The Psyche of my Crazy Dogs

Every morning I go through the same routine with my dogs. It’s not a normal routine. I think they’re all a little bit crazy, or maybe a little bit genius.

koda

Koda is 11 years old and one of the sweetest dogs you’ll ever meet. He wouldn’t hurt a fly. There’s one thing you need to know about Koda; he has anxiety disorder. And, one of the things he’s afraid to do is walk down the three back steps of the deck even though each step is about 8″ high. But — he’ll jump off the front porch because it’s only one step. And, Koda does not like to walk on hardwoods (although, taking a nap on the cool floor is fine). So, every morning I need to line up carpet runners from the living room to the front door — with virtually no floor showing — for him to go outside. When he’s ready to come back in, I open the door and wait. He looks at me. He sits there. He won’t come in. That is…until I go back into the house, close the door, and pretend he missed his opportunity. Then, when I re-open the door he will ALWAYS come in.

Forrest

Forrest is the youngest of the three dogs turning one next month. Forrest will jump the fence in the back yard, so I can’t simply open the door and let him out. He needs to be on a runner. He knows that I’d like him to go out before he gets fed in the morning, so he walks around the side of the deck and pretends to go to the bathroom, then comes back in. I caught on to what he was doing when he needed to go out again immediately after eating. And, when I get the dog food bowls ready, he immediately sits down and raises his left paw to shake because he thinks he needs to do this in order to get fed.

cosmo coustaeCosmo will bark at the back door every morning to go out. When you open the door he refuses to leave the house. He just sits there and stares at you. Now, the door is open, he needs to go to the bathroom, and he won’t leave the house…until I step out onto the back deck and personally invite him outside. As God as my witness.

Please tell me my dogs are not the only ones that are nuts.

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Stumbled Upon A Funny

I found a folder of old pictures that I took over the past three years. They were vacation pics, so I was browsing through…

First, I came across some photos from Old Orchard Beach, Maine where my daughter and I have vacationed a few times. After a day on the beach, we’d always take a drive to see some scenery and lighthouses. Beautiful place to visit, huh?

me100_5839  mAINE 2

mAINE

Next, I found a few pictures from Sebastian, Florida where my parents live…these were taken down by the pier one night at dusk.

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And last, I found some photos I took in New York City… just taking a stroll through the NYU campus. I thought I was genius taking a “Caught between the moon and New York City” shot.

100_6076 moon and NYC

But one of my favorite pics, was this darn squirrel.
Kinda wish I could eat my lunch like that.

Squirrel in NYU Park

However, I remember when I was taking this picture, my first shot was quick, just in case he ran away. The woman on the bench below must’ve thought I was trying to take her photo, so she hid her face.

Now, over two years later, I just noticed the heading on the newspaper she was reading.

Tee-Hee.

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Cat Gangs

Yes. That’s right. I said Cat Gangs.

What’s a cat gang? Well, it’ a gang of cats. They roam the neighborhood and are up to no good.

I had my first experience with a cat gang a couple of summers ago. My daughter and I were heading home and one of our favorite songs was on the radio, so we drove around the neighborhood for an extra minute or so to listen to it. We had no idea what was about to happen.

True Story:
A “cute” black and white cat ran in front of my car. I slammed on the breaks, stopped the car, and got out to make sure he was ok. I didn’t see him in the front of my car so walked to the back where I found him sitting in the grass just looking at me. I was so thankful he was alright.

As I waked around the back of my car I saw another cat sitting at the end of his driveway, staring me down. It didn’t really give me the creeps until I saw a third cat about 15 feet up the driveway and a fourth sitting quietly under a shrub close to the road.

It was then I realized that the black and white cat was being initiated into a cat gang.

The next day my daughter and I took a walk on the oppositecat gand leader side of the neighborhood. We saw cats at every turn. Just sitting there, staring at us, like targets. What was going on? A cat gang on every block? Who was the leader? The term “Cat got your tongue?” took on a whole other meaning.

I posted my story on Facebook. My good friend, Pat Campbell, an educator and very worldly woman, shed some light on the situation.

cat nip twoShe informed me that there was increased activity in the dealings of catnip, or “NIP,” on the streets. That more and more kittens were being born — never knowing their fathers.    too many kittens

Worst of all, it was becoming a vicious cycle. A cycle that may be hard to break.

Each night, as I tried to sleep, I could hear the screeching “catcalls” and I’d find their droppings in my landscaping — which meant they were close by — watching our house. In the morning they’d run out from under my car and I feared for my life.

I welcomed the cold weather, forcing them off the streets. But, now that the warm weather is back…I look at my dogs, and pray for their safety.
my dogs

Siri, my new best friend.

This past year my kids upgraded their cell phones — while I walked FullSizeRender (1)
around with this. A shattered iPhone4 with a broken camera.

Don’t be surprised by the look of it. If you’ve read any of my blogs you know I drop things all the time. I remember dropping this sucker and watching it land on a big rock.

Anyway, I was due for an upgrade, so I caved and bought the iPhone6. Didn’t want to spend the money, but trying to answer my phone while hiding it from the public became too cumbersome.

When I got it home my son said, “Hey, you have Siri on your phone.” I was like… “I do? I’ve only heard of Siri — through visitors from faraway lands.”  That’s too strong, but you get my drift.

After asking Siri a number of questions like, “How do I get rid of belly fat?” and she’d kindly answer, “Checking… Here’s what I found on the web about how to get rid of your disgusting belly fat.” And she’d list a bunch of sites — that I will never look at.

Then, I decided to have some fun with my new-found friend.

How are you feeling?
Siri: I’m fine thanks for asking.

For good measure, I asked again….

How are you?
Siri: I’m finer than a frog’s hair.

What the hell is Siri talking about? My friend said that’s a southern saying, so maybe Siri is from Georgia. Then I wondered how Siri would handle it if I swore at her.

Ya know what, Siri?  “&%$@ You!” 
Siri: I wouldn’t say that to you.

Now, I’ve gone and offended her. But she kept her cool. I have to respect that.
Then I asked her something she couldn’t have possibly done.

Have you ever climbed a mountain?
Siri: Who me?
Yes.
Siri: I figured as much.

But she never really answered.

At this point, even though I’m laughing like a five year old, I’m also realizing that I’m talking to a phone.

And acting like it’s a real human being.

And thinking maybe I should put it down.

I don’t think I’m ready for new technology. Anyone for a game of PONG?

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Do Thundershirts for dogs really work?

As soon as I see lightning, or hear thunder, the feeling of sheer panic overcomes me. It’s the same feeling I got when my mother-in-law was about to visit.

Although two of my dogs are fine in a storm, my one golden retriever, Cosmo, turns into a lunatic and it’s CRAZYTOWN in our house. There is no calming him, and no rest for the weary. 😦

He paces like an expectant father, cries at the back door…then cosmoruns away when you open it, and finds comfort in relieving himself on the upstairs hallway carpet.

And, he’ll get hist 100 lb. body in bed with anyone who will allow it — even if it means suffocating them. But how can you say “no” to this face?

Last night, during a thunder-storm, I slept on the couch in the living room with Cosmo’s head on my belly, petting him all night and telling him the world was not coming to an end. Eventually he fell asleep, and so did I.

I woke up at 3:30 this morning to find my other pup, Forrest, curled up in a ball making a nest out of my legs. Somehow I managed to walk my stiff mangled body upstairs to bed.

So, I may buy him a doggie Thundershirt… it’s cheaper than doggie therapy, right?

Thank you, Mom… for putting up with me!

In honor of Mother’s Day, I’d like to thank my mom for putting up with me and my shenanigans, and always standing beside me even when she could’ve run away screaming.

We are very different people. She’s always doing the right thing, not a trouble maker. She never smoked a cigarette a day in her life, and almost never touches alcohol — with the exception of a well-made Fuzzy Navel on a special occasion.

She’s always working to help others. And no matter how much she gives of herself, no matter how tired she gets, she never complains.

So, to my sweet mother, thank you for:

  • Not spanking me when I hid by your expensive floor length white drapes (after sneaking a chocolate pudding), and forever ruining them. But instead, taking a picture and laughing.
  • Being involved in every activity of mine as a kid, even though I must’ve embarrassed you because I was the weird one.
  • Teaching me to work hard, and not to expect a hand-out from others. This one came in handy big time!
  • Accepting that I would spill my milk at dinner every night.
  • Always having the good sense to keep me safe from the sun’s harmful rays, without hatssacrificing style.
  • Being patient the day Ricky and I pretended to run away from home. I guess you had a feeling we weren’t going far with that can of Campbell’s soup and one of your big chocolate chip cookies in our runaway pillow case.
  • Calmly cleaning up… after one of my friends vomited all through our house on graduation day. And mom, thank goodness for Facebook because the culprit finally came clean 30 years later. It was Larry Rothang… and he apologizes.
  • Just shaking your head as my friends and I returned from a crazy night out before heading to college, and I rang the doorbell so you’d answer it and see me on the front porch hugging an orange traffic cone.
  • Being honest enough to tell me when I’m too hard on my kids, too petty, or overreacting. Because…. I still do all of that stuff, but not as much.
  • Pretending to agree when I tell my kids “I was the perfect child,” and not selling me out like dad does.
  • Being my role model. Someday I want to grow up to be just like you. 🙂

mom

I love you, Mom! Happy Mother’s Day!!