Category Archives: Dogs

Jenny: A Story About a Girl Dog

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, then you know all about my dogs. It has been less than two years since I wrote about losing Buddy, our black lab (Read here). Now, our chocolate lab Jenny, has left us and joined Buddy. She was our only girl dog and she was more girl than dog. Jenny was surrounded by boy dogs and her motto was “Boys Are Stupid!”

Buddy’s new friend

Buddy was a one-year-old puppy with only an old, worn out lab to play with when we decided that the puppy needed a puppy. That’s how Jenny came into our lives. She was named after Jenny in Forrest Gump but they had little in common. Our Jenny was not blond, nor did she get mixed up in drugs. But then again, they did have some things in common. She loved a boy (dog) she’d known her whole life and had his baby (two of them, actually). They were like peas and carrots. And she did love to dangle.

Jenny and Buddy

Peas and carrots

Jenny dangling

More dangling

While the stupid boys (her words, not mine) were rolling in stinky things, Jenny loved to smell flowers and scented lotions. There was one particular sunscreen that she loved so much, she’d lick it right off of you if she had the chance.

smelling flowers

She always sat with her feet crossed, like a lady. Even on her last day…

real girl dog

She was a lady

When Jenny was much too young, she and Buddy “eloped” in the back yard. This lone encounter resulted in two baby boy dogs. One looked like Jenny, the other like Buddy. Jenny took one look at them and said, “Great, more stupid boys.” She did grow to love them. So much so, that she was very mad at me when I gave them away.

JJ and BJ

Jenny’s babies

Jenny had dog beds all over the house. Her favorite was a dark brown bed that we kept in the kitchen. She blended in with it so well that we often couldn’t find her anywhere only to find that she was camouflaged in her big brown bed. I never caught her doing it, but she moved that bed around and rearranged the pillows all by herself. I don’t know how.

Her second favorite spot was in the “dog room.” Yes, my dogs are so spoiled that they have their own room. There’s a kennel in there and she slept on the inside while the boy dogs were relegated to the top. It’s sort of a doggie duplex. After she was gone, I pulled her bedding out of the kennel to wash everything. Besides the two lambskin mats, there was a matching robe. A robe! My dog had a robe in her cage! Where did she get a robe? Did she go shopping? I’ve never seen it before. It’s not mine. I have NO clue.

dog robe

Jenny’s robe

Jenny didn’t like loud noises like thunder or the smoke alarm. Despite the fact that she was a dog, she hated barking. While the boy dogs barked at any and everything, Jenny wanted as far away from that noise as she could get. If she wanted in or out, she would shake her head so that her collar jingled. If we didn’t hear her, she would eventually resort to a bark. If we heard a bark, we knew that she’d already been trying to get our attention for a while and we’d better move quickly. She trained us very well.

Jenny was my husband’s favorite dog. Unfortunately, he was out of town when we lost her. He had to say goodbye to her on Facetime. I really hoped that she could make it until he got back, but she just couldn’t hold out any longer.

Eddie, the Jack Russell, and our last remaining dog, loved Jenny like she was his mother. He took care of cleaning her face every day. Eddie and I spent her last night next to her on the floor. He knew what was coming. She died on a Sunday morning. That night, when Eddie wanted to go outside, he shook his head and made his collar jingle. He had never done that before. For the next few days, every time he ate, he laid two pieces of food on the floor. I suppose these are Eddie’s tributes to his mama. I know that he misses her.

 

I like to think that Jenny has found Buddy and they’re on a lake somewhere, together.

 

 

It’s Halloween: Trigger Treat!

It’s Halloween again. What was once a favorite holiday for kids has become just as popular with adults. And why wouldn’t it be with the parties, costumes, dressing up as our favorite superheroes and tv characters? Not to mention, it’s the only day of the year that it’s acceptable to dress slutty. But for now, let’s reflect on the innocent days of our childhood.

I remember early on in my trick or treating days, I had no idea what I was saying. All I new was that I was supposed to knock on the door and when someone answered I yelled out “trigger treat” and they gave me candy. Somewhere along my junk food seeking journey, a candy-passer-outer asked “what’s the trick?” I didn’t understand the question. So she elaborated. “You said ‘trick or treat’ so what’s the trick if I don’t give you a treat?” OOOOHHHH! I’m supposed to be saying “TRICK or treat,” not “TRIGGER treat.”


Now that I’m all grown up, I think that trigger treat is more appropriate. If I buy Halloween candy, and we don’t give it all away, then I’m going to want to eat at least one piece. That one piece will trigger me to eat one more – ten more times. Or so. As someone who could stand to lose some weight, I don’t need the added temptation.

We haven’t participated in passing out Halloween candy for several years because of our dogs. There are several issues including barking at the doorbell, being scared of little ghosts and goblins and the possibility of biting said ghosts and goblins. It has been easier to just turn off the lights and hide like cowards inside the house.

I’ve been thinking about giving it a try this year. Maybe if we put Eddie in his thunder jacket, it might relieve some of his anxiety about tiny superheroes and zombies knocking on our door begging for treats. You’d think he’d understand since he’s all about begging for treats. The thing about Eddie and his thunder jacket is that he seems to think that he can’t move when he’s wearing it. He stands there like a statue when I put it on him. But for the sake of all those trick-or-treaters, that might be a good thing. He can’t bite them if he can’t move!


That takes me back to the trigger treats. It has been so long since we’ve participated in Halloween that I don’t know how many kids to expect. If I buy too much candy, I know I’m going to want to eat the leftovers. If I don’t buy enough, we’re back to turning off the lights and hiding in the bedroom. This puts us at risk for being the victims of a good tp rolling.

Oh what the heck, I’ll throw caution to the wind, dress up as a slutty cartoon character and greet those little sugar addicts with a big bowl of candy and a dog statue. What’s a couple more pounds anyway? They don’t write songs about girls with little butts.

halloween

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

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Here We Go Again

Seems like I’ve done this before

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, then you may recall last summer, while my husband was on a short deployment to Bulgaria, yours truly was thrust into the world of manual labor (i.e. yard work). As luck would have it, history repeats itself this month as he is on another brief deployment. If you didn’t read that post, or don’t remember what it said, I highly recommend it. Click here to read it.

I appreciate my husband’s (and all other military members) service to our country. So I’m willing, during these deployments, to step out of my spoiled little bubble to pump my own gas and mow the yard. It’s the least I can do for America. Literally.

My husband wanted to cut the grass right before he left, but I was quite insistent that he not do it. It was his last day before a very long flight and that’s not how I wanted him to spend it. When it came time for me to cut the yard, I felt of tinge of regret for that decision. Then a tinge of guilt for the tinge of regret. Et cetera.

Unable to avoid it any longer, and knowing that it was only going to get deeper, I headed outside to tackle the jungle that concealed my backyard. The first thing I did was check the gas tank, which was low. I looked around for the gas can to top it off, but I couldn’t find it anywhere. Again, if you’re a regular reader, you know that I recently organized the shed, so if the gas can was in there, it should have been visible. I decided that I would mow until I ran out of fuel.

Certain that I would run out of gas before the job was complete, I waited for that sputtering sound that would warn me that my mowing time was nearly up. I wondered who I would ask to finish it off and come back to mow again, as needed, until my husband returns. He’d already told me that I couldn’t call the hot guy who used to do our yard because he charges too much. If you saw him… uh, I mean if you saw his work, you’d agree that he’s worth every dime.

The one time you hope to run out of gas…

Still waiting for the sputter, I glanced at the shed, from just the right angle, and noticed that little red gas can hiding in a corner. Dang it! If there’s gas in that thing, I’m going to have to finish the yard. And there was. And I did. And I have the shoes to prove it.

green shoes

I also have the little green dog to prove it.

green dog

 

Eddie’s New Friend

It’s me again… Eddie. My human is busy so I’m filling in on the blog this week. You may recall the last time I wrote (Click here to read my last post), that my corgi girlfriend Penny was expecting a baby brother named Archer. Well, he showed up in January all cute and fluffy with his big eyes and funny ears. As soon as I saw him, I knew there was only one thing I could do. Kill him!

Archie, Archer, Corgi

DON’T JUDGE ME! I’m a dog and this is instinct. This puppy was a clear threat to me and my pack and I had to get rid of him. Just look at him…

Corgi, puppy

It turns out that the humans didn’t agree that he was a threat. Instead, they saw me as a threat to him. Can you believe that? So they made me wear a muzzle. They called it my “Hannibal Lecter mask.” I have no idea what that means, but to be honest, I’m glad they made me wear it. Instincts are hard to fight and I really didn’t want to hurt the little guy. I couldn’t seem to help myself.

A few weeks after Archie arrived, my humans went on vacation leaving me with Penny, Archie and their human. It didn’t take me long to realize that I was going to spend the whole week alone unless I started getting along with the puppy. So, I was nice to Archie and the human let me sleep with her pack all week. By the time my humans came home, I wasn’t wearing my Hannibal Lecter mask anymore!

We’ve been buddies ever since. The poor thing was scared of everything and didn’t know how to be a dog. He followed me around like a puppy.. no pun intended. I taught him to chase squirrels and bark at cars. I showed him how to run up and down the fence line barking at everybody who walks by. I taught him that this is our territory, and those people are trespassing. I taught him to hang out under the table when the humans eat and watch for falling food (I’m pretty sure the human male does it on purpose). Archie scratches on the door when he needs to go outside – and he finally knows when to go outside!

dog friends

 

We’re all dressed up for a wedding

Penny and Archie have moved to their own house now, but they come back to visit me often. I am confident that I have taught Archie everything he needs to know to keep his human safe in her new house. Don’t tell him I said this, but I miss the little guy.

 

Corgis
Penny and Archie at their new house.

 

 

Penny For Your Thoughts (by Eddie)

dog blog, Eddie

 

A lot has happened since the last time you saw me (Read my last post here). This week we celebrated my 8th birthday. The cake was Oreo flavored.

I mentioned in my last blog post that the human children in my pack grew up and left home. The youngest one has been living in a place called Knoxville for the last five years. She came back home in May and brought her dog Penelope with her. She is planning to buy a house, but until then she and Penelope live here at my house. Penelope, or Penny, is a Corgi. She’s my size and can keep up with me. We run around the yard all day long and bark at everything and everyone. We do everything together. We fight a lot too. Our humans call us “the terror twins.”

 

Penny is beautiful. If our humans hadn’t had us “fixed” we could have adorable little Corgi Russell terrier puppies. Or Jacorgis. Whatever.

Penny, Corgi

Penny was just a year old when she came to live here. Jenny (the 10 year old chocolate lab) wasn’t too happy about having another energetic puppy around, but Penny won her over and now they’re good friends.

 

Penny has a funny food ritual that she does every day. She lays food out in row. She rolls it with her nose until its perfectly straight.  It makes the humans laugh and laugh. They say she’s offering a sacrifice to the food gods.

corgi

 

You may have heard that my Buddy died last summer. He was my best friend and I miss him, but Jenny misses him more. He’s buried at the lake and Jenny lies beside his spot every time we visit.
jenny

It has been a bittersweet year. I lost a best friend and gained a new one. Penny’s human is expecting another Corgi puppy to arrive soon. His name is Archie. I hope we will be good friends too, but my humans think I’ll be jealous of him. I’ll let you know how it goes.

 

Buddy: The Best Dog Ever

We said goodbye to our black lab, Buddy. He was the best dog ever. On paper, he was my daughter’s dog, but in his heart, and in ours, he belonged to us all. When my daughter got Buddy on her 15th birthday, graduation was just a few years away and we knew that he would probably stay home with us old folks when she left for college. Then, when he was a year old, we decided that the puppy needed a puppy to play with. That’s where Jenny, his lifelong companion, came in. After that, my daughter knew that she could never take Buddy away and separate those two.

Buddy and puppy Jenny
Buddy and Jenny

The thing about Buddy is that he was such a textbook lab that he couldn’t NOT fetch. If you threw something, anything, he had to retrieve it. We learned, the hard way, to make sure something floats BEFORE throwing it in the water. We threw something once that sank and he was determined to dive until he found it.

His only fault was that he was so passive. He let the other dogs walk all over him, sometimes literally. They took his toys, his bed and ate his food, and he let them. You may recall from a previous post (Guest Blogger: Eddie) that he ran away with Eddie, our jack russell terrier. I’m certain that Eddie coerced him.

If one of us got sick, Buddy would bring toys and stay at our side until we were all better. If one of the other dogs was outside wanting in, Buddy would go in search of a human to let them know to come open the door. His internal alarm clock was legendary. Our dogs are fed at 5am and 5pm. If there was no food in his bowl at 5:00 sharp, he always reminded us in his sweet, polite way. When my mother came to visit, Buddy couldn’t decide whom to protect through the night. He had to sleep in the hallway between the bedrooms to make sure that all of us were safe.

One day, when Jenny was much too young, she and Buddy “eloped” in the backyard. This resulted in two adorable boy puppies. One black, one brown, just like their parents. We loved those puppies and often wish we’d kept them. But they’re very happy in their forever homes and we get updates on them frequently. Giving them away, even to good, loving families, was difficult. We realized we’re not cut out for dog breeding so everybody got “fixed” after that.

 

Buddy’s 11th birthday was a few weeks ago. We bought him a retrieving toy (that floats, of course) and took him to the lake to try it out. This was before we knew that anything was wrong. After fetching the toy two or three times, he took it into the woods and hid it. I searched, found it and threw it again. Once again, he swam out to retrieve it, then hid it in the woods. I finally realized that he wanted me to stop throwing it, since he didn’t have the option to stop retrieving it.

 

That was the first sign that something was wrong and the decline was rapid after that. Once we realized and accepted what was inevitable, we took him to the lake one last time without the other dogs. I honestly don’t know if he liked being the only dog there or if he missed his friends, but there were several humans there. Buddy swam one last time, got a lot of attention and some people food.

 

I don’t think anyone will ever love us as much as Buddy did.

 

Baby Gates and Mondays Always Get Me Down

My youngest (adult) child has moved back home after 5 years of living on her own. During that time, she amassed an entire houseful of stuff. While we’re figuring out where to put everything, the house is in a bit of disarray. Two of the four dogs in the house can’t be trusted with said disarray (one destroyer and one pee-er), so we have a few baby gates around the house.

 

Eddie (you may remember from “Guest Blogger: Eddie“) is the one who pees. If there is anything new in the house, within his reach, he claims it as his own. You know, like the explorers who came to America, stuck a flag in the ground and claimed it. This stuff is no more Eddie’s possession than the land was the explorers’, but at least they didn’t pee on it. Anyway… I have never once caught Eddie marking anything. He knows it’s wrong and only does it when no one is looking – i.e. when we’re sleeping.

The destroyer is Penelope, my daughter’s dog, my granddog. She chews things like any normal puppy… on steroids. Shoes are a big favorite of hers. She destroys all new dog toys as soon as she gets them. But eating a linoleum floor was her proudest moment.

 

While the baby gates prevent the dogs from ruining everything we own, there is one problem. I have 25 inch legs and I’m guessing the baby gates are about 24 inches high. It’s hard for me to clear that hurdle! I have kicked them down while trying to get over them.

When deciding where to place the gates, one was going in the hallway between my daughter’s room and the bathroom. I said something about how much trouble that would be for her. My daughter said it was no big deal because “I don’t have hobbit legs like you!”

Yeah, we’re that kind of family.

Guest Blogger: Eddie (the dog)

First, let me explain why my name is Eddie, instead of something more fitting, like Napoleon or Narcissus. My pack consists of four humans and two other dogs. When I was brought into the pack, the male human was watching something called “reruns” about a Jack Russell Terrier named Eddie and his human pack (one of his humans was named Frasier). So, I was named after this tv dog.

The only thing I have in common with this other Eddie, besides the name, is our breed. As I understand it, he is an actor. He works! What self-respecting canine would work? Any creature worthy of being called a dog knows that he should train his humans to work and provide him with everything he needs!

As soon as I was adopted, I began working on establishing myself as the alpha. The humans have never understood that I am their master. Jenny, the chocolate lab, refused to be a beta dog, but she is like a mother to me and lets me cuddle with her when the humans put us outside. So, I gave her a pass. The only one who accepted my superiority was Buddy, the black lab.

 

The humans and I love the same thing about Buddy… his obedience. One day, about two years ago (seems like 14 years ago), I decided to run out the front door and see what the world had to offer. I commanded Buddy to follow me and, of course, he complied.

Around this time, the younger human girls had grown up and run out the front door on their own. The male (we call him Daddy) was off in some place called Germany. So leaving home seemed like a good idea.

Buddy and I ran down the street and around the corner as fast as we could, reveling in our new found freedom. Every dog we passed barked their support, wishing they could join us. We enjoyed exploring until we got tired. We had to sleep outside, which was not as great as we thought it would be. We had no bed and no one brought us dinner.

The next morning we were walking, looking for something to eat, when a stranger got out of his car and started chasing us. I was too fast for him, but he caught Buddy.  I barked and barked for the stranger to release him. Then I watched as the stranger drove away with my friend.

I knew that I was in trouble and could never go home again. So I kept walking farther from home. I tried to adjust to my new life. I smelled a lot of new smells and saw a lot of strange things. I even saw some really big dogs with trees growing out of their heads!

I thought about Buddy a lot. I wondered where that stranger took him. I wondered why I didn’t try harder to stop him.  Why didn’t I bite him? The stranger, not Buddy.

I was tired, hungry, dirty and covered in itchy little bugs. I missed my human mother and Jenny. I missed sleeping in a bed. I decided that I would turn around, go home and hope my pack would accept me. As I started the long walk back home, a nice lady and her son stopped and opened their car door. For the first time in my entire life, I voluntarily went to a stranger. The nice lady called the number on my ID tag and my mother came to retrieve me. Much to my surprise she was not mad. She was happy to see me.

An even bigger surprise awaited me at home. Buddy was there!  It turns out that the stranger took him to doggy jail and our mother bailed him out. I was very happy to see my pack again, but I was so tired. I slept more than I’ve slept since I was a pup.

Every now and then, the wild dog in me comes out. I dart out the door and take off running. Then suddenly I remember what a great life I have and I turn around and run home even faster.