That Dog Sure Can Jump

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Animals, Humor, Little Story, Otis, Uncategorized | Posted on 19-07-2014

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Some dogs jump for frisbees. Some jump for tennis balls. Some jump for sticks.

Not my dog.

No. Otis jumps for fabric softener dryer sheets.

He likes to roll on them and smell all perfumey. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that they are called Bounce.

That dog can jump!

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Baby Ducks

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Animals, Childhood, Death, Family, Life, Memories, Mothering, Pets | Posted on 19-04-2014

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When I was a child, my mother bought me two baby ducks and a baby chick at Easter. Because. She. Was. Cool. Like. That.

And, naturally, we lived in a neighborhood, not on a farm. And back then, urban chickens weren’t exactly the rage. Imagine my delight when I got to pet and hold and nurture baby farm life! The babies would gently peck at the grain in my palm with their beaks and bills. And I would rub their softness against my cheek.

They lived in a cardboard box with a heat lamp, in our laundry room off the kitchen. They were my pride and joy.

Only a few days after getting them, one of the baby ducks named Quincy died. It was one of the saddest days. But I had Abraham, who I later trained to walk on a leash.

The chick grew quickly. Her downy fuzz was soon replaced by spiky feathers. And whaddya know, she turned into a rooster. Who proceeded to cock-a-doodle-doo at 5:00 a.m., much to the neighbors’ dismay. We had to quickly find him a home at the petting zoo.

But we had the duck for awhile and he was awesome.

Thinking back, my mother had the best intentions to buy me baby animals at Easter, surrounding me with love and animals.

Years later, I bought my son baby ducks at Easter. He loved to pet and hold and nurture them. He fed them with his little hands. He helped me pour in fresh water. He “helped” his Dad make a cage outside. We lived on five acres; a perfect home for ducks. It was blissful!

Except. Not so much.

Our yard backed up to a forest, with a variety of wild animals who happened to prey on ducks.

One fateful morning, when went to feed the ducks, they had, sadly, died. Tortured, really. Turns out a raccoon or fox had climbed into their fence and bit off their heads. It was shocking.

Like my mother, I, too, had only the best intentions to surround my son with love and animals.

That was our last foray with baby ducks. We seem to do much better with large dogs. 🙂

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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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Does that Sofa Come in “Labrador Yellow?”

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Decor, Home, Pet, Pets | Posted on 07-10-2013

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Our family room is definitely a family room. It’s accessible, comfortable, and used–by all family members.

And when I say used, I mean the furniture looks like it’s used.

Plus we have a giant yellow Labrador who loves to rub up against the back of the chair, like a lion scratching against a tree. Yeah that.

Our slip-covered sofa and chair were dark grey and our dog is yellow, so you can imagine the hairiness. And the color contrast.

Thankfully, we don’t invest too much money in furniture. But I still like things looking nice. So, we ditched the old slip covers and trekked to Ikea to re-slip in “Teno light gray.”

Yeah, that’s what they call the color. I call it Labrador yellow. A perfect match.

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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.

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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.

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.

YOU’RE Getting a PUPPY???

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Advice, Animals, Attitude, Family, Family Pet, Life Lessons | Posted on 20-05-2012

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“I’m getting a puppy!”

Instead of being a naysayer, how about being a yaysayer. Here’s what I mean…

When you tell people you’re getting a puppy, these are comments you might get:

  • “YOU’RE getting a PUPPY?!”
  • “Do you KNOW how much they pee and poop?”
  • “They will eat EVERYTHING.”
  • “Do you KNOW what you’re getting yourself into?”
  • “Are you SURE you want a puppy?”
  • “It will wreck your house.”
  • “Better hide your shoes.”
  • “It will turn your yard upside down.”
  • “Ugh. Why do you WANT a puppy?”

Naysayers and Debbie Downers. All of them.

I mean, imagine if you tell someone you’re pregnant or adopting a baby. And imagine these SAME comments for a human child. You would probably drop these friends like a hot potato. And, oh, by the way, have you ever HELD a hot potato? They are freaking hot.

I think the snarly comments are made by people who may lack boundaries, who simply like to blurt out their opinions. Regardless of their impact.

Some people are well-meaning and try to be helpful. They like to point out things you may not already know. As in, “You may want to put your shoes up high because puppies like to chew on shoes.” Haven’t we all watched Marley and Me? We KNOW the damages puppies can cause (we also know the love puppies and grown dogs can offer).

And some people are reality-based. As in, “Puppies are a lot of work. You have to train them to pee outside by taking them out every 10 minutes.” Gee, thanks for the pee tip.

While other people are just mean-spirited and want to burst your happy puppy bubble. As in, “Are you SURE you want a puppy??” When you’ve already told them you’re GETTING a puppy. Of course you are sure. And you are excited. (Again replace the “puppy” reference with “baby” and the comment is even meaner.)

As a future puppy owner, aren’t we simply expecting people to say:

  • “That’s awesome!”
  • “I love puppies.”
  • “Puppies are the best.”
  • “Your family is gonna love a dog.”
  • “Aw, so cute. I can’t wait to see a picture.”
  • “Very cool.”
  • “I want a puppy.”

The next time you hear someone exclaim, “I’m getting a puppy!” Maybe ya might want to hold in the meanness for a second, and high-five the person instead. And shriek, “COOL!” #yaysayer

Snakes On a Plane…Hell No

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Adolescence, Boys, Celebrations, Connections, Family, Humor, Life Lessons, Mothering, Mothers and Sons, Parenting | Posted on 08-05-2012

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Ophidiophobia = the fear of snakes. Yeah, I got that.

If my kids ever ask me, “Mom, can I get a pet snake?”

“Hell, no.”

Snakes at museums? I can handle that. Because there are padlocks on the lids. But snakes on the loose? Indiana Jones and I. We both hate snakes.

So, the movie selection with my newly-minted-13-year-old son? Snakes on a Plane. OMG.

  • A snake peeping out of the overhead storage bin? Hell no.
  • A snake striking out of the toilet? Hell no.
  • A snake slithering up your leg when you have nodded off? Hell no.
  • A snake sneaking into your purse and then–surprise–you find it while rummaging around for some gum. Hell no.
  • A snake attacking the co-pilot? Hell no.

But I wanted to be cool Mom. So we watched, side by side, as the snakes peeped and struck and slithered and snuck and attacked.

Here’s a teensy little clip that made us bust up laughing (don’t proceed if you don’t like swearing…me? #sailormouth):

You and me both, SLJ, you and me both.

I Love My Dog, But…

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Animals, Family Pet, Humor | Posted on 13-04-2012

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I love my dog…but…I don’t love my dog’s butt.

Her butt has the worst timing. She loves to poop while on our walk. Even if she has spent the whole day in the back yard–with a plethora of grass–she’ll save it. Like a present.

Aw, you shouldn’t have…it’s not my birthday, dawg!

A public poop requires you to:

  • Stop (unless it’s a poop while walking, requiring you to backtrack)
  • Sometimes wait…and wait
  • Bend over
  • Put your hand in a plastic bag
  • Pick up the steamy pile
  • Oh yeah, and carry it several blocks home, feeling a teensy bit degraded

It’s amusing to watch other dog owners clean up these presents in public. They get this weird expression on their face, as in “WHY ME?!” And then sheepishly pick it up and walk with the bag in-hand. I have a secret little chuckle as I watch someone carrying that bag. Because everyone knows precisely what’s inside.

But that chuckle quickly fades when we embark on our next walk. 🙂