Should We Bark At Him?

After watching my son run the Oklahoma City Marathon, the departure from Oklahoma City and 3+ hour drive had to occur.  While grateful to my wife for shouldering the driving, there is very little about being a passenger during a car ride that makes you feel athletic.  Sometimes I will read while riding, but my desire and comprehension was off today.  So, the only thing that would really cure what was ailing me was a walk down my familiar path once we got home.

Everything was fine until I got to the bridge.  Some young “ruffians” (not really, but they certainly did not seem to want to give up much of the bridge to an old man who goes out dressed THAT way) barely navigated their bikes past me before I got to the other side.  And, on the other side were the collie-like twin dogs that have been voted mostly likely to “bark the fear out of you”–especially if you are walking a dog of your own.  Their barking then starts a chain reaction for the next few yards.

Today, I passed their house with no leash or reason to carry one.  While the dogs seemed to be relaxing, I was almost positive I heard one of the dogs say out of the corner of my ear, “Should we bark at him?”  As an active believer in encouraging my imagination to stretch itself whenever possible, I explored the possibilities of whether one of them actually said this before assuming I heard things incorrectly.  Once I “killed” the imagination and accepted the most logical reality, I tried to see if the ruffians were nearby playing, “Let’s see if my ventriloquist routine can get the old man.”  If it was not the ruffians, the other reality is one I am choosing to only embrace in a positive way–there is a positive way, right?



Revenge Of The Pink Poodle


Merry Christmas to all! Well, at least it was when I first had the brilliant idea this would make a good post!

I have seen this pink poodle lawn ornament on previous walking trips, but while walking today, it made a special impression.  As my brain noodled on the poodle, I tried to come up with a few theories as to why this creation made it out on their front yard along with the other items that were part of their secular display. (I remember a couple of penguins and related “polar” items.)

A few of my working theories:

  • Somewhat who is not an animal lover lost some sort of bet.
  • The residences of this house are one of only a few people on the planet seeking a lost herd of pink poodles.  This ornament is a constant reminder that there mission is not yet complete!
  • These are the remains of a mummified poodle previously owned by the residences.  Or, maybe the ashes are stored somewhere on the present ornament.  Thus, allowing “Fi-Fi” do live on for many more Christmases!
  • This ornament is a beacon to the space ships bringing the invaders from the planet “Bark”.
  • The dog works days and the pink flamingo works at night.

All of my whining is not really relevant–really it is not.  Where my decorations were a few lights and a loud, “Ho, ho, ho!” whenever the front door was opened, this neighbor chose to make their yard a buffet of animals.  If they find it important to have a yard for unwanted ornaments (picture the Rudolph special where there is an island for unwanted toys), then it would seem rather petty of me to criticize their special purpose.  Were it not for their efforts, their ornaments would have been picked up by a rather large vehicle that makes house calls and picks things up at the curb once or twice a week.

And, deep, deep down, this is the real meaning of Christmas.  We are all attempting to find a purpose, and when we were at our lowest, we were recycled and put in a yard where our King is very proud of us.  (Possibly a little too deep and meandering, but I “think” I got us there.)

Guinea Pig Standard Time

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At 10:00 this morning, the guinea pigs started their yipping.  Apparently, the Guinea Pig Council to the UN or whatever pet body that establishes guidelines for a country’s pet population does not officially recognize the time change that took place this past weekend.  One might argue they are just pets.  This argument does have merit, but my contention is they are just committed to trying to manipulate the human members of the household to attempt to usurp the necessary power in anticipation of the coming invasion.

Fortunately, I am either falling completely for their plan OR I am smart enough to recognize their efforts to use reverse psychology will need a more willing family.  So, when their begging started at 10:00 AM, I said soothing things to them.  Such as, “Not yet guys.  Real soon.” or “Whose a good guinea pig? You are!  Just wait a little longer.” or “Be patient.  Your tummy isn’t ready for all of the carrots I am going to give you.” (It could be argued anyone who speaks to guinea pigs w/ such sincerity has already lost.  I realize this as a valid point.) Due to their insistence, I was very willing to sate their appetites and quite their yipping when 11:00 arrived.

When I give them the carrots (this is almost always the little carrot nubs.  If they are not available and we have the big carrots, I will snap one of those pretty much in two pieces, and attempt to get them to enjoy those, too.  From Sprouts we bought some heritage carrots that had some weird colors.  I believe orange is by far their preferred color to associate with the carrot “taste”. ) I usually hand feed them each of them their first carrots.  They start chomping on the carrot and ignore me.  Or, their near-blindness causes them to drop the carrot into their bedding and sniff out where the carrot wandered off. The remainder of the carrots are dropped on their “house” with no regard to how they will “share” the balance of the little orange nib-lets.  Today, after dropping the carrots on the house, I am almost positive I saw the darker guinea pig rear up on his back legs and make a physical effort to touch each of the carrots on the house.  Immediate consumption did not appear to be his goal.  Whether he was taking a little nip out of each carrot or otherwise marking them in a rodent sort of way beyond human comprehension, he appeared to be declaring each of them as his own as he whispered “My carrot” in rodent-glish.



The fish were telling us something

Our family is not a “pet” family. We have experimented a couple of times. We have had fish a couple of times in the past. Most of the fish lived a reasonable life, and then perished. Usually, they had plenty to eat, and often they had plenty of playmates.

Well, our most recent trip down the pet road, has not been quite as pleasant……our three fish lasted only a couple of months. The first fish died, apparently, due to some failure on our part while we were on vacation. The fish crawled up into a shell in the fish tank, and, it seems, couldn’t find its way out. His death would be considered “normal”. The other deaths have been deemed suicide. After the NORMAL death, my wife cleaned out our the fish tank. It wasn’t REAL dirty, but the mega-food pellet we put in while we were gone, does get messy. She pulled the fish out of the fish bowl and put them in a cup temporarily. And, the next time she looked at the cup, one of the fish seems to have jumped out of the cup. And, once he was discovered, he could not be brought back.

The last is the hardest to believe. The fish bowl is a BOWL. It is curved at the top. And, this morning, as I was getting breakfast, I saw something on the floor by the trash can. Upon closer examination, I discovered it to be the LAST fish. So, we now had to be led to believe that the fish JUMPED out of the bowl. And, we are talking a jump of very nearly 2 inches in height. And, then, we need to believe, he flopped on the counter for 6 inches or more. Then, when he fell to the floor, he may have flopped some more–but, not much. He was pretty crispy when he was discovered. No formal ceremony was given.

Are we ever going to have pets again? Likely, we will . But, we may need therapy before we do…