All posts by Monica

Day 7 of 13 Days of Halloween (2017)

“You might belong in Hufflepuff,
Where they are just and loyal,

Those patient Hufflepuffs are true
And unafraid of toil”

From the Sorting Hat’s Song, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, pg. 118.

So, which Hogwarts school house has Simon found himself sorted into?

Clearly, Simon is not a Gryffindor. This is a dog that limps when he steps on tiny pebbles and whines when he gets a bath with only lukewarm water.

He is definitely not a Ravenclaw. He just doesn’t seem to have the patience or attention span to devote to learning. During every training class we ever took him to, he would tire out within minutes of starting exercises and then just refuse to do anything. It always drove me insane!

Similarly, he is no Slytherin. That dog may try to act strong and tough, but again it only lasts for about five minutes until the real boss comes to assess the situation—of course, I’m talking about Rosee here.

So, that leaves only one wonderful possibility: Simon is a Hufflepuff.

Certainly, Simon exemplifies most of the well-known Hufflepuff character traits. He is loyal, always sticking to his people. He is just and fair-minded, always looking so incredibly sad if Rosee gets a treat and he hasn’t (though the delay in treat is simply due to the few seconds it takes to get another treat of the bag). He is also extremely friendly, never having met a face he did not want to lick.

Simon is a true Hufflepuff, and the color of his coat, a sort of yellowish-brown, has already got him close to wearing Hufflepuff’s signature colors proudly day-in and day-out!

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Seriously though, Simon loves everyone. He just wants to jump up and lick faces any chance he can get. Don’t get too low to the floor, because he’ll take advantage of your closeness and cover you with kisses!

Unlike his sister Rosee, Simon is very open and fair about his wants, likes, and play habits. If he wants his chew toy or bone, he simply sits in front of the container it is kept in and barks patiently for it. I’m pretty sure the boy doesn’t have a sneaky, clever bone in his body. And if he does . . . well, he’s not very good at keeping it concealed.

Simon also doesn’t mind a little hard work, always willing to take his humans out on increasingly longer walks—especially with the weather cooling down. Oh, how he loves his three mile walks every single day!

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He’s ready to keep walking!

His loyalty and love for his humans knows no bounds. No matter how taxing his day has been, he is always waiting on the couch by the door for his humans to get home from being out playing all day. (Seriously, he wants to know what they’ve been doing all day without him!)

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If only his humans could get home faster then he wouldn’t fall asleep waiting for them!

He is the perfect complement to his Slytherin sister Rosee, balancing out her slyness and determination with never-ending happiness and goodwill.

Now, if he could only get the Ravenclaws in the house to put down their books, and take him on even more walks . . .

Happy almost Halloween everyone!

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(I think he’s ready for this costume-thing to end.)
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Day 6 of 13 Days of Halloween (2017)

“Or perhaps in Slytherin
You’ll make your real friends,

Those cunning folks use any means
To achieve their ends.” 

From the Sorting Hat’s Song, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, pg. 118.

Finding real friends, putting that cunning personality to work, and achieving their ends no matter what? You know, that sounds like a certain Pit Bull I live with . . .

After a recent trip to Universal Studios Hollywood, Theresa and I came to the unanimous decision that Rosee is a Slytherin. She’s a true friend to those she deems worthy enough, she takes what she wants no questions asked (or commands heeded sometimes), and she is quite clever when she’s not snoring away on the couch.

But that’s not all there is: girl looks good in green too!

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As a Slytherin Rosee is quite clearly an ambitious and strong leader, one that is always determined to get her way. She makes sure to always get her favorite spot on the couch, even going so far as to bark at us humans incessantly until we get up and move. If barking doesn’t work, or at the very least doesn’t work immediately, she has no shame in using those terribly endearing puppy eyes on the human sitting in her spot. Those eyes will make you give up almost anything to her!

This girl is also determined to always be in front of the pack. Whenever we are out on a walk she wants to be the one in front, faithfully leading Simon down the street and to the park. She makes sure to alert her humans to any problems coming up ahead and always keep her nose to the ground in search for interesting scents worthy of following up on. Rosee certainly makes it her mission in life to convince everyone that she is in fact the older sibling, and not the younger sister.

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She’s ready to go.

Aside from her more outward personality traits, she’s got this sneaky streak that usually means chewed up shoes for the rest of us. It doesn’t matter if you leave out slippers, sandals, flip-flops, sneakers, boots—you name it, she wants to chew it. And she’s so clever about it too! She bides her time, waiting until your back is turned and your shoes have been left unattended, even just for a moment, and then she attacks! She performs this slow methodical walk past you, acting completely normal until she can get her mouth on your shoe and then she’s gone. And if you don’t get the shoe back in the next few minutes, well then you can just kiss it goodbye because all she needs is three minutes to shake your poor shoe apart. Shoes are her favorite vice, with clean, freshly laundered socks being a close second. The girl obviously knows how to be clever and resourceful, lulling you and your shoes into a false sense of security.

Of course, Rosee’s love of shoes, socks, barking for her spot on the couch, and using her puppy eyes all lead to a Slytherin’s most useful character trait, “a certain disregard for the rules,” as one Albus Dumbledore described. That’s right, Rosee is not one for rules. She knows how to go and “park it” on her bed, and even to “stay,” but on the days where something more interesting is going on outside the window or her bone is laying just a tad out of reach, “park it” and “stay” become less commands and more like ignorable suggestions. I’m sure this attitude is more of her humans’ lack of following through on both commands when she was younger (and something we aptly work toward correcting now), but she’s also just a hard-headed little girl and when she’s in the house and doesn’t want to do something, she just doesn’t do it.

She’s just a girl ready to do things her own way.

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Rosee’s version of parking it.

What can I say, my little Slytherin is just too cute to confine to rules sometimes! (But don’t let that Pit Bull smile blind you; she is always a good and attentive girl when out in the world on her walks!)

I hope this update on Rosee’s Hogwarts school house provided you with a Halloween treat! Tune in next time to find out what house Simon has found himself sorted into. Any guesses?

4 Reasons My Dog is a Feminist . . .

And the One Reason She’s Just Awesome.

  1. She is confident. Beyond confident. She struts up and down the streets while we’re on walks as confident as can be. (I’m pretty sure it’s her new Freedom No-Pull Harness she’s showing off, but who cares? I’ll take it!) She always has that Pit Bull smile ready for those she meets and decides to fold into her favor. She is a force of happy, confident nature that just wants to be shared with the world, as long as the world understands she also needs her space. Hey, everybody’s got a personal bubble!
  2. She is a trailblazer. Rosee is brave and knocks through barriers like they are made of air (even when those barriers are made of my legs and she’s got a hard head!). She is not afraid to remake the world in her image and try to make it a more accepting and lovable place. She makes mistakes and sometimes goes overboard (with her barking), but she is always ready to learn, mature, and grow from her experiences.
  3. She shuts down objectification. Literally. When someone, anyone, stares at her, directly into her eyes for too long, Rosee lets them know it’s not okay. She barks at them, telling them in her own doggy language to stare at something else, as she is no show to be watched or puppet to be made to perform. She is a dog that knows she is not an object to just be looked at and used! She has feelings and emotions (sometimes very loud emotions), and you had better pay attention to more than just her coat color. She is a dog, a Pit Bull—one put on this earth to enjoy life and share her happiness with others, but only if you don’t stare too long.
  4. She will bark at you regardless of who or what you are. She does not discriminate. She dislikes all people, animals, and leaves that make their way onto her front lawn. She does not care for any car that parks in front of her house that does not belong to her humans. She’s all about fairness and equality when it comes to letting people know of her displeasure with their actions. (Even her own humans when they are too slow with the feeding!)

And finally:

  1. She is a Pit Bull. Yes, that’s right. Rosee is awesome because she is a Pit Bull. She has that wide, happy smile. She has that muscular body. She has ears that go up when she hears interesting sounds, and stay up even when she sleeps. She snores louder than the men in the family when she is asleep, drowning out their snores by decibels! She likes her space to spread out in the sun. She loves to cuddle with blankets on the couch when it’s cold. She is Rosee and she is awesome. (And Simon’s okay too, she guesses.)

Muzzle This! An Answer to “Needing Common Sense Dog Laws”

I came across an article recently while perusing Yahoo’s newsfeed. Now, usually I scroll right past this type of story because they’re just plain wrong. The stories either don’t report facts correctly, or just don’t report facts at all. And quite frankly I don’t want my newsfeed to start feeding me a whole bunch of nonsense stories, and then I’d have to find a new homepage. (What a drag!) However, the title of this particular story caught my eye. Entitled “Read on: Maybe we need common-sense dog laws,” I was intrigued. I thought maybe this article would introduce something new, something more than erroneous facts, gross stereotypes, and terrible generalizations. Unfortunately, I was wrong.

You see, I don’t like reading stories about Pit Bull attacks. And no, it’s not to try and ignore or disillusion myself, but it’s because a LARGE MAJORITY of the stories are wrong. The dog is not a Pit Bull, not even some sort of mix, the “attack” wasn’t some senseless act of violence, but provoked, and the story always likes to report made up facts about Pit Bull attacks that just get me angry. I also don’t want to be giving any attention to these types of stories, because it only helps them to gain traction, and that is something I refuse to do. But like I said, this story’s title caught my eye, so against my better judgement I clicked to read.

Was I genuinely surprised and tickled? Nope.

In fact, the author describes a beautiful day with his beautiful dog that is viciously attacked by, you guessed it, a Pit Bull. How does he know it was a Pit Bull, because his son who was actually present during the attack says so. The author himself wasn’t present, but sharing his two cents anyway. Those two cents go on to say that because some other places have enacted terrible discriminatory practices known as Breed Specific Legislation that all places should as well in order to stop terrible attacks that have left his dog unable to leave the house now. In fact, his suggestion is that all Pit Bulls should now have to be leashed whenever outside of their homes, on a short leash, and with muzzles on. All because one dog attacked his precious little pooch.

Well, you know what? I’ve got a suggestion for him too. Let’s muzzle Chihuahuas. How about little white Terriers? Pomeranians? Cats? Because every single one of these types of animals have attacked my two big and bad Pit Bulls, making them bleed, leaving scratches on their legs and faces, leaving us running into the middle of traffic to get away from them while careless owners stood on watching. And we haven’t been attacked once, twice, not even just three times in the four years we’ve had dogs. Nope. We’re lucky if our dogs only get attacked once a week. Once a week! This guy gets attacked once and suddenly he’s fighting to muzzle an entire breed! I can’t EVEN!

And before it gets asked, yes, I’ve had to fight off all these animals from my dogs. I’ve gotten scratched, bruised, bloodied, and pushed down. I’ve yelled at poop-shamers, and I’ve fended off Golden Retrievers and Labradors. I’ve had to fight off terrible people trying their best to get my dogs to attack them just so they can have something to boohoo about. I’ve protected my dogs and made sure the general public is protected every time I bring Simon and Rosee outside of the house.

So . . .

You want to muzzle someone or something? How about the people that think to fix one we have to punish all? How about the people who think their dog is somehow more important than another? How about the people that spew ignorance and hate? Because people who do these things are not helping to fix the actual problem that exists in society, but in fact are only creating new ones that impact people who are not even at fault.

My dogs should not have to walk around with muzzles on because of one set of irresponsible dog owners. My dogs should not be attacked by any other dog because of irresponsible dog owners. My dogs should not be subjected to irresponsible dog owners, period.

And neither should any other dog. An owner and a dog should be able to go on a nice, enjoyable walk in their neighborhood, at a park, or wherever they choose to go, without being subject to irresponsible owners and their untrained dogs. How does this happen? By enforcing leash laws and putting an end to illegal practices like backyard breeding and dog fighting. If leash laws were enforced then dogs wouldn’t be let loose in public places. It is usually the rules in cities and counties that when out in public, even in an owner’s front yard if not fenced in, dogs should be leashed, on a leash no longer than about six feet. Instead of being able to run at unsuspecting things, ALL dogs would be kept under control and their owners would be forced to take responsibility for them if leash laws were actually enforced. A novel idea, right?

Or how about stopping dog fighting rings and backyard breeding? Breeding creates an influx of dogs with not enough people willing to care for them, and more dogs ending up in shelters because of it. Breeding is a big problem for Pit Bulls as they are often the ones subjected to it. Everyone wants a Pit Bull until it comes time to actually caring for one. They are a strong breed of dog, one that needs lots of exercise and attention. Simon and Rosee certainly need their daily walks, playtime, and human interaction. But not everyone can give these things to a dog, much less a Pit Bull. So, after the novelty wears off and the dog is no longer a cute little puppy, the dog either gets abandoned to the streets or left at a kill shelter.

That is if the dogs don’t end up the hands of people who want to use them to fight, which is a whole other issue I am not even ready to get into. Dog fighting is disgusting and should not be inflicted on any type of dog period. It is something that needs to be taken more seriously by society in general and stopped immediately, with harsher sentences to those found responsible (looking at you Michael Vick).

But muzzling one breed? That is clearly not the answer. So please, think before your write.

And for the record, this is not “blowback” as you so kindly put it, author of the original article. This is common sense, just like you asked for.

You’re welcome.

The Poop Is Not On My Face

“Leave my dog’s butt out of this!”

There’s this crazy phenomenon going around. I’m not sure if it’s new or not. Maybe it’s just relatively new to me. I say relatively because I was introduced to it quite a while ago, but passed it off as a singular event because it has not been repeated . . . until this past weekend that is.

It goes like this.

You’re on a lively walk with your dog. He or she is behaving wonderfully. You look before you cross the street. You pass by friendly people who comment on your good dog. You feel good. All of a sudden your dog performs a normal bodily function. He or she poops. You take it in stride, pull out your disposable plastic bag, turn it inside out over your hand, and set to bend over to pick up the mess. Unfortunately, that’s when the poop HITS THE FAN!

What do I mean?

Well, a ne’er do well human being passing by takes it upon themselves to perform their self-imposed “civic” duty and yell at you to “Pick up the poop!”

That’s right people. Poop-shaming is alive, and it’s real.

It’s happened quite a few times when Theresa and I have taken Simon and Rosee out on their daily walks with people from inside their houses and driving in cars passing by taking it upon themselves to tell us what to do with our dogs’ output, despite the fact that we are already taking care of the problem.

And it’s not like our dogs are relieving themselves on someone’s well-maintained, pristine bed of crisp green blades. They go in public parks, in street gutters, and in empty desolate fields that are scattered around our hometown. Theresa and I are always very careful to make sure that Simon and Rosee go in places that don’t disturb the people around us. And considering all of the “waste” left in our public parks for weeks, you know until the city gardeners come and clean everything up, I feel pretty good about the way in which our dogs “go” in this world.

It’s just other people that don’t feel so great about it, unfortunately, and decide to impose their will on us otherwise unsuspecting good people.

Poop-shaming, it’s a terrible, horrible, no good thing.

Take last weekend’s jaunt for example. We are walking past an EMPTY field (one, mind you, that is already full of dirt, weeds, and every other piece of trash that exists—and is one that the City cleans up every few months or so) when Simon decided he needed to relieve himself. As I waited for him to finish and prepared to pick everything up, plastic bag already overturned on my hand, a lady pulled up in her car and decided I needed more “motivation.” She yelled not once, but twice to “Pick up the poop!” She proceeded to sit in her car and stare at me for a good few minutes. I refused to do anything with her creepily watching me, but after she yelled the second time and I actually heard exactly what she said you better believe I started walking towards her car asking her what was wrong with her?!?! Of course she took the coward’s way out and drove off as fast as she could. You know, so she didn’t actually have to deal with the consequences of her mean action, she just left that for me. Lucky me, right?

So, if my general audience doesn’t mind me taking a few lines to address all the poop-shamers out there. If you feel the need to poop-shame me, then do me a favor. One: Don’t yell at me. Two: Don’t yell at me. If I see my dog poop and walk away from it without doing anything, go ahead, say something, if only to put your mind at ease and feel like you did something productive during the day. But when I’m being a responsible pet owner, with a plastic bag on my hand, bending over to scrap the ground of excrement then DON’T YELL AT ME!

I have absolutely NO PROBLEM walking right up to you and telling you exactly how much better my dog’s poop smells than the vitriol you are spitting out at me at the moment.

You’re so-called civic duty is being wasted and I would hate to take that away from anybody else. Because, as of right now the poop is not on my face.

Understood?

Whew! Thanks for that. Sometimes you’ve just got to let it out.

Anyway, for those of you who have ever been shamed or might be shamed don’t worry. It’s their problem, not yours. You know you are a responsible pet owner, so don’t let others three second judgments get you down. Ignore them, and keep on walking. I know, I know easier said than done, but it is so not worth getting a stomachache over a complete stranger, especially when you’ve got an excited and happy pup that has already moved on.

Learn from me! And don’t accept poop-shaming!