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Archive for the ‘Dogs’ Category
Let me explain. Bentley – my dog – is a mutt. Not a designer breed kind of mutt, but an actual we-have-no-idea-what-kind-of-dog-he-is mutt. Oh, and he has an agent.
No really. My nineteen pound rescue dog (Petfinders) from Arkansas has an agent who works with him, trains him, and brings him to auditions. In an only-in-NY story, we had had Bentley only a few days, when a woman stopped my husband (and dog) on the street and said she had a proposition for him. She was a pet-agent, she said. And our puppy had potential.
My husband, thinking I would refuse, politely declined. I, however, did not refuse. “We can make money off this dog?!” I said. “Sign me up.”
So now, more than two years later – and after an agent-free year when she wasn’t interested anymore – Bentley is back in business. Once or even twice a week, the trainer takes Bentley, trains him in a few hours to do things I haven’t been able to teach him in two years – and takes him on go-sees.
A few weeks ago. Bentley booked his first job. A big job – a Target commercial. We were so excited. My dog owner friends from the park were jealous. One even said to me “No offense,” which, by the way, always means they are about to say something offensive “but why Bentley? I mean, what makes him so special? My dog is cute. He could be in a commercial.”
Well, maybe. But your dog hates people. He snarls at everyone. He’s mean. Cute or not, no one wants to work with a crazy. Just ask Sean Young. Also – he’s a dog. It’s not a personal affront. Get over it.
ANYWAY – Bentley – because he is so cute and has such a lovely personality – (take that, woman in the park!) – booked the job. But then, the day of, they went with another dog. Why?
My nineteen pound dog needs to lose — get this – a pound. ONE POUND! People like to see thin dogs, evidently. A good looking dog has a tuck between his ribcage and his belly. I was given express instructions on how much to feed him, how much exercise he should get.
My dog is too fat for TV work.
At first, I thought it was hysterical. A dog on a diet! Then, I got depressed. Even my dog is not immune from body image issues. Granted, they’re my issues, and the casting director’s, but still. My daughter, a twelve year old who wears girls size 10 jeans and barely tips the scale at all, has already begun obsessing over her weight. (my fault, I’m sure). I have wasted a lifetime worrying about every lump, bump, and calorie, and yet have still to lose those dreaded 10 pounds. (Hence my tagline: On Momming and Aging and My 20 Year Quest to lose the Same Ten Pounds) And now my dog will also be saddled with self image issues? Will he be too embarrassed to go to the dog run with the other dogs? Will he decline to sit in my lap for fear I’ll notice that he’s gained a few? Will he insist I don’t put him in the red sweater I knitted him because it makes him look fat?
Will there be no end to the madness?
So I picked a dog who isn’t fat, exactly – but who needs to lose a few to fit into society’s idea of the perfect weight. You do the math.
One day, maybe Bentley will write his own blog: “From Hungry to Heavy…in one owner flat. On barking, and pooping, and my five year quest to lose that one last pound.”
Hey, he already has an agent.
Just a quick Wordless Wednesday pic of two of my “boys” sleeping over the long weekend! Too cute! (I do say so myself!)
This weekend, the kids, the dog and I (Hubby was in sunny Florida) went to visit my sister who recently left the hipster haven of Brooklyn for a small, bucolic college town more than two hours north of NYC. While she’s renovating her new acquired 1726 farmhouse, she’s living in a different farmhouse she rents from a lovely couple, who couldn’t be more welcoming or generous. Who have helped my sister find a pediatrician, and a plumber, and who offered me a dozen eggs from their chickens – eggs my own children helped gather that very morning.
And who must hate me.
The weekend was great. We hiked along the Hudson River, we pet her neighbor’s goats. We watched as one of the nine remaining Araucana hens her landlord keeps laid an egg. (Coyotes had gotten to nearly 40 chickens this fall, leaving only the nine survivors, fighters all. ) The kids bounced on the trampoline in the backyard with their cousins. We went to a farm stand, had pie. At night, the only sound was the waterfall outside my window, and the wind, rustling through what was left of the leaves.
City girl that I am, I found myself thinking that my sister was right to leave the hustle, bustle, stench and crowds of the city. Who needs to worry about what you wear to walk the dog? Or whether or not your neighbor can hear you screech at your children to turn off the computer? Who wants to worry about bedbugs and botox when you can worry about ticks and Timberland jackets? All I need, I thought, is a lovely old farmhouse with a fire burning in the living room, a pie baking in the oven, and an omelet only an arms reach away in the neighboring barn. Maybe, I thought, it’s time for me to pull a Green Acres and head out to the farm, where life is simple, where skies are blue, where no one urinates on your stoop.
And then my dog killed a chicken. (more…)
Weird things happen at the dog park. And I’ve been collecting them. Seen as a list, it’s kind of amazing that anyone has a dog. Why put up with this crap? And picking up his crap? And sometimes having to wipe the crap from his straggly butt hair? Am I grossing you out? Good. At least I’m not the only one gagging.
Want more gory details of life with a dog in NYC? Read on. (more…)
At the end of every day, I feel like I have done nothing. Oh I’ve been busy all right. But doing what? So one day last week, I decided to keep track of my day — how could I have been so busy during all those hours when the kids were at school and have nothing to show for it?
6:50 am – Wake up. Stumble into bathroom. Throw on workout clothes. (It’s a fact that just wearing the clothes confers exercise points, whether or not you make it to the gym.
7-7:35 am – Say “get dressed, brush your teeth, eat your breakfast” over and over and over and over as if it were a mantra, instead of just a daily battle to get the kids out of the house.
7:35-7:45 Walk kids to bus, realize we are late. Run to bus. Marvel at how, once again, neither of my children has seen fit even to say goodbye before getting on the school bus.
7:45-8:30 Walk dog. See? That’s exercise….ish.
8:45-9 Coffee, breakfast, email. Multi tasking is my friend. Except when I spill my coffee on my computer as I email. Then mulit-tasking is a multi cursing, multi-hours on the phone with customer service enemy.
9-10:30 Do breakfast dishes. (yes, email takes priority over dishes in the sink.) Make beds, straighten up. Notice the kitchen floor feels sticky. Don’t want to know why – just mop it. Ditto for the Dining Room, which needs sweeping and mopping.
10:30-11:15 Get Fresh Direct delivery. Open up pantry to put everything away, and nearly get killed in the avalanche of cereal boxes, pretzel bags, and precariously balanced cans of Organic canned tomatoes that falls on my head. Re-organize pantry. Find food I probably should have thrown away in 2007.
11:15-12:15 Research our next vacation: Africa. Ok, I admit, this is the fun part. A bit overwhelming, perhaps, but fun. We are going on a big trip for my husband’s 50th birthday, and I’m responsible for putting it all together. The number of companies offering Safaris is astounding. And each one looks better than the last. Hey, somebody’s gotta do it.
12:30-1:30 I forgot to mention that during the entire day, I’ve been short of breath. Seems my lovely swine flu/pneumonia experience has left my lungs a little less than perfect. Spend this hour at the Dr.’s office taking a lung capacity test, reading ancient magazines in the waiting room (I think I saw an advertisement for that food I should have thrown away in 2007!), and being handed a handful of prescriptions. Fun Fun Fun.
1:30-2:15 Walk the dog again. Take him to the Pet Store to buy more poop bags and more training treats. Use said poop bags on the way to the pharmacy with the dog to pick up my prescriptions.
2:15-2:30 realize I haven’t had lunch. Eat, standing up in front of the refrigerator: a tangerine, a hunk of cheddar cheese on a piece of leftover Challah, and a chicken leg.
2:30-3:00 Receive package with new bedding for my bedroom.( Note to readers: do not get new bedding just before getting a new puppy. Your new bedding will instantly become old bedding, and you will need to get new new bedding way too soon.) Take dog stained and chewed old-new-bedding off the bed, replace with new/new bedding. Spend at least seven minutes trying to figure out if it’s worth saving old-new bedding, and if so, where I can store it. Decide to toss it. Dog pee and puppy-teeth sized holes just don’t say “sleep comfortably” to me. Call me crazy.
Hey look! It’s 3:00 already. Time to get the kids, start dinner, help them do their homework (the evening mantra: sit down and do your homework/sit down and do your homework, sit down and…), etc. etc. etc. See how busy my day was? And see how much nothing I did? A lot of nothing. Plenty of nothing. And after a day like that, I’m not so sure that nothing is plenty for me.
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So I made this really really good meatball dish for dinner. Not that labor intensive (despite the long ingredient list). Needless to say – the hubby forgot to tell me he had a business dinner, my son took one look at it and said he didn’t like it, and my daughter and I were left with two dozen meatballs.
Thank goodness there’s room in the freezer.
My dog, however, loved the meatballs, and, while I got the kids started on their homework, he wasted no time licking the plates I had put in the dishwasher. Did I mention the meatballs had a lot of turmeric in them?
Now, my dog has a yellow face. Truly yellow. Bright, looks like I dyed his hair like the people in this New York Times article yellow.
The picture doesn’t really do the color change justice. But trust me: it looks like I he’s in the middle of his adolescent rebellion.
I’m just hoping that next time, he doesn’t come home with a tattoo.