Dear dogs, peeing in the rain is not illegal, I looked it up.

Dear Jenkins and Ed,

While I certainly understand that a gray, rainy, soggy day sucks (I’ve been in a bad mood for a month partially because of the weather), neither one of you will use a toilet. And, if I were to introduce you to the concept of a litter box, you would consider it more a buffet than a bathroom. So, we are left with sticking with what works most other days of the year – you both need to pee and poop outside.

I’m writing you this letter at noon, which means you have refused to pee for well over twelve hours now. You are both boy dogs, you LOVE to pee on things – if you had eHarmony profiles, it would be one of the first things you listed under “likes.” I KNOW you have to pee, don’t look at me like I’m insane when I force you outside.

I would like to remind you both of the following facts:

Jenkins – you lived your first 8-9 months of your life chained outside in someone’s backyard. I’m sure it rained. Several times. Did you melt? No.

Ed – you lived your first several YEARS most likely a semi-feral country dog who has been shot at with bb guns and were most certainly rained on.  While I have applauded your spirit and willingness to rise above your past and become a couch dog many times, I do feel the need to point out that my asking you to not pee in the house is not akin to your homeless rural beginnings.

This is the deal: if you both suck it up for fifteen damn seconds and go pee on the side of the house for all I care (and I know you can do it because I’ve seen it happen), I will stop shoving you out the door every twenty minutes. Then, you can stop acting like I’m twirling my mustache and planning on taking over the world somehow by forcing two spoiled dogs to get their tootsies wet. Those ASPCA ads were NOT made for dogs in your current situation, as much as you’d like me to believe that.


I Feel like My Cat is a Face Surrounded by Knives, and that’s What Matters

Yesterday was a dreaded day. It was a day I hat to put my cat in a carrier to get him to the vet.

He’s now 14 years old, and he’s definitely mellowed in his old age. I’m not sure if it’s slightly easier to get him in his carrier now because of that or because we’ve perfected the two-day, multi-stepped process of accomplishing it.

My cat is an asshole. And by that I mean that he has had us hiding in closets before.  So, when it’s time for him to go to the vet, I have a little anxiety.

Here’s the process:
1. The night before – clip his front nails (he will not allow back nails)
2. Get carrier out of closet, hide it in closed bathroom (it has to be in a very small room so he has nowhere to go if I miss on the first try), propped up against the wall with the door already open.
3. Wait overnight for him to forget that he saw me get his carrier out.
4. Next day, pretend there’s nothing up until time to make my move.
5. Say a prayer, and grab him, hopefully while he is relaxing in an easily accessible spot.
6. Briskly move to the bathroom, scruffing him and weathering the thrashing.
7. Hold on for dear life as he sees the carrier; shove him head first into it, adjusting the placement of his legs as he tries to straddle the opening.
8. Apologize once he’s in there, because he will eventually be out.

This time I sustained very minor injuries – no blood!

We made it to the vet, bonus points for bringing one of the dogs, too. The vet visit went fine, which is a huge improvement  – this is the big area where you can tell he’s gotten older. Young Elliott would have screamed and hissed a lot.

Once he gets back into his carrier (which, when at the vet, is like an upscale resort he can’t wait to get back to), we drive home. And, after about three minutes of realizing the next stop is home and out of the carrier – he starts to yell at me. So the ride home is usually me singing along to loud music while he tries to be heard. This time was no exception.

She’s my pumpkin pie, warm boat of gravy such a sweet suprise-I got you a Thanksgiving card!

I found myself in the drugstore’s greeting card section yet again last week.

This time, the Halloween cards (which I really don’t see the point of) had been replaced with Thanksgiving cards. I don’t know why, but this seems even sillier than Halloween cards to me. And, as usual, there were categories which had wrong descriptions and cards. I have made the necessary corrections:

Because eating until you have to unbutton your pants naturally leads to doin' it.

I would like to preface the next two with the following fact: I work in dog rescue. I buy my dogs Christmas presents. We make up songs about our dogs and sing them to our dogs (“Your own, personal, Jenkins. Someone to give belly rubs, someone to snug….reach out and kiss face”). I even “understand” a birthday card from a dog (cats don’t give a shit). So when I say that there is a problem if you feel you need to buy or receive a Thanksgiving card from your pet, that means there’s a problem.


Don’t Stick Your Fingers in the Crates – Warning Sign Blindness (or, Wizards)

For the past 6-ish years, I’ve worked with a local dog rescue. The first thing to understand about most people who work with dog rescue is the emphasis on the dog part of all of it. People don’t go into dog rescue to interact with other people. That is key. There are endless stories on the mad mad mad world of dog rescue, but today, I’d like to type about warning signs.

There are lots of movies and People Magazine articles about man’s indomitable spirit. There aren’t as many about man’s indomitable ability to not see something in front of his face. And I mean people who can see, not blind people – they have lots of movies and articles.

Every Saturday, our dog rescue fills a van full of adoptable dogs and sets them up at a Petco about 25 minutes away. So, these dogs, who have already lost their homes at least once, get carted off to a weird place with tons of strangers, have to ride in a crate in a van both ways and get jostled around all day long. It’s loud, messy, and chaotic. Almost all of the dogs are friendly, and really have no major issue with the madness.

"Hi, I’m happy, goofy, and ready for anything."

There are some dogs who get overwhelmed by the whole ordeal, mostly, because it’s completely overwhelming, and, because sometimes they may not have had the best life up to this point. Personally, I have had to keep myself from biting other people several times, so I empathize. And, the thing is, for the most part, they DO NOT bite, ever. But, for the sake of liability, fair warning, and to be sure all bases are covered – every crate gets at least one warning sign on the front door. Usually, two – one on the top, too.

Even the invisible dogs shouldn't be touched.

The options were the signs, or try to reason with the dogs, and I now believe we made an error in not trying to reason with the dogs, first. Our adoption event lasts 4 hours every week. And, we try to be polite and “customer service-y.” If you stick your hand in a crate, you will get different reactions, depending on the hour you do it:

First hour: “Hi, please be careful, these dogs are a little overwhelmed so for safety’s sake we ask that you not stick your fingers in there. They may even nip because they think you have a treat or something. I’d be happy to get any dog out that you’d like to meet.”

Second hour: “Please don’t put your fingers in the crates.”

Third hour: “No fingers.”

Fourth hour: Most likely a grunting sound.

Why the deterioration of friendliness? Remember, most of us aren’t people-people. And, secondly, the staggering amount of people who have Warning Sign Blindness. I estimate that nearly 80% of the population is afflicted with it.*

Fingers in Crate
Teach, your children well...
Finger in Crate plus a bob and weave
This lady is ducking under a literal barrier created to keep people from finger sticking.

The only other thing I can come up with is that a wizard cast a spell on all of our warning signs, with the one of two spells:

Crate Spell
The neon and capitalization don’t matter a whit, for no one who needs to will see this shit.

Or, he changed what people see:

While I’m not willing to completely rule out wizardry, I’m pretty sure it’s Warning Sign Blindness. This is based on the reaction to being told that the little sign they are lifting up, to get a better angle at cramming their hand in the crate, has words on it telling them NOT to do exactly that.

  • “Oh, oops, sorry. Duh.” (My favorite)
  • “This dog is mean?” Yep, see the line of 20+ crates, all with warning signs? All of our dogs are rabid.
  • “Oh, it’s ok. I have a dog” (My least favorite.) Is it that dog? Cause if not, take the lotion out of the fucking basket.

I am writing this because diagnosis is key. If you suspect you may suffer from Warning Sign Blindness, err on the side of caution and assume you’re missing something. Find the nearest employee/authority figure and ask if there are any signs that say you shouldn’t do something. If there are, then at least you can make an informed decision as to whether to become a pain in the ass.**

* You may be thinking “oh, but that’s just a couple instances.” I kid you not, I got both of these pictures within 3 minutes of each other on the same day. It. Never. Ends.
**And, seriously, bless, bless, bless these people. They mean well, really. They are so moved by the sight of these dogs they can’t see anything else. I really do get that – when I’m not there and am thinking about it later.