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Dr. Doolittle’s got nothing on me.

Call me Dr. Doolittle. Or Noah from the Bible. Animals flock to me, I swear. I rescue animals- ALL. THE. TIME.

I have no special training or background in this. I’m just a housewife/PTA mom/ award winning actress movie junkie. Maybe there’s an aura around me that says, ‘I am a sucker for animals’.

The other day a dog wandered into my garage. A sweet, large shepherd type dog. Big and fluffy with blondish, beige fur. Sweet and friendly, obviously someone’s pet. There were tags and on the tags the name of the vet. I knew exactly which vet it was. So I just had the dog hop in my car and we drove over to the office. The dog was obviously used to riding in a car and very well behaved. I went inside to the front desk and asked if I could bring the dog in that I found. They were friendly and accommodating. The front desk lady grabbed a leash and followed me out to my car. She said they had some calls on a dog named Gracie that fit my description. I didn’t see a name on the tag, but when she went to read the tags, she says, ‘yep, Gracie. I knew it! Glad you found her.’

Well, then I was just overjoyed that I had done the right thing in bringing the dog to the vet. She was safe, and would be reunited with her owner. Sometimes you wonder if you should just let it be, maybe it will wander home, maybe the owner is near. It’s hard to know what to do. This time, I felt validated.

I want to save them all!

This was not the first time, nor the second time this has happened. This was probably the fifth time. Yes, fifth.

Let’s see-

There was Hope. The big brown dog that looked like a bear mixed with an ewok mixed with a chow chow. Poor Hope. Traumatized and lost with scars on her face from a life of hard knox. She had a mean dog’s expression. People thought she looked vicious. She was just scared. She wouldn’t come near me. For two weeks I fed that dog and helped with it’s rescue owner (she had recently adopted it from a rescue and she escaped from her kennel) to get Hope home. We tried and tried to gain Hope’s trust. It was the beginning of a very warm June. 90 degree heat wave- this is Seattle, 90 degrees is always a heat wave. I made sure there was water out. I noticed water bowls throughout the neighborhood. Everyone wondered who that brown dog belonged to that would sit in the shade. Once I almost got her to eat some bacon out of my hand. We had animal control come by several times to try and catch her for us. Then one day, they came with their tranquilizer guns. I figured this was a good thing because now Hope would get the care and rehabilitation she needed. They shot the first tranquilizer dart in her side. Yes, the first. She ran around the neighborhood for more than an hour with that dart hanging from her flank. She was tough. She wouldn’t slow down. So they shot her with a second dart. I was on foot tracking them. I wanted to know there would be a happy ending to this story.  It wasn’t possible, but I wanted so much to hug and pet this dog and show it love that it never knew. What was sweet about Hope was she was very happy to see other dogs. She would prick up her ears and show interest in any of the neighborhood dogs even though she shied away from people.

After the second tranquilizer dart, she still wouldn’t slow down. She kept at a steady jog through yards and cul de sacs, clearly afraid. And then, the animal control fellas that I thought were going to help her, did something shocking. They got out their tazer and tazed her. Twice. She seized on the grass of my neighbor’s yard and then they lifted her lifeless body into the truck. The owner followed them in her car to the shelter. I convinced myself she was just in shock and would be fine.

The owner called me the next day and said that Hope didn’t make it. She went into cardiac arrest at the shelter. I was so angry and heartbroken over the whole thing. I’ll never forget Hope. She was like that ASPCA Sarah Maclachlan commercial. A dog that had such a hard life, her scarred face from who knows what. She looked mean to so many, but she just needed love she never knew.

This isn't actually Hope, but the best look alike I could find. She was darker, had scars across her muzzle and was a little furrier.

The other stories are less involved. There’s been two different labradors that have strayed into our yard. One we returned to our vet to see if it was chipped. When they said they would keep it until it was claimed we put a sign on our yard that read, ‘FOUND BLACK LAB- call —–’ Sure enough, we got a call that night saying they saw our sign. We directed them to the animal hospital saying their dog was waiting for them there. They didn’t even thank us! Asshats! You lose your dog, we find it for you and not even a ‘oh thank you so much for making sure our beloved puppy is safe’. Just a ‘okay, cool’ and hung up. SERIOUSLY?

Two dogs I’ve returned in our neighborhood just by driving around and seeing people looking like they were looking for lost dogs. Then asking them if they’ve lost a dog, sure enough- it was theirs.

I drove an hour to my friend’s house to recover a kitty that was definitely a stray and needed to be looked after.  My friend couldn’t afford another cat and darling McSweetie won’t allow me to have anymore. So I drove it out to my shelter that is no-kill and lied that I found him in my neighborhood (they only take strays found within our city limits). They gladly took him and after examining him found he had two broken teeth. Good thing we saved him or those teeth would’ve caused him health issues for sure.

So there’s my story of lost pets. Seriously, if it’s lost, it will come to me. Oh, and I forgot about when I called 9-1-1 for a deer hit by a car and I watched as it rolled off the people’s car and they drove off. WHO DOES THAT? It was like watching a movie in slow motion.

Be careful out there.

“watch out Harold, that’s a deer”

“I see it Edith, don’t worry- woops, oh wait, that would be the deer on our hood. oh and there it goes- rolling over the roof of our car. Sure hope it doesn’t damage the roof rack.  Did it come out the back side?”

“Yep, just drive on Harold, it’s in the ditch, no biggy.”

Just like this, but a deer, not a person.

That’s how I picture the old couple’s dialogue that hit it. I had to pick Emma up from Kindergarten so I couldn’t stick around and wait for the animal control truck. Hopefully they didn’t taze the poor thing.

Happy “Bring your dog to the movie theater day” Hunger Games?

I know today is National Puppy Day. Does this mean folks can bring their dogs with them to public places at will? The thing about dogs in public, is this- you either have a service animal or you have a pet. Pets that are small and undetectable, if it’s not bothering me, I don’t really care. Yes, I see ladies at Target with Pomeranians in their cart. Weird. But does it upset me? Not really.

A large lab type dog breed, brought in against it’s will to be forced to sit on the movie theater floor during a 2 hour film is a different story.

I was seated towards the back. I see a couple come in and get seats towards the front. The woman sits down and the guy is dragging this dog on its leash. It’s clearly afraid, doesn’t want to be there or something. It is NOT a service animal. Maybe that’s what they told the folks at the front. I thought there was a no-pet policy at the theater. I guess you tell people it’s a service dog and they give you the ‘all clear’.  As far as I know, service animals don’t cower.

Soon after that, a family comes in with an infant AND a toddler. OH- did I mention I was seeing The Hunger Games? Yeah. Totally stoked for this movie. Read all three books a year ago and was anxious for its release. Am I bringing MY kids? Sure, later this weekend. They are almost 12 and 9, have read the books and can tolerate certain subject matter. Would I take them if they were 2? NO.

This family sits in the row directly behind me. Throughout the film, the baby made noises, not awful ones, just little squawks and sounds now and then. The toddler had to be taken out multiple times for its chatty-ness. Can’t blame the poor thing.

I love movies. My kids love movies. James and I usually go to a movie on date nights. Between the years of 2000 and 2006, I didn’t go to a movie unless it was a children’s film, or with James and we got a sitter. That is what happens when you have children. You make sacrifices. You make choices. It’s the way life works. You don’t drag your babies to whatever film you happen to want to see at the time just because YOU want to see it. It’s not fun for them, you or the fellow movie goers.

Yes, it’s real extravagant of me to be able to go to a movie in the middle of the day. Or is it? Actually, it’s quite thrifty of me. Ticket prices are cheaper. My kids are in school. I have other obligations for them in the evenings with their activities, or if James and I were to go together, we would have to pay for a sitter. So going to a movie in the middle of the day, is really like meeting a friend for lunch. About 15 bucks and a couple hours of free time.

So when I go to a movie. I like to enjoy it. I don’t like it ruined by animals or children. Call me a bitch, it’s just how I feel. I don’t know why people are so insensitive to the etiquette of going to the theater. Lately, I have to shush people, tell them to stop kicking my seat or glare at them for letting their kid play Doodle Jump on their iPad during the film. I’m a rule follower. I silence my cell phone, I don’t talk to my neighbor, I try to chew my popcorn only during the loud scenes and not during the poignant, quiet ones. I don’t rustle around in my purse for Red Vines. WHY can’t other people do the SAME??? Oh, and by the way, the dog chose to bark right when Katniss kissed Peeta in the cave.

If you don’t know the story, don’t go to the movie and ask your neighbor a bunch of questions towards the end during the climactic scene. I don’t want to overhear, “no remember the poison berries….yeah no, that’s in the second one….. oh, what about Gale…. does President Snow come back…..where’s Buttercup?” Geeze people!! SHUT UP!

I make sure my pets are safe at home during the day, and that my children are somewhere appropriate as well. Again- I’ve made the effort, so can THEY!

Consideration folks. It’s free. It’s not hard. Just takes a couple of seconds to think of someone other than yourself. If you use some consideration, your pets and children will thank you.

Oh yeah, Hunger Games was good. Go see it. Just check the theater for pets and babies first.

Our cat is a boob man. Or teat guy.

This is a true story. No pets were harmed in the making of this blog.

They've lost that lovin' feelin'. The dog does NOT get this close anymore. Despite the cat's efforts, flowers and chocolates...

When mammals feed their babies it’s not called breast feeding, I know. It’s called nursing. Is nursing the only term that is correct? And why are cow’s udders called udders and not breasts and why are any non-human mammal’s parts called teats or something and not milk bags like we say in the ‘hood?  And when my son was 5 he asked why we drink cows milk but babies drink from their moms and why don’t we get human milk delivered by the milk man? Geezus! I don’t know! And so now my brain thinks of the county fair and a bunch of lactating women hooked up to those giant machines like they have in the dairy barn display and it’s just so wrong. So wrong.

So- onto my post.

Our cat, who I should just call Shazam, but is really named Pluto, has issues. He’s over a year old. He likes to nurse on our dog. They are almost the same size. She has nipples on her belly. So do I, but let’s not go there.

When the cat first came to live with us, he was tiny. 6 weeks and probably not weaned completely.  We got him from a man in the Safeway parking lot that had him in his van. He was under a pizza slice and a Whopper carton behind the back seat. We gave him $40 bucks for the little flea bag. Literally, he was covered in fleas. We stopped at Petco on the way home and got flea spray that I doused him with while holding him in the car while James drove. He fit in the palm of my hand and there wasn’t much he could do to fight it. I think he still tells me to ‘fuck off’ with his eyes.

Thankfully,  he got used to Sophie doggy pretty quickly. Sophie thought we got her a new play toy. An electronic one that moved. But once we were convinced she wasn’t going to eat him like a squirrel, we let them snuggle.

And so it began…. the cat found her nipples. Teats? What do you call them? Anyway… he began to nurse. Sophie let him do this. Three separate times. Each session lasted a good ten minutes.

I’ve nursed two children in my lifetime. It’s not fun. The first few times hurts like a mother fucker and I don’t mean that lightly. So I’m thinking the dog was very tolerant to allow this to occur.We thought this was like an Animal Planet miracle! Maybe there would be a book deal and we would be millionaires bringing our pets to book signings for this beloved children’s picture book of our pets!

Not so fast.

Well not long after this it was clear that Sophie didn’t like the idea of being the cat’s wet nurse. I was video taping the occurrences like crazy. Doesn’t the Today show or Ellen love this kind of stuff? It’s so cute- interspecies breast feeding- teat sharing, spayed dogs gone wild… whatever, this stuff is crazy good!

During the 4th attempt the cat made to dry nurse the dog, she snarled at him. He got the message and they haven’t cuddled since. I wondered if I needed to get some Lansinoh cream or a nipple shield for the dog. But she wasn’t going to play any longer.  Now they play and chase each other, wrestle and tussle. It’s really cute. But since Pluto isn’t buying Sophie dinner anytime soon, there’s no more foreplay from this bitch (only in the dog sense, she’s actually very sweet). For the record, she’s never had puppies and is spayed.  Sometime after his rejection by the dog,  Pluto resorted to sucking on this blanket we had.  He would drool and suck on the fleece nubbins until they were soaked.  Is there therapy for this cat? Wait- I haven’t Googled it, but I bet there is.

And soon after all this anyway, we had Pluto neutered. So now he is really confused. He’s a castrated cat with mother issues. He still tries to get near Sophie. She still thwarts him with her snarls. If only she understood his pain…

If you thought this was marginally funny- click over on the Circle of moms badge and vote for me. I just want to make it into the top 25. I’m quite the underachiever.

Bucket list item # 10; kiss a snake- check.

I have some fears and phobias like most people. Fear of heights. Fear of spiders (make that fear of anything that crawls with more than 4 legs). Fear of water. Drowning has got to be the worst way to die. Fear of snakes. Like Indiana Jones fear of snakes.

At my niece and nephews’ birthday party they had the Reptile Man. He’s famous in our parts and kids love him. He brings alligators, tortoises, snakes and lizards. In his snake collection he has a rattle snake, a cobra, a python and a boa.  If he had a tarantula, centipede or scorpion, I would have locked myself in the bathroom. Then he wouldn’t be the Reptile Man I guess, he’d be Crazy Insect Guy.

My only experience with boa constrictors was the poem by Shel Silverstein. Apparently, they don’t actually eat people. Boa’s have never killed a human. This is what the Reptile Guy tells all the trusting little 4 and 5 year olds he’s letting pet these creatures.

I’m not sure what possessed me to raise my hand when he asked for volunteers to hold the boa. This was by the end of his presentation and I was feeling comfortable with all these scaly things.  That, or it was the stench of all those cold blooded things in the room had fogged my senses. They did stink. Reason number 45 why Owen is never getting one as a pet.  Anyway, around my neck it goes and first thing it does is start smelling my face. You know- with it’s TONGUE.  It felt like it was kissing me. Now, I don’t have any expertise, but I think this snake knows high-end beauty products. Clearly, this snake has been to Nordstrom and Sephora and I must’ve smelled like home to it. It wouldn’t get out of my face. (See picture)

So whatever snake dancing Britney Spears did on stage at the Video Music Awards is child’s play compared to my canoodling the boa.

I’ve decided my training for Fear Factor is well under way. Next up- spiders.

Are you fucking out of your mind? As if.

Like next we’ll go to some kids party with bungee jumping and I’ll be all, ‘pick me, pick me’. Uhm no.

Am I still afraid of snakes you ask. Well, no. Not afraid of ones that are in crates with the Reptile Guy. However, I have no plans to go to Africa or Brazil any time soon and test my fears in the wild, thankyouverymuch.

What a wuss. She's hardly letting it touch her.

Can't you tell I'm smiling. It's saying, "Oh, I love how your skin smells."

Bucket list item # 10; kiss a snake- check.

I have some fears and phobias like most people. Fear of heights. Fear of spiders (make that fear of anything that crawls with more than 4 legs). Fear of water. Drowning has got to be the worst way to die. Fear of snakes. Like Indiana Jones fear of snakes.

At my niece and nephews’ birthday party they had the Reptile Man. He’s famous in our parts and kids love him. He brings alligators, tortoises, snakes and lizards. In his snake collection he has a rattle snake, a cobra, a python and a boa.  If he had a tarantula, centipede or scorpion, I would have locked myself in the bathroom. Then he wouldn’t be the Reptile Man I guess, he’d be Crazy Insect Guy.

My only experience with boa constrictors was the poem by Shel Silverstein. Apparently, they don’t actually eat people. Boa’s have never killed a human. This is what the Reptile Guy tells all the trusting little 4 and 5 year olds he’s letting pet these creatures.

I’m not sure what possessed me to raise my hand when he asked for volunteers to hold the boa. This was by the end of his presentation and I was feeling comfortable with all these scaly things.  That, or it was the stench of all those cold blooded things in the room had fogged my senses. They did stink. Reason number 45 why Owen is never getting one as a pet.  Anyway, around my neck it goes and first thing it does is start smelling my face. You know- with it’s TONGUE.  It felt like it was kissing me. Now, I don’t have any expertise, but I think this snake knows high-end beauty products. Clearly, this snake has been to Nordstrom and Sephora and I must’ve smelled like home to it. It wouldn’t get out of my face. (See picture)

So whatever snake dancing Britney Spears did on stage at the Video Music Awards is child’s play compared to my canoodling the boa.

I’ve decided my training for Fear Factor is well under way. Next up- spiders.

Are you fucking out of your mind? As if.

Like next we’ll go to some kids party with bungee jumping and I’ll be all, ‘pick me, pick me’. Uhm no.

Am I still afraid of snakes you ask. Well, no. Not afraid of ones that are in crates with the Reptile Guy. However, I have no plans to go to Africa or Brazil any time soon and test my fears in the wild, thankyouverymuch.

What a wuss. She's hardly letting it touch her.

Can't you tell I'm smiling. It's saying, "Oh, I love how your skin smells."

And then Emma said we should get the cat a hooka

The cat and Emma were playing together. Emma was taking the soft, cushy ottoman and putting it on top of her while the cat hopped on it to chase her fingers. I thought, what cat hops up on something that a person is carrying or lying under? This cat is like a circus cat! He’s amazing! He does all sorts of weird things. He will eat Cheetos out of your hands and nibble your fingers for the orange powder residue. He likes to climb up high places, like the stair rail and bookcases.  He used to use my leg like a tree and shimmy up it when I least expected it. I imagine he would swing on a trapeze if we had one of those too. By the way, I can swing on a trapeze. But that’s not what I’m writing about.

So I said to James, “We have a perfect cat. He’s fun and does really cool stuff. Too bad he’s a little crazy. If only we could calm him down some.”

And then it occurred to me like in an Oprah A-ha moment; “Do they have cat marijuana? you know something to mellow him out, the opposite of catnip?”

James, “Kitty marijuana?? The cat needs weed??”

Me, “Yes, maybe the cat could have a mini kitty bong. Do they make those?”

James, “No, they don’t make kitty bongs.”

Me, “Oh, wait, cats don’t have lips, so they couldn’t suck from a bong or pipe anyway. OH MY GOSH, (another A-ha moment), this is totally how Lewis Carroll got the idea for the Cheshire Cat in Alice in Wonderland! We need a pipe smoking cat. That smiles.” (Somehow, I’m thinking this is not what Oprah meant as an A-ha moment.)

Emma says from the floor under the ottoman, “we should get the cat a hooka, that’s what the Cheshire cat smokes in Alice in Wonderland.” See all the practical things classical literature teaches our children??

Genius. The girl is a genius. Thankyouverymuch.

That’s Emma underneath the ottoman with Pluto the wonder cat.

My daughter, the cats with captions and talk bubbles genius.

I have a weakness for pictures of kittens. I have a weakness for pictures of kittens with talk bubbles with swear words. I think they’re HILarIOUS.   She and I visit icanhazcheezburger.com and can waste a lot of time. Its captions are all misspelled, in case you didn’t know.

Emma is too young to be allowed to put swear words in her captions. But they’re still funny.

The other day she surprised me with this slide show. I think it’s awesome.