How Many Points Is Invisible Food?

How Many Points Is Invisible Food?

by Gina Valley

It bothers me when our dog –

(Is she a dog or a puppy?

I pride myself on getting these details correct. I want to give you, my dear readers, the correct picture. She’s only 6 months old, so technically she’s still very much a puppy. She acts like a puppy, gets scared easily, is highly curious, falls down for no reason.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley How Many Points Is Invisible Food? Pets Dogs

But, she’s 60lbs now. She doesn’t look much like a puppy at that size, even when she’s trying to curl up on my lap. I’m not sure which term to use to accurately describe this giant, silly furball)

– but, anyway – it bothers me when the canine walks in, looks down at the floor, picks something I can’t see up, and eats it.

I just finished sweeping, then mopping, the floor, and still, she came in, sniffed around, sucked some un-seeable morsel up, and is now chewing her elusive bite.

What is she eating?

Why is there something “eatable” on the floor, apparently, all the time, no matter where she is?

Am I walking around on food and not seeing it?

Is she eating invisible food?

If it’s invisible, is it food?

Is it like those whistles only dogs can hear?  Food only dogs can see?

Is she just pretending to eat?

Is she out of her mind?

Am I?

You know, they say pets make your life longer.

I say they just make it feel that way.

She just ate something else.

And, I think she winked at me.

Laugh Out Loud!

-gina

What do your pets do that make you question your sanity?  Do you think they do it on purpose?  Shoot me a comment.  I’m looking forward to hearing all about it.

How Much For A Brain Transplant?

How Much For A Brain Transplant?

by Gina Valley

It was another round of fun at the Cardiology Department yesterday.

I met a new cardiologist, Dr. Polite, who will be working with my cardiologist, Dr. Rude.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley How Much For A Brain Transplant? Hospital Cardiology Smoking DogsIt was a little surreal to be chatting and laughing with about life and dating and children with this man (he’s single, wants 4 kids, and is gorgeous, ladies, just in case anyone’s looking) and his 2 assistants, while at the same time running on a treadmill, with about a thousand wires connected to every conceivable part of my body, braless.

And, here I was thinking I don’t get out there often enough anymore.

I’m just glad no one lost an eye.

But, the real fun happened on the way to the Cardiology Department.

The Cardiology Department I patronize is in a giant medical complex.  There’s a huge hospital.  Several buildings with medical offices.  Multiple parking structures and parking lots.

It’s such a long walk from most of the available parking to get to any of the buildings in this medical mega-plex, that there’s a couple places to stop and buy a snack along the route.  I’ll assume it’s a doable trek until they put a hotel in halfway there.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley How Much For A Brain Transplant? Hospital Cardiology Smoking Dogs

There’s also a shuttle service to assist those who need it.  It takes people from the far reaches of parking land to the curb in front of the sea of concrete that surrounds the buildings.  After that, infirm or not, you’re on your own.

My own impatience has prevented me from ever waiting for the shuttle.  I also figure I can count the long, uphill walk as exercise when the nurse asks if I’ve been exercising regularly.  “Why, yes, I have.  I had a great work out just today.”

The Cardiology Department is located on the top floor, in the back corner of the farthest building from any parking area.  The fact that they make us heart patients walk farther than anyone else makes me giggle every time.  And, even if it didn’t, there is always something or, more likely, someone to giggle about on the way.

Yesterday’s trek did not disappoint.

As I hiked toward the first building, I was alarmed to be approaching the back of an occupied wheel chair, which seemed to be on fire.  Smoke was billowing up from it.  It seemed odd to me that no one else around appeared to be the least bit concerned about this wheeled, bonfire situation.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley How Much For A Brain Transplant? Hospital Cardiology Smoking Dogs

As I got closer I realized why no one had broken out a fire extinguisher.  Seated in the wheel chair was a twenty-something guy, who was smoking enough for a village.  The billowing cloud he was producing was almost impressive.

But, really, Dude, it’s a hospital. Could you at least pretend to make good health decisions like the rest of us do when we come here?

Now that I think about it, one good hit with either end of a fire extinguisher might have been just what this guy needed.

A bit further along my jaunt I met the woman who was walking her cute little dog around. AT THE HOSPITAL!

Hello! It’s a hospital!  Don’t you think it’s enough of a game of germ Russian roulette with all the sick people here? Do you really feel prancing your little fuzzy friend around to leave little canine landmines is adding a positive element to this situation?

And, as if it wasn’t enough that he was leaving little love bombs outside, she wondered aloud if it would be ok she brought him into the lobby to get out of the heat.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley How Much For A Brain Transplant? Hospital Cardiology Smoking DogsIf you ever find yourself without your wits and you wonder if it would be ok to bring your dog into a hospital, the answer is “No.”  No, it’s not ok to bring your dog into a hospital.

This woman did decide against bringing Fluffy into the lobby, but not for what I saw as the most obvious reason (him being a dog and all).  No, that wasn’t it. Ms. DeepThoughts decided against bringing her furry, fido, friend into the medical center because she thought “the automatic doors might scare him.”

Gotta tell ya, the automatic doors were not the scariest thing there at that moment.

Who says medical care is no fun?

Laugh Out Loud!

-gina

Have you met any “fun” people recently?  Any interesting people on your medical team?  Do you know where I parked my car?  Shoot me a comment.  I’m looking forward to hearing all about it.

Nothing’s More Stressful Than Relaxing

Nothing’s More Stressful Than Relaxing

by Gina Valley

I’m on a de-stress regimen.

(You can read my tale of “woe” resulting in the doctor-ordered-even-though-I-should-have-done-this-ages-ago-for-my-own-health-and-well-being-not-to-mention-to-set-a-good-example-for-my-kids de-stressing in yesterday’s post  Seriously Today – That Kind Of Sucked, But I’m Still Kicking).

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley Nothing’s More Stressful Than Relaxing Dogs Pets

My pack is trying to help me de-stress (I suspect they figure the more they help, the sooner I’ll get healthy, and they can get back to stressing me out).

To that end, tonight, Son#1 took his three younger sisters to see a taping of The X-Factor, so I could have an evening without teen drama.

Son#2 took his two little brothers out to dinner, so I could have an evening without battling boys.

The Professor is teaching his night lecture, so I could have an evening without worrying about paying our mortgage.

They all left.

I was home alone to relax.  Well, not quite alone.  Our canines were hanging out with me.  Our two 5 month old puppies were sleeping soundly on the floor in our family room, near the sofa I was plopped onto when everyone left.

Our house was silent after the door closed behind my family.

For about 2 whole minutes.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley Nothing’s More Stressful Than Relaxing Dogs Pets Then, both of our puppies cut what should have been their 2 hour evening nap short by about 1 hour and 55 minutes.

The two of them romped and “puppied” around.  I was reminded about the time a doctor told me that petting a puppy lowers blood pressure and promotes relaxation.  Perhaps this was just what I needed to kick me into full relaxation mode.  I was sure stress was jumping out of our windows.

Ziva, our girl puppy and generally our most hyper, mischievous family member, furry or otherwise, was uncharacteristically calm.  She soon snuggled her now 5 month old, 50LB self around my feet, and I tickled her tummy with my toes.  It was a puppy perfect moment.

Bear, our boy puppy and generally our most sedentary, easy-going family member, furry or otherwise, was uncharacteristically hyper.   He bounded all around the room, bouncing his 5 month old, 60LB self alternately off of me and our sofas, resulting in groans and creaks from me and the sofas.

This was not relaxing.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley Nothing’s More Stressful Than Relaxing Dogs Pets Some unknown force had pepped up this giant puppy, who usually has to be nearly dragged just to go on a walk.  He often seems to be a big, dog shaped throw pillow.  If he didn’t occasionally snort and drool, we’d worry that he’d slipped into a coma on most days.

But, this evening, Bear was wound and ticking.

It was kind of cute, in a giant-furry-animal-flying-at-you kind of way.  After I got used to his rhythm I was able to dodge most of his bounds, so I no longer feared having to add “possible broken ribs” to my mystery ailment list.

And, then he stopped.

Suddenly.

As dogs, particularly puppies, are prone to do.

Something had caught his attention.  He was staring attentively toward our breakfast table.

What did he see?

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley Nothing’s More Stressful Than Relaxing Dogs Pets

I looked.

Ziva looked.

If anyone else had been home, I’m sure they would have looked, too.

And, what did we see, Ziva, Bear, and me?

Nothing.

There was nothing visible there.

Our puppy, Bear, bless his heart, was staring at nothing.

I chuckled.  I think Ziva chuckled (it might have been the hiccups.  She gets those a lot.  She’s big, but she’s still a baby).
Bear bounded over to our breakfast table, and landed with his front paws right on its edge.  He’d never done that before, so it caught me off guard.  I think it caught the table off guard, too, because it complained audibly under his heavy canine weight.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley Nothing’s More Stressful Than Relaxing Dogs Pets

“Bear! No!”  I hollered at him, completely believing he would get down and wag his tail apologetically, as he always does when he gets caught messing up.   But, instead, he began to attempt to pull his heft onto the table with his front paws.  It was comically ineffective.

Nonetheless, I was irritated at his persistence.  He was acting like his mischievous sister, Ziva, who was now sitting up, head tilted, watching him, clearly amused by his attempts to get onto the table.  I was happy she didn’t choose to dash over and demonstrate her long perfected, bounce-off-the-chairs-and-onto-the-table method of table climbing.

“Bear! No! Get down!”  I hollered at him.  Bear looked over at me, and, before he continued to attempt to pull himself onto our table, I’m certain he smiled at me.

I decided to go with another method.  Yes, I know I should have walked over, pulled him down, and given him a stern talking to, but I was supposed to be relaxing.  So, I went with a different approach.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley Nothing’s More Stressful Than Relaxing Dogs Pets

There was a heavy, plastic bowl on the table next to me.  I reasoned that, were I to toss said bowl onto the floor near Bear, it would make a loud noise, startling the puppy, causing him to abandon his table-centric quest.

How could that not work?

I tossed the bowl.  It got Bear’s attention, but not exactly like I thought it would.

That’s probably because Ziva leapt through the air, and caught the bowl midair before it could hit the floor.  She then took off running through the house, dragging it with her.  I could hear it scrapping and bouncing along our wood floor as she completed lap after lap, followed closely by Bear, who was barking non-stop at top volume, and occasionally tripping over his giant feet and crashing into walls.

I’m not sure if they got tired of their interior trek or they just thought it was too relaxing for me to watch, but, for whatever reason, they added a lap around our backyard to their route, carefully including the muddy area where we’re trying to grow a lawn, just to keep it interesting.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley Nothing’s More Stressful Than Relaxing Dogs Pets

It didn’t take more than a couple laps for them to make our floor to look like a heard of wildebeests had passed through.

So, now I’m upstairs in my office relaxingly typing this.  I relaxingly got Ziva and Bear to go into their kennel by relaxingly tossing 2 cupcakes into it (don’t judge me.  The Dog Whisperer, I am not).  They relaxingly dosed off after they finished gnawing the plastic bowl into what looks to be a unique piece of modern art, which I relaxingly retrieved and placed relaxingly in the center of our mantel in our living room.

When my family returns from their various outings for the evening, they’ll find I’ve relaxingly laid out the necessary cleaning implements for them to relaxingly de-mud our floor.

Ended up being a night filled with unexpected opportunities to do things relaxingly.

I’m hoping there’s a lot fewer opportunities tomorrow night.

All of this relaxing is really stressing me out.

Laugh Out Loud!

-gina

Have you ever tried to relax, only to find everything causes the opposite to happen?  Do your dogs like cupcakes?  Shoot me a comment.  I’m looking forward to hearing all about it.

A Puppy To The Wake…Best Of Gina

A Puppy To The Wake…Best Of Gina

by Gina Valley

If the old Sydney Harris adage “The time to relax is when you don’t have time for it” is true, then it’s way past time for me to relax, because I definitely don’t have time for it.

So, I’m taking time off to do just that.

I loaded up our van and hit the road with my pack.  We’ve been traveling along the west coast and having lots of fun.  This week my pack and I are at my parents’ home visiting.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Gina Valley A Puppy To The Wake...Best Of Gina Disorganization Pets Dogs

We’re playing games and swimming and generally goofing off.  I have forced myself to reschedule all but the most essential of my work commitments, and am spending that time hanging out with my family and relaxing.  I’ve even taken a couple naps!

So, as I have planned to be busy being unbusy and unplanned, I’ve gone through my posts and queued up reader favorites to keep you in giggles while I’m hanging with my pack.

I hope you enjoy this Best of Gina.

And, I hope you stop and take time to laugh with your loved ones, too.

Thank you for reading and sharing.

Laugh Out Loud!

-gina

Today’s Best of Gina is my My Sister Brought A Puppy To The Wake post. You can read my My Sister Brought A Puppy To The Wake post below in its entirety, or, for you hardcore readers, click on one of these magic links to read my My Sister Brought A Puppy To The Wake post in its original location.

Either way, I’ll meet you at My Sister Brought A Puppy To The Wake.  You bring the cookies.  I’ll bring the giggles.

My Sister Brought A Puppy To The Wake

My sister brought a puppy to the wake.

That’s right.  A puppy.  To the wake.  To my mother-in-law’s wake.

Now, this was not a random puppy-ization on her part.  Son#1 lost his sweet dog, Trixie, to liver cancer last fall.  He’d recently had a birthday.  Her Labrador had recently had 9 puppies.  How could she not bring one to the wake?

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Gina Valley A Puppy To The Wake...Best Of Gina Disorganization Pets DogsPlus, this sister of mine has a history of presenting impromptu animal additions to our family.  She has a heart full of fun.  I’m lucky it was just one puppy.  She could have brought one for each of my kids.

We’ve been giggling about the little puppy’s antics all evening.  But, right now that’s not what I’m laughing about.

Son#2 has been begging for a puppy of his own all evening.  But, that’s not what I’m laughing about.

He is promising to walk it and clean up after it, to feed it and to bathe it.  But that’s not what I’m laughing about.

I’m laughing because Son#2 is telling me he’s sure he’s more than responsible enough to take care of a puppy.

Responsibility is a serious issue.  So, why am I laughing about that?

I’m laughing because while Son#2 is explaining to me that he is a very responsible person, he’s wearing a windbreaker and a pair of shorts.  That’s it.  No shirt.  No socks.  No long pants for this cold day.

A windbreaker and shorts.

And, why is my son, who’s convinced he’s responsible enough to care for a puppy, sporting such an odd wardrobe?

Because after he finished packing his clothes for our trip, he neglected to bring them.  That’s right.  He left his whole suitcase at home.

Well, if that doesn’t scream “responsibility,” I don’t know what does.

Laugh Out Loud!

-gina

Have you ever had something laughable at a totally serious event? Have you ever been the something laughable at a totally serious event?   Shoot me a comment.  I’m looking forward to hearing all about it.

Sometimes Husbands Are So Funny

Sometimes Husbands Are So Funny

by Gina Valley

So, like a moron, I decided to walk the dog tonight.

Sounds simple enough, right?  Not if you’ve met this dog.  This 100lb, lanky fur-ball must have stood in line twice for pretty because “pretty” he’s got.  Brains?  Not so much.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Gina Valley Sometimes Husbands Are So Funny Walk Exercise Dog Phone RideLast night, in what was obviously another brain lapse on my part, I took my 11 year old with me for a walk.  Usually, none of my kids want to go.  Usually I use the cross trainer at the gym, instead of our neighborhood sidewalks.  But, last night for some unknown reason I decided to hit the concrete, and for some other unknown reason, 11 asked if he could go.

I, naturally, thought he was kidding.

My kids say that I walk too fast and too far.  In the past, occasionally one of my pack would want to join me and would choose to ride a bike in order to keep up.  I had to put a stop to this practice, because about 30 minutes in to my walk I’d have to carry the bike and the child home.  I was afraid my arms would get too bulked up.

The current rule is, if you want to come with me, you travel on foot and carry nothing.  That way I have less to carry home after the inevitable collapse of said child.

So, 11 joined me last night.  I slowed my pace so he could keep up.  We had a lovely chat about handball at recess and why his new teacher is better than his old teacher and who he wants to invite over next weekend.

About 25 minutes into our walk, I pointed out the building ahead in the distance that would be our turn around point.  I was surprised to hear 11 say, “Oh, I can do that.”  I was sure he could.  It’s only a few miles from our front door.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Gina Valley Sometimes Husbands Are So Funny Walk Exercise Dog Phone RideThen, he added, “I’ll be glad when we get there.  I’m ready to stop.”

“I guess we can stop there for a couple minutes before we start back home,” I said.

“We have to walk home from there?” he asked, aghast.  “Can’t dad come pick us up?”

I, of course, refused to call for a ride home for him.  He did make it home on foot, and slept very well.  He did not ask to join me for tonight’s constitutional.

So, tonight I decided to take the dog.

I figured he’d be thrilled to go, and he was.  Dogs, in general, love walks.  Plus, he is always happy to be away from our two 12 week old puppies.

Usually my children walk the dog.  Our giant canine is surprisingly gentle with them.  He never pulls the leash or darts away.

I am not treated to such careful behavior.  This information had apparently fallen out of my brain, because I was taken completely by surprise when, as we were cruising north at a near run, he suddenly decided that south was a better choice.  I barely kept from hitting the floor as his leash whipped around me, tying up my legs and tripping me.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Gina Valley Sometimes Husbands Are So Funny Walk Exercise Dog Phone RideAfter we decided that I would decide which direction we were going to travel in, he decided he would pick the stops we’d make.  He would signal it was time to stop, as we travelled along at a jog, by instantly stopping to sniff some olfactory gem without warning, nearly yanking my arm out of its socket.  A couple times he gave me such a good yank on my right arm that I think I felt my left arm shorten a little.

He also had occasional, random, emergency sniffing needs to my left, despite the fact that he is supposed to stay on my right.  He would communicate this need by suddenly darting across in front of me.  I had no trouble stopping for him to complete his sniffing, because I tripped over his leash every time he did it.

Our precious time together was suddenly cut short a couple miles from our house in front of our local elementary school.  He decided he was done walking.  He simply refused to move.  He went from “dragging me up the sidewalk” to “immovable behemoth” in 2 seconds flat.  He would not budge.

I gave him a minute, then tried to continue on. No dice.  I tried to point him back toward home.  Wouldn’t take a step.  He didn’t sit.  He didn’t sniff.  He didn’t whine.  He just stood there, smiling at me.

“I am not carrying you,” I said to him, as if I could even lift him.

He smiled bigger.

I swear, I SWEAR, that dog looked right at my cell phone.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Gina Valley Sometimes Husbands Are So Funny Walk Exercise Dog Phone Ride“I am not calling a ride for you,” I said to him.  He wagged his tail.  I tugged his leash.  He easily stood his ground.

I called The Professor to come pick him up.

He hopped right into the car, and smiled out the window at me.  I started off to finish my walk.

As they drove off, I heard The Professor call out to me through his open window, “It’s so lovely out. I think I’ll come with you tomorrow.”

Sometimes husbands are so funny.

Laugh Out Loud!

-gina

Do you like to walk?  What’s your favorite way to get some exercise (G-rated people, please.  G-rated)?  Shoot me a comment.  I’m looking forward to hearing all about it.

Get more canine giggles by clicking on my posts below.

If It Answers to “Easter Basket” It Must Be Our Dog

Our Dog’s Watch Is Broken

Keep Your Nose Up – Life Wisdom From The Puppy

Why Do We Have The Dog?

Running With The Big Dogs

As always, the extra click counts s cardio.

Thank you for reading and sharing on your social media sites!  I appreciate all of your support!

Keep Your Nose Up – Life Wisdom From The Puppy

Keep Your Nose Up – Life Wisdom From The Puppy

by Gina Valley

We have 2 adorable puppies in our home.  They are Ziva, who is Son#1’s ward, and Bear, who is Son#2’s charge.  They’re sister and brother littermates, Labrador mixes.  Ziva joined our family 2 weeks ago.  Bear moved in this past weekend.

They are, as puppies are apt to be, hysterical to hang out with.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Gina Valley Keep Your Nose Up - Life Wisdom From The Puppy Life LessonsZiva is a speedy ball of energy that’s always ready to pounce and wrestle.  Bear is nearly twice Ziva’s size.   Were he left to his own devices, Bear would prefer to snuggle and nap most of the day.  But, Ziva always has other plans.  She gets him riled up and they chase each other all over our house and yard, crashing and tripping every few bounds as puppies do.

They’re hysterical to watch.  They’re curious and clumsy, making every chase and wrestling match a barrel full of giggles.  They’re curiosity carries them places that they’re minds and bodies aren’t developed enough yet to get them out of.

But, for a couple of silly, furballs, they are remarkably wise.

We should all take a lesson from their playbook.

If you’re hungry eat something – Our puppies eat when they’re hungry, whether there is actual food around is irrelevant.  They find something that seems to be food-like and eat it, whether it is a beetle, a tissue, or an ancient pizza crust.

I need to do that, physically and spiritually.  How many times have I sat there complaining and cranky because I was hungry, but I didn’t think I should eat anything.  Geez, eat something, Stupid!  It’s just food.  Get over it.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Gina Valley Keep Your Nose Up - Life Wisdom From The Puppy Life Lessons

And, spiritually I often ignore when I am hungry, thinking I will “feed” that part of myself later.  Same with craving playtime with my kids or coffee with friends or singing out loud.  What am I waiting for?

If you’re full stop eating – Our puppies dive into each meal like they haven’t seen food for a week. But, the second they’re full, they walk away.

I don’t often eat after I’m full, except at Thanksgiving dinner (with all the snacks, is anyone ever truly hungry by the time we carve that bird?), but I regularly overstuff my day and my mind.  I need to recognize when I’m full, and to stop cramming more stuff into my day so I won’t feel sick.

If you make a mistake, admit it, fix it, and move on – Our puppies don’t waste their time digesting anything they don’t like.  If they’ve snarfed up something unappealing, they just barf it right back up the second they realize their mistake, never mind that my 78 year-old neighbor is holding them.   They don’t let worries about damaging her chiffon dress keep them from setting things right.

They urp.

They shake.

They move on.

Why don’t I do that?  Urp.  Shake.  Move on.  Why is it so hard for me to let go of decisions I’ve made in my life even when it becomes clear that “urping” them out of my life would be the best course of action?  Why do I hang onto things I should shake off?  Why is moving on so tough?

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Gina Valley Keep Your Nose Up - Life Wisdom From The Puppy Life Lessons

When you fall down get back up – Our puppies fall down a lot.  A lot.  They fall when they run.  They fall when they walk.  They fall when they are wrestling or climbing.  They fall when they are just standing still.  They have made falling into an ever changing, multifaceted art.

But, every time, every time, they fall, they get back up and get back in the game.  They don’t sulk over their fall or spend endless hours rehashing what might have been.  They get up and start chasing that squirrel or sock or leaf again.  Usually with renewed enthusiasm.

Man, I need to remember to do that.

Your face can be used as a foot in case of an emergency – Our puppies often “fly” faster than they’re equipped at this point in their development to fly.  As a result, they have a lot of out of control “landings.”

I’ve noticed that they have a special technique for slowing down rapidly when they have clearly lost control.

They drag their face.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Gina Valley Keep Your Nose Up - Life Wisdom From The Puppy Life LessonsNow, I know this seems both counter-intuitive and a bad idea from the whole gene-pool preservation standpoint, but it works remarkably well for them.  What a tremendously effective and creative solution to their emergency stopping needs.

Clearly, what appears to us mere humans as simply an adorable, kissable face is actually a highly developed, technologically advanced emergency brake.

I need to look at things through those creative lenses.  How many solutions to problems am I missing because I’m looking at things in the same old light, and failing to consider what things could be, instead of only what they are?

Try to climb to stuff you can’t reach – Our puppies quickly realized that the good stuff is just a bit further than they can reach.  They never give up trying to reach higher in an effort to get to the prize that’s just beyond their paws.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Gina Valley Keep Your Nose Up - Life Wisdom From The Puppy Life LessonsThey jump.  They stretch.  They yip.  They constantly seek what they cannot reach, knowing that eventually they’ll be able to reach that plate of chicken or giant beetle or basket of underpants.

How many times have I become discouraged at trying to reach what is just beyond my grasp, instead of being encouraged by the challenge of the chase?  The journey is part of the reward.  I’ve got to remember that.

Sometimes you have to sit on your problems for a while – Our puppies definitely have different energy levels.  That’s a good thing, as high-strung Ziva gets laid-back Bear off his fuzzy rear and moving.  But, sometimes, she is relentless and Bear needs a break.

So, he sits on her.

In fact, he usually plants his fuzzy, hefty rear right on her head, pinning her and keeping her from annoying him until he’s ready to tackle her again.

I don’t know why I so often hesitate to take a break from difficult issues to regroup. Taking a break from a problem always allows me to tackle it with renewed energy and fresh insight.  I’ve got to remember to do that.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Gina Valley Keep Your Nose Up - Life Wisdom From The Puppy Life LessonsIf you’re scared run to a friend – Our puppies are only 8 weeks old and they are frightened by everything from trash cans to sirens to soap bubbles.  And, whenever they are confronted by one of the many monsters in their world they make a beeline for each other, and then dash immediately to the closest human.

Scary stuff loses a lot of its power when you face it with a friend.  I need to be quicker to run to my friends when the dragons (or trash cans) of life confront me.

Try new things – Our puppies try new things all the time.  Of course, they’re less than 2 months old, so almost everything is new to them.  Their latest obsession is eating tortoise poop.  That’s right.  Tortoise poop.  They can’t get enough of it.  We have a big tortoise that calls our backyard home.  He wanders around and leaves Tootsie roll-sized packages of joy in his wake.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Gina Valley Keep Your Nose Up - Life Wisdom From The Puppy Life LessonsThese nuggets of nastiness are an endless source of fascination and snacking for our puppies.  Despite our best effort to find and dispose of the chunks of reptile  scat, one or the other of our pups is forever finding one and parading proudly around the yard while munching happily on a piece.

I’ve got to make it an effort to try new things.  It’s so easy to get stuck in a rut.

But, that’s going to have to wait.

Right now I have to catch Ziva.

She’s got another piece of turtle poop in her mouth.

Laugh Out Loud!

-gina

Are you a pet person?  What lessons have pets taught you?  Do you fill up on snacks before Thanksgiving dinner?  Shoot me a comment.  I’m looking forward to hearing all about it.

For lots more giggles, click on over to some of my other canine inspired posts:

If It Answers To Easter Basket It Must Be Our Dog

Running With The Big Dogs

Why Do We Have They Dog?

Our Dog’s Watch Is Broken

As always, the extra click to get there counts as cardio.

Flying Fur

Flying Fur

by Gina  Valley

I’m chuckling as I watch our newest family member, Ziva, a 7 week old Lab-mystery-mix puppy, bound around our backyard.  Our older dog, Douglas, a 12 year old Lab-Saluki mix, has finally comes to grips with the fact that this ball of furry energy is staying.  It’s hard dealing with a brand new baby sister out of the blue.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Gina Valley Flying Fur Pets Dogs Squirrels Fathers’ Day Party CelebrationI think he’s even starting to enjoy having her around.  He seems to be chuckling a bit, too, as we watch her clumsy efforts to stalk the army of squirrels and flocks of sparrows that call our back yard home.  The only threat she poses today is being annoying.  But, I think the animals know to keep an eye on her.  She’ll be a whole different kind of trouble for them soon.

Perhaps it brings back memories to Douglas of his younger days, when he, too, was a squirrel nemesis.  In his prime he served as an agent of nature, insuring that only the swiftest, smartest squirrels survived in the little woodland world that is our backyard.

Then, there was only a handful of squirrels that would venture down from the trees to our lawn and patio.  Certainly, we never saw any of the small ones or the tubby ones I can see raiding our bird feeders right now.

Douglas doesn’t bother to chase them much anymore.   Most of the time he evens ignores the squirrels that creep over to steal a piece of kibble from his bowl.  He rarely bothers to give chase, much less catch one.   I like to think that’s due to our training efforts, but I think it’s more likely due to aging and laziness.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Gina Valley Flying Fur Pets Dogs Squirrels Fathers’ Day Party CelebrationBut, sometimes he has his moments.

And, man oh man, does he know how to make those moments count.

Last Fathers’ Day we had quite a crowd.  Our pack, family, friends, our home was full.  It was quite the party.  A joyous celebration of Fatherhood filled our home.

Apparently, that stopped at our backdoor.

I don’t know if Douglas was bored or energetic or felt like the party needed livening up, but for whatever reason, our giant, lightening quick dog decided it was the perfect time to go hunting.

Generally, we never hear Douglas hunting the furry tree hoppers.  We’d certainly discourage him, if we did.  Usually, we’d just find what looked like a squirrel that had been sat on by the giant dog.  It was usually flat and quite intact.  I kind of wondered if he was in fact simply sitting on them.

Well, whatever his usual mode of operation is, last Fathers’ Day it definitely wasn’t sitting on it.

Over the din of the crowd I heard him emit a long, low growl.  The back wall of our house is all windows, so I had no trouble spotting him as he came out of his crouch and took off across our yard and into the trees.

I was hoping no other people noticed, and that all the animals did.  Surely, every woodland creature heard him, and knew to run.  Right?

Well, not so much.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Gina Valley Flying Fur Pets Dogs Squirrels Fathers’ Day Party CelebrationIt was only a couple of seconds before he emerged from the trees carrying a none-to-happy captive squirrel.  Horrified, I grabbed The Professor and Son#1, and practically shoved them out the backdoor, while whispering , “Do something!”

Now, of course, the squirrel didn’t go quietly.   Our guests might not have noticed had the squirrel not emitted an ear splitting, screech and bitten the dog, who then, for good attention getting measure let out a cat like howl.

Did our company notice?

Why, yes, they did.

Did my kids notice?

Yes, they did.

Nothing brings down a holiday quite like animal carnage in the backyard.

Naturally, the dog did not want to give up his hard fought, now limp, prize.  Nor, did he want to let us take a look at his squirrel-incisor-sized piercing.  And, to make sure neither of those things occurred, he proceeded to run away from my husband and oldest son as they tried to subtly corral him.

Of course, the dog decided that the best place to hide to escape his pursuers was right by the large glass sliding door that leads into our house.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Gina Valley Flying Fur Pets Dogs Squirrels Fathers’ Day Party Celebration

Yes, it is part of the all windows, back wall of our house, which, conveniently, all of our guests were staring out of.  Their mouths gaped in horror at the sight of an injured dog carrying around a formerly injured, now clearly way past that, squirrel.

I won’t even get into what flew off when the dog shook the former squirrel and ran around the patio trying to avoid capture.  It was not pretty.

Do we know how to throw a party or what?

Fortunately, we’d long finished dinner.

Dessert was less popular than usual.  I suppose that’s understandable.

I’ve seen studies that show that having pets makes you live longer.

I think maybe it just feels that way.

Laugh Out Loud!

-gina

Have your pets ever provided less than appropriate entertainment for your guests?   Are you a dog person or a cat person or a no pets person?  Shoot me a comment.  I’m looking forward to hearing all about it.

Running With The Big Dogs

Running With The Big Dogs

I hate to admit it.

I don’t even want to think about it.

But, I know that we’re at that “It’s time to get a puppy” place.

As one of our beloved canine family members died a few months ago we have only one pet dog currently. I’m sure that sounds like plenty to most people.  But, if you’ve ever had 2 dogs, you know that 2 are much easier to have than 1 is in many ways.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Gina Valley Dogs Big Little Pets Mess ClutterAnd, if you’ve ever raised a puppy with an older dog, you know there is no easier way to do it.  Puppies are babies and need almost as much attention as a human baby.  But, when you have grown up dogs, they do most of that work for you.  They teach their canine peers manners, potty train them, and tire them out so they’ll sleep all night.

I’m a little concerned because our current canine family member is far from being the brightest bulb on the tree.  There is a lot I don’t want him to teach a new puppy.  Still, even an intelligence-challenged, dog such as our beloved Douglas, can teach a puppy things in a way that we people can’t.  Also, dogs need other dogs to play together with.  And, I think they need a canine buddy to complain about us people to, also.

So, all of that to say that, much as I’m not looking forward to the work and the 15 year commitment, it’s time to consider adopting a puppy.

My kids are thrilled by the idea.  My youngest is actually giddy.

I’m still working out the details about when, what kind, all that sort of pragmatic stuff.  But one thing is for sure.

We have to get a big dog.

Why?  Because big dogs are better than small dogs in lots of significant ways.

You can find a big dog in the basement or garage no matter how messy the space gets.  We have mess.  We have clutter.  I don’t want a poor innocent canine to pay the ultimate price for our prolificness.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Gina Valley Dogs Big Little Pets Mess ClutterBig dogs only poop once a day.  It’s big, but it’s only one.  And, in my book, that’s better than scooping up foul Tootsie Rolls all day long.

You can step on a big dog without killing it. I know I’m not the most agile, graceful, athletic person in the world.  There is no question that I will accidentally step on the dog.  The only question is whether the dog is large enough not to die when I do.

Big dogs make your man feel like a man (unless it’s one of those giant poodles. Those are freaky giant and still manage to be fru fru dogs).  Men need a safe, acceptable way to strut their macho-ness.  What better way than while out walking the dog (literally. Any appearance of euphemism here is purely coincidental) (And, get your mind out of the gutter!)?  That’s way better than rebelling against the clothes hammer or drinking out of the milk carton.

Big dogs make you feel safe when you investigate noises in the middle of the night.  Carrying a 4 pound quivering Chihuahua just doesn’t fill you with the same confidence as having a floor quaking canine companion plodding along next to you does.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Gina Valley Dogs Big Little Pets Mess Clutter

Big dogs don’t yap.  Yapping is the devil.  Enough said.

Although they need a bigger bowl full of kibble, big dogs eat the same number of times a day as a small dog does.  Maybe once less, if they also eat a small dog.

Big dogs can carry things for you.  Ours have carried groceries, books, soda, toddlers, and little dogs.

Big dogs help little kids to learn to walk and to explore and to know they are always safe.  They are both the ultimate walker and soft, safe landing pad.

A 3 year old can’t pick up a big dog.  This is important because, let’s face it, 3 year olds drop stuff, and dropped stuff breaks.

Big dogs don’t suffer extensive damage when 2 year olds hug or ride them.  2 year olds rarely know or can control their own strength.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Gina Valley Dogs Big Little Pets Mess ClutterBig dogs know to stay off of the furniture.  While you’re home.  All bets are off while you’re gone.  But, most at least have the courtesy to get off the sofa before you come in, so you’ll feel like they’re at least attempting to follow the rules.

So, we’ll be getting a little puppy that will grow into a big dog, which will likely be a giant, expensive pain in the neck that we will fall in love with, even when he eats our shoes.

When you hear me screaming as I run out to buy more chocolate in a desperate attempt to shore up my crumbling patience, you’ll know the puppy has arrived.

Or, that it’s a school holiday.

Laugh Out Loud!

-gina

Are you a dog or cat person?  Do you have big dog or a pocket sized?  How has your furry family member made your life better?  Shoot me a comment.  I’m looking forward to hearing all about it.

Why Do We Have The Dog?

Why Do We Have The Dog?

After one of our dogs, Trixie, passed away this week, my daughter Gemma told me that she wasn’t sure she wanted to get a puppy, because she didn’t want to have to go through that again.

It’s very hard when your family dog, or any pet you’re close to really, dies.

Frankly, it’s not very easy while they are alive, either.  I heard it said once that pets make you live longer.  Sometimes I think maybe it just feels longer.

A dog family member is a furry bundle of trouble and work and fun.  If you don’t have one, it’s hard to understand why anyone would want to go through all of that trouble just to hang out with something that is loud and messy and potentially smelly.

So, let me explain why we have the dog:

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Gina Valley Throwback Day Dogs Baby Bottle Cake Soda Jerky Treats Dog Biscuits Christmas Tree Easter Basket LeashNot because one wag of his tail-of-death clears everything off of the coffee table in one fail swoosh sending books, drinks, and small children flying in all directions, but because a nudge from a furry head can bring a smile to the worst day.

Not because he figured out how to suck all of the milk out of the baby’s bottle, but because babies need someone to pull up on when they’re learning to walk and to be a soft landing when they fall and to eat all of the things they don’t want on their highchair.

Not because he ate a Costco size bag of chocolate kisses and pooped sparkles for a week, but because toddlers need someone to play catch and tag with who will never quit, and to lick their faces when they’ve snuck candy and who loves gooey hugs and sticky fingers.

Not because he barks non-stop at fireworks, but because 5 year olds need someone to keep them safe during thunderstorms.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Gina Valley Throwback Day Dogs Baby Bottle Cake Soda Jerky Treats Dog Biscuits Christmas Tree Easter Basket LeashNot because he climbed onto the kitchen counter and proved  that a cake meant to serve 55 people all afternoon only serves one dog for two minutes, but because 7 year olds need someone to snuggle with when they’ve been sent to their room for sassing.

Not because he’s afraid of caterpillars and the clothes dryer, but because 10 year olds need someone to help them be brave and to meet new friends.

Not because he can’t wag his tail evenly, but because 12 year olds need to know they are special and significant even when their world is crazy busy around them.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Gina Valley Throwback Day Dogs Baby Bottle Cake Soda Jerky Treats Dog Biscuits Christmas Tree Easter Basket LeashNot because he insists on carrying a 2L soda bottle around with him, but because teenagers need someone to talk to who will listen forever and never interrupt them and never judge them.

Not because he sleeps on the sofa while we’re out, and hops off quickly  when he hears us drive up, but because 15 year olds need someone to sit with them and protect them when that strange noise in the empty house makes them wish they hadn’t insisted they were old enough to stay home alone.

Not because he feels the need to have a loud discussion with our local gang of raccoons every night at 3:50AM, but because no one should have to be alone when they’re up in the middle of the night.

Not because he ate the entire 6 pound box of jerky treats one afternoon and then brought them up for an encore all over the brand new living room rug, but because everyone needs someone who is always happy to see them no matter what time it is, what day it is, or how cranky they were when they left in the morning.

Not because he loves to wake people up who doze off on the sofa by poking them in their eye with his cold, wet nose, and then licking them in the mouth when they open their mouth to holler at him, but because everyone needs someone to take care of them, watch over them, love them completely even if they don’t always understand each other.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Gina Valley Throwback Day Dogs Baby Bottle Cake Soda Jerky Treats Dog Biscuits Christmas Tree Easter Basket LeashAnd, not because he knocked over the Christmas tree and dragged it around the house while we were at midnight services on Christmas Eve, but because everyone needs to take care of someone, to watch over someone, and to love someone completely even if they don’t always understand each other.

It’s been a rough week at the Valley house as we’ve lost one of our dear furry family members.  I’m glad we have our other goofy dog, Douglas, to keep us entertained and smiling.

Seems appropriate to have Throwback Day be doggy-oriented this week.

For laughs, click on over to my If It Answers To Easter Basket It Must Be Our Dog post about our pretty, but dumb dog.

…Even though it usually receives no acknowledgement from him we consistently call Douglas “Douglas.”  We are ever hopeful that he will catch on.  But, at 10 years old he still hasn’t.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Gina Valley Throwback Day Dogs Baby Bottle Cake Soda Jerky Treats Dog Biscuits Christmas Tree Easter Basket LeashFor almost 6 weeks this past spring he answered solely to the name “Easter Basket.”  Daughter#1 was in a conversation, and when she said, “Easter basket,” Douglas charged across the house, giant paws slipping and sliding, long legs flailing, right up to her.  We thought it was a coincidence….

…I’m not sure if Douglas thought “Easter  Basket” was his name or if he had associated “Easter Basket” with candy and was hoping to get some (my dad also comes running at the phrase “Easter Basket.”  He loves him some candy!), but for whatever the reason, for the first time in his near decade as a part of our family, we had a reliable way to call that dog to us.  Gotta admit it felt a little weird hollering it out at the dog park, though….

If you are in the mood for deep thoughts and a tearjerker, I’ll meet you over at my Seriously Today – Our dog Is Dying post about what I was thinking about when I realized Trixie’s cancer was starting to defeat her body.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Gina Valley Throwback Day Dogs Baby Bottle Cake Soda Jerky Treats Dog Biscuits Christmas Tree Easter Basket Leash…I’m thinking about how she forces herself to get up and greet us at the door nearly every time someone comes home, and how painful it must be to move on the few occasions when she abandons the effort to rise and merely wags her tail.  I don’t always greet people at the door.  What’s my excuse?

I’m thinking about how she finds comfort in just being near us.  I don’t know if she understands what’s happening to her, but I know that she feels better, safer, happier being near us. I can tell that she does not want to be alone.  How many people do I know that would be happier just being near someone?  Why haven’t I invited them over?…

Whichever you pick, or heck go for both, I’ll meet you over there.

As always, the extra clicks on Throwback Day count as cardio.

Laugh Out Loud!

-gina

Has there been a special pet in your life?  Do your kids have pets? What is it about animals that make them worth the effort and expense to have them in your life?

Shoot me a comment.  I’m looking forward to hearing all about it.

If It Answers to “Easter Basket” It Must Be Our Dog

If It Answers to “Easter Basket” It Must Be Our Dog

by Gina Valley

We have several dogs.  We love them all very, very much.

One of them is named Douglas.

Douglas is an idiot.  I mean that in the nicest possible way.

Often when I am looking at Douglas I say to him, “It’s a good thing you’re pretty.”

He is pretty.  He’s a labHumor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Gina Valley Dog Dogs Pet Pets Name Forget Smart Dumb Douglas and saluki mix with shiny black fur that is soft like a rabbit’s.   His mouth always looks like it’s smiling.  He has a long tail with a dangling, silky fringe that that never gets tangled.  He’s lean and looks like he could run down a cheetah.  He really is a pretty dog.

He’s also pretty dumb.

Douglas joined our family when he was 9 months old.  His first family had named him “Douglas,” after the black train on the Thomas the Train TV show.  We opted not to change his name because we didn’t want to confuse him.  If we knew then what we know now, we would have just laughed and laughed and laughed at the idea of not confusing him.

Douglas, who is sweet and wonderful with children despite his enormous size, lives in a constant state of confusion.  I swear sometimes the other dogs are laughing at him.  I sometimes scold them for that.  Apparently he isn’t the only confused member of our family.

It took nearly 2 years to teach him to “sit” on command.  It took nearly 4 years to get any kind of acknowledgment from him that when we holler “No!” we are not happy with what he is doing and he should stop.  Even still, sometimes all he does is pause.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Gina Valley Dog Dogs Pet Pets Name Forget Smart Dumb DouglasHe doesn’t wag his tail like normal dogs.  He has an asymmetrical pattern when he puts his tail into motion.  When he’s especially excited about something he does what we call “helicoptering,” which is when his tail just makes continuous, enormous circles.

But, it’s his seeming inability to understand what his name is that is the source of most of our head shaking and giggles.

For the first two years he lived with us we would call out, “Douglas!” to get his attention, and then, having received no acknowledgement whatsoever again, we would call out, “Trixie!” to get Douglas to come to us.  You might remember that Trixie is one of our other dogs who is, sadly, quite ill now.   He’d see Trixie run up to us and he would follow her.  The funny thing is he would run up to us if we called out, “Trixie!” even when Trixie wasn’t home.

But, that was ok.  At least we knew how to get his attention.

And, he is very pretty.

Even though it usually receives no acknowledgement from him we consistently call Douglas “Douglas.”  We are ever hopeful that he will catch on.  But, at 10 years old he still hasn’t.

For almost 6 weeks this past spring he answered solely to the name “Easter Basket.”  Daughter#1 was in a conversation, and when she said, “Easter basket,” Douglas charged across the house, giant paws slipping and sliding, long legs flailing, right up to her.  We thought it was a coincidence.

It’s not unusual for Douglas to make a Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Gina Valley Dog Dogs Pet Pets Name Forget Smart Dumb Douglassudden mad dash through the house for no apparent reason.  We don’t even answer the door if he runs up and barks at it unless the other dogs do, too.  He has excellent hearing.  He even hears, and I think sees, invisible people.

So, scientifically minded people that we are, we tested “The Easter Basket Moniker” theory again later that day.   We had Son#3 sit on the sofa in the family room with no food nearby, as we wondered if Daughter#1 being in the food-centric breakfast room earlier had been the reason he had made his mad, well-timed dash.  Son#3 called out, “Easter Basket!”  Douglas came running.

I’m not sure if Douglas thought “Easter  Basket” was his name or if he had associated “Easter Basket” with candy and was hoping to get some (my dad also comes running at the phrase “Easter Basket.”  He loves him some candy!), but for whatever the reason, for the first time in his near decade as a part of our family, we had a reliable way to call that dog to us.  Gotta admit it felt a little weird hollering it out at the dog park, though.

Since the end of his “Easter Basket” phase we have been back to calling him “Douglas,” while he is back to having no idea that we are talking to him.

Until yesterday.

Yesterday ‘Ole Easter Basket amazed me.

I called out, “Douglas!” and he tore through the house and ran right up next to me, looking at me expectedly.  I was so shocked that it took me a minute to remember I was calling him to see if he needed to go outside.  He went out.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Gina Valley Dog Dogs Pet Pets Name Forget Smart Dumb DouglasTwice more over the next couple hours I called out “Douglas!” and he ran right up to me.  I was so excited that at nearly 10 years old he had finally learned his name.  Sometimes you lower your expectations for certain individuals.  I could hardly wait until my pack got home so I could show them.

So, they got home around dinner time, and I called out “Douglas!” to give him a chance to show off his new found brilliance.  No reaction.  I tried several more times.  I even tried with a Scottish accent.  No dice.  He didn’t even look at me until I walked over to him and petted his head.

Whatever iceberg had popped through the surface of that vast empty ocean that is his brain had sunk back down into the depths.

But, that’s ok.

And, luckily, he is pretty.

Laugh Out Loud!

-gina

Ever have one of those “what’s my name again?” days?  Shoot me a comment.  I’d love to hear all about it!