Share and share alike.

When Zozo was a puppy, James and I agreed- we made a pact!- that we wouldn’t give him food from the table.  There’s too much that’s not good for his stomach, we said.  We don’t want to encourage bad habits.

Athena was already spoiled by nibbles of corn chips and burnt french fry bits from Five Guys.  We had a second, temporary rescue cat that would snatch whole cheeseburgers from plates and try to make off with scrambled eggs.

So with Zo, no meant no.  Except for maybe just a corner of a pancake (“He asked if he could taste it!”).  Or a bite of pizza crust (“No, see, it fell on the floor and he got it before I could pick it up!”).  Or baby carrots and green beans (“There are vegetables in his dry food.  See, there’s a picture on the back by the ingredients of what I think are veggies.”).  Or inches of apples.  You see where this is headed.

When MJ came home, we redoubled our efforts.  No people food.  None.  She wasn’t interested in food anyway, so fine.  She was, however, interested in smelling it.  We’d make dinner and she’d pad around the kitchen, snout in the air.

“What are you choppin’?”

“What’s that you pulled out of the fridge?”

“Is somethin’ bakin’ in the oven?”

“Can I smell the soap?”

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Snout up, snout down, snout where it doesn’t belong.

Zo would hang out under the breakfast bar, waiting.

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Because he knew. He could sense it.  It was in the air, like the warming naan or the baking chicken or the dishwasher detergent.  Mama’s weakness.

If there is something plain, unseasoned and ok for furbabies, Mama will share.  That’s the number one household rule:  Mama always shares.

Our dogs don’t beg.  They don’t whimper or whine if we’re eating and they’re not.  But they line up, bums on the floor in a perfect sit, and accept an offering like communion.  And then they scoot away.  If there’s nothing for them, they get a treat and then retire to their beds.  It’s now routine.

I’m a failure.  Terrible, terrible failure.

Is there anything, dear readers, you promised you wouldn’t allow as a furparent that’s completely gone out the window?  Am I alone?

Travelling Thursday

we’re suiting up for an adventure, so there won’t be a full post today!  have a safe weekend, and we’ll see you next week.

slobbery kisses,

mj and zozo

we're going where?!

we’re going where?!

 

 

 

 

You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry

July 2011

Our little girl is coming along nicely.  Yes, she’s bull-headed and pushy and choosy with her crate-training.  Yes, she can leap clear over the top of her baby gate and make herself comfortable on the couch.  But she’s sweet and loves to snuggle.  She barrels into closed doors at the right speed and oomph to pop them open so she can investigate the happenings on the other side.  She wags her entire body.

And Zozo is amazing.  He’s patient and kind and ignores the little girl until she needs to be yapped into line.  He shows off his cues and proves to be a great big brother and occassional alpha.

Individually, they’re wonderful.  Together, they’re their own little wolf pack.  It’s delightful.

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We’re excited to introduce MJ to the people and places we love to take Zo.  We call to schedule her for a bath.

“How old is she?”

“Oh, almost 8 months.”

“Weight?”

“32lbs”

“Breed?”

“Catahoula/Pit mix.”

“…Hold on…. (hold muzaq).. I’m sorry, we don’t groom Pits.”

“Oh, but she’s very sweet and has never shown any signs of aggression.  She loves kids-“

“Sorry, no Pit Bulls.”  Click.

This happens with the daycare we like to take Zozo to.  The Yappy Hour.  I begin noticing people avoiding our pink bully as we puppy-lurch down the road (our leash skills could use some work).  MJ doesn’t understand; she just wants to shimmy and play and give kisses.

I find myself shying away from admitting she’s Pit-mixed.  “She’s Catahoula with some kind of American breed– boxer maybe.”  It’s a lie no one falls for.  She may be gloriously speckled, but her snout is all Pit. 

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And I feel like a coward for betraying her heritage.

Gradually, when I call to make plans for spa days, daycare, boarding and training, I start the conversation off with the following phrase:

Do you have breed restrictions?

The question becomes part of our vernacular.  The answer? Unsurprising: can’t, no pit bulls. 

We became one of those families.  We’re young, living in the suburbs.  We have two rescue dogs.  One is a Pit Bull.  Obviously we’re dangerous drug dealers or thugs and criminals, and she’s vicious. 

And that’s when I get mad.

 

 

Flirting

May 2013

We’ve finally had nice springtime weather after several days of gross, spritzy rain.  What a fantastic opportunity to run the pups  (and humans) around the yard to burn off some cabin-fever energy.

On May 6, I read a great blog post from celebripup Johnnie Cash’s fostermom, in which we were introduced to quite possibly the greatest yard toy ever imagined: the flirt pole. Our dogs like to run in circles and chase things.  We’ll try it!

James, being the handy hubby that he is, happened to have all of the ingredients (he called them materials) necessary to make our own.  Got some PVC? Rope? Fancy Duct Tape?  Puppy Lure?  You’ve got yourself the makings of a flirt pole.  He toiled long and hard in the garage (35 minutes!), surfacing with a pseudo-fishing rod taller than moi.

So, two dogs, two humans, and one flirt pole bounded out the back door and into the sunlight.  Here we go!

Attempt 1:  MJ saw a squirrel running along the fence.  Squirrels are far more interesting than Daddy today, so she’s off hunting.  Zozo is being a great boy, sitting and waiting to play…(pardon my giggles)

Attempt 2: The little girl catches on.  Zozo still hasn’t quite figured things out yet, but he sure is interested in the tennis ball at the end of the pole.  Again, stupid giggles.

Attempt 3: All in! And more giggles!

Ok, so my laugh is sort of annoying.  My bad.  But here’s what we learned:

1.  Zozo is singularly focused on tennis balls.

2.  Someone shorter than 6′ tall (ahem) may manage the flirt pole, but at the peril of being tackled by an 80lb Pupper-Doodle.  Thankfully, there is no video footage of this pummeling.

3.  MJ is an excellent jumper.  Maybe we’ll try a frisbee.

4. Easy and rather inexpensive to make, the flirt pole will keep even the most ADHD’d dog’s attention (unless there is a squirrel, naturally).

100% worth the effort.  I mean, who doesn’t enjoy a little flirting?

 

 

Things I Never Expected to Say

Furparenthood can be challenging.  You work on manners and good behavior.  You reinforce.  You spend a small fortune on treats and toys (which you know will be destroyed in minutes).  You adjust routines and plans and coordinate a fleet of people who can serve as willing back-ups when things get crazy.  You read and you listen and you attend training classes and vet appointments.  You go to play groups.  You make play dates. You think you’re prepared.

And then one evening over a very grown-up dinner of a brie wedge and leftover birthday cake, you hear yourself utter the following words:

“Stop licking your brother’s butt.”

And it’s all over.  In those five little words, you have humbled away years of acquired dignity in rescue-dog companionship.

You’re an educated person.  You like to learn from your mis-steps.  Perhaps you and your spouse can use this as an opportunity to reflect on some of the more outlandish things that have escaped your lips.  And so, we proudly bring you,

Stuff we say to our pups, or where have we gone wrong?

  • Stop humping your sister’s head.
  • Don’t eat his ear.
  • That’s not your food.  I’m not even sure what that is.
  • Thank you for burping in my face.  Twice.
  • The cat is not a chew toy.
  • Why are you green?
  • Stay.  Please, sit still for 15 seconds.
  • Your impression of a Dinosaur screaming is charming. 
  • I cannot feed you faster if you step on my feet.
  • Is that snot on your face, or were you licking your nose?
  • How in the world is that comfortable?

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  • Why does your breath smell like poop?
  • Why do you smell like skunk?
  • Drop it. Dropitdropitdropit.
  • Don’t step on Dad’s squishy bits.
  • Don’t kick Mommy’s boob.
  • Armpits are not gourmet treats.
  • Must you race me up the stairs?
  • Must you race me down the stairs?
  • You’re barking at your own reflection.
  • You wouldn’t like it if I sneezed in your open mouth.
  • May I have some room on the couch, please?

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Have you caught yourself saying anything “strange” to your furbabies?

 

Making new friends!

March 6, 2013

We’re all a-giggles here, because we’re a featured New Blogger on Pet Blogs United!

We’re thrilled to be so warmly welcomed to the pet blog community. If you looking for lots of furry tales, spend some time browsing there (but don’t forget to come back!).  And make sure you tell them Zozo, MJ and Athena sent you.