Tag Archives: dog

On dealing with mice…

23 Sep

You guys don’t understand: I can’t just get a cat. I don’t do cats, Tori doesn’t do cats, and my building only allows one pet per unit. I thought about getting a parrot and a week later they put up a sign saying that no “exotic” pets are allowed. Would a parrot be considered “exotic?”  When I was little, we had a pet parrot in Brasil. He just flew to our mango tree one day and we fed him… He decided to stick around. The little bastard would curl his head down as we petted his neck, then all of a sudden raise it back up, pecking our fingers  really hard. Fucking bipolar parrot just flew away forever one day.

Parrots live absurdly long lives and I think that’s awesome. I’d love to be 50 years old, living with the parrot I got when I was 20-something. I’d teach it useful words such as “porra,” “foda-se,” “alô?” and “tchau!” I might even have it record my voicemail message.

But I can’t have a parrot. That’s OK, though, because I really love where I live. I lived in the area five years ago but had to move out because I became temporarily unemployed and nearly hopeless. And five years later, I’m back. I fucking love Ringer Park. It’s so very close to me that I walk my dog there every morning and evening. I let her off leash and she rolls around in dirt, squeaking like a broken toy, big smile on her face. We walk around the dirty panties, the queen-sized mattress, the half-eaten $5 Market Basket lobster, torn T-shirts, used tampons, empty fireworks cartons, and broken glass, and head to the open grassy area atop a hill, where I can stare at little children in the playground. The boys are fun to watch; they are restless; throwing shit at each other, running, climbing on shit, jumping from shit. The girls, on the hill ahead of Tori and me, stand around, playing with their hair, raising their hands to ask the game coordinator questions. While Tori eats grass, or rolls around on it, or poops.

As I walk back home through the park, I get whistled at by guys playing basketball, say ‘hi’ to an elderly lady keeping company to an even older lady who doesn’t seem able to move, or speak, or maybe even see. They sit there in silence, enjoying the early Fall breeze. Back on the wide sidewalk, Russian grandmas stand around, gossiping about other Russian grandmas’ children, some locals congregate in front of the package store, and the T attempts to deafen me once again with its screechiness. I really like my neighborhood. I really like hopping on the T and coming to this bookstore/coffee shop, sitting at the bar, having cup after cup of coffee, and abundant amounts of melted Havarti and avocado on a deliciously baked, perfectly toasted, thick slice of rye bread. And some chips. And more coffee. And I sit here and look at people around me. I am, of course, quite content in my current state; a result of learning how to roll my own cigarettes. Well, I didn’t so much learn how to do it, as I bought an easy roller and it does the work for me. But, you know, the end result is the same.

So that’s it. I love where I live, I don’t want to move, and I’d sooner chop off my left middle finger than get rid of Tori, so no cats for me. But I am determined to conquer the motherfucking mice. Every day I’ve forced myself to google images for “dead rat” and have written a letter to distribute to building residents, urging them to have their individual units exterminated, or face the consequences of a mice infestation this winter, as the creatures use our cabinets and walls as conjugal rooms. I will win. The mice will die.


My bitch doesn’t like being touched by strangers

24 May

Hello, sunny Saturday afternoon.  We meet at the park, as I read, sitting on a long bench, facing the water. There are sounds of bickering birds and squirrels that screech from the top of trees – they warn one another of my bitch’s presence. She sits by my feet, facing the walkway. Looks calm and adorable, but have a try at petting her… vicious. Spends her minutes grooming and waiting, like a cat, until the squirrels’ve forgotten all about her and return to ground.  The furry toothy creatures venture into the open grassy field, dangerously far from the vertical safety of trees, in search of summer treats. My bitch sits and watches, her ears perfectly erect triangles, as if she could hear their munching from such a distance.

“Get it. Get the squirrel. Get it, Tori. Go!” I taunt her in a whisper, lest the squirrel hear me and dismantle my plans of watching my dog run – run as fast as her stubby legs can take her, on a mission to chase something she’ll never catch. She sets off (could give a puppy a run for its money, in all her mature glory) and seconds later, halts at the bottom of the tree – the rodent is halfway up, having started the screeching as soon as its sticky little paws got a hold of the trunk. Bitch walks around the tree, lifts a leg to pee, as though she were male, and digs nails into dirt, sweeping it backward to imprint her scent.

“My tree. My squirrel. My park. And that’s my mistress,” I think she thinks, as she struts back to the bench. Yep – I’m the mistress, and I’ve taken notice  of the dirty blond to my right. He lifts eyes off his book every time Tori dashes after some woodsy creature. Guys tend to like my bitch; she’s small, but has personality and a “real dog” bark. From a distance I like his looks. But what am I going to do; walk over and say ‘hi?’ Nope, nope.  My eyes are now on the Park Animal Undercover Protector. It’s pro-bono work, you see. Just like the guy who brings mineral water for the weeds growing by the river, the Park Animal Undercover Protector is dressed in civilian clothes, but her panoramic sight is fixed on geese, birds, ducks, and squirrels.

“No, no,” she screams.
“No, what?” I ask. Maybe I’m looking for an argument – not my fault, I haven’t spoken to anyone all day, and it’s nearly 5pm. That’s a lie. I exchanged words with the sub shop guy.
“No chasing the geese.”
“What’s that, my dog can’t chase the geese?” Oh jeez, I’m arguing with the crazy lady who feeds ducks.
“No, it’s not fair to the geese,” she says. The birds are huddled by a tree near the water, and she stands in front of them, arms out.
“I think the geese are fine. I don’t hear them complaining. I don’t think they really want you speaking on their behalf.”
“Your dog needs to be on a leash. It’s the law.”
“May be, but I don’t think it’s fair to her.”
“I’m calling the police.”

She really does take out a cell phone from her pocket, so I imagine how the call would play out:
“911, what‘s your emergency?”
“Yes, I’m at the Charles River Reservation Park and there’s a girl here with a dog off leash.”
“OK, ma’am, has the dog attacked anyone?”
“No, but it’s scaring the geese!”

No cops show up. Bummer.

Dirty blond boy is now returning from a walk he’d set on before the Park Animal Undercover Protector and I had our talk. Once I spot him, I fix my gaze back on the pages in my hands – and forget about Tori. I lift my head as I hear her growl, and grab her by the harness before her teeth connect with the boy’s ankle.

“I’m so sorry! I’m so sorry!”
“No, it’s OK,” he says. His eyes are wide, and I think his voice is shaky. “It’s my fault, I tried to pet her.”
“Well, it’s not right. But yeah, she doesn’t do well with strangers, especially men. I’m really sorry.”
“It’s OK, don’t worry. I had a puppy once and he…”

I’m shushing Tori; she’s still growling at the poor boy. He won’t take his eyes off her as he starts walking away, sort of sideways-backwards.

“Anyway,” he says. “Have a good one!”
“You too.”

Suddenly she’s docile again, wagging her tail and licking my shins. Bitch.

Here comes the sun, doo doo doo doo

20 Mar

It’s finally spring. It’s finally fucking spring!  Where there was gray slush, now are leaves, dog poo, and what looks like phlegm.  Once frozen park benches are now warm under bottoms of the malodorous drunken homeless and of chicos on their cell phones. And I… put on a dress. Maybe because it reminds me of my Catholic school uniform days, or because I crave a little breeze around otherwise mostly covered parts… I love wearing skirts. Paired with my man boots, a pretty flowy dress puts a smile on my face and makes me feel most comfortable. Comfortable enough to take a stroll around town, deep in gay thoughts, not minding if I look like a retard.

There are two songs I’m compelled to listen to, back to back, during my two hour outdoors adventure with the doggie: Sister Hazel’s “All for You” and Blues Traveler’s “Run Around.” I don’t know why. I don’t own any other songs by either, though I enjoyed the whole of the Blues Traveler’s live show at Lollapalooza a couple years back. Nevertheless, I got the pink harness and retractable leash on little Tori and off we were to the park.

She went about her usual business of eliminating all her body’s disposable drops of water on many different spots, marking virtually ALL territory, and rolling around in god knows what. She needs a bath anyway, I’m pretty sure there’s still a faint skunky funk left on her fur.

As for me, I chased her a little, threw sticks she ran in the direction of, but never managed to retrieve, checked my emails and then turned up the volume. With Sun rays recharging my brain, penetrating my skin and warming up chest, arms, and legs that no longer need artificial layers, I smiled. And then I started to sing. A couple of the chicos looked at me funny, so I walked away. Away from them and the homeless and the cute Asian family having a picnic, and the grandpa taking a stroll with his tiny tyke, and the kids passing time, circling around on their bikes. I went to the other side of the park where I hoped no one would hear me, and I sang lyrics to these optimistic and silly little tunes that, in conjunction with the Sun, helped me pause time on happy, careless, and perhaps slightly dumb mode. No matter.

I turned the volume way up and I couldn’t tell how loud I was, but I could feel the openness of my throat and the plentiful air brushing my vocal cords. I walked around some more, chasing the dog, taking some pictures, and still singing.

It’s too nice out for laundry, vacation packing, the mechanic, air conditioning or even to sit here, longing for something I should be finding out there.

True Story

5 Mar

Woke up at 7 because I want to try to do a little morning writing from now on – it’s what I do on the weekends and I’d like to develop the habit Monday-Friday as well. I gave up after realizing today’s attempt was doomed to drudging nonsense dripping from my fingertips and started my morning routine. Took the dog outside and she ran (ahead of a caffeine-free, thus not very attentive version of me) to the back of the house, where she normally sniffs, pees, marks, poops, chases squirrels… except this time I was extra slow to get back there, and once I did, she was face-to-face with a skunk.


The skunk turned around, a second later Tori winced. She then took off, ran past me and back to our doorstep. The skunk went merrily and slowly on its way and I ran back to Tori, who had a sad, WTF look on her face. Her right eye was shut. I couldn’t leave her tied up outside to check the internets for what one does with a skunk-sprayed dog (she’s a shelter dog, was DEFINITELY once abused, is very shy, and freaks the fuck out if I leave her tied up anywhere for more than .5 seconds), so back into the apartment we went. I kept her in the kitchen, opened all windows, and read that I’d need hydrogen peroxide and baking soda for an anti-funk concoction to wash her body. Her face, however, should be rubbed with douche. Fan-fucking-tastic. Back to CVS Pharmacy and its chipper feminine hygiene section.

Still without any caffeine and now smelling like road kill, I wandered the aisles in search of peroxide, baking soda, and rubber gloves, trying to avoid people. Score. Then, three shelves below vaginal liquibeads I found CVS-brand Triple Cleansing formula Disposable Douche.
a. I’ve had disposable douches before, but never from a pharmacy, and I certainly never had to pay for it. In fact, I think I should’ve demanded recompense.
b. ladies! what are we (read: you) putting up our (your) vaginas to justify the need for a Triple Cleansing formula?
The world can be a very confusing place for this simple girl and her curious dumb dog.

When paying for my supplies, I was asked the customary “how are you?”

Fine, thanks. My dog just got sprayed by a skunk. I have to wash her face with douche and the rest of her body with a peroxide and baking soda mix.

She didn’t need to know that. I needed her to know that. I needed her to know that my vagina was in tip-top shape, thanks, and the douche was certainly not for her.

Oh man, that SUCKS! What a way to start your Friday! Good luck!

Thanks, have a great day!

On my way home, I stopped by Dunkin’ Donuts for a medium-hot-black so Tori could have my brain fully functioning to care for her. I know Dunkin’ is shit. Spare me your [caffeine-fueled] diatribe. I usually make my own coffee as soon as I get into work, but I didn’t make it to work first thing in the morning, did I?

When I got back, Tori’s right eye was really watery and she had crazy-face; that’s when her eyes (well, just the left one this time) get really wide open and she breathes fast through her mouth in a slightly psychotic way – that’s what she does when she’s stressed out. I rubbed the douche solution on her face, dropped some saline solution in her eye and got her in the bathtub for the peroxide-baking soda-liquid soap treatment. She was happy when it was all over, but 10mins later she started closing her right eye and looking miserable again. My boss (an angel in Russian man disguise, bless you, Dadya Borya) told me not to worry about coming in at any specific time; I could even take the day off if I felt like it.  I decided to take Tori to the Merwin Memorial Free Clinic at noon. It was 10:30, so in the meantime I “worked from home” via Gmail chat:

“co-worker”: did you ever send so-and-so the $500?
me: i dont know who that is
“co-worker”: the broker. from wellesley. for her consultation.
me: again, i don’t remember who she is, i’ll have to look at records
“co-worker”: well she says she never got it
me: wait a second, that’s the lady i had to chase for two weeks to get an address so I could pay HER, right???
“co-worker”: i think so
me: if that’s her, then yes i sent the bitch a check. i’ll confirm if she cashed it when i get in

At the clinic, Tori, even with a bum eye, imposed her massive attitude on all the miniature-whatevers, sorry-excuse-for-dog looking things that yapped incessantly inside their Coach-brand carriers (angry sidetracking: if you can afford $800 for a rat-dog and however much else for that hideous mobile cage, you shouldn’t be at this clinic. You’re probably the visitors who don’t contribute anything. Why are you always so loud and obnoxious? Tori is a GIRL, don’t call her a “he.” Don’t you see the pink harness? I despise your kind). The vet gave her a rabies booster shot and applied an anti-bacterial ointment to her eye, which I’m to apply 3x/day for five days. Visit: $18 for the shot, $13 for the ointment, and $14 donation. Comfortable and healthy pooch: Priceless. Now it’s time to get the funk out of my apartment while Tori naps on the couch. What a stressful day for my little old lady.

Merwin Memorial:
This is a fantastic clinic with a helpful and friendly staff of volunteers that is run solely through donations. Visitors pay cost price for shots and meds – that’s it.  But if one dares to use their services without dropping at least $5 into the donation box, I hereby curse him/her to an abysmal case of diarrhea post consumption of his/her next pint of beer.

Tori, the destroyer, and overcoming inexplicable laziness

28 Feb

Friends who come over and see my laptop wonder how the fuck I live with myself. I guess I have a high tolerance for shit (and lots of love for my dog). I mostly use my laptop on the couch or in bed, with Tori right next to me. Sometimes she decides I need love, so she jumps on my lap, puts her front paws on my shoulders, licks my face and/or rubs her neck on it. I call it face-raping. It’s pretty gross and I usually wash my face after, but you can’t deny it’s super cute.

On the way to or off my lap, if I’m not careful, she steps on the keyboard and may yank a key or two. The first key to go was backspace, two weeks after I’d purchased the laptop four years ago. I was furious. Then went the left side ‘shift’, the z, the +, and the o. The o was the worst. Do you know how often that letter is used? It sucked. I had to copy and paste it each time. The majority of posts you see on this blog were written without the o key.

For some reason, without researching I had decided that replacing a keyboard would be costly, so I never bothered to check prices. After someone told me they were super cheap, I got one on Ebay for $14 including shipping. It arrived on Wednesday and I thought I’d bring it to my dad on Sunday for him to install it.

This morning, as I sat on the bed with the laptop, Tori started howling at the noisy ambulance driving on our street. I love it when she does that, so I barked a little to encourage her. She jumped on me and started face-raping. I had a coffee in my hand so I wasn’t careful when removing her off me… she pulled out the e and d keys with her nails.

How the fuck can I write without an e, d, o, or z? It’s way more than I can handle. Drastic circumstances call for drastic measures, so I found online that I might easily be able to replace the keyboard on my own. I skipped a couple of steps that I deemed to be extraneous/difficult, but the new keyboard works. I’d been avoiding the word ‘crazy’ like crazy but now I can go crazy with it.

I was quick to brag about my MacGyver-ish self-reliance to my friend (oh, and everyone on Facebook).

For a while you were the only writer I know without a [proper] keyboard. Quite an accomplishment. I congratulate you.

I congratulate myself too.

“What’s in the plastic? Is it food?”

I hope I don’t need screws ’cause I just lost them


Happy Friday

27 Feb

Dogs and pictures and pictures of dogs

21 Feb

I like looking at pictures and thinking back to the moment they were taken; what was so funny, surprising, clever, or ridiculous that I absolutely had to capture forever. Stand still! Don’t move, I need a picture of this!

I have lots of good ones on my iPhone. Quite a few are of my dog (I’m kind of pathetic). But many are of friends.

There’s one of my best friend sitting on my couch, left foot on the floor, right foot pressed against his chest, held up by his arms. He’s looking at the camera with a retarded smile on his face. His girlfriend’s left side is in the frame, casually seated with her legs crossed, a glass of wine in one hand and a horizontal peace sign in the other – yea, scissor shaped hand. And that hand is directly in line with, and in front of, his crotch. So in the picture it looks like she’s cutting his penis. While drinking wine. And he looks demented. Holding up a leg.

That is a funny picture. She capitalized on a ridiculous moment of his: he was holding his right leg up because she and I prohibited him from placing that foot on the coffee table, where I had just laid out food and drinks. So he didn’t know what to do with his leg. And held it up.

Another great picture is of my bedroom, circa 11pm. The bright blue wall is dimly lit by the lamp on the nightstand. Two pillows lay on the bed, side by side at the head. The left side, by the nightstand, is empty. The right side… there’s my dog. Laying on the bed, head on pillow, like a person. By 10:30pm or so, if I’m still on the couch, she’ll get off it, stretch, drink some water. Stretch, walk to the bedroom. Stop. Look at me. Go in and jump on the bed. And rest her head on the pillow. On the right side. Because she knows it’s her side. And then she falls asleep.

There are plenty of photos of her licking my feet. I know your brain might go all erotic on me right now, but it really shouldn’t. She’s grooming me. I’m her pack leader. She’s licking my feet ‘cause I go out into the world and bring her back food and take her out to the park and shit. I make things happen for her. I’m like a freaking hero. So she licks my feet in appreciation. And it feels good. My feet (and hands and nose) are always freezing, so it’s awesome when she just volunteers to warm up my feet with her warm tongue.

And she magically knows to apply some pressure on the most stressed points of my feet. She’s a spiritual dog, I tell ya. She can sense things. And so she diligently works through my feet, section by section, one and the other. Then it’s sleepy time, with her head on the foot she just finished licking. Tori’s the best. And so are pictures.