again? really??

Sep. 24, 2021


Let's review this morning's events shall we?

Today you had your biggest solo adventure to date.  To be clear, I do not see this as cause for celebration. 

I thought I had Dobby-proofed the back yard so that you couldn't dig your way out under the fence.  Silly me.  I neglected to brick up the area under the gates.  When we left you and Kevin at home alone so that we could take Peep to the emergency vet, you saw your chance and you took it. 

You were several blocks away from home when the lovely little baristas at the local drive through coffee shop saw you running in the busy street and swooped out to prevent you from becoming pavement jam.  Thankfully, OHP was with me at the vet and was able to dash over and get you.  Just you, not Kevin.  OHP told me that he was waiting patiently in the front yard when you guys pulled up.  Good job Kevin!  Thanks for not giving in to peer pressure and for doing the right thing.

Dobby, you are grounded.  No more free access to the backyard through the dog door.  I'll be keeping that locked up for the forseeable future.  This will cause a good bit of hardship for the other family members, especially Peep, but we're going to have to work through it.  You have demonstrated beyond any doubt that you cannot be trusted to make good choices.  In addition to limited outside access, you'll also have a few more tasks added to your list of chores, and your allowance will be suspended for the next month. Reinstatement of privileges and lessening of your work load depends entirely on you and your choices.  

It's not even noon yet, I can't wait to see what the rest of the day holds for all of us.

Incredibly Pissed Off Alpha  


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unauthorized field trips

Sep. 21, 2021

Everybody!  Come in here NOW, we need to talk about leaving the house without permission. Actually, I need to talk, you cabbages need to listen.  Dobby you can get out of the timeout chair for this but you're going back as soon as we're done here.

As we all know, we're living in a construction zone.  The contractors need to have the front door propped open so that they can go in and out while carrying things.  We also know that during the time that the workers are here, you guys all have to stay in the back yard.  There's a locking door that goes over the dog door flap to make sure you stay out of the way. This has been working well for everyone involved.  Until today.  

It seems that today, when the worker slid the locking door over the flap, he didn't get it down far enough to let the lock engage.  I'm betting this has happened before and it hasn't been a problem, but for whatever reason, today was different.  One of you decided you'd rather be back in the house. And of course, the rest of you decided to follow. Peep? I know it's a little warmer today than it has been, were you uncomfortable out there? I know you know how to open the little door when it's not locked in place, did you show the resident terrorists how to get the door open?

Peep: no mom, I was in the shade keeping an eye on things. 

Kevin: I think she was sleeping.  She does that a lot.  Never wants to play.

Me: well, she's old.

Kevin: so are you but you still play with us

Me: thin ice Kevin, thin ice.  

Me: Dobby?  Did you feel the need to get back into the house?  Are you the one that opened the door for everyone?

Dobby: I take the Fifth.

Me: let me guess, you found a channel with Law and Order on it.  Nevermind.  I don't want to know.  Let's get back to business.

Here's what I need you all to remember: just because you happen to find a door open, it does NOT mean that you're allowed to take yourselves on an adventure.  Imagine my surprise when the contractor called me at work to tell me that "the little red guy is missing, I think he got out the front door".  Imagine my supervisor's surprise when I told him that I had to leave an hour and a half early to go round up one of my dogs. Imagine the neighbors surprise seeing a little red demon with funny ears powerwalking around unattended.  And when, after driving around the neighborhood shouting DOBBY out of the car window like some kind of crazy person, I finally found you, you didn't even have the good grace to look ashamed!  Waaaay to pleased with yourself.  

I never thought I'd say it but Kevin, it seems that you're the good one here.  Thank you for being agoraphobic and not following Dobby out into the world. I'll be sure to make a note of this on your weekly evaluation.

Kevin: I get an evaluation?!?  Cool!! What flavor?

Me: evaluations aren't edible Kevin, I know it goes against all of your core beliefs, but not everything goes in your mouth.  

Dobby, I want you to go back to the timeout chair and don't get down until I say you can.  I must say, it's quite handy that the chair is currently in the hall closet, it makes a great timeout location.  Kevin, you can't go with him, come back here. 

Dobby: fine.  I actually love that chair, so cozy, so quiet back there.

Me: while you're back there, I'd like you to write an essay about the concept of rehoming. It doesn't have to be long, I just want you to define the term and explain how the process may relate to you.  Let me know when you've finished.

Kevin: how come he gets pens and paper and I can't have any?

Me: reasons Kev.  Soooo many reasons.

meeting with OHP

Sep. 19, 2021

In my email this morning:

Mom, would you please take a look at this before I send it?

I hope this email finds you well. It does not appear as though our schedules allow for an in person or video conference. Dobby and Peep thank you for filling out the Doodle poll. Kevin I see we need to scaffold your computer-related skills. It is not appropriate to write in “buy me toys” and “I love you” in lieu of your availability. I will come by your workspace today to block off an appropriate time to visit more on this topic as well as to support your technology needs. 

As you all know I am the Oldest Human Puppy, OHP, as Alpha refers to me. Despite my leadership role in her litter, it has come to my attention that I have no organizational authority with the pack. This is challenging for me because we are at home together all day while I search for jobs. I am hopeful we can begin to work together as a team. I’ve put together a short survey to identify your needs in a confidential setting. Simply fill out the fields and submit them. Your answers are randomized in the report to me. This offer does not extend to Kevin as we will print the form and we can select the most effective crayon color to convey your needs.

Looking forward to developing our partnership.


Me:  honey, do you have a minute?

Peep: *wag* I have lots of minutes for you *wag*

Me: not you darling, I was talking to OHP

OHP: did you get a chance to read the email? Do you have time to discuss it, I'd like to send it out as soon as possible.  There's a lot work to be done.

Me: Let's get everyone out of the kitchen first.  Guys, could you all find something to do while the humans talk?

OHP: make good activity choices!

Me: you've never lost your child-like optimism, I love that about you.  Let's just plan on cleaning up their choices when we're done.

OHP: so what do you think? Is there anything you think I should change before I send it out?

Me: well, I think you need to dumb it down a bit.  I know you've been working in higer education for more than 20 years, and I'm sure that this email would be perfect for your usual clientele, but take a good look at your current audience.

OHP: Mother! You know how I feel about words like "dumb".  Could we say simplify instead?

Me: oh please.  We're not in a professional setting here, take your social awareness down a notch and relax.

OHP: tell you what: we'll put a pin in this for now and circle back later.

Me: did you just corporate speak me?

OHP: knee jerk reaction to being in a meeting.

Me: moving on.  My first concern is that I don't think that email is the best way to communicate with this group, they don't have email accounts.

OHP: oh, I set up accounts for them almost as soon as I got here. I noticed that they've mastered the TV, but seem to be lacking in any other tech skills so I'm doing classes in the basics for them.  Maybe you'd like to audit sometime, you might find it helpful.

Me: I do just fine with technology, thank you very much.

OHP: mother, really?

Me: tell you what, leT's pUT a piN In tHaT AnD cIrClE bACk

OHP: well played mother. Well played.

Me: again, moving on. Let me say that I like the idea of the survey.

OHP: yes, it's a tried and true tool.

Me: I'm sure it is, I'll be interested in the results.

OHP: mother, survey results are confidential.

Me: excuse me?

OHP: the guarantee of confidentiality and anonymity are the only ways to assure accurate results.

Me: we're talking about the dogs here, I literally own them.

OHP: you can't ask me to compromise my professional standards.

Me: oh I can and I will.  

OHP: mother, we're devolving here, let's move on.

Me: Agreed, we'll put it in the "circle back" pile.  Don't roll your eyes at me

Now let's take a look at some of the phrasing you've used in the rest of your email:  I don't think that even I know what "scaffold your skills" means so I'm pretty sure that Kevin, being the barely sentient rhutabaga that he is, won't have a clue.  And I don't think offering him crayons is the best idea.  Although it would make for festive poops.

OHP: hold that thought.  Do you think it's awfully quiet in here? 

Me: you're right, it is.  Shall we enjoy it for a moment?

OHP: we're both mothers, you know as well as I do that this can't be good.

Me:  you're right, rock paper sissors for who goes to check?.........ha! I win again!  Make sure you take a picture of the wreckage.




Sep. 18, 2021

Me:  Dogs! I need you all to go and check the bulletin board in the breakroom.  There's a very important new posting there that I need you all to read and initial.

***sound of toenails clicking in the hallway***

***moment of silence***



Dobby: dude, we all know about your paper addiction.  She hung it up that high so that you can't rip the notices off and eat them.

Me: **heavy sigh**  TOO MUCH TALKING BACK THERE, YOU CAN'T BOTH READ AND TALK  **muttering** why did I think I could avoid a meeting?    Ok guys, I'm coming.  Apparently you're not capable of independent tasking.

First of all, thank you Dobby for using your inside voice.  Peep, I thought we discussed saving your HUGE voice for times of actual emergency, like an imminent nuclear strike.  Kevin, firchrissake would you PLEASE stop trying to pull down the board, I can see you, I'm right here, you're making eye contact with me.  STOP.

Let's get this over with.  It's my day off, I have lots of other important things to do.

Dobby: **whispering to Kevin** oooo, lots of "important things" , I guess binge watching Prison Love is now in the important catagory.

Me" I heard that and I'm choosing to ignore it.  Now, everyone, please take a look at the photos that I posted.  I've included a few photos to remind you of how disordered our home is right now.  Nothing is where it should be.  

Peep: it makes it really hard for me to walk through the house, there's just little paths, I'm kind of too big for some of them.

Me: I know, I'm sorry honey.  I'll see if I can rearrage a little bit to make it easier for you.

Kevin: I could teach her parkour!  Thanks for setting up the house so I can practice!! I'm getting really good at it!! 

Me: I don't think she's interested.  She's very old, stiff in the back end and trying to live her golden years in peace and quiet. As a matter of fact, please stop practicing, this is not a good activity.

Peep: Mom, what's that black thing on the floor?

Me: that, is the primary reason for this meeting that could have been a memo.  It's a TV antenna.  I know, it's very odd looking but it has a history; it belonged to my mother and it's one of the very few things that I took as a momento after she crossed the Rainbow Bridge. That may sound silly, but she absolutely loved that antenna because it was the only one she'd ever had that could pull in her favorite Catholic tv channel and let her watch Mass every day.  So ,it's special because it reminds me of her.  I know the antenna has never been on the floor before, but right now it seems to be the only place that it can do its job.  We've tried several other, safer locations, but local tv is all pixelled and not really watchable unless the antenna is in that particular spot.  Kevin! stop trying to chew Dobby's ear off and listen, this part is directed at YOU in particular.

Kevin: **now licking Dobby's left eye** What?  Is the meeting going to start now? Will there be treats after?

Me: oh my great good lord Kevin, listen up:  This is what I want your takeaway to be: under no circumstances are any of you to touch the antenna.  I'd tell you to practice social distancing with it, but there isn't 6 feet of free space in the house right now.  You can sniff it from a distance. Feel free to gaze upon it, but under NO circumstances are you allowed to be in direct physical contact with the antenna.  That means, no paws, no tongues, and especially no teeth.  I think I've made myself clear enough.  Let's move on with the day.

Kevin: hey Dobbs, do you know what the Lady was talking about?  Oh wow Dobbs!  Look at that black thing on the floor!! What do you suppose it is??

Dobby: dude, you gotta remember that the rescue you came from has a "no questions asked" return policy.

Me:  Hey, OHP, is 10:30 too early to break out the blender and start making Margueritas? 


Sep. 16, 2021

Me: hey guys, could you all come in here for a minute?  I have to talk to you for a minute before I go to work.  Kevin! put the drill down!!  It's not yours, it belongs to the contractor and he's going to need it.


Me: thank you. Nononono! Put the hammer down!! Don't touch any tools!! Leave ALL of the tools alone!!


Me: as you all know, our home is currently a construction zone.  This should be the last of the big projects that need to be done, and I'm hoping it will all be over soon because I'm beginning to wonder if all of us will come out of this alive.  What I'd like to address today is how you all have been spending your time while you're shut out of the house during the day while the workers are here.

Peep: I like to be outside all day when it's not too hot.  And I love to sleep outside at night.  It reminds me of The Before Times on the ranch when me and my brothers were real working dogs.

Me: maybe you can tell the others some of those stories today while you're all outside, but right now I need to say a few things about what's been going on in the yard these past few days.

Dobby: all the noise from inside kind of makes me nervous, but I've noticed that Kevin kind of comes unglued when the air compressor kicks on.

Me: first; saying that Kevin "comes unglued" implies that he's ever actually "glued". Next; how do you even know what an air compressor is?

Dobby: HGTV, duh. Sometimes I can't find anything good on the Discovery Channel so I switch it up.

Me: of course.  We're getting off track here.  Let's talk about the yard. 

Let me be clear: being closed out of the house and spending your day in the yard is NOT a prison sentence.  None of you need to reinact an escape from Alcatraz.  Please STOP trying to dig your way out under the fence. The neighbors all know who you are and where you live and if I have to leave work to come and collect you, there will be consequences.

Which one of you tore apart the bag of mulch?  Kevin, anything you'd like to say?

Kevin: It just exploded all its own.  

Me: don't lie, it's very unattractive. And you'll always get in more trouble for lying than you ever would for just admitting what you did.

OHP: (oldest human puppy currently staying with us) that's true dude, she raised me, I learned early on to always just confess and apologize, she'll go easy on you if you do.

Me: Kevin?

Kevin: maybe I bit it just a little.

Me: that's better. I'm still not happy with you, but I'm glad you're being truthful. You need to sit and think about what you've done and while you're thinking, I'd like you to come up with some ideas about just how we're going to go about cleaning that up.  If you had dragged the bag over to the plant beds, that would be easy, we could just spread it out and pretend we wanted it there anyway.  And if you would have dragged it to the grass, I could just rake it out.  But no.  You brought it over to the area covered by decorative rocks.  It's stuck in there pretty good.  All worked down between the rocks, not sure how I'm going to fix that. But let's move on.

In addition to the random destruction, there seems to be an awful lot of stuff in the yard that doesn't really belong there.  I'm ok with the toys being out there for now since things are so torn apart everywhere anyway.  But I have to ask about the towel.  What possible need could anyone of you have for a towel?  And the litter scoop? I just...I can't.