Archive for the ‘This Ceases to be Funny’ Category

Dogs Just Wanna Have Fun

April 19, 2011

Sugar’s been having a dog problem lately.

It’s springtime, and unsterilized animals are out and about looking for love.  Sugar got home last Tuesday, and found an unneutered pit bull in his fenced yard.  Honestly, how do these things happen to him?  This is the second time a dog has gotten into his yard trying to live there.  Benjamin dug his way under a weak spot on the fence line about 5 years ago and settled in nicely, which is another story.

The latest guy was not one bit interested in leaving.  He seemed oblivious to the other dogs who were frantic in barking at the newcomer.  Fortunately, no one started a fight, and Sugar got all the dogs in the house except Rosie.  Blue wanted to make sweet passionate love to Rosie but she kept eluding him.  I finally got a slip leash around his neck, and we got him out the open gate.  He still wouldn’t leave, but ran up and down the fence line searching for a spot to get in.  Or over – he wasn’t picky about how he got in as long as it happened.  Sugar kept attempting to chase him home, but Blue, for that was his name, was not having it.

Later that evening, Sugar heard someone walking along the back of his property calling, “Blue.  BLUUUUuuue.”  It was a young woman, Blue’s owner, and Sugar gave her a leash to get him home. 

Blue came back the next day.  Sugar called the owner who promised him she was going to put out a tie-line between two trees.  Sugar suggested getting a neuter in addition, but the girl’s boyfriend didn’t want a neuter, neither for himself or the dog.  Sugar and I talked about what to do with the dog, and it seemed like the dog was going to end up at the shelter or the hospital or the graveyard from running wild, following along behind his hormones.  I thought that the dog needed to go to the shelter for quarantine in order to make an official statement, and if the owners wanted to reclaim him, they would reclaim a vaccinated, *neutered* dog.  That’s the way the game plays around here with animal control.

The next day Sugar heard the boyfriend because, after all, Blue was back and the owners were out calling for him. 

The next day, the girl said that she was going to take him to live with her sister.

By last Sunday, the dog ran when he saw Sugar, although Sugar had stopped yelling at the dog to go home, and the owners had stopped returning Sugar’s telephone messages to get the dog. 

This morning, Sugar called with a report that Blue had spent the night outside his house, leaning against the fence and howling.   Blue would sleep for a bit, then wake up and howl a lonesome, mournful howl.

Today, when Sugar came home from work, Blue was IN his house.  Not in Blue’s house, but Blue was in Sugar’s house.  He had gotten under, through, or over the 5′ chain link fence and was mingling with his new friends.  Sugar leaves a door open in nice weather for the dogs to come and go, and Blue had made himself quite comfortable. 

I took a break from work, headed to Sugar’s house, and we managed to trap Mr. Blueballs, and transport him to the shelter.  But before we trapped him, I took this picture of a happy dog enjoying the day. 

The black dog in front of Blue is Pup Pup. The dog on the left nearest the gate is Honey, and the brown brindle is hotstuff Rosie.

Sugar talked to the girl this evening when she was out calling the dog, and before he had a chance to tell her what we had done, she said the dog was so much trouble, and she didn’t have anyone to help her, and she was just going to take him to the shelter…

Millions of Cats

April 14, 2011

When I was a little girl, we would have library time occasionally during the school day when we could go to the school library to check out books, and the librarian would read a story to us.  She had careful, clear pronounciation, and she seemed to like the English language just a little bit too much.  She pronounced all the syllables and never dropped any consonants.  I remember that she read “Homer Price” by Robert McCloskey to us, and we were delighted when the diamond bracelet was found in the doughnut.  She read some of the “Little House on the Prairie” books to us, too.  But one of my favorites was “Millions of Cats” by Wanda Ga’g.  I didn’t know at the time that this was considered to be the first picture book, or that it had been written in 1928 and had won awards.  I loved the way the words flowed.  And the illustrations were wonderful and whimsical, and they flowed, too, along with the words.

File:Wanda Gag Millions of Cats-book cover.jpg

 “…hundreds of cats, thousands of cats, millions and billions and trillions of cats…”

*****

It’s that time of year when cats reproduce in profusion, and this year is no different.  The shelter took in over 80 cats, not including kittens, in January and February.  This year seems to be harder to catch cats in baited traps.  They do not seem to be interested in food.  They are more interested in enjoying the day.

Last week started my cat-trapping project.  So far, it’s resulted in one possum, one ear-tipped cat, one raccoon, several nights of nothing, one feral last week, one feral this week, and two sick kittens.  It’s been discouraging.  I haven’t had any luck with my regular spot at the feeding station in the woods, so I branched out. 

There’s the old abandoned house further out my road where Cheryl the Feral kept a litter one time. 

No luck here.

There was a black cat strolling along my woods who only seemed to be passing through.

So I decided to set two traps at once, and I trapped…

Safety inspector Cali approves the hav-a-hart method of trapping. Mr. Possum and Ms. Scrappie are a trifle annoyed at the inspection.

Possum and Scrappie

I released Mr. Possum, and then recorded the release of Ms. Scrappie.  She. Was. Angry. 

Warning:  if you have a cat within earshot of the video, your cat is going to go nuts.

Then there was the guy that committed suicide about three weeks ago.  He was an alcoholic with a death sentence of cancer, and he left behind 3 dogs and 3 cats.  The dogs were in foster care, but the cats were left to fend for themselves.  A local cat rescue lady was able to get two of the cats, and last night she trapped the third.

Wheres my daddy?

And as a small bonus, she was able to catch 2 kittens, so near death from malnourishment and dehydration that she merely picked them up and put them in a box, where they could have climbed out over night, but were too weak to only stay in the box on the porch. 

And here we are, many years later, and there are still “…hundreds of cats, thousands of cats, millions and billions and trillions of cats…”

What Was Lost Is Found, and What Was Found Is Lost

February 23, 2011

This morning I headed out to work, after doing a bit of satisfactory blogging.  The day promised to be a pretty one, and the redbud trees bloomed out on either side of the two-lane highway heading into my little town. 

I passed by Sugar’s house on the way, like I always do, and a bit further along, closer to town, I saw the shape of a large dog lying half-on, half-off the road, on a little bridge that goes over a swampy area.  It was unsettling to see that she was deceased, and also that she looked like one of Sugar’s dogs, Rosie. 

Rosie is a brown brindle that just came running up Sugar’s driveway a few years ago.  We didn’t know she was a brindle because she had no hair, a condition caused by one of the most excessive cases of demodectic mange that I had ever seen.  I had stopped in to see him, and was standing in his driveway talking to him when his dogs starting making a fuss at the fence.  This pathetic dog was running up the driveway to the fence to say hello.  He took her in, had her treated, and she became very comfortable at the Little Big House.

But this morning, things were not looking so good for Rosie.  I went on to work, explained the situation to my employer, and headed back to Sugar’s house to see if by some stroke of luck Rosie was there.  I drove to his house by an alternate route so I didn’t have to drive by the dog’s body again, and pulled into his long, shaded driveway and drove up to the gate.  All the dogs came out to say hello, all except Rosie.  I counted the dogs, looked them all in the face, and still came up one short. 

I set the trip odometer so that I could see how far Rosie had traveled when she was hit.  By the time I got back to the dog’s body, I had gone more than a mile.  What had made her travel so far from home?  Why had she dug out from under the fence?  I pulled over to the side on the road, still on the bridge, and put on my flashers.  I had some blankets in the back of the car, and I used one for a sling.  It was Rosie, alright, but I didn’t remember that she had a streak of white on her chest.  In any case, she died quickly.

I took her body back to work and prepared it to be picked up for cremation.  Then I announced that I had to go back to Sugar’s house and walk the fenceline to see where she had dug out and block it up so that no one else could get out.  Sugar was at work, and I didn’t dare call him.  While I was driving, I was rehearsing what to say, when to call, and how to break it to him that Rosie had gotten out somehow, and had gotten killed, and that I had taken her body back to the vet’s office where it would await pick-up for cremation. 

I pulled into his driveway again and drove up to the gate, and looked at all his dogs frolicking about in the springtime sunshine, and I counted heads again and looked at their faces.  No Rosie.  I walked the fenceline and saw absolutely no spot where she could have gotten out.  I headed back to the car and stopped to say good-bye to the dogs, who seemed inordinately happy in the face of tragedy, and said, “Good-bye guys.  I’ll see you later.  Good-bye… Rosie??!!”

For there at the gate with the other dogs was Rosie, stretching, and yawning, and blinking her sleepy eyes.  She had been asleep in the house the whole time.

The Best Call Last Week

December 28, 2010

Every day we get crazy calls at the vet’s office.  Sometimes I have to put the person on hold (Could you hold just a moment please?) so that I can catch my breath (I need to put you on hold so I can roll my eyes and curse a little.).  Sometimes I just pause, let the message sink in, inhale, and reply.

Caller:  “Oh, hello, thank you for being there today!  I know it’s right before Christmas, but my cats really have a problem.  They’re very lethargic.  I think they’ve been poisoned.”

Me:  “That doesn’t sound good.  They need to be seen immediately.  The doctor is on his way back from lunch.  By the time you get here, he will be able to see you.”

Caller:  “Oh, I can’t come now.  I have two men here who are installing my new countertop.”

Me:  Silence.

Me:  “Can you hold please?”

This Post Lacks a Good Title

December 9, 2010

I work at a vet clinic on the west side of a street that travels north/south.  The street is only a block off the main thoroughfare, which is a simple four-lane highway that also travels north/south.  It’s easy to see things outside here at the veterinarian’s office.  There are four enormous plate glass windows in the office/reception area.  So, all the while sitting at my work station, I have a large view of the outside.  A lot of folks use our street as a short cut, both by car or on foot.  We’re a bit isolated.  There’s woods across the street and to one side of the clinic.  The other side of the clinic has an earth-moving business next to it, but that business is almost defunct, and weeds and kudzu vines cover most of that lot.  There’s one other business that’s within view, and it’s a cabinet/woodworking business that’s across the street from the earth-moving business.  Often there’s no one at that shop, which is located in an old dairy building with no windows.  The back of the clinic is the railroad track, and trains speed thr0ugh every few hours, shaking our building.  If you travel south along our street past the wooded section, you’ll come to a storage unit business, a liquor store and beverage shop, a doctor’s office, and a Family Dollar, then the street makes a sharp left-hand turn and intersects with the main street.  From my work station, I can see people traveling along, everyone with a purpose. 

Yesterday a client pulled into the parking space right outside the two plate glass windows that flank my work station.  When he entered the office, he asked what was wrong with the man lying in the street.  We all looked at him, puzzled, like he had just announced that a meteor had landed outside.  Surely that was not possible.  A man?  Lying in the street?  The temperature the night before had dropped to twenty-one degrees, and it didn’t feel much warmer, even at 10 AM. 

He insisted that it was true, and said that there was another man with him.  See?  Right there, he insisted.  We looked out, and, sure enough, there were two men across the street, along the side in the shady part where the woods shaded the pavement.  One man dressed in brown lay along the roadway, and the other, a tall man, was walking away from him, headed north.  I grabbed my coat and headed outside and called out to the walking man to see if the other man needed help. 

He seemed startled that I spoke, and said, “Oh, no, he fine, he just fine.”  And he hustled back toward the other man, still lying on the ground, and he called out to him, “Michael!  Get up!  You got to get up, man!”  The man on the ground did not move, and the other man tried to help him stand, but it was no use.  The brown man just wet-noodled back down to the ground. 

I went back inside and tried to figure out what to do.  If I called the police, they’d haul him off.  He appeared drunk, but what if he was sick?  And if he was drunk, how did he get drunk so early?  The liquor store had only opened one hour earlier, and that store was as far away as the length of a football field.  How did he get drunk and collapse on the side of the road?  The tall man was trying to cover up for something. 

There are local derelict-type people in this town who make a profession of drinking.  They are very serious and dedicated to their craft, and you could set the clock by them as they headed south to be at the liquor store when it opened at nine.  I decided to call my friend Dot, who owns the liquor store and feeds a feral cat colony there.  I explained to Dot what was happening, and she said that the man had rheumatoid arthritis and that the cold weather “just kills him”, and that she did not know why his friends insisted on bringing him to town.  She said that she would come get him.

I suppose she did pick him up.  I suppose she took him back to her store.  Is it just a matter of time before he gets back onto the street and gets run over?

Crime Does Pay

November 3, 2010

Today I pulled in the parking lot at work about 8:28 AM.  It was hard to find a spot, what with all the police cars.  There had been a break-in at 7:34.  The police say they got there by 7:36, and the robbers were gone.  All the drawers in the front office were pulled out, and the robbers made of with a roll of quarters and maybe $4 in loose change.  The blaring alarm system apparently sent the robbers on their way, because nothing else was missing.  No drugs, no dog biscuits, and no lobby magazines were gone. 

We alerted the liquor store in case someone shows up trying to buy some Aristocrat with a roll of quarters.

So Close, Yet So Far Away

October 27, 2010

Today was my final meeting with my college advisor.  Actually, it was only my second meeting with him in my college career.  I am not pleased with the level of service that I received, in general, at this supposed up-and-coming university. 

The reason for today’s meeting was to begin the process of finalizing the graduation procedure.  I had to go to the registrar’s office to pick up a form to fill out and present to my advisor.  I arrived at my advisement meeting about 10 minutes early, so I waited at a nearby table while I began filling out the form.

Some of you might know that I was the fifth grade spelling champion.  I’m really lousy in math, but misspelled words jump out at me and demand to be corrected.  And right there, on the graduation form, is a misspelled word, not once, but three times.  Anyone heard of spellcheck? 

Gaaakkk!

Fortunately, I had the trusty camera by my handbag.  Read ’em and weep.

Blasted!

September 6, 2010

Remember this product? Remember that the marketing forces stated that it’s not aerosol? Inquiring minds want to know.
We went to another Kroger, this time in Savannah. Sure enough, on the back of the can we find that the can is recyclable and that the product contains no CFCs. Still didn’t buy it.

(Edited on 9/6/10:  On this day, we went back to the original Kroger.  There were 5 cans on the shelf.  Four of the cans had an expiration date of 9/6/10.  Do you suppose they’ll recycle those cans?  Throw them out?  Give them to lucky employees?)

Inside My Sphere of Smelliness

August 27, 2010

About three weeks ago, something happened that caused me to stop writing blogs for about a week, until I got my head twisted back on a little tighter.  It was a Wednesday, I was at work, and the phone rang.  I recognized the caller ID (foreshadowing).  It was my employer’s wife (thus also my employer and the power behind the throne), who also works in the office paying bills and shopping online.  She hadn’t come in to the office that day, and she said that she had to talk to me.

She explained that she had been wanting to talk to me for a while, and that it was hard for her to talk about this, because she struggled with the same problem.  She explained, “You have a bit of *body*odor*”.

I didn’t hear anything she said after that.  My neck, starting at the nape, filled with giant prickly needles  that quickly spread around to the front of my neck, constricting my throat, then flashing upward to cover my entire head.  My ears roared with the noise of it. 

When it subsided, after what seemed like hours, she was still droning into the telephone.  I found myself saying, “Oh, thank you for telling me you had a problem” like the good customer service person that I am.  The conversation ended.

By this time I am sitting at my work station, crunched up into a little ball.  My head is ducked down, my arms are glued tight to my body, and I make myself invisible. 

What would you do next?  That’s what I did, too.  I started smelling myself.  I smelled my shoulders, I smelled my clothing, I looked down into the V-neck of my scrub top and took a deep whiff, I stuck my nose into my armpits.  Nothing.

For the next week, I avoided people.  I went home at lunchtime and took another bath and changed my clothes.  I went over, over, over all this in my brain.  Maybe I did smell.  I make my own laundry detergent – but I don’t put a scent in it.  I use well water that can smell like sulphur – but the smell dissipates.  I hang my clothes up to dry – maybe they smell musty or dampish.  I wash my hair once a week with organic shampoo and conditioner – maybe it’s my hair.  I use organic deodorant – maybe it’s no good. 

Then I got angry.  If I smelled, it was because I had earned it.  We had the pit bull that was living at the office.  I walked her every day, in July, people, in the heat of the day, at least twice.  I walked to the bank to get change for the office, again in the heat.  I volunteered at the shelter once a week to bathe shelter dogs during my lunch time.  I assisted in the exam rooms, holding and restraining dogs and cats.  And to add insult to injury, after all I’d done to help build the practice, I was told that basically I stunk.  I had paid the bill for people who had animals in need but had no money, like the pregnant chihuahua that needed the C-section, and the owner had $50.  I paid the bill so the doctor would perform the surgery and not turn the dog away to die in childbirth.  I paid the bill for a cat whose owner went to jail for writing bad checks, and someone else who was supposed to be taking care of the cat broke its tail, put it in a crate, and left it in a crate on an animal lover’s doorstep with a note to please shoot the cat.  I buy 40# bags of dog food for my dogs so that we can get enough weight on our weekly food order so that we can meet the food order delivery weight minimum.

I was DONE.  I stopped. 

I know what you are doing right now.  You are smelling your armpits.

Organic Aerosol For Sale (Edited on 8/25/10 to read: Organic {Non}Aerosol! Read the Comments!)

August 24, 2010

Organic Batter Blaster

Sunday usually finds The Sugar and me on a trip to PetSmart, Lowe’s or Home Depot, and Kroger.  I have not been one of those people who takes pictures of objects in stores and then posts them online, until… now.  I couldn’t resist taking a photo of an aerosol can of organic batter blaster wedged in between the cage-free eggs and egg-whites-in-a-box. 

Kroger has a newly-redesigned organic/natural section.  It’s pretty much just a short aisle-and-a-half.  In addition, there are random organic/natural products sprinkled throughout the store, like an edible hide-and-seek.  But this batter blaster thing, this organic conundrum, really stopped me in my tracks.  Oh, I like the organic part.  The thing that gets me is this: are you kidding me?  How focused does one have to be on oneself in order to buy this?  Do you need to brag to your friends online about what good care you take of yourself?  And then throw the can in the landfill?  This seems to be like saying what a great recycler you are because you recycle all your plastic individual water bottles.  How about the first two of the magic trio “Reduce – reuse – recycle”? 

The creative marketing forces at work in the world today just amaze me.  I am a business major, not by choice, but by choice.  I wanted to finish my degree, and the only program at the local university that fit my schedule was the newly-created Saturday Degree Completion Program in business.  It’s ironic that the only choice available is the major that I started in 1974.  I changed my major in 1976 near the end of my sophomore year when I realized that I was hopelessly mismatched as a business major.  I had no clue what those professors were talking about.  The GNP, the gold standard, the stock market, etc.  They all relished the mighty business world, and my professors in my classes now are the same. 

In my last class in Strategic Management, one of our case studies was McDonald’s.  I was of little use because I refuse to eat at McDonald’s, and I could care less about their products made of grease and high fructose corn syrup, and I really didn’t want to worship their business model.  Fortunately we worked in teams, and my team pulled me through.    

And now, here I am at the Kroger grocery store, staring in disbelief at a can of batter blaster.  No muss, no fuss, no bother.  Wonder how long that one stays on the shelf.