You know you’re a dog parent when…

A friend (and reader) commented recently, on my last blog post, that it didn’t have anything to do with my dog.

“It’s a dog blog right?”

Sheepishly I said “yes” and came up with an excuse about “mixing it up” and “trying something new” and then realized you know what? It IS all about my dog.

The people have spoken. And they want Murphy.

And it made me start thinking… You know you’re a good dog parent when:

– You buy food items that only he/she eats. Such as cottage cheese. While I consider the stuff disgustingly reminiscent of bodily fluids, Murphy refuses to eat dinner without a dollop in his kibble.

– You buy the loudest, most annoying squeak toy because you know they’ll love it. Despite the costs over time adding up, and despite the fact that they say “indestructible” …while he continues to destroy them (very loose term by the way), you continue to buy them. That, or squeak them so loud/often that you are forced into the next room in order to talk on the phone.

– People comment “Aw you’re dog is so cute!” And you reply with “Thanks! I think so too! ” 🙂 With that big, dopey grin on your face. We thank them because we actually contributed to making them so cute? Sure….whatever helps you sleep at night.

– You take them for a walk despite it being 100 degrees, 30 degrees, raining, hailing, or you’re half asleep and in your PJs and the glasses you’ve had since high school.

– You turn down offers for all day events, over-nighters or pretty much anything that extends past the eight-hour mark unless you can bring your dog with you. Us dog folk are an interesting breed, which is why I find myself being more and more drawn to friends that also have little four-legged munchkins.

Reason #75 why having a dog is proof that you are both a crazy person and also en route to becoming a great parent one day.

*Side note: I’ll have it noted that YES the above photo was taken in a professional photography session. HOWEVER, I didn’t purchase and/or reserve the photo shoot for my dog, it just happened to be photo day at the shelter I work at…and Murphy is a very charming boy who found his way in front of the lens 🙂

The Most Expensive Socks Ever…

Check these puppies out.

Officially my new BFF: Hot pink CEP Compression stockings, aka my one-way ticket to Nana-Ville. Waaahhh. (Ok I’m being dramatic, they are actually pretty legit).

I’ve been told for years by doctors that I should buy these, due to tight calves, low blood flow in my legs and being prone to varicose veins. Ick. Now that I’m more active, I’m really starting to feel the burn and see the need… and let me tell you…it was INSTANT relief. Aside from the $60 price tag (YIKES!) Seriously though. I wear them running and even to sleep! *Washes in between though I promise 😉  They will most likely bury me in these. Although I really need the 100 degree weather to simmer, that would help.

I have training on the brain lately (aka “Train Brain”), ever since I blogged about dedicating the next 6 months to actually feeling like an athlete when I hit the pavement at upcoming races. And I’m officially doing one on September 29th! Just a 5k… but with the family! Should be a blasty-blast.

PS I made a realization the other day at the gym.

Skinny girls in the gym get scoffed at.
“Psssh why is she even here? If I looked like that I’d lounge around all day in a bathing suit eating chicken wings.”

But fit girls; Now that’s a different story:
That’s why she’s fit. She’s lifting weights… and sweating!”
You see, we don’t pick on the fit girls; after all, they could seriously kick our butts.

And then your slow little brain starts to turn over the realization that the gym isn’t a last-minute, “I think I’ll go for a week and demand instant results” mentality. Staying fit means commitment.  Boo. I want chicken wings.

*Side note: Why are we so mean to each other!? Moments of weakness are one thing. You feel insecure about yourself so you funnel it into gossip or envy. It happens. We’re human.

But if there is one thing that seriously bugs me, it is dealing with someone with a serious sense of Entitlement. Yes, you make more money than me; or yes, you can probably eat that entire plate and still rock your bikini… but guess what?
I have a dog who could take you….and a blog to write about you with (neener-neener-neeeener)!

Happy Friday everybody!

Workin’ it

Runner’s World voted Murphy’s breed in the Top 10 list for best dogs to run with. Specifically for trail running, but since I never get the opportunity to run outside of the concrete jungle that is Sacramento, he’s grown pretty used to the pavement. And he LOVES it! Which is AWESOME because I’m officially “training.”

Training for what exactly?

Well, I’ve loved jogging since I was in college- but I’ve always been sort of a “yogger.” Basically you run at the pace where you might actually get a yawn out while you’re busy juggling a dog leash, a dog poop bag an iPod and trying to change the station when the shuffle sucks. Well this does nothing for you if you’re trying to kick your own butt in an upcoming race.

In February I discovered the joys of training for a race. This is partially in thanks to Walker, who is coincidentally a RUNNER (bring on the puns!). When we were merely dating, aka “Hey I just met you…and this is crazy…” we did a 10k together and yes, his stride is twice mine, but I sorta kinda kept up and did my best time ever! Average 8:12 per mile, which is awesome because it was 6.2 miles and I came in 15th in my age group. *Ok the only annoying thing is that at that pace, if I was in the 16- 19 age range, I would have come in 3rd! THIRD people!

Best part is that training actually gives me something to work towards. It gives me incentive to wake up before work and/or exercise (get it?) my willpower to hit the gym when I just don’t wanna. Also, it gives me a reason to care about what I’m putting in my body. Eat for fuel: Sure it will taste good for a whole 30 seconds, but I will then regret it for the 30+ minutes I’m dragging ass on the pavement. Oh, hey genius.

And sure I don’t need 3 months to jump start this little plan, but I know me, and I need to kick these races’ bootays AND I need a little wiggle room considering Cabo, Thanksgiving, my birthday AND Christmas all surround these upcoming races:

November 22nd Thanksgiving Day 10k

December 2nd CIM (California International Marathon) RELAY! YAY! I get to “run a marathon” but in a relay team with friends! Approx 5.8 miles

March 17th Shamrock’n Half Marathon 13.1 miles*
*BY FAR THE MOST I’LL HAVE EVER RUN. EVER. Hello bucket list!

This little list gives me incentive and gives me accountability because all of my many, hundreds of thousands of readers *winky face 😉 will now know to stop me when I go in for a second cupcake.

 

Boys will be boys…

Look at what I get to wake up to.
Shameless. Complete disregard for common decency because to him, why be common? And why in the heck be decent?

And the best part is he’s an absolute stud. We’re talking Ladies Man. I’m not quite sure where he gets it from, certainly not his mom, as I’m not into ladies and I’m honestly…not much of a stud. Instead I’m usually found ‘bopping’ around town with a surprisingly loud voice, cracking puns and making friends with people in line.

*And if you know me, you know that I LOVE puns. Walker thinks I’m one “punny girl” and I think he prefers it that way 🙂

But back to Murphy.

He has two female pup-friends in life. Sadie and Maggie. Both of them are spaniel mixes (coincidence?) and think the WORLD of Murphy. The problem is he can’t quite figure out what to do with either of them. Maggie is his dog-friend at work, so his encounters are hit and miss; barred by baby-gates but sprinkled with occasional office lobby playtime. Sadie however is his soon-to-be-roomate/sister-from-another-mister pup friend who he sees daily. Both are always trying to get his attention.

As a typical Border Colllie, he’s not too keen on other dogs. He’s imprinted on me and that’s enough to make his whole  life whole. Welp. That’s fine and dandy, but watching these girls coo and wag their tails, try to get him to play or nuzzle is just so stinkin’ SAD because he inevitably ignores them and it takes me back to my single days. And why in heavens would I want to do that?!

My boy is a typical, single, attractive male. As his momma should I be teaching him about respect and the importance of finding a nice girl to settle down with and make the cutest puppies in history?
Hmm. Probably not. The old fix-a-roo kind of shut the door on that one. But let’s expand this to human babies. Hypothetical, human babies.

I joke to my friends that I know nothing about men. Even despite having found myself a keeper, I know that until the end of time I will continue to wonder how men tick. So the idea of growing one inside of me is kind of terrifying…and yet, empowering. They start out so innocent. So malleable. All of those studs, jerks, wack-a-doos and well, losers, all started out the same way. Proof that everybody is somebody‘s baby. Let’s get it together people! The future generation is putty, let’s mold it to be something we can be proud of.

*Poor Murphy had to be my blogging example. He’s a real love bug when he wants to be 🙂


Must Love Dogs

“A dog is the only thing on earth that will love you more than you love yourself.”
~ Josh Billings

Sometimes I think that if Murphy could talk he would have a nasal voice with thick rimmed glasses and refer to me as “Mother.” Do you think? Oh how I love him.
No one wakes up in the morning with as much vibrato as a dog. They would undoubtedly sing that annoying “Good Mornin’!” song from Singin’ in the Rain if they could. Sometimes we wish they could talk, but then you sort of think about how well they know you and you tend to think otherwise… think about it…

Here are my top reasons why having a dog makes you a better person:

(This includes people who want dogs, but don’t currently have them because they recognize that it’s not the right time in their life. After all, dogs deserve the best life possible, just like us!)

1. Cleaning up another species’ poo and carrying it around is very humbling.

2. Cleaning up after anything your dog does is humbling; Be it furballs, muddy paw prints or the occasional garbage-dive when they’ve panicked and thought you were never, ever, ever coming home. Ever.

3. Learning how to communicate. They only understand a handful of words and intonations. Telling them how much they bother you earns you a lick. Telling them how you love them earns you a lick. Currency is a fair trade my friend.

4. Getting up off your feet to walk multiple times a day keeps you fit and makes you happier in the grand scheme. Unless of course it’s raining/freezing/scorching…then it’s just frustrating, aka humbling; Reference bullets #1 and #2.

5. Dogs are a great preparation for future kiddos. Murphy likes to graze when he eats. This means that if I need him to eat before a long road trip, I have to spice up breakfast with eggs or other tasty morsels. Is it possible that he might be catching onto this…?

6. They don’t care what your day is like; another prep for children. I could be having a horrible day, and Murphy still needs a walk, food, someone to throw his Wubba and he doesn’t really give a crap if I’m up for it or not. This in turn takes the focus off of my inability to function when I’m feeling crabby, and instead go through the motions of the day until it is bedtime, because the option to curl up into a fetal ball…well…isn’t an option.

So what have we learned here? Anything that is gross, annoying or time-consuming is in fact humbling.

Dogs are here to teach us that life doesn’t stop when you leave the room.  Nope. It follows you into the next one. And sits at your feet. And brings the Wubba.  Sigh.

You Know You’re a Bad Person When…

…You’re hoping for an accident.

Ohhhhh you know what I mean. You’ve been there. Don’t tell me that when you’re stuck on the freeway that has suddenly become a parking lot…that you don’t start looking for carnage. You’re frustrated, straining your neck, looking to rubber neck as soon as you have the opportunity…but nothing.
And after countless minutes of stop and go, you finally pick up to a speed that doesn’t give you a foot cramp….and, wait…..nothing!? What?!
I don’t need bodies in the road I just need a couple skid marks! Heck, it could even be an abandoned chair sitting on the center-divide; I just need something that justifies that I’ll never get that lost time back.

Can you tell I despise traffic?

These are what I like to call “First World Problems.” And no, I didn’t make the phrase up although I wish I HAD! I stole it from Kate, a friend of mine who currently left me for Pittsburg, but has always been a big supporter of my blogging antics. Other “First World Problems:”

–       Seeds in your fruit

–       A hole in your dog poop bag

–       Soy milk curdling in hot coffee

–       Lines

I HATE lines. Between traffic and lines you’re probably thinking that I’m a pretty impatient person.

“They say patience is a virtue. Why can’t Hurry the F*%! up be a virtue?!” ~ Anonymous

BAHA!  Agreed.

I’m one of those people that can’t relax until the sun is down. Daylight = productivity.
Not to mention its sort of FUN seeing how many things you can get done in one day. The downside is you tend to get really frazzled and also very distracted. For instance, on my way to the kitchen to make dinner, I figure I should probably pick up Murphy’s toys only to find that there are dust-doggies the size of Murphy hidden under the couch. That makes me then start to pick it up and wonder HOW he possibly has any hair left. Well then I’ve got to throw it away, BUT en route to the bathroom I realize, damn, the single-solitary house plant needs about a week’s worth of water, which puts me in the bathroom to then see that THAT needs cleaning and I finally have to just pull myself away and go eat something because CLEARLY I will need sustenance to continue the rest of the day with my crazy self.

That kids’ book “When you give a mouse a cookie” comes to mind.

The funniest part is Murphy follows me around like a shadow. So between the TWO of us, we’re like a flipping side-show act. I’m just waiting for Bravo TV to show up and offer me a contract for my own reality show. Hey, if it sucks they can play it at night-time with all the other boring shows to help people fall asleep!

Question: What are some of your “First World Problems?” Leave a comment here!

If Murphy Says So

Murphy likes to do this adorable manuever I refer to as ‘The Superman.’ Sometimes I shout out “Rigamortis!” Unfortunately I have invested about .01 seconds in training him, so he hasn’t caught on. BUT when he DOES do it, and I (at the same time) TELL him to do it… it feels like I’m in charge. Catch my drift?

Pet me! You know you want to

Since he’s a rescue dog, formerly known as ‘Lil Dude,’ Murphy gets away with a lot. I figure that in his past life (the first 5 years, before I had him) he was locked in a dungeon and an evil dragon held him captive. I wish I could say this is a completely crazy idea. Hard to say when you hear countless stories of inhumanity and people being heartless idiots. I don’t think it’s fair to still be called a HUMAN if you’re completely INHUMANE. It’s not a FRUIT SALAD if there isn’t any FRUIT.
Who’s with me?

Working at an animal shelter, your work becomes a part of you. When you see a puppy having to go into foster care because they were so badly neglected they developed Demodectic Mange – you tend to build up a little callous at the site of inhumanity.

I’ve heard it said that:
If your dog doesn’t like certain people, maybe you shouldn’t either.”
Genius!

Jenner by the Sea (July 2012)

Murphy has a few weird quirks, one of them being big crowds and tall men. Poor Walker and his 6’4” stature. Previously referred to as my “wonderfully goofy boyfriend” in my first post, Walker has put up with a lot in the getting-the-girls’-dog-to-like-you department.  Thankfully, after all the heel nips, hugging interceptions and body checks, Walker passed with flying colors for two reasons:

  1. He let Murphy know who’s boss, (while also respecting that the fact that a paranoid Border Collie is naturally going to be territorial)
  2. He gave the situation a lot of time and patience

I have a handful of friends with dogs and we all agree: NEVER trust a man who doesn’t like animals. Guys, you don’t have to be a dog lover (although you should, it’ll make you live longer), but you sure as hell have to respect that that four-legged fluff ball makes that girl’s heart-go-round…and that if you can’t handle a pup, you better buckle down once she has a baby! Muahahaha!

Engagement par-tay for Heather & Jeff! Here we go 2013!

Find Your Wubba

If you’re a dog mom (or dad) you know what a Wubba is. If you don’t…you’re…lucky?

The Wubba is an “indestructible” (I use this term very loosely) high-pitched, squeaky toy that Murphy is OBSESSED with. Seriously.

Wubba’s make great pillows too!

I’m fortunate enough to be able to bring him to work with me, and I’ve never met another soul who loves work more than the Murphster. He jumps out of the car, bolts through the front door, opens his baby/dog gate and dives into “our” office right to where he last left his Wubba. And when we leave? He’s antsy-pants in the car, hurdles over the front seat to get out of the car before I do (we’re working on it), bounds up the stairs and barrels through the front door…only to face dive into his… Wubba.

It’s a strange thing this Wubba.

And you know what? I’m jealous.

Murphy has two! Where’s my Wubba?

In life, do we get the happy-go-lucky equivalent to a favored toy? Or do our opposable thumbs set us apart from other species; and instead we have to spend our days working for the man and trying to find our Happy Place?

Murphy doesn’t worry about what he just found and ate in a bush nearby (don’t ask because half the time I have no idea either) or what his friends are doing; If he’s missing out; or fear that karma is coming to get him. Nope, instead he hops on the bed, drops the Wubba on the ground, gives it the stink eye and lunges for it. Over and over and over. Wubba Love (video proof!)

And while I love Murphy’s quirkiness and outlook that “life-is-what-happens” not “what I make of it,” I can’t stand it when people have the same point of view. Is that fair? I think so.

Murphy will weave back and forth on a sidewalk with little disregard to you or your personal space, and won’t think twice, because that’s your problem. Not his. It’s the same as someone who is so caught up in their own world that they fail to recognize you standing in front of them or behind them in line, or acknowledge that you too have a life because they are too wrapped up in their own. Dogs get a pass. You, human, do not. Shape up or we’ll kick you off the planet and send you to Mars. I hear humans will be landing there in 2030. Maybe you can volunteer?

Sigh. It’s much too early to vent. Move over Murphy. Share the Wubba.

A Little Perspective

Our first week together back in January 2011. He knows who loves him already!

I’m starting to realize that trying to gain perspective is like chasing your tail…round and round you go. And catching up to it is sort of like hindsight; turns out that while you thought you had an inkling of an idea, you’re actually just back at the beginning.

And then there is the life of a dog.

Murphy has a pretty clear understanding of his purpose in life: Eat, sleep, walk, take care of business, (have mom take care of said ‘business’), and basically watch my every move to make sure that he isn’t missing any cues. I guess I should emphasize that it’s one thing to have a loyal dog; it’s another to have a loyal Border Collie. His breed is bred to pick a human, imprint on them and make him/her their whole life. Seriously. We’re talking the Alpha, Omega, Beginning and End. Unless he is sleeping, he is watching. He’s like Santa but without the presents.
And yet so cute! (Once you get past the creepy factor…)

I’ve heard it said that some people, in a way, envy the dead because they have all the answers. I think this is true whether you believe Heaven is awaiting you or not. But until then, it feels so unfair that life is so uncertain.

As kids all we want to do is grow up. And then we do, and we just miss the days of sticky popsicle faces and long, lazy, summers.  I remember feeling like my problems at the time were so huge. Sometimes I think about what it would be like to have a child of my own, and what it will feel like to just want to baby-shake them (for lack of a better word) so they’ll get a sense of reality. To make them realize that this will pass, that this is “nothing.”  But it’s not fair for us as adults, after years of self-therapy and learning moments, to tease and laughingly call them “problems” when at that age they are everything…. that’s what perspective does. It lets you think you’re in charge and then it kicks you from behind when you least expect it.

It’s been a whole month since my sixteen-year-old ‘cousin’ Logan took his life. And now everyone is left thinking that just thirty-one days we could have said something  life-changing, inspirational, or even funny… something that would have made him think twice, change his mind, or decide there was another option. Until the end of time, I will never understand how a sixteen-year-old can feel that his world is so dark and cloudy, that there is no hope for sunshine.

And while I tease Murphy for being so obsessive, I wonder if he has it all figured out. Understand that life is going to happen all around you. Focus. Find something you just can’t live without and let the whole world know it’s yours.

“If there is ever a day when we can’t be together. Keep me in your heart. I’ll stay there forever.” ~ Winnie the Pooh