Aug 16, 2010


Most nights of the week, I take care of my neighbor's puggle.  It's a nice arrangement: I take out the puggle when neighbor's at work, neighbor takes out the HyperHund while I'm at work.  We have a deep and meaningful relationship.

If you are not familiar with puggles, you are missing out.  Puggles are touted as expensive "hybrid" dogs, which makes them sound like they run on bio-fuel (which, if you count goose poop as bio-fuel, they do), but it really means they are mixes of two dogs who should never ever be allowed to suggestively bat their eyelashes at each other.

Don't get me wrong... the puggle is great.  But a puggle is the result of a carefully-thought out planned mating between a dog whose main goal in life is to sit on laps, snort and eat (pug) to a dog whose main goal in life is to sniff things and then see if they fit in his mouth (beagle).  The result is a cute, floppy eared dog that sometimes snores, spends a lot of its time obsessively trying to ingest various substances left lying around the house, and has a marked propensity toward gaining weight.

For the sake of this puggle's anonymity, I shall call him Raffles.  Actually, the real reason for this is that Raffles is a really outstanding name, especially for a puggle, and if I owned a puggle, which I will actually not probably ever do, I would totally have to name him Raffles.

Raffles knows a really large amount of cool tricks, if a really large amount equals two.  He is extremely gifted at sitting on command.  If he happens to be running across a field, one could cry out "Sit, Raffles, SIT!" and he would drop into an insta-sit, with his mouth slightly open in case "sit" actually meant "sit and I will give you a microscopic piece of edible or possibly inedible but still stinky something as a reward."

Raffles's owner also taught him to shake hands to the command "paw paw."  In order to obtain a treat, Raffles must sit and give paw-paw.  He is really REALLY good at giving paw-paw.

The problem with this is that Raffles has applied the paw-paw method to every single occasion at which he suspects a piece of  food may be directed toward his mouth.  If, say, I haven't washed all hints of dinner smells off my hands with Lysol and Clorox and I lean down over Raffles to put on his leash, he deduces that I may perhaps be contemplating the idea of giving him a little edible something and he commences paw-pawing.

By this, I mean he starts to windmill his paw repeatedly in some kind of hyperspeed high-five action that doesn't stop until food enters his mouth.  When my brother was a kid, he had this action figure where you flicked a lever on its back up and down and the arm whacked up and down in a punching mechanism; this is Raffles.  But really... with the action figure, it stops when you stop flicking.  Raffles does not stop.

Once, when I was still under the mistaken impression that I could train some understanding into Raffles, I reached down to put on his collar, and he began to paw-paw with great vigor.  I decided to open my hand and leave it there, waiting for Raffles to eventually stop when it dawned on him that I had nothing and was not going to move until he was Calm and Submissive.

You may be thinking how similar I am to the Dog Whisperer.

Haha!  Two minutes later, I had scratches up and down my arm that needed to be washed with peroxide.  Raffles was still flailing in  the ecstatic throes of paw-paw and was neither Calm nor Submissive.  Now, you may be thinking, wow, that Raffles sure isn't bright, or you might also be thinking, wow that Mo sure is a hamburger short of a Happy Meal to leave her hand there for that long...what a fool.

You would be correct on the latter.

Raffles and the HyperHund have a uniquely disturbing way of playing together.  There is a very specific pattern they follow every time they play together.

First, bigger HH will coyly sidle up to little Raffles, and invitingly place his PG13 parts in Raffles's face in a friendly sort of play invitation.  Raffles instantly becomes intrigued and starts sniffing this new and wonderful offering as if it had never been presented thusly to him before.

Fired up with the intensity of the game, the two will race around the room, with HH barking loudly in a high pitched, non-manly way.  The more excited he gets by the game, the higher his voice gets, until eventually it cracks like that of an adolescent boy, if that adolescent boy were going to, for some inexplicable reason, start barking.

Then, in a disturbing but inevitable turn of events, Raffles will latch on to HH's face and...well... start doing stuff I really can't describe without blushing.  He will do this for minutes at a time, and HH just stands there, blinking his assailed eyeballs and looking kind of confused, but not really trying to escape.

Eventually, HH feels distracted and runs forward, at which point Raffles kind of turns while still latched on to HH's head and begins running sideways on his back legs.  This is followed by more pre-pubescent barking noises.

Then, the whole process repeats itself, sometimes ten or fifteen times in a row.

Apparently, this never gets boring for them.

Puggle = Awesome.

Aug 13, 2010

Craig's List Pets Section

You know how you see those bored housewife type characters in t.v. shows, and they're always reading trashy romance novels or watching soap operas?

That's me, except that instead of soaps or romance novels, I faithfully read the Craig's List pet section every day, several times a day.  Why?  I'm not sure.  I already have two cats and a dog.  Getting another dog would effectively reduce the chance of my ever getting married to about .5% while raising my chances of becoming a dog soccer mom to 99.9%.

While occasionally I do come across some awesome Australian Shepherd dogs, I have found that most people breeding dogs and selling the pups have awesome creative writing skills.  This leads to some fabulous ads, of which I will now share the highlights. (Please go to the bottom if you cannot decode these.*)

Gotti Line Blue Baby Pet Bulls: $400.  Excellent with kids, dogs, and other animals.  Very playful.

Purebred Sharpies: $250.  Super cute and love to be held.

Mini Datsun: I must rehome my mini datsun.  He makes too much noise and I can't have him in my small apartment.

Miniture Pitcher:  Rehoming my 8 week old miniture pitcher.  $300 obo to good home only.

Sherman Shepherds: AKC registered, father is from working line, $500

While the ad itself is not that hilarious, you'd think if you were selling AKC anything from excellent lines, you'd know how to correctly write the name of the breed.

Baby Shiatsu: Baby shiatsus are now available.

( shiatsu = forceful, deep tissue massage. Therefore, baby shiatsus = bad idea)

Rock Waller:  I need to rehome my two year old Rock.  He is black and tan very muscular and very pertective.  He his too big for my apartment now and needs a backyard.

(This one did take me a while to figure out, by the way.)

Labor Doddle: Great with kids, cute face, 65 lbs.
 (I thought and thought, but I had no idea how to illustrate this one.  It's hilarious, but it's hard to pinpoint why.  It just is.  Trust me.)

Then, we have a host of ads for a family of small dogs.  We have chigugas, tea-cup chigwagwas, chihuhas, chiwawas, apple-head chiguhas, etc.  I think these dogs are all related...

The saddest thing on Craig's List, though, is the large amount of lost dogs listed there.  These dogs are always found "wondering around" and are always very "skiddish."  If I had to guess, I would think they are probably wondering why they keep skidding so much.  That just can't be comfortable.

* blue pit bulls, purebred shar pei, miniature dachshunds, miniature pinschers, German Shepherds, baby shih tzus, rottweiler, labradoodle, chihuahuas, wandering, skittish

Aug 1, 2010

The End of Innocence (or how I got an education from Barbie)

When I was in second grade, I had a friend I'll call Jack.  We girls all thought Jack was pretty super cool because he didn't think we were gross and also, he liked to play Barbies with us instead of playing basketball with the boys.  Nothing is cooler when you're seven than a boy who will play Barbies with you.

Jack and I became good friends because of my awesome collection of Barbies, comprising several of my mom's old dolls from the 60s.  I also had some pretty sweet Barbie furniture, including a swell potty-chair for the baby Barbies, so Jack and I became inseparable.

 When I look back on this, I feel a bit used.

Nevertheless, Jack would come over regularly, and my mom would even let us play Barbies in my room.

I will never forget the day Things Changed.  I was in the midst of dressing Ken in his pastel blue shirt and matching pink tie, when Jack, who was busily undressing Barbie, gave me a conspiratorial look.

"Do you know where babies come from?"  he asked.  I looked around, confused at the sudden turn of events, and trying to hide the fact that I, in fact, did not know where babies come from, although my mom had given me a brief explanation, including seeds and eggs and stuff, that left a lot to be desired and made me think babies actually came from omelets.

Jack closed the bedroom door.  He was really years beyond his biological age in terms of smoothness.

"Look," he said, and proceeded to remove Ken's pastel shirt and leaving him in nothing but his molded plastic Hanes shorts, "Ken needs to be naked."

My eyes bulged out of my head.  I hadn't thought that omelets called for nudity.

"And Barbie, too."  He removed Barbie's wedding gown that she happened to be wearing to take the kids to the park.

At this point, I felt that if my mom walked in, I might get in trouble, though I wasn't sure why because Jack and I dressed and undressed Barbies all the time, except with the door open.

"Babies happen like this," Jack explained.  Holding Nudist-Colony Barbie and Ken about two feet from each other, Jack proceeded to make noises that sounded a lot like the sounds the Transformers and Autobots made when shooting each other in after-school cartoons.

I sat there, both perplexed and horrified, trying to decipher how this could possibly make babies.

"This stuff flies out of Ken, and into Barbie," Jack clarified, "It's called sp....."

I would never know what it was called, because my mom walked in at that exact moment, with the echoes of Ken's torpedo noises still reverberating off my pink gingham walls, and Jack holding naked Ken and naked Barbie up in the air with a very guilty look on his face.

"What are you doing?" Mom asked, in a tone that suggested that she knew what we were doing.

At this point, I started weeping, and made a full confession involving something about omelets and babies and Transformers and bridal gowns that I'm sure confused my mom so much that she was probably sorry she'd asked.

Jack was never allowed to come over and play Barbies anymore.

It was the end of an era.  The end of my innocence.

The end of my childhood.