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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The Leader Of The Pack, Vroom Vrooom!

You ever see The Dog Whisperer? I friggin’ love that show. I loved it way before Daisy and Darla came into my life. Now I can actually apply what I learn… As Seen on TV. Sorry, I couldn’t resist. I’ve gotten the whole family into Cesar Milan’s show and all of his “chhh” ways.

I use “shhh” and “No” just because that is what works for me. If you haven’t seen the show, here’s a mini description. If you have seen the show, skip the rest of this paragraph. He is a dog trainer who can get any dog whooped into shape by making the sound “chhh” at them, along with tugging their leash when they act up, and remaining calm yet assertive with the animal. He says you have to be a good pack leader to your dogs, so they will know who is in charge.

Since my old man watched the show once, maybe twice, he has tried like the dickens to “chhh” his way into the hearts of the puppies’ and get some good behavior out of them. I think he is jealous that the dogs listen to me better than they do to him. The fact is, besides being with the dogs more, I am firm and consistent, like I am raising our kids who also, incidentally, listen to me better than their dad.

When he comes home from work, he is hoping for this grand welcome from the dogs, which I see as annoying behavior. I’ve been training them to stay calm and quiet when someone familiar comes over. They should know the sound of his truck and not freak out, barking their heads off when he comes home. He wants them to be thrilled to death to see him, barking, wagging, jumping and he probably wouldn’t even mind a little “Happy to see me” pee.

Have you seen dogs like that? They tinkle just a little because they are so glad to see you. That is by far one of the most annoying behaviors. Thankfully, our dogs don’t wag the piss out of themselves.

I also think the dogs shouldn’t run to the door and attack whoever is coming in by jumping up on their legs. (Specifically when the kids’ friends come over.) Sure the dogs are tiny, but what if they make someone fearful? It’s just one of those things I don’t want to deal with, so I run around shhhing them like crazy. A dog, or in this case, two puppies should be crazy and playful when it’s okay. And like Cesar says, they should be calm and submissive when I say.

Every once in a while if the kids are annoying me, I try it out on them, “chhh!” Or if Mr. Lane is in the mood and I’m not, I’ll put my hand up toward his face and say, “chhh!” If I find the toilet lid up, I point to it then to him and “chhh!” It’s become a running joke in this house. Lane 1 chhhed me when I told him to take out the trash. Lane 2 chhhed me when I told her to get off of the phone and do her homework. Mr. Lane tried chhhing at me when I told him to take the dogs out. Tried is the key word there. He laughed at himself halfway through his c and hhh.

Yesterday, while riding the LO Racer, yes I still have it, I was watching The Dog Whisperer and a commercial came on that really cracked me up. There was a woman who was “chhh!” ing at her husband for doing things like picking at dinner as she cooked. I nearly fell off of my bike because that is us! We totally wrote that commercial.

Slightly off topic and x-rated, but totally relates to the rest of this post… there was an urban legend running amok a long time ago about a huge group of people who were having a surprise party. They snuck into this woman’s house and hid in her room. The woman, who came home from work, didn’t go straight to her room. Instead, she went into the kitchen, stripped her clothes off, slathered herself in peanut butter and let her dog lick it off. Wondering where she was, her partygoers went looking for her. And poof, surprise! They got an eyeful of the birthday girl in her peanut butter covered birthday suit. It was a disgusting story. Plus it was bullshit. It was still a funny story to tell. Mr. Lane told it more than anyone.

Because of that urban legend, there have been amusing accusations from my old man, like, “Lois, where is the peanut butter?”

“Do I have to buy Skippy in bulk now?”

“I can’t find the peanut butter! Lois, are the dogs in training again or are you celebrating your birthday early?”

“They only listen to you because you are the keeper of the peanut butter!”

Introducing fictitious people to our animals, Mr. Lane says, “Welcome to our home. This is Jiff, Skippy, and Peter Pan,” he laughs trying to get through the only brand names of peanut butter he can think of. And he is sure his joke never dies. Seriously, he tells it every other day.

Last night I added, “Don’t forget our Chocolate Lab, Reese’s.”

“Reese’s! Hahaha! Oh God, Lo, you kill me. Is that Reese’s cup or Reese’s Pup?!”

You can see my old man and I have our differences in raising puppies, yet keep our sense of humor intact. But by watching the show, he sees why I am so firm. I don’t want to have two assholish dogs, and to be perfectly honest, he doesn’t either. He just wishes and thinks there is a way to raise them with no discipline or ground rules, and nothing but happy wagging tails and frantically licking faces can be the end result. Too bad Mr. Lane.

So just for shits and giggles, in my very best Hispanic accent, I told him I was watching the Dog Whisperer and Cesar said, “To be a good pack leeeader, jou need two tings, one, lots and lots a patients, and a big jar a peanut budder.”

Because he is either, dumb or gullible, Mr. Lane, laughing his head clear off his body, looked at me and said, “Hahahaha! Oh my God! Did he really say that?”

Realizing he was serious, I nearly laughed my belly button knot loose.

This is not going to turn into a pet blog. This will be the last you read of the dogs unless something extraordinary happens like they start shitting gold nuggets.

Tune in next time to read all about Lane 1 and his pimpery.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

All Together Now, Awww, You Know You Wanna!

Wordless weekend:



Monday, December 10, 2007

Holiday Hoopla: Take 4

Oh the in-laws. You know there isn’t much more than them to send me into a raging case of Turret’s Syndrome, right? Only, my mother in-law isn’t a fan of all that fuckery, so rather than cursing up a blue streak, I resorted to less colorful phrases during my bouts.

Like, when I finally settled in after being up all night with the puppies, I simply asked, “For Heaven’s sake! Where in Sam Hill are you all going at 6 in the morning? Some people are trying to sleep after pulling an all-nighter of wrestling fudge dragons.”

Clearly, there was reason to use harsher language, but I was behaving.

Because my sister in-law, her husband and their three children arrived the day before us, they got both guest rooms, couches and all of the indoor sleeping areas. Mr. Lane and I were set up in the four-season porch on an air mattress. Add hyperactive puppies to the porch, and there wasn’t much sleeping taking place.

My comment about that situation was something like, “What in tar nations are they thinking, making us sleep on the porch while the dag-gum dingleberries get all the comfy beds? This is horse feathers, I tell ya!”

Mr. Lane was proud of me for using my big girl words. He was annoyed that I was still talking at 3 a.m.

Sorry, I get easily sidetracked. You are all still probably wondering, “Did they find treasure in the morning? Did they get eaten by wild beasts? Did Man vs. Wild save the children from a ferocious camel attack?” How about no, to all of the above. They did freeze and likely caught pneumonia, however.

After all of those hours, digging the rocky hillside, all they found were vintage beer cans. Upon the discovery, Man vs. Wild was very excited. “This is before pop tops. These are going to be worth… big bucks! Richie, get online and see what these babies are going for on eBay. Move it!”

Richie Rich who also had a rough night, worrying about his upcoming surgery, rolled his tired bloodshot eyes in his dad’s general direction as he typed, clicked and typed some more.

“Well?! Are they so rare… you can’t find any for sale?”

“Um… no, Dad. They are… in that condition… add rust and holes… maybe three bucks each, at best.”

Frantically, he insisted, “We have to keep digging. I know we will find more… in better condition. This was someone’s drinking place, guys. There’s got to be… hundreds of cans right in this vicinity.”

He speculated about how this beer-drinking man would hide from his old lady. “He’d tell her he was going hunting or collecting firewood… and he’d be out here drinking his heart out. Who knows, maybe he dropped some money while he was out in the woods.”

I shared a quiet moment with my nephew, while his father was preoccupied in his own treasure hunting fantasy land. And just like a good Lane boy, he used his condition to get out of the great hunt.

“Oh cheese and crackers, his treasure hunt is poppycock, kid. Hold onto your chest when you tell your dad that you don’t feel well enough to keep digging,” I winked at that boy.

Dec. 12th, Richie Rich is having a major surgery to repair his sunken rib cage. It’s a birth defect, but until now, he’s 17, it hasn’t caused him any problems. Recently, he has become winded easily and his doctor said his sternum and ribcage are compressing his heart and lungs. With no other options, he is undergoing a huge reconstruction of his chest. It is expected to be an excruciating procedure with a long recoup time.

His father patted his head and told him his cut would be safe in his hands. We high-fived as soon as he turned his back.

The rest of the kids weren’t lucky enough to have a serious condition to fall back on. Out they went again for several more hours. Red dripping noses returned. Dry cracked fingers held dirt-covered shovels. Tired little people and their big dumb leader finally completed their mission.

Their treasure was all rust. Why he brought it back to the house remains a mystery, but I’m sure my in-laws were thrilled to pay extra for hauling it all away. After all of that, he left his “treasure” to the trash man.

Seeing how this family holiday turned into a trip from Hell, we decided to play a game with the kids. The game is called Mad Gab. We set up our teams, Couches vs. Potatoes. In the end, Couches (my team) lost by one point. But not before we had some very colorful answers.

One person reads what is on the card and the teams have to be first to guess what it is supposed to say. For example, “These If Hill Wore” is The Civil War. You have to say it back to yourself fast and then the answers come to you.

My niece Marissa was killing me. She kept saying things that were so far off or was repeating the words just as the reader had. I don’t think she scored us Couches any points but she was laughing so hard, I knew points didn’t matter to her.

“Pooh seek hats!” Marissa excitedly said.

“Pussycats,” I corrected.

“That’s right! Couches get another point.”

“Hahaha, poo see! Hahahaa!”

I don’t know why but every time it was our turn, we came up with answers that were down right raunchy. Like, “Bat Tree Snot Ink Looted” I excitedly answered incorrectly, “Bitchy shot and looted!” Marissa and Lane 2 nearly pissed their pants from laughing so hard. Maybe it was all of the holding back on the cuss words that caused me to screw the win up for our team. Whatever the case, batteries not included was the correct answer.

The in-laws are on their way here for a few days for Richie Rich’s surgery. Who knows, maybe I’ll get some more material from those no good yellow bellied sap suckers.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Holiday Hoopla: Take 3 (See below for parts 1 & 2)

Have you seen Man Vs. Wild? If you have, you can jump ahead a couple of paragraphs. It’s a new program where a man is dumped off in the wilderness to fend for himself. He faces lots of obstacles along the way. In his survival, he must find his own sources of food and water.

Why? I have no clue. I mean, it isn’t like any of his viewing audience is ever going to be in that situation or need to know which bugs and slugs are edible and which are loaded with debilitating, make you shit your pants poison, for cripes sake!

So after accidentally finding the show, I saw this man cut open a fucking camel. Was the camel about to become a new Fox TV special? When Camels Attack! Was he defending himself against the dangerous humptastic beast? No. He was, hmmm… how can I put this so it doesn’t make you regurgitate your breakfast? Okay, if you just ate or are eating right now, skip the rest of this paragraph. He sliced it open to get at the water stored in the animal. He reached his hands into the camel’s hacked up body, scooping out “water” and proceeded to drink it from his cupped hands. Do I need to tell you that I threw up? No it wasn’t just a little throw-up in my mouth, this was projectile, holy shit, all out Exorcist style spin my head right ‘round, baby right ‘round like a record baby, vomit. For the love of all that is good, why?!

As he is eating, drinking, or simply finding his way in a remote location, he is very serious, speaking in a William Shatnerish kind of… pausing for dramatics… way.

How does this relate to part three of my holiday with family? Well, my in-laws don’t really make me feel like I was dropped off in the wilderness to fend for myself. They aren’t nearly that bad, most of them, anyhow. After our two-and-a-half hour behind schedule asses arrived at their house, we saw bodies piling out of the house to greet us. Wow! It was the middle of the night, and they were still awake. My head kept saying, “How do you ditch people who stayed up all night awaiting your arrival? Well, ya silly head, you tell yourself that they really just wanted to see their son/brother!”

It was brilliant. I gave my greeting hugs and kisses. I thanked them for waiting up, and off I went, to sleep… on an air mattress… on the…porch? I was too tired to care.

Although it went from freezing to sweltering on that porch, and I was on puppy patrol all night, I was not Man vs. Wild, but he was there. Oh yes, he was there.

See here’s the deal, my father in-law just kind of exists. He doesn’t say much, mostly because he can’t get a word in edgewise with all of us around. When he does cram a word in, it’s usually funny. Mr. Lane is a lot like his dad. The two of them spent most of the visit hiding in the garage.

Next, my mother in-law is a cooking fool. She would never let HER kids (regular, in-law, step, grand, dog or otherwise) fend for themselves. She whipped up breakfast, lunch and dinner for all 11 of us every day. I have to give my boy, Lane 1 credit. He offered help every time she was in the kitchen… without being asked by me or Mr. Lane. Turns out, he is a pretty good cook too.

My sister in-law is laid back and nothing can phase her. I’m pretty sure the kids could tell her they drank a camel’s water and she would go on with whatever she was doing, only adding, “That’s nice, honey. Go play with your camel now.”

Then there is my brother in-law. He is Man vs. Wild. Not that he is a risk taker, or even at one with nature, but he is about as smart as camel water. He discovered that my in-laws have a metal detector, and that is when the transformation occurred. He went from couch potato, spots watcher to nature guru, treasure hunting, almost rich and famous guy… in two, point two seconds.

So there we were, enjoying the holiday with family out in the hills of Missouri. It’s beautiful there. Deer, elk, moose, black bears, bobcats, mountain lions and grey and red fox roam free, eagles soar over the water. Most of the wild animals do their hunting at dawn and dusk.

Camel Water Boy thought that would be a good time to hunt for treasure with the metal detector.

“You do know there are some dangerous animals out there don’t you?” I asked.

Puffing out his chest, he said, “They aren’t that wild. Come on kids.”

He dragged all of the kids out into the woods. Each had a shovel. Few went willingly. It was very much like the book Holes. “Dig, you little brats!” I’m sure he commanded.

The weather was really cold and really windy and they were out for hours. Upon their empty-handed return, Camel Water Boy said, “I’m setting the alarm clock for 6 and we’ll get started nice and early.” A groan came over the children.

Did they find treasure in the morning? Did they get eaten by wild beasts? Did Man vs. Wild save the children from a ferocious camel attack? Tune in Monday and read part 4 of Holiday Hoopla.

Oh hey, guess what?! Home Fires is three years old. Happy birthday to my blog! Have a great weekend, everyone!