• Tag Archives dogs
  • Puppy Problems


    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.

    1. You are not the boss. Mommy is the boss.
    2. Leave the little fluffy one alone. He is old, senile and will cut you.(R.I.P. Mango we miss you)
    3. The fat short one thinks all the toys belong to her.
    4. The Vacuum is scary.
    5. There is a household budget line for dog toys.
    6. You are only allowed on the furniture if the humans aren’t home.

    We also learned a few things from Brutus

    1. The Vacuum can only be defeated by peeing on it first.
    2. The deliciousness level of a shoe is directly proportional to it’s value
    3. The best time to play “lets wrestle with my teeth” is between 1 and 3 am
    4. When mommy leaves for work, the world is fucking ending.
    5. Anything can be accomplished with the liberal application of hot dogs.
    6. Tall dogs can open doors when they want.
    7. 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.



  • Day 3. Enormous Flora and angry Fauna

    Today felt like vacation. We slept in, Coco only woke us up twice in the middle of the night to be let out. I moseyed on over to the fence line to check out the Elk that hang out in the back meadow. They were all kinds of elegant just sitting around chewing and head butting each other. 20160201_084631I’m pretty sure the two males were just play fighting. Or they really weren’t feeling the violence today because they were just going through the motions. Who knew Elk could get the Mondays?

    I managed my first RV shower. Fun fact, the water heater only holds 6 gallons of water and takes 30 min to heat up. I have learned the importance of turning the water off during any lathering process. My head actually hits the ceiling so it made hair washing a unique and bendy challenge. But I got clean and that was the only goal so therefore it was a success.

    At some point, I realized that we never really stopped to get groceries in the last two days and the food we did bring is running low. I consider this a badge of honor. Normally I would prepare more food than a football team could consume in a week. Bacon, Hawaiian rolls and some protein bars make for a very filling breakfast.

    We tried to find a grocery store in the Town of Orick (human population 650, Cow populations 1000) to stock up on some supplies. We ended up with Oreo’s, french toast sticks, cheese and firewood. It was more of a general store / cess pool of questionable breeding practices. I decided to forgo their offerings of ground meat products. You would need to prove to me it was cow and not ground tourist.

    We headed over to Stone Lagoon Beach and let the idiots frolic in the sand and surf. It was delightful and remarkable that we were alone on most of that beach.12670128_10103608828580485_6815378197488691941_n It is really lovely to travel on the off season. You get to see so many things and share that moment with your loved one without the 9 members of the Clampett family swilling beer and getting into domestic disputes while spoiling your view. It’s weird coming from such a tourist driven state that fills every beach and beach town to the brim with t-shirt shops and sketchy tattoo parlors, to see miles and miles of breath taking coast line that is populated by a herd of very smug milk cows.

    We cut the beach trip short after Mango got too excited and his hind legs kinda gave out a little. He’s pushing 13 and we think he has some nerve damage so this isn’t completely unexpected. I had to carry his fat ass all the way back to the RV. He seemed to enjoy that portion of the walk almost as much.

    We decided to take the Newton B. Drury Scenic Parkway through the Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park. We kept expecting Little Foot to step out from behind a tree and ask if we have seen the Star Leaf. The Redwoods could only be described as august. I was only slightly disappointed to not find any Ewok tree houses in the canopy. We did get to see the Big Tree and it was. It seems it isn’t actually the largest nor the oldest tree in the park. 20160201_151841It’s just the only one that they will tell you the location of. It makes me sad that my fellow humans are such shit balls that the parks have to keep these beautiful giants a secret to keep them safe. How can anyone look at one of these behemoths and do anything but stare in awe and silent wonder at their eminence? This tree is estimated to be over 1500 years old it has endured more than we can conceive and some asshat will probably try an kill it some day.

    On our drive back we stopped at a turn off that is a well know Elk hangout. When we stopped the first time, there were maybe 15 just hanging out at the far edge of the field eating grass and waiting to be photographed. This time there were probably 50 and they were almost standing in the parking lot. I guess when your smallest female is over 500 lbs you don’t have a lot to fear. They mostly looked annoyed that we were only using camera phones to document their splendor. I felt the need to apologize and explain that the RV was a rental and we are in fact poor. They weren’t impressed.

    20160201_161824We came back to the camp site early so we could relax before we spend much of tomorrow driving up to Oregon. In my infinite wisdom I decided to build a camp fire. I was convinced this was going to be some next level romantic shit. Turns out.. that even with a fire starter mini log and some firewood, you really only get a single smoldering flame and a lot of smoke. It was easily the saddest camp fire in the history of camp fires. The Bear was a good sport and lovingly froze his ass off to humor me while I made hot chocolate and then dinner. I took pity on him when his lips started to turn blue and brought him his winter coat to replace the insufficient hoodie he had on. We gave up once it got dark, so I dumped a gallon of water on the fire and retreated inside admitting defeat against the frosty air.

    I am considering a second attempt at sleeping in the bigger bed above the driver’s seat. Now that we have the heater fixed I’m not nearly as likely to freeze to death. The only reason for 20160201_152950the change is that any time the bear gets up to take out the dogs or do anything I have to pull myself into a tight fetal position to avoid having him drop kick my legs on his way out of bed. This is not an ideal way to wake up in the middle of the night. The only other drawback about this move, other than the loss of my in bed human powered heating system, is that in order for me to make one of my many midnight bathroom trips, I would need to climb down onto a bench and then to the floor and back to the bathroom. I am not well coordinated in the middle of the day fully awake, caffeinated and alert. I am down right bumbling when I am half asleep. I also get the added obstacle of sleeping dogs laying in the middle of the walk way. I will let you know how it goes tomorrow if my next post is written from the ER.

  • what is.. winter?

    As a native Floridian I have no real concept of winter. Winter is that thing you see in pictures and in movies and go visit on trips, maybe. I was under the impression that California would be somewhat similar in weather patterns to Florida, with spurts of cold here and there but always reverting back to balmy weather in the end. NOOOPE. It’s cold. Not the ass clenching, mind numbing level of cold the great snowy North East and North West.  But cold enough to warrant jackets, sweaters, scarves and gloves a necessity not a fashion suggestion.

    As I have mentioned before, the new Bear Den apartment, did not come equip with air conditioning. It did come with heat! I have never in my life had to turn on the heat in an apartment. So when we started having to close all the doors and windows and burrow under 6 blankets to keep warm at night, I realized maybe it was time to give that random nob on the wall a spin. It seems, we did not account for the fact that it probably hasn’t been turned on in 10 months. And that dust is a thing… About four seconds after we cranked the nob over to toasty town, the smoke detectors started to go off.

    Que the panic.

    I work in the safety field. I have been conditioned over the last three years to associate the sound of fire alarms with evacuations, fire departments and lots of paper work and follow up meetings. I was fairly convinced we were about to reduce the apartment complex to a pile of angry holiday cinders. Not the best way to introduce yourself to your neighbors.  We turned the heat off, opened the windows (letting more cold air in) and covered the smoke alarms until the apartment no longer looked the inside of Willy Nelson’s tour bus. I refused to touch the heat again. Our apartment was slowly turning into a Drafty  tundra wasteland that is inhabited by a strange race of blanket people. Thankfully, the Bear is braver and smarter than I am. He slowly burned off all of the dust while I was at work one day.  Hypothermia is no longer a concern while sleeping! Nor, is waking to a conflagration of dog fur and sadness.

    In other news, I was forced to put away all of my Halloween and fall harvest decorations for another year. I had to replace it with the Yule vomit of Christmas trees and Santa hats.  I remember having more stuff but I guess a lot of it didn’t make the trip. So I will now have to put pants on and go fight the hordes of angry holiday shoppers to go get more sparkly crap to decorate our den. I am prepared to FA LA LA LAFUCK YOU UP for a discount because paying full price for Styrofoam and glitter is crazy talk.

    This will be Coconut’s (a.k.a the stupid cute dog) first Christmas with us. And judging by how she is eyeing the tree, I am going to say her first Christmas ever. Hopefully she doesn’t consider the tree and light up toy like Angel on top a challenge worth accepting. I am pretty sure she watched us decorate the house  and was convinced that we just strategically placed toys and things to chew on and destroy all over the house. I have caught her twice trying to snuffle and chew her stocking. I have no idea how she knows that one is her’s, but she is hell bend on destroying it. This would be amusing if it wasn’t attached to the liquor cabinet. Or as like to call it “the gateway to holiday cheer!”.

  • Humping Poop Machines

    A few weeks after we got married, my husband and I adopted an 8 year old corgi. They are basically the spokes dogs of the interwebs. And have entire sites like this.. http://corgiaddict.com/ dedicated to them.

    Looking into their little fox faces and watching them scurry around 4 inches off the ground, you would think they are all balls of fluffy snuggles.  That little smile they give you? Those deep soulful brown eyes?

    I am the Noah Wyle of dog breeds.


    They are a dirty, viscous, lie.

    That little fur ball smiling at you with his dapper gentlemen’s tie, is one of the most moody disgruntled little assholes you have ever met. He hates EVERYONE.

    I love him to pieces.

    It was weeks before we could pet him more than three times, without fear of pulling back a bloody stump instead of a hand.

    He was already incredibly well house and leash trained when we got him. But we suspect that he was abused before we got him. (People who abuse animals should have their finger and toe nails ripped out and their wounds should be injected with gangrene).

    So we gave his space, time and treats. After three months and a talk with a dog “behaviorist” not to be confused with a trainer. (because these  are apparently a real jobs. My career councilor in high school never mentioned this.) He has come around and now snuggles on the regular and is rather demanding about belly rubs. He still growls at some strangers mostly men, other dogs, ducks, and hates children. (good boy)

    He was determined to murder the vet after an uncomfortable experience involving a rubber glove and his butt hole (totally understandable). Mango refused the vets paltry offering of cheese-wiz as a means to make amends.  If you don’t own a dog, allow me to explain: cheese product is basically a bump of dog heroine. They all have the itch and Mango gave him the doggie middle finger.

    A few weeks ago I was perusing the Facebooks and saw a local rescue  http://www.poochesinpines.com was featuring a floppy eared basset hound. After I stopped making a high pitched SQUEALING  noise,  I showed my husband and gave him the sad kitten eyes.  To his credit he tried, valiantly! to resist being pulled into the combined vortex of sad kitten eyes and the hush puppy cuteness on the screen. He sighed and said I could email the rescue and set up an appointment for Mango to meet the rescue pup. (Given Mango’s history of being an dbag, I was not confident they would like each other.)

    Little did I know, that I had been harboring a sexual deviant armed with a red rocket and ready to hump. He seemed to try to lure her into a false sense of security at the first meeting. Only occasionally sniffing her lady garden and reaching over with one paw hoping she wouldn’t notice.

    That courtship was out the window the day we brought Coconut home. There was some initial butt sniffing and ear licking at first. That quickly turned into wrestling and jumping. Keep in mind both of these breeds have legs that cap at about 6 inches long. so when they wrestle with each other its like watching a couple of midget T-rex’s try to a slap fight.

    The wrestling eventually degraded into an all out hump fest for Mango. Unfortunately for him, he has been ball-less for so long, he only gets the idea… but is not sure on the execution or location.

    So he improvised! By humping whatever he can wrap his little fur paws around. It could be her ear, leg, torso, or head. He doesn’t give  a shit. Once the humper starts going, even if she walks away, he is stuck in the humposphere and walks around loving up on air until he calms down.

    Coconut turned out to be the best balance to Mango’s dick head personality. She just wants to play or cuddle. She is completely docile and sweet. Unfortunately she hasn’t totally grasped the concept of not peeing in the house. And if she does something wrong she give you this look:

    I love you. But this carpet will never survive.

    I have learned a few things about life in a two dog house hold. For starters, you don’t go on walks so much as sweep the neighborhood for new smells and stray chicken bones. While simultaneously peeing on everything that may have come in contact with another dog. And may God help keep your arm attached if their is a squirrel within 100 feet of you at any time. 

    Our dogs do not understand the concept of sharing toys. If it’s mine I want it, if it’s yours I want it and will steal it away. If I steal it away I will leave it on the sofa beyond the reach of your tiny legs. If both dogs go after one toy, one will end up in the vets office with a knocked in tooth. And dogs will hold a grudge for up to a week if they get a tooth knocked loose.  (in her defense, he hasn’t figured out her head his bigger than his.)

    Going to the bathroom is now a family event. If the door is closed they will push it open to check on you. “Mommy, whatcha doing? whats that? You smell nice mommy.. mommy! Mommy pet me! MOMMY!!!”

    Thunder buddies are for life!  A lightning storm results in a massive cuddle fest on the sofa with both dogs tucked as closely next to you as they can get.

    Crate training makes my soul hurt and Coconut knows it. Daddy puts her in the crate with barely a whimper. If I put her in the crate and she flops on the ground, rolls over on her back, and plays dead. And then howls and cries so loud I can hear her from my car. (we live on the third floor..) Dogs will guilt trip you better than your Italian Catholic mother. And they will work together for optimal effect.

    There are not enough grocery bags in the world for the amount of dog crap you will pick up on a daily basis. I don’t know whats in dog food, but these dogs poop a hedgehog twice a day. like clock work.

    Dogs are awesome. Adopt one from your local rescue. They need to know what it is to be safe and loved.

    double trouble.
    double trouble.