Furry Flashbacks – What the…??

During the 17 years that I have been a doggie mom, I have asked, “What the…??” numerous times. Most of the time, I end up laughing and shaking my head. But one time in particular left me thinking that I had lost my mind.

I was heading to the gym, but before I left, I put some frozen chicken breasts (four or five) in a glass casserole dish and set them on the counter to defrost. I slid the dish as far back on the counter as I could and chuckled while I did. I remember specifically thinking, “Rocky’s not going to bother this. He’s too old and it’s too far back on the counter.” (This was pre-Jacques.) With that, I went to the gym.

When I returned home about two hours later, I was greeted with great fanfare (as usual) by Rocky. He escorted me through the kitchen barking and dancing the whole way. I got to the living room and stopped. Something was wrong. I looked back at the kitchen but didn’t notice anything out of place, so I continued through the living room to let Rocky out. I stopped again… I had this nagging feeling. Something wasn’t right. I went back to the kitchen, turned the light on and quickly looked around, but, again, nothing caught my attention. As I turned to leave, it dawned on me. The casserole dish had been moved.

I walked over to inspect it. It was only moved a few inches… but there was now only one chicken breast in it. And there was no drips down the side of the cabinet; no liquid of any kind on the floor. There was no indication of what happened to that chicken. As I stood and looked at the crime scene, it was obvious who the culprit was, but I couldn’t figure out how he did it. I tried to imagine the scene and just couldn’t. For a few minutes I really felt like I was losing my mind. Surely I didn’t imagine putting out all that chicken? Why would I only set out one breast?? If Rocky ate them, how did he get them and a) not make a mess or b) not break the glass dish? Was it Ancient Aliens? Or was I just losing my mind??

IMG_0213The casserole dish was left flush with the back wall on a 2+ft. deep counter top.

I still have no idea exactly how Rocky managed to get to the chicken, but it’s obvious that’s what happened. He, of course, played dumb when I asked him about it. (And don’t think eating all that chicken kept him from eating his dinner!) From then on, if something needed to be defrosted that day, I put it in the sink. I wasn’t taking any chances after that! Oh, Rocky… what the…???

IMG_1332“Missing chicken? I don’t know what you’re talking about…”

Happy Rocky-tober 2015

For our family, October is a special month. Sometime during this month, 15 years ago a puppy was born. This wasn’t just any puppy. It was a puppy that would forever change my life and live in my heart. I witnessed this little puppy get hit by a truck – not once, but TWICE. I watched in amazement as he got up and walked off. And as I rushed him to the vet, my heart melted as he climbed into my lap. This little guy was down, but he certainly wasn’t out – and that’s how he got the name Rocky. That would be the theme of his life. He was able to take the things life threw at him in stride, and while he would occasionally get down, he was a fighter… he was never out.

He was the goofiest, most frustrating, most lovable, most “special” dog I ever met. So, in honor of the “special”-ness that was Rocky, I would like to wish you a Happy Rocky-tober! Be kind to the lost, wounded, and special souls in your life. And always carpe canine!

happy_rocky-tober

New Toy

I am now an instructor at our local two-year college. Jacques hates how much time I have to spend working on lesson plans and lecture notes. He doesn’t like or understand that he can’t sit in my lap while I feverishly work on my next lesson. There’s a lot of grumbling and mumbling coming from the little pork chop as he voices his displeasure. In contrast, there’s a lot of giggling and border-line hysterical laughter coming from my husband, A3. Why is that? Well, amongst my school supplies, he’s found a new toy. This “toy” has turned a grown man into a giggling little boy who just can’t help himself.

I’m not going to lie – it’s pretty hilarious. (I mean, it took my late German shepherd about 30 seconds to figure out that I was messing with him.) But I also feel a little bad for my totally neurotic, OCD Westie who will look for that light for close to an hour at a time. (I wish I was exaggerating, but I’m not.) Not even an offer of a treat or a snuggle will break his Westie focus. He. Must. Get. The. Light.

IMG_3924

“Must. Get. Light.” (a few minutes later) “Wait! Where did it go??” (20 minutes later) “I know it is here somewhere!”

A3’s argument is that it keeps Jacques occupied and keeps him out of my lap while I work. That is a true statement. I just worry about the potential “harm” it may do to his already insane-too-tightly-wound-neurotic-OCD brain.

Haikode Throw Down

A few weeks ago, I was asked to teach a science class at the local college. I didn’t have much time to prepare coursework before the semester began. Needless to say, I have been VERY busy. A certain someone has been very unhappy about that. He and I had a haikode (haiku + ode) throw down the other day… it went something like this:

Jacques:
play with me right now
you have been working so long
I am begging you

I don’t ask for much
just bones, snuggle time, and treats
play or I will pout

Me:
just minutes ago
we played until you walked off
play, stop, play, stop, aargh!

I have played with you
now I work to buy you treats
you’re not neglected

dueling_haikodes_playHis life is not that bad – no matter how much he complains!

Just Jacques – Q&A

“Just Jacques” features posts that are written by the handsome Westie himself and often feature only pictures of him (hence “Just Jacques”). He’s not the least bit full of himself. Not at all.

Why hello. A number of my fans have asked questions about me, so I thought I would take time out of my busy nap schedule to answer them.

jacques_Q&AQ: How can you stand being so cute?
A: It is hard, but someone must do it. It is a natural talent I was born with.

Q: Why is your name French?
A: That is like asking why the sky is bleu. It just is and it is perfect that way. My Mommy says says that I am Frettish – part French, part Scottish. I do not know about that, but I do know that I am ALL handsome.

Q: Your Mom says you nap a lot. Is that true?
A: Mais oui – of course it is! How do you think I maintain my devilishly good looks? Beauty sleep is the key.

Q: Are you a picky eater?
A: The food here is… pedestrian at best. It is a little too bourgeoisie for my taste. The water is passable, but the kibble leaves much to be desired.

Q: You are a Westie so naturally you’re pretty high strung, aren’t you?
A: High strung? Mais non! I am focused. I have a keen sense and laser focus which causes me to… BUNNY!!!! Must. Get. Bunny!!!

Q: Do you prefer squeaky tennis balls or Lamb Chop?
A: Bunny! Bunny! Bunny! Huh? What? Squeaky toys? Yes! I like them.

Q: Bones or treats?
A: Bones?? Treats?? OH MY GOSH! OH MY GOSH! OH MY GOSH!! YES!! GIVE ME ONE! GIVE ME ONE!! NOW, NOW, NOW!!!!!!!!!

As Jacques collapses into a total meltdown while waiting for a b-o-n-e, I (Jacques’ Mom) will say, thanks for the questions. If you have any other questions that you’d like to ask Jacques, please feel free to leave them in the comment section below! Maybe next time we shouldn’t mention b-o-n-e-ses or t-r-e-a-t-ses though…

Jacques Almost Has A Meltdown

I may or may not like to torment Jacques (don’t judge me!). I would link you to a few examples, but really, all you have to do is read just about any post to see that. This particular time Jacques and I had been home alone all day and, in my defense, we were both bored. So, I had a brilliant idea that started like this…

IMG_3593And ended in Jacques almost having a meltdown. Luckily, I just happened to have my phone handy to capture it…

This is the abbreviated video of what happened. He went on like this – squeaking, unintentionally kicking, and subsequently chasing the tennis balls for another 10 minutes while I sat and cackled like a mad woman. He finally wore himself out and I had laughed so hard my side hurt. It was a good way to kill 15 minutes, Really it was a win-win. 🙂

Furry Flashbacks – The Time Niko Almost Ate My Friend

A number of our blogoshpere friends know that mid-July is ruff at our house. We lost Rocky on July 14, 2014 and Niko on July 22, 2010. They were both beloved family members. To honor Niko’s memory, I decided I would share one of my favorite stories about him. It still makes me cry – but they’re tears of laughter. I can never get through the story without laughing hysterically. I hope it at least gives you a chuckle.


In the summer of 2000, my dear friend, Shaun*, came to visit. Shaun was a big guy (like 6’5”), very amiable (he’s Canadian, after all), and while quite ornery, he was (and still is) a genuinely good guy. None of that mattered to Niko. For whatever reason, Niko didn’t like Shaun.

One day during his visit, Shaun offered to get groceries and cook a curry dinner at my place. I gave him a key to the house and thought nothing more of it. While sitting at lunch with a friend, I realized that Shaun would be entering the house without me… and I wasn’t sure how Niko would handle that. My friend and I raced back to the house and saw the front door ajar. Before he had stopped the car, I jumped out and started running towards the door. I heard fierce barking and ran faster. I hit the door full force and was stopped in my tracks. The door wouldn’t budge. I was able to poke my head through the crack and couldn’t believe my eyes. There, in the small foyer, was my giant friend crouched down into a ball. Across the room was Niko – ears back, teeth showing. He was not about to let this guy into the house!

Don’t let his smile fool you… He didn’t like strangers coming into his house!

I couldn’t quite process what was going on. There were grocery sacks next to Shaun, and between Niko and him was a large package of chicken. I just stood there for a second not knowing what to do. Finally I shoved my way past Shaun and into the house. I yelled Niko’s name which seemed to get his attention momentarily before he refocused on the “intruder.” After calling his name a few more times and “petting” Shaun in a lame attempt to show Niko that Shaun wasn’t a threat, Niko finally came around and ran to me.

Once the situation was diffused, Shaun, our friend, and I finally started to laugh at the absurdity of it all. I Shaun asked if the chicken was supposed to be our dinner; he said yes. Then I asked him why it was in the middle of the room. He told me that he was hoping Niko would rather eat the chicken than him. Fair enough.

From what I remember, Shaun gave Niko some curried chicken that night which finally won Niko over (or at least helped him decide to be a little nicer to Shaun).

*Shaun isn’t the guy’s real name, but it’s close enough.