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Dumb Shit I Do Pets Things that piss me off WTF?

Bad Dog

December 12, 2012

File this under I Should Have Known Better.

I put away all the remotes, coasters, books and anything else that was lying around at puppy eye level. I’ve learned my lesson, I thought, as I picked up my daughter’s favorite teddy bear and locked it in her room for safe keeping.

Then I left the house to go to the Y for a quick work out before coming back and doing some more editing on my book Minnesota Nice (feel free to like the Facebook page for it on the right sidebar over there ->->-> ).

Bad dog, dog who ate Christmas tree ornaments off the tree, things dogs do when you go to the Y, things dogs do when you leave the house

I really should have known better.

What’s worse is that the other dog, and the cat, didn’t do anything to stop it. I actually feel betrayed by Stanley. Ruby, the puppy, sat at the tree and just gnawed at the ornaments. Many of them were hanging in the tree half chewed.

ornament chewed in half by a dog, dogs who eat the ornaments off the Christmas trees

What’s remarkable is that she doesn’t have a scratch on her. She has no cuts or any sign that she ate roughly three boxes of glass ornaments. She even ate Toilet Paper Man.

Guess who’s on the Naughty List this year?

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infographic Kids Pets

How to Survive the Zombie Apocalypse

October 15, 2012

I’ve been thinking a lot about zombie attacks lately. Maybe because Halloween is just a couple of weeks away (seriously, when did summer end?) and because lately I have seen more and more of those stick family stickers with zombies. You know, the stickers that perky people put on their back car window to show off their family?

At least that’s how I look it at.

I tried to make one last night. There is a website where you can design your own stick family stickers. You get to choose the mom, dad, kids and pets. Problem was there wasn’t one for ex husbands and being as the first born is away at college I wasn’t sure if he should be included. It would have been confusing to include a tall male (those are the options. Parents are tall and children are short but he’s really tall so I got hung up on that) because I would have liked to explain that he is a child and not a soon to be ex husband.

They also didn’t have stickers for pets besides dogs and cats. While we have plenty of those we also have guinea pigs, a hamster and a rabbit.

I like the idea of the zombie stickers better. If I get it wrong it can just be because they ate the other one. Zombies eat zombies don’t they?

Anyway, this cracked me.

How to Survive a Zombie Apocalypse

Browse more data visualization.


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Stupid Pet Tricks

October 8, 2012


I’ll probably get sued for using that title but I live on the edge.

This video is what happens when you have an overly affectionate puppy and an old dog who does not like public displays of affection.


Keaton and Ruby

August 22, 2012

This is Keaton (the boy’s cat who is visiting) and Ruby (new puppy) who are fighting over one of Keaton’s toys. Keaton arrived the day before Ruby did. When we got Ruby she was smaller than Keaton and Keaton had the advantage. Now she is twice the size of the cat and can easily tackle Keaton.

For your viewing pleasure.

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People Pets Writing

Writing is Hard

July 30, 2012
Ruby the puppy, black lab puppy, black lab boxer mix puppy, rescue puppy

So how has your summer been going?

I haven’t been around much these past few months. Some of you may know I am writing a book, a memoir, about growing up in a pretty strange environment. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, a long while since it seems I never update anymore and therefore you wouldn’t have a clue what I am talking about if you just stumbled here and never checked out my archives and why would you because you don’t know what this blog is about because it’s more like a ghost town than an active blog.

I need to catch my breath.

Anyway, for those of you who don’t know, I am writing a memoir about growing up with a gay, closeted dad, a mentally and physically handicapped mom and a Republican brother. Talk about shit that will mess you up!

Did I mention it was a humorous memoir? I do a lot of name dropping because I know people. Garrison Keillor is in my book as is Nick Swardson. Just think, you don’t even need Kevin Bacon to tie those two together if you know me.

Other than that it’s been a typical summer. Kids are driving me C.R.A.Z.Y!!!

Oh, and we got a puppy.

Because, you know, it’s not chaotic enough around here.



Kids Pets

RIP Nutmeg

June 23, 2011

Yes, it seems as if animals are dropping like flies this week at the Brown House. Monday we lost our beloved Reuben and yesterday we said goodbye to Nutmeg.

Nutmeg the guinea pig, how to replace your dead guinea pigFor those of you who don’t know who Nutmeg is (and you wouldn’t because she died before I could introduce you to her) she was a guinea pig we adopted this past Sunday. We aren’t really sure what happened to Nutmeg, the vet seems to think she may have had a stroke. All I know is one moment everything was fine and the next minute there was a lot of screaming followed by a search for a box, a drive to the pet store and ultimately returning with another guinea pig.

Nutmeg was a sweet little guinea pig with tan spots. She was a little shy but warmed up to my daughter who loved her with all her heart. Nutmeg loved to eat lettuce out of my daughter’s hand and sit on her lap while she watched TV.

Nutmeg made funny little guinea pig noises that reminded me of the sounds of Pac Man.

Nutmeg was not just a pet she was my daughter’s best friend. They had many moments together having fun and being together.

Nutmeg was sort of curious, I think. And she really liked to be with people, I think, not really sure since we didn’t have her that long. Nutmeg probably liked to play with toys and run around the house with the other animals but we never got a chance to introduce her to anyone else besides Smokey the hamster. Nutmeg only had one name since we didn’t have time to change our minds and her name.

Nutmeg will be dearly missed but we know she is in a much better place. A place where she can hide in her pigloo all day long and no one will grab her and scare the living crap out of her.

Yes, Nutmeg is gone and will never be forgotten. Rest in peace Nutmeg, we love you.

Oreo the guinea pigWhile I have you here let me introduce you to Starburst, I mean Oreo, the newest member of our family. Oreo is a black guinea pig who also likes to eat lettuce out of my daughter’s hand and who also gets the crap scared out of her all day long as children try to grab her and play with her. We probably should have named her George.

Ex#2 Pets Things I Really Like

RIP Reuben

June 21, 2011

14 years ago my ex husband (then boyfriend) and I were driving along a country road in Western Wisconsin when serendipity struck. We were in the right place at the right time and something wonderful happened. It was the middle of January, late afternoon, when we noticed two small animals on the side of the road. When we opened the car door to investigate, two little puppies made a beeline for us. We weren’t far from a farm house so we grabbed the pups and drove into the driveway. After knocking on the door for a while, a strange looking woman who was missing a few teeth, and in much need of a root touch up, answered the door. Upon opening the door ten more puppies scampered out into the cold.

Reuben in the Cascade Mountains


We returned the pups and as we were getting back into the car the strange woman asked us if we would like one of the puppies.

We didn’t need a puppy, we didn’t have time for a puppy, we certainly didn’t want to train a puppy.


black lab dalmation on the couchWe were chosen by the smallest dog in the litter, we named him Reuben, after the sandwich. There was always confusion about how we should spell his name but since I am telling this story we will spell it the right way.

Reuben was half dalmatian, half black lab and 100% retarded.

He was also one of the sweetest dogs I have been blessed to have. My ex husband was remodeling my parents’ cabin, it was a long project that took nearly a year to complete. Reuben grew up at the cabin. He spent his days in the lake chasing rocks and the occasional fish that swam by. When he wasn’t chasing rocks he was spinning.

Reuben had OCD. When he was in town with me he didn’t have access to a lake to chase his rocks and would instead find a sock or rope toy and spin with it. He would spin for hours if we let him. The spinning was entertaining but a little disruptive to the house and any children who were nearby so we tried to stop him before he got going. Once spinning, the only way to stop him was to take away the rope and find something else for him to fixate on, usually me cooking dinner, until he forgot about the spinning. We had to put the toys up on the china cabinet or the top of the door so he didn’t get them and start spinning again.

Reuben didn’t like to be left alone. When we had to leave him alone he made his displeasure clear by pulling down the blinds or uprooting my potted plants. Sometimes he pulled the stuffing out of the couch.

We took him everywhere, he was even at our wedding.

Reuben was always happy. The sun was always shining in Reuben’s world. The sky may have been a different color too. As long as Reuben had rocks to chase and spinning to do it was a good day for Reuben.

Reuben protected my children and made me feel safe even when I knew he would hide under the table if someone tried to break in. My ex husband and I had locked ourselves out of the house one night and had to take the back door off the hinges to get in. I watched from the patio door as Reuben hid under the dining room table only to bark fiercely once he figured out it was us. When I was pregnant with my daughter Reuben would rest his head on my belly and then bark when the baby kicked. It never got old and he never figured it out. After she was born he would come and get me when she cried. I’m pretty sure he just wanted to make it stop and that he hadn’t developed any kind of Lassiesque traits.

Reuben and his RocksReuben loved apples, carrots, cucumbers and especially green beans. He loved them so much we couldn’t plant them in the garden because he would eat them before we could harvest them. Reuben loved car rides, long walks and he especially loved my ex husband. He loved me too, I was his mom, but I was also the one who took him to the vet for neutering, gave him his medicine when he was sick and pulled the 3 X 5 inch square of carpet  that he ate out of his ass.

As Reuben got older he suffered from arthritis and a torn ACL. He’d had surgery on it a few years back but because he couldn’t sit still it never healed right. The pain didn’t seem to stop him much or maybe he just didn’t understand why pain happened. We couldn’t keep him out of the lake. He would stay in the lake for hours until he was shivering and my ex husband had to wade in and bring him back to shore. If there were rocks to be chased, Reuben was in heaven.

Which is where he is now.

I don’t know when it happened but Reuben got old. He become incontinent, he couldn’t walk up or down the stairs without falling,  and he was nothing but skin and bones. His body had given out but his mind didn’t tell him that. He was still happy which made the decision we had to make so difficult.

Last night, after months of putting this off, my ex husband did what had to be done. He buried him up at the lake he loved so much and marked his grave with all of the “Reuben Rocks” we had collected over the years.

I know he is in a better place. I know he is chasing the big rock without any pain and spinning to his heart’s content. I know all this, but I still miss him.


Kids Pets

Smokey the Hamster

March 19, 2011

Smokey the HamsterYou might recall the bunny fiasco a while back. Fiasco probably isn’t the right word because Jack was cute and really sweet but he pooped a lot. So much that I couldn’t keep up with the poop. I also had a really had time leaving him in the cage all day. It just didn’t seem right for one animal to be locked in a cage while the other two roamed free. Of course the other two didn’t eject poop like a slot machine (every pull is a winner!). So, we found a new home for the bunny. It was heartbreaking to say the least.

Every day there were tears about how much a certain someone in the household missed Jack and how we really, really needed to get him back. I spent a great deal of my time explaining why Jack was much happier on the farm chasing chickens and pooping freely but to no avail. We needed a new pet to stop the tears.

Along comes Smokey

Smokey is awesome. Smokey likes to be in a cage and Smokey’s poos are small and don’t go shooting out of his butt like the rabbit’s did. So without further ado I introduce you to Smokey the Hamster.

Dumb Shit I Do Kids Pets

My Daughter is Going To Be a Crack Addict and it Will Be All My Fault

January 31, 2011
Flemish Giant, Jack the Bunny

Bunnies poop a lot, rabbit poo, rabbit pills, Flemish giant poo

As a single mother I worry about my kids and how they are going to turn out because they don’t have a dad around 24/7 to keep them on the straight and narrow. I can be a bit of a pushover at times and sometimes I let them do things that aren’t always the best for them because it is just easier for me to say ‘yes’.

I don’t want to have to put up with the screaming and crying and temper tantrums. Besides, if they start crying and whining after five that can totally ruin my buzz and we don’t want that to happen.

It looks like my son might be turning out alright. In spite of everything (growing up in a single parent home, having his dad walk out on us and his step dad walk out) he seems to be doing okay. Even if he isn’t I only have two weeks left and then if he does something stupid it’s his problem. Which really means if he does something illegal he goes to jail and not me because he is going to be 18.


The daughter has a long way to go before she is considered legal so I still have to make sure she does the right thing so I don’t have to go jail if she does something wrong.

Not that she does anything illegal yet but it could happen.

She has informed me that if I go through with my decision she will become a crack addict.

What decision is that, you ask?

I’ll tell you.

Last week we got a bunny. Actually my son got the bunny but ever since he brought it home I have been the one doing all the bunny work.

Bunnies poop a lot. Bunnies also chew on things (like the phone cords) and they poop a lot.

We got the bunny on Sunday of last week and by Thursday I had decided that it had to go. I can’t even call him by his name, which is Jack, because that personalizes him too much and already I am working against the cute card he keeps playing. And I am losing.

Jack is cute. But that is all he is. His cuteness goes far, don’t get me wrong, but he doesn’t do anything else besides being cute. The dog, as dumb as he is, barks when the evil mailman comes and whenever any of those liberals show up during election season trying to get me to switch teams. The cat, who keeps me awake all fucking night long for reasons only she understands, kills mice in the garage. She also kills rabbits and the mutherfucking squirrels who dig holes all over my front and back yard. They both serve a purpose and justify the expense they both incur such as food, treats, toys and doctor bills.

The bunny serves no purpose whatsoever except to look cute.

Worse, the bunny is like a slot machine and every one is a winner. You don’t even have to pull the handle, poop just always comes out. Sometimes it’s one and sometimes it’s 20 but you always pull a winner.

So I have been floating around the idea that maybe we should take the bunny back to the farm (they will take him!!!). This idea has not been met with any kind of enthusiasm from my daughter. At all.

I’ve even offered up a new kitten in exchange for the bunny.

Now let me just say here that I like the bunny. Jack is cute, Jack is very friendly and watching him chase after the cat so she leaps up five feet in the air in one fell swoop almost makes me want to keep him around. The cat is a bitch and she deserves to be picked on. Jack eats the veggies that the daughter refuses to eat (and that the dog doesn’t particularly care for but will eat if he has to but then he gets all kinds of gas and that isn’t good) but whatever goes in comes right out so I spend a good part of my day chasing after him with a broom and dust pan because, call me silly, but I don’t like little bunny poo all over my house.

So the daughter doesn’t want the bunny to go away. In fact she has informed me that having Jack here has helped her in life and if we got rid of him her life would be really bad.

“How does having the bunny help your life?” I asked

“Because we have Jack I write stories about him in school and I draw pictures of him. Because I am writing about him I am practicing my writing and will get better grades. If I get better grades I will get in to a better college and if I go to a good college I will get a better job and my life will be better because we had the bunny”.

I’m not making any of that up.

Which means, if you follow her logic, that she will no longer write about the bunny if we get rid of him. She will no longer draw pictures of him which means she will not get good grades (even though she isn’t even getting grades in 2nd grade) and because she will have bad grades she will have to go to community college if she is lucky. She will not be able to get a good job and thus will take up both the crack pipe and the stripper pole.

I guess we have to keep the bunny.

Hat tip to MsDarkstar for sending the image of the bunny with all the poo. Sadly the bunny poos a lot more than that.

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Dumb Shit I Do Kids Pets

Death in the Family

November 1, 2010
Caribbean hermit crab (coenobita clypeatus), dead hermit crabs, how to kill your hermit crabs

This is what they look like when they are alive

And it’s all my fault.

I killed the hermit crabs. At least I think I did. It’s hard to tell since they don’t do anything. Hermit crabs aren’t like the cat or the dog. If you forget to feed or water then they make noise, they drink out of the toilet, they throw their bowl around until someone notices and feeds them. I think I subconsciously hated the crabs because every time I gave them water or food they made such a mess I had to clean out the whole cage and that sucks to pick up little tiny poops. They had no respect for their food dish and they didn’t understand that when they moved their little wet sponge out of the dish it just drained into the sand which I was told was a bad thing by the little man at the kiosk in the Mall of America who sold them to us.

It was Friday morning, I had just gotten the kids off to school when I was picking up the kitchen. The hermit crabs lived on top of the vent hood over the stove because the cat couldn’t get up there and there was a heat vent to keep them warm. I noticed that one of them had crawled out from the little coconut shell and was upside down. I didn’t think much of the fact that he was upside down because maybe he wanted to lie on his back. Since I noticed them I took the cage down to give them some water and food.

I decided to flip the little guy over and that’s when he fell out of his shell!

They don’t do that. They hang on to their shell with their back feet something fierce, and he wasn’t moving, he just sat there all limp like. So I checked the other one and noticed he smelled like dead fish that the dog rolls in sometimes when we are at the lake.

dead hermit crabs

This is what they look like when they are dead

Oh the carnage!

It was only 9am, the kids wouldn’t be home until 3:30pm. More importantly the little one wouldn’t be home til that time, the big one could care less even though technically one of them was his. His sister had glommed on to his a day after they came home from the mall.

I couldn’t leave them there, on the kitchen counter, all day. I just couldn’t bare to look at them all dead. The guilt was killing me. I kept reminding myself that they were just bugs but they were more than that. They were members of our family, they had names, even if no one could remember what they were.

I texted my son:

Both hermit crabs are dead. I can’t bare to look at them and want to throw them away. Do I have to wait for Maddie to get home?

His response:

No shes prolly forgot about em its your call, did you get my batteries?

I couldn’t just throw them out but I didn’t know how I was going to explain this to my daughter. This wasn’t just one death, this was a massacre, and worse there was a third one that had died months ago. Maddie was at her dad’s that weekend and I didn’t want to keep a dead hermit crab for two days so I just put it in the trash. She hadn’t noticed that there were only two but she would now for sure. How was I going to explain that?

The worst part about all of this is that while I am feeling horrible for being responsible for their deaths I was also composing this blog post in my head.

I left them on the kitchen counter. I was going to have to fess up that one had died months ago, hell for all I know these two had been dead since the first one died, and I didn’t tell her. I avoided the kitchen.

I was hoping she wouldn’t want to look too closely at them. Hermit crabs smell really bad when dead and she isn’t keen on things that smell icky, or dead for that matter. If she didn’t get too close she might not notice that there were two instead of three and I wouldn’t have to explain my actions regarding the first dead hermit crab.

Actually it was the second hermit crab that died. The first one died last Christmas, we noticed it was dead when we got our Christmas tree with her dad (ex#2). She wanted to show them to him and when she picked it up his legs fell off. Hermit crabs are not for the faint of heart. She was nonplussed about it and suggested we throw it in the trash at that time. I was hoping for the same reaction.

Which is exactly what I got, at first.

I told her about the deaths, let her quickly glance inside the cage and then I took the whole cage outside to the trash container in the ally. I placed them gently in there and then shut the lid. My neighbor was out back doing some yard work so I mentioned the deaths to him.

I went inside and started preparing dinner. 15 minutes later I realized I had not taken a picture of the dead hermit crabs!

Back outside to the garbage I go. My neighbor, who is still outside working on his yard, sees me rummaging through the trash and starts laughing because he knows exactly what I am doing.

“Forgot to take pictures for your blog?”

Maddie wants to get new hermit crabs, of course she does. There is no way in hell I am going through this again. I’ll get a puppy or another cat to pacify her, they might cause more heartache when they finally pass but at least if they aren’t getting food or water they will tell me and they probably won’t lose a leg when they do die.

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