Today, as I washed my hands in the margarita scented foamy hand soap, and followed that up with some nice vanilla hand cream, I knew I was doomed. As soon as that vanilla creaminess hit my hands, I thought, “Shit! I should’ve checked the laundry room first!” You see, in our house, the laundry room is where the litter box and the puppy pad is. Lola, our Maltese, does not use the bathroom outside. She is too small and too white for that. She goes on a puppy pad near the litter box, and she usually misses the pad when she poops. That, of course, was the case today. As soon as I washed my hands, I had to clean up shit. So, in my head, as I was cleaning up dog shit, scooping the litter box, and then rewashing my hands, I started to come up with this list of universal truths for pet owners.
You don’t really want to know what that wet spot is.
The cat will always make it to the carpet before vomiting.
The dog will help you clean up the cat vomit.
If you have just washed your hands and put on the good, nice-smelling hand cream, you will need to clean up some sort of animal excrement from the floor within two minutes.
Always use a paper towel when picking up that unknown brown chunk from the floor. Don’t lose a game of mud or shit with yourself.
There’s really no need to buy new dog toys. Just move the couch. Your dog will think it’s Christmas.
If your dog is barking as though the SWAT team is in your yard another dog is probably walking down the street. Or a leaf blew by. Or there is a bird sitting on the bush. Or it’s the evil mail carrier.
Use earplugs if you ever want to take a nap. See above.
Just have someone else express those anal glands.
Ditto for trimming black toenails.
And cat bathing.
You could make your millions by inventing cat-ass flavored dog food, and the cat really wishes you would.
What am I missing, pet owners? What always happens in your house? Leave me a comment so we can build this list.
It’s Sophie. Mama is kind of sick and taking a nap, so I was able to grab the light square and tell you guys what’s been going on. I haven’t been allowed to write in a super long time. So, there’s kind of a lot to say. Plus, my sisters and brother want to tell you what their New Year’s resolutions are. Resolutions are like promises you make to yourself in January, and then you just totally break all your promises in like February or something. Anyway, before I do any of that I gotta tell you why I only have one furry brother now instead of two.
This is not easy to say, but Morris crossed the rainbow bridge a few days before eat a bunch of turkey and pie day. He seemed normal except for he was making some noises like he had a bad tummy ache. I was kind of keeping my eye on him, and I helped Mama find him in the laundry room when she was trying to figure out where the noises were coming from. Mama took him to the doctor, and he kept Morris in the hospital for two days. The doctor did like all kinds of pokey and camera tests on Morris and then figured out he had cancer EVERYWHERE. He even had cancer in his heart and it was prolly what was making him make that noise and be kind of lazy and stuff. So, Mama and Daddy decided to help Morris cross the rainbow bridge so he wouldn’t have that ouchy heart and tummy anymore. The doctor gave Morris a shot and he was gone. I miss my nice kitty brother but I’m glad he’s not hurting anymore.
So, that’s why only my two sisters and my one brother, Mean Kitty Andre, are going to write their resolutions. Morris’ resolution is prolly just to sleep on a cloud and eat lots of food. That’s what mine would be if I lived over the rainbow bridge.
But I’m still here in my house, so here are my resolutions.
I will be calmer to the kitties. They don’t like to play with me.
I won’t sniff Boo Boo’s butt because she runs away when I do that.
As you know, I am a trained agent who was assigned to protect this family. Currently, I do not have adequate backup. The fluffy cat, Andre, is a fierce fighter, but he is just out for himself. Unfortunately, it is necessary that I use big and stupid, I mean Sophie, as my second in command. So, my only resolution is that I will train Sophie to be proper backup so I can secure this home.
Sophie here, again. Wow. I think Andre was talking about me, except I’m not stupid. I am big and I am a dog, though. Anyway, those are our resolutions. So, what are yours? Leave us a comment and tell us what promises you made to yourself for the New Year, and if you are keeping them.
Sure – I live in a large house with my parents, the boy, and my canine and feline brother and sisters, but sometimes, I just want to move into my own place. I have found several small dwellings in my house. They seem to be delivered in a loud brown truck that pulls up on the car area outside. Even if I don’t see it the dog sisters alert me with their bark alarms. So, I jump and run to the small window near the door. A man with a brown suit carries a cat home or two to the door, and it sits outside the little window until Mother or Father or the Boy bring it in. You would think the big stupid dog would retrieve it, but she just stares at the truck and barks. This is quite useless. If I had big jaws like that, I would carry the homes in myself.
Once a human carries the cathouse in, Mother opens it with a small sword of sorts. It pops in and out like claws. She then takes out a bunch of useless and stinky things, and leaves the home on the floor for me. I enter it immediately to claim it for myself. Usually, when I leave to use the facilities, or grab a bite to eat, one of my siblings tries to steal it.
Sometimes, I find Morris, the fat, orange useless male, or Boo Boo, my sister who poops on the floor in my home. I let them know in no uncertain terms that it is MY HOUSE. By let them know, I mean I kick their asses. I’m not afraid to let them know who is boss. I’m the alpha here. Even big and stupid knows it.
I wish I could say that my cathouses last forever, but they don’t. Mysteriously, something always happens to them. Sometimes, I find them flattened, and other times they just disappear entirely. I used to suspect that some sort of sorcery or weather issue was to blame for this. Then, I caught Mother cutting up my house with her claw sword. So, when I do have a house of my own, I enjoy it and have everyone take pictures of me in it. I want to share a few with you here.
I’m so excited and it’s not even dinner time. Mama got interviewed by Marshal Zeringue. He is a guy who loves dogs and he posts blogs about them having coffee with their people. The dogs never actually drink coffee because it’s bad for them. Well, he asked Mama some questions, and, as you probably guessed, she answered them in her boring Mama way. So, I answered the questions, too, because I know how to make things more interesting.
Who is in the photo at right? Well, there’s three pictures. One is of me, Mama, and Lola. I’m the big, pretty Black Lab Great Dane. I like to eat food and chase kitties. Mama is the human. Her people name is Lisa R. Petty. She mostly stares at the light square [laptop] and writes blogs and books on it. She also says she teaches college students on the light square, but I never see them or hear them, so I think she’s lying. The little white dog is my sister Lola. She looks like a puppy, but she’s actually old. She mostly just barks a lot to warn us when little humans are playing outside. (Pictures are on original blog — Mama)
One other picture is of me and Mama in the car at the coffee place. You can tell I’m super happy because I’m smiling.
One is of me just sitting in the car.
And my favorite one is of me with my head out of the car window. I love rain.
What’s the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?
I was bored and I was chasing the kitties around. So, mama decided that a car ride might be fun. I like car rides so I can stick my head out of the window and sniff everything.
What’s brewing? We went to a place close to our house called Mean Bean. We had to drive through instead of sit on the patio because it was raining. Mama hates rain, but I love it. Mama got a white chocolate coffee, Daddy was with us and he got a chocolate coffee. I’m not allowed to have chocolate or coffee so I didn’t order anything.
Any treats for you or Sophie on this occasion?
I am Sophie. Well, Mama and Daddy had their coffee. Lola and I had cookies at home, after we took that picture. I like cookies. I run and jump when mama just says the word cookie. MMMMM….. cookies.
How did Sophie get her name? Any nicknames?
Well, Sophie has always been my name, ever since I lived at the animal shelter with my sisters. The boy calls me Sopety McSope Sope, and Mama calls me Big Moose sometimes. I’m only 82 pounds. Mooses are bigger than that.
How were you and Sophie united?
Daddy had a black dog that was smaller than me named Mario. Mario crossed the rainbow bridge before I was even a puppy. So, daddy missed having a bigger dog. He saw me on the animal shelter’s light square page and he just went there and took me home.
Are there any Sophie-inspired dogs in your fiction?
Well, I write blogs and they aren’t fiction. Mama sometimes writes blogs about me, too. Andre, the mean kitty, wrote a blog about me. All of it is true though, except the mean stuff Andre said.
Does Sophie do more to help or hinder your writing?
Oh, I’m a big help because I write blogs. Also, I ask to go outside a lot. So, Mama has to get up from the couch or the table or her desk a lot. This keeps her active and helps her think of more stuff to write.
Who is Sophie’s best pet-pal?
My sister Lola is my best dog pal. The boy, my human brother, is the person I like to play with the most. He’s not boring like Mama.
Where is Sophie’s favorite outdoor destination?
I like to run behind the evergreen trees in my back yard. That is where the birds are. I like to chase birds.
Squeaky toy, ball, stick…?
Yes, please. Send them all to my house. I do tend to destroy toys, though. My teeth get so happy when I chew on stuff.
Cat, postman, squirrel…?
I LOVE to chase kitties. They seem to like it, too, because they run. It’s so much fun.
What is Sophie’s best quality?
Even though I’m the biggest furry kid in the house, I know that I am not the alpha. I let Andre the mean kitty be in charge. I’m super nice and I have never bitten anyone. I just let the mean kitty hit me and make snake noises at me and I don’t even care.
If Sophie could change one thing about you, what would it be?
I would like if if Mama would not be so boring all the time. She just sits and stares at the light square all day. She should go out and chase birds like I do.
If Hollywood made a movie about your life in which Sophie could speak, which actor should do her voice?
I would just do the talking myself. If it had to be a person, I would say maybe Mel Blanc, but I think he crossed the rainbow bridge.
If Sophie could answer only one question in English, what would you ask her?
Mama probably wants to know why I eat poop sometimes. It’s because it’s tasty.
I’m a little concerned about Mother. She is usually the one who takes care of us, but she is acting strange. It seems like she might need to get in a carrier and be taken to the vet. Of course, Father would need to do this, as the woman is a bit heavy in the haunches. I don’t believe I could lift her. And heaven forbid if she urinated in the carrier like I have done. What a mess that would be. Perhaps, she can just get better at home. Let me tell you what is going on with her.
First of all, she is not speaking like she normally does. She is making paw gestures to her throat and using fewer vocal noises. She didn’t even hiss or growl at the yippy white dog when she went canine crazy when the boy’s friend came over. Mother just sat there and looked at Father, and he corrected the creature. I’m glad he did because that dog gets on my nerves.
Another odd thing mother did was sleep with me for two hours on Sunday. Normally, the woman does not sleep during the sunlight hours. I don’t know how she avoids naps, but she usually does. Yesterday, she lay down with me on the couch and let me burrow under the covers with her for a long time. I was glad to do it, as I can be very soothing to Mother. Still, it was out of character. I purred until the poor woman went to her twitching phase. She must be chasing birds in her sleep.
She has been swallowing strange brown and white pellets. She winces when she does this, and says she hopes it helps. I doubt it. She also drinks a stinky drink from a really short cup. It makes her make a face like the one I make when I smell another creature’s excrement on the floor. You would think she would just bury that stuff in the litter box instead of drink it.
Mother is blowing fluids from her nose. It’s really gross. She grabs small white squares and makes horrible, monster like noises, while emptying her nose into the square. It’s really quite frightening. I run away from her when she does this.
Mother’s skin feels warmer than usual. I noticed when I was cleaning her arms that they were quite warm. Even though she is warm, the woman shivers under a blanket as though it is winter. I know that if I took her to the vet, the nurse would put that stick in her bottom to find out how warm she is. That is never pleasant. They should just lick the poor woman’s arms.
What do you think, humans? Should I get Father to attempt to put her in a carrier and cart her off to the vet? I have never seen an illness quite like this one. I’ve never seen a cat or dog have anything like this. The boy has had this and he got better. I wonder if mother will be back to normal soon. Please tell me what I should do. Until I know she is better, I will keep watch over her.
Hey people living in the light square, I need someone to call the cops or something. My mean brother is at it again. He is trying to kill me. I know this because I have been really sick with throw up stuff, and my poop’s been all mushy. I haven’t even tried to eat it in the yard, and that’s one of my favorite treats. My tummy kind of hurts, and I’ve been super tired. I just want to nap in the sunny spots like all day. I think the cat put poison in my water. That’s the only explanation I can come up with.
My sister Lola saw the kitty over by my water even though he has some fancy water fountain that he likes to drink from. She took some pictures so we would have proof for mama. Mama just thought they were cute because she loves Andre like more than anything except for daddy, the boy, and that stinky red drink in the fancy bowl.
Not only do we have pictures as evidence, but the Mean Kitty also confessed that he wants to kill me in this blog. It’s like practically a real signed confession, only he didn’t put his paw print on it and he probably won’t. I will ask Orange Kitty to put his paw print on it and say that it was Mean Kitty. Mean Kitty is mean to him, too, so I know he will help me.
I wanna get Mean Kitty in trouble because I’m scared he will really kill me and also cause this sickness has been terrible. I’ve been really hungry from the throwing up and Mama wouldn’t let me eat my throw up, even though my belly was so empty. She said it was gross and she made me go outside while she cleaned it up and put chemical stuff on the floor. I don’t see what the big deal is. Cows eat their throw up all the time. They don’t let it come all the way out, but they bring it back up into their mouths and eat it again. Food is tasty and throw up is just warmer food that is easier to chew. Plus, then Mama wouldn’t have needed to clean it up.
Daddy was all worried about me and he took me to the doctor. This was no fun at all even though I love my doctor and all of her helper ladies. First, it was OK cause they were just petting me and looking at my mouth and stuff. But, I didn’t like it when they put some kind of stick in my butt to tell if I was too hot. They could’ve just asked me. I would’ve told them that I’m not hot. I just feel like throwing up. That’s it. It’s just a simple throw up sickness because the cat poisoned me.
I’m starting to feel better now. Mama and Daddy took super good care of me and made me special food with chicken, pumpkin, and rice in it. I love food, so I was really happy about that. I still don’t want to get sick again, even if it does mean that I get special food.
So, light square people, please send help to my house. I don’t want this Mean Kitty to kill me for real next time. As you can see, he is vicious.
Hey, readers, Sophie here again. If you want to help stop other animal murders, you can ask other humans to sign this.
I have witnessed my sisters and brothers use Mother’s light square to talk to you all. In my position, I’m no stranger to technology, but I’ve been trying to avoid telling my story because it will blow my cover. You see, I’m not a dog in the regular canine sense. I’m a Designed Operational Guard, or DOG for short.
You may not realize this, dear humans, but you all go about your lives watching your noisy story windows and eating Cheetos (I do love when Mother shares Cheetos) without noticing the dangers that surround you. I follow my mother more than the other humans, as she appears to be the queen bitch. I mean this in the regular canine sense, not in your silly human way. Every time mother moves, I fall in behind her to vocally alert her to such dangers as:
Invisible evil spirits that make the trees move.
Other humans approaching our territory.
Small humans near the property balanced on numerous things with wheels.
Suspicious canines shouting propaganda in the grassy areas near our home.
Feathered drones, armed with white poison, landing in the trees to spy on us.
The uniformed agent who places unknown items in a box near the property.
Whenever I alert Mother to these dangers, she uses her angry human voice and says something that sounds like, “Shut your pie hole.” I’m not entirely sure what that means as I have never eaten nor defecated pie. The woman is not easy to guard due to her harsh temperament and the fact that she is constantly moving from room to room and saying things like “vacuum” or “pig sty.” I have trouble keeping up in my standard issue short legs. If only headquarters had thought to give me longer legs with optional wheels. I will continue to alert mother, even though she does not appreciate it. It is my duty and the woman clearly needs my help as she does many dangerous things, like:
She leaves the home without a leash or the protection of a crate.
She opens the front protective barrier when strange humans make ringing noises.
She sheds her fur and bathes ON PURPOSE.
She refuses to eat feces for the extra vitamins.
Aside from protecting mother, I have other duties. Here they are:
Clearly, I have my work cut out for me. I’ve been on the job 10 years, and I will continue to serve and protect. You probably doubt my might based on my size, but I will have you know that I am the tug-of-war champion in this house, even when I oppose Sophie, a moose-like traditional canine. She is not a trained guard like me, but I use her as backup. I leave you with this video evidence of my might.
My mama wrote this letter to me and said I wasn’t her dog, but that’s a lie. I know I’m her dog because she feeds me. You wouldn’t feed someone that you didn’t love because why would you share food with an enemy. Food is very important and it makes your belly feel nice and full. You wouldn’t just give it away. That makes no sense.
Also, when no one is here, mama says nice things to me. I don’t speak people, so I don’t know really what she is saying, but she says it in her mama love voice. You know, the soft one she uses when one of us, even the boy, is sick or scared of thunder. You don’t speak love to someone you hate.
She also hugs me when she wipes off my feet and whole body after I’ve been outside in the rain. You wouldn’t hug someone you don’t even like unless they were giving you food or something. I never give mama food. She eats stinkier stuff and drinks harsh water. I don’t know why the woman just can’t eat Blue Buffalo like the rest of us.
This is the main reason I know mama loves me. When I got attacked at the really crappy day care I used to go to, mama made sure that my ouchy was taken care of by a good doctor. She even comforted me when I was kind of scared at the doctor’s office. She took really good care of me when we got home, too.
Mama is just one of those people who tries to be all tough, kind of like a Doberman, and she thinks being mean is funny. Mean is not funny; it’s just mean. Mama hasn’t learned that yet. I will be patient with her and keep going in my crate when she makes her growly noises and her mean face. The woman will grow out of it at some point. Until then, as long as she keeps giving me Kongs, and food, and cookies, and toys, I’m good. The hugs are OK, too. She won’t let me kiss her, though.
My friend Michelle over at Rubber Shoes in Hell wrote a blog about her co-workers. Unlike me, Michelle actually puts on acceptable clothes (this probably includes a real bra, not a cami) and shoes that are not made of fluff and foam, and gets in her car to go to a building that is not her home all before the coffee fully begins to work. I’m shaking my head at the horror of this scenario. My guess is she probably doesn’t watch the Today Show while she goes through her email. The horror!!
So, since I LOVED Michelle’s co-worker blog, I decided to share my own wonderful co-workers with you. Most of the beings who share my office are not human, but it is easy to imagine how they would be as “real” co-workers. Feel free to leave a comment about your co-workers, human or otherwise.
Lola – Maltese and Security Guard — Lola is short, pasty, and weighs in at 8 pounds. In her mind, she could beat Mike Tyson. She is the first to go nuts when anyone is at the door. She barks at people who walk down the street and trees that sway in the wind. When she is not protecting this house and everyone in it, she humps Andre. Even though she has her own restroom (a potty pad), Lola frequently poops on the floor. Lola would be that person who is always yelling over her cubicle at her co-workers rather than just emailing them as nature intended.
Andre – Super Model and Wannabe Murderer — Andre is one of those guys who is more beautiful than some ladies, and he HATES that. Andre is fond of tuna water and most people. He hates the vet and Sophie with a white-hot passion. He tolerates Lola’s humping, snuggles with Boo Boo, and frequently starts fights with Morris. If Andre were a human, he would be in prison for attempting to murder an annoying co-worker
Boo Boo — Prefers Picabo and Boar’s Head – Boo is a lady, unless she wants cheese. She will only eat Boar’s Head white American cheese. Boo does not like strangers or being chased by Sophie. She has also been known to pee, poop, or puke on herself in a carrier. Boo is an easy puker and frequently pukes into the shared dry food bowl. Her brothers are horrified. If Boo were a human co-worker, she would be that sort of snotty thin girl who barfs after lunch.
Morris – Professional Drooler – Morris begs for food and attention (mostly for food). For real. He gets on his hind feet and rubs his front paws together while meowing. He also drools on people when they hold him. He gets along with everyone, but beats the crap out of Andre when he starts a fight. If he were a real office worker, he would be that guy who is at his desk all day but no one knows what he does exactly.
Sophie – Friendly Poop Eater – Sophie is 81 pounds of poop-scented love. She enjoys tearing the stuffing out of toys, digging in the yard, and barking at her own little imaginary world of demons. If Sophie were a person, she would be someone who just quit smoking, as she has to have something in her mouth 96% of the day. She tried to bring a frozen turd in from the back yard once. If she were a real office worker, she would be the person that steals your lunch from the fridge. She would also be the person with the really bad breath.
Husband – PT Office Manager – My husband leaves the home to work. So, he is only PT in this office. However, he is industrious enough to be in a management position as a PTer. He is the executive in charge of all things icky, sticky, heavy, and disgusting. He cleans up poop and other fun stuff when he is at the office. He hired Sophie.
Son – Rock Star and PT Associate – My son is 17 and he is PT during the school year. He plays with the furry employees and vacuums up their fur. When he is not engaged with the co-workers, he provides musical entertainment for the office when he writes new music or practices with his band. He does not poop on the floor.
There are games you play when you have five pets. They’re probably similar to the games you play when you have small children, or live on a farm, or roam the streets of third world countries. They involve identifying and avoiding stepping in excrement. Here’s a small sample of the fun and exciting ways we pass the time at Chez Petty:
Poop or Puke?
Well, the name says it all, doesn’t it? I can’t tell you how many times a week, or sometimes a day, I nearly step in something that is both runny like puke and brownish like poop. It’s generally tough to identify. Sometimes, if I’m brave, I bend down and take a quick sniff. Then, I remember that I’m not Detective Columbo and I don’t really need to know what the stuff is. I just need to get some paper towels, supersonic cleaning fluid, and possibly some rubber gloves.
What’s that wet spot?
This game is best when you have carpet, like we do on 85.7% of our floors (yep, I made the number up). This is because if it’s not a colorful liquid, it catches you by surprise, especially if you are wearing socks. This way, you are not only disgusted by the mystery fluid, but you take it with you for a couple of steps until you rip your socks off. I’m not going to lie; I sniffed my socks once. It was dog pee.
Poop or Toy Debris
One of our dogs is a huge Lab/Great Dane mix. She LOVES to destroy toys. A morning is not complete without the cotton-filled guts of a destroyed sock monkey spread all over the living room. So, every once in a while, like daily, there are mysterious tiny pieces of something on the rug. I usually grab a paper towel before picking anything up, but usually it’s only a piece of felt or rope.
Poop or Mud
Since it is FINALLY becoming spring, sort of, the backyard is wet and warm. The Lab/Dane loves to dig. So, she ends up coming back inside with half of my husband’s garden under her nails (yes, it’s just HIS garden, just like she’s just HIS dog). I’m going to be overly honest again and tell you all that I LOST at “Poop or Mud” this morning. I reached down and picked up a tiny ball of poop with my bare hands. I know it was poop because I smelled it. Thank the universe for Bath and Body Works Kitchen Lemon hand soap. I scrubbed.
Not all animal games are excrement related. Since we have three cats and two dogs, we also get a variety of noise related games. Here are two:
Fighting or playing
This game usually starts when our two male cats run across the house chasing each other. There are usually a couple of ninja summersault moves that make the two resemble some sort of multi-colored furry ball. Once I see the fur tumbleweeds coming out of the ball, I know the correct answer is fighting.
Is someone puking, choking, or is the neighbor hammering something?
It never fails. My husband and I will be on the couch, watching Bates Motel, or some other super cool show, when that noise will start. You know the one. So we both get up, and look around for the upchucking cat or dog. Usually, it’s a cat with a wicked hairball. Sometimes, though, it’s our neighbor hammering or shoveling something. I’m not sure why the sounds are identical.
So, what about you? What kind of shenanigans go on in your house? What kind of cleaning fluid do you use?