Category Archives: Pets

That Escalated Quickly


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Cartoon from the great Dan Piraro, as shared on FaceBook.  http://bizarro.com

Anyone else notice how we went from dead of winter to Holy-Crap-I-Just-Saw-A-Robin in less than a week? I think I even saw a rare white headed snow bird, although they usually don’t drive fly home north until April.

I was out walking the dogs a few days ago (because I’m ALWAYS walking the dogs. When I die, my tombstone will say “She really walked those dogs a lot.”) and saw my first sandhill cranes of the season fly overhead. Although I am one of those weird winter lovers, I have to admit I grinned from ear to ear when I heard them. You don’t realize how long winter is until you hear your first sandhill crane, I guess.

Saturday, the sun shone and it was 62 degrees. In Wisconsin, that’s shorts and flip flops weather. And bike riding weather. And therefore, also leg shaving weather.

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I hauled my bike up from storage, threw some air in the tires, and dug out my fancy pants bike shorts. And then I took a gander at 6 months of forest growth and had to make a decision. Was it worse to scare the neighbors with sasquatch legs or to blind them with freshly-shaven, sun-deprived, neon white legs?

You’ve heard the term “Tan fat is better than pale fat” right? Well, pale fat is better than sasquatch legs. I hunted down the pruning shears and got to work. I wanted my winter white legs to look their best in my brand spankin’ new bike shorts.

I bought my new bike shorts off the internet. With justified trepidation I might add. Cycling clothes are sketchy enough to buy even when you can try them on, seeing as they seem to be made for toddlers and anorexically thin, middle-aged men. These shorts had rave reviews on Amazon, and everyone said they fit great and the sizing chart seemed legit, so I threw the dice.

I LOVE THEM. They have mesh pockets on the side for easy storage of maps, gloves, gel packs, phones – whatever us crazy bikers can think of to stick in there. I don’t usually wear the typical bike jerseys that have the pockets in the back (see above – toddlers and skinny middle-aged men do not have BUS’s (Breasts of Unusual Size)) so this is a great idea for me. I am totally geeked out about them. Plus the price was right and they actually fit without me feeling like a stuffed sausage.

And guess what? I also bought an over the shoulder doggie holder. That’s not what it’s really called, but it should be called that because I just made that up and that’s an excellent play on words.

Okay, I didn’t really make it up – I sort of stole it from the old “over the shoulder boulder holder” joke (that’s a bra for those of you who were sheltered as a child) but you have to admit, it gives a clear and concise picture in your head and is much easier to understand than the SEO title it has on Amazon. The “i’Pet® Hands-free Reversible Small Dog Cat Sling Carrier Bag Travel Tote Soft Comfortable Puppy Kitty Rabbit Double-sided Pouch Shoulder Carry Tote Handbag”.

What?

Exactly. So I tried that out today, too. One thing about spring in Wisconsin – it gets deceptively warm for about two weeks and all the birds come back and start partying, and then it snows, rains, and freezes for a month (and the birds fall for it EVERY TIME. You would think they would learn) so you have to spend as much time in the sun as you can before it disappears again.

See below – don’t I look like Paris Hilton? I could be her twin, right?

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For the record, I’m not really the froo-froo girlie girl walking around with her poochy-woochy-kins type. But Lucky dog has a bad feet so long walks leave him limping with bloody toes. And when I leave him home, he howls – which is equally detrimental to his health because everyone wants to kill him then. This carrier worked perfectly, and will make for an awesome summer of dog walking.

Okay – I’ve rambled on for far too long, so those of you still reading – go have some cake.   You totally deserve it.

Sue

PS.  If you want to check out the shorts, you can do so here: Aero Tech Designs  I’m pleased enough that I will probably buy a second pair.  If you are interested in the doggie carrier, you can check that out here:  Over The Shoulder Doggie Holder

PPS.  On my bike ride on Saturday, I stopped to check out Wequiock Falls.  There was a guy there playing one of those wooden flutes you see advertised on cable or at art shows.  He played under the bridge, so when you stood on the observation deck, you could only hear him, not see him.  It was surreal but cool.  Just had to share.

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Glamorous. Just Call Me Fergie.


Well, the pressure cooker has found a new home. I haven’t heard from her since, so I am assuming she is either madly in love with it and cooking up a storm or dead from poisoning and unable to communicate her utter loathing. Either way, I’m off the hook.

Meanwhile, here at the DeGroot house, life marches on. Specifically, it marches behind tiny yorkie butts that produce a surprising amount of poo. Most of that poo is gathered in small plastic bags and disposed of in the garbage. Please do not ask me where the garbage takes it. Probably the landfill where it can pile up with all those disposable diapers we threw in there when the kids were little. But hey, at least the poo is not in your yard or on the road or on the bottom of your foot. See? Silver linings.

Unfortunately for me, one of the bags I used Saturday morning had a hole in it. Which I didn’t notice until I pulled it out of my pocket and poop flew everywhere. It was quite the start to my day, I must tell you.

The good news is that I was outside and the poop all flew on the road. That’s pretty much all the good news. Because then I stepped in it three times while I was spinning around in confusion and the dogs were lunging at the end of their retractable leashes at an oncoming huge pickup truck. However, I did not notice the truck because A) my dogs are jerks and bark all the time and B) I was digging in my pocket for a new bag while still holding the gross holey poopy bag, while trying to hang on to both leashes, while trying not to step in more poop.

I noticed the truck finally, and started pulling the dogs in but of course I still had the defective poop bag in my hand so I’m trying not to drop that while trying not to get poop on my gloves while trying not to fling any more poop while trying to operate the retractable leashes. And now I’m sweating profusely. Truly a vision of loveliness.

I closed my eyes and stood there – mentally swearing at my father. My dad saves all of his bags that come with his newspaper and gives them to me. They make excellent dog poop bags – they are large enough for your hand to fit into them but compact enough that you hardly notice them in your pocket, unlike bulky plastic grocery bags which make me look like I have goiters on my hips. So it’s a win-win situation, except that my dad doesn’t pay attention to whether the bags have holes in them or not.

Of course, at 52, I am sure he figures his daughter has enough poop bag experience and marginal intelligence to inspect each bag prior to use. That appears to be his undoing. And mine.

So I finally get the poop off my shoe and most of it off the road and go home. I walk in the garage, I pull the new poop bag out of my pocket to throw in the garbage and see a tiny bit of yellowish snow topple to the floor. That’s when I realized that the poop may have gone other places besides all over the road. Oh boy. Do I dare stick my hand in my pocket?

Of course I do. You all know me better than that. This is a woman who will eat a strange M&M off the carpet at work. I live on the edge.

Thankfully, the only other thing in my pocket was another empty bag. But I knew there was poop juice in there because of the snow. Or perhaps, by now, it was only poop cooties. Either way, the pocket was compromised.

I got in the house and threw my coat on the bed while I dug around in the bathroom cupboard looking for the antiseptic wipes, when Dave walked in the room. He stuck his head in the bathroom and asked me what I was doing.

“Cleaning out the poop juice in my pocket”, I told him.

You wanna ruin the ambiance of the bedroom? Just mention “poop juice”.

“That’s so disturbing,” he said. “Why don’t you just wash the entire jacket?”

Oh sure. Mr. Logical. NOW you show up. At least this time I didn’t forget the poop bag in my pocket like I did when I washed my jacket last year. Silver linings, baby. Silver linings.

Sue

PS. I’m probably the only person you know that can write an entire 800 word blog post about a single incident of dog poop. I should get some kind of award for that.

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Dogs- Furry People. Except When They’re Not.


I love dogs. I really do. But let’s be clear about something. Despite all of our attempts to anthropomorphize them by dressing them up, leaving them our estates or applying our emotions to their facial expressions, they are still just dogs, not furry humans. Let me elaborate.

They Smell. And they have no intention of bathing in anything other than dead worms and bird poop. Even their feet smell like corn chips.

Frito Feet

Frito Feet

They Smell Part 2: Dog breath. The breath of my dog could melt the skin off your face like Nazis opening the Ark of the Covenant. Seriously not exaggerating.

Cat Poop. Dogs love cat poop. I was discussing this phenomenon with my friend, who started laughing and said, “I don’t think my dog ever ate cat shit,” to which I replied, “That’s because you don’t own a cat. If you had a cat, your dog would eat cat shit.”

More Poop. If you are lucky enough to have a dog that poops outside and not on your plush white carpet, say a little prayer of thanks. And then add a 2nd prayer that while you are gone working all day trying to earn enough money to buy the trendy gourmet dog food recommended by groomers, vets, the mailman, strangers on the corner (but not your dog because he prefers to eat cat poop), you don’t get a call from your 10-year-old son telling you the dog had a “poop explosion” all over the living room.

And More Poop. On those days your dog actually poops outside, break out the shovel or the plastic grocery bag for poop pick up doody…I mean duty. Especially important if your dog chooses to use your neighbor’s yard instead of his own. Neighbors are notorious for not appreciating your dog’s outdoor poop experience as much as you do.

Poop Side Note: Seriously, do not skimp on the quality of your dog poop bags. Make sure you pick one that won’t magically untie or disintegrate or good Lord spring a hole should you accidentally wash a bag of dog poop that you forget in your pocket. Please do not ask how I know this.

Yes, There Is Even More Poop. My dogs have long hair and often get poop dingle berries. Do they care? They do not. They strut around my house with their little poopy prizes and sit their dingle-berry laden butt stars on my carpet, furniture, and bed. HOW IS THIS EVEN HAPPENING?

The Final Poop. Next time you take your dog for a walk, observe how many times he sticks his nose in a pile of poop. In all likelihood, it’s EVERY SINGLE ONE YOU PASS. Humans, on the other hand, will go to freakishly extreme measures not to smell another human’s poop by lighting candles, running fans, spraying disinfectant…hell, someone even invented Poo Pourii, which you spray in your toilet BEFORE YOU EVEN POOP! We now have PRE POOPING COVERAGE.

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It’s a real product. Seriously.

Eating Gross Stuff.  If all the poop weren’t bad enough, I have also seen dogs willingly eat barf, dead animals, bird poop, rabbit poop, the crotches out of dirty underwear, smelly socks, deer legs, grass, bugs, dirt, dead worms, nylons, razors, garbage, rotten meat, and bully sticks which are actually dried bull penis’. Oh yeah, and they lick their own butts. I’m sorry, but if your significant other just licked their own butts, would you let them kiss you?  But I bet you let your dog lick you in the face. Yeah. Think about that for a minute.

So you thought about all of this and I know you are wondering why in God’s green earth do you own a dog. A smelly, cat poop eating, bird poop rolling, furry pile of e-coli just waiting to slobber on your new white pants or barf up your underwear in front of company. Well, I’m here to answer that, too.

Heart. A dog’s heart far exceeds his brain size and the good sense God gave him, and he will do just about anything to be with you.  Run when he is tired, sleep when he isn’t, take the blame for your farts, wait all day in the hot sun or the freezing cold, drag your sorry ass out of a fire, find the bad guys, take a bullet for you, retrieve your ducks, sniff out bombs, kill rats, bark a life saving warning, herd your sheep (and your children), carry medical supplies, rescue people from avalanches, crushed buildings, mud slides…

I have known smart dogs, brave dogs, funny dogs, sedate dogs, hyper dogs, loud dogs, shedding dogs, annoying dogs, jumping dogs, licking dogs, cuddling dogs, tough dogs, cranky dogs, bouncy dogs, submissive dogs…and I have loved every one.

I love their goofy, tongue flopping smiles, their rotund bellies in constant need of scratching, and their swirling, whacking, wiggling, twirling tails.  They are the joy in a sucky day, a warm snuggle under quilted covers, a rowdy party of beer swilling frat brothers who chase rubber balls instead of girls, and oh how incomplete my life would be if I didn’t have at least one glorious, smelly, hairy, noble dog in it.

And that’s pretty much it.  Dogs really aren’t like humans at all.  They are “just dogs”.  And Thank You, God, for that.

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The Terror-iers of Scott


The Culprits

The Culprits

Well, I’m sitting in my basement wondering what to write, while being barked at in very demanding doggie voices by animals that probably don’t even weigh as much as one of my boobs. Yes, I did just say that. We need some perspective here. My boobs are big, my dogs are small. And both control my life.

Every big boobed girl knows the agony of spending a day at work in a crappy bra. That will definitely control your life right there.

“So, how many kids did they say they needed to fit in this cafeter…ow – what the heck…stupid bra…anyway, so 250 kids per lunch period…Dang it! What is going on with this thing? Something is poking me…(covertly adjust)…a little better…now then…OW. (less covertly adjust)…stupid POS bra…how many fricken kids again? Oh yeah, 250 at each…GEEZ am I bleeding this time? (furious tugging and yanking)…crap, now I’m all discombobulated. I gotta get this stupid drawing done and I think I have a boob on the loose (covert tucking, more tugging)…ugh…now, am I good? Is it safe to move?…(experimental twist)…okay I think I’m good…so, where is that drawing..oh great it’s on the floor…”  And by the time you bend down to get your paperwork off the floor, your bra has impaled your breast and you wing that sucker off, knocking out cold everyone in the department within a 5 cube radius.

Back to the dogs. Since we have moved, they have had a few adjustment hiccups learning to live in the new house. First, we made them stay with the evil veterinarian  for two days.  Seeing as they had never been boarded before, I am sure they spent those 32 hours waiting for some horrific calamity involving the loss of a body part they used to like to lick. Then we bring them to some house that smells weird, has no lawn, and where they have to all the way down the steps to find the door that goes outside, where they have to pee on…gasp…gravel. And not only that, but they just have a small, soggy pen, and not a huge yard in which to run around while barking furiously at squirrels, neighbors, robins, leaves, wind, imaginary burglars, and Hank, the Next Door Nazi German Short Haired Pointer. He’s probably from hell, too.

View of the apparent doggie torture chamber from the upstairs patio doors.

View of the apparent doggie torture chamber from the upstairs patio doors.

(Side note:  We have a walk out ranch.  The upstairs patio doors are screwed shut to prevent someone from falling 10 feet to the ground, because we don’t have a deck yet.  Well, maybe more like 15 feet now with the moat*.  But anyway, the point is, we made the dog pen off the downstairs patio doors, so now we have to troop down the steps to put the dogs out.  Bear in mind that only Daisy will actually go down the steps.  Lucky has to be carried.  No, there is nothing wrong with him.  He’s just a jerk.)

Here is the new routine: Mom let’s them out in their little pen, and stands there demanding, “Go potty. Go potty! GO POTTY!”, each command a little louder and a little less in control while they stand and stare at her, saying “no barky no engleesh”.  In frustration, she let’s them back in, and then they trot up stairs, wait until her back is turned, and then sneak back down and pee by the workbench. Or poop on the landing. That’s mom’s favorite. She loves finding brown poop on brown carpet in her stocking feet. Ha! It’s very entertaining when she hops around on one foot until her big boobs flop in opposite directions and she knocks over a lamp while crashing into Dad, who is blinded by the flailing boobs.

Sooo...the cat doesn't seem to mind the new pen.  Unfortunately, he's not allowed out there, because he will jump out and turn into a mud ball.

Sooo…the cat doesn’t seem to mind the new pen. Unfortunately, he’s not allowed out there, because he will jump out and turn into a mud ball.

Okay, that didn’t really happen. Really, just trying to prove a point. But the “Go Potty” yelling happens every day. Every. Day.

So mom decided to start walking the dogs a few times a day, to keep from having to mop up the indiscretions. Which worked for the most part, except when everyone gets locked in the basement for the day. By “everyone”, I mean the dogs and the cat. We of course wouldn’t lock up any humans in the basement, although some days we might rather that than going to work. And we wouldn’t pee on the stupid floor either. But I digress. The point here, is that in between munching on cat poop candy bars, the little menaces to society would pee on the floor, conveniently right next to the potty pads mom and dad bought for them to pee ON. Not next to. ON. And don’t go giving me that “poor babies, they have tiny bladders, and so much change to deal with” crapola. I know they are just tiny furry jerks.

I'm afraid to know how many years of my life have been spent walking the dogs.  It's all about the pee, man.

I’m afraid to know how many years of my life have been spent walking the dogs. It’s all about the pee, man.

So how do you deal with tiny furry jerky yorkies with adorable, sweet faces and liquid brown eyes that keep you from throwing them off a cliff? You buy them the biggest kennels you can find at Fleet Farm, that’s what. And you make them cozy comfy beds in there and you give them a pee pad and a dish of water and liver treats and hugs and pets and scritches when you lock them in there and leave for work, weeping uncontrollably because you are a monster for locking them up. A MONSTER, I SAY!

Look how huge these kennels are.  "Neener" says Midnight.

Look how huge these kennels are. “Neener” says Midnight.

And then you speed home and hurry down the steps, and fling open the doors and they jump and leap and are soooo happy to see you. You put them outside in their little gravel pen, (Go Potty….Go Potty!….GO POTTY) and they tinkle just a tiny bit and run back inside and you go upstairs and 5 minutes later you need something that is still packed in a box so you go back downstairs and there is PEE BY THE WORKBENCH. And then, you take a better look at their kennels, and notice one pee pad is ripped to shreds in one kennel while in the other kennel someone has peed on the doggie bed. And that’s how you know they are actually just tiny furry jerks.

FLAILING BOOBS PART TWO.

Not really. I just like to say “Flailing boobs”.

But there is a part two to the dog saga. When we first moved here, the ground was still frozen. Because of that, our yard has not been graded yet. Okay, no biggie, they told us they would do that when it thawed. So now it’s starting to thaw. And the ground is settling. It’s settling so much, we have to jump to get on our porch, and we have a huge sink hole in our front yard and our temporary gravel driveway has a huge dip in it right before the garage, making entering and leaving said garage a bit of a technical challenge for those of us who happen to be technically challenged when it comes to driving anything other than a flat road, and you know a ripped off car mirror is just waiting to happen.  This really has nothing to do with the dogs. I’m just venting.

Here’s the dog part. We now have a moat*.  So what’s a castle without a moat? That would be a castle without a spastic queen in it who is worried the moat is going to eventually go over the drawbridge. The dirt settled so much along the back of the house, that we have about a two foot trench that has filled with water. Water that isn’t draining, mind you. AND, the trench is right outside the downstairs patio doors, so we had to put in a ramp for the dogs or one jump out the door and they would be eaten by the moat monster, which has so far claimed one decorative rock that was previously being used to anchor the pen, and one partial rug that was in place to help keep some of the dirt outside. The garbage can and the poop shovel were almost victims, but rescued just inches from being sacrificed in to the pit.

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That means that even the small area we had is almost unusable, and we are now walking dogs about 5 times a day. Still, not such a big deal. Until Sunday night.

Sunday night we had gale force winds and sideways rain. But neither rain, nor sleet, nor snow nor spring twister will keep us from making the dogs pee outside. So here’s me, trying to drag two very reluctant 10 pound furry footballs across a sinking gravel driveway while it’s raining so hard I can barely open my eyes to see where we are going. Lucky has his front feet stiffened and planted firmly in front of him so I have to literally drag him and Daisy is huddled by my feet with her ears out like kites, and my boobs in full flail, while I am yelling pointlessly into the wind, “GOOO POOOTTYYY!!!”

Even more exciting was doing the same thing again in the morning only this time in near white out blizzard conditions. My neighbors now fully understand the definition of “crazy” that has moved in next door.

And here’s the final kicker. Once summer comes (like maybe in August) and we have some semblance of a lawn, it really won’t matter. We have two eagles and countless hawks and a few vultures that would LOVE us to leave the little jerks unattended. So there really is no hope for us. So go. Save yourselves. Buy quality undergarments and dogs large enough not to be carried off by birds of prey. We’ll be here, holding down the fort in our worn out bras and walking our smelly jerk dogs with faces so cute you forget to be mad at them. Send us a postcard.  Maybe we’ll be able to start a fire with it to keep warm.

Tune in next week for:  The Legend Of Zelda:  The LG Appliances of Time

Sue

Sunset on the bay.  Totally random and has nothing to do with today's post, but figured you were getting tired of seeing dogs.

Sunset on the bay. Totally random and has nothing to do with today’s post, but figured you were getting tired of seeing dogs.

 

Rescue Me


One of the things I love the most about Facebook is reconnecting with old friends, family members, and classmates.  I love seeing what they are doing and meeting via cyber space their children, grandchildren, and pets.  I love finding out what they think is funny, or sentimental, or maddening. And I really love how we come together as a community to support one another when someone loses a loved one or struggles with illness or other hardships.

One of these reconnects is the subject of my next Hero story:

When one hears the term “animal rescue”, one usually thinks about animals being rescued by humans.  We’ve all seen pictures and read stories of people rescuing pets from floods, garbage piles, drain pipes, trees, chains, and neglect.  Sometimes though, the “rescue” in “animal rescue” is the human getting rescued by the pet.

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A few years ago, Laurie Spah held a high energy, stressful job.  It required a lot of her time and focus, not only during office hours but at home as well.  It was not unusual for her job related activities to spill into her private life, consuming her physical and mental resources into evenings and weekends. She had little time left to pursue outside interests, much less take time for her home and friends.

As busy and crazy as her life was, Laurie enjoyed her job.  She liked the mental stimulation and challenges to keeping everything on track and in balance.  And, she was good at it.  But even people who are good at their jobs can sometimes find themselves in need of new employment due to circumstances beyond their control, and this was the case with Laurie.

It didn’t take her long to find new employment, but her new job required far less of her, leaving her with feelings of loss and extreme anxiety.  Laure did the smart thing, and began to get counseling, as well as medication to control the symptoms.  However, she still struggled. As someone who has dealt with anxiety issues related to depression, I can give first hand knowledge to how debilitating it can be, and I can understand the awfulness of wondering if you will ever feel normal again, if you will ever find joy again.  Each day can become a challenge to just “get thru”, hoping the next will be better.

what-is-anxiety-disorder

Seeing her struggle, her counselor suggested Laurie find a way to occupy her time and stretch herself a little, by reaching out to help others.  On that advice, Laurie began scanning the paper and the internet for ideas.  By chance, she received a mail flyer about an animal shelter looking for volunteers.  It was a newer no-kill shelter called Happily Ever After, and was based in Marion, Wisconsin.

NOKILL

Part of Laurie’s anxiety manifested itself by causing her natural introverted personality to magnify, so the idea of volunteering at a shelter where she would have minimal human interaction appealed to her.  She read that they often had information booths at a local pet store, so she went there on the weekend.  She talked to the woman there, who happened to be the aunt of Amanda Reitz, the founder of Happily Ever After (you can read her story by clicking here).  After hearing about how the shelter was started and the work that needed to be done, Laurie filled out her forms and began her life as a dedicated volunteer.

Lucky

Lucky is one of Laurie’s foster kitties, and he is now at the adoption center waiting to find his forever home. Hopefully someone will give this beautiful boy a chance soon!

The following Saturday, Laurie drove out to Marion.  It was a blazing hot day, and while the pet rooms were air conditioned, the rest of the facilities and surrounding farm was not.  She spent that first day hauling, scooping, lifting, scrubbing, hammering, painting, walking, feeding, and caring.  Mostly caring.  There were 120 cats and 50 dogs, and each one was treated with the same love and attention as the next.  And while Amanda and her father had their doubts as to Laurie’s return, she knew she had found her calling.

Since that first hot, sweaty Saturday, Laurie was an active volunteer with HEA every weekend.  Being with the animals helped calm her anxiety like nothing else could.  The physical labor tired her body while the wagging tails and purring throats soothed her mind.  Besides the healing properties of warm, fuzzy, gratitude, Laurie discovered the reward of working with a great group of people who respected her and understood what she was going thru.

Ariel

Ariel picture is one of Laurie’s current fosters who she has had since September 2012. Areil and her sister Peta came to her with upper respiratory infections. Peta passed away in her arms from FIP (Feline Infectious Peritonitis). Ariel had a continued ear infection and it was discovered that she had polyps in her throat and a very large one in her ear. They removed them all but the one in the ear was so large that they had to take the whole ear canal. Her ear is sewn shut.

As her time with HEA continued, Laurie took on more duties, helping to establish and open the new Green Bay shelter and eventually becoming the unofficial manager.  Laurie now spent her weekends and most week nights helping to save the 4-legged loves that first saved her.  However, her volunteer work was overshadowing her full time job, her relationships with her loved ones, and her own pets.

To help minimize her work load, HEA created team lead positions that helped remove some of the stress and time consuming duties from Laurie at the Green Bay shelter.  And while letting go was difficult, Laurie now has more time to pursue the aspect of rescue that she loves the most – care taking and nursing pets who are ill.  She has also been able to adopt an additional family member- an English Setter named Paige, who for 7 years knew nothing of her world except a kennel, but is now lavished with love and attention.

Paigeandoliver

Laurie’s babies: Paige (the English Setter) and Oliver (mix of 7+ breeds). They are both rescues from HEA.

Laurie will never quit working for humane solutions to alleviate pet over population and to provide pets with safety, health, and loving homes  – from being part of spay/neuter clinics to running the HEA adoptions out of PetCo, or to fostering and nursing sick or disabled animals.  Laurie believes all pets deserve a 2nd chance, and her goal will always be to try to give them that.  After all, they gave her a second chance, first.

And that’s Laurie’s story!  Remember – heros come in many forms, and they don’t always wear a cape.  Most times, they are people you see every day, quietly going the extra mile to make someone else’s life a little better.  People like Laurie.  🙂

Laurieandsally

Just 3 months into Laurie’s volunteering: At the GB holiday parade, Sally was the first dog (but not the last) that she “fell in love with”.

Until next week-stay warm my friends!
Sue

PS – If you are thinking about growing your family with a four-footed pal, please please consider adopting a rescue, from Happily Ever After or your local shelter.  Save a life.  Save your own.

A Thanksgiving Story. Or Not.


Today is Thanksgiving.  I was torn about what I should write about.  I thought it should be something monumental, given the day.  But everybody and their brother is talking about what they are thankful for.  And it’s not that I’m NOT thankful.  I truly am.  But I couldn’t decide – do I post about the smarmy things I am thankful for like my family and friends?  Or do I go the funny thankful route, and talk about things like shirtless pictures of Hugh Jackman (actually pretty thankful for this) and the invention of Poo-Pourri?

poo-pourri

It’s a real product. Seriously.

Instead, I have decided to share a Thanksgiving story with you.  And it’s a bit of a stretch to call it specifically a “Thanksgiving” story.  It’s really more of a “fall-ish” story, but I am pretty sure it happened close to Thanksgiving so I should get some points for that.  And it’s a dog story.  Who doesn’t love a dog story?  Well, maybe if you’re a cat.  Cats might not love a dog story.  Not because cats hate dogs, but because cats are pretty much like honey badgers, in that they just don’t care.  I have a honey badger cat sitting right here, on my lap, trying to crawl on my keyboard and write his autobiography with his butt.

Honey badger

Anyway…

This story involves our old neighbors, Dave, me and the best dog ever, Rocky.  This is him.

Rocky

Awesome Dog

While he didn’t fly through the air with his cape and Sweet Polly Purebred or rescue Timmy from the well or unmask any villains with his tribe of meddlin’ kids, you can still see he is awesome.  Damn awesome.

The neighbors loved him too.  They let him poop in their yard (seriously, they didn’t care) and would call him over for scritches and pats and snuggles.  Because Rocky was so awesome, we didn’t need a fence, because he never left the yard (except to poop at the neighbors).  No fence could contain him anyway.  When we first got Rocky from the Humane Society, we lived at our old house that had a yard with a 7 foot privacy fence.  Chuck Norris Ninja Dog found a way to get over it.  We never saw him do it, and we never figured out how he did it.  But the evidence was plain – we put him out the back, and he came in the front.

This story takes place in November in Wisconsin, so it’s dark by 5pm.  And I don’t mean “dusk”.  I mean dark.  Like, Lose Your Black Cat In The Yard dark.  It’s the time of year where you wake up in the dark, drive to work in the dark, and come home in the dark.  If you work in a windowless cubicle with nothing but fluorescent light to bathe you, it’s quite possible that you may not see the sun for 6 months.  You think I am exaggerating?  November, December, January, February, March, April and sometimes May.  So really that’s 7 months.  And yes, I know what the calendar says – but the calendar was made by old, dead, Europeans who didn’t live in Wisconsin.  I say, any month it might snow, is winter.  And yes, it does snow in Wisconsin in May.  By rights, I should also include October, but for some reason, October is usually hotter than September.  You know how all the leaves change to those pretty yellow, orange and red colors?  It’s because the sun is setting them on fire.  We live on the edge here in Wisconsin.

Okay.  Carrying on.  It’s fall – close to Thanksgiving.  We let Rocky out to go poop in the neighbors yard.  He loved the cooler weather, so if he was gone 20 minutes or so, we didn’t panic.  He liked to patrol around the house or lay on the cement step in the garage or just read a magazine while taking a good long poop.  Who knows.  We just knew he was around somewhere.  He was funny in that he didn’t bark.  Not to come in, not when he played, not at strangers.  I think in the 12 years he blessed our lives, I heard him bark maybe 5 times.  We just got used to watching the patio door and when we saw his white wooly form in the dark, we would open the door and let him in.  This night, Dave happened to see him first.

I was in the living room, and heard the patio door slide open and shut, followed by Dave yelling, “Hey, hey, hey!”  We lived in a new subdivision, so I figured Rocky found a mud hole or something so I ran in to help with damage control.  No mud, but Dave says, “He’s got something in his mouth”.   The “something” was long and brown, sort of like a short walking stick.  I could see him fruitlessly trying to hide under the table but he was an 80 pound hairy beast with a gargantuan stick in his mouth that kept getting caught in the chair legs.  “He has a stick,” I observed.  Dave gave me a “Why, thank you, Captain Obvious” look, and said, “I don’t think it’s a stick.”

Dave grabbed the hind end and I grabbed the front end and we push/pulled him out in the open with his prize. And here is when we noticed his stick had a hoof at the end of it.   Where in the hell did he get a stick with a hoof?  For some reason, the hoof was throwing me for a loop.  “Holy shit, it’s a deer leg,” said Dave.  Ah.  Lightbulb moment.  That explained the hoof.

By now, the kids were in the kitchen.  Lindsay was laughing and exclaiming about how gross and disgusting it was and Matt thought it was cool, and proceeded to run back and forth in the kitchen and then sliding on his socks.  While the hyperactivity and excited jabbering of the kids escalated, I noticed Rocky trying to disappear into the floor, while hanging on for deer…I mean, dear…life to his “stick”.

Rocky

Rocky with a chewy stick.

Before he got any ideas about carrying it into my living-room, I grabbed the leg and told him to drop it, which he did.  (Because remember, he’s awesome like that).  I held it up gingerly, careful to keep it well away from me, and his eyes followed it back and forth, his tail waving gently on the floor and his tongue out.  Dave grunted and said, “I think I know where he got it.  When I came home, I saw the neighbor in his garage dressing his deer.”  Oh great, I thought.  Pooping is one thing.  Stealing a guy’s deer leg is another.

I walked over to the neighbors.  Sure enough, his garage door was open and his deer was lying on a canvas tarp on the garage floor.  Mr. Neighbor was nowhere to be seen, however.  I was a little fearful at first that maybe Chuck Norris Ninja Dog took out the neighbor in his deer leg quest, but that really would have been out of character.  Rocky was awesome, not evil.  So I gently tapped on their door with the hoof.  Mr. Neighbor answered the door with a fork in hand – I smiled and giggled and held out the deer leg, hoof first.  “Um, Rocky just brought this home….”  Mr. Neighbor burst out laughing.  “Oh boy!  Wait till I tell the guys this!  I just took a break to eat some dinner!  Never thought to shut the garage door!  That Rocky!  What an awesome dog!”

“Well, I don’t know what else he may have gotten into when he was over.  He might have eaten or taken something else,” I explained.  Mr. Neighbor did not care.  Mr. Neighbor laughed and waved me away with his fork.  “No problem!  That Rocky!  Hahahahahahaaaaaa!”  He took his deer leg back though.  Relieved, I went back to our house.

The next day was a Sunday.  We let Rocky out for his morning constitutional without incident, and then Dave and I and the kids left for church.  We came home a couple of hours later, to be greeted by an unholy stench the likes of which our nostrils had never before smelled, and prayed would never smell again, along with a football sized pile of…something….on the rug right in front of the door as we came in.  This would be the “he may have eaten or taken something else” portion of Rocky’s big deer leg adventure.

“I hope you don’t want this rug,” Dave said as he rolled it up like a giant barf burrito.  “The whole thing is going in the garbage.”  I didn’t argue.  No way was I touching that, and was indeed thanking my lucky stars that I was not the man of the house and therefore did not qualify for the “Exceedingly Gross Chores” portion of the marriage.  Yes, I know that is stereotypical and sexist, but it works for us.  I handle Standard Gross Chores, like snot noses, cat barf, and toilet bowl cleaning, and he handles all the rest, plus spiders.

While we had no more vomiting of rancid meat from the depths of hell, we did have to deal with Awesome Dog’s awesome gas, for at least a week.  This was a gas so awesome it had the power to melt your face clean off.  The Chuck Norris of gas.  We ran from the room and hid in our closets when we saw Rocky coming.  We were like the kids in Jurassic Park, hiding from the Velociraptors.  As surely as those velociraptors wanted to have Timmy for lunch, we knew Rocky’s gas was hunting us down.

Eventually, his digestive system returned to normal – meaning he still had gas but at least our faces were safe, if not our noses.  And he returned to being the most awesome dog on earth.

Best dog EVER

Best dog EVER

Someday, I will tell you the full Rocky story, but until then, do you have a funny dog story to tell?  A favorite pet?  A dog or cat more awesome than Chuck Norris?

Happy Thanksgiving!
Sue

 

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