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We found the worst pet area ever

27 Aug

So last week, in hopes of chasing the eclipse but not being like every other Seattle-ite who headed to Oregon, we road tripped out to Wyoming. We have family in Wyoming, and they happened to also fall in the path of the eclipse, so it was a win-win.

We left the two oldest at home, to their delight, and left Zoey, aka “big dog”, with them. We took tiny dog Sky with us. Car trips are kind of awesome for her because she gets to lay on people the entire time.

So we road trip – just the girls and the husband and the tiny dog. We found a pet-friendly motel made up of individual cabins for a couple nights, where the owner who owned some tiny dogs of her own cooed and cuddled Sky. We stopped for ice cream, where Sky met another of her kind. We got Arby’s, and Miriam fed Sky some chicken. Sky and Miriam took old fashioned photos together in Virginia City, Montana.

Sky was having a great time.

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But Day 3 of the road trip brought us to Wyoming. A place of painted mountains and amazing vistas, and the world’s worst pet area.

We were an hour from our destination when we all had to pee from chugging caffeine for 6 hours. We pull into a rest stop with some trepidation – you don’t road trip through America as often as we have and not know that every rest stop is unique. There’s a beautiful one outside Mt. Vernon, IL. There’s one that I’m certain comes with a man in a hockey mask near Hilo, Hawaii. There’s the ones in Arkansas that are metal toilets and a step up from outhouses that I never use.

This one in Wyoming seemed nice. They made the effort to have lovely lush green grass in the picnic area, there was a nice little playground, it was clean, the bathrooms were individuals, so Maura and I could easily go in together. It was all good.

Except for the pet area.

Now Miriam had started rating pet areas, and realizing they were all kinda crappy (no pun intended). They were all sort of dusty, dry grass areas, to which Princess Sky turned her tiny nose up at. But we’re sticklers for rules, so Miriam dutifully took her tiny dog to the pet areas.

But this one.

Guys, this one looked like Pet Prison. It was two six foot chain link fence areas, with gates. There were boulders and rocks everywhere, with just a couple scrubby bits of grass. They weren’t even that flat.

And there were two birds of prey circling above the pet area.

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“This is a bad place.” Miriam stated.

“Here, just spread your arms and look bigger than them.” I suggested, making a wing flap motion of my own. Okay, not the best motherly advice, especially since I was laughing as I said it, but in my defense, I was hopped up on caffeine and needed to pee. “Just keep the leash on Sky so you can tug her back if a hawk gets her.”

“MOOOM!”

I take Maura and we go to the bathroom, admiring the rest of the rest stop along the way. As we come out, I see a look of desperation on Miriam’s face – because now there are three birds of prey circling above her and her snack-size dog.

“We need to leave this place.” Miriam stated as one bird is fighting with the other above her head, trying to be first in line in case Sky broke free. Which wasn’t happening because at this point, Miriam is holding her tiny dog and tiny dog was not about to leap free.

Though her brain be little, it functions better than most. Sky knew she was a potential meal and was going to stick to the human.

Okay, so it doesn’t help that hours before this, we were driving through Yellowstone, talking about bear encounters – as you do – because they had “Be Bear Aware” signs everywhere and I was like “I AM AWARE! Where are the freaking bears?” and Josh was talking about bear spray, and how we had none, and how I’d probably just throw Sky at the bear before running away screaming*, which led to Miriam going “DAAAAAAAAAAAAAD!” and me saying how it’d be fine, the bear would just look at the tiny dog and ask “What is wrong with those humans?” and Sky would be all “Oh, there is SO much to tell.”

Okay, and maybe the day before that, we were joking that we could “fish” for hawks by opening the moon roof of the car, throw Sky through it on her leash, and see if we could reel in a hawk.**

Okay, and maybe because her grandfather would refer to a tiny dog as “hawk bait”.***

We’re really horrible people. But we truly didn’t expect to come upon a pet prison at a rest stop that doubled as a buffet for all the birds of prey in Wyoming. I mean, what are the odds, really?

*I would never actually throw any pet at a bear. I might shove my husband at it before I took off running though. #honesty

**We would never actually throw anything through the moon roof, especially the tiny dog.

***My fil did actually refer to a former tiny dog as “hawk bait”. But he would fight a hawk to protect his granddaughter’s tiny dog from one.

Sky was never in any danger at any point of our road trip, unless you count excessive spoiling and petting “danger”. But she could definitely tell a bear lots of stories about how weird we are.

 

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Tiny dog, safe at home, back to her “curl up on a fuzzy blanket on the couch with a doll” routine 

 

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Teenagers, ammirite?

9 May

So…I have that heard of teens and that one who dared to turn 21 this year. Which, in retrospect, is great, because I can send the 21 yr old on a wine run for me.

Never leaving the house for the win!

I love my teens. But I’m no fool. I know not to trust them with anything. I mean, if my grown siblings and I still can’t be trusted together, why should I trust my teens?

Case in point –

Sean (the second eldest, the spare to the heir) was blowing bubbles in the house the other night. Mainly to get the Zoey dog in a lather. Because Zoey is an idiot for bubbles and leaps about biting them all.

Collin (the heir to our kingdom) thought this was hilarious. And then thought “Why not drive the dog crazy by holding her?”

The dog was like “No sir! You will not keep me from killing every bubble!” and leapt from Collin’s arms to do so.

 

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Zoey chasing bubbles outside. See that crazy look on her face? Yeah.

 

I find out about all this as I walk in the next day with groceries. Because they’re blowing bubbles for the dog to attack. In the living room.

Then Collin produces a balloon. “I can’t believe we still have one left.”

See, Sean decided to cover someone’s bed in balloons on April 1st. Then the balloons were scattered over the living room. I don’t know who enjoyed it more – Maura or Zoey. Between the two of them, they eventually died.

Except one.

Which Zoey was now chasing between snapping at bubbles.

I, of course, ignore all this. Because this is what passes as normal in our house. As I walk away, I hear someone say the words “water balloon”.

“NOT IN THE HOUSE!” I yell back.

And the boys died laughing because they didn’t expect me to hear it.

Fools. My brother and I – as teenagers – had an epic water fight which ended in a truce (he with the hose at the gate, me with a super soaker pointed into the window of his brand new pick up truck) and then having to mop the kitchen floor (it wasn’t me who was using the sprayer from the sink.)

I’m a gypsy raised by wolves, who produced her own carnival. We invented shenanigans, dear offspring of mine. I know all, see all.

And remember, Mother’s Day is coming. Buy me something hard to break.

 

Why I never ever buy tinsel

1 Dec
Little me, circa 1970-something, and a tree with tinsel. Because sparkly.

Little me, circa 1970-something, and a tree with tinsel. Because sparkly.

Back in the day, I enjoyed tinsel…you know, around 1978 or so. As did my mother. See, we’re a family of magpies, attracted to all things shiny and sparkly. So when my mom found tinsel one year in the mid-80’s, there was much excitement and draping of the shiny strands of silver on the tree.

It was all good. All shiny, draping just right, the lights from the tree sparkling off of it…

…and then, we noticed the cat.

The cat in the tree.

The cat in the tree eating tinsel.

The cat in the tree chowing down tinsel like it was crack cocaine.

Really, we had some embarrassing pet moments in the 1980’s. The hamster in the crock pot incident. The cat my little sister colored in with red marker. The time my mom had to call an exterminator because the dog and two cats refused to even chase the mice in our house but instead would just sit there and watch them go up to their food dishes to eat out of. We won’t even start on what the human kids were doing. So really, having to take the cat to the vet because he ate tinsel wasn’t out of the realm of extraordinary. In fact, it was more of a “*sigh* Hope it doesn’t kill him.” sort of moment.

The protocol was one of wait and see. We would be able to tell if the tinsel passed through the cat’s system.

Oh yes, you can tell when the tinsel passes through the cat’s system. Because your cat will have a sparkly strand of silver hanging out his bum.

“For God’s sake, don’t pull on it!” my mother announced…as if any of us were going to try it. We were weird kids, but not that weird. I know I wasn’t going to handle anything that came out of the backside of the cat. No, instead, one of us got to hold the cat while my mom trimmed the sparkly bit. The cat did not enjoy this. No one enjoyed this.

The cat did enjoy eating more tinsel though. Which led to us picking off all the tinsel from the tree and going around the house trying to find the loose strands that had flown off the tree. Let’s just say the cat was more successful at this than we were.

The cat had a sparkly backside for weeks. And there’s no hiding tinsel hanging from your cat’s bum, not when you have a house full of teens who invite more teens over. “OMG! What’s hanging out your cat’s butt?”

“Tinsel.”

“AHAHAHA!”

My mom never bought tinsel again.

Fast-forward umpteen years later…and I’m reading “Furiously Happy” by Jenny Lawson, where she’s describing how her cat ate one of those little twine strings with the feather and tinkle bell, and the cat pooped out the tinkle bell but not the twine, so the tinkle bell was hanging from the cat’s backside, so she went to cut it off but the cat for some reason ran from her as she chased it with scissors…

…and I thought “Oh yeah, been there, done that, chased a cat down to cut stuff from its butt.”

So really Mom, don’t worry, only the famously cool people have cut stuff off their cat’s bumhole. We’re all good.

This post is dedicated to The Bloggess, Jenny Lawson, who I got to meet on her book tour.

This post is dedicated to The Bloggess, Jenny Lawson, who I got to meet on her book tour. That’s me on the left, Herself on the right.

 

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