Category Archives: charley

He Might Not Actually Be a Dog

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I’m a dog person. Actually, I’m also a cat person and a horse person and a camel person and a hermit crab person and basically an animals-in-general person. But right now I’m talking about dogs. So: Dog Person. I am the person that goes to a party and while the kids are in the playroom, and the adults are in the kitchen, I am on the floor making out with their dog. I can’t help it. There has never been a time in my life when I didn’t have a dog. Everything from beagles to shih-tzus to boxers to labs to mutts. And I love them all. But it’s never been a secret that I hold a special place in my heart for golden retrievers.

I always thought they were great dogs, but it wasn’t until mr b and his golden, Cosmos, came into my life that they became the dog for me. The reasons I love goldens are many: they are intelligent & easily trained. They are friendly. They are loving. They are patient and gentle – even with high strung, noisy, tail-pulling children. They are not huge barking barkers (I get enough of that from The Barking Fucker next door). While not aggressive, they are good watchdogs. They are active. They are loyal. They are playful. They get along well with other dogs, cats, and pretty much any other living creature (even when they relentlessly pursue squirrels, they really only want to play with them).

After Cosmos died, we wanted to get another golden, but we didn’t for a couple reasons. For one, we didn’t have the kind of money to shell out for a purebred puppy. And we really wanted to help out a dog that already needed a home, rather than another breeder dog, anyway. So mr b came home one night with a little black lab mix (whose owner realized she couldn’t take care of him) who for 12 years both drove me absolutely insane and gave me much love and joy. He didn’t have the smarts of a golden, but he was a big love pig who pretty much wanted to wrap himself around my head like a turban and stay there forever. But despite the success we had with an adopted dog, when we decided to get a second dog, we knew it was time to get our version of the king of dogs – another golden retriever.

We found a reputable breeder, visited & chose him, brought him home & loved him through all his crazy puppy crying all night/pooping all over the place antics, and waited for the insane devil dog stage to pass so he could turn into the perfect dog that all goldens are.

Or so we thought.

All of those reasons we love goldens? Charley is pretty much not (most of) them. Seriously. Let’s see:

Easily trained: No – not even close. I mean, you can call him and call him and call him, but unless there is beef in your hand, he will sit there and look at you. Or ignore you completely. You remember Eddie Murphy talking about his childhood dog:

The dog don’t give a fuck cause he doesn’t know his name. The dog is three years old, don’t know his name. Watch this. Cocoa? Where the fuck is he going?

That is Charley.

Intelligent: HAHAHAHAHA. Bless his heart, but there is nothing going on in that head. True Story.

Friendly: Ok, if you mean friendly as in “doesn’t hate you and want to rip your face off,” then sure – Charley is the friendliest guy around. But if you mean friendly as in “actually gives a shit that you are here, or not here, or – in fact – even alive, then forget it.

Patient and gentle: OK – he is patient and gentle. We can do pretty much anything to him – pull his tail, put clothes on him, brush his teeth – you name it, he takes it. But this has less to do with his patience and gentleness and more to do with his COMPLETE APATHY. He is the honey badger of dogs, as far as the not-giving-a-shit goes.

Not huge barking barkers: This one is true. He only occasionally barks – when he sees squirrels, other dogs (sometimes), or my asshole neighbor (which pleases me). I think this is also related to the aforementioned apathy. Honestly, I wouldn’t mind hearing his voice a little more, since he is going through that awkward teenage voice-cracking stage and it’s pretty funny.

Loyal: I can’t really comment on this one. I mean, there haven’t really been any opportunities for his loyalty to be tested. But I am skeptical. I think if I was trapped in a well & the guy who put me there had beef, there would be no heartwarming Lassie moment for me.
Get along well with other dogs, cats, and pretty much any other living creature: Also true. Also may be related to apathy.

Playful: Sure, in a lazy kind of way. Meaning you have to do most of the work. Unless there is a laser pointer around, in which case he will completely lose his shit. Or cat toys. He gets super playful with those. And by super playful, I mean, acts like a dick and takes the cat’s toys from her.

Loving: Oh, man – this is the one that gets me in the heart. My dog is not lovable! Actually, he’s lovable in the sense that I love him, but he is not lovable in the way that every other dog that has been in my life was lovable. He does not want to sit on me. Or lay on the couch with me. He doesn’t shove his head under my hand so I will pet him. He doesn’t follow me around (unless I have beef). He doesn’t get in bed with me. He tolerates being loved on for a very short time and pulls away from hugs. He doesn’t shove his way into groups of little girls, no matter how loud they’re squee-ing over the “sweet puppy.” The only time he acts even remotely happy to see us is when we first come in the door, and even then it’s 2 minutes of a happy-ish tail wag before getting back to his nap.

Recently, I googled “My dog hates love” to see if anyone else had the same problem and guess what? No results came up! NONE! I assume because a dog hating love is absolute nonsense that HAS NEVER HAPPENED BEFORE. I am starting to suspect that he’s not a dog at all. He’s a cat in a dog suit.

Good thing I’m a cat person.

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I Blame Twitter

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Once again, I find myself going weeks at a time without posting. I think part of it is being crazy busy all the time, but I’ve come to another conclusion: It’s Twitter’s and Facebook’s fault. No really – I have something to say, I condense it down to 140 characters, I put it out there, and then it’s gone. I knew no good could come of me jumping on those bandwagons.

Anyway, what’s going on in my life? Let’s see…nothing there…not much about that…not really anything there. Fuck – my life is boring. I still ride everyone’s ass to practices and parties and games. I still don’t get enough sleep. I still have 183,472,965 stink bugs in my house. I still pray for lots of snow every day so I can legitimately stay home (which may not be worse, since if it’s that bad, my kids can’t go to school, either, and then we’re all cooped up in the house while I try to work – that’s a barrel of monkeys.

You know – who ever came up with that term and decided it meant fun: A barrel of monkeys? Meanwhile, a barrel of mokeys is nothing but trouble and pain and destruction. Because monkeys are badass motherfuckers. And if you shove a bunch of them into a barrel? You’re going to end up with a barrel full of pissed off, stinky, badass motherfuckers And those pissed off badass motherfuckers are not going to be happy when you finally let them out of the barrel. They are going to come flying out and tear your face off. Then they’ll destroy everything they can get their little foot-hands on. Then they’ll finish it off with a big poop-fight. I don’t know, but that doens’t sound like fun to me.

Personally, I can think of a ton of things that would be more fun than a barrel of monkeys. Like a barrel of money. Or a barrel of rum. Or a barrel of My Kids Are Sleeping At Grandma’s Tonight. I almost said a barrel of puppies, but then I rememberewd that I have a puppy and despite the fact that puppies are cute and soft and (seemingly) fun, it turns out that puppies are dicks. They poop on your floor. They pee on your carpet. They eat your coffee table. And your shoes. And entire rolls of paper towels. And cat litter. And cat poop. And the cat.

And the particular puppy that I am referring to also stinks. He gets baths more frequently than the adult dog, and yet he stinks more. At first I couldn’t figure out how something so sweet and (previously) tiny, and cute could stink so bad. But then I remembered that his day goes pretty much like this:

I’m a puppy! YAY! Hey – there’s a cat! YAY! I’m gonna chase him! YAY! Now I have to pee! I think I’ll pee here on the carpet! YAY! And now I’ll run and slide through it for fun! Wheee! YAY! A dog! His BUTT!! YAY! Stinkbug! YAY! Poop! YAY! Dead thing! YAY! Rotten leaves! YAY! Someone peed here! YAY! Snow! YAY! The toilet! YAY! Garbage! OMGYAY!

Hmmm…now that I think about it, maybe a barrel of monkeys isn’t so bad.


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Don’t let the cuteness fool you

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How a Ghost Made the Puppy Shut Up, Already

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When we brought Charley home, I thought I was prepared for the sleepless nights and the crate-crying, but I really wasn’t. We didn’t crate train Rocky (Big! Huge! Mistake!), and even if we had, he was older when we got him. My other dogs were all full grown when I got them, except for my very first, but 1) I was 8, so no late night responsibility fell on me, and 2) He was a rejected puppy, so he was weak and tiny and depended on us to be bottle fed, and to make him poop (totally gross), so he didn’t have much energy for the crying.

Needless to say, the first night in the crate was not a fun time for anyone – there was whining and crying and pathetic whimpering. And then he’d finally settle down, only to wake up to go out. I’d take him out to go, bring him back and put him back in the crate and we’d start all over. To say I was exhausted was an understatement.

And it got worse – as he got a little bigger and stronger, so did his crying – it became less “pathetic whimpering” and more “screaming like someone is stabbing me with eleven electrically-charged butcher knives dipped in sulfuric acid.” I thought it would never end and I would lose my mind and go running into traffic in the middle of the night to escape it.

Finally one night as I put him in the crate, I was near tears, just anticipating what was coming. I had reached that point of exhaustion where you feel totally out of control of your emotions – anyone who has had a newborn knows the feeling. And no – I am not comparing a newborn to a puppy. I know that babies are much harder than puppies. But – like a baby – he was waking up every 1 -2 hours, crying half the night, and making me feel like a huge failure. And to be honest, at that point, I wish he was also like a baby in that he could just go in a diaper that I could change in the comfort of my own room, instead of taking him outside in the freezing cold where under the dark of night, I could be murdered or eaten by a bear (What? I live near the woods – everyone knows bears and psycho killers live in the woods!)

Anyway – that night, I put him in the crate and steeled myself for the onslaught of murder-screaming. And as usual, he got right to it. I was trying very hard to ignore it – or at least not to cry, when a woman’s voice – very loudly and clearly, and coming from inside the room – said, “HEY!” And he stopped. He just stopped. My first thought was “YAY!!!!” But my second thought was, “WTF?” And I found myself lying there thinking that I should be scared, and yet I wasn’t. I don’t know if I somehow sensed that whatever said it was benign, or if I was just so happy that the puppy had shut up, that I didn’t care if Freddy Krueger, The Scarehouse Bunny, and Satan himself had come in and shut him up. All I know is that he didn’t make another peep all night.

Or the next night. Or any night since. He goes in his crate, gives a half-hearted whimper and goes to sleep.

I haven’t heard the voice since, but one day when I was working from home, I had to put him in the crate after spending half the day pulling contraband out of his mouth, and he was barking his fool head off (clearly he went for the nighttime sleeping, but daylight hours were off the table). I decided to go check on him, and as I was walking into the room, the radio came on in there. And as soon as he heard the music, he shut up. Again. Since then, crate training has been pretty good – minus the occasional accident, the pushing his blanket out of the cage, and the waking to go out. But I can deal with all that. I’m just glad somebody – whomever it was – dealt with the other.