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Sunday, April 28, 2013

Best One-Liner Ever

The Spousal Unit and I are enjoying a lovely evening of burgers, beer, booze, games, talk, laughter, quips etc. at our friends' house. Steve, the husband, goes into the kitchen.

Linda (in her lovely Brit-Aussie accent): What are you getting to drink, love?
Steve: A ginger ale.
Linda: Oh.

In one word, two little letters, she out-Denched Dame Judy, she out-Rickmaned Alan, she out did the Big O (Sir Laurence Olivier).  In one word she conveyed 500 years of great British theater, wit, literature, dismay, disbelief and any other "dis" you can think of.

We witnessed greatness tonight and we laughed so hard I thought we'd both fall off our chairs.

Linda, you are one class act and funny as hell.

I couldn't follow that with a map. a Boy Scout, GPS or bread-crumbs.

Outstanding!  Thank you!

Pssst, we actually WORE the hat.....

Monday, April 22, 2013

Puppy Fostering: Things They Don't Tell YOU!

Yes, I got coerced into fostering 2 pups from a rescue, Mercy's Door.
I have a friend and dog trainer to thank for this (becoming a foster) but I was severe about my timing.  I could not take them until April 7th, 2013, much as they wanted me to take them 5 days earlier.

It was a sad story as most rescued pups are.  Mom Addie had run away, leaving her pups behind.  When they were finally turned in to the shelter, in a filthy box, malnourished, Momma Addie started to care for them.  But her milk was drying up.....This is where Foster Mom Tracy and her family took on the monumental task for caring for a mother dog and her six puppies.

Addie, by the way, as of  this writing (4/22/13) is still waiting for her Forever Home and is, by all accounts, a sweetheart!

The spousal unit drove us down to Wooster to rendezvous with the interim foster mom, Katie.  We transferred the two urchins in their crate to our car and proceed home.

And yes, they got car sick.  Harbinger of things to come...

And now for THINGS THEY DON'T TELL YOU, abbreviation: TTDTY.

In no particular order.....

TTDTY#1: Puppies are messy.  
OK, granted they tell you they're messy but nothing can prepare the novice for exactly HOW much mess two eight week old puppies can generate. Nothing.  Even if you have done the puppy thing before, you will have forgotten the magnitude of it all. You will spend the next 2-8 weeks in perpetual cleaning mode. 

Picture it this way: Two puppies equals two mobile kids in diapers with diarrhea and head colds.

TTDTY#2 Pee pads are great! In theory.  
As long as the puppies don't try to dismember or eat them, they are a great idea.  I found that if I could anchor them under newspapers and under the x-pen, they were useful. 

TTDTY#3 You will need an X-pen. 
Preferably one that's about 3 feet high.  (Mine are higher.)  And one with a door (all mine were in use pretending to be fences) and one that clips shut, not one that is in a continual circle.  That is a first class pain the in ass.  You need to be able to get in and out fast. 
I don't get why anyone wouldn't utilize an x-pen.  It's crazy.  
These puppy suckers are:
1) Faster than you can imagine.  They are out of sight in a nano-second
2) Destructive
3) NOT house-trained
4) You need to contain the madness for your own sanity.  Plus your resident dogs need a break.

TTDTY#4 No matter how many newspapers you have, you'll need more. 
Trust me, you'll need more. I would go through a well stuffed large kitchen trash bag a day, sometimes two. If yu don't get a newspaper, hit up all your neighbors for theirs.  If no one in your neighborhood reads a newspaper, shame on them. Subscribe. 

TTDTY#5 Stack up on large kitchen trash bag and have a trash can near the x-pen.
This make clean up fairly easy.  It only took me three days to figure that one out. Genius.  Not. 

TTDTY#6 SAFETY FIRST! Hire/bribe a young kid (elementary school age works) to get down on the floor and check for Bad Things Your Pups Might Get Into!  
You can also ask a flexible adult to help with this. If I get down there, I might not get back up.
Bad Things include:
1) Wires of any kind
2) Outlets
3) Small spaces underneath furniture.  Puppies would love nothing better than to disembowel the underside of your furniture.
You need to block them off.  I used a combo of sturdy cardboard boxes, book cases turned around and bricks.  Bricks are surprisingly handy to have around the house.  So are x-pens!

Also: TTDYT#6A Have another set of eyes check your backyard for escapes hatches, dangerous items etc.
I had four friends check our yard and block questionable areas. I still had to be wary and block some areas even after getting the puppies.
And pick up all your resident dog poop before the pups get there.

TTDTY#7 If your resident dog(s) aren't crate trained, get anxious in a crate or being confined in any way, your life has just become a thousand times more stressful.  
Even if your resident dog(s) get along fantastically with the pups, everyone needs a time out. If you have an x-pen, this can provide a time out.  If you need to leave the room or house for any reason, everyone needs to be shut up safely.
I personally would not foster if my dogs weren't crate trained. Being able to kennel my dogs was a Godsend.

TTDTY#8 For every puppy, you need a crate,  Preferably a wire crate.  
Now I love Vari-kennels and I use them a lot. but for puppies, they are not quite as practical UNLESS they are the quick open kind, with the clips on the sides. You're going to be cleaning those suckers.
Here is an Example.
They will start out crating together but sooner than later, they need to be separated.  I housed mine right next to each, in between my dogs.
You want to start feeding them separately so you can see how much each eats.  The crates are ideal for this.
I lined mine with newspapers and then small old blankets (not the filled, comforter kind) thrown in there, along with a Kong.

TTDTY#9 You will need toys.  Lots of toys. 
There are two categories of toys.
1) One that you can fairly safely leave alone with the puppies, like a black Kong.

Don't go for those cute puppy Kongs.  Go for the full court press!  A medium size is fine for most pups.  Ours were about the size of a smaller pug, about 10-13 pounds.

Or invest in a Gonuts dog toy.  I know I've spelled that wrong. These things are amazing and made in America!

Here's an informational video.

2) The other kind is the "You Must Be There With It At ALL Times" Toy.  These include anything with a squeaker, stuffing, rope toys, sticks, rocks, plastic pop bottles. The SoBe bottles are supposed to be the best of the best.  Pop bottles make great toys! A stick can amuse your puppy for quite a while, actually. A friend suggested boxes from the liquor store, which is an inspired idea!

TTDTY#9 No matter your age, athletic level, abilities, eyesight, hearing, mobility you need Ninja-like reflexes and gorilla-length arms. 
If pup is in to something s/he shouldn't be, you have to be on top of them, with your fingers in their mouths, removing said object from them. Even if means scaling a fence like Base Runner or going under on like a WW2 escaping POW.

TTDTY#10 Be prepared to spend money. 
You WILL spend money.  
Have extra money or a credit card for vet visits, having an All Positive Trainer to help you or hiring a Dog Sitter for an evening or afternoon.  
If you cannot budget for extra money, DO NOT FOSTER!!
You never know.  Rescues are almost always cash-poor.  Do not count on the rescue to have a huge budget.  You are going to need to pitch in and money is one of the "pitch-in" ways.
It's one of the unwritten things about rescued animals...they may need vet care. My female pup did after her spay.
1) If you have an older dog, you made need help from a professional trainer.  You want one that is a CPDT certified. At least.  Anyone who uses "e collars", force training or "shock" collar training is a huge no-no.  Even if it means you have to travel an hour or more to take your foster to class, do it.

2) Dog classes if you're going to have them for a while. I was prepared to take these little guys to a Puppy Class.  If you have an older dog, I'd recommend a dog training class.
3) We needed a pet sitter one evening so we could go to a friend's birthday party. That cost money ($20 and food) but it was worth it.
4) You may have to kennel your OWN dogs. I had to do that with a year old cattledog that I fostered for a week.  He was dog-aggressive.
5) We actually had an experienced trainer friend to facilitate the meet and greet between the puppies and our resident dogs.

Keep track of all expenditures, they are most likely a tax-write-off if the rescue is non-profit.

TTDTY#11 They are NOT yours but you have to care for them like they WERE yours. 

TTDTY#12 Your residents dogs come first. 
This one is hard because fosters, especially puppies, take a tremendous amount of time and care.  You have to know your resident dogs very well.  How much stress can they take. When do they need a time out?  Do they need a Safe Place?
I created one for my female dog, Elke by putting an x-pen around 2 chairs and did not allow the squirts to bark at her.

TTDTY#13 You are the Foster Parent.  You and your family have every right to grill prospective owners like a flounder on the fire.  You've been living with these dogs for XYZ  period of time and you know them well.
The idea of fostering is prepare these pups (or adult dog) for its new home.  Period.  That's your job.   Just like a responsible breeder of purebred dogs, you should be asking way more questions than the prospective owner asks you. If you have concerns, you need to address them.
If it doesn't feel right, just say NO!  Puppies usually have a lot of prospective owners. Older dogs are tougher.

TTDTY#14 Dog savvy kids are your foster puppy's best asset. 
Use them.
Corbin, a 2nd grader, holds Hope
while Artie looks on.
I was very fortunate to have a friend with three great kids.  I shamelessly used them.
Set down some ground rules, stick to them, keep an eye out and let them go to it.
I'd use around 2nd grade and older kids.  Make sure they are dog savvy.  Ask yourself:
1) How are your dogs with them?
2) How are they with their own dogs?
3) Do you like their family dog(s)?
That's a great indicator.
Kids have endless energy and can tire out your pups.  Plus the photo ops are an added plus.

Speaking of photos:

TTDTY#15 Take pictures.  Lots of pictures. 
Like you have spare time to do this?  
I know, I know.  
But try.  Even if they are stupid cell photos.  
Puppies change daily and you need a record.  Plus good puppy pictures can benefit the Rescue....if one great picture is good, why not have 5 on that PetFinder page?  
Remember the Photo Rate of Attrition: For every 10 photos you take, one will be good-great. 
Also shoot some video!
If you have a friend with a good camera, enlist them. Pizza and booze are a nice way to say thanks!

TTDTY#16 Canned PLAIN pumpkin (NOT for a pumpkin pie, no spices!) is your friend.
Puppies poop and because of their uncanny ability to ingest all manner of strange sh*t, they get the sh*ts fairly often.  Adding canned pumpkin; about a teaspoon to one or more feedings can help this.  Don't ask me why but it sure helped with these guys.  I also used a pinch of Fortflora, which I got from my vet. 

TTDTY#17 Peanut butter (plain) is your friend.  
Use it to give pills, stuff a Kong or safe old bone for busy time. 

TTDTY#18 You will need poop bags. Lots and lots of poop bags. 
You need to carry said poop bags with you all times or have a dispenser in your yard. Both would be better. If you're like me and wear your PJs way too much of the time, use a bait bag or Spibelt to carry poop bags with you at all time. 
Quick clean-up is essential!
You can order poop bags online: Bags On Board.  I like these a lot, they are pretty sturdy and great for small to medium-large poops. 
You can use grocery bags, Walmart bags, the bags your newspaper comes in. You can use sandwich bags.

TTDYT#18A ALL Puppies eat their poop.  
At least mine did.  Puppies eat everything so why not their poop?
I can only imagine that it's because it's:
1) A nasty dog thing.  
2) These puppies were found in a box of their own filth and they were hungry.  You eat what's there. Ick.
This is one of those times when you need your Ninja-like reflexes because they can poop, turn, scarf that poop faster than you can say, "Bob's your uncle!'
TTDTY#19 At some point in the process, you will have a total complete melt-down. 
It could be because you've just cleaned out the puppy pen then there was a rampant case of diarrhea and the pup smeared it all over himself. 
It could be that day when you realize that they are leaving. 
That day they have gone. 
You will become a blithering, yowling, howling, weeping, screaming mass of harridan, incomprehensible humanity. 
Guy or gal, I don't care who you are. It's going to happen. 

TTDTY#20 Sleep?  Mwah-hah-hah!  What sleep? 
You sleep when they sleep. 
Get used to napping. 
See the Baby reference in #1

TTDTY#21 They are the ear-splitting, sonic-boom noise makers of the animal kingdom. 
They scream, whine, howl, bark at rock-concert-deafening proportions. Even if they are sleeping through the night, you'll hear them in the wee, small hours of the morning. They will shatter your dreams.  Unless you are like my Spousal Unit who takes his "ears' out at night. That noise pierces through door, ceilings, whole houses and outside. 

TTDTY#22 There are few things more enchanting that a sleeping puppy. Especially when they've crashed in your arms. 
It doesn't last long.  Enjoy it.  I watched ten episodes of THE WEST WING while Hope was recovering from her spay.  Thank God for a remote and Netflix.

TTDTY#23 It's wonderful moment when they gaze lovingly into your eyes and lick your face.
It doesn't last long.  Enjoy it.  They are yours only for a little while. 

TTDTY#24 All those friends and family members who joyfully said, "We'll help you!" won't. 
Granted, you WILL get some folks to help but you'll have to ask, ask, ask. Just don't count on it.  

TTDTY#25 Expect The Unexpected. 
This could be anything from someone giving you stuff you needed, free! It could be a meal cooked, people messing with your pups and giving them great socialization, to your own dog turning into Cujo to illness to even death. The part that made me mentally hold my breath is that one of these little guys would get severely injured or even die. See TTDTY#11

TTDTY#26 Learn The Shuffle.
There are two kinds of Shuffles.  
1) The Crate Shuffle.  Where you manage upset, stressed, needing-time-out dogs by crating some and letting others loose. The Crate Shuffle is busy at its best; stressful and exhausting at its very worse. 
2) The Foot Shuffle.  This is a the awkward gait that one gets when you have puppies underfoot.  they can and will trip you up so it's best to practice this before you get them.  Your feet never leave the floor. Think of yourself as 101 years old.

TTDTY#27 You will need slip-on shoes with NO shoelaces. Shoelaces are crack for puppies. 
Artie playing with Hope and Dozer

TTDTY#28 Your resident dogs will amaze you. 
In my case, Elke thought she'd died and gone to hell. We had to watch her inside with them as she became overwhelmed with their playing. She learned what, "Do you need a safe place?" meant.  Two chairs surrounded by the x-pen. 
Artie, my 18 month old Australian cattledog, thought he'd died and gone to heaven.  He was absolutely amazing with these puppies.  He played with them, disciplined them, broke up fight, slept by their puppy pen, waggled toys in front of them, watched over them. He was a super Uncle to these pups. 

Which leads me to:

TTDTY#29 Know your dogs. Know their noises, body language etc.
Older dogs will discipline your puppies. That's a given. 
The first time it happens, it's going to sound and look awful.  If there's no horrible shrieking, no blood and no marks, chances are you're ok. Just monitor your dogs and watch them for signs of stress. 

TTDTY#30 Have resource people you can actually TALK to.  
Facebook, Twitter and emails all have their place but you will need instant contact and that's the good old phone.  Your resource people could be a trainer, an experienced dog friend who has had puppies before and/or the rescue agency. 
If the rescue does not have people you can contact easily: DO NOT FOSTER THROUGH THIS RESCUE. They should be there for you at all times. 

TTDYT#31 At some point in this whole process, you WILL pick up poop with your bare hands. 
It's part of the indoctrination to Puppy Foster Parenthood. 
You will also: 
1) step in sh*t (preferably in your socks because you forgot TTDYT#27).
2) step in pee (preferably in bare feet or with socks on). 
3) get peed on. 
4) get puked on.
5) become adept at improvising things to pick up puppy sh*t with.  (Big leaves can do the job.)

TTDYT#32 Stock up on laundry supplies, towels, rags etc.

Trust me, you don't have enough. 

TTYDT#33 Do not foster unless you have a lot of free time. 
It is much more time consuming than you would imagine. 

TTDYT#34 Learn to eat on the run and eat whatever is available. 
Your diet, unless you are prepared, is going right down the crapper. You don't have time to make a friggin' salad. You'll eat cold pizza standing up and like it. 

TTDYT#35 Have a To-Go Puppy Package for the new owners.
Mine contained a big amount of their current food, any meds with instructions, phone numbers for the rescue contacts, toys (Kongs, a rope toy, a clutch ball) and a old blanket or towel that they'd be sleeping on and that I had wiped my dogs' bellies and butts with plus some of my sweat. That way, they'd have a smell of "home" when they get to their new home.

TTYDT#36 Pray.  Fostering is a religious experience.  
You'll pray for patience, tolerance, psychic powers, a strong heart. 
You pray that your breath comes back after an, "OHMYGOD, where the hell is the puppy?" moment. You pray that they find their responsible  loving forever homes quickly and live in health and happiness until, old, grey, adored, it's their time to go to The Bridge.  
You pray you won't get them back.  
You pray you can let them go into an uncertain future.
You pray that the gods will watch over them always. 
You pray to be a good Foster Parent.

Puppy Fostering: The Crazies

Dozer and Hope, April 13, 2013

You've had a long, long day.  You've been watching puppies, herding puppies, cleaning up after puppies. Your legs and back hurt from bending over, picking up a 10 pound pup or wet stinky newspapers or quickly washing off her paws because she stepped in her runny poops AGAIN.  When puppies scream and whine, it's deafening.  Like nails on a chalk board.  

You've fed them dinner. You hope for an evening of winding down your day.

Think again!

Oh, god, it's the "puppy crazy play time, run-around-time while not letting her get crazy so thank god for pop bottles to play with...yet this is driving my other dogs nuts and they're not allowing to rough house with her because of her spay" time of evening. 

She (Hope) will crash. Eventually.

You hope.  No pun intended.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Puppy Fostering: And Then There Were.....


Hope has left the building....
Hope and her new Mom. April 21, 2013
Little Hope, who really loved lap sitting, is gone.  She went to her new home today.

I confess.  I am a sap. I was very weepy when it was time to let her go.  I really was pretty choked up. She spent a good portion (ten-plus episodes worth of THE WEST WING) on my lap, while I held bones, Kongs and rope toys for her to chew on as she recovered from her spay and a mild infection.

She wanted to play with Uncle Artie so much.  I confess I would let them play a bit, just to get her yah-yahs out.  The nice thing about these pups is when they crashed, they CRASHED!!!

"Please play with me, Uncle Blooby!"

They were messy beyond belief and major chewers. To be fair, I think all puppies are.  Elke was pretty awful as I recall. Hope was a huge barker and screamer!  They let you know, in no uncertain terms, loudly, vociferously when they were hungry in the morning and evening.  That's a noise that could wake the dead. 

Their personalities were different. 
Dozer, April 16, 2013

Dozer was a pretty tentative guy almost shy, yet he loved to wrestle with Artie!  Those two would go at it non-stop. Hope was more adventurous, more vocal, and if the wrestling really started in earnest, she duck in between your legs.  

Dozer and a friend's daughter, Bronwyn....

They both were very people oriented (which is wonderful) and love to smell, smell, smell and put anything and EVERYTHING into their mouths. They were seriously into rough-housing with each other and Uncle Artie.  Chasing things...not so much.  They'll have to learn to play fetch, and they can. 

Hope, April 20, 2013

I hope their new families do right by them.  I hope they keep them socialized and take them to dog classes and get them started right. That's the part you don't know about..  That's the crap shoot.  Are they going to not give up in those horrible puppy times to come?  And they are pretty horrible.  Having a puppy is NOT for the faint of heart. Having a good puppy is REALLY not for the faint of heart. These puppies have had every chance for success that we foster parents could have given them.  Kudos and hats off to the foster family who had mom and all the babies....they really had a huge task!

All the new owners I met and heard about are bringing their new pup into homes with other dogs.  This could be a great thing, it could be crappy too.  It depends.  

All I can do now is pray that for all five puppies it's a "stick!"  That these are their forever homes.  That these are nice, responsible, caring people. 

The hard part, for me, was not "letting them go." I won't miss cleaning up never-ending pee and poop, cleaning and rearranging the puppy pen 3-4 times a day and watching them like a hawk. The Goodbye Time couldn't come fast enough.

The hard part? It's letting them go on a wing and a prayer into an uncertain future that you have absolutely no control over.  Sensing that the new owners just don't want to linger; they want to get going.  "Come on lady, take the damn check so we can get the hell out of here!" 

You'd like one more snuggle goodbye but they're not "yours" anymore.  Seeing them drive away as you wave goodbye while the new owners are probably thinking, "God, is't that pathetic!"

To Quote Khalil Gibran:

Your children are not your children. 
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself. 

And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you...... 
......For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday. 
You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth. 
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far. 
Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness; 
For even as he loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable.
They come through you but not from you, 

Dozer and Hope: Fly high, be good, live long, be loved and cherished until it's time (many, many years from now) to go to The Bridge where Blooby will meet you with a joyful bark of remembrance.

I am glad we had you for a little while.  Even if you were a royal pain in the ass a lot of the time.


Thursday, April 18, 2013

Puppy Fostering: One Gone, One Left....

Elke: One of the puppy things went to his new home.....

Artie: Why won't Mom let us play with the other one?

Elke: Mom says she's "recovering" from something.  She smells funny.

Artie: Bummer....

Dozer and his new family! April 18, 2013
I will confess that I got a little teary when I kissed the guy good-bye.  I won't miss the mouthing, pooping, peeing, cleaning up all the time....

Oh, wait...Hope is still here.  That's still going on. Just halved.

He's going to be a very sweet dog. I truly hope they go to "L'Chaim Canine and get him on the right track.  Puppies are challenging BUT can (with work, sweat, tears) end up with an awesome dog!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Puppy Fostering: The Beginning (Part A)

So, you want to be a Puppy Foster?  Oh, better actually want your female dog to give BIRTH so you can have puppies?

Wow, good for you.  Kudos to you.  You're crazy.  You are f--g insane.

Puppies ARE adorable!  Not a doubt in my mind of the adorableness of puppies!  They are soft, darling, funny, klutzy, squishy folds of skin with beguiling eyes and puppy breath!

They are also:

Unbelievably messy, whining, clawing, piranhas with razor sharp teeth that chew EVERYTHING and ANYTHING!  I mean ANYTHING!  Rocks, paper, metal, wood, (fabric is a biggie), newspapers in their pen, your flesh, your other dogs....anything is fair game to their gaping maws and jaws!  The more mobile they are, the more havoc they bring!

I got these little adorable, whiny, squealing, demanding, barking kids on April 7th as they begin their journey from Mom (and Helpers) to becoming separate entities, becoming their Own Dog and into their forever homes (one hopes and prays). They were 8 weeks old when I got them; this is Week Two.  Tomorrow they get spayed and neutered.

Elke was a pretty terrible puppy, she chewed tons.  But for some odd reason, she was housetrained when we found her at 4 months old. Artie chewed tons too and housetraining HIM was a real challenge.  I never thought he'd get it and then one day, BAM! he got it!  Praise the Gods and pass the ammunition!

Now that we, er, uh.....what's this "We" stuff, Sherlock? the Spousal Unit is very helpful, don't misunderstand and kind enough to open part of his house for these little ones who need this bridge to the next phase of their lives.  But he is at work and probably glad to be in the Citrix Jungle as opposed to here.  With Puppies.  So...let me rephrase.

Now that I have these puppies, Elke thinks she's died and gone to Hell.  She is NOT amused at all.  I have 2 chairs surrounded by an X-pen.  This is her safety zone. She's OK outside with them but inside is a new kind of Hell.

Let me give you an example of my day. Yesterday, Tuesday April 16th, my day started with screaming, hungry pups who needed to go outside at 6am. I cleaned out the puppy pen 3 times, swabbed the floors, picked up poop so they don't EAT it (inside and outside), listened to never-ending whining, "I'm in my crate!  It's WET outside!  I'm in my play pen and you're not. I want to be on your lap so I can chew on your face, finger, shirt, boob, arm.... No, I want down!" You have to watch every second and step because your big clumsy human feet might step on them!  Think Cats That Bark and you'll get the idea. At least, at this point in their lives, they are not nocturnal!

Whine, whine, whine!  WHINE!!  And that's the short version!

When they nap, you nap.  It's like having a newly-walking baby with really sharp teeth.  Really sharp. And claws like a cat. That pisses EVERYWHERE!  They are babies with teeny weenie bladders and they drink like frat boys on Free Keg Night.  And they piss like frat boys after Free Keg Night.  Every day is like Free Keg Night.

Today started at 5:53 am.  It's 7:51 am.  I may get a bit of breakfast and a brief nap.  I'm taking the chance....I'm turning off the ringer on the phone so I'm not awakened by some telemarketing a**hole.....

More Later....

I"m slithering out of the den with sleeping pups and big dogs in crates....

Puppy Fostering #2

I had forgotten what it's like to have a whoosy dog....
"Oh. My God, my feet might get wet! It's raining! The ground is damp!" 
The dog sits on the back steps, does nothing for a half an hour, won't play because it's DAMP and then comes in the house and pisses everywhere. 
Its sibling will play, but not it. Not unless it's inside and WARM!

Whoever said "Terriers are Tough" never had a short-haired one!

Welcome to my world.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Puppy Fostering #1

I just stepped in puddle of puppy pee so big it went OVER my flip-flops and soaked my foot. 

OK, dog friends you may now commence laughing your butts off!

"It COULDN'T have been adorable little me!" giggled Hope....

(It probably was your brother.....)

Friday, April 5, 2013

Your First Concert

So what was your first big band or performer you ever saw live, in person?  Your first REAL concert?

Not a movie  or video.  Not a friend's band either; doesn't count. Has to be a name people know (or knew if you're older...)

Mine was Paul Revere and the Raiders!!  Like most teeny boppers, I had a huge thing for Mark Lindsay.  This is the era of the Beatles, the Monkeys etc.  Mark Lindsay and Davy Jones were all over Teen Magazine and Tiger Beat.  I had a subscription actually.

I was...well...let's say....YOUNG!  Under 12. My brother had to go with me.  My mother made him, much to his chagrin. In retrospect, I think she was right as he would make sure nothing happened to me. Needless to say, he was not happy. I can't remember where it was, but I remember we actually had fairly decent seats and our Dad let me bring his binoculars.  They were probably from WW2 and weighted and ton.  "Don't lose them!"  It was actually very exciting and there were tons of screaming girls there.

He said as we were walking into the concert venue,  "So help me God, if you scream once, I will pinch you! Just remember what happened when I took you to see HARD DAY'S NIGHT....."

My mother also had made him take me to see the movie HARD DAY'S NIGHT at the Detroit Theater in Lakewood, Ohio. Boy, did he throw a fit about that!  He was so pissed off; he sat through the whole movie with his arms folded against his chest, pouting as only a teen-age boy can pout.  It was PACKED with screaming girls!  There were cops there.  For a movie, mind you.

Yes, I remembered A HARD DAY'S NIGHT.  One excited squeal in the movie theater, and yes, he pinched me.  HARD!

"Why did you do that?  Everyone else is screaming?"

"And if everyone else jumped off a bridge, you'd jump too?  How stupid can you be? THEY may be jerks but no sister of MINE is gong to be a jerk.  You can clap all you want, but that's it.  You get me? Watch the stupid movie."

You have to love brothers!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Mouse Adventures: Part 1

Today, I girded my loins and dialed 407-W-DISNEY to begin planning our Disney vacation, getting package prices etc.....

I love our "adopted daughter," JLH dearly.  We're missing our favorite bike event for her wedding.  I, mean, really.  It's a sacrifice. This is true love.  We said we would show, no matter where she got hitched. No doubt, I'm storing up a poop-load of guilt points, sighing and razzing her for years to come.  Trust me, this would not our first choice for a destination va-cay.  But since we're going for "an event", we might as well make it a damn vacation. We deserve it.  They have pools there.  And hopefully: sunshine. The Spousal Unit likes Pools and Sunshine.

The Spousal Unit just hopes there isn't a hurricane.  The last time we did this wedding-vacation thing , we decided to make it our delayed honeymoon as well.  It was September 2004.  For those of you are scratching your heads as to why the hell that matters, I have two names for you: Katrina and Ophelia.  Our little Bahamian sojourn to the Atlantis was sandwiched in between those two devastating hurricanes.  JLH, let's not make this wedding of yours a repeater, OK?

Smart folks that we are, we are staying on-sight.  Screw the car.  We're hoping all our Florida friends will come visit us for a change!  That would be rather unique, as all of our vacations over the past 13 years (except the Atlantis and one lovely weekend at Chautauqua have all centered around "visiting" with maybe a cycling event thrown in here and there.

Back to Disney World. Holy crap and tons of choices, Bat-Man.

I love the "Luxury" verse "Moderate" hotel rating.  "Standard" View versus "Garden."  I'm glad I asked what the difference was. (Hint: you don't want standard.)  And yes, you pay for the difference.  It's The Mouse after all.  The Mouse, he is NOT cheap.  The difference between a "moderate" resort (they're NOT hotels, they are RESORTS!  Get it right!) and the luxury one, like the Grand Floridian is (choke) about $2,000 MORE for a 6 night/7 day stay.  Granted, by all accounts, you don't get over-Moused at the Grand Floridian.  We can take a little Mousing for a cheaper price.

I had the Disney travel lady, Shauni, I got on the phone laughing so hard I thought she was going to have to put me on hold.  I was on a roll.

"So," she says, "The Disney Magic Transport (or whatever the hell they call it) will take your luggage from the airport to your room at the hotel...."

"That's nice! Uh, do we get there?  Do we have to crawl in the suitcase?"

"No, we stopped making guests do that a while ago." (OK, this lady is cool! She's warped!)

"That's good. So they bring US and the luggage from the airport? That's a relief.  What they are charging for steamer trunks on planes these days is outrageous." (Chortle.)

She actually was great and incredibly helpful but I swear she was going to spit her coffee out when I said, "Look, I have to level with you, we're coming for a wedding and.....frankly, we're probably two of the most unenthusiastic Mouse Tourists you've gotten this week. If not ever."

"No, I had a few..."

"My husband worked at The Mouse in '76 and '77.  He's got stories.  Crazy stories. He's not a huge fan..."

She pauses.....choking laughter.  "Well, then you might not like the Coranado Resort..."

"Why's that?"

"Well....(pause, throat clearing), it's uh, SO Disney, you almost don't need to go to the Magic Kingdom. It's, well, how can I put's (pause) WAY Disney."

"Nah, I don't want to stay husband will probably go postal!"  (Choking laughter.)

A while later, I ask the Big Question, "I need to  In the room.  I got news.....If there isn't coffee in our room, it could be a deal breaker...."

She checked.  There is, in the hotel we're most likely staying in.

I gave her a really good review in their survey, by the way.