#tbt, dog edition

A few hours ago, Jenn was skittering around our workplace with a wild-eyed, shell-shocked look in her eyes that I well and truly recognized – that, I thought to myself, is the face of someone who REALLY JUST CAN’T EVEN.

So I asked if maybe she wanted me to take on her scheduled post for this week.  I want to say that she said yes, and thanked me for my thoughtfulness, and honestly she probably did, but in my recollection, it came out more like a slow headnod which dislodged one pristine tear of relief.

My memory is such a drama queen.

Anyway, with my encouragement, Jenn invoked her Bathroom Pass – aka, The Sovereign Right To Just Be Wound Up And Functionally Incapacitated.  You may recall that I had to do the same back in April.  Over bathroom redesign.  Hence Bathroom Pass, because here in the Whimsyverse, we don’t let little things like total nervous breakdowns get in the way of cleverness, no sir.

I’m not telling this story so that I can be a smug git who stands back and polishes my Badge Of Awesome Friendship And CoBlogging.  No, I’m telling this story so that I can come clean about what a profoundly self-serving jerk I am.

Because we’re having our dog days.  And it’s Thursday, and even though I am probably too old to even know how those newfangled hashtags work, oh, I am ALL OVER this Throwback Thursday thing.

So what I’m saying is – yeah, I basically gave Jenn the day off as a thinly veiled excuse to post pictures of one of my dogs.  What can I say – that’s just the kind of friend I am.

First, though, the actual #tbt portion of these proceedings:



This is the first picture I ever took of Finnegan, on the day I brought him home.  He’d had an exhausting day – first day away from his siblings, first car ride, first puke in a car, first pet store visit, first encounter with cats, and hey, also, first time he’d been left in the care of someone whose entire understanding of puppies to date was compiled from books, the internet, and crying through movies about dogs.

He had a right to crash out.  Bonus, it meant he was finally still long enough to catch him on camera, and really, how precious did was he, all fuzzy puppy-flop on his fuzzy puppy bed?

Proud puppy parent that I was, naturally, I uploaded and emailed that photo to everyone I had ever met.  The first response I got back?


Yeah.  Oops.  So fine, I just accidentally puppy-flashed everyone ever.  No big, right?  I’ll be more careful where I point the camera next time, and besides, he’s a puppy, he’ll grow some dignity soon enough, right?


Finny, at about a year old.  Look at that smile!  Look at those ears!  Look at the full version of the photo!



Dude.  Seriously.  There go all the family albums.  Because let me tell you, some dogs that are food motivated, other dogs that are praise-driven, and some dogs that will do anything for a good cuddle.  Finny is only invested in three things:  his profound yet destructive love of couches, his utter loathing of throw pillows being on couches, and making sure that his junk remains on permanent display while he sleeps like a total weirdo.



My other dog, Jasmine, takes lovely, elegant photos and awes everyone she meets with her quiet grace and calm demeanor.  She is also the one who, left unattended, eats door frames and digs holes in walls.  Even when carefully monitored, she still sheds approximately enough long, floaty white dog hair to build a whole extra jumbo-sized dog per week.  You would think, then, that if either dog were the big stumbling block between me and a permanently-guest-ready home, it would be her.


AU CONTRAIRE.  Finnegan is a working dog, and let me tell you, he has this job covered.  The show doesn’t wrap up when guests are expected, and it sure as heck doesn’t go on hiatus when visitors are present.  It doesn’t even stop when he’s just out of surgery, wearing an inflatable cone for 3 straight months – no, sir, that just became the ultimate doggie neck pillow!







And let’s be clear:  I’m willing to write him a pass on that first puppy picture – clearly he was asleep, and that flash was an accident.  But don’t tell me this is the face of someone who doesn’t know EXACTLY what he’s doing:




This month, I’m working on making him a throw pillow of his very, very own – the most appropriate throw pillow there ever could be for a house with a couch-dog, I say.  But honestly, looking at these photos, maybe the first sewing project I should tackle is making this dude a pair of boxers.




gone to the dogs

True fact: if you know, or have ever known, someone who had both a dog and a generally clean-ish, nice-ish home and/or yard, I need you to stop reading right now, call them, and tell them you’re awed by their work. Better still, go to them and give them a hug. Step back from the hug, look them in the face, tell them you understand, no really, you UNDERSTAND. Hug them again. Ask if there’s anything they can do. Fix them a drink, maybe.

We can talk all we want about the challenges we face in trying to make our homes happy, create culinary and cocktail nirvana, or piece together perfect projects. The biggest obstacles between us and magazine-ready lives aren’t our busy schedules and big dreams. No, they’re 4-legged juggernauts of destruction who meet us at our doors, with feathers and drywall caked in their smiling teeth, totally oblivious to the mangled mess they’ve made for us to clean up. Again. And again. And again.

You think I’m exaggerating? My dogs have been around for just shy of 8 years, and I’m on my 6th couch. SIX. COUCHES. Why?


Yeah. That’s couch #2. Admittedly, it was a hand-me-down, but it was in damned good shape – certainly good enough to replace couch #1, which lost its will to live courtesy of Profoundly Destructive Puppyhood And A Weird Phase Of Malicious Pooping.

No joke, I switched my dogs to senior food this year when I realized that my current couch and loveseat are over a year old and only have one small tear.

There’s something magical about upholstery, I think. Personally, I’ve given up and accepted that the dogs believe a pillow’s place is on the floor in FRONT of the couch, at least until it is called home to the Great Couch in the Sky.


But Jenn…well, her dogs are only just discovering the magic of throw pillows:

The insides of two Ikea throw pillows.

And hey! This is growth! Because usually, they specialize in rugs.


They also really like to help with seasonal decoration by bringing the outdoors in:


sod it

And heaven help you if you try and help them on that quest. They’ll bring in plants themselves, damn you, and tell you EXACTLY what they think about your unscheduled interference in their plans:


No, really. They will TELL you:


My dogs aren’t super-invested in house-plant-destruction – I have a cat, and if there’s one thing that herding-breed and livestock-type dogs respect, it’s a business model. They are, however, social reformers, which is to say, turn your back on them for a second, and they want to open doors and break down walls. Literally.



Admit it, you thought I was kidding about the drywall, didn’t you.

As much as they may drive us to distraction – and by “distraction,” obviously, I mean “drinking” – we love them. Of COURSE we do. We love them for the memories of their squishy little puppy faces, sure, and yes, we love them for the whole companionship thing. But we also revel in their ridiculousness, like barking at their own fats, or thinking a car ride to a coffee kiosk is pretty much Disneyland wrapped up in rainbows and unicorn sparkles. So really, we don’t love them DESPITE the fact that they ruin our homes daily and our lives occasionally, we almost love ’em more because of it.


We realize that “the dog days of summer” generally usually references those sticky-hot awful days in mid to late summer, when all of a sudden, strategic napping, panting, and resenting people who come to your door and make you wear pants all start to make TOTAL sense.

Right now, weather is mild enough to be universally appealing, and winter’s drudgery is still recent enough a memory that sunny days feel stolen and magical. Our yards are still fresh from springtime clean-up, and flower and vegetable gardens haven’t kicked into harvest overdrives. The big dirty projects are still easily dismissed for future consideration – plenty of summer left for that nonsense!

And that leaves us with blessedly little to do, except enjoy the outdoors with those members of our family who would happily pack up and live in the backyards if they could. This month? This temperate, relaxing month? These are OUR dog days of summer.

Clearly, I think, we’ve earned the reprieve.