathtaking views of waves crashing on cliffs, to enormous Redwood trees that are hundreds of years old, to beautiful mountains with sparkling rivers. And of course there are tacky road side attractions like Confusion Hill, which looks like something that will be featured in next season American Horror stories and the One Log Cabin home.
You are also very likely to witness the various local wildlife in their natural and undisturbed environment. We drove around one corner and noticed two huge Elk on a hill eating some grass minding their own business. It took me a minute to realize these were not Elk that some farmer is keeping at a pet, these were wild Elk and they wanted to know why we stopped in the middle of the road to stare at them and take pictures.
They were freaking majestic. Both had enormous antlers. It really only made us more excited to get to the RV resort place we are staying at tonight. It’s known for the huge Elk population that visits their meadows daily. They have signs all over the place telling you not to act like an idiot around the 700 pound animal with spears attached to its head. They have a tendency to charge. I’m pretty freaking excited about waking up tomorrow, I hope we don’t miss them.
That’s about all I can say about day two of this awesome adventure trip. It was a lot of driving through some very scary beautiful areas. The heater is working, the dogs are asleep, there are about 100 noisy frogs outside trying to lull me asleep so it’s time for bed. Tomorrow we venture into some of the state and national parks for more communing with nature. Fingers crossed Coco doesn’t try to make friends with a bear, and Mango doesn’t try to hump an Elk.