My household is filled with birds and dogs. The alpha is Amy, our blue-front Amazon parrot. She’s been part of the family for nearly 30 years. Initially she started out as a dog substitute but quickly created a spot all her own, one that can never be replaced.
Our first dog was an Italian Greyhound named Tony. Weighing in at 12 pounds, he was accustomed to being around birds and not eating them. The perfect fit. From the get-go, Tony knew that Amy was top-dog. Even though she was much smaller than him, he would never look her in the eye and usually kept his distance. Regularly, Amy would assert her position by climbing down her cage and chasing Tony across the room. She knew he was afraid of her and enjoyed reminding him of their hierarchy.
Years later, we still have Italian Greyhounds and the parrot continues to reign supreme. Recently, when giving Amy a shower, we captured footage of her unique relationship with our dog Dewey. Just as the dogs before him, Dewey clearly knows his place.
May the farce be with you!
I’ve never known my nationality with certainty although my parents guessed we had Irish and Scottish blood running through our veins. Because this has always been a source of interest, I decided to research my ancestry.
To date I’ve discovered I’m a mix of Irish, English, Scotch and German, with the latter a total surprise. Since I’ve never felt German, I thought it necessary to embrace my German heritage. The first step – attending Oktoberfest (in September – not October) in Germantown, Wisconsin.
Stephen and I arrived at the fest with our dogs in tow. We have two Italian Greyhounds (miniatures that look like big greyhounds that were left in the dryer too long). They’re skinny with long, long legs. It’s important to know this because the Oktoberfest was filled with short little German Dachshunds. Apropos for a German festival.
Homage to the German Dachshund
Not only were there more than 100 Dachshunds in attendance, many of them were scheduled to run in the Dachshund races. Dachshunds have short little legs, so we wondered how fast they could actually run. Italian Greyhounds have been clocked as high as 35 mph. Surely, German Dachshunds couldn’t run that fast.
We tried to convince the judges that our dogs were Italian Dachshunds and they should be allowed to race, but they were disqualified because their long legs gave them an unfair advantage.
Run, Forest, Run!
Attending Germantown’s Oktoberfest didn’t exactly make me feel German. After all, I was accompanied by Italian dogs, wasn’t wearing lederhosen and didn’t drink beer from a gigantic stein. However, I did have fun. That’s what life’s all about – richtig?
May the farce be with you!
A recent study reported that people love their dogs like children.
Researchers showed mothers, who also had a dog, a variety of images while their brain activity was being monitored. Brain scans revealed that when the moms saw pictures of their dog, their reaction was the same as when they viewed pictures of their child, leading to the conclusion people love their dog as much a child.
Speaking from personal experience, I contend their conclusion is wrong.
Take these examples.
I would never let an 11-year old share my sweatshirt.
I wouldn’t let an 11-year old sleep in my bed.
I love waking up next to that face
I would never have beds in every room for my children.
It’s not designed to be a bunk bed
I would never dress like my children and then go out in public.
My dogs don’t talk back to me. They don’t ask for new gym shoes, car keys, or money to go shopping. They don’t go online or mess up my computer. They’re always happy to see me – even as they approach their teenage years.
Now it’s easy to understand why I disagree with the researchers.
Obviously, I love my dogs way more than kids (if I had them).
May the farce be with you!
Today is April Fool’s Day. I’ve always been a prankster but I don’t limit my tricks to one day a year. Here are three of my favorites.
Prank #3: Tassles
My mom collects unusual art from around the world. One piece is a picture of four nearly naked female musicians. Years ago I took gold ribbon and made tassles for added flair. My mom still hasn’t discovered the prank but everytime my sister and I are together, we stand in front of the picture and laugh. It’s kind of become a secret tradition.
Prank #2: Iditarod
One year I put together a Christmas letter and included a blurb about our 12-pound, nearly hairless Italian Greyhound, Tony, winning the Iditarod. When my father-in-law read it, he ran screaming to my mother-in-law with the unbelievable news. The way the story goes, she looked at him like he had two heads, asked to see what he was reading, and explained that it was a joke. It was especially funny since the joke turned out to be on him.
Prank #1: Nose Rings
My favorite prank was the time I visited my parents wearing a fake nose ring. My mom looked at it, grabbed my chin and turned my head, and asked me if it hurt. She assumed it was real and tried not to freak out. The next day I switched it to the other side and she didn’t notice. That same afternoon, I switched it several times until she finally recognized that it was fake. My sister knew what I was up to, so again, we had a good laugh together.
Happy April Fool’s Day and may the farce be with you!
When we adopted our first Italian Greyhound, Stephen was determined that the dog wouldn’t sleep with us so for 2 months we listened to Tony howl himself to sleep and us awake. Everything changed when we had house guests. “Just during the visit” Tony was allowed to sleep with us. I’ll never forget that first night – absolute quiet accompanied by a good night’s sleep. From that point forward, Tony began sleeping in our bed.
One would think that a bed big enough for two adults could certainly accommodate an additional 12 pounds. There was plenty of room when Tony was cold because he would curl himself into a tiny ball or plaster his body next to one of us. However, once he got comfortable and started to warm up, he spread out. This was no problem as long as he slept in the normal direction but Tony wanted to touch us both so he slept sideways, in the middle of the bed. This two foot tall dog quickly became nearly 50 inches long. To put it in perspective, a queen size bed is only 60 inches wide, leaving about 5 inches each for Stephen and me. Tony’s behavior was typical of every Italian Greyhound who’s ever owned us.
Letting Tony in our bed started out as a means to get a good night’s sleep. Over time, this brilliant plan has evolved into not such a good night’s sleep because there’s no room. It is quiet though.
Our situation is not unique and was best summed up by a woman living with two Italian Greyhounds. Her grandson was visiting and spent the night at her house. She told me that she couldn’t figure out why she had slept so well until she realized that one of her dogs didn’t sleep in her bed – he spent the night with her grandson. We both laughed and agreed that everything we do tends to be for the dogs.
Whether or not you have a dog, I hope you get a good night’s sleep.
May the farce be with you.
I like to display pictures of friends and family in my home. My sister has a wall designated for this purpose and one of my friends has pictures in several places. In my house, pictures of those most important to me are posted on my refrigerator. We also have magnets from various places we’ve visited along with ones that make us laugh and that we received as gifts. Our guests say it’s a mess but I look at it every day and see things that make me smile and faces of people I love, so I don’t care what they think. Each time I add a new magnet, I jump back in fear of the fridge tipping over. Luckily that hasn’t happened yet.
See what I mean?
As you can see from the picture, with all those magnets it’s kind of hard to keep track of them all. I found this out first hand when I went to open the door and saw this (see picture below).
See the empty magnet?
When I saw a magnet was missing, I couldn’t remember what had been there. I looked everywhere and wasn’t able to find it. I suppose it could be hiding with all those missing socks I put into the dryer that never came out, but I don’t think that’s what happened. Since the simplest explanation is usually the correct one, I decided to blame the dog. Mia eats everything. My guess is that when the front of the magnet fell off, she ate it. Take a look at her picture below and tell me that she doesn’t look guilty.
Mia - The Guilty Chow Hound (Actually, she's an Italian Greyhound)
Always the optimist, I’m glad Mia only ate the top part and not the whole magnet because surely the fridge would fall over if she stuck to it.
May the farce be with you.