Out, damn spot!

Spring is here and a young dog’s fancy turns to thoughts of love. I share my home with two dogs. Colt had boy-dog surgery when he was young. Maverick (the name wasn’t changed, because he is anything but innocent) still has all his original equipment. Mav is a Great Dane, which is the only size dog they sell at Costco. It means that his boy parts are large enough that you expect 20 clowns to spill out of them at any given time.

One thing all dogs have in common is flexibility. They can reach their noses around to forbidden territories, while we’re still struggling vainly to lick our own elbows. (Go ahead and try it, we’ll wait.)

I have a rather small house with oversized furniture. It doesn’t leave a lot of room for parking a large economy size creature with a maddening tendency to stand up just as you’re stepping over him. Fortunately I have a large capacity wash machine that can handle a queen size comforter. Said comforter is currently on the spin cycle.

Leave Maverick in the guest room for five minutes, and you’ll find him stretched out on the bed, smoking a cigarette and reading Fifty Shades of Grey. He always looks very pleased with his bad self.

I frequently question the wisdom of having big dogs as I get older. Walking them is a challenge, snuggling with them can cause lack of circulation to important body parts, (e.g. legs, arms, and spleen) and I hesitate to think how many pounds of kibble I’ve hefted over the last few years. It’s not for the weak of heart.

You may think that canine self-gratification is a frivolous blog topic, unless you own stock in laundry soap. The math is pretty simple: large randy dog = don’t go to bed without your snorkel and swim fins.

I should point out that Mav is constantly turning his head because he only is able to see out of his peripheral vision. Let this be a warning to your schnauzers and shih tzus, Mom was right when she said it would make you go blind.

REBUTTAL!!! Do you see anything but innocence in his eyes? (he did enjoy fifty shades of grey)

As Karla's closest friend, marketing director and her muse up until now I have been a silent partner. That has now ended as I am the owner of the very inscrutable dog in question. Karla is not the sweet person you all envision!

Skeletons in the closet

I used to be a Navy wife, which meant moving every two to three years. Coincidentally, my closets only got cleaned every two to three years. Each time I unpacked boxes at a new house, it felt like Christmas. All the useless crap that got boxed up looked like cherished treasures when I reopened the box in my new home.

Since I moved to my present home, I spent last winter wearing a men’s work glove on one hand and an oven mitt on the other. You’d think that upon cleaning my closet for real, I’d be delighted to find a matching set of gloves. Not so. Without that magical cardboard cube, there was no Christmas feeling to the six-year old dental floss, and roll of breath mints I found in my winter coat pocket.

I have a walk-in closet about twice the size of my bathroom. With two shelves on top, you’d think that I could neatly store blankets, winter clothes, a red hard hat, rubber chicken bookmarks, and copies of my book, which can be purchased at the Adoro bookstore for $9.95 plus postage and handling. I’m just sayin’. “Neatly” is the operative word. You do not want to sneeze in my closet, lest the vibration bury you in an avalanche of epic proportions. Fortunately, my Doberman is trained to dig people out from under the rubble.

My point is (and I do have one) that closets should not be used as a delayed disposal system. That’s what Rubbermaid plastic storage bins are for. I still have my second Barbie doll (the first one melted on the windowsill), and a Raggedy Ann and Andy, all carefully stored in a bin, because having dolls sitting out on a shelf is kind of creepy. I swear their eyes follow you around the room.

Cleaning the closets requires a certain amount of courage. When I finally had to look at the jeans that barely fit three years ago, it caused a two-day ice cream binge of remorse. My flawless logic said that continually kicking them to the back of the closet would make me thinner.

What kind of household project could I possibly do to follow-up the closet fiasco? That was decided for me yesterday, when a Great Dane on my back porch apparently thought that screens are for pussies. Nothing was going to stand between him and a squirrel. Consequently, I bought a 25 foot roll of screening material. I think I can fit it in my closet if I move the red hard hat.

I’m getting too old for this

In this corner, weighing in at 175 pounds, a Great Dane with droopy jowls, astigmatism, and absolutely no killer instinct … and in this corner, weighing in at 130 pounds, an English Mastiff with an unholy hatred for Great Danes. At the bell, come out fighting!

As you might expect, the Mastiff was all over the unresisting Dane, like flies on poop. What followed was three interminable minutes of two strong young men and two past-their-prime arthritic ladies trying to pry the Mastiff off the Dane.

After the first 20 seconds of hauling on the Mastiff, I was spent and sucking wind. I tag-teamed in a couple times, but it may as well have been a kitten bitch-slapping Godzilla for all the strength I could muster. My friend was spraying the hose to break up the fight, so we staggered into the veterinarian’s office wearing our jammies and eau de wet dog.

Maybe I’m too old to deal with pets of any kind. I spent the week house-sitting for my daughter, with her two Rottweilers, one chameleon, and one snake. The chameleon had a badly swollen and inflamed eye, and the snake was a baby who hadn’t eaten his first meal yet—a recipe for disaster.

The kids left last Saturday, and on Sunday, I found the chameleon in the bottom of her tank stiff as a board. I said some bad words as I chopped through laurel roots to dig the grave. After the admittedly underwhelming funeral service, I had to haul a heavy glass tank down a flight of stairs for the cricket catch and release program.

The dog fight was at my friend’s house, where I had gone at 4:00 in the morning to have coffee and commiserate. It wasn’t until the adrenaline wore off that I realized I had more aches than I did joints.

I went home the next morning to look in on my own dog, and found five diarrhea messes on the carpet. That was 90 minutes and a dozen attempts to drag myself up from my hands and knees to refill the portable steam cleaner.

By Thursday, I still hadn’t seen the snake, who was presumably somewhere under the pine mulch bedding in the bottom of her tank. I envisioned my kids coming home to two side-by-side reptile resting places in the front garden. That would have been hard to explain. I finally found her alive (hooray) and got her to eat her first pinky (baby mouse).

At least I managed to keep the Rotties away from horses, dogs, people, cars, electric mixers, brooms, balloons, lime jello, and bikes. They have issues. I made it through the week with only one dog fight, two trips to the vets, five diarrhea messes, one lost snake, and one burial. I’m looking forward to a long nap, preferably in jammies that don’t smell like wet dog.