Tag Archives: dogs

Bunny Killer

The other day at the vet’s office, I ran into a woman I used to work with at a college. I was in line with my newly toothless dog* and she was at the register, waiting to check out.

“Oh, Amy? Amy my former colleague?” I asked, knowing full well that it was indeed Amy my former colleague.

“Hi…” she said HELLA tentatively, very clearly not remembering who I was.

“Amy!” I admonished. “I get that I’m 3.5 years older than the last time I saw you, and many, many pounds heavier, and my face has not quite held up to the past year’s emotions, but YA KNOW ME. I took photos of you for the alumni magazine! I endangered two of your children by taking them off-roading in a golf cart! I helped your husband, the staff farmer, wrangle sheeps!”

She still ain’t recognize me, but she tried to be friendly.

“Yes, right. How are you?” she asked.

“Great,” I answered. “The vet just pulled a bloody broken tooth out of me dog’s smelly head. What’s good with you?” As I asked, I noticed a very petite cat carrier at her feet and deduced there had to be a very petite cat within. I bent down and confirmed it.

“YOU’VE AN ADORABLE KITTEN!” I screamed.

“I do!” she nodded, now friendly for real. “Eight weeks old. She’s a bunny killer.”

Chico, my dog, was sniffing the cage and the kitten hissed at him. I pulled him back like, holy shit, that is a goddamn bunny killer in there. I’d never heard of such a thing.

(Note: Most of the previous dialogue was made up, but the following conversation is verbatim.)

“A bunny killer?” I asked. “That’s crazy! How many bunnies has she killed?”

Amy looked at me but didn’t respond, then turned back to the woman behind the counter to finish checking out. I waited a few moments for a lull in their exchange before continuing my interrogation.

“Like, full-grown bunnies or baby bunnies? How does she get to them?”

Again, Amy just looked at me. She seemed confused and I realized that I’d misunderstood her. I was acting as if it was a bad thing, this bunny-killing kitten of hers, but she and her husband were farmers. Bunnies were a nuisance in their world. They probably got this cat specifically to kill bunnies, so they could eat them or something.

“Oooh, did you get this cat specifically to kill bunnies?” I asked.

Again, she looked at me. At this point—maybe three minutes into my questioning—I could tell she definitely didn’t feel like talking about it. BUT THEN WHY BRING IT UP AT ALL, AMY?!?!?

“Wait, so, has she even killed any rabbits yet?” (This time I used “rabbits” instead of “bunnies,” to sound more professional.)

Finally, she answered me.  “You… you keep talking about killing bunnies. But all I said was ‘she’s an itty bitty kitten.’”

“OoOoOoOoOohhhhhhhhhhh,” I said, very embarrassed. “Yes, she is a small cat.”

She finished paying her bill and nodded goodbye and left.

*Here’s a picture of Chico’s mouth.

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Should I Get a Dog in My 20s?

Are you in your 20s and trying to decide if you’re ready to get a dog? Do you want an adorable creature to take pictures of, but not sure if you’re really up for the responsibility of caring for it? Lemme give you my version of the lowdown on dog parenthood.

What to Expect During Puppyhood
Puppies are cute. They got this stank skunk breath that smells wonderful, despite the stank skunkiness of it. They hip hop around and chase butterflies and are soft and snuggly and floppy. And yet, much like Ben Franklin, puppies are the devil.

They pee and poop on your things—usually your floor, but sometimes other things, too. Like your bed. When my dog, Dizzy, was a puppy, he peed on my brand new mattress in the middle of the night. I took him outside to finish any remaining business, he didn’t do anything except sniff, we came back inside, and then he pooped in the hallway while I was trying to clean my mattress. I texted my mom and said “I WANT TO PUNCH HIM SO BAD RIGHT NOW.” That’s a terrible thing to think and to say, but I did want to punch him. Peeing in my bed I could forgive, but pooping in the hallway! After I’d just taken him out! I didn’t punch him, but if he were a person I maybe would have.

If you don’t want your puppy to pee and poop on your things, you’ll have to take him outside all the time. And you’ll have to follow him around the house to make sure if he does pee or poop, you can catch him in the act and tell him to quit it. Even if you work really hard at that, it still might not make a difference. Dizzy was still pooping inside after eight months. The little bandit pooped TWO TIMES during dog obedience school—in the middle of class, right in front of the dog trainer. Watching puppies all the time is exhausting, and it doesn’t even necessarily make a difference.

Other bad things puppies do: chew your things, chew other people’s things, bite you, bite other people, bark, try to eat stupid things that will kill them, take up all your time, take up some of your money.

Before getting a dog, you only ever have to worry about yourself. After you get a dog, you’ve got a real live creature whose well-being depends almost entirely on you. It’s a big adjustment. Before bringing home a puppy, make sure you got back-up. If it weren’t for my parents, I don’t know if I would have made it through Dizzy’s first couple of months. It was weirdly sad and lonely. Felt like I had postpartum depression or something (I say “or something” because I’ve never had a human baby and I don’t know what postpartum depression actually feels like). Dizzy and I are super tight now, but puppies are dicks. Know that it’s not all snuggles and selfies.

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BUT STILL SOME SELFIES Y’ALL

What to Expect During Doghood
Having a dog definitely gets easier once they get a little bit older. They stop with all the indoor peeing and pooping, mostly. They can be left alone for hours at a time and trusted not to eff up too much of your stuff. Though they’re probably not as cute as they were as puppies, they’re still cute and they suck way less.

They will continue to cost you money. Dog food and dog toys and vet visits aren’t cheap. They will continue to take up your time, because they rely on you for entertainment and exercise and love. Also they get a little bit smellier. Most dogs will seek out rotten things outside just so they can roll in them. Their breath loses its puppy scent and instead smells like old hamburger and salmon. Dogs with long fur get poop stuck in the fur around their b-hole. If they’re like Dizzy and they suck at peeing, they splash pee on their legs and smell bad that way, too. Expect to do gross things, like pull rope out of their butt and cut matted fur off their wieners (if they have wieners).

Besides the gross parts, though, grown dogs are the bomb. They love doing activities and will be down for almost anything, unless it involves vacuum cleaners or fireworks. They’ll probably stare at you a lot and that’s annoying, but they’ll also be stoked when you come home from work and will keep you warm in bed if you let them sleep with you. All good things. Remember though: They are work. They need exercise and love. Be a person that’s cool with exercise and love.

For real: You ready?
In your 20s, most people are used to living young and wild and free. So what you get drunk? So what you smoke weed? You’re just having fun, you don’t care who sees. So what you go out? That’s how it’s supposed to be. But then you get a dog, and all that gets much harder. You want to drink booze and smoke marijuana? Your dog needs a walk, not a rain shower in the studio, Wiz Khalifa.

A few questions to answer before getting a dog:

1. Do I like dogs?
2. Do I like the dog I’m thinking about getting?
3. Do I have enough money to pay for food and vet visits?
4. Am I OK with spending that money or am I too cheap?
5. Am I lazy?
6. Do I mind gross things?
7. Am I all right with the outdoors?
8. Am I cool with exercise and love?

If you answered yes, yes, yes, yes—OK with it (not cheap), no, no, yes, double yes, then you’re probably ready to get a dog. Good luck!

DOG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

My name is Allie. Our family dog who passed away a few years ago was named Halle. As a result, I spent ages 7 to 19 being confused with a giant schnauzer.

For 12 years, my family accused me dropping bits of kibble around the house, slobbering on things with my wet beard, and more.

Mom: Dammit, Allie. IS YOUR BUTT IN AN UPROAR AGAIN?

Me: Huh? No! I’m not buttstinking right now.

Mom: Not you, the dog! Goddamn you, Halle!

Me: Don’t yell at her! She can’t help when she gets excited. A bit of buttstink never hurt no one.

Mom: NO, NOW I’M YELLING AT YOU! GET IN YOUR HOUSE.*

*We call dog crates “houses” where I’m from. Why you think I’m so classy?

Needless to say, Halle and I connected on a deep level. Not only did we almost share a name, but Halle was also my drug huffing enabler, my cuddle buddy (not to be confused with a cuddy buddy), and my German language tutor. She was my girl.

Black beauty

My little giant German

Don’t get it twisted, I love Chico (our 3-year-old mini schnauzer) just as much as Halle. He’s my dude.

He's also my little devil-eyed babushka.

He’s also my little devil-eyed babushka.

But, besides the fact that my name isn’t Rico, Chico spends about half of his time living the good life on the Connecticut shore. I need a dog that’ll ride with me 24/7 in the Maine hood woods. I need my own dog. (And Chico needs a friend! Or cuddy buddy, whateva.)

You may remember that last September I wrote a blog post begging my parents to let me get a puppy. I’m not sure if my argument was persuasive or my parents just got sick of my moping, but either way they gave in. The only stipulation was that the dog had to be small.

As soon as my parents gave me the go ahead, I started filling out adoption applications, stalking Craigslist and PetFinder, and dreaming doggy dreams. It was during these puppypalooza that I discovered mini labradoodles.

Mini labradoodles are the sweet lovechild of labrador retrievers and miniature poodles. They’re like fuzzy ass muppets that don’t shed much and (most likely) like to swim. After finding a mini labradoodle breeder near my crib, I also discovered that they’re real popular and real expensive.

I knew I couldn’t afford one, but I thought I might be able to strike up a deal with the breeders — my website/photography services for one of their puppies. They went for it, and for the past couple of months I’ve been building them a new site.

It took me a while to believe the trade would actually go through, but the puppy’s been born, the site is up and running, and the breeder’s still down to deal. If you want to check out the site and/or precious puppies, Google “Adorable Down East Labradoodles”. I’d include a link to the site, but I’m teaching the breeder (Gerry) how to use Google Analytics soon, and I don’t want him to see referrals from classygallie.com. Dude does not need to know about my buttstink or rockets in my pockets or anything I’ve written on this site, really.

Little Charles Barnacle the mini labradoodle will be coming home with me in the beginning of June.

One-eyed, lip-lickin', soul patchin' labrydoodle.

My one-eyed winkin’, lip-lickin’, soul patchin’ labrydoodle.

I guess there’s still time for something to go wrong with the deal, but if the text Gerry sent me the first day the new site went live is a sign, I think we’re okay. Just as a reminder, we’ve been exchanging daily emails for months and he knows my name is Allie.

Don't I look like a Halle puppy poster? See the belvedere playing tricks on ya.

Halle’s gotchu homie.

Dear Mom and Dad (a puppy proposal)

Mom and dad, Jackie and Tim. Seeing as I live in your home, I have a favor to ask of you.

Please let me get a dog.

I know what you’re thinking. “Allie, you are not responsible enough. You don’t cook your own dinner, iron your own shirts, or charge your own electric toothbrush.”

You’re right – I don’t. I’m bad at cooking and cleaning and charging teethbrushes. I don’t do any domestic ish. You know who else doesn’t do domestic ish? A dog.

My future best friend/dog, who I’ve tentatively named Jacktimlyn, will not like cooking or cleaning or brushing teeth, either. Fortunately I do not have to cook dog food (though I do intend to huff it, socially). Dogs don’t wear clothing so I’ll never have to worry about laundry. And I’ll get Jacktimlyn a non-electric toothbrush.

You might say, “Allie, we already have Chico. Isn’t he enough?”

Again, you are right. I love Chico very much – he’s more than enough puppy for one family. But, mom, Chico is yours. He’ll never love me as much as he loves you. You take him to Connecticut with you all the time — I barely see him these days! (And when Chico is at home, he’ll have a buddy to play with!)

You might say, “When Chico isn’t in Connecticut you complain about taking him for walks.”

This time you’re only partially right. I complain about taking Chico for walks at night. I am afraid of the dark. Are You Afraid of the Dark? You should be, because as soon as the sun goes down the men start a-lurking. We live across from a bar! And a tattoo parlor! You know the type of people around our home. And you know how tiny Chico is. He’s smaller than a baby! What would we do if someone tried to abduct the pair of us? We would be defenseless. Jacktimlyn will be a golden retriever. Goldens are a large breed; troublesome men will be sure to leave us alone.

“Your baby daughter will be safe with me.” Via Flickr http://bit.ly/208D283

You might say, “You work and do activities and things. We will be stuck caring for your dog.”

Don’t think of it as being stuck, think of it as an employment opportunity!  Dad, you work at home. If you agree, I will happily pay you to walk Jacktimlyn when I’m at work. We can discuss an hourly rate, and I can pay a full year in advance. Wow! How lucrative this could be for you!

Dolla dolla bills, dad.

If you cannot agree, father, that is okay. You think there are no other working, activity-ing people who own dogs? There are, I assure you! Billions, maybe trillions of them! Jacktimlyn can get a nice long walk before I go to work and then another couple walks when I get home, in addition to fun play sessions. Plus, many of my activities are dog-friendly, especially for a well-behaved dog like Jacktimlyn is sure to be.

Finally, you might say, “Dogs tie you down. Don’t you talk about how you want to travel?”

I talk about wanting to travel, but only to make myself sound cool and important. Traveling makes me nervous and hungry, and I don’t have a desire to do much of it. If I ever decide to move to a different state, I’ll have a lovely companion to come with. And anyway, dad, didn’t you get a dog (a golden, I believe?) when you were 23? Didn’t you move to Hawaii after you bought him? Wasn’t he the best trained dog you ever owned?

Obviously, dog ownership is a big responsibility. Here is a list of things I promise to do, and how I’ll do them. They are open for negotiation.

  • Pay for everything: Jacktimlyn, the vet, food, training, grooming, and toys. I will not buy Jacktimlyn until I have many thousands of doll hairs saved. Pending your approval, I will get Jacktimlyn next spring. This means I can ask for puppy paraphernalia for Christmas and my birthday. How easy gift shopping for me will be!
  • Keep the house clean. I will vacuum and sweep the main living areas twice a week. That means every year, I will vacuum and sweep 104 times. That is approximately 103 more times than I currently vacuum and sweep.
  • Keep Jacktimlyn clean. I will bathe him when he needs it, brush him weekly, and pet the crap out of him daily.
  • Care for him. Cause if you let me, here’s what I’ll do: I’ll take care of you Jacktimlyn.

Mom, if you help me convince dad I’ll give you free reign of my Facebook account for as long as it exists.

Dad, you know what kind of vehicle can’t accommodate a dog? A scooter. Also, I promise I’ll never ask you to cut your hair again.

Pleasey?

P.S. If you don’t let me I’m going to get a sleeve of tattoos.
P.P.S. Just kidding, I’m not that spiteful.
P.P.P.S. But know that I could.
Another P.S. If anyone other than my mom and dad are reading this, please show your support of my dog ownership. For Jacktimlyn’s sake.

I’ve gone dumb

I’ve spent most of the summer hanging out with dogs and babies. In particular, my pup dawg Chico and my niece Heidi.

They both super bomb. Chico is cute and funny and sweet; Heidi is crazy adorable and crazy happy and crazy fun and my favorite new human. You know what neither of them are, though? Smart.

Actually, as far as dogs and babies go, they’re geniuses. Chico can manipulate my mom to do anything — he fakes anorexia to get spoon fed and he fakes a limp to get carried on long walks. He’s a sicko bastard, but he’s clever. Still, since he’s a dog, I can’t do anything with him except make weird noises and throw squeaky toys and beg him to poop.

I can also get crunked with him

Likewise, Heidi is wicked smart for a baby. She babbles with the best of them and knows the facial expression for every word in the English dictionary. I’m sure she’ll be a bookworming math wizard in a few years, but for now, all I do when we chill is make gooftastic faces and blow raspberries and beg her to poop (I also smile a lot).

"This blanket is tasty and my face is the effing best"

The lack of normal social interaction is starting to have an effect on me. I’m going dumb real quickly like.

For example:

1. I went surfing the other day and chatted with a middle-aged, Australian, sleeveless-wetsuit-wearing man. After talking for a minute or two about weather n whatnot, he paddled out far, I posted up on da inside, and the chittychat ended.

Ten minutes later, Mr. Australian Man caught a wave. As he rode the wave in, he passed right by me. He was kind of crouching down and had his left hand sticking straight up and his right hand sticking out to the side. It looked to me like he wanted a high five.

When I stuck my hand out and he ignored it, however, it no longer looked like he wanted a high five.

(P.S. He later told me about his 12-month-old son. Thinking he said 12-year-old, I asked if his son surfed much. You should have seen the look he gave me!)

2. While taking Chico for a walk, I made homies with an old man. He asked me a few questions about myself, and then asked me what da mutt’s name was.

Old man: What da mutt’s name is?

Me: Chico. It means “boy” in Spanish. Funny, huh?

Old man: Oh helllooo there Chico!

Chico responded by lifting his leg on a telephone pole and dripping a pizz. The old man laughed and said to him, “And helllooooo to you too!”

For some reason, even though we’d already said hello and chatted for a few minutes, I looked old man right in his old face and said back, “Hello.”

I really don’t know how I mixed that one up.

3. The back tire on my bike blew this morning when I was about 4 miles away from home. On the walk back I found some grapes on the side of the road, noted they looked delicious, and ate a few. Then my lips got tingly and I thought I was having an allergic reaction. Then I remembered my chapstick had tingle-inducing ingredients in it.

Then I decided I should probably stick to dogs and babies.