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For Shame!

Are you a fan of dogshaming.com?  If you’re not, you totally should be. That site is hilarious. (And sometimes horrifying.) My cousin Stephanie got me hooked on it and now I can’t stop. So, just for fun, I shamed my own dogs. Six times. You’re welcome.
Shameful Dogs
Shameful Dogs
Shameful Dogs
Shameful Dogs
Shameful Dogs
Shameful Dogs

P.S. Today is Theo’s 5th Adoptiversary. Happy 5 years to one of my favorite wieners.

Maybe he misses Manhattan

wiener in winter

The wiener in winter – NYC, Dec. 12, 2008

There are two dogs under me on the sofa. I’m sitting on them because they wouldn’t move when I tried to sit down and — wait — the wiener just moved. Now he’s at my elbow, jerking his head around and licking the air.

Internets, I do not know why he licks the air. He licks the air, sways his head around, whimpers, licks the air some more, licks my arm for a little while, licks the sofa pillows for a little while, and then, exhausted, he collapses. When he’s finally quieted, if I show him any interest at all, if I even so much as glance at him from the corner of my eye, his head snaps up and he continues, frantic in his efforts to lick my arm, then the sofa pillows, then the air, for as long as wienerly possible. It’s not cute. It’s awful. It amuses house guests, but only until it goes on for so long that they begin to worry about his well-being. The other night he licked a sofa pillow for over thirty minutes. It was so soaked full of dog spit it felt like someone pissed on it.

I recently praised Theo online for being officially house-trained after four years of exhaustive work and now that we’ve got that under control, I feel the need to address his obsessive-compulsive licking.

You may not know this, but one of his nick-names is Lightning Fast Poo Tongue. He’s recently gone back to eating Valentine’s poop as soon as he can snatch it from her bum. (We thought we had that under control – HA! Who’s the dumbass now?) He will eat a large turd on our morning walk and afterward, if I do not pay careful attention to where his tongue is in relation to my whereabouts, there will be a poo-tongue smacking the inside of my eyeball before I can say “What the.”

You guys, I could get a BRAIN INFECTION. And I would have to tell the doctor it was because I got poo in my eye.

Why oh why does my wiener dog compulsively lick the air and/or surrounding objects while swaying his head and whining? Why do I have  a raw spot on my forearm where all the hair has been licked off? Why are the sofa pillows always damp? Is it anxiety? Is it a medical condition? Is he trying to tell me something? Am I somehow failing in my attempt to display appropriate dominance? WHAT WOULD CESAR DO?

Please help me. Don’t help me. Forget me. Help Theo. Help the little wiener. (I’m begging you.)

P.S. Valentine is still sitting under me. She’s bonier than you’d think.

This is my third Just Write. Join us!

Four Years of Wiener Jokes

Mike and his wiener in 2007

Mike and his wiener, NYC, February 2008

Last Wednesday was the fourth anniversary of Theo’s adoption. I unearthed this email, sent to Dopey less than a week after we’d brought him home, and oh! the memories that flooded in…

We did adopt little Theo and he is fitting in beautifully. I was worried it would be over-crowded with another little furry body in the house, but it’s not at all. He’s very sweet and mellow and the cats act like they don’t even notice him. And Val is really warming up to him. She lays on her back and nibbles his paws trying to get him to play with her. He sniffs her and then curls up on my lap or Mike’s lap – which ever lap is closest. Then she comes over and sniffs him and curls up on top of him. It’s cute.

When we first brought him home, he did not bark, he did not play, he did not sniff trees or chase cats. Rescued from a puppy mill where he lived his entire life in a chicken-wire box, he did not know how to be a dog. However, he did know how to eat a bowl of dog food in less than fifteen seconds, puke it all up, then eat it a second time. That was lovely. He also knew how to mark which dog bed was his – by pissing all over it. And he knew how to take a giant dump in our bed. (Though, to be perfectly fair, he only did that the very first night we had him home.)

It’s been remarkable, watching him bloom over the last four years. Where once he was a silent shadow who shuffled along with his head hanging low, now he bounds through our home with confidence, leaping in happy circles and howling with joy. This year he started playing with toys. I was shocked the first time I saw him wrestling one of the plush squeaky toys Valentine loves, but now it’s a daily activity. In July, he initiated a game of fetch with me, for the first time ever. I was so startled and so happy I cried. But the biggest accomplishment of all? Our little wiener is finally, FINALLY, after FOUR YEARS, finally house-trained.

hairy wiener

Bravo, Theo. Bravo. A very happy (belated) adoption day to my favorite hairy wiener.

Do you think they want something?

waiting for breakfast

Theo, Smellmutt, and Valentine. Their expressions clearly say, “Where the food at, human thing?”

This Post Has Nothing To Do With Bolivia

Everything about today is frustrating. Irritating, annoying, anxiety-producing. I think it has something to do with the fact that I started my period today. Or else it’s because it’s Wednesday and I’ve already had it up to HERE with everything. Or it’s because I haven’t exercised in an entire week (if you don’t count the 45 minutes of yoga I squeezed in yesterday.) Of course it could have something to do with the fact that I feel like all I ever do is work work work work work work work work work and yet there is always more more more more more more more more more more work to do. And by work I don’t just mean paid work, I mean laundry and dishes and bills and dog walks and vacuuming and shaving my legs and everything. Life just feels so dreadfully exhausting sometimes.

Yes, I know, these are first world problems. I’m lucky. I have a job. I chose to have four pets. Blah blah. But for once I’d just like to have one. week. of nothing. One week where I could just … rest. Without feeling guilty. Without email. Without nagging phone calls. Without knowing that at the end of the week I’ll have to pay for my rest in the pile of emails/bills/laundry/dog hair. Is that really too much to ask? Apparently it is.

No, Bolivia didn’t count as a restful vacation. There was too much hiking and not enough eating. Literally. We were hungry most of the time. At least I was.

In other news, Valentine FINALLY got her bandage off on Monday afternoon. Remember when I said her injury was minor? I’ve changed my mind about that. When an injury requires FIVE doctor visits, two rounds of anti-biotics, and two rounds of pain medication, it is not minor. But, as of Monday, she’s been declared mostly well. No more bandage, no more meds. She has to wear the lampshade hat for another five days and she can’t have a bath for another week, which is horrible because she smells so awful even I can barely stand to be around her (and I usually really like her stink-doggy smell) but other than that, she’s doing very well.

V-dawg

She’s totally over the lampshade hat.

Michael has spent all this week crashing classes at our local junior college, trying with all his might to cobble together a full load for the semester. Did I ever tell you about the time he went to sign up for classes on his assigned registration day and he discovered that every. single. class at the school was already full? And the wait lists were full too? This is due to the fact that we’ve cut our budgets for school, so the schools don’t have any classes, even though there are hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of students needing classes. Welcome to education budget cuts! Cheers for the legislature and government and yadda yadda! So glad we’re not raising taxes. Budget cuts makes SO MUCH MORE SENSE. I mean, what the fuck is education anyway? Like that bullshit is important.

waiting

Mike texted me this photo of HALF of the line of people waiting to get added to Anatomy yesterday. The head of the department was there and told the waiting people, “Hey! This isn’t bad! There’s not so many of you.” That isn’t bad? No, no, I guess it isn’t bad. IT IS FUCKING APPALLING. Fortunately, by some sort of miracle, Mike’s name was one of the four names the teacher pulled from her purse (she didn’t have a hat, so she put everyone’s name IN HER PURSE) and so he will most likely be able to add. He’s also managed to get into Spanish II. That’s two classes for the semester. Out of six he has crashed. Which is good, you know I don’t want to complain or anything, even though at this rate it will take him four years to get through a two year program. But whatever. It’s not like there’s a job market anyway.

Do you see? I’ve had it up to HERE with EVERYTHING.

The good news (for me) is that I’ve actually stopped feeling all self-conscious about my Bolivia posts and have begun to really enjoy writing them. When I have time to write them. They take FOREVER. I am so long-winded, I know. I go on and on. But the fact that you read my ramblings at all means a lot to me. I swear, sometimes I feel like y’all are the best thing I have going for me. And of course, my husband. And my family. And these guys:

ridiculously cute

TAKE A PICTURE OF ME! says the wiener.

Yeah, all right, so life isn’t that bad. Whatever.

Little F***ers

something aint right

Somethin ain’t right

Look closely. Does anything seem out of order to you? I mean, besides the giant backpacks and the briefcase on the sofa. And all the crap all over the coffee table. And the giant square pillow in the foreground. Do you see the three little balls of sh*t in the middle of the floor? That would be the dogs’ fault.

Or really, it is my fault, because I had the audacity to spend a few minutes picking out my outfit for tomorrow, in my bedroom, with the door closed, when I should have been feeding the little dogs. It was, after all, two entire minutes past their scheduled dinnertime.

It is also Mike’s and my combined fault because we’ve been meaning to rearrange the litter box area so the box is up high enough that the dogs can’t get into it and we haven’t done it yet. Because, you know, life. It’s busy.

Not to mention I should have scooped the litter box as soon as I got home. I knew it needed it and I didn’t do it because I just wanted to relax for a minute. In retrospect, I should have just cleaned the box and then relaxed, because it is amazing how cleaning up half-eaten cat sh*t completely depletes any recently acquired feelings of relaxation.

All of the dog-training books say not to let your dog watch you clean up their mess because it sends the message that you like the mess. I have read this a million times. It must also apply to a cat’s mess. I do not bother to take five seconds to crate the dogs before I clean the cat box because it’s too much trouble. Instead I let them watch me do it. Thus, sending the message that I think it’s super awesome to play with poop. And, in their little dog brains, I must be eating the poop, because why else would I be playing with it?

They sit there, little ears perked up, little tails thumping while I scoop the box, and I willingly teach them to play with the poop. It really is entirely my fault. But it makes me think. They spend a whole lot of time watching me in the kitchen. I wonder if they had longer limbs, would they try to mess around in the kitchen, too? Would it result in a cooked meal? Or a washed dish?

I mean, this could be really amazing. What if I got them a little, tiny, working vacuum cleaner. Something they could operate with their forepaws or push around with their noses. Do you think they’d start vacuuming on a regular basis?

shit eater

Hey little sh*t-eater. You need to start pulling your weight around here.

Little F*cker

The other night Mike was doing his homework at the bedroom desk while I put together pricebooks* on our bed. Valentine was curled up on the bed, so Theo started doing the thing he does where he bounces around on the floor and pants, his tongue lolling out the side of his mouth, his face framed by his long and lovely ears. It is both obnoxious and endearing, it is an attention-seeking maneuver from a little dog who’s mama’s been working a lot of long hours and so even though Mike has asked me, over and over again, not to put Theo on the bed, I picked him up and put him on the bed.

Mike has good reasons for asking me not to put Theo on the bed. For one thing, Theo communicates with his urine, meaning, he’s peed in our bed so many times that by now I should know better, I really should. It’s not that he isn’t housetrained, because he is. It’s that he doesn’t speak English, and he has very strong canine opinions that need frequent expressing. But when he starts bouncing and panting my heart goes soft and I give in.

So he’s in the bed, and everyone’s happy. I’m working, Mike’s studying, Valentine is napping and Theo is doing that cute little thing where he burrows under all our pillows and makes a nest for himself. Next he’ll be snoring, I think to myself, as I assemble catalogues. A few minutes go by and he reemerges, snuffling and panting, tail wagging, and he pounces across the bed and starts bouncing in circles all over my assembly line of catalogue material. Pamphlets and pages go flying and, in an effort to save my work, I pick him up and a stream of urine blasts me in the face.

He’s lucky I have good mom-instincts, because instead of dropping him, I placed him carefully in his dog bed on the floor before I started hollering and scratching at my face. I had ripped off my pee-soaked t-shirt and was clearing damp pamphlets off the bed when I noticed Michael, watching in horror.

“I’m sorry! I’m sorry! You’re right! The dog shouldn’t be on the bed!”
“There’s pee all over the comforter.” His face was so grim you’d have thought I’d just peed in the bed. For fun.
“It’s just a dribble and it’s on my side and I’ll wash it tomorrow. I promise.”

He nodded and went back to his essay on human genome patents. And then I discovered that all that snuffling under the pillows? When I thought Theo was burrowing and getting cozy? He peed. He squatted like a girl and peed all over our pillows and then he peed in my face.

It’s a good thing he’s so pretty.

Lil' F*cker

*for the job where I sell dog food.

Dirty Water Dog

P2180056

Dirty Water Dog (noun) *dir*ti* *wa*tur* *dog*
1.  hot dog, typically sold in New York City, boiled in the same water for days, considered a delicacy by many New Yorkers;
2. Theo in the bath.

I’ve never liked pink teddy bears

For as long as I can remember, I have been a hopeless romantic.  I cannot tell you how many high school boyfriends crushed my heart into a thousand tiny pieces because they didn’t arrange for Unchained Melodies to play over the loudspeakers during homeroom, or have a hundred roses sent at lunch or at the very least serenade my bedroom window.  I have always had very high expectations.

Michael warned me early on that he was not a Valentines Day guy.  He’s a spur-of-the-moment romantic guy, but he’s not a Valentines Day guy.  If you were to play a word association game with him and you said, “Valentines Day”, his immediate reply would be, “Greeting card profits.”  He says he doesn’t see the point of having a holiday that forces people to buy pink teddy bears and heart-shaped balloons but I think his distaste for the day has something to do with all the awful Valentines Days he spent in Los Angeles, when he worked in a restaurant that was such a hot V-spot you had to book your reservation a year in advance.  All through the winter holidays, as February 14th crept closer, he’d get more and more tense.  To him it wasn’t a holiday, it was The Worst Night Of The Year.  It hung over his head like a guilty sentence hangs on an innocent man.

Needless to say our first couple of Valentines Days were rough.  He’d work and I’d feel neglected.  I’d pout, he’d get defensive.  We’d argue, we’d make up, we’d move on.  It took a few years but I eventually came to agree with Mike: Valentines Day is overrated and why on earth would anyone want to go out to dinner on the very night the entire rest of the country is going out to dinner?  Besides, Mike’s spur-of-the-moment romance is a thousand times hotter than a pink teddy bear.

This year I had zero expectations for Valentines Day.  We went wine tasting with friends the day before and the morning of Michael scrubbed the entire house while insisting that I stay in bed reading, so I was sure I’d had the nicest Valentines weekend a girl could dream of.  Which is why I was surprised when I came home yesterday and found this:

Be My Wiener

Either Michael is more of a Valentines Day guy than he’s willing to admit, or Theo’s been having inappropriate thoughts about his human companions.

Guilty As Charged

Valentine and Theo are, without a doubt, the center of the universe as far as Mike and I are concerned.   Our daily lives revolve around whether the dogs have pooped and whether or not they’ve had enough exercise.  We worry that they’re too cold or that they haven’t had enough to eat.  We delight in seeing their little faces whenever we walk in the front door and we love bringing home new treats for them.  Mike teases that the way I mother them is dangerous because there was a point when Theo gained too much weight and it was because, in my worry that he wasn’t eating enough, I overfed him until he gained an extra two pounds.  Two pounds might not sound like much, but two pounds on a Dachshund is like fifty pounds on a person.   I’d been over-feeding Valentine as well, but that bitch* could eat her weight in chocolate and not gain an ounce.   Theo, on the other hand, has a slow metabolism and because his back is so long, extra weight could put stress on his spine that could cause fractures and then he’d be paralyzed and if he survived it would surely cost us a million dollars in vet bills.  It’s a serious thing when Dachshunds get fat and so that is why my mothering is deadly.  And that was a long story for a short point:   The dogs are my practice babies.

Last night, after we’d put the dogs to bed in their crates, brushed our teeth, washed our faces, and curled up with an episode of Law & Order, a long, low howl reverberated from the living room.  It was followed by a sharp succession of ear-piercing ruffs.  This has been Theo’s bedtime routine for the last four nights. He waits until we are in bed with the lights off and then he starts in with a howl followed by barking.

“Ruff! Ruff! Ruff!”
“Why is he doing that?”
“I don’t know.”
“Ruff! Ruff! Ruff!”
“What should we do?”
“Ignore it.”
“Ruff! Ruff! Ruff!”
“Is he trying to tell us something?”
“He’s trying to tell us he’d rather be sleeping in our bed, but that’s not how it works, so he’s going to have to get over it.”
“Ruff! Ruff! Ruff!”

The baby books say to let Baby cry for fifteen minutes and, if after fifteen minutes, Baby has not put himself back to sleep, Mother may go in and comfort him.  So that’s what we did.   We let him “Ruff! Ruff! Ruff!” and after about thirteen and a half minutes he stopped ruffing.  As soon as he was quiet I whispered:

“I seriously don’t know what we’re waiting for.”
“You can’t leave a baby in a crate when you go to work.”

They’re practice babies.  It sounds kind of awful, but it’s true.   I’ve never in my entire life loved something small and furry the way I love those little dogs.   Every day I am amazed that I have enough love in my body to love them but every day it’s there and it’s bigger.  I hear people say that about their kids all the time and I am sure that the way people love their kids is at the very least one hundred times more than the way I love my dogs.  Does that mean that when I have children I won’t have room to love my dogs anymore?  A staggering number of perfectly wonderful dogs and cats are given up every year because their owner has a new baby and just can’t deal with them anymore.  It must be very frustrating to have a new baby at home and have your dog suddenly start humping the coffee table, peeing on the sofa cushions and chewing bald spots into his fur.  At least I imagine that’s what’s going on when someone decides to get rid of the dog now that they have a baby.  Or maybe it’s just that now you have a baby and two other baby-like things that aren’t actually babies and your priorities change.  I have no idea.  But the whole thing makes me nervous.  What will they do when I have a baby?

Let’s take a little tour of my writing chair…

1

Well hello, Valentine!  So you’re the reason why I can’t sit back and get comfortable.  Aren’t you a little chair-hog?


2

And here’s Theo, curled up behind Valentine.  He’s an even bigger chair-hog than his sister.


My hope is that when we have children the dogs will come to see the babies as precious pack members that must be fussed over and adored and protected from danger.  Like the way Chip, my cousin’s five-year-old four-pound Chihuahua, came to see her new baby:

2868585477_5676eefc83_b

If we are that lucky, it is then my hope that our children will come to love the dogs as if they were treasured little old great-grandparents to be treated with gentle hands, quiet voices and adoring hearts.  After all, by the time our children are old enough to know Valentine and Theo, the dogs will most likely be just that:  Little old incontinent doglets with stinky breath, grumping and gurgling and leaving strings of slobber behind when they kiss you good morning.

*bitch [bi*ch] (noun):  female dog, wolf, fox or otter.