All Creatures Great and Weird

So. Moving on! We had Ike officially assessed for dyslexia last week, and lo and behold, he is indeed dyslexic. Classically, wildly so. I'm not at all surprised, but now we're stuck in that annoying treading water period between diagnosis and treatment. We're waiting for a spot to open up at a private reading center, and an IEP meeting with the school is scheduled for later this month. I'm not super optimistic about the services the school can offer, and while I think we've found an amazing program that Ike will respond to really well, it's intensive and face-punchingly expensive. But of course we'll do it, because OUR BABY CAN'T READ GOOD. (Does anyone have any experience with Patreon? What do y'all think of that as opposed to say, a GoFundMe or just a PayPal donate button somewhere? Basically, what's the least tacky way to blog-grift nowadays, is my question?) (I'm taking on more work from several corporate clients already, before anybody tsk-tsk about getting a "real job." I have one! I have several! Also several painful neuroses and deep-seated anxiety issues about money and finances that my therapist says are okay to just acknowledge sometimes!) Anyway, back to the... Read more →


Remember 15 Years Ago When Blogging Was Like 75% Dumb Lists Yeah Me Neither

HOW MY DOGS SEE ME: Wonderful hooman! HI HELLO WOW UR PRESENCE IS AMAZE Beautiful face so haps so haps So good So kind Bet if I just knock glowing rectangle thing out of hand she'll be haps Look now ur hands are free for pets! Am hero! Oh no mad voice oh god oh no I so sry YAY PETS RUBS SNUGS Sometimes bed snuggles :) Sometimes no bed snuggles :( Confusing rules sometimes but ok Eats awful lot of cheese but shares sometimes so ok So much delicious wow how you do that Walk into room wow how you do that HOW MY CATS SEE ME Tyrannical withholder of food Cruel conjurer of inside rain water when we jus lookin for food up where you make food it's not a crime lady Dumb baby voice Food is right there won't give us food Just gave us food now won't give us more food Squishy belly is ok tho Nicer bed than our bed HEY IT'S THREE A.M. TIME FOR FOOD Maybe sort of deaf maybe just ask for food louder please to tidy our poop area peasant just poop outside the box it's okay that's how they learn... Read more →


Escape From Starkiller Yellow House, Again, More, Oh My Lands

(YES INDEED. WE'RE BACK AT IT AGAIN WITH THIS SHIT.) About a week ago, Poppy kept mysteriously vanishing from the backyard, then reappearing in the front, running around in a frothy panic of WHAT DO I DO WHAT DO I DOOOOOO. Unlike Beau, she's never been much of a runner or escape artist, and for the life of us we could not figure out what was happening. The gates were closed and locked on both sides. Jason went around with nails and a hammer in search of any loose posts and I filled in a couple suspicious spots where it looked like she might be digging out underneath. And then yet again, I'd look out the front window and there was Poppy, looking just as confused as I did, like, AGAIN? HOW? WHY? (Or, if she spotted any of our human neighbors, she was invariably right at their feet and offering up her belly for rubs. I'd run over and apologize and explain the current escapee mystery, and then they'd sheepishly assure me that it was okay, they were totally going to bring her back but just wanted to pet her for a little bit first. Everybody really likes Poppy.)... Read more →


Um. Brr.

It's currently 11 degrees outside (-1 with windchill), but apparently that's downright balmy compared to what a lot of ya'll are currently dealing with, as we're at least not digging ourselves out from piles of snow and/or frozen iguanas. We're mostly just piling on the layers*, gathering around the fireplace, and basking in the warming glow of some good ol' fashioned Fire and Fury, along allllll the schadenfreude-y popcorn our doomed planet currently has to offer. Here we are preparing to make the one block trek up to the bus stop. We made it as far as our driveway before I was like, fuck this bullshit, get in the car, we're driving. Sorry again, planet. *This includes a heavy layer of warm-body-seeking cats and dogs** at all times. **This weather justifies the purchase of some absolutely ridiculous pet sweaters Y/N? Read more →


Happy Popday

It's been five months and change since we adopted Poppy. And still the most frequently asked questions we get are: Q. What is she? A. A mix of Staffordshire Terrier and Labrador Retriever, we believe. She was brought to a shelter not long after she was born, along with her mom and litter mates. They were all classified simply as Pit Bulls. So we assume her mom was more of a classic-looking Pit Bull, since a lot of shelters/rescues will try to avoid the stigma (and a nearby county's complete ban on the breed) and call pittie mixes literally anything else if they can. Her dad was probably a Lab or maybe Pointer or some other hodge podge, given the shape of her snout. I keep meaning to order a doggy DNA test for her. Q. How is she with the kids? A. Terribly vicious. An absolute nightmare. The things this animal will do for belly rubs will shake you to your very core. (lolololol She's the gentlest sweetest thing and loves being around children, both ours and other people's. She's doing much better about jumping up since graduating from obedience school and will now greet you politely, although the... Read more →


A Case of the Blerghs

Thank you so much to everybody who commented/emailed/messaged/otherwise-reached-out after Friday's post. Y'all are still way too nice to me, especialy after way (way, WAY) too many years of oversharing and general idioting out here. Two things I've learned since then: 1) Ativan is like an almost-instant, big ol' OFF switch for my anxiety. Glorious. 2) Switching the anxiety off, however, basically cedes full control to the depression, which is unfortunately much worse than I realized. Turns out anxiety, while brain- and breath-rattlingly awful, has been the main thing powering the hamster wheel lately. Once it's gone, the relief of "I'm not going to have a panic attack!" is quickly replaced with "I'm going to melt into my bed like a pile of greyish-blah goo and just stare at the ceiling while my yoga pants slowly fuse to my skin!" Not so glorious. So looks like I have a bit more work to do in the medication/brain chemistry department. And I will do that work, and all the work, and am very very grateful and hashtag-blessed for all the support I have from family, friends, Internetters, and of course, the therapeutic assist from this pack of floofballs: Read more →


Poppy the Big Good Dog

Miss Poppy started obedience/doggy manners training a couple weeks ago, and already she's well on her way to being the valedictorian of Dog School, and only SORT OF because there's only one other dog in the class. Honestly, Beau probably needs training more, but it was part of our adoption agreement with Poppy's rescue because she was still a puppy. (We had to pay an additional $50 deposit that we get back once she's completed a properly certified/acceptable training program.) She's a good girl but a big strong girl who already has 20 pounds on Ike and can knock him flat with an overly-excited greeting. Beau gets a free pass on those same not-great behaviors because he's so small. He pulls on the leash during walks but like, nice try, pipsqueak, behold my SUPERHUMAN STRENGTH. Poppy sees a squirrel and I'm like, PLEASE CHILD I HAVE A WEAK ELBOW NOOOOOOO. Likewise, Beau jumps up on people and it's like, "Awwww, look at the little Ewok Toto standing up on his hind legs and bouncing around like a coked-up kangaroo! That's so adorable!" Poppy does the same thing and I end up looking like this: None of it's aggressive, of course.... Read more →


Two Days, By The Numbers

Hours spent in Philadelphia, total: 27, ish Hours spent on trains: Three Hours spent waiting for trains that were late: One Hours spent in meetings: 12 Hours spent in meetings thinking about when we get food: Nine Hours spent in meetings resisting urge to slide dramatically off chair and under the table every time someone said, "hold up let's revisit that last slide for a sec": At least four Number of times I felt irrationally important and grown-up like because I was wearing an ID badge I had to swipe to go to the bathroom: 11 Number of nostalgic favorite snacks from my Pennsylvania childhood consumed and frankly disappointed by: One Number of cheesesteaks consumed with tremendous enthusiasm: Two Number of salad portions politely accepted on plate: Three Number of salad portions discreetly hidden under a napkin and thrown away: Two Point Seven Five Number of inexplicably tiny hotel room hair dryers used: One Number of times I ordered business cards to bring to meetings: Two Number of typos I made on the first order: One Number of actual business cards distributed: Zero Number of work things to do as result of meetings: 4,20583u70q303q55uj7 Number of children who greeted me... Read more →


The Specklemutt as a Young Girl

WHY HELLO BELLY So it appears the Popsters has always been a tad...um...rotund around the middle, which has already changed dramatically after just one week with us and all our assorted insanity. She's actually shaped more like a dog than a barrel on legs. In her mind, though, she's still the same size as in her puppy pics. We really aren't doing anything to dispel that illusion for her, to be honest. Poppy's first week really couldn't have gone any better. She's learning our routine and following Beau's lead, sleeping beautifully (and silently!) in her crate, going potty outside, unless we space out on the need for more puppy-frequent breaks. Or if it's raining. (Beau's like: HA HA SAME LOOK AT WHAT LITTLE PRINCESSES WE ARE.) Beau's already a lot less jealous/defensive over toys and attention and really, REALLY loves their near-constant playtime. They play play play then sleep sleep sleep until one of them wakes up and starts it all up again. They both seem really happy. The boys were originally not super stoked about getting a "big" dog. They were thrilled to hear we were considering a puppy but wanted a super tiny one. But it didn't take... Read more →


Poppypalooza

Let's be honest. Is anyone here for anything other than dog photos? Most certainly not. We've decided to stick with Poppy, but are changing the spelling because random i-for-y swaps in names makes my eyelid twitch. It's been her name since puppyhood, she responds really well to it, and honestly, it just kinda suits her. It's also an EXCELLENT jumping off point for all sorts of ridiculous nicknames. Poppy Pie. Popsters. Popsicle. Popscotch. Poppins. Popparoni. (A friend who was lobbying for keeping the name sent me like a dozen separate texts yesterday of increasingly ridiculous nicknames and I have to say, she laid out a compelling argument. Especially when she started changing "pop" to "poop.") Beau is loving his playmate, but will let you know the second you are giving her too much attention. Usually by just climbing on top of her head and being like, "What other dog? Is just me here, sittin' on a dog-shaped pillow." To which Poppy responds: "This is fine. Everything that happens is fine." They play and play and play and then sleep and sleep and sleep. (I feel like Poppy's presence really brings out the Ewok resemblance in Beau for some reason.) Okay,... Read more →