baa baa black sheep



If you have been wondering how the dogs are doing (which, I assume, you always are), the answer is that they are More Awful Than Ever. It's been warming up a bit, and the frozen water stuck in the earth is thawing, bubbling to the surface, refreezing at night, melting again during the day, etc. This means that we are living in some sort of squishy-mucky-horrible-sinking-ground world, and my shoes, by noon, make squelching noises with each step.

This also means that Monk can not bear to put his delicate, dainty paws to the ground. EVEN TO POOP. Even when we threaten to skin him and maybe even feed it to him, he will stand miserably with one paw in the air, waiting in some sort of Slightly Damp Paw Agony until we take him back in. He is always apologetic, and always looking back at us in the garage with his quivering pathetic apology-tail-wag (not because we are mean to him, but because he knows he needs to poop but just can't bring himself to do it in such puddly conditions). This means dog gas. The only relief is when the ground is frozen again in the morning, which is more acceptable to his tastes than wet.

Also, Cab has always had a habit of flinching uncontrollably every time we touch him. When we adopted him he was malnourished and had cuts and things, and we'll never know if he's just hand shy or if someone used to hit him, or if his mother was a shy dog and he picked it up from her. But nothing makes you feel more monstrous than reaching out to scratch behind your dog's ears and the dog responds by wincing before you even touch him.

I did some googling the other day, and read some tips, all of which were things we already do. Except for one, which was so obvious I was kicking myself mentally, because: DUH, DOG OWNER. And that tip suggested instead of reaching a hand out and over to pat a dog's head, bring your hand up, from a low place, and scratch their chest or neck or under the chin. No hand over the head action until the dog is ready. So all week I'll been doing this, and it is MAGICAL. No more flinching, no more ducking, no more reflexive squinting when I pet him. He's very calm when I pet him that way, and he's been coming up and asking for pets, even.

I feel like such a jerk, for not thinking of that sooner.

The last thing about the dogs is this:

Just now, Cab was resting on the dog bed peacefully. Monk came over, checked out the bed situation, then deliberately laid down directly on top of Cab, pinning him down by putting his foreleg over Cab. Monk placed his head on Cab's chest sleepily. Of course, because eighty pounds of pointy elbows were now ON him, Cab starting kicking at Monk. Kick, kick, kick. Monk sighed, and struggled to remain on top, but soon they were flopped over and making out, dog fashion, by clicking teeth and licking each other's tongues. Now they are cuddled up against each other, each asleep, spooning.

So I announce, I officially throw out J's theory that their relationship is one of brothers.

Question day!

What's the last magazine you read? HONESTLY. If you got a spring break, and could go anywhere in the US, where would you go? Do you have any houseplants? What time will you get up tomorrow morning?

My turn: yesterday at work I flipped through a Van Dyke restoration magazine looking for something specific, but the LAST thing I went through was a JC Penney catalogue that came in the mail. I looked at it right after work, while I was still wearing work clothes and unwilling to face the three or four more hours until bedtime, and the dogs were wrestling and J and I were chatting. Because I? I know how to start a Thursday evening. With a free catalogue.

I feel as if I'd like to go back to Arizona, for Royals spring training games. We went a few years ago, and it was AWESOME. Especially the hiking. And the drinking of beer at springy small baseball games.

I have several dying plants, that have been half alive for a few years. It's pathetic.

Tomorrow I will get up at seven, for it is County Caucus Delegate Time! WHOOOOOO.



Blogger Tessie said...

The last magazine I read was Cooking Light.

I would go to Hawaii.

I have one hanging houseplant that miraculously has survived for YEARS now with only a weekly watering.

Tomorrow I will get up between 5:30 and 6:00, just like EVERY DAY. BAH.

8:01 AM, March 14, 2008  
Blogger Jess said...

First of all, I do not think that you are a jerk for not thinking of that yourself. I think you are a great and caring pet owner for taking the time to look up possible solutions and finding one that worked.

Now, the questions. The last magazine I read was Glamour. I would go to Alaska. Yes, we have quite a few houseplants, including two orchids, several cacti, and a variety of random plants from Ikea. Tomorrow I will get up whenever I wake up, which will most likely be sometime between ten and noon.

8:18 AM, March 14, 2008  
Blogger LA & BD said...

(Hi - I'm new here and a fellow dog-lover. I loved reading about your fur-kids!)

The last magazine I read was People. For spring break, I would go somewhere warm and sunny - but somewhere I've never been before...maybe So Cal? We have several houseplants - a ficus tree and a peace lily and a philodendron - and a variety of outside plants that are currently spending the winter in our garage. Tomorrow I will get up whenever I wake up - probably around 9am. ~LA

8:56 AM, March 14, 2008  
Blogger Shelly Overlook said...

Entertainment Weekly


No houseplants

Around 7:00 thanks to a little munchkin (unless the freaking cat wakes me up in the middle of the night banging on the blinds AGAIN)

9:08 AM, March 14, 2008  
Blogger Shannon said...

Your dogs are wonderful, most of the time ;). I'm really really happy Annabelle adopted us and we have been reintroduced to doggy bliss. I am trying to convince Jeff we need to add a cat to the mix, too.

Magazine? I don't know. I've been reading quilt books, etc.. Oh, I read a Pottery Barn catalog last night and I was laughing at how they were showing how much better they were than THEM (I suppose THEM is ikea?).

If I could go anywhere in the United States...San Luis Obispo. Jeff wants to teach me how to surf. hahahahhahahaha. He went to college there for awhile.

I have one orchid that I got for my birthday. We have a tray of lettuce seeds but they won't grow unless D STOPS DIGGING THEM UP.

I would love to say that I would get to sleep in ridiculously late tomorrow. Unfortunately, Elise likes to wake up at 6am and PARTY!

10:04 AM, March 14, 2008  
Blogger Saly said...

I think I read a free issue of American Baby this week.

I would go to Virginia.

We have no house plants. Not even one. I suck at plants.

I will be up by 7 at the latest tomorrow because we have a super crazy day. YAY!

10:07 AM, March 14, 2008  
Blogger heather said...

I love how you write about your dogs.
It just makes me want to love on 'em like you do.

The last magazine I read was Entertainment Weekly. Two of them actually, getting caught up from last week.

I'm going to Chicago with blogging girlfriends for a long weekend during spring break. If I had a choice to go anywhere, and my husband also had a spring break, I'd like to go with him to someplace warm... a Florida beach or something. Maybe Disneyworld. I've never been.

I have no houseplants. I am not their friend.

Tomorrow I will be up before 7am, same as every other day. Such is the life with my kids. Maybe I should change my Spring Break answer to simply going somewhere -anywhere- that I don't have to wake up to my kids and can sleep as long as I want.

11:08 AM, March 14, 2008  
Anonymous Jenipurr said...

1. The last magazine I read was my High Country Gardens catalog, a week or so ago.

2. If I could go anywhere on vacation I would go to New Zealand. That's my next big trip (in a year or three).

3. I have one rubber tree plant that is slowly dying because SOMEONE (Checkers I am looking at you) was using it as a litter box before we finally broke down and paid a pile of money for some fancy schmancy covered litter box just for her because she didn't think she should have to soil her dainty little toes by using the boxes everyone ELSE was using, and apparently cat pee is not good for rubber trees). I also have several philodendrons, which I adore because it is nearly impossible to kill them, and a spider plant which is also nearly impossible to kill (as long as I keep it out of cat reach because my cats think spider plants are their personal salad bar).

4. Tomorrow I will get up probably between 6 and 7am, because my brain does not grasp the concept of weekends, and sleeping in is an extremely rare occurrence.

11:59 AM, March 14, 2008  
Blogger Swistle said...

The last magazine I read was People. I am holding my chin defiantly.

I would go to the town where Paul and I got married and had our first baby. I miss it. I want to visit the grocery store and the post office and the Chinese food place we got take-out from every Friday.

I have one houseplant. I started with dozens, and the cats and children and Father Time have gradually killed all but this one. The one I have now was brought home by Rob from a kindergarten field trip. It's a spider fern. It loves neglect.

Tomorrow I will get up at baby's crow.

12:35 PM, March 14, 2008  
Blogger Artemisia said...

Last magazine? I am embarrassed to admit this, but the fishing master catalog for Cabela's. I KNOW.

Spring break? Why, if I had a Spring Break I would COME SEE YOU!!!

A. has several houseplants; I have one dead plant in my office. Poor plant.

I will be up at freakin' 5:00 a.m. to hit the road --- TO SEE YOU!!

6:23 PM, March 14, 2008  
Blogger PixelPi said...

Last magazine read: Some 2007 issue of Time in a doctor's office.

Spring break would have to be San Diego.

No houseplants. The cats think that they are mini cat boxes and dump them over, and then pee on the dirt and the carpet.

I got up at 4 a.m. when Tiger sat on my chest demanding breakfast. Sigh.

3:58 AM, March 15, 2008  
Blogger Melospiza said...

Ok, all of my answers are embarrassingly NERDY.

1. The New Yorker. Um, actually so. I always feel like a total JERK for even getting this.

2. If I could go anywhere ANYWHERE for Spring Break, which is this week, it would probably be southern New Mexico, to see if I could catch spring in action, creeping up on us. But since I have people I want to see, and those people are in Ohio--I am here! In Ohio! Commenting from the magazine room of the public library, since my parents' house doesn't get internet!

3. I have lots of plants. For a long time, these were my pets/ kids. Then I got actual pets and kids, and they diminished somewhat in their status. But I still do water them, most times.

4. I'm not sure what time I will get up tomorrow. I'm on vacation, people. Two time zones earlier than my usual time.

Love the dog stories. Love YOUR DOGS. Sweetiepies.

10:44 AM, March 15, 2008  
Blogger Marie Green said...

I read People. Mmmmm, love me some brain candy.

I would go somewhere warm- wine country in California? Florida? Or maybe to DC to visit my bff.

I DO have 3 houseplants. Before we had kids, I had many. Then the summer after the twins were born, we put all of our plants outside and told them that whoever among them survived could come back in in the fall. One survived. So I have a small jade tree in the bathroom, an aloe vera in the kitchen (every kitchen needs one of these!), and a monster philodendron (sp???) that has dreams of taking over his corner of our house.

Love your dog stories- I can almost smell their doggie breath when I read about them!

5:01 PM, March 15, 2008  
Blogger desperate housewife said...

Just wanted to second what Jess said- you're SO not a jerky pet owner. You're like the most involved pet owner I've ever heard of. To be perfectly frank, sometimes when I want to snap at our dog to shut the h up with his incessant whining, I stop and think, "What would Kara do?" You should sell bracelets.
I loved the muddy ground = dog gas story. That is so Fonzie. And he does that apologetic, sheepish tail thing too.
Anyways! Last magazine was Real Simple. I would go to California, I think. Yes, we have six houseplants. They are none of them especially THRIVING, but they're hanging in there.
And today- because now it is Saturday- I got up around 9 (well, I actually got up at 12, at 1, at 3, and at 5 FIRST but WHO'S COUNTING, Eli.) And I cleaned all morning, then hung out at my in laws for awhile, then rented movies and went errand running. Then ate chocolate pie and watched a very stupid movie. Am now blogging even though I am So. Tired. because for once I am alone and uninterrupted.
This is the longest comment ever.

11:12 PM, March 15, 2008  

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