Friday, October 09, 2009

My next 15 minutes of fame...very local, minor fame...

Too all those readers who came across my blog after reading about it in this month's North Hills Monthly, welcome to the party. I hope you stick around for a bit. What you will find here will quite likely not enrich your life. It won't offend you. It won't make you think. and it certainly won't make you feel any smarter. But if it makes you giggle, perhaps guffaw, or maybe even pee a little, then I feel I've done my job. If you like, click on the "Favorites" tag in the list to the right and find a little more out about me and my yammering. By the way that's an incomplete list...I'm working on it...

For those of you wondering what the heck I'm babbling about, See page 40.

I'm starting to notice a trend here

Animals. They're out to get me. And it's not just the fricking dog.

Let's start with the fish. Take the photo below, for example. I will call this exhibit A. Lovely fish tank ain't it? Notice how it seems like there's about 6 inches of gravel in there, piled up like a miniature mountain range? I didn't do that. The stupid fish did. No, I spent plenty of time making a nice cozy home for the critter, but instead the stupid fish decided she'd rather dig up the nice smooth layer of gravel and pile it all in the front of tank as if she's building a fort. Oh, and you also might notice the black thing in the background. That's the water heater. Which isn't where I left it. She moved that too. And the plant that looks like it's growing out of the left side of the tank? Nice.

Let's move on to the dog. Surely by now you're read my previous post and learned how El Destructo spends her time alone. Well, we were having SOME amount of luck with her in the basement, until today when she discovered the wonder of berber carpet, and began tugging at the threads by the garage door, as if by some magic one of her owners might be attached to the end of them. Awesome. Maybe she'll chew through to the tack strip. That'll teach her.

Okay, so that's the pets. But suddenly I'm realizing this conspiracy is wider than just this inner circle. This morning as I opened the garage door, I noticed two deer in the back yard, quietly munching away at my hostas. The looked up at me, smirked, and I distinctly heard one of them say, "What the hell you looking at?"

And then there's the moles. The moles that have made a tunnel network in my lawn more intricate than the London Tube system. Whick has been really great for drainage. Not to mention for the mower blade. Or the chipmunks that have dug a cavern so vast behind the retaining wall next to the driveway that it's expected to collapse within the next year.

Really, there's only one animal in this entire neighborhood that I can appreciate. And that's the bunny. The bunny has been living under a bush in the front yard for years, and never bothered a soul. Of course, I discovered him dead on the neighbor's lawn the other day. So there goes that. I'm thinking the deer bumped him off.

Friday, October 02, 2009

The Dog Runner

Ugh. Daisy. That friggin' dog. When she's out in public, the best way to describe her is "always on alert". Bring her outdoors, and all of a sudden every bit of movement, every falling leaf, every passerby becomes her immediate prey. As a result, she's a HUGE pain in the ass to take on a walk.

Our normal walking route takes us past at least a half dozen houses with dogs. One bark from any one of them and Daisy's ears perk up and her body language screams, "I'm on that!!!!" God forbid one of those dogs happens to be outside. Suddenly it's like gravity has no meaning, and it's more like I'm flying a kite on a windy day than walking a dog down the street.

Speaking of windy days, those are the worst. Earlier this week we had some rain and wind, bringing the Fall season to our neighborhood rather quickly. Everything within sight or earshot become an object of Daisy's desire. "What's that??? A leaf?? I need that! Ooh, another leaf! Another! A whole bunch! Gimme Gimme Gimme! I need those! Squirrel!!! Aghh! Bunny! Get the squirrel, no wait...I need the bunny! Agh, what's that noise in the tree! Climb the tree! Climb the tree! Someone get me a ladder! I need a ladder! A rope! One of those mountain climbing rigs! Holy crap, a crow! I love crows! Is that a crow What's a crow, anyways?? I dunno, get it! Wait, did you hear that??? Was that another dog! I think it was a dog! It was miles away, but I know she's talking to me! Was that a dog??? Tell me it was a dog, I need to see it now! She wants to play! NOW!! Please Please Please Please Please Please! Ooh, hey, peanut butter treat! Sure, I'll calm down, thank..ANOTHER SQUIRREL! Get it! Hey, a worm! Never seen one of those, can I eat it? Can I? Can I? Hey, let's try it! Oooh squishy! Makes me want to leap in the air! Gotta poop! No wait, more leaves! Can't poop right now! Gotta hold it! Don't care if the poop's hanging out the back, I need that leaf! Get it! get it! GET IT!!!!!! AGGHHHH!!!

By the time we've gotten to the end of the driveway, I'm done.

(above dog portrayed by actor. Not actual dog.)

So that's the great outdoors. Let's talk for a moment about the inside of the house. Overall, she's a pretty well behaved dog when inside. Except when we leave. Man, this critter's got some issues. We keep a crate in our bedroom where she happily sleeps, but we also have been attempting to leave her in said crate when we leave the house. Yeah, that doesn't work too well. More often than not, we come home to a scene much like this:

What you are seeing here is the slab of carpet I laid UNDER the crate. Daisy spent her time gnawing away at it in frustration until there was nothing left but shreds of yarn. I'd make her suffer and not put ANYTHING in or under her crate, but I'm afraid she'd chew through the actual carpet in the room, only stopping when the crate fell through the kitchen ceiling below her.

Given how tired I was with having to vacuum the bedroom every time we came home, we tried a little experiment. I cleaned the basement out completely, and we set her up with a place to hang out there while we're gone. Her food bowl, some chew toys, even a radio with some Beethoven playing (heh. Beethoven. Unintentional dog movie reference. Damn I'm good. Of course I'll stop before I say something really corny, like "his Bach was worse than his bite, that sort of thing"). Additionally, we set up the camcorder in a quiet corner to tape the goings on when we left the house. Lo and behold, we've actually had some success. While we still come home to a freakishly lonely, shaky and nervous dog who, according to the tape, spends the first hour alone wandering aimlessly about the room howling like a coyote, she has yet to destroy anything major in there. Well, that's not quite true. Jessica made the mistake of leaving her dress shoes on the floor of the basement yesterday. Yeah,there's forty bucks down the drain. And the day before, a wooden letter "A" from a toy got left out, and we came home to what looked like what you find stuck in the gears of a wood chipper. But we've made progress, And as an extra bonus, if we keep this up the basement might actually stay clean for a long time. and that makes dad VERY happy.