Still passing the open windows and falling down the stairs

My cat’s a jerk…

I’m sorry. Is it wrong to feel that way?

I may have mentioned before that I’m not exactly a cat person. The cats were obtained in the throws of my first really serious relationship, at age 22, with no thought to the future.

Somehow, when the ship sailed on the relationship, the cats were on the boat with me! But it was fine. I never had the tightest of bonds with them, but they were pleasant enough to have around and were always pretty low maintenance.

When I brought the dog home, I was so nervous that the cats would have aneurysms or, at the very least, never speak to me again. I was close on the aneurysms, at least with Sierra, but they eventually got over it. Actually, Sierra started to sort of worship the dog, with a twinkle of “she might eat me” in her eye.

We found a balance that worked and everyone seemed pretty content. Until Sierra died last year.

Now Nevada’s a jerk.

In her defense, I’m sure it has a lot to do with the time I spend at the Red Baron’s house, leaving her alone. It was never an issue when Sierra was there, but since I take the dog with me, there are times when Nevada is completely alone for several days at a time…for the first time in her life.

But even when I’m close to home for weeks in a row, she’s still a jerk! She screams at me and when I pet her, she gets so worked up that she bites me. She chases the dog around and screams at her, occasionally following it up with several slaps to the dog’s face.

And the dog is TERRIFIED. She’s now stopped eating; nothing yesterday and she wouldn’t even look at the canned food this morning. That’s like me walking away from a bowl full of chocolate mousse. Even in my most weakened condition, I can’t ignore the mousse.

I know this sounds crazy, but I think she’s a toxic force in my home. So what do I do? She’s 15 and I’m not so secretly hoping that she succumbs to old age in the not so distant future.

I can’t see sending her to a no-kill shelter with dozens of other cats…that would just make her more miserable. But it breaks my heart to think of putting her to sleep because she’s grumpy. Then I’m the jerk.

The only option I can think of is to find a good home for her, but people aren’t exactly going out of their way to track down old lady cats. Unless they already have 34 other cats, which brings us back to Nevada being more miserable.

Help. Help. Help.

They grow up so fast

I may have to rethink having children. I’m no longer sure that I’m up to the emotional task.

I dropped Siri at day camp this morning. And as PATHETIC as this may seem, it was quite difficult. I seriously almost cried. After the guy at the front desk took her to the back, I couldn’t pry myself away from the monitors in the reception area. I could see her standing in the middle of this big room, frozen. That’s when the tears welled up and I tried to shake my hair into my face so no one could see my melt-down.

Luckily the guy had brought her to an area that only had one other dog in it at the time and they were separated from the dogs in the next room by a fence. After a minute or two, Siri’s legs started working and her doggy curiosity kicked in. When I left, she was wandering and mingling with the dogs along the fence.

The greatest thing about Camp Bow Wow is that they have 13 web cams. The worst thing about my job is that my firewall won’t let me view any of them. But the girl who sits next to me has more access and she let me check in on Siri a couple of hours ago. I found her almost immediately because she was the one standing as close to the human as possible. As the human moved, so did Siri. I was just happy to see that she wasn’t standing in the corner by herself.

This is not going to be a daily norm for Siri. It’s just the dry run for a four day trip to Chicago in May (they offer overnight stays). Usually I leave Siri with my folks (we’re going to Chicago together) or take her with me but it’s not really going to work out for this trip.

But the more I think about it, the more I love the idea of this kind of doggy socialization for Siri and I may try to make day camp a monthly event. If my heart can take it…

You’re Out!

I was unsure of Dante from go.

I had initially sent him a message because he mentioned being a big fan of my local town baseball team. I live very close to the “stadium” and enjoy strolling over for a game on occasion. His response was something to the effect of how convenient he would find it to be able to recover from several beers at my house before having to drive home.

Strike one.

We played a bit of phone tag throughout the week so he was able to hear just about all of the songs I have on my ring back cycle (although, he did think Devo was the B52s, which should have been a second strike but we’ll just call it a ball). Eventually, we connected on Saturday morning to discuss Sunday’s date. He decided that our first conversation should be kicked off by telling me how was nursing a hangover by the pool. Even if this was a rare occurrence, did he think he was wooing me with his tales of alcoholic fortitude?

Strike two.

He had asked if he should pick me up for the date but by this point I figured it would probably be better if I could just toddle home alone, if necessary. Although, dude was totally welcome to pass out on my lawn.

I got there first and stood by the gate, scanning every testosterone-based human that passed through my sight-line. “Is that him? What about that one? Oh, shit. Please not that one.” The weird thing about Dante was that he had looked different in every picture I had seen. He would kick ass as a CIA agent. Then, there he was, looking a little frantic at being late as he pulled into the parking lot. And he was cute. And tall. And he seemed very friendly. Okay. “Things might turn themselves around here.”

He was a “gentleman”, which I’m not used to and don’t really handle very smoothly. I was probably a bit too excited when he bought me a hot dog and water. Although, it was a REALLY good hot dog. He bought himself a beer and I braced myself. But, he only had one more after that (and it was 3/2) so I was a bit disappointed because I had already drafted half of the post in my mind. But the consolation was that, although he didn’t get faded, things weren’t exactly normal. At some point within the first or second innings, his brother had arrived. With his 4 year old son. And a neighbor. With his two kids. Who all proceeded to sit right next to us.

Foul ball*.

Despite the presence of big brother, the date was going well and I was starting to think that Dante might get a hit (although I knew there was no way he was getting to first base) so I let him drive me home. When he got out of his car, I panicked and blurted out something about me not being the kind of girl who lets men in the house on the first date (I TOTALLY AM THAT KIND OF GIRL). His response to my mental spasm was to ask if it would be okay to walk me to the door, which was probably his intention all along — I did mention that I’m not used to “gentlemen.” I recovered with a smooth, “you bet” and asked if he would walk me to the back door so I could let Siri out…and he could meet the coolest dog in the Upper Midwest.

“Oh. Yippee.”
Those were the words that I knew would change everything.

By the time we got to the back of the house, he was already quite tense. His demeanor had changed. I let Siri out and she was all…Cool! Who’s this guy? He seems neat. I think I should rub up against him. Alright! And how about a little lick, right there on your calf? Uh huh. I think I’ll wrap it up with a quick crotch check and then a wee.

He wouldn’t touch her. He wouldn’t even look at her. When he let himself back out of the gate, he did some weird foot-block thing, like he thought she was going to bolt or something, but it seemed more out of irritatation than concern.

Strike three. Game over.

You can’t hang with my dog? You can’t hang with me.

*I am definitely looking for someone who is close with his family, but maybe we could have tried a little alone time first? We should have moved so I could have told him all of the fart jokes and limericks I had lined up, without worry of his nephew hearing.

From Siri, to the grand’rents

Grimace and Grampy,
Woof, woof, woof.
Love, Siri

bandick translates:
Thank you so much for letting me, and my stinky parents, come and stay with you while they tear up the house. I don’t understand why they can’t just do their business outside with me. Picky. Anywhooo, I love staying at your house. You let me lick your faces when you are on the couch and you always, always scritch the right spot behind my ear. I also love that I can run up and down the stairs at full speed without having to take any sharp turns to avoid walls.

I hope you will let me stay with you again. ‘Cause I love you. And ’cause you don’t have cats.


Ahhh…the beast dragging my neighbor’s kid, and the chair in which he was sitting, across the yard by the Koosh football. A fairly common sight these days.

Siri is great. Healthy and happy and hyper.

She has recently put on some weight, which is good because I’m a little tired of people saying, “she’s soooo thin”, while they secretly give me the suspicious eyeball as they mentally tally up my short-comings to determine whether or not I might be the type of person that would starve a dog.

Siri and Jack, the rag doll featured above, are great together and they have come to fill a void in each other’s lives. Jack’s dog died last year and he is a kid that needs a dog. Siri may or may not have had a kid in her life before she came to live with us but she is a dog that needs a kid. Jack comes to stay with his dad Thursday night through Sunday afternoon, of which I have to remind Siri every Monday through Wednesday when she is standing in the corner of the yard whining and barking for that “damn kid to get out here already; don’t make me wait when I want to chase you on your bike and give you tongue to face resuscitation when you pretend to crash….arghhhh!”

We’re over six months into this relationship and I think the fuzzybottom and I feel much more comfortable in our respective canine parenting roles. I also think Siri feels more comfortable in her adoptive home. She’s more relaxed because she pretty well understands what is expected of her. Not that she always does what’s expected of her, but at least she can prepare herself for our reaction to the digging, chewing, barking, or wandering behaviors.

All that’s left to say is, there’s something about puppy love…

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