Crossing The Street: Take One Of These


Crossing The Street

Crossing the street is a dangerous thing many of us take for granted. We stop and wait for the little man to tell us to go, look both ways before crossing the street, and then we step off the curb and into the rest of our lives. Which honestly may not be much longer than the next split second. Some car could run a light or whip around the corner and we may not be the wiser.

This is something that happens at the intersection by my work all the time. It’s a weird spot where two winding roads cross and there are straight and left turn lane combos. There’s also not a lot of street lights and a merge lane. One more thing, it’s in the middle of a hill. Some people are climbing others are coming down. I’ve almost been hit by a left turner and a red light runner.

It’s Dangerous To Go Alone Take One Of These.

I have friend, Olympia Von Schuttlesqoot, she’s been nearly hit three to four times in the last year alone. That’s crazy! Someone should write the city! Hey, don’t look at me, I’m already doing my part.

Anyway, Olympia, tired of nearly being hit by a car to death, decided to do something about it. She went out and bought a glow stick that she wears around her neck as she crosses this silly intersection. Some people think it’s so she can be easily seen while crossing the Devil’s Gap. However, I believe it’s so she can squeeze in one last dance party while she lays in a broken heap. Let the beat drop.

No, No, One Of These!

Instead of a glowstick, I chose a much better and more versatile item, a good looking person. Another friend, MccLanahan McGoodlooks, and I were out walking our dogs one day when we happened upon the cursed intersection. We stood and the dogs sat while we waited our turn to cross. There was some chatting, but I was more concerned with taking in my surroundings. I looked from left to right and repeated. He didn’t seem to care and carried the conversation. How could he not be concerned? Maybe he didn’t cross at this intersection much.

My thoughts were driven away as I zeroed in on a left turner. A woman in an SUV sat with her blinker on. Her mouth in a chewing fashion as her hand moved away from her mouth. She looked down, was she looking at her phone? Was she aware of us standing on this corner?

The light turned green. With trepidation, I let the dogs’ feet and my own move forward. MccLanahan stepped out and continued his story. I looked once more and that was when I saw it. The double take followed by the lingeringly lustful gaze. At that moment I realized a cosmic truth. An answer to my questions. She had seen us. MccLanahan wasn’t worried because he didn’t need to worry. Good looking people are always seen, even when crossing the street. If they aren’t, their homely friends typically take the brunt of the attack.

 


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Dog Days of Summer: Certainly Can Lick…

It’s the Dog Days of Summer. What the heck is going on? That’s kind of a rhetorical question and yet I wouldn’t mind an answer. It’s been hot here. Sure I know it’s hotter in other places of the world, but it’s a relativity thing. When it gets hot I don’t feel like doing much. Probably due to me being so busy sweating that I don’t have time for much else. That’s all I seem to do, and blackmail deodorant companies with claims of their failing products.

That’s when I start working a bit longer at work and enjoy some of that air conditioning. An extra bonus is that I can bring the dogs with me. I couldn’t imagine having to deal with this heat in a fur coat. They are always excited to go to work. I don’t think it’s necessarily the air conditioning though. No, it seems to be all the attention they get.

When I get home, there’s a mixture of condensation from sitting in air conditioning and sweat from being outside. Trust me, it is as awful as it sounds. That just makes me kind of lazy. I have a tendency to lay around reading or watching one extra episode of whatever on Netflix. Which isn’t too bad if it’s a half hour episode, but an hour episode can really throw any aspirations I had out the window.


Maybe I should go do something else.

 

Ollie’s One Year Anniversary: We’ve Had Ollie For One Whole Year!

It’s Ollie’s one year anniversary! We’ve had Ollie for one year today! How amazing is that? We adopted this little blonde dog a year ago. He peed in our car before we had even crossed back over into Canada. Which was only about eleven blocks. He just couldn’t hold it.

When he and Bleu met, they exchanged one small bark each, sniffed, and decided to go on a walk together. Which was better than we could have hoped. However, it was then that we realized how much work Ollie was going to be. While he didn’t mind walking on leash, walking an anything other than grass was an ordeal for him. He tried to walk on the grass at all times. Any attempt to correct this was met with his contempt. Not only that, but he would not go through doors, up stairs or get on an elevator. It’s taken months, but all of this is corrected.

Then there was the big one. He was scared of pretty much any person and dog, except my wife and I and Bleu. We took him to the park and while one smaller dog was okay, the minute more than one showed up, Ollie panicked. He would run off and try to hide against the fence. We took him away immediately. Then we found out that, while on leash, he hates pretty much any dog.

That walk was so telling of what we had to work on in the coming year. A year from that day, we have a nearly rehabilitated dog. He loves people, in fact, he’s staying with some friends right now. He goes up stairs, through doors and gets on elevators without a care. Our biggest victory is his love of life at dog parks. Ollie’s the first one at the gate, ready to welcome newcomers to the dog park. He loves almost every dog he runs into, granted he isn’t on leash. That’s something we are still working on.

We love this skinny, bouncy blond dog. Ollie has made his way into our hearts and is a pillar of our family. Plenty of other people like him to. They like to pet him. Watching Oliver run and bounce brings joy to many. Speaking of joy, immeasurable joy comes to those who have witnessed the magic that is his flutter butt. This tailless, blonde bouncy dog has impacted many people’s lives. In turn, they’ve impacted his. Made him a better dog.

When it comes to making Oliver a better dog, Bleu has been a big help. In fact, he makes the role of little big brother seem effortless. Of course, he did learn from the best. Oliver and Bleu love hanging out and playing with each other. It’s amazing to see a little eleven year old pooch chase a year and a half old pup around. Basically, they get along better than we could have hoped. Below is a non-staged photo of them snuggling at work. Yes, I can bring my dogs to work!

 


May the joy of The Bouncy King shine upon ye!

Sunburn


 

It’s been a long winter here in the Pacific Northwest. There was way more snow than usual. The kind of snow that screws up traffic and ruins New Year’s Eve. There were several noteworthy snowstorms this year. After the snow hightailed it, there was the rain, there is still the rain and it looks like it will start the raining anytime now. This is what we’ve been conditioned for. The rain is in our blood.

This time of year, there’s a never ending supply of rain. In spring, it can rain for a month. Sure there are breaks, this isn’t some biblical deluge. Yet, having cloudy, rainy skies every day can weigh on people. This year seems to be worse than usual as every five days or so, there is one really beautiful day. Hearts begin to thaw and dry. Hoodies come off, shorts come on or at least the hope is there. The next day, rain.

That’s what the last two days have been like. Yesterday was spectacular! I wore shorts for the first time this year. There was a breeze so I didn’t shed the hoodie, but having the sun out was wonderful. My wife, Bleu and I went to the local farmers market. Just in time too as it was the last one for the year. We picked up some beer, bread, and cheese. With our staples in tow, we headed to one of our favorite parks and had a little picnic of bread and cheese.

Have I mentioned that I’m fair-skinned? I’m not quite as bad as a stereotypical red head, but I am close. So after just a little bit of time in the sun, I start to cook. My saving grace is, I do tan after a while. Of course, that’s after many hours in the sun and several little stingy sessions. I know I could put on sunscreen, but it usually isn’t that bad. I’m also pretty good about realizing that I’m burning alive.

Yesterday however, I was unaware. There were some clouds. It was cool in the shade. For the love of all that is holy, I had a hoodie on! Then I got home. That’s when I realized that I was matching my red shirt quite well. At first glance, I wondered if I was just flushed. Did I just exert myself? Am I holding my breath? Am I crop dusting? No! To all of them. Hell nah! To some of them. I was sunburned!

This morning there was no sun. Only rain heavy clouds. Ready to spread their disgusting life giving moisture everywhere. I put on jeans, a flannel shirt and a hoodie. When I took the dogs out at lunch, I was still cold.

The good news is climate change isn’t real. I have it on high authority that it’s just a hoax. Even if it turns out to be true, still suits* are super cool. I mean, aside from drinking your own filtered moisture, having a tube shoved up your nose and being perpetually prepared for a BDSM party, the body will be covered up so, no sunburn. Yays!

 


Time for more aloe vera gel.

*Dune in the house!

Welcome Oliver!

 This has been a very exciting and joyous week for us. We have adopted a new pup, Oliver Raylan Standard. He’s a rescue dog from Mexico, but has been living in Washington the last few months. When we met him, there was a click. He was pretty calm for being somewhere around the six month mark and just seemed like he would fit in perfectly with Bleu. So far we’ve been right.

 They became friends almost instantly. One little bark and some sniffs, followed by a walk. Oliver spent most of the walk in the grass, as he didn’t like sidewalks. We had that corrected by the end of the next walk. Bleu has been a great little big brother. He has been a rock for timid little Oliver and has shown him that stairs and doors are no big deal. We are still working on elevators a.k.a. The Devil’s Box.

 It also helps that I am able to take him to work with me. There are so many dogs and people that he has no choice but to socialize, which he loves doing for the most part. There are still just a few hang ups, like when multiple big dogs get in his face. Although that greatly improved today as he wrestled with a rottie, a doberman, and a burmese. No fear, just the joy of being a dog.

  Now he has so much confidence that, tonight when I was making dinner, I had to take three different shoes away from him. Thankfully they were my running shoes which are super bright and easy to spot. So as he came bucking down the hallway like a bronco with a disco on face, I was able to see them and take them away. I eventually gave in and put all the shoes in the closet.

 So we have a few things to work on, but we love him and he loves us back. He is fitting in really well and Bleu likes having a companion, even though he has to share attention.

 

Happy 10 Years of Bleu

That little guy pictured above moved in with us ten years ago today. We already had our big boy Jacoby, but we felt like he needed a companion. I don’t think we could have found a better one, than little Bleu. They were inseparable throughout the rest of Jake’s life. They were best friends. They were brothers.

When we got Bleu he was so tiny he could easily fit in both hands and have room to spare. The size of the world seemed overwhelming to him. As if he were thinking “There is too much grass in the world! It’s going to take me days to walk from A to B. He also got car sick on the drive home and puked on my wife.

As the years went on he got bigger and more confident. He learned a lot about being a dog from his big brother Jake. To the point that he seems to have become a big dog in a little dog body. Running off leash, playing fetch, and chewing on bones are in his wheelhouse. However, he never fell in love with swimming. He would much rather just sit on the beach and bask. Which seems like it might be difficult to do on this overcast Canada Day morning.

Goodbye Jacoby

Four weeks ago today our dog, Jacoby, passed away. It has taken me nearly that long to start writing something, anything. I just couldn’t think about him much without missing him so terribly that it becomes debilitating. I still can’t, but I feel that he deserves to have something written about him.

He was a legendary dog who came into my life when I needed him the most. My previous dog had just passed away and I was going through the death throes of a terrible relationship. When I found Jake, he was two months old and in pound with the rest of his litter, so I guess we both needed each other pretty badly.

A year after I got him, he and I moved to Vancouver, British Columbia. Well, to be honest I came up about a month and half before him. Which is the longest he and I had ever been separated. My parents brought him up later, I can still remember when I got off the bus and crossed the street. My dad had brought Jake to come see me, but they were still half a block away. I could hear Jake’s whines and barks as he recognized me. He was pulling so hard my dad had to let him go. Of course he came running right to me and jumped on me very hard. Repeatedly.

That was Jake’s custom greeting. Rocketing into you as hard as he could. Leaving bruises and scratches. Tearing and puncturing clothing. Just jumping, again and again and again. There was nothing to be done. Turning around only meant your defenses were down. Throwing your knees up only egged him on. That is how he greeted us his entire life. Although he did finally become acceptably gentle sometime when he was about nine years old.

In October of 2005, my future wife moved in with me. We always joked – at least I think it was a joke – that Jacoby was the deal sealer. That I had coaxed her into hanging out with us, but Jake was the reason why she stayed. Either way, he loved her and after I came home and she told me she had made him scrambled eggs, I knew we were meant to be.

We had to move to another apartment the following February, just a block away from the previous place. It wasn’t as nice, but it allowed two dogs. At least we think it did. Thinking back, we are pretty certain that we just figured since the property managers didn’t seem to care about the place, we felt like we could get away with two dogs. We got Bleu on Canada Day of 2006. Jake’s world changed forever. Rarely were these two guys ever separated. Jake seemed to teach Bleu almost everything he knew about being a big dog and Bleu was an apt pupil. Other than swimming, Bleu and Jake shared the same interests. Chewing, trails, eating. Bleu was little and could have been a real weenie, but Jake made sure he was awesome.

Both of these dogs have been a huge part of our lives. When I proposed to my wife, they were not only present, they were part of the question. I said that “Jake and I were wondering if she and Bleu wanted to make it official.” They were both at our wedding too. We always joked that they needed to take back their tuxes or that they were born ready for our wedding.

Jake was such a huge part of all three of our lives. Each one of us is struggling to get by without him. We can tell when Bleu kind of forgets for a minute. He will be really excited as we come in the door from a walk and then, he will just mope and lay where Jake used to lay. My wife and I catch ourselves doing and saying things that we have said for years. Only to pause for a moment while the realization washes over us and the tears come.

We loved Jake so very much, for so very long. He loved us right back. We will alway remember, just a few days before he passed, how he rallied. It was a Thursday and my wife went for a run on the trail and I walked the boys behind her. I let them off leash a little soon and Jake caught sight of her and he just ran! He wasn’t listening to me. His only thought was to get to his mom. It was so good to see him gallop, he hadn’t moved like that in so long. In some way, I guess we should have figured that could have been his last hurrah.

The next day he was tired, but in good spirits. On Saturday though, we were both really starting tell that he wasn’t feeling better. On Sunday morning he woke up and climbed into bed with us. This was something else he hadn’t done in awhile, even though we had pulled the box spring out so the bed was no higher than our couch. He crawled up between us and rolled over on his back wanting a belly rub. It was weird, but I knew it was coming then.

Later on that day we made the call to our vet and I left a tearful and whispery message on the machine. That night we pulled our pillows, blankets, and all the dog beds into the living room. All four of us slept nearby. Sometimes he slept on the couch with my wife. Other times he was down on the rug with me. At one point I moved my hand and touched his soft fur and then realized that he and Bleu were lying right by each other.

In the morning, I made the call again because I wanted to make sure they had gotten the message. He was no longer comfortable and we knew we were just delaying the inevitable. Then we just spent our last few hours together. I pretty much cried all day and kept hugging him. I was dreading what was happening. I couldn’t believe that the time had come. The time that had always felt so far away that it seemed like it couldn’t happen.

All four us waited for the elevator and when the door opened a guy that I’ve never seen before was on it. My wife and I stifled the tears as we got on. Jacoby, in his most truest form walked up to the guy and said hi. Even at this moment in his life he was still trying to make friends and grow the pack.

When we got to the car, he didn’t have the strength to get in. He did let me pick him up, which was something he hadn’t let me do in ten years. There was the overwhelming nostalgia as I held him in my arms. I kissed his head repeatedly and told him how much I loved him and how I had been so lucky to find him that day. Then I gently laid him down in the back seat.

I have had such a difficult time seeing the screen for the last few paragraphs. I don’t even know if I am going to proofread them. What I do know is I am going to skip ahead.

When we picked up his ashes my wife and walked up the street, eyes misty. As we waited to cross the street we both whispered to each other and placed our foreheads together. Then I felt a gentle touch on my arm and a woman gestured to the bag that we both held in clasped hands. She said that she was sorry for our loss and that she had recently lost a pet as well. We thanked her and said that we were sorry for her loss too. As soon as we got in the car the tears broke out. Somehow I choked out “Classic Jacoby, still meeting people at the crosswalk.” We both smiled and cried some more.

He was a great dog who touched many people’s lives. He made a lot of friends. He turned some people into dog lovers. Even people who don’t care much for dogs, seemed to like Jake. He was a dog’s dog. A dog in the truest sense of the word. He was our best friend. He never had any other plans than to simply be with us. He, was our biggest fan.

Jacoby

Usually I like to write posts that are kind of jokey. Other times I like to grump about something that is making me grumpy. This is going to be something different. I started writing this the night we received the bad news. News concerning that big guy pictured up there. For those of you who don’t know him, his name is Jacoby. For those that do know him you may not know that his full name is Jacoby Edison Standard. He is a great dog!

I met him when he was barely two months old and I was hungover. He was at the humane society with his last remaining litter mate. All the rest had already been adopted. His brother was at the front and Jake was at the back. His flashy white socks and Sylvester the cat tail caught my attention. Just in case I hadn’t noticed him though, he puppy pranced toward the gate, trampling over his mate in the process. I remember saying something like, “Well you are cute! Are you a boy or a girl?” I know he didn’t understand me, but on cue he stood on his hind legs, showed me his junk, and proceeded to fall backward, landing on his sibling. I knew I had to have that dog!

I mentioned I was hungover. That is because five days earlier I had to put down my previous dog, Vinny. A dog that I had grown up with. A cute fluffy cocker spaniel that I loved to pieces. I was a freaking mess without a dog. I mean, it was bad. The bouncer at the bar I frequented told me about a litter of puppies that had just been dropped off at the pound. Which, while a great lead, didn’t stop me from getting hammered that night.

So there I was in the visitation room with a nameless dog. We played and tussled. Then he curled up in my lap and took a nap. I was sold and so was he. Eighty bucks and a legally binding promise to get him neutered and we were in my truck. By the time we had driven home, I had decided on a name, Jacoby. Yes, it was inspired by Dr. Lawrence Jacoby, but only because I liked the name.

We were pretty much inseparable, except when I had to go to class or work. I showed him the ropes and he ran with it from there. He loved hanging out with my friends and going with me to adjust the kilns. I found out that he thoroughly enjoyed chewing on stuff and swimming. Long walks were totally in his wheelhouse. Crates, his mortal enemy. He has always been a dog’s dog.

It was those skills and more that he imparted on his brother from another mother, Bleu. Bleu showed up when Jake was two. After one little scuff that left Bleu screaming and Jake in the dog house, they have been best friends. Bleu has never been too far from Jake. We even think that Bleu started carrying his tail the same way as Jake, just to match. Bleu always wanted to be like Jake, eat the same food as Jake, chew like Jake. They look so much alike that we still get asked if they are a mom and puppy. Yes, it is rare now that they are twelve and ten, but it did happen in 2015.

That is why our hearts were breaking when they walked Jake away for the ultrasound. Bleu just laid in our laps morose and making a low moaning sound. His breath changed to short little bursts. We knew he would do that, which is why we had taken him with us so he wouldn’t be at the apartment by himself. We knew he would just lie on the cold, hard floor by the door, which isn’t him.

Right now we don’t know the full prognosis. We just know that one of the hardest times in a pet owner’s life has announced that it will be intruding. For those of you haven’t already called your special someone over or picked them up and put them directly on your lap, what are you waiting for? Go pet them! For those of you who don’t have a special someone, what are you waiting for? Go get one! We are aching, but the only reason this moment is so terrible, is because all the other moments have been so great.

How I Vaccuum The Effin’ Car

My wife and I recently went on vacation with the dogs. Five nights in a cabin at the end of the continent, in a little town called Ucluelet. For the few of you who haven’t heard of it yet have been to Tofino, just turn left instead of right at the ocean.

Five nights means six days. Six days of wet, salty dogs. Ocean water. Sand. Mud. Not only were they covered in all of that, they ingested it as well. So of course they puked and all that. Sure we quickly bathed them each and everyday with shampoo and the cold water from the hose while they danced and spun at the end of their leashes like a schizophrenic bouncy balloon things. Remember those? Then they would run in and lay by the fire all night.

No matter what, they were just never fully clean. Rain would fall from the sky everyday and make sure they would get a little bit of tacky dirt or sand stuck to them. There was a seemingly never ending supply of new and gross things to eat or lick.

By the end they smelled and had to spend five hours in the car on the way back. Once we had gotten home and I had taken the seat cover out, I realized how dirty the car was. It smelled like wet dog. There was sand, fur, and slobber everywhere. “I looked to the sky and screamed why do I even bother with the cover!”

I had no other choice. I took that filthy car to the car wash. I was fully prepared. I had a pocket full of toonies. I backed into that stall and made sure that vacuum cleaner was fully functioning. I opted for the automated mat wash. Every little scrap of litter had been picked up. It was go time!

Instant action as the coins hit the bottom. I flew into the car! Scrambling, inhaling crap from every crack and crevice of the not so offensive front seat. Then it was time for the back seat. I was taken aback for a moment. Some may have thought we had scooped sand into the car. Others may have thought we had shaved a dog in the back seat. It looked and smelled horrible. Then I remembered my precious time ticking lower and lower.

I started out hunched over and ended up eventually crawling to the other side. Moving as quickly as I could. All that precious time and money. Ticking away. Evaporating. In the heat of that moment I felt like I was in one of those Daniel Craig James Bond fight scenes. Two people scrambling so violently that the viewer can’t tell if they are both really good at fighting or have no idea what they are doing.

I am apparently more of the latter. The hose was stuck on something and I yanked. At this time I realized the hose was underneath me. Not pinned underneath me, but loose underneath me. Painfully it arced up right into my crotch and delivered a light tap. Through squinted eyes and pinched lips I kept vaccuuming. Time was money.

Once the worst of the back seat was over with I started doing the shampooing and adding the scents. That part was pretty uneventful. Lots of shampoo and a mixture of new car and vanilla scents. I only really wanted to talk about the part where I felt like James Bond and got cracked in the no-no’s.