Home sweet home and Fergie’s ribbons

Posted by houndrat on Friday Oct 3, 2008 Under dogs, family life, husbands, mommies, Ridgebacks

Okay, so things are FINALLY settling down to normal here after my 5 day stint at the Ridgeback National Specialty in Gettysburg, PA, which involved me leaving my almost one year-old and 4.5 year-old home alone with my cleanliness-challenged husband.? Although I have to say, I was completely shocked in a good way? when I arrived home and? our house was not only still standing, but actually didn’t resemble a recent bomb site on the inside.? And nary a broken glass to be seen.? Honestly, I’m left sort of wondering when the bulldozer came and how long it was here, but that’s okay.? I mean, I don’t really care what means achieved these ends, as long as? they don’t? involve me wading knee-high through daddy-was-home-alone-with-the-kids carnage.

At any rate, I’ll try to write some about my adventures this weekend, but for now, here’s a photo of me and the Ferganator in our hotel room, with all the awards she helped win.? As it turns out, Fergie apparently is good for something other than destroying random objects around the house.? Although saying she was? “good” at the show would probably be a bit of an overstatement—just ask my aunt.

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Just lock me in a padded cell.  Please. Because the enormity of my decision to leave? the kids with hubby? while attending the annual Ridgeback Specialty is starting to sink in.? And the deeper it sinks, the more obvious it becomes that I have utterly and completely lost my mind.

Any mother with even an ounce of sanity would spend her first kid-free days in over a year doing something relaxing. Like soaking in a spa while eating bon bons and getting a foot massage by a young Antonio Banderas doppelganger.  Or lounging on a squeezably soft yet tasteful comforter at the Four Seasons while ordering room service and reading trashy novels, only venturing out to float on a raft in the pool while sipping a strawberry margarita.? ? Or perhaps even sending the kids away so she could hole up in the house ALONE while eating Dulce de Leche Haagen Dazs and watching endless reruns of Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Veronica Mars.

But apparently all my sanity was sucked away into? the black hole of? motherhood long,? long ago.? Because instead of doing any of those things, I’ve chosen to squander my hard-earned freedom at a dog show.? Where the dogs will be pampered more than I.? This wonderful trip involves me flying on a red-eye (read, no sleep whatsoever) and arriving? at 6:00 a.m.–just in time to shower and throw on some show clothes so I can take the Ferganator into the ring.? Where instead of humiliating me with her naughty antics in front of just a few local Ridgeback folks, she’ll get to take on the whole nation.? Then, there’s the endless pottying of dogs, exercising of dogs, grooming of dogs (okay, so at least with Ridgebacks, the grooming part is? pretty brief–thank god I didn’t choose Samoyeds), before staying up late at the Top 20 event, followed all too quickly by the next show morning, where I will attempt to split myself in two so that I can show multiple dogs and puppies in stud dog and brood bitch.? Speaking of which, maybe I should just enter myself in the latter category.? Think I’d have a shot?? My kids are pretty cute, if lacking in ring demeanor.? Which basically is to say they’ll fit right in with the rest of the crew I show.

And then for the grand finale, I get to drag my kid-free butt out of bed at? 4:30 a.m. so I can have the supreme honor of driving 50 miles to the lure coursing field,? because nothing says relaxing like being? dragged willy-nilly across a dirty old field by four absolutely bunny-crazed Ridgebacks.? And of course, there’s the peaceful event of chasing the especially naughty ones down after the course is over.? To add to my vacation, I’m sure I’ll fall a few times, as well as almost pass out from the humidity.? Oh, and lets not forget that during this entire “vacation”, I’ll be pumping at least four times a day.

And then there’s the return home, where my house will surely look like a condemned property inhabited by one hundred transients and ten families of rats upon my arrival.

So, please, lock me up.? And make sure you do it before 7:37 p.m. Otherwise, save me a strawberry margarita? (or five) in Pennsylvania–I think I’m going to need them!

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So I admit it–I was wrong.? Apparently Fergie is good for something after all.? Check out these bad boys:

We had Fergie get preliminary scores on her hips and elbows, since we plan? to let her chase the plastic bunny bag (or perhaps pick up a few pylons again)? at the National Specialty next week.? As expected after viewing the X-rays, the hips came back excellent.

Alas.? If only excellent hips were linked to excellent? behavior.?

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Should I stay or should I go?

Posted by houndrat on Wednesday Sep 17, 2008 Under dogs, family life, husbands, mommies, Ridgebacks, Uncategorized

Hold on everyone, because here comes Armageddon.

Well, maybe not for you.? But for me?? It may as well be.? Because next week I’m leaving for four days to attend the annual Rhodesian Ridgeback National Specialty in Pennsylvania.? Which means the hubby is staying behind.? With both kids.? In the house.? ALONE.

And while the idea of a four day kid-free vacation sounds like a little piece of heaven right about now (even though I’ll miss the little stinkers like crazy), the idea of returning to the shambles of what was once my fairly structured life is going to be something altogether less angelic.? Not to mention that I expect my house to be in shambles as well.? Literally.

It’s not that I don’t think hubby can handle taking care of the kids, dogs, house, shopping, chauffeuring, and all the accompanying chaos that makes up the life of a stay-at-home parent.? It’s just that I don’t think he can complete all those tasks without letting a few things slide along the way.? And I’m shuddering inside at the non-stop visuals my overactive imagination is so thoughtfully providing me.

I know, I shouldn’t sweat the few, minor little details. Like what they’ll be eating (for my son, whatever no-no’s he can coax out of daddy–which is to say, Oreos for breakfast and? Ho-Ho’s for dinner.? The baby will probably get her first taste of? Ho-Ho’s as well.? Okay, now I’m REALLY hyperventilating).? Or what they’ll be wearing (striped shirts with checkered shorts that have already been worn five days in a row.? In the mud.? And rain or shine, the baby will likely be naked).? What they’ll be doing (watching non-stop episodes of entirely inappropriate violent cartoons.? And possibly even my hubby’s favorite–zombie movies).? What they won’t be doing (managing to find the trash can or the diaper pail.? Or buying more toilet paper when they run out, and instead, resorting to hubby’s old sock method.? Gag).

I know.? I KNOW.? I shouldn’t? fret so much over my husband’s priorities.? Or lack thereof.? And just because last time I left him unattended with the kids this happened doesn’t mean anything quite so dramatic will happen again, right?? Especially given the fact that we’re down to only a single table in the entire house now. Statistically speaking, our odds of breaking the one remaining glass table have got to be pretty darn low.? Right?? RIGHT???? ? And as a plus, the Ferganator? will be in PA as well, leaving? only the marginally naughty, shoe-eating? Skye hound and the growling Pig dog.? ? Fergie alone is the equivalent of about eight GOOD dogs, so surely this has to be helpful.

Seriously, though, I’m okay leaving the kids with hubby.? He’s got to be one of the most involved fathers I know, and as a consequence, he is entirely secure in his ability to take care of the kids while I’m away.? And so am I.?

Really.? It’s the house I’m worried about.

But maybe I’m overreacting a little.? I mean, just because the house looked like this last time I left hubby to his own devices–WITHOUT THE KIDS–doesn’t mean it could get that? much worse? in just four days WITH the kids.? Right?? RIGHT???

Yeah.? Right.?

So, hypothetically speaking….is it too late to change my ticket?

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Ridgebacks have no sole

Posted by houndrat on Friday Aug 29, 2008 Under dogs, family life, Ridgebacks

You know how dogs possess preternatural powers of sensitivity in all the old animal stories?? Like whenever Timmy’s sick, Lassie mopes? for days, fretting about him while laying plastered? by his bedside, until at long last his fever breaks and she’s instantly joyful again?? Well I’m hear to tell you, when it comes to Ridgebacks, it’s all a crock of crap.?

Unless, of course, Ridgebacks typically express their sensitivity by eating your favorite pair of shoes.? Because that’s what happened here.? There I was,? practically dying from some preschooler-induced illness consisting of the production of copious amounts of snot and feeling hotter than Brad Pitt in a loincloth? , and what does Skye do?? Why,? in her extreme empathy for her? nearly dead master, she mangles my fabulous kitten-heeled, goldish-bronze, go-out-and-party sandals beyond any hopes of recovery.

Or maybe I just jinxed myself by talking about how she’s the good one in the house.? I can hear Fergie snickering all the way from Colorado, while Grandmama Shani is giving her the paws up from the Bridge.

So tell me–how does she manage to look so innocent:

while performing deeds of such? vile depravity:

All I can say is, she’d better not think she’s crawling into my bed tonight with the reek of her? hideous dead shoe breath.? Sole killer.

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Skye takes a spin

Posted by houndrat on Monday Aug 25, 2008 Under dogs, family life, husbands, Ridgebacks

So I know I’m supposed to tell the story of my husband nearly castrating his finger after smashing our glass coffee table while watching the kiddage, but I have like zero time.? After staying up until 4:00 am–4:00 AM–on Saturday night for my 20 year high school reunion, I am pretty much a zombie right now.? I figure at my age, I can expect to be fully recovered sometime late next week.? Which would be fine and dandy, except I have three articles due this week.

Since I have no time to write on subjects that don’t involve dating in random cities strewn throughout the United States, I’ll instead post some photos of Skye I found on my computer while searching for some specific baby photos of Finley, which of course I was an utter failure at locating.? ? Not to worry–no doubt I’ll? stumble across the baby pics? when searching for? photos of Fergie eating our vacuum cleaner? at a later date–that’s pretty much how stuff works around here.

At any rate, back on topic.? It’s official–there’s some major Fergie hound missing going on around here. I actually find myself following Skye around, hoping she’ll do a no-no, and my son has taken to asking, “When’s Fergie coming home?” on a regular basis.? Meaning about once every ten minutes.? Even hubby admits that he misses our naughty liver girl.

And since I couldn’t ever get Skye to perform any misdeeds in front of me (she’s more of a closet bad girl, that one), I had to instead settle for looking at these photos I found.? Still no misbehavior, but they are kind of cute.

So without further ado, here’s Skye performing her patented spin moves:


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You never know when life is going to throw you a curve ball. Take Skye, for instance.

One day, she’s basking in the sun without a care in the world:

Skye sunbathing

The next, disaster strikes in the form of an absent hot tub cover:

Skye falls in

Skye falls in two

It’s like the epitomy of the Project Runway slogan, only in reverse: One day you’re out, and the next–you’re IN! And I guess Skye is a glass half full kind of girl, because this is the second time she’s made a splash and yet she’s already back in the saddle, sunbathing on the hot tub again.

Or maybe she thought we needed a little excitement around here, since Fergie and her crazy brother Leo are visiting “Nana” in Colorado. You see, my family is entirely insane and to ensure we demonstrate this adequately, every few months my dad takes various dogs on interstate road trips between California and Colorado. I wouldn’t be surprised if a clause of “Do you, Jerry, solemnly swear to rent a variety of minivans and drive the family hounds thousands of miles each year to different households, purchasing them burgers along the way and letting them sleep on the hotel beds with nary a complaint, so long as you both shall live?” was added in to my parents wedding vows. I guess that would involve some special telepathic gift on my mom’s part seeing as how we didn’t have Ridgebacks until after I graduated college. Which could explain why I was always getting busted in high school before I even got the opportunity to do anything wrong.

Anyway, we said our good-byes on Saturday. Leo was in his crate less than a minute before wreaking havoc on his bedding:

Leo and dad

And Connor says good-bye to Fergie:

Fergie road trip Connnor

It’s really nice to share the chaos for awhile but I have to admit—we miss our little Ferganator.

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I Got Published, and A Day in the Life of Fergie

Posted by houndrat on Wednesday Jul 30, 2008 Under dogs, random stuff, Ridgebacks

Not too long ago, I sent in an article to eharmony, in hopes of getting a writing gig.? Guess what?? I-Got-Published!

Okay, so it’s not like I’m going to be short-listed for the Pulitzer or anything.? Or even that I finally? finished that heinous? romance novel I started over five years ago (poor Drake and Sophie–they at least deserve some kind of closure!)?

But I’m excited about it anyway.? Besides, as a mom, I’ve been pretty much indoctrinated in how to celebrate the mundane.? ? Such as? all those times I cheered like a crazy woman? upon? discovering poop? in the potty.? Or when I do the happy dance because my son chooses a tissue upon which to wipe his weeping mucous membranes, rather than his sleeve.? Or the couch.? Or even the hound dogs (poor Skye).?

I mean, surely, if? human feces and boogers? can make me? pump my fist? in triumph, then you can pretty much guarantee I can get excited about anything.?

So awhile ago, I wrote an article on dating (yeah, funny one, I know) in San Diego.? As it turns out, they chose? nine writers out of over a thousand submissions, and for some crazy reason, I happened to be one of them.? And, I’m actually getting PAID to do it.

Without further ado, here is the link to my article.? Actually, there’s just a? teensy weensy? little more? ado to be had.? A small precaution, really—you see, here’s the part where I tell you how truly awful my article is, in the hopes that your diminished expectations might be ever-so-slightly exceeded.? Seriously, though, if you’re seeking an introspective, erudite discussion on the philosophy and conundrums of procuring romantic partners in Southern California, you? shouldn’t even think for a millisecond about clicking this link? but instead,? make a beeline? for your local library (Only, don’t check out? fifty books and then promptly forget about? them for over two months.? As I recently discovered, librarian types? tend to frown on that.? Plus, you? can buy your own? bookstore for less than the overdue fees.)


And, since my brain doesn’t understand the term “linear” at all, here are some photos that have absolutely nothing to do with dating in San Diego.? ? I caught Fergie being, well, Fergie, about a few hundred times today.?

I like to call this ensemble, “A Day in the Life of Fergie:? So Many No-No’s, So Little Time.”

Hmmm, anything tasty by the sink?

The approach….

The kill….Um, hello, does she not see me standing RIGHT HERE???

Same bowl, different snack time.? Are you kidding me?? And I’m still standing RIGHT HERE!

And now for the trash:

What have we here?? Mommy’s used snot rag?? Score!

Aha–my favorite dessert!

I promise you, the dog really does get fed.? And sometimes, even digestable stuff.


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