Dog Rescue: A Cast of Five

After six and a half years in dog rescue, which I have minimal-to-no involvement in at the moment, I thought I’d compile the cast of characters who often occupy a rescue organization. I’m sure you’ll find many of the same types in your workplaces, as most are volunteers and earn money elsewhere. While well-intentioned, if the structure of the organization isn’t very well maintained or established, which is often the case in rescue, all of these types end up being a pain in someone’s ass at some point. If you sprinkle a little mental instability over them, and combine it with a lack of structure, you get the following cartoon-y archetypes:

The Lap
The Lap is there to cuddle dogs. She wants to sit with a dog, cuddle and pet it, and call it a day. She’s not concerned with much of anything else. Often clueless. You may find yourself approaching The Lap and muttering things like, “Could you please move your chair? You’re sitting directly in front of the donation jar.”

When asked to do something, like maybe clean up some pee, or get up and do anything else, The Lap will  start up with herky jerky movements, leash of dog in hand, not sure of how to stand since there’s a dog in her lap, as if she’s never done anything but sit there up to this point in her life. She usually figures it out after a few minutes.

 The Pat on the Back Addict
The Pat on the Back Addict doesn’t like to do anything without effusive praise afterwards. Will often passive aggressively fish for praise. Example, will post on a message board: “Did someone get the five dollar bill I put in the donation jar this Saturday? It was green, had Abraham Lincoln on it, and my name written across it in permanent marker. Please let me know if you saw it and if it’s been deposited. Maybe we can use it to buy some more dog treats since the ones that I previously bought seem to have disappeared.” Does usually wear pants, though.

The Basket Case
The Basket Case is highly volatile and takes everything personally. If a foster home, will say things like, “But Peanut can’t go to a home without a DVR, he gets so nervous during commercials, I think something bad happened to him in his last home when a Swiffer commercial was on.” Then, will turn around and say, “Why did that lady who looks like me and has good manners get turned down for a dog? Our standards must be way too strict if we didn’t let her have one.” When explanations are made, will fly into rage, call people terrible names, storm out of rooms, then become upset that no one takes her seriously.

The Big Idea
The Big Idea comes up with elaborate, grand schemes that are often not thought through and don’t really work in a small organization filled with burned-out people. “I think we should bedazzle the names of every dog on their collars! It will be a good identifier, and will spruce things up and encourage adoptions!” When someone (usually the Wet Blanket) points out that we don’t have any money in the budget for bedazzling supplies, often responds with, “You hate the dogs!” If given permission to do Big Idea as long as she figures out how to do it herself and gets her own help, project often fizzles, and The Big Idea will express surprise about how long bedazzling takes.

The Burned-Out Wet Blanket
The Burned-Out Wet Blanket is hated by all other types. She’s generally a downer. She does a lot of work, and so therefore has a low tolerance for people who don’t do much work or new ideas that will cause more work. Often heard saying things like, “And exactly who is going to do xyz?” Her chit chat with other people consists of correcting something they’re doing wrong, often in passing (literally), which makes it even more bitchy to those being corrected. Saying things like “I don’t think I can do this much longer” is taken by others as a threat, for some reason. She’s really a nice person, or used to be, before her workload enveloped her like a dark beast. Ok, fine, yes, I was the Wet Blanket type.


I’m Warning You, Don’t Put a Baby in There

I have some plastic bins from Ikea:

This is a plastic bin from Ikea - put stuff in it.

These bins have my most favorite warning stickers that I’ve actually seen in person:

Ikea is kind enough to show you why you shouldn’t put a baby in the bin if it isn’t small enough to completely fit inside – you can’t stack, which means you can’t maximize baby storage space.

Ed the Dog – Fashion Innovator

Do you think fingerless gloves are weird and don’t fit your needs? Do you want to have your palm read by the fortune teller but want to protect yourself from germs? Do you want to keep your fingers and the back of your hand covered but still want to feel your own skin against the warm face skin of the person you’re slapping?

Ed the Dog has the solution for you! Introducing, just in time for Christmas, the amazing Palmless Glove (TM)! No more hassling to remove your glove to jerk off. Now, you can spy on your neighbor in the bushes, jack off, and still stay warm!

Palmless Gloves will revolutionize winter high-fiving. Get a pair for Grandma (better grip, less falling down the stairs!) and a pair for yourself!

Right now we only have the prototype, which was found on the living room floor, lying there like a money-making angel. But, if there’s enough interest, Ed is more than willing to do his part to be sure that everyone who wants a pair can have one under their Christmas tree this year.

While in the picture, it doesn’t look like he’s very proud of his creation, and it may make you think that Palmless Gloves are not as awesome as they seem, I assure you, he looks like that most of the time, particularly when he’s being held. He’s a maven, an innovator, an accessory genius. The little shit.

I Need to be More Like The Muppets

You know those days when you wake up, and the sun is shining, and it’s November, and it’s not too hot and it’s not too cold, and you decide to check your e-mail on your phone from the comfort of your warm bed – and there’s a turd of an e-mail sitting in your inbox. And that e-mail says, in coded language, “I just woke up, being the sour person I am everyday, and decided to take it out on you.” And then, another person responds to that e-mail and says, in coded language, “Yeah, and I’m going to back them up because I’m also quite the pill.” And then that once promising day turns into a rage/depression combo day. That was yesterday.

The day before yesterday, Tom and I went to see The Muppet Movie (not the new one, the first one in 1979) at a movie theater on the big screen. It was so great – I’ve seen the movie several times, but was too young to see it in the theater when it came out. As with many people from my generation, The Muppets are very important to me, and so was Jim Henson.

The Muppets are amazing. They are genuine. They are quirky and unique. The weird ones embrace their weirdness, and the less weird ones appreciate the weird ones with affection and true friendship. They apologize to each other. They are not petty and vindictive – their flaws are human and forgivable. But, it isn’t all about “lessons” – there are jokes, they don’t take everything overly seriously, and other than the fabulous Miss Piggy, it’s never “all about them.” Then, like a cherry on top, they actually have two characters whose sole existence is to ridicule them (Statler and Waldorf). To someone who abhors over-sentimentality, this combination is absolutely perfect.

The Muppet Movie can have one of the sincerest songs ever written, “The Rainbow Connection,” which, if sung by a human, would be sappy and hippie dippy, but when sung by a frog in a swamp with the voice of Jim Henson, makes me want to cry just thinking about it…

And, it can have Steve Martin waiting on a frog an a pig on a date.

Basically, the best of both worlds.

I remember where I was when I found out Jim Henson died. I was in a mini van with my family in Ahoskie, N.C. – where my dad was from, visiting my grandma. Jim Henson had actually been in Ahoskie – a very, very small, obscure town – about a week before, visiting his father and step mother. When you find out that Jim Henson was in the tiny town your dad grew up, visiting his own dad, the world seems a little smaller, and the world of The Muppets a little more possible, even with the loss of their creator.

What The Muppets do so well, and what I need to do better, is they don’t deny that there’s crap in the world, or even that an e-mail can make a day go off its rails. They live in a world of true setbacks, and even some genuine assholes (the villain doesn’t come around to their point of view), but they also don’t let those things dictate the kind of day they’re going to have (but they let themselves feel bummed, too), because ultimately they are the ones who control whether to make the best of something or let it get them down. And, then, just before everything gets too sunshines and friendship, you hear:

Statler: Hey look, Waldorf, it’s a frog and a pig.

Waldorf: Yeah, looks like they’re in love.

Statler: Yeah.

Waldorf: Kind of makes you sick, doesn’t it?


In conclusion, I love you, Muppets. And I hope to God your new movie is good and does you justice.

Happy birthday, religious.

I’m not particularly fond of greeting cards. I don’t understand paying $3 for a folded piece of paper with a bunch of words you didn’t write expressing feelings you may or may not feel. I always buy unsentimental funny cards if I can find them. But, clearly, many, many people like greeting cards.

Looking through the cards at the drugstore yesterday, I noticed that they have any card you could ever need for “religious.” Since I don’t like cards and prefer to make my own, I did just that: