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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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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Wordless Wednesday…Let sleeping dogs, er, babies, lie

Posted by houndrat on Tuesday Jul 29, 2008 Under babies, dogs, kids, wordless wednesday

Oops–just a few words first.? Don’t forget to enter my contest–it ends Thursday night (and a new one will begin).

As far as WW goes, Just call me indecisive…..



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What NOT to do when attempting the word challenge:

1)? Do not pronounce the word with all the clarity of someone who just downed a pitcher of Everclear martinis.? People will look at you like you’ve been smoking crack in a closet for the past five years.

2)? Do not be foolish enough to choose two words if you are easily confused.? Uttering “callipygian” at the grocery store probably isn’t wise, as I’m fairly certain even the? most well-shaped? watermelons do not have buttocks.

3)? Do not forget your words, and thus mangle them into some kind of non-existent hybrid-word.? For example, “Brobdingnagian” and “callipygian” are difficult enough by themselves.? Creating “Brobipygian” is not only completely unnecessary, but makes you sound like you just immigrated from Mars.? And the cashier at the pet food store will stare at you.

So, in the interest of maintaining? a few remaining shreds of dignity, I’m going to practice? my words a? couple thousand times before breaking them out in public again.

Apropros of nothing, here are some? photos my hubby took over the weekend:

Believe it or not, I was there first.? Apparently, the only good spot can be obtained by squishing in-between me and the side of the couch.

I suppose the other couch was toxic or something, because notice how many hound dogs are on it:

Guess who finally moved?? Worthless Ridgebacks.? Oh, so sorry to have disturbed you, Skye…….

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Target dollar bin junkie

Posted by houndrat on Thursday Jun 26, 2008 Under dogs, family life, random stuff

I have a confession to make—I’m a Target dollar bin junkie.? I? seriously must have? the biggest collection of their random holiday crap on the face of the planet.? ? When I see all those little holiday knick-knacks, thingamajigs, and doo-hickeys, I just lose it.? I don’t care? that they’re utterly useless, that they’re going to fall apart as soon as I get home, or even that? they’re made in China, and probably letting off enough toxic emissions to blow up our house.? I don’t even care that for all I know, they’re lining those suckers with crack. I just have to have them.? All of them.

And I had every intention of putting this special Target purchase on my daughter for an Easter photo.? Of course, they immediately got devoured by my closet, never to be seen again.? Until today.? Come to think of it, I forgot Easter photos entirely.? Oh well, there’s always Christmas.? And as long as a Santa Bunny craze is sweeping the nation this year, I’m all set.

At any rate, I’ve decided to get my money’s worth out of these things.? ? I like to think of it as an unconventional? temperament test.

Skye:? You bore me with your undignified human tomfoolery.

Now I’m ignoring you.

Fergie:? Yeah, yeah, this is great.? So when do I get to eat them?

Finley:? ? Yeah, yeah, this is great.? So when do? I get to eat them?

Peanut:? I hate bunny ears.? Come to think of it, I hate cameras.? And photographers.? In fact, you have exactly three seconds to start running.

See?? Those Target dollar bins really are useful.? You just have to be creative.

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This ain’t no vacation, folks…..

Posted by houndrat on Monday Jun 9, 2008 Under dogs, family life, husbands

In case anyone was wondering, no, I am not on vacation. Unless your idea of a great holiday is flying to Utah with a 7-month old on your lap, landing and driving 40 minutes to the hotel, at which time you meet up with your 4 yr old, who just rode 12+ hours in the car with grandpa and 3 Ridgebacks, and is as wired as somebody who just mainlined five pounds of sugar mixed with crack. And this is just the first few hours.

But it gets better. Then, you are lucky enough to share a hotel room with your parents, your two kids, and three hound dogs, one of which is about as quiet as a building-full of screaming toddlers. And for the next three days, you get to rise and shine at the blink of dawn, all to take said hound dogs, not to mention the other three dogs in your aunt’s room across the hall, to a dog event known as lure coursing. Sound fancy? Well, basically, it’s three dogs chasing a piece of white plastic bag all over a few acres of dirt. All the while, you’re trying to balance both kids naps, keep dry from the random rainstorms that blow through, and not absorb all of the dirt in the state of Utah into your pores. And of course, you happen to have the only naughty hounds that don’t come when the race is over, so you have to chase them all over creation just to get them off the field.

And that was just the first three days.

I’m thinking they’re not going to booking this as a 5-star get-away anytime soon.

All the while, hubby is lounging away at home, blissfully soaking up the silence (well, except for his night-growling Rottweiler), hitting golf balls, and drinking beer. And befouling my blog.

Does this seem fair to you?

More to come, inlcuding photos from this so-called “vacation”………

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Dogs at Work (or, Fergie is a couch-hog)

Posted by houndrat on Wednesday May 7, 2008 Under dogs, family life

At the end of a long day, there’s nothing like having a quiet, undisturbed moment on the couch.?

Um, I meant alone?? Come on now—am I really expected to work under these conditions?

I give up.? Believe it or not, I was here first, and somebody just couldn’t resist pushing? her way to the toasty spot behind me.

After awhile, Fergie decides to go encroach on hubby’s space.? Now maybe I can get some work done!

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Dog shows, Dog discussion groups and Dog wackos

Posted by houndrat on Wednesday Apr 30, 2008 Under dogs

Whenever I start talking about dog shows, my husband has two words for me:? “dog wackos”.? In fact, hubby? has always? maintained that he married a “semi-normal dog wacko”.? ? Whatever that means.

Being the sweet, demure kind of girl I am, I usually just smile and nod my? head obediently.? Yeah, right.? Okay, so maybe I argue a bit.? Or a lot.? I tell him raising show dogs? is a hobby,? just? like any other hobby.? Only a little more time consuming.? And labor intensive.? And maybe a tad more annoying (like when Fergie eats your son’s big wheel seat).?

But there are perks.? I mean, fishing might be enjoyable (if you? find? parking your fanny on? the seat of a? stinky old boat for long stretches of time, twiddling your thumbs? and day-dreaming about Moby Dick “enjoyable”), but it’s not like you’re going to cuddle up with your fishing rod at night.? (And if you are, we don’t need to know about it.? Can I just say—ouch?)? ? How about? kickin’ back on your couch, watching a little American Idol with your golf clubs?? Not so snuggalicious.? And honestly—who takes their Wii to the park for a game of Frisbee? (Of course, having Ridgebacks, the game of Frisbee involves me throwing said Frisbee, then chasing the fleeing dog with said Frisbee dangling from? her mouth.? Hmmm….maybe the Wii would be a better choice.)

Hubby’s? side?? Well, believe it or not, his main beef isn’t with the actual dog shows (although he thinks they’re lame), or the amount of money spent on dog showing (which he thinks is certifiable), or even how we treat our dogs like children (he’ll happily change a diaper, but pick up? dog poops?? Ha!).?

No, his big complaint is simple.? ? According to him, what? makes dog show enthusiasts “wackos” is their inability to shut up.? He says they never stop talking about their dogs.? Ever.? And I’ve finally decided he may have a point.

See, apparently,? it’s not? normal to continue discussing the minutiae of your hobby ad nauseum once your hobby session has ended.? And us dog folks?? Well, we? simply don’t work that way.? We talk.? We discuss.? We converse.? In fact, we over-analyze every aspect of every? Ridgeback we know, from the color of their nose (black or liver) to their ears (too short or too long), to the tip of their tails (kink or no kink?).? And I guess having daily phone conversations with your mom (and aunt), where 80% of the content revolves around this Ridgeback’s lure coursing run, or what that Ridgeback ate for breakfast, just isn’t normal.

But, even knowing all that, I was still ready? to argue the point.? Until today.? Because today, I finally realized that my husband was? right all along.? I am a dog wacko.? And here’s why.

See, I belong to a couple of Ridgeback discussion groups.? What do we talk about on these lists?? Yep, you guessed it—Ridgebacks (and, of course, sometimes ducks—but that’s an ill-advised and touchy subject).? ? Sometimes, the topics get a little hot.? But this past month?? Well, to say that things have gotten ugly would be like saying that crocodiles have teeth.? ?

? Not that a little list drama is a new occurrence–not even close.? Because if there’s one thing dog folks have in common besides the obvious, it’s their love of a good argument.?

But lately, it’s gotten out of hand.? Why?? To be honest, I’m not really sure.? I mean, as far as I know, nobody’s dead, nobody’s dog died, and nobody’s passing around genital crabs (although, I admit, that would make an interesting twist).? In a nutshell, I guess it all stems over disagreements about breeding practices and proper board and committee procedures.? I know, I know—it sounds about as exciting as a good toilet cleaning.? And yet the drama continues.

And this is how I know I am now, officially, a dog wacko.? Because even though this? issue has next to nothing to do with me, I find myself? fanatically reading every post, like? my body is being possessed by aliens.? ? Aliens that like to read a lot? of crap about Ridgebacks.? ? And not only reading—I’m posting.? Posting, I tell you!? ? ? Why?? Because I just can’t seem to help myself. It’s like? a terrible, terrible sickness—-some kind of compulsive Tourette’s of the computer syndrome.? Only without the swearing.? In fact, in one post I likened it to the? horrified fascination you feel when viewing road kill.? The more you want to look away, the more you look.

Honestly, though, it’s a little more exciting than it sounds.? There’s drama.? There’s threats.? There’s bad humor (mainly mine).? There’s lawyers and? name-calling and hound dogs, oh my!? And I guess since I gave up soap operas a long, long time ago, this is what I’m stuck with.

Besides, its not as if I have anything more compelling, like, say, rising gas prices (hubby commutes over 50 miles EACH WAY to work), rising food prices (yes, my family enjoys eating), and falling house prices (don’t even ask) to worry about.

So, yes, husband, I admit it—I’m a 100%, certifiable, dog wacko now.? But you’re stuck with me anyway.

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Shani, the epitome of a tolerant Ridgeback

Posted by houndrat on Thursday Apr 24, 2008 Under dogs, family life

Okay, so I know I’m constantly? harping? on how rotten Fergie is.? I mean, let’s face it—she’s not the ideal dog for somebody who prizes their personal possessions (which obviously isn’t the case around here—-apparently, folks that cherish their stuff tend not to? spew it throughout the house like so much barf at a frat party).?

Fergie gets away with all kinds of houndfoolery, though, because she’s such a sweet pumpkin underneath all the mischievousness.? In fact, my hubby and I talk quite a bit about how tolerant both of our girls are, especially with all the grubby little grasping? (human) kid paws? around here.?

A quick example—I still remember walking around the corner of our house one day to see blood splattered all over our blond hardwood floors.? It seriously looked like somebody had opened a butcher shop.? In our family room.?

Actually, it was just my son, playing a little game of doggy barber.? He was brandishing a pair of scissors, and Fergie was brandishing a gash on her ear, with blood spraying every time she moved.? And yet she didn’t make a peep, and hadn’t even left the room—she just stood there, waiting patiently by my son, with a look on her face that said, “Can we pleaseplay something else now?”? (Yes, my husband and I are idiots–we left the scissors in a toddler? accessible drawer, but seriously, our son had never ever looked at them twice.? Until we cut his hair one day, and apparently, he decided Fergie needed a hair cut too.? And no, I don’t think he has a future in the dog grooming business—folks tend to like their dogs to leave with as many appendages as they came with.)

So, honestly, we couldn’t ask for two dogs that are better with our children.? Fergie loves kids, and Skye is impressively tolerant.?

And that brings me to the Queen of Tolerance—Fergie and Skye’s Grandmama Hound, Shani.? If ever there was a Ridgeback who would? accept virtually any indignity with nary a peep, it was Shani. (Although, I will say, she had perfected the patented “Are you kidding me?” Ridgeback look.? And she could pull out the woebegone? expression with ease, too—guaranteed to make even the hardest of hearts toss her a treat.)

Below are some examples of Shani suffering through our silly human idiosyncrasies (all the while thinking, “This is so beneath my dignity”).? She was, after all, the ultimate princess.

? Easily one of? Shani’s most impressive feats was her begrudging tolerance of my husband’s? peculiar dog-related? amusements, all of which I’m sure she found quite pedestrian.

Exhibit A:? Hubby flying airplanes on a two-year old Shani.? (And he wonders why she used to scoot hin out of bed in the middle of the night).


Exhibit B:? Another of my hubby’s favorites, which I liked to call “Rock-A-Bye Hound”.? ? This, of? course,? was when he wasn’t shouting “Death comes from above, hound dog!” and bombing her with various items (dirty undies being his favorite) from the upstairs loft while she was lounging? on? the couch downstairs.? (Again–can you blame her for chowing through a pair of his ostrich-skin cowboy boots, or his cordless phone?)

(And yes, perhaps now we all? have some good insight as to why his rottweiler is so troubled.)

Just? a couple? of Shani’s many Halloween costumes.? We also took her out to the Chicago bars in costume one year, much to her chagrin.?

Exhibit C:? ? “This costume was bad enough without the added indignity of stockings dangling rom my ears, Mom!”

Exhibit D:? And in this one, Shani’s dressed up as a retired show-girl.? Get it?? Get it?? Okay, so I’m easily amused.? (And in case you’re wondering, that bun in the oven is my son, Connor).

Exhibit E:? ? Yep, busted—I’m one of those put-antlers-on-your-dog-and-laugh kind of girls.

Shani also showed impressive tolerance for all kinds of interlopers, of both the canine and human variety.? ?

Exhibit F:? Shani “sharing” her bone with the intimidatingly huge rottweiler (who honestly didn’t ever grow much bigger, just more defective).

Exhibit G:? “Oh no, don’t eat me, you gi-normous Rottweiler, you!”

Exhibit H:? Okay, so I actually think this was less like tolerance, and more like love at first sight.? But I? adore this photo of Shani and my old adopted dog, Riley, so I had to include it.

Exhibit I:? Shani, unsuccessfully attempting to take a little afternoon snooze.

Exhibit J:? “I suppose I can share the couch, but really, Mom—-must I put up with the butt-grabbing?”

After reviewing these photos, I’m no longer surprised that Shani used to go on a little destructo chewfest a few times a year.? Let’s face it—some Ridgebacks may be tolerant, but they all know how to get even.

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Sometimes Ridgebacks are good

Posted by houndrat on Wednesday Apr 23, 2008 Under babies, dogs, family life

So, just when I was getting ready to return Fergie to her breeder, express mail no less? (yes, mom, I was going to let you know before the delivery man showed up on your front porch), she? had to go? and show me why I can’t quite muster up the desire to drop-kick her naughty tushy back to Colorado.

This feeling will probably last until such time as when she decides to make another collage out of the kitchen trash (yes, she can open cabinets, an-oh-so-special genetic trait handed down from her Grandmama, Shani) or track sand throughout my house (apparently, she thinks my son’s sandbox doubles as a hound sunbathing spa)—which will basically be twenty minutes, tops.? But I’ll enjoy it while I can.

Seriously, though—don’t let anyone ever tell you Ridgebacks aren’t good with kids.? And I suppose I’m stuck with the Ferganator, if Finley has anything to say about it.

Exhibit A:? ? Hey, look, mom, I’m a Ridgeback, too!


Exhibit B:? Hey Fergs—what’s shakin’?

Exhibit C:? ? ? ? Look, I got a hound dog leg!? Wonder if they’re yummy?

Exhibit D:? Forget the hound dog leg—-get a load of that ball!

Exhibit E:? ? I’m going in for the kill…..

Exhibit E:? ? ? Wow, this is oodles better than any teething toy my mom gives me…..Thanks for sharing, Fergie!

So, I guess instead of one of those highly sensationalized Dog Eats Baby news clips, we’ve got the slightly less sensational Baby Eats Dog Toy thing going on here.

Can I just say—yuk?

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