Tag Archives: big dog

Holiday Season = Holiday Donkeys

What is it about the holidays that turns everyone into raging hemorrhoids? Honestly, I believed the holiday season was about celebrating the season, spending time with friends and family, creating memories with the help of spiked eggnog and hot buttered rum beverages. My encounters with John and Mary Q. Public today were enough for me to say, “Forget it! I’m out of here!”

Just because you didn’t finish your gift shopping, party shopping, gift wrapping, gift packing, card mailing or Santa photo taking – does not create an emergency in my world. Let me repeat that:


People, if they could, would have driven their Ford pick ups, Subaru Outbacks and Honda Accords up and over my car today! Lucky for me I’ve been driving Tater’s Suburban around town rather than my Toyota Yaris. (If you haven’t met Tater yet, he’s the 180 pound Mastiff we’re watching through January 7th) No, that’s not your imagination. Tailgating my ass does indeed make me go slower. You can gesture all you want back there buddy, but this is a 40mph speed zone and I’m now going to drop to 35mph since you didn’t like my previous speed. And you know what? This Suburban is bigger than your Camry so back the hell off my fender. You hit this car and there’s going to be hell to pay with one very large, very protective, 180 pound Mastiff.

I get to the grocery store today. I’m delighted as I’ve managed to score one of those cute half carts – which are new to our area. (Alaska, in some regards, is behind the times.) Figuring I can get in and out in record time with my zippy half cart…. I did the best I could…considering the circumstances.

Grocery stores are informal community meetings. You always run into people you know. With this in mind, there should be some form of universal grocery store etiquette.

Want to stand and shoot the breeze? Move over to the side and stay out of the way. Standing three abreast in the main aisle, chatting about what Mary told Susan at the last quilting meeting — does not constitute proper etiquette. Excuse me, pardon me. See the chic here with the cute cart? I’m trying to get to the pasta sauce. No eye contact, no movement. Just discussion about Charlie telling Louise to stuff her fruitcake. EXCUSE ME! Oh you didn’t just roll your eyes at me did you? OMG, you three are blocking the entire aisle! Don’t glare at me like I just happened to interrupt the top secret meeting of the world dictators. That’s not you. Now MOVE!

Here’s a novel idea. If you’re using one of those motorized cart/scooters the store provides – you should have to complete some driver training first. It’s called, “look behind you before you flip the damn thing into reverse.” No, let me guess. You thought your peripheral vision was as exceptional as a bird of prey? Newsflash, in order to see what’s behind you – you have to actually turn your head and look. Can’t turn and look then yell out, “HEY! I’M BACKING UP!” In the often occurring chance that you hit me with your motorized cart/scooter it is proper etiquette for you to apologize to me. Please note, it’s not the other way around as I was here first.

If you’re needing to double check your grocery list, here’s a suggestion: rather than parking your cart between the milk fridge and the display table of cookies set up to entice the grab and go impulse buyers — move out of the way where someone can:

A.) Actually get around you.
B.) Not have to ask you to move so they can get a gallon of milk.

The milk fridge is a popular stop on everyone’s shopping list. Whole milk, 2% milk, non-fat milk, rice milk, almond milk, half and half, heavy cream, flavored coffee creamer and the ever fat packed eggnog….milk is popular! Why not stop near the sardine shelf? Or you rarely see people picking up tuna fish for that matter. How about double checking in the baby aisle – that’s low use. Better yet, the charcoal and lighter fluid aisle is also very low use – especially in the winter.

Just as much as I enjoy the cute little half carts, I like using the self check out. Although the computer will randomly say “attendant has been notified to assist you” and freezes until said attendant clears it – I feel like I’m being productive and moving things along quicker than a normal check out. Why is it people think standing within your personal space is going to make you go quicker? It’s tailgating with a grocery cart. Or tailgating with ginormous belly gut. Having to ask you to step back so I can go around my cart to get something out from the other side is not very polite. There are times when I want to cancel my entire order and insist they go in front of me. I imagine the conversation would go like this:

I cancel my order and leave everything where it’s at, turn to the idiot behind me and say, “You know what, why don’t you go ahead of me.”

Of course, they’d say “But you aren’t finished.”

My reply would be, “Actually, I’m finished with having you breath down my neck. So why don’t you just go ahead because apparently I can’t do this fast enough for you and apparently you think you’re really important so I insist you go. Really. I’ll wait.” Then I’d wave my hand at the machine like it’s a prize on The Price Is Right.

Today I had a young couple moving up on me first. Really? My solution? A hip check into my cart – causing it to shoot backwards into them. “Oh, I’m so sorry.” (quietly to myself: back the !@#$ up!)

As I pull out my wallet and start to tap the self check out machine to select my payment option a guy comes up and decides to put his stuff down at my machine. He’s now standing at my elbow. I look at him, smile and with teeth grinding kindness advise him, “I’ll be out of your way in a moment.” (silently addressing him as: jackass.) As I put my purse into the cute little cart and prepare to push out….I whip around and pretend I left something on the counter. Oh, so sorry, did I step on your foot?

Lastly. If you see me walking to my car – don’t follow me in yours. Health experts suggest you park far away so you can get in some exercise on the way to/from the shops. I like to park far away so people, who think I may be giving up a prime parking spot within 20 feet of the front door, follow me 200 feet away from the door. If you continue to creep along behind me I will pretend I’ve forgotten where my car is and turn around and go the other way. Yes, I am the person who will walk right past their own car if you continue to nudge me with your front fender in Row A3.

Last, but not least, smile and be nice. Nice matters. Did your mother used to tell you, “I hope your face doesn’t freeze that way!” Well if you could see the faces you’re making, you would be shocked. Third eyes are bulging out of foreheads, jaws are grinding teeth down to rice nubs, frowns are hanging down to knees and eyes are shooting daggers left and right. Don’t you think all that anger and annoyance is exhausting? Try being nice and see what happens, maybe then you’ll stop trying to run me down.


Sleepless in the Serengeti

I love to sleep.
Curled up under soft, fluffy blankets.
Toasty warm and drifting off into a blissful wonderland of dreams.
There’s one problem – I’m not very good at it.
I’m like a cat with a sleep disorder.

Sure, I may be tired when I get into bed but as soon as my head hits the pillow, my brain lights up like Times Square. Thoughts pop into my head on jumbo-trons. I’ve got stupid stuff running through my brain like the NYSE ticker and it’s 99% pointless gibberish.

“Don’t forget to call the office to check messages….maybe I should do that now…..I have to look up that eggnog french toast recipe….I could do that now…..Should we have mimosas on Christmas morning? I like mimosas. That would be good. Do we have champagne? We’ll have to get champagne. Well I need wrapping paper. Maybe I should get that at Costco…..and I could get the champagne too. Did I shut the garage door? I should go look. I’m sure I shut it. Damn, is he sleeping already? How does he do that? Annoying. What gifts do I have left to get for Christmas? My iTouch is right here, let me just see if I can Google that eggnog french toast recipe. I need to send out the holiday cards. Well, I really need to organize my files. Should I use the computer labels or the Brother labels for the manila files? The Brother labels would be easier but the computer ones are nicer. I need to get another banker box. I could stop at the office supply store on the way to Costco. I don’t think I need to get the wrapping paper at Costco, that’ll be enough for three years. Wonder where the cats are at? I could be a cat. If I could sleep. Maybe in my next life I could be a cat. A well taken care of cat. With a fluffy coat. And diamond collar. And weekly manicures. In a house with lots of sunshine. Is he snoring? Seriously. Shut it. You’re already sleeping – now you’re just rubbing it in. Oh, here’s the cats. One cat, two cat. Yeah, everyone is in bed. Tater, giant dog we’re watching for friends, is on the floor. This is nice. I could read my book. Glad I bought the Nook – I can read in the dark. But reading would defeat the sleeping agenda. I don’t want to miss the sleep window. Maybe I could try deep breathing. (after 6 breaths) This is stupid. That lady at the grocery looked stupid in that outfit today. Should’ve snapped a photo. Mental note: put phone in pocket for quicker access. Why do people think pajama pants are acceptable outside wear? In winter? With a fake fur coat? And rain boots? With ducks on them? Ahhh, the small cat is happily purring away….she’s so sweet. I love her. I love her purr. She’s so snugly soft. She’s sleeping. She’s so cute. What the hell was that? Sounded like a lion. We don’t have lions in Alaska. Oh, the dog. He’s snoring. I swear I felt the bed rumble. Maybe that was my better half farting. If I didn’t know the dog was in the bedroom I’d swear there was another man in here. Oh big cat is sleeping now. That’s nice. She must be dreaming. Sounds like a duck quaking. Or maybe a small dog toy that squeaks when you press it. That’s what she sounds like. I should write that down. The squeaker. Seriously, better half, could you hold down the snoring? Damn. Yes, I know you’re sleeping. As soon as your head hits the pillow you’re sleeping. What’s that like? Stop. Snoring. Now. Shut It. Quiet. Shhhhh! You’re very loud. Seriously. Shut up! Where are my ear plugs?”

Before putting in my ear plugs I listen to the sounds of the bedroom:
One small cat purring contentedly.
One large cat dreaming of being a duck in another lifetime.
One homo sapien snoring like elephant with a sinus issue.
One giant dog who sounds suspiciously like a lion.
One sleepless chick whose brain activity sounds like a freight train.

Blink. Blink. Blink.
Sleepless in the Serengeti.

Reasoning with 180 Pounds.

He’s big.
He’s tan.
He’s 180 pounds.
He’s almost as tall as me.
His feet are as big as my hand.
He’s a Mastiff.
He’s currently at my feet snoring.
His name is Tater.
He’s staying with us until January 7th.

Life with a giant dog is interesting. Have you ever tried to make dinner with a dog head under your elbow? His head is about the same size as a basket ball. “Excuse me….”

When Eric goes out to snow blow in the morning, Tater sits by the front door and moans. If I pet the cats too much, Tater moans some more. Therefore, he has a new nickname of Moaning Myrtle, who was a character in Harry Potter.

Tater is also a heavy breather, when he’s not heavy snoring. This woke me up the first night. Hence his night time name of “Darth Tater.” I figured out why he’s tired during the day – Tater spends a lot of time running in his dreams. At night I can hear him, as he sleeps in our room. I don’t look over the bed, as Tater has hearing like a bat and no doubt, would wake up immediately and inquire about going outside.

I learned that lesson the first night. I was up and Tater came over and looked at me and I swear he said, “well, if you’re up would you mind opening the back door for me? Your slippers are right here.”

Fear not, as with all animals in our house, he now has his official UFC fight name. We have FeeBee “The Snuggler”, Liggy “The Kibble Snatcher” and now Tater “The Hedgehog”. He is slightly startled when we yell out his name, although he did enjoy UFC 124 with GSP and Koscheck. He too was ecstatic when GSP won.

Tater goes everywhere with me. In the morning we go to the gym. He sits in the Suburban (he comes with his own accessories). If I have a meeting downtown, he goes with me and waits in the car. Errands, especially those involving drive up windows, are the best -as we are guaranteed a handful of dog treats. As soon as we pull up Tater immediately puts his head out the window – to let them know “HEY SMALL HORSE HERE… SEND SNACKS….and not just one!”

So our first day of traveling around together, I came out of the post office and Tater had moved from the back of the Suburban to the front passenger seat. I got in and told him to get in the back and he reluctantly climbed back over the seat.

Next stop was the grocery. I come out and can spy Tater’s enormous head from multiple cars away. He’s back in the front seat. I hop in and there is no convincing him to get in back. So there we go in the Suburban, me and my giant dog, whose trying to figure out a comfortable sitting position up front.

After nearly a month’s stay with us – traveling all over, Tater is going to need a vacation when his parents come home. HA!