The King

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Animals, Family, Family Pet, Humor | Posted on 02-02-2017

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Welcome to my castle.

My dog has three dog beds throughout our home. One in the family room, one in my office, and one in our bedroom. Each is by a heat vent. Well placed for his comfort.

Yet, Otis usually prefers to sleep on human beds. Because he is the king. And he knows it.

My daughter sleeps at the very edge of her bed so that Otis can stretch his limbs and sprawl out next to her. And she covers him with a pink fleece blanket with bunnies on it.

And then sometimes, Otis will sleep on our bed. The king bed. Of course.

Reminds me of Borat, when he visits an American hotel for the first time: “king in the castle.” Whoa whoa woowa!

The king. #yellowlab #labrador #dogsofinstgram #owningit #kingofthecastle

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8 is Great

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Animals, Family, Family Pet, Pet, Pets | Posted on 04-01-2016

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How old should a child be to own a pet hamster? The pet store said eight years old.

But my daughter was turning seven. And she wanted a hamster. (Imagine Veruca Salt, “Daddy, I want a squirrel!”)

No, my daughter doesn’t ask for much. So, we gifted her a hamster for her seventh birthday. Along with a hamster cage, a wheel, food, cedar chips, a water bottle, toys, and yogurt snacks.

It was love at first sight. She named him Popcorn.

She snuggled with him. She cooed to him. She fed him grated carrots. She built him obstacles out of cardboard boxes. She let him run free. She cleaned his cage. She let him explore her dollhouse. She gave him clean water. She talked to him in a little hamster voice.

And when she was done playing with him, she always put him back safely in his cage and hooked the latch.

Except not always.

We went out to dinner one night and came home to an empty cage. I feared the worst. Had he fallen through a heater vent? Had he crawled under a door to the great outdoors? I was about to initiate an all-family, whole-house search-and-rescue when my daughter announced that he was probably in the kitchen by the mixer.

Because. That’s where she left him. Ah, perfect seven-year-old logic.

Her 7th birthday…

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There is a Good Time to Chase Squirrels and…

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Dogs, Encouragement, Exercise, Family Pet, Humor, Life, Little Story, Otis, Pets, Simply Otis | Posted on 05-03-2014

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I have been running with my dog pretty regularly. You know. The famous Simply Otis? You can “like” his Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/SimplyOtis

We run rain or shine. And lately, even in ice. We’re actually trying to log 31 runs for the month of March. Thirty-one days in March, get it? So far, we’re four for four. In your face! But this is not a bragging story. This is an OMG-I-nearly-knocked-the-Porta-Potty-over-because-Otis-decided-to-chase-a-squirrel-while-I-took-a-crap post.

See? Otis and I make the most excellent running duo.

He pulls me, I lag behind.

I talk to him, he listens.

I take pictures of him, he lets me.

He poops, I clean it up.

I poop, and that’s where this story begins.

If you know me, you know I simply love fiber. Beans. Flax. Oats. Dates in my cookies. More beans. More cookies. You can read about how I nearly pooped my pants in this post.

As Hagrid says, “Better out than in, eh Harry?!”

Well. We were running–Otis and I–and I had to go. Like immediately. Fiber just suddenly kicked in. Fortunately, we ran by a park with whaddya know: a Porta Potty.

Hmmm. Do I take Otis in with me? Do I tie him to a tree, just outside the Porta Potty? And risk someone taking him?

I did what I had to do.

Picture this. I crammed myself into the Porta Potty. Me on the inside of the Porta Potty. Otis on the outside. With leash in one hand inside. And Otis at the other end outside. On the other side of the shut door. I closed the door as best I could and proceeded. There I am, squatting. While Otis started pulling my arm, on the other side of the door. And he was pulling. Very. Hard.

He had spotted a squirrel and was raring to go.

I, too, was raring to go. Bad timing!

Otis yanked and was. Leaping. Towards the squirrel. And you know how squirrels are. They’re fast little suckers. And they dash and dart. The one thought that crossed my mind:

“OTIS IS GONNA PULL SO HARD THAT THE PORTA POTTY IS GONNA TOPPLE OVER WITH ME IN IT!!”

Fast forward four seconds.

Fortunately, there was no toppling. Everything came out just fine. (Oh no squirrels were harmed in this story.)

3 for 3! 3 runs in…3 weeks! 🙂

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A Decade of Marbles

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Family, Family Pet, Fathers, Parenting | Posted on 10-02-2014

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Our last plecostomus (sucker fish) recently died. He lived nearly six years. He did a fine job keeping our fresh-water aquarium algae-free. The aquarium that has been home to goldfish, angel fish, big-eyed fish, silver fish, neons.

One fish, two fish, red fish, blue fish.

We have been hosting fish pets in our home for two decades, in a peaceful aquarium. Over the years, my husband has diligently fed the fish, corrected the water’s pH balance, buried the fish when they died, and encouraged our children to buy new ones–suggesting varieties that would be amicable.

That last sucker fish marked an end to our aquatic pets. So, the tank was emptied and bleached out, the gravel was recycled, and the hoses and filter were tucked away. For another time.

In the process, my husband found dozens and dozens of marbles. That had been buried at the bottom of the tank, under the gravel. Hidden like gems, for a decade.

When our children were teeny tiny and because marbles were a choking hazard, every time my husband found a marble in the house, in a pocket, from a game board, he would drop it in the tank for to keep the kids safe. Plink!

After all these years, we retrieved these magical, treasure-like marbles. They serve as vibrant memories when our children were tiny. Young childhood, now long gone. Just like the fish who once swam in that sparkling aquarium.

That husband of mine, what a gem! Anyone up for a game of Chinese checkers?

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Ode to Otis

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Animals, Dogs, Family, Family Pet, Pet | Posted on 10-07-2013

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What big eyes you have.

What a big muzzle you have.

What big ears you have.

What a big heart you have.

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Our Puppy: A Year in Pictures

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Animals, Daughters, Family, Family Pet, Memories, Pets, Photography | Posted on 11-04-2013

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Happy 1st birthday, Otis!

I took a weekly picture of my puppy and daughter for an entire year, to capture the moments and to watch how much they changed in one year’s time. He grew a little faster than she did. 🙂

Looking through these photos bring back vivid memories for our family. Seasons filled with laughter and silliness, frustrations and mess, teaching and energy, cuddling and love.

Hope you enjoy them!

The Pet Chinchilla

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Animals, Family, Family Pet, Pet | Posted on 01-03-2013

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We had a pet chinchilla, for oh, about 48 seconds.

My son and I had a dream. A dream of owning a super cuddly, small-but-not-too-small furry animal. One that would eat sunflower seeds from our hands. One we could nurture and cuddle with.

A chinchilla.

Bigger than a hamster. More exotic than a guinea pig. Containable in a cage. The softest fur.

The perfect pet.

My high school buddy had owned a pet chinchilla. It was the cutest rabbit-ish and squirrel-ish critter.

So, my son and I traipsed to PetSmart to buy two 40 lbs. bags of dog food and then eagerly headed to the pet aisle to peer into the chinchilla cage. There he was! Our beautiful, grey pet-to-be!

I hailed over a sales associate and asked if she could please get the chinchilla out so that we could hold it.

“Are you considering getting a chinchilla?” she asked. (Duh.)

I glanced over at my son and answered excitedly for the both of us. “Yes! We’d like to hold one!”

“Well, chinchillas don’t really like to be held,” she answered. (Debbie Downer.) “But I’ll get him out for you and you can pet him gently. But be careful. He has to get used to you.”

Our excitement dimmed. They don’t like to be petted? They don’t like to snuggle? Or play dress up?

Whatever. He’ll change! He’ll learn to love us! It’ll be so awesome!

The sales associate grabbed ahold of him, lost her grip, and he scurried away to hide into his house. She tried again. We looked on wearily, getting disappointed by the second.

Finally, she had that chinchilla in a firm grip, close to her chest, so he wouldn’t scratch her to death. And we reached out to pet that sweet little head.

And the little sucker flinched and then became paralyzed in fear.

That’s all it took to reinforce that a chinchilla was not the pet for us. We turned on our heels and bolted. As we hauled the jumbo dog food bags into the car and headed home, we realized, duh, we already have the best pets.

chinchilla

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My Fish Is A Faker

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Animals, Family Pet, Humor | Posted on 26-10-2012

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We have a pet fish.

He looks dead. But he’s not. He is totally faking.

Because, when you go to scoop him out, he swims away.

The backstroke. Of course.

Full of Zest

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Animals, Children, Family, Family Pet, Friends, Love | Posted on 26-09-2012

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If you have seen the movie Marley and Me, then you already know my Labrador puppy Otis, who just turned six months old. One word sums him up: zest.

Otis eats with zest. A bowl of food is gone in 5 seconds flat.

He drinks with zest. He slurps and then water drips down his chin.

He loves with zest. Always ready for a hug and cuddle (and maybe some accidental French kissing).

He snatches sandwiches with zest. One turn of the head and your turkey sandwich is gone.

He sleeps with zest. Stretched out, paws and belly in the air.

He shreds cardboard boxes with zest.

He digs large holes in the yard with zest.

He is lovable and a pain in the ass and playful and sweet and naughty. And he is already part of our family.

Here are pictures of him at the beginning of Summer and on his half-year birthday.

Otis at nine weeks.

Otis at six months.

Happy six-month birthday, you crazy-awesome big boy!

Pippi’s Puppy Palooza

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Animals, Family, Family Pet | Posted on 07-06-2012

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Meet Otis. The newest member of our family.