Beagle in the City #223

Ethan: I’m telling you I think it’s the other one.

Garf: Nah come on man. I don’t think he’s got the talent. He’s out of here.

Simon: What are we doing guys?

Garf: Quiet I’m watching my shows!

Simon: bark bark bark. It’s a monster!! Quick ! Get under the table! Save yourselves!

Ethan: quiet. Other people live here man.

Simon: Gee dad, see if I ever protect you again. You don’t know what’s out there…I’ve been watching some dogumentaries and they are very convincing…

Ethan: for the last time…everything we watch on tv isn’t true man. It’s just pretend. It’s just shows.

Simon: Ok well then… how do we explain Garf. What is he then?

Ethan : ….

Simon: ….

Ethan: Well Garf, he’s just a hellbeast.

Garf: That’s right, and you better watch your back. Especially at night.

Simon: Is that true dad?

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Gone

All the versions

Of ourselves

We try to forget

And you struggle to remember

How you got here

And all the awkward

Conversations

You held so tight

The connotations

The invitations

The desperate flight

They are all suddenly

Sand in a jar

Soon to be

Gone

Gone

Gone in the wind

And suddenly

We are older

And trying to remember

How many steps forward we made

And to all of the steps back

Hoping we have enough time

To climb back up again….

Mr Responsible 

Growing up is weird. You’ve spent your entire childhood being told to  go outside! Don’t sit in front of the TV!  Do something productive! Now you’re an adult, you’ve paid your bills, you’ve got your groceries, going OUTSIDE costs money…it flips. The responsible, Productive thing becomes staying inside and watching Netflix. Hey, you paid the bill. It’s ok. If you go outside it’s going to cost you three months of Netflix…

And face it, if you go outside and play with a stick and climb on swing sets you just end up in prison.

I struggle with this all of the time. I feel like I should be doing something… if I’m reading I feel like I should be writing, or cleaning, or going out and  doing the mysterious Productive…

My wife is always reminding me, it’s ok to sit down and relax. Cook inside, work-out inside and being Productive is taking on a whole new meaning as an adult. Just don’t be TOO productive…

Hey, it’s not my fault the price of college increased over 500 percent and text books shot up 1000 percent since the ’70s. How can you afford college for your kid? You can’t even afford it for yourself!

I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m just a really young old man. I’m not going to have any more apps on my phone. I’m not learning another techno gadget. I can’t- I’m out and not in a good way. I don’t have anymore energy to learn another word processor or app. 

Face it. The only reason FB is still here is because it’s integrated itself within our lives, like Kudzu. Or that third wheeling friend that shows up in all of your photos but you’re  not really sure when you became close. You use fb to sign in and out of everything. It forced you into a marriage you’re not that proud of. And it knows all of your dirt. 

I don’t even have Snapchat. I deleted it for storage space. Why do I need an app that allows me to send text and pictures? Don’t I do that with messenger and my phone already? 

Remember Skype? Whatever happened to that poor thing? Somewhere out there is a little green light saying you’re logged on. It’s just hoping you’ll come back. Also, it probably still has all of those messages you forgot to delete from drunken frat houses. 

Which is probably why someone created Snapchat. . . 

These days we have to constantly upgrade and relearn everything every other  year. I don’t ask for much… just a nice laptop, like a Dell. Remember those? One that will outlive the expiration date on the credit card I used to pay for it. 


A picture of my much older self…

Talks with Women #6

Hey guys! I’m really excited about this new series of Talks with Women. I recently talked with a long time friend of mine. Cora, a CVT living and working in Utah. Discussing her career, and her passion, animals.

E: So it’s been a while since we talked last. 
What have you been up to?

C: It has been a while! Sorry for being a crappy long distance friend. Well, we moved last August to Utah from Minnesota. So it’s been almost a year but I still feel really unsettled here. Alex proposed in December, so I’ve been (kinda half-assing) planning a wedding for when we move back. 
And then of course, work. I’m a veterinary technician at a GP Clinic in my town. Utah doesn’t regulate techs here, so I’m maintaining my certification in Minnesota. I work full time, and then some. I’m on call a lot for emergencies since there isn’t a local ER.

E: What made you go into this field?

C: Well, I was pretty lost for a minute there. Remember my waitressing days? I had no idea what I wanted for so long. Looking back, it seems like it should have been so obvious

E: I remember those days !

C: I’ve always been passionate about animals. If you asked my mom, she might say obsessive. I spent hours agonizing over my hamsters cages and husbandry, wanting to give them the best care I ever could when I was a kid. I loved animals. I empathized with all of them. I stopped eating meat/started dealing with that moral struggle in the 6th grade.

Anyways, I was working a shift at my restaurant one night. Alex was gone on a trip to do some field study for school. We were long distance most of the year at that time, but this trip was hard on me because he had no cell service so we couldn’t talk. I decided I would work extra shifts while he was gone since I was bored anyways, but by the end of the first week I was exhausted. I distinctly remember looking down the salad bar line at one of the other women working- a “lifer” is what we called her. Has worked there for years, and will until retirement.


I got terrified. Is that going to be me? I hate this job. That can’t be me. 


I had a minor breakdown and a co-worker took pity on me. She knew me somewhat well, she knew I was passionate about animals. She was in school, studying vet med. She was going to be a veterinary technician. She asked me if I would come tour her school. I went the next day. 


I was in awe. It was as if every puzzle piece fell into place. THIS would be my career. I registered that day. When I called Alex to tell him, he was nervous about money and that I was making a rushed decision. He asked if I was sure, I said yes, and never looked back. 

I learn more every day. The field is changing now, too. It’s very exciting.

A lot of my experience after I graduated was in wildlife rehab which I would say is a true passion, but I’m also enjoying small animal medicine.

E: Is it difficult to see how disconnected people can be from wildlife? Even pets?

Why is spay neuter important. Why is back yard breeding bad?

My county last year alone killed 2000 dogs and is going to double it this year. The shelter is over full with 400 animals and only 40 kennels

C: Yeah, it’s very difficult. Even for the pets. I’ve seen so many animals suffer because of their owners.

I could go blue in the face talking about all of the reasons to spay and neuter pets. First off, health reasons. Females who are unaltered run the risk of getting an infection in the uterus called a pyometra. Without a uterus, this doesn’t happen! There is also the risk of mammary tumors. Certain breeds are more prone to getting them, but no matter the breed, the risk is GREATLY reduced in a spayed female. And then of course there is the chance of testicular cancer in un-altered males. It’s very common. There are countless other medical risks, but those are the most common. And then there is the risk of accidental litters, as well. And as with any pregnancy, medical complications can occur. Pets who have been spayed and neutered have also been proven to live longer, especially males.

And that’s not even touching on back yard breeding, which is a subject I can go on and on and on about…The thing is, breeding should be for the betterment of a breed. Not for fun, not for showing your children “the miracle of life” (if I had a nickle…), not because you want to make more “Fluffys”. No. If I could express to you the frustration of seeing people breed their pets for fun, and the medical and behavioral problems that are passed down to the next generation…It truly breaks my heart, Ethan.

Not every pet is a good candidate for breeding, either.

There are so many test that *should* be run first. Brucellosis testing, OFA hip/elbow certification, bloodwork, genetic testing…and then being set up to make sure that the puppies are adequately cared for medically and behaviorally. Puppies need to be well socialized to a lot at a young age. Most backyard breeders have very little understanding of all of this, and are ill prepared. Money should be available for emergency C-sections, mastitis in the breast, and other complications. All of this information is true for both canines and felines.

And on top of it all, backyard breeders add to the crisis you mentioned. Thousands and thousands of animals across the nation need homes. Why add to that number?

E: They look to us to take care of them and we’re not even responsible

C: I have rescued both of my pets. Harvey is the most amazing dog, not without his problems due to being dumped at the shelter multiple times, but I wouldn’t trade him for the world. He is such a love. He required an ophthalmic surgery he never would have gotten at the shelter if I hadn’t rescued him. And my cat Dale came from a less than ideal situation as well.

I am lucky to know so many people who care for animals, both pets and wildlife, but the constant education to others can be really exhausting. I wish people listened.

E: Rescue pets are the best. They love you more than your own spouse. (Laughs)

C: Haha, it’s funny you say that

E: It’s true!

C: It is! Alex frequently walks in on me and Harvey cuddling and giving kisses and says I love him more

E: Simon is a rescue and he’s great. He waits in the window for me every day. 

C: I am the “ultimate resource” to my dog, just like you are to Simon. Not only do they love us, they need us. He’s such a cute dog. I love seeing his pictures, and Beagle in the City

E: He’s my best friend for life.

C: Yeah, they steal our hearts. I was making my bed yesterday and had my comforter tossed on the floor, and for a second I almost expected my childhood dog who passed away years ago to jump on it, because she used to love doing that.

E: I can’t even think about losing Simon. I don’t know how you handled that. 

C: it was tough. Oscar was the hardest I think. I miss him all the time! 

Simon is totally your companion!

E: Thank you so much for talking with me,Cora. 

C: Thank you! Maybe I wasn’t too long winded! 



Cora is a CVT. Working with shelters and clinics in Minnesota and Utah. 

Learn more about spaying and neutering 

The Humane Society 
The AVMA
And as always 

You can adopt or donate or learn more about your local rescues and  shelters Here

The one about smoking guns  

My neighbor committed suicide the other night. I heard the gunshot. I personally have never shot a gun in the heat of the night. (I think that was a tv show once. . .) 

Here’s how it started.

My wife went to bed early so Simon and I stayed up and watched the X Files. Around 10 o’clock I started to get tired. So I got ready for bed.

Then I noticed there were wet clothes in the washer. I threw them in the dryer, got a book and started to read.

 Around 10:30

I heard a loud pop 

Like a gunshot.

I waited for a scream or a thud and thought to myself  “Man, this neighbourhood sure is changing. Maybe we ought to move?”

I imagined a wife finally putting an end to her husband and his annoying habits. Or maybe it was the younger couple who fought a lot. 

I never heard anything else. No ambulance or anything. I guess I would have to wait for the smell of rotting flesh.

The next morning I was going to ask my wife if she heard it also. (Simon and her slept through the excitement.)

But first I had to fold the laundry. 

That’s when I found it. 

Shards of plastic and the head of a cigarette lighter, right there in the clean clothes.

My wife had left a lighter in her pocket and it had exploded in the dryer. 

I stomped into the room to tell her just what I thought about this situation. “Babe! I’m not mad I’m just going to show this to you and it’s important! Really important! You left a lighter in your pocket and it exploded last night in the dryer.

 I thought our neighbour had shot himself or something. You have to check your pockets. It almost gave me a heart attack!”

I wanted to be satisfied blaming my wife but then I remembered. I had washed my shirts. She had some clothes in the dryer, already finished drying. And I tossed my couple of shirts in with them and re ran the dryer. 

The lighter had already made it through a full cycle. 

I was just lazy and didn’t want to put the laundry up.

Because that’s the kind of tasks you want to do at 10pm on a Friday. Fold laundry. 

If I hadn’t been lazy, it never would’ve happened. 

But it’s such a vague and gray area. 

Who’s to know who to blame?

The one about walks 

So today I took a four hour nap. Because I’m an adult and I can do that sort of thing now. I also didn’t do the dishes. I take that back. I did do them. But then I messed them up again, because I got hungry. Adult life is so overrated. 

My wife saw me pick the Swiffer off the floor. And thanked me for sweeping. Which sounds like the type of thing I would normally do. But not today. 

I thought about taking the credit. Because you know, everyone tells you, Like in that movie with Wolverine and Meg Ryan. You can’t just tell a woman you’ve done something. They won’t believe it. They have to see it. Because they’re all about actions. So she thought I cleaned the floor. Because I was putting the swiffer away. And if she saw me closing the dish washer. She would think I just finished the dishes. Which when I first saw the film..,led me to believe that if I did all of these things anyway but she never saw it.  She would eventually divorce me stating “you never do anything!!” 

Because I was young and gullible and I also thought I knew a lot back then 

Turns out I knew NOTHING.

I walked Simon twice today. 

He’s our dog.  Believe it or not. He doesn’t talk. I wrote about burning biscuits once. And there was a line where the smoke detector goes off… 

later I fixed our smoke detector (because it was actually broken) and someone said “you lied! You said in your blog that it went off!! I can’t believe it.”

I just stared at them. Like I was being forced to watch 60 minutes or The West Wing or Spoon fed Vegemite…

“Yeah.” I said. “That’s not all I lied about though. Believe it or not. My dog Simon doesn’t actually talk.”

Speaking of Simon. We take two walks a day now. 

A lot of people say things like…

“I see you walking your dog all the time!”

Or ” I saw you and a girl walking your dog.” 

Or 

“I saw some girl walking your dog the other day.” 

Sometimes I tell the truth. Sometimes I explain that I pay someone to walk him. Or that I had just had a date but she wanted to walk my dog instead so I let her.

It’s actually my wife…

But why bore people with small details. 

The One About Showers

I’m feeling very accomplished these days. I redid our bathroom. All of those years of watching HGTV really paid off. 

I didn’t break anything or flood anyone either. We have terrible water pressure. Which is astounding. Because every time Tim The Tool man upstairs touches anything he floods us. And I just stare at all the water pouring down the walls and ceiling, in Titanic proportions, and ask myself, how does this much water flood us and our pressure suck so bad? 

But alas! We spent vacation in a hotel once and I noticed their showers had huge heads and arched curtains so it felt larger. 

We had 

Which is ok if you’re an elf. But if you’re tall like me you take a shower like Will Ferrel in Elf. Which is not good. Especially if you want to shower with your wife. 

So I went and got an arched shower rod. Adding much space. And a shower head with an extension 

Like a glorious sunflower or rainfall. Sure the pressure is still rotten but at least it falls over me and not against my knees. 

And I didn’t break anything. Or flood anyone. Which is a win for everyone.