When you realize your dog’s laughing at you but he won’t tell you why…


A Walk in the Dog Park



We’ve recently become impressively hip people; we started bringing our dogs to the dog park. For the longest time we never went–even though we had a dog–as our beloved collie, Shadow, was more of a “people’s dog.” But since his passing, we adopted two more collies and decided it was high time to set foot into the land of pit bulls, poodles, and piles of poop.

Actually, the dog park we go to in Waterford is quite lovely, with a beautiful expanse of land for the dogs to freely run and romp in with wild abandon. One of our dogs can’t get enough of it, while I’m fairly certain the other one would prefer to be infested with fleas, rather than mingle and make doggy small talk amongst her peers.

Shiloh, the older of our two collies, arrives on the scene and is instantly “Captain Dog Park.” He festively frolics and struts his stuff, becoming instant BFF’s with every dog there. He even does this completely ridiculous thing where he stands in the middle of it all and barks happily into the air. He’s the most convivial canine you’ll ever come across, and is truly a “dog’s dog.”

On the other hand, Zoey, our younger, female collie, is, in fact, “The Dog Park Nerd.” It’s the weirdest thing because at home, or on walks, she’s as friendly and outgoing as can be. Once she steps paw inside of those gates, however, she scuttles around like an antisocial skunk, avoiding the other dogs’ curious gazes. She can’t wait to get out of there. Shiloh, on the other hand, doesn’t want to leave.

Even though we may now be cool because we go to the dog park, we are not yet dog park cool. You see, there is a distinct hierarchy, not only among the dogs themselves, but also amongst the dog owners. Don’t get me wrong—everyone there is quite friendly, but there are two different benches about 30 yards away from each other, with one is the “Cool Bench” and the other bench is reserved for “The Rest of Us.” We congregate at the latter.

I think all the newbie humans have to somehow prove themselves to the other humans—and canines—who are conducting business there, before we have the right to sit on the “Cool Bench.” Of course, Shiloh not only fits right in with all the other doggies, but he also hangs out with the “Cool Bench” people far more than he does with us. In the meantime, we perch upon the bench designated for “The Rest of Us,” with Zoey not wandering far from our sides.

The very worst part is that Shiloh, who’s inseparable from Zoey anywhere else, completely disses her at the dog park, preferring the company of all of his new, cool friends. He and all his other canine companions party down, while she wanders around near us like a lost, little wallflower. Once, Zoey actually did try to introduce herself to another dog—I was so pleased I could’ve cried. Then Shiloh came by and gathered up the other dog for a game of “King of the Dog Park,” while my poor little girl was left standing there, dejected, next to the bench designated for “The Rest of Us.”

I have high hopes for Zoey—and for us—that someday we’ll all join Shiloh over by the “Cool Bench.” That is, if “Captain Dog Park” finds us worthy…

I’ve Got it Covered



We have dogs. We have a tapestry couch. Imagine how that tapestry holds up to dog toenails and you can further imagine why I felt it’d become necessary to buy a pet couch cover.

If you’re even part perfectionist when it comes to what your house looks like, the dreaded term ‘pet couch cover’ brings great fear into your heart. You know exactly what I’m talking about. It’s also admitting your couch is nothing more than one big dog bed. Usually these things resemble a cheap sheets used as dust cover in an abandoned, haunted house. Sheets so cheesy in fact that  no self-respecting ghost would ever dream of using one as a spiritual fashion statement. They also never stay in place when you plunk yourself on top of them–the couch covers, not the ghosts–and crumple up into a wrinkled heap if you even consider sitting on them. But I was desperate, so I bought one and it came in the mail yesterday..

Thrilled to report it looks nothing like I imagined it to be, and actually enhances the beauty of the couch. However, the real test was sitting on it. So last night two dogs and three people sprawled all over it in every conceivable position AND IT ACTUALLY STAYED PUT. I couldn’t have been more surprised if a whole host of ghosts did a jig in the middle of my living room.

This morosely mundane post about the joys of my new couch cover uncovers the fact that I seriously need to get out more.