Thursday, August 25, 2011

Singin' the column writin' blues

Column for 8-25

Writing a weekly column, while extremely entertaining, can also be a bit difficult at times.

Do I write about surviving a week's vacation with my entire family on the shores of one very small lake?

While there were a few minor arguments and the dogs only ran off three or four times, it just doesn't seem worthy of an entire column.

What about my family's homemade ice cream social?

Picture my 70-something great uncle, who is a bit like the Tasmanian Devil, hopped up on sugary toppings monitoring three canisters of churning yumminess.

Still, not sure it's quite column-worthy.

My only sibling moving away to college leaving my mom and dad with nothing to do but, well, call us?

Ehhh. I'll give them a break this week — they've suffered enough.

How about the area's most recent encounter with Mother Nature?

Riding out the storm, in the dark, under my reporter's desk would probably make for some humorous reading, but it's just not quite as fun to mock myself.

A column on my male counterpart riding out the storm in the cab of his truck, with our terrified Shih-Tzu, would have taken the cake for this week, had I been there. Darn the luck.

Living for 28 hours off a generator, thats sole purpose was to keep the fish tanks circulating and not providing any real electricity for us, is really no laughing matter.

We won’t even begin to go into life without Facebook, YouTube and Gmail.

So what's next?

What about partaking in a night golf tournament with my other half?

Glow in the dark golf balls, metal rods and motorized carts on a large, open area. What's not to like?

Unfortunately, lightning called off that adventure before anything really humorous could take place. I didn't even get the chance to "accidentally" send the ball sailing toward The Man's cart.

And what am I to write about when the dogs are on their best behavior?

It was a bit of a challenge to corral nearly 100 pounds of four-legged fur balls through PetCo, but no one was tackled, licked or even slobbered on. Boring.

I suppose that just leaves politics or maybe even earthquakes, but where's the fun in that?

So here I am, still without a topic to write my weekly column on.

What is a girl to do?

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Let the fur fly - or float!

Our 90-pound Labra-mutt has a jumping-phobia.

"What's the deal," I asked as dozens of other hounds bounded, splashed and doggie-paddled their way past.

It was a pool party for dogs and our big lug had turned into a poolside lump.

Perfectly happy trotting just thigh-high near the baby end of the local swimming hole with the designer dogs, it was the diving Dachshund that sent my male counterpart over the edge.

Grabbing the leash, The Man had decided today was the day he would cure Ace's fear of jumping into the water.

It's not that Ace doesn't like to swim, once he inches his way in step-by-step, he's practically a furry fish. Jumping in and out of the back of a truck for a car ride? Piece of cake. Jumping into a pool or lake? Not so much.

"Come on Ace, it's easy," he said patting the water near the three-foot ledge. "Look that dog did it, so did that one."

While not the most graceful of doggie belly-flops, the other dogs were schooling Ace in pool parties 101.

Holding a treat as far over the water as his arm could reach, The Man pleaded with Ace to jump in.

Still dry, I begged Ace not to make us look like the over-protective parents sending their child to an advanced pool party with arm floaters and an inner tube.

After a few questionable flops for treats he was beginning to show progress.

As a few designer dogs paddled their way past, showing their bravery, it was time to take it up a notch.

I waded in just above the knees, throwing all concern for my work attire aside.

Nose to nose with my stubborn King Ace, we sized each other up.

"OK Ace, let's do this," I said, hands on my hips 'cause I meant it.

Pulling a few treats from my pocket, I slapped my thighs and in my best doggie-mommy voice gave him a, "come here boy. You can do it. Come to Momma."

Whoosh! Kuuuurrr plunk!

Within a split second his nose was pushed firmly on my tush, tail wagging under water.

"He did it!" I shouted, flinging my arms, and water, into the sky.

Ignoring all the new friends he could be making, Ace's entire focus was on my butt.

Jump in, get a treat, climb out. And so it went, until the treats were gone.

Losing interest in my rear end, he hopped out and jogged across dry land to the zero-depth entry side of the pool.


"Get it Stella," The Man said pointing to a floating stick.

While the Labra-mutt King Ace explored the shoreline, our Shih-Tzu was taking on water, literally.

After water toys and sticks failed to entice Ace to make the jump into the lake, we turned our focus to stubborn Stella.

Not one to let a good stick get away, she flung her little 9-pound body into the water.

The pony-tail on top of her head the only thing dry, she carried the stick up the rocks and dropped it in front of The Man.

We had found our water dog.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Life is good - Until the dog asks for a beer

Column for 8-3

I'm convinced my dogs think they're human, and according to my male counterpart, "Why shouldn't they?"

"The dog has higher thread count sheets than we do," The Man said, slowly rubbing his cheek along the edge of our spare bed.

Around our house, which is occupied a majority of the time by those of the four-legged variety, there are two things that get replaced more often than in the average American household — you know, the homes with 2.5 kids and an SUV — and that's vaccum cleaners and bedding.

Along a wall in our basement sits a memorial to all the Hoovers, Dirt Devils and Eurekas that bit the dust, or in our case, bit more dog hair than they could chew.

Our spare bedroom closet contains a two-foot-tall stack of bed sheets. Though technically queen-sized, with the help of a nearly 90-pound mutt, they have been wallered on, worn thin, stretched out and so covered in hair that no guest to our home is allowed to see them.

Yes, his royal highness canine, King Ace, is too good — or spoiled — to have a dog bed. He stretches himself out, spread eagle, on our spare bed, where he spends a majority of the day, pillows and all.

It's a rough life.

"Come on Ace," I said patting The Man's empty side of the bed. Morning snuggle fests were our little secret.

That is until our sheets — the high thread-count kind — started showing signs of retirement. Adding them to the pile of "dog blankets," I bought replacements — unfortunately with a lower thread count — and pleaded the fifth when The Man asked.

"Hi Ace," said the bubbly secretary at our local vet.

Not one to be rude, he exchanged greetings as he propped his front legs on the tall counter and stood there — the way local farmers do while conversing about the weather.

Our other dog, the ShihTzu, who I'm also convinced thinks she's human, makes stops at her beautician more often than the average man hits the barber shop.
The two are very polite when it comes to family dinners. Seated alongside the family, they'll often shake your hand and wait until your finished before leaving the room. Aren't they considerate?

Like The Man, they enjoy the chairs in our home most when they are reclined. And their water slightly chilled.

While they remain completely and utterly spoiled rotten and human-like, I won't be concerned as long they don't ask me to change the channel or hand them a beer.