December 4, 2015

Dear White Dogs,
After last night's grooming session, there are a few things we really need to discuss.
I can only brush one dog at a time. I'm sorry, but that's a fact. Laying on top of the sibling that's being brushed will not make your turn come any faster. Also, I am the one who decides when I'm ready to go on to the next dog. Repeatly knocking the brush out of my hand with your nose will not make me stop any sooner. Remember the seminar on manners and sharing that I made you attend? Did you not pay attention at all? We'll go over the handout and worksheets when I get home.
There's a rather sensitive subject that we should talk about. While I was brushing you, I couldn't help but notice that there seems to be "more" of you than there was when you got here. I think you know I'm not talking about hair. Believe me, I know what a touchy subject this can be from personal experience, but it must be addressed. You guys are getting a little fluffy and I'm not referring to your beautiful coats. I understand completely what happened when you left the ranch and stopped doing all that heavy work because it happened to me too. We're going to have to work on this together, and I think it can be mutually beneficial. We're going to have to start taking brisk walks. Together. On a leash.

Beau, I can hear your objections already, but you and I both know that there is NOT a paralyzing drug imbedded in the leash: you can't continue to sit down and say you can't move every time I put it on you. You're very clever, you know you're way too big for me to just drag along. Maybe it would be helpful to reread the section in your workbook that covers cooperation. We can talk about this privately if you'd like.

Sam, I'm aware that you were born in Burns and lived exclusively in the high desert in Klamath before you all moved here. And I know that it doesn't rain very often in those places. However, we live west of the Cascades now and it rains quite a bit here. I think you might have bought into the Weiners propaganda about rain being made of acid, but I assure you, it's just water. Snow is just water too and you know you love the snow. I've been with you when you walked quite nicely on a leash so I know you're capable. We can't limit walking to the times when it's not raining, not at this time of year. When I'm done going over things with Beau, you and I are going to review the chapter on doing what you're told.

Peep, thank you honey. Thank you for your willingness to do whatever I ask you to do even though I can tell by the look on your face that you're sure some of those things might kill you. Remember what I said: I'll never ask you to do anything that I wouldn't do myself. Except for poop outside, I don't have to do that because it's my house. Try to talk to your brothers about agreeing to walk. And good job for paying attention in class!

Please think about this guys. If we don't start exercising, we're going to have to eat less. I don't relish the prospect (bad pun, I know) of a few carrot sticks and a spoonful of cottage cheese so I'm sure you wouldn't like to see 5 kibbles in your bowl. That's not a threat, just the reality of our situation.

Let's work on this together!

December 3, 2015

Dear All of My Dogs,
I noticed that all of the letters and memos I've written to you have been on the negative side so I thought I'd better say something else for a change:

Smith and Wesson: it's hard to believe that it's been 12 years since you came along! Wow, how did that happen? You've been with me through everything, and I'm so thankful you were there. Especially through the recent dark times. You were always quick to jump into my lap and lick the tears off, cuddle up with me when I was close to shattering and be goofy to help me laugh when I was crying. Especially you Wesson aka Weinerkin Buttwalker. Smith, thank you for making it obvious that I was loved even when I was sure I was unloveable. We're doing a good job of growing old and gray together, but no, I won't dye your muzzles like I do my hair so please stop asking.

Sam, Beau, and Peep: I've marveled at you from the first day we met. Peep, I'm so glad that you ran away and hid until she left so that the breeder couldn't find you and I had to keep you rather than drive you to Burns. The fact that all of you immediately knew what your job was without being taught still amazes me. I can't count how many calves you saved during your career and I'm very grateful. You were always what I missed most when I left everything behind. Please know that if I had known what it would be like for you when I left you behind I would have fought to take you with me. But you're home now. Your calm, deep presence has filled in the last hole in me. It was a hole I wasn't even aware was there until you filled it up. I can't thank you enough for helping me with the last of my healing.

Steve: what can I say? You're the poster child for what pit bulls are really like. You look scary as hell when you go into protection mode, but I have complete faith in you; I know you'd never hurt anyone or anything that isn't a serious threat. Your tolerance of the Weiners and your tenderness with the human babies is living proof of what pit bulls are really all about. Although I wasn't looking for another dog, you found me just in time to keep me from sliding back into the abyss. It was impossible to be sad in the face of your unbridled joy at just being alive. When you climb up into my lap and bury your head in my neck some of your joy leaks all over me (along with a good bit of drool) and it always makes a hard day fade away. Love ya you big lunk.

There you have it. I know I don't say these things often, but I hope you know this is how I feel about all of you. Some people might think I'm the canine equivalent of a crazy cat lady, but those people obviously haven't ever had the privilege of sharing their life with such extraordinary creatures. I'm honored to have you in my life. I wish all of you could live as long as I will.

Ok, enough with the sappy stuff! When I get home tonight we're going to discuss sitting in my lap in rotation rather than all at once. Seriously guys, it's hard to breathe not to mention impossible to see the TV when you all pile on and I'm tired of coughing up hairballs from all the white hair I've swallowed.

With more love than you can imagine,

December 2, 2015

Dear Steve,
I was thrilled when I found the glow-in-the-dark Ball at the pet store and I know you were too. How great to be able to play ball after dark when I get home from work! How wonderful to be able to burn off some of that psycho energy you build up during the day! However, I'm afraid we have to discuss a few rules that come with that Ball:
If you chew that Ball when we're not playing with it, it won't last very long. The Magic "glowing" Ball is much more expensive than regular balls. I'm not made of money you know. Getting a job to pay for your own Ball isn't an option, although we can revisit this solution.
The reason I had to put the Ball up when we're not playing with it is because of your possessive growling when the other dogs look at it. I speak enough dog to understand what you're saying when you're growling. It just isn't polite to tell your roommates that you will "cut a bitch" if they look at your ball.
And finally there's the issue of bringing said Ball onto the bed and dropping it in my face after you've slimed it. I have never, nor will I ever, get up at 2:34, go outside and play Ball. Not ok Steven, not ok.
I would hate for the Ball to "disappear" like the toys that squeak and all of the rawhide chews that no one is capable of sharing. I'm sure you feel the same way.
Well Steve, I hope you have a restful and fun day. I'll be working to make enough money so that I can buy all of you food.
The Object of your adoration

ps: I promise I'll talk to the Weiners about tattling and acting so superior. Don't believe them when they tell you they're "the favorites", I love all of you equally

To: Harlan Canine Crew
From: Exasperated Owner
Subject: Our most recent safety meeting.

First, let me thank all of you for attending and paying close attention to what was being discussed. Except for you Steve; sitting in the back row mumbling "ball ball ball throw the ball" is NOT paying attention.
Here's a brief recap of the topics covered:
Leaving your chew toys all over the floor so that I trip over them. You all agreed not to move the toys around right after the lights go out for the night and placing them all between the bed and the bathroom. All of you agreed to this with only one exception…yes Steve, that was you.
Nose prints on the sliding glass door: ok, not a safety issue per se, but still a source of irritation. I believe you're all capable of looking outside without trying to smell things through the glass….Steve, again you.
Treating each other with respect: Weiners remember what we said about saying mean things to everyone else. I fear I'll come home one day and only find half a Dacshund on the floor. I know you've never believed it, but all the other dogs in the house are significantly bigger than you are. Please stop encouraging this behavior Steve, they were here before any of you.
Opening the pantry when I'm gone: you just don't make good nutritional choices on your own. Steve, I know how much you love honey mustard pretzels but please refrain from eating an entire unopened bag, didn't you think I might want at least a couple before you devour the whole bag? That's just selfish Steve. In addition whoever told Beau that dry cocoa makes a good snack and not to worry about the mess needs to stop and think….Steve, really?
Those were the only topics we were able to cover before you all stopped listening, went to sleep or wandered off. Maybe next time we can go over more than 4 topics before this happens. However, I have to say it was a productive meeting! Next week's topics will include shedding and night time barking. 
Thanks to all for participating! Now let's go out there and try to not make me want to put you all up for adoption…Steve.
The Lady Who Puts The Food In The Bowls


Addendum to Safety Meeting Memo:
To Steve
From Unhappy Supervisor
Subject: chewing fireplace logs on the couch.

See me in my office.

November 29, 2015

Dear White Dogs,
First, Thank you for allowing the Christmas tree to live through it's first night. I'd like to think that you spent the night guarding it from any stupidity that Steve might have been contemplating. Keep up the good work!
Now, there is something we'll be discussing in our next safety meeting, I just want to give you a heads up that it's on the agenda: when I'm leaving a room you'd like me to remain in,(especially the kitchen) please don't come around in front of me, turning to stand at a 90 degree angle and stopping dead while leaning on me. Check your job descriptions; no where in there does it say that you're allowed to decide where I go in the house. Stopping me from leaving the kitchen will absolutely not get me to give out another round of cookies. Stop and think! If you cause me to fall and break one or both wrists there won't be ANY cookies for at least 6 weeks while I'm in casts. 
I have one more topic we'll be covering in detail at the meeting: although I appreciate your vigilance, please rest assured that nothing bad will happen to me in the bathroom, you needn't accompany me or worry about me if I'm in there by myself.
If time allows, we will be covering a few other topics in our meeting, but these are the main issues we need to discuss and I want to give you time to think about them.
I'll see you at 4pm in the living room, attendance is mandatory, Steve and The Weiners are also required to attends.Snacks will be served but only to those who pay attention during the meeting. And yes, licking your butt holes while I'm talking constitutes not paying attention.
The Lady Who Makes The Rules

November 28, 2015

Dear White Dogs,
Please let me reassure you that no dog in the history of ever has been eaten by a vacuum cleaner. Vacuuming occurs in your home on a semi-regular basis; you should be used to it by now and not feel the need to get up on/under any furniture. Trust me, there is no way in hell you're going to fit under the couch. I've seen you run off a cougar without batting an eye and take on an entire pack of coyotes and yet you remain convinced that the sound of the vacuum is the herald of the apocalypse. It'll be ok. I promise.
The Keeper of The Weapon of Mass Destruction a.k.a the vacuum
ps: Steve says he's losing respect for you. C'mon guys, get it together.

October 11, 2015 a hint of things to come

First trip through the house with all of the dogs:
Peep: scary, scary, scary
Steve: Hi! Hi! Welcome!!
Sam: (lifting his leg on every corner) this is mine, this is mine, this is mine. Also this and this…
Weiners: die! all of you!! 
Steve: Hi! This is my ball!
Beau: Sam, you missed a spot. Don't worry, I'll get it.
Steve: Ball!
Weiners: we never liked any of you
Peep: I'm going back to the garage. Worry, worry
Me: I'm going to need more paper towels. And maybe it's time to open that bottle of Patron, it's after noon, nothing wrong with a drink or 10 on a Sunday afternoon

Share this page