Tag Archives: dogs

I Need Your Dog Real Quick

10 Jun

I’ve been in Portland for a few days for a work thing and I’m wondering if I’ll bother to jump the plane back home. Portland, Oregon – not Portland, Maine – just in case you were wondering. I’ve been told no one but me ever does, but hey: just in case.

I think the hotel I’m staying at is built specifically to keep me here. There’s a button on my phone that I can push that says “get it now” and if I push it, I can have them deliver a pint of locally made ice cream to my door. On-demand ice cream. The new world is a marvel.

They also have something called a dog spiritual menu. At first I thought this meant that I could steal a random dog from the street and pamper him with a hot stone massage or get its chakras balanced, but it turns out it’s just a library of books available to me on pet psychology and whatnot. However, the front desk is also happy to help refer me to a pet psychic if it will make my stay more memorable, so I’m currently on the hunt for a dog with an owner who isn’t paying much attention to them. 

pet psychic

I know, pup. I have a lot of questions too. (photo cred: Joseph Morris)

There’s also a pillow menu. In case I’m not content with the 6 pillows on my bed already, I can call someone and custom order the type of pillow I would prefer. I’m not sure how to do that without sounding like a total and complete A-hole, but the curiosity is killing me. Do they bring sample pillows for me to choose from? Do they wheel a cart into my room with little fancy placards labeling their firmness? Why aren’t the pillows they bring up already represented among the several pillows already on my bed? WHY ARE THEY WITHHOLDING SECRET PILLOWS. WHY DO I HAVE TO CALL TO UNLOCK THEM?

In spite of these luxuries, this boutique hotel is lacking the only amenity worth booking for: the good old fashioned continental breakfast. I gotta say, I’m getting pretty tired of classy-claiming hotels that don’t give me free breakfast. In what world do I shell out more money than it takes to stay at a Holiday Inn to have my morning made-to-order omelet replaced with nothing but a pitcher of fresh cucumber water? Why can I rent a book from a dog wellness library and not get some free morning toast?

Maybe I’d feel differently if the amenities were geared toward cats instead of dogs. I’d swap out my free daily breakfast in exchange for someone getting inside Monk’s head. That cat is in dire need of some psychoanalysis. Really. I should have put him on a leash and stowed him in the plane. I could distract him with a damp sponge bath at the hotel while I have someone get to the bottom of what makes him punch me in the eyeball with his furpaw at 4am.

Even if they offered a cat spiritual menu, I’d still need to work up the chutzpah to pick up the phone and request it. I have yet to work up enough to request the pillow menu and ice cream. I don’t mean that from a lazy perspective (although – yes.), but just from a phone-hating perspective. I don’t even like to talk to my friends on the phone. I have a longstanding friend (15 years now?) with whom I have only exclusively chatted online. I credit it as the reason we’ve been able to hang in there so long. Still – the curiosity is killing me. I should call.

I really have to continually work at to getting over these sorts of little hangups in my quest to not become a bitter old shut-in. So, it’s decided: tomorrow is the big day: I’m going to pick up the phone, dammit. I want a firmer pillow. And a body pillow. All of the secret pillows. I should also grab a dog real quick just to get my full money’s worth from my stay. If I can just work up the courage to commit a tiny bit of random dog theft and pick up the phone, I can celebrate my wins in a pile of pillow with a $12 pint of hand-delivered ice cream.

Maybe I can even manage to save half of it for breakfast.


Me and Miss Bojangles

10 Apr

bojangles cute

If you were avoiding my blog posts because they were all about The Gauntlet and, like church on Sunday, you stayed away for fear of true conviction, I have good news: it’s over for now. Business as usual until further notice.

So I went ahead and got myself a puppy. I’d like to talk about it.

Well, it’s not my puppy. It’s my neighbor’s puppy. They’re going away for a while and are going to need someone to dog sit. As many of you know, I have a serious puppy problem. I want a dog very badly but for several responsible adult reasons, I have avoided the urge to adopt one (no money, no yard, no time). In the meantime, I have nursed my desire in other, somewhat unhealthy ways. For example, I fantasize about opening up my own Puppy Amusement Park. Also, I stalk them when I’m out for a jog. Frequently I will talk to them through cages at dog adoption events all about our futures together while crying tears of hope married with shame. 

For all these reasons and more, I’m glad to be all set up to dog sit in several weeks and that I have a lot of time to plan out her stay with me. Oh yes, the dog is female. And as is The Jackie Blog standard, names are changed to protect the innocent. Henceforth we’ll call her Miss Bojangles. 

Miss Bojangles will be staying with me for quite a few days. Puppy fever sets in pretty heavy in the springtime because a lot of glorious furballs are out for a walk and it can be really easy to forget that dogs are money-gobbling, excreting, puking, whimpering pains in the ass when they look so cute and happy in the sunshine. This is why I need some quality time with Miss Bojangles.  She’s got big ol’ Basset Hound eyes and jowls so big you could hide jars of jam in them. I have plenty of time to soak up that adorable, droopy face while simultaneously being reminded that trying to coordinate a drive-by to the apartment every 5 hours to tend to her bodily functions is an inconvenient, gas-guzzling, never-ending truth. 

It will be good for me. Like puppy boot camp.

I’m taking note of things I’ve always wanted a dog for so that I can take full advantage of them while I’m dogsitting. Mostly, that means I plan to carelessly drop a lot of food on the ground while I’m cooking. And to encourage her to chase Hobbes around in the hopes that the sight Miss Bojangles’ flappy, wavering jowls chasing him will inspire a few pounds of fat to be exorcised from his fat, fleeing body. And walks. There will be lots of walks.  If she weren’t so old, I’d put a reflective puppy vest on her and bring her running with me.  

I may or may not include the use of public puppy parks where I may or may not pretend that her name is really Miss Bojangles and that I am her owner.

Of course I have my concerns. Like that she’ll eat my cats while I’m away, or take an enormous dump in the middle of my living room out of homesickness or that when it’s time to give her back to my neighbors, I’ll  instead rent an RV and go cross country with her, claiming that we were always meant to be together and that no one can understand our love.

Then again I can’t really afford an RV at this time in my life. So I guess we’ll have to steal one. Which I guess would make Miss Bojangles an accomplice. Which is pretty great since I’ve already hooked her up with an awesome criminal name.


Come to think of it, I’m going to need a decent criminal name myself. And a good article on how to hot-wire an RV. And probably some disguises for our getaway.

Good thing I’ve got a good head start. 


Diapers and Leashes: the Surprising Need for Specificity

11 Sep

We need to have a talk.  A serious talk.  

Yesterday I went to Petco and found these:

double-u. tee. eff.

Let’s discuss.

What on God’s green earth are these?!  

There simply aren’t enough combinations of question marks and exclamation points to accurately convey how stupefied I am.   Are there people actually putting these on animals?  Because I assure you that this is not a  joke.  Petco had these prominently featured on an end cap.  They come in a variety of sizes and feature several different types of disturbed, angry dogs on the front.

Look at that dog.  Really look at him.

Look at the fear in his eyes.  The desperation.    Not even the drawn-on smiley face is enough to distract you from the deep, deep sadness.

I think we’re starting to get confused.  I do.  Because there is absolutely no reason that anyone of sound mind could possibly put a diaper on a dog but that they are simply confused.  And since I’ve taken it upon myself to educate America on these sorts of things, let’s review.

This is a child.  It is a human being.  It does not belong on a leash.  If you have trouble keeping track of your child, I suggest you demonstrate a bit of authority.  If you have complete control over your child and are simply concerned that someone will take off with him or her, I recommend holding his or her hand.  

We use leashes on dogs because dogs don’t have hands.

There is no excuse for leashing a child and diapering a dog but delirium.  Somehow our nations has just mixed the two up.  Perhaps a series of recognition flash cards is in order.    We could show folks a series of pictures of dogs and then a series of pictures of children.  And then we can pose the big question.

Which one of these two figures is a dog and which is a child?

Winners will receive a pack of diapers (for humans, not dogs) and a leash (for dogs, not humans).

Apparently, there is a now a need for specificity in both those realms. 

How Much Is That Doggie in the Window?

8 May

Photo by smemon87. Click photo to check out their Flickr Photostream.

I want a dog so badly.

I do – I can’t get them out of my head.  I used to have limits: I couldn’t admire any dog that was smaller than my runt of a Labrador retriever I had several years ago.  But lately, I don’t care – I’ll take anything.  Poodles, Bulldogs, even Pugs – the ugliest of the ugly are adorable in my fantasy world of being a dog-owner.

I can’t possibly take care of a dog at this point in my life.  Let’s face it – it’s all I can do to feed and bathe myself every day, let alone throw some food in the cat dishes and give them both a little pat and some laser-pointer-funtime-extravaganza.    I couldn’t possibly have a puppy – I’m gone for too many hours of the day and with my inconsistent theater schedule, it’s absolutely impossible to set up times to care for said puppy with any degree of regularity.  So I can’t have a dog.  I’ve mused about ways to get around this fact in my post Puppy Amusement Parks, but I don’t know that I’m in a position to throw all my hopes and dreams on a theme park for pets. 

 As a result, I’ve begun to stalk them. 

One of my favorite things about springtime is all the dogs that are out.  After a stressful 5 o’clock rush, I can always trust that when I make it to my neighborhood, everyone will be out getting their dogs some fresh air after being cooped up inside all day.  There are pups of all shapes and sizes and I’ve grown to love them all.  

Yesterday I went for a walk and found myself behind a beautiful, super excited dog and I got out my camera and recorded it.  Like some kind of pet paparazzi.  I don’t know what I thought I was doing.  They just give me so much joy and I was so incredibly amused by him that I thought I’d take a video of how adorable his wagging tail was.  

I think he felt dirty because he stopped and sat shortly thereafter, staring at me. 

I don’t think I can satisfy my dog lust by going around and recording run-ins with other people’s pups.  I’m going to have to actually find a way to satiate this desire so that I don’t become some sort of strange dog stalker.

I guess since I have one on video, I’ve already crossed that line.

I thought I might be able to fill the void with another cat, but my cats are crazy enough and two is plenty.  They won’t keel over until I’m about 35, so I’ve got a while to go before I go commit to another.  I wouldn’t want to start a collection or anything.

There’s gotta be some way to deal with this without acquiring another animal.   I’ll figure it out.  If I can’t get anyone to buy in to my Puppy Amusement Park idea, I’ve gotta come up with something fast.  Like dog-sitting perhaps.    Actually, that sounds stressful.  Maybe I can just move to a ranch and have all the animals I want.  I’ll work the land and live the good life, free from the soul-sucking chains of corporate America.  Yeah, that sounds awesome.  I’ll get on that right away.

One ranch full of dogs, coming right up. 


Puppy Amusement Parks: My Next Million Dollar Idea

20 Mar

You know - like this. Except instead of leaping over barbed wire, they'd be leaping over giant Snausages. Awesome.

I know my million dollar ideas don’t typically work out and that’s why I’m blabbering away on a corner of the Internet instead of on TV selling ideas to people.  But hey – one of these is going to hit a homer.  I just know it.

Today’s million dollar idea?  Puppy Amusement Parks.

There are tons of people that want to have a dog but can’t because of their life situation.  Me, for example.  I love the guys but I just can’t have one in my apartment.  I couldn’t give one enough space for it to be happy, I couldn’t be home often enough to spend time with it, and I can’t afford to feed one and buy it all the awesome things I will want to give it for being so darn adorable.

But I’ll tell ya – on a day as beautiful as yesterday was, I really wish I had one to strut around the neighborhood.

On a gorgeous day, the first thing I do when I wake up is thank God for the super awesome day.  And then I wish for a puppy.  Because what’s the sense in a gorgeous day if you don’t have a dog to take to the park during it?

That’s where Puppy Amusement Parks come in.

You know what would be so much cooler than an animal shelter?  An non-profit animal amusement park.  I’ll just create a super awesome dog utopia and house as many dogs as can comfortably and happily live in that space as possible.  And I’ll charge admission to humans.

Think about it.  The dogs get people to play with them, they get state-of-the-art dog equipment, and people get attached to a particular dog during their time there, perhaps they’ll even give it a good home.

Of course, I’d have to hire vets and animal folks of different shapes and sizes and whatnot.  And the money spent on a ticket price can go toward the cost of housing, treating, and showering the dogs in love and affection 24-7. But designing the place will be loads of fun.  I could just throw a bunch of little kids in a room and have them dream up the place.  Heck, I could run a contest at schools all over the nation to dream up the most awesome dog utopia they can think of and use it as a way to boost awareness of local shelters.    I’ll bet five-year-olds can dream up some pretty slammin’ dog superparks.

I’m thinking a Seuss-y look would be cool, but that will be my backup plan in case the 5-year-olds don’t work out.

But they will.  They’re brilliant.

And if you don’t like this idea, then you must hate puppies and little kids.  Those are the only reasons I will accept.


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