Tag Archives: pets

Today: The land of misfit (dog) toys.

[tweetmeme source=”elizabethev” only_single=false] Clark’s a bit like a shark smelling blood when it comes to new dog toys.  If he senses the slightest weakness in form or construction, he goes in for the kill.  His attacks are merciless, swift and proceeded with little– if any– warning.  I’ve taken to hiding his tortured toys, waiting for the perfect moment to sneak past him and make a dash for the trash room.  Unfortunately, it seems I did more hiding than dashing.  In the meantime, Clark has amassed quite the island of misfit toys.  Bear in mind, nearly each toy was labeled “indestructible.”

It would seem our French Fry saw that as a challenge.  And his bat ears rose to the occasion each time.

And oh, hey look- it's the pillow I made.

I feel like we live at that creepy kid next door's house on Toy Story.

One by one, these poor things met the dumpster today– each one more disturbing than the one before.  First went the squeaky toys.  As soon as Clark honed in on the squeaker’s location, these toys were as good as busted.

This is the dog toy version of a bladder infection. Get it? Because the squeakers are actually little bladders.... um.

Then came the toys with tails.  If we were on LOST, these would be the Tailies of the group.  I’m guessing Clark just thought he was following orders, seeing as his own tailed was cropped as a puppy (the tail cropping and tattoo came long before we brought him home).  Again, these are pitbull-rated indestructible toys.

We're so cute. Surely he will spare us.

Chomp. What tails?

You’d think for a dog with such large ears, he’d respect a hippo’s right to hear.  You’d also be over-thinking the situation.

Now it sort of looks like a guinea pig. Gross.

This sweet little lion isn’t raising his hand because he has a question.  He’s just had his innards ripped out through his armpit.  The horror!


Yes? May I help you?

Sure. Sure. Unsure. Bahaha. I crack myself up.

I liked that lion.  And theeeeeen there’s this thing.  Frankly, I was happy when he went after this tennis ball raccoon tail amalgamation.  Imagine coming across this freakish thing in a dark corner of your kitchen.  If I had a pest control person on speed dial, I would have speed dialed him or her.  Once I was done screaming.

Sorry for the nightmares this will likely cause.

I am guessing these guys would scream too.  If they had mouths.  Maybe this is how the real dinosaurs went extinct: they got mauled by a roving pack of wild French bulldogs.  Probably not.

The sock monkey looks particularly gruesome.

Like all the other tear-proof toys in Clark’s bin, this seahorse did not stand a chance.  I am sure taking a picture counts as enabling.  In other words, this is all my fault.

What a weird little body.

I’ve learned a lot in my first year of dog ownership.  Like, it’s extremely hard to look cute while you’re picking up dog crap (pardon me).  And fish formulas might be good for your dog, what with the Omega-3s and all, but they smell like decaying barnacles.  Also, buying dog toys based on packaging and cuteness alone is a gigantic waste of money.  There are very few things Clark Vegas will not destroy– it’s all trial and error, my friends.  Unfortunately, one of the few chew “toys” that make the cut these days is a raw bone.  They make this vegetarian want to faint, cry and hide in the closet all at the same time.

Raw bones, despite their extreme revoltingness, are quite good for dogs.  They’re safer than cooked bones (less chance for choking or splintering), help to clean the woofer’s teeth, and apparently they’re delicious (like, for the dog).  And there’s no way to really ruin a bone.  Or there is, but that’s sort of the point.  He also digs toys made out of seatbelt material, most rubber chews (though they’re not very interesting nor cuddly), and the occasional stick that he somehow manages to sneak into the condo building.

How could you not love a face like that? Clark's pretty cute, too.

But at the end of the day, and after several trips to the trash room carrying armfuls of broken down toys whilst trying to appear not-crazy to the neighbors, I wouldn’t have it any other way.  Clark makes our home a little hairier, a lot more interesting, and a heck of a lot more fun.

Also On Tap for Today:

  • Time to arrange the books on our brand new bookshelves and break out the Christmas decorations (I am freaking out, man!)
  • Run 6 miles
  • Happy Vacation, sister and Z! 🙂

What makes the place where you live feel like home?

Today: Happy Clarkiversary.

[tweetmeme source=”elizabethev” only_single=false] A long time ago, in a land far, far away (okay, fine– it was Brookline and the year was 2009), a little six-month-old tiger brindle sat by the front door alongside assorted other French bulldogs, at the home of a reputable dentist breeder (if you’re looking for a Frenchie– or an inside peek at the world of show dog breeders– please let me know.  I’ll give you the full scoop and a good laugh).

Though he came from a (dog) family of champions and showed great promise, Napoleon, as he was then called (and tattooed… yes, really), also showed signs of being a gigantic blob of wrinkles and would likely exceed the AKC weight maximum.  We like to think we rescued Clark from a life of body consciousness, but that’s probably overstating the situation.  Whatevs.  Nick and I fell in love with him, went to Petco and bought all kinds of dog stuff, returned to the breeder an hour later, loaded him in the car and headed home.

I had never had a non-hamster pet and frankly, I had no clue what I was doing with a dog.  Would he try and press buttons on the car stereo?  Would he fall out the window, or somehow get stuck in the trunk?  Would he, you know, pee or something?  Much to my shock and awe, he slept the whole way to Southie in Nick’s lap, snoring like an old man.  That was exactly one year ago today.  Oh, how life has changed!  The snoring, not so much.

I’m still not exactly a dog whisperer, but if I had to guess, I’d say Clark loves his new name, he loves his new neighborhood, and he loves really just about everyone and everything.  Especially if he/she/it is peanut butter flavored.

Will you humor me if I share a few photos of the little guy?  You know, in addition to the 90,000 that are already out and about on On Tap for Today?

Clark's first night in South Boston

Thanks for neutering me, guys. Now I have stress-induced colitis. Not to mention, two of my parts have gone missing.

Just checking for missing socks.

His ears are almost as big as my nose!

What are yoooou lookin' at?

I've had a long night of flying Santa around.

Speaking of Santa...

This stuff is amaaaazing!

I think Clark has a crush on Martha Stewart's Frenchies. Either that, or he learned how to read.

Playing at the beach with Quinn

I am freaking out, man!

The cone of shame

Clark, the Easter Frenchie

An early Spring swim at Castle Island

Check out my tuxedo.

I'm, like, a year old. Deal with it.

This green stuff is just as amazing as that snow stuff!

Hanging out in the South End

Make way for Clarklings!

Is it me, or does Clark look younger? Is he the Benjamin Button of the canine community? And not to worry-- those are Nick's arms, not mine.

Yo! I'm on vacation!

Yo! I'm on an old truck!

I've got more costumes than that lady, Lady Gaga.

It’s been an incredible year, and we’re lucky to have our little monster to share it with.  Woof.

Also On Tap for Today:

What was your first pet?  And no, this is not a trick question to steal your Gmail password.

Today: You might say this is ludacris.

Sorry, 'tweens! I had to decapitate your beloved Justin Bieber in order to make this magical photo possible.

…And you’d be justified.  Here are a few Ludacris ideas I’ve dreamed up as of late:

Getting a second dog

Not some day when we have a big yard, or when I move to Alaska to become a competitive musher and need something with a bit more power than a Frenchie to move my sleigh thing.  Like, immediately.  I tried to trick Nick into getting a girl French bulldog, just in case “Clark needed his own pet.”  Demented and crazy? Yes, I am aware.  And don’t get me started on the bunk beds I’ve imagined them sharing.

Giving up caffeine

I went over two weeks without sippin’ on a single Diet Coke.  Concurrently, I went over two weeks without being a normal human being.  I assumed the headaches and irritability would dissipate after a few days.  They did not.  I’ve scaled back to less than 1 can a day (most days I just have a few cups of green tea), so I suppose that’s worth celebrating.  (Cue my Price is Right announcer voice) …With an ice coooold Dieeeet Coke!

Climbing a tree that has no low-lying branches

I am barely 5’4″.  This was an idea destined for failure and disappointment.  Plus it smelled sort of weird over by the tree.  And it was nighttime.  Did I mention I had consumed a glass of sangria or two?

Writing a book

This is something I’ve daydreamed about since I learned how to read.  The only things stopping me from executing? Lack of subject, patience, ability, and time.  All very minor issues.  (I find sentence fragments to be very alluring to prospective agents and publishers.)

Sometimes, our most luda’ ideas become our most proud accomplishments.   I don’t think this is one of those times.

Also On Tap for Today:

What’s the wildest idea you’ve dreamed up lately?

Today: Bi(r)d adieu to Harwich.

When my mom turned fifty a year older, my siblings and I had the genius idea to buy her a pair of love birds.  I think, technically, I had the idea and convinced them to go along with it… but once you hear how this stroke of genius ended (possibly with an actual bird stroke), you’ll realize I’m not bragging.  More like, taking the blame.

I did a little research (not a lot), and Andrea and I went where the pets go (Petco) and picked up a very cute pair of  peach-faced loved birds.  They were packaged in what was basically an unmarked Munchins box.  The sales person pet specialist told us they’d chirp the whole way home.  The didn’t move or make a peep.  An anxiety riddled half hour passed.  Then came the “how to move them from the munchkin box to the cage” debacle.  Several anxiety riddle hours passed.  Somehow, the transfer was completed.

Allegedly, the birds were from Madagascar, but they could’ve been from Medford, for all we knew.  To this day, we have no idea if they were male or female or one of each, but we thought they were both males and named them Brewster and Harwich, for our favorite places on the Cape. We loved how surprised Mom was when she and Dad got home from her birthday dinner.  She asked, “Are these really for me?”  That was my favorite part.  Of the entire lives of these birds.

Which… um… for Brewster was two months.  Like many other birds across the country, Brewster sadly met his end on Thanksgiving.  Mom and I took him to an animal hospital, where he was incubated in what looked like an aquarium.  Apparently he had some disease (weird, our Petco Pal said those missing feathers were due to molting…) and needed to be euthanized.

I am not making any of this up.

So while the vets prepared a very small needle, my mom and I stood in the ICU, which was essentially a small room filled with various dying species, including a parrot whose feet had been bitten off by his cage mate and a dog experiencing kidney failure.

I don’t think I have ever experienced anything more awkward.

We worried that Harwich would be depressed without his questionably better half, but he seemed to thrive as an only birdchild for several years.  He was an adventurous fellow, completing solo flights to the top of the Christmas tree and to the dark recesses behind the entertainment center.  If I was the Bird Whisperer, I would imagine his favorite part of the day was when my parents uncovered and fed him and he got to stare out the window at the uncivilized birds in the yard.

Sadly, just days after this Thanksgiving, Harwich… flew to heaven (I figure if all dogs go to heaven, lovebirds probably do too).  Bye, bye, birdie.  Hello, hello, shopping for new pets for Mom and Dad.  I’m kidding… I promise I will never do that again.

Also On Tap for Today:

  • Puppy/human obedience class (must remember to not wear high heels)
  • Pick up my final food items for Project Feed Me
  • Remind my fellow Massachusetters to vote in tomorrow’s primary!

What was the most memorable gift you’ve given or received?