I don’t always turn 11…

…but when I do, I get a big bone.

This picture was taken after 40 minutes of Dex trudging around the yard, trying to find the best spot to hide his birthday bone (NOT a euphemism). Even with all of the other dogs inside, poor Dex couldn’t just settle down and enjoy his bone until he’d found and discarded no less than 4 perfectly good hiding spots for his prize.

Just stopping by to say hello, dust some cobwebs off, and wish my best old man Dexter a happy 11th birthday. It’s not every day your dog turns 11, so we had a Birthday Blowout Week which included Dex’s first minor league baseball game, where he barked at the hot dog vendor.

And the t-shirt gun.

And the crack of the bat.

And pretty much everything else.

But you know? Fuck it. Bark your head off, old man. You’ve earned it.

Listen. Stop following me. Seriously. I gotta hide this thing.

 

 

 

Guess who had a birthday?

Hey guys – I’m back! There have been some exciting goings-on around the Bad Mutha Fudruckin’ household, not the least of which being that somebody celebrated a big birthday. On September 1, Dexter turned a 10 years old. Quite a milestone! And to celebrate, CSN Stores (you know, the folks with over 200 stores where you can find anything from a coffee table to a Halloween costume for your dog) has offered to let him do his first product review!

So stay tuned! He’s getting something he’s been yearning for his entire life, and I can’t wait to share with you guys his reaction.

Happy Birthday, Dex! I love you!

Some stuff I want to tell you about

Wow – how has it been a week already?  Time is flying friends, and not in a good way.  Some updates:

Had a blast this weekend – more camping, more hanging out with family, more watermelon eating.  Ran into Steve at the Downtown Sundown Guns ‘n’ Roses cover band concert.  It was…awkward? It was nice to see him, but I was sweaty and already irritated by other things, and not feeling pretty. I felt surprised/sad/nervous/glad I wasn’t drinking.  I’m guessing this is normal?

More on camping – Dex is an escape artist and kept creeping out of the tent.  And by creeping, I mean that sonovabitch kept UNZIPPING the tent and chilling by the campfire.  What an asshole.

Ernie continues to be fascinated by the kittens.Ernie and the kittensThe kittens continue to be fascinated by eating and pooping.  Oh, and biting (they are teething).  They are much bigger now:

GirlieBoy kittenThe little calico girl is perfecting the Hemo stink-eye.

Dammit Hemo, you are a bad influence!

They are not photographing as well now as they used to – I think it’s because they are actually moving around, getting into shit (literally) and needing lots of baths/wipe downs. Their little faces always look a little gaunt because I am constantly wiping food/milk/eye gunk out of them, and smearing eye medicine in them.

Work is crazy – we are working 4 10 hours days, which on the one hand is awesome because hey – 3 day weekend every weekend!  But it is not awesome, because hey – 10 hour work day Monday – Thursday.

I’ll see you around!

[Edited to add] – VIDEO! Of the KITTENS!

I had a banana for breakfast, and other exciting news

You guys rock my socks off!

Seriously, I had a new post card pop into my inbox every couple of minutes yesterday. Thank you so, so much for getting on board with Operation:Denver.

And for some more good news – Dexter comes home today!  The Barbary hasn’t been the same without you, kiddo.

Dex behind the bar at the Barbary Coast

And…that’s all I’ve got.

Have a great weekend – see you on Monday.

BSL is BS

Baby Ernie, the first day I brought him home.

Baby Ernie, aged 5 weeks.

Ernie’s pictured in this post about BSL.

BSL (Breed Specific Legislation) is something I had never heard of before I owned pit bulls. And if I’m being honest, I don’t really remember if I had an opinion either way on pit bulls before Ernie. Sure, my friend had a pit mix (Dexter, who later came to live with me), but I don’t remember having a thought one way or the other about his breed. He was just a big, sweet dog with too-little ears who knew to stay on the porch. Oh, and he let us dress him up. But his canine older brother, Tucker (who was a retriever mix with regular-sized ears), had the same qualities and did the same things.

Baby Ernie (and a chubby Hemo)

Baby Ernie (and a very chubby Hemo)

I fell in love with Ernie when he was two days old; he looked like a little guinea pig. While I was waiting for him to be old enough to bring home, I bought a Pit Bulls for Dummies book and set about memorizing it before he came home.

Cement block-shaped head? Pump handle tail? Check and check. At the end of the book was a chapter on BSL and where it had been successfully challenged, and organizations to contact if you had any questions.

I filed it away, hoping to never have to give it a second thought.

A few months later, Ernie and I were in PetsMart getting an ID tag made at one of those “etched while you watch/wait” kiosks.  Ernie, a few months old at this point, was exhausted from the sheer amount of people, treats, and toys in the store, and was laying at my feet as we waited for his tag to be finished. A woman approached me, keeping a careful eye on Ernie, and asked me what type of dog he was.

Baby Ernie sits.

Do I look ferocious?

“He’s a pit bull,” I smiled at her.

She took a couple of big steps back.

“Oh – those dogs shouldn’t be allowed around people.”

My face flushed bright red with a mixture of anger, shame, frustration, and shock.  How do you even react to that, when the dog, nay, PUPPY, in question is laying at your feet? Does “I’m sorry you feel that way” even begin to cut it?

Then I moved to the small town of Romeo, MI.  A few months after moving there, my step-dad pointed out to me an article in the local paper which reported that the village was thinking about enacting BSL which would ban pit bulls and pit bull-type dogs within it’s borders. I went into full-on panic mode and turned to the “Resources” page of my Pit Bulls for Dummies book. I called about 5 numbers, left messages, and waited anxiously for a reply.  I got a call back from a group that had successfully defeated a pit bull ban in nearby Detroit, and they agreed to send a representative to the next council meeting.

I am not a public speaker, but I went to that meeting clutching pictures of Ernie and a few prepared words in my sweaty hands. Ernie, then 9 months old, was at home and although he obviously had no idea what was going on, I didn’t want to let him down. One of the village trustees described pit bulls as being  “merciless when they attack” and I almost lost it. Another Romeo resident held up pictures of a child mauled by a pit bull and advocated for their banishment. When it came time for me to take the floor, I was so nervous I had a hard time meeting the gaze of any of the attendees. Luckily I managed to stammer out a coherent sentence or two (thankfully quoted in an article in the Romeo Observer* or I never would have believed it actually happened) before sitting down.

Ernie and his cousin, Sadie

Ernie and his cousin, Sadie Lu, after a long day.

The motion was successfully defeated in favor of enacting a more general (and effective) dangerous dog ordinance. But the seed was planted, and I’ll never forget how close I’ve come to losing my boys, and the hatred and fear people can bear for a dog they’ve never even met.

Through this blog, I’ve met (well, read the blogs of) many other pit bull owners and advocates (like Kate at save the pit bull, save the world, Miss M and Mr. B and their awesome owners at Two Pitties in the City, and rescue/educational groups like Bad Rap, The Unexpected Pit Bull, and Richmond’s Ring Dog Rescue) who have strengthened my belief that these dogs have a place in our world and our homes. All of us can’t be wrong, right?

So now that I’ve shared my sob story, I have to ask for a favor.  I’ll be attending BlogPaws West this fall with RichmondPetLovers.com. The catch is that the conference will be held in Denver, CO, a city where Ernie, Dexter, and all pit bulls are not only banned, but would be in danger of being seized and euthanized based only on the fact that they are pit bulls. Maggie at Oh My Dog! has created and is organizing the Operation:Denver campaign to educate Denver’s Mayor Hickenlooper about the facts, rather than the myths, about pits and the people who love them.

Ernie's glamour shot

Ernie's glamour shot.

Maggie is coordinating a postcard campaign to send 10,560 post cards, or a mile’s worth, to the mayor of the Mile High City.  All you have to do is create an electronic postcard (you can download a template for PCs or Macs) and email it to Maggie at operationdenver@gmail.com. That’s it! Just a minute of your time.

Because I feel so strongly about this, I’m putting my money where my mouth is and I’m going to donate $1 to Operation:Denver for every postcard you guys create. That’s right – if it means no more delicious beers for me, than so be it.

So force me into a ramen diet, guys! Create a postcard and let me know you’ve sent it to Maggie by telling me about it in the comments (or copy me [badmuthafudrucker@gmail.com] in the email you send to Maggie at operationdenver@gmail.com). If you need a pit bull image, feel free to use any I’ve posted here or anywhere in the blog.

Thanks, friends. BSL is getting my blood boiling.

—————————————
*The last sentence in this article makes my stomach twist in knots. Is this guy a dog expert? Fuck no, he’s a freakin’ VILLAGE COUNCILMEN. Get a clue, ass.

She’s baaack!

Guess who I saw this morning in the bathroom – Curly Sue!

Curly Sue, aka my long eyebrow hair

This picture does not really do her justice, since I had to take it by myself in my abominably-lit bathroom.  You’ll have to trust me when I tell you that she is a thing of beauty.  Me, trying to get a picture of an eyebrow hair in the bathroom mirror without accidentally pulling it out – not so much.

Other things I’d like to talk about today:
Harvest – The harvest has begun! This weekend I picked my first cucumber, along with a handful of green beans and a small-ish yellow squash. I may have jumped the gun a little on the squash, but I’m nothing if not impatient.

If you happened to be peeking out of my neighbor’s upstairs window last Saturday around 9am, you would have seen one ecstatic pajama-clad girl skipping around the garden clutching beans in both hands and pausing periodically to shake aforementioned beans in her dog’s face, singing (in the style of the Go-Gos), “We  got the beans, we got the Beans, we got the BEANS, YEAH! We got the BEANS!”

Um, yeah.  We got some mutha fudrucking beans.

The cucumber became part of a delicious mango salad, but the squash and beans are still on the counter, taunting me. Joke’s on you, veggies, ’cause you’ll both be a stir fry tonight!

– You may have a distinct noticed lack of Dexter up in this piece as of late. He is in South Carolina, getting some one-on-one time with his former mommy, Danielle. It’s pretty obvious from the pictures she’s been sending me pining away for us, right?  Right?

[Cue weeping]

Apparently he’s having such a good time he’s already on his third chew toy. No squeaker in SC is safe.

Dex on vacation

He’ll be back in a couple of weeks.

And yes, that is a hand-crocheted afghan he is wrapped up in.  Hand-crocheted by moi, no less.  I’ll be happy to start taking orders if, by some chance, you don’t have the time or the inclination to waste spend 12+ hours of your life looping yarn around a hook while watching the first four seasons of Lost.

Call me!

I just called to say ‘I love you’

So I know I’ve already warned you guys that I’m phoning it in for the rest of the week.  This is me, literally phoning it in.

These pictures were snapped with my phone a few weeks ago at the Goat and Compass in Wilmington.  The Goat is Ernie and Dexter friendly, and when Amanda and I were there on a Friday afternoon (I was able to leave work early because our air conditioning was broken) they even had free buffalo wings.  Score!  Sadly, the wings were not Ernie and Dexter friendly (because dog farts are not people friendly).

The boys, hanging out.

Dexter sneaks closer to the wings.

Even my beer laughs at his pitiful attempt to sweet talk some strangers out of people food.

They also have a pretty sweet beer garden out back.  When the boys got tired of being inside Amanda and I took our beers out there to get some fresh air.  Dex didn’t seem to like the gravel out there too much, and it was pretty funny to watch him daintily pick his way across the flagstones.  Ernie, however, didn’t seem to mind and after scouting the perimeter, laid down in the crunchy gravel and took a nap.

To each his own, I guess.

Are you making fun of me?

Sorry, Dex.

Anyway, the next time you are in Wilmington – check out the Goat and Compass!  They even have a chalkboard up in a corner (which used to be where you could play Wii until someone broke it *sigh*) where you can buy a beer for an absent friend and leave them a note.  I’ve left one for you!

(No plans to come to NC?  Not into beer?  Then check out this post for a chance to win something even cooler.)

Sleep karate chopping?

I’ve never been much of a sleep walker.  More of a sleep talker, which I guess can get pretty creepy, too.  One of my best friends and former roommate used to get really freaked out when I’d sit up in the middle of the night and ask for a hairbrush.

“I thought you were possessed by the devil,” she’d say.

Um, sorry Deb.

My sister Elizabeth used to sleep walk and talk, as I remember.  When we were moved from Hawai’i to Virginia, we road-tripped it from coast to coast.  Each night when we’d stop at a motel, our parents would get two rooms – one for them, and one for us kids.  One night, Beth jumped out from under the covers and onto the foot of the bed.  She crouched down in perfect surfer form, arms outstretched, and sang a quick rendition of “Wipe Out” (think Animal from the Muppets).  Then she sorta woke up, looked around, and started crying.

I’m pretty sure my other two sisters and I got in trouble for upsetting her.  Although I have to say that she was about 6 at the time, and I’m sure we were pointing and laughing.

But anyway, I’m beginning to suspect that lately I’ve taken my sleep activities to a whole new level, and the saddest part is that I may have involved little Ernie in these night-time shenanigans.

Sunday evening, while enjoying a delicious gyro with friends at the Greek Fest (where I saw an honest-to-goodness young Michael Bolton – more about this later), I notice a thumb-sized bruise on each of my upper arms.

Huh, I wondered.  I don’t remember getting manhandled this weekend.

Monday morning, poor baby Ernie is moping around the house.  As his usual morning routine includes waking me up around 6:00 with a sneeze to the face, followed by pacing around the house and zooming around the backyard, I suspected something was up.  I checked each of his feet for cuts or burrs, then palpated his abdomen to check for swelling or hardness.  Nothing.

Then I started manipulating his hips, and he started whimpering.  I guess you have to know Ernie to know that this is a big deal.  He’ll cry and get all excited when he sees someone he loves (read: anyone he’s ever met, even once), but he does not cry out in pain.  Even when he ripped his whole toenail off, he didn’t cry.  The only reason I knew something was up was that he was lick, lick, licking his poor, nail-less foot next to me on the couch.

Anyway, back in the present day.  Ernie was slowly walking around the backyard, head down and ears back.  He wasn’t limping, and he successfully one’d and two’d, so I watched him hobble onto the couch and left for work.

By Wednesday he was fine – verdict: muscle strain.

BUT THEN, on Tuesday morning I found a bruise and a cut on my side.  I’m pretty much convinced that Ernie and I have been drafted as ninja enforcers by an organization so secret even we don’t know about it.  It makes perfect sense, if you think about it:

  • I’ve been going to the gym, transforming myself into a lean, mean, fighting machine.  If you could see these biceps, you’d be intimidated.  Trust me.
  • Ernie is very strong and agile, and can be pretty stealthy when he wants to (Dexter…strong, but gets failing grades in agility and stealth).
  • Warm weather + poverty = no AC.  But I do have my bedroom window open to get some air flow at night.  I think it is through this window that They initially made contact.  I also think this is my ninja exit/entrance, as my keys remain where my waking mind left them (plus, ninjas do not have pockets, and jingling keys ≠ stealth).

As further evidence, I present to you the fact that I’ve woken up at 2:50am for the past 4 nights, and haven’t been able to get back to sleep.

I’m pretty sure it’s the adrenaline rush that comes from battling crime in hand-to-hand combat.

Help around the house

Helpful boys!
Bad Mutha Fudruckers, reporting for duty.  How may we be of service today, ma’am?
(They are actually begging for goldfish crackers, but hey – I’ll take what I can get.)

There is something about water from the hose that Ernie LOVES, even if the water has been sitting in the hose all day and is warm enough to cook pasta with.  He follows me around the garden in the morning, sampling the flow to ensure optimum growing conditions.

Ernie waters the mint
Mint?  Check.

Ernie waters the strawberries.
Strawberries? Check.

Beans?

Beans?

Cucumbers?
Cucumbers? Check and double check.

Dexter, on the other hand, is really into the soil sampling.  I mean really into it.  He has taken it upon himself to regularly and throughly dig up aerate the soil to evenly distribute nutrients and encourage healthy root growth.  Unfortunately he also discourages root growth by periodically unearthing recently transplanted seedlings and then resting on the bed of tilled earth and young plants.

Sorry!

Sorry!

So I’ve Dexter-proofed the baby seedlings by surrounding them with bamboo skewers.  So far it seems to be working, although I lost 4 tomatillo seedlings before I figured out a workable solution.

Dexter-proof garden.

Not pretty, but they are safe.  For now.

Take your ball(s) and leave

Note: This post isn’t as happy-go-lucky as usual.  BUT, if you make it all the way to the end, you may win a prize!

I learned something about myself this weekend, friends. I’ve never considered myself a judgmental person, but I revealed myself to be Sally McJudge-a-lot on Saturday.

I spent the morning working in the yard and getting all of my vegetables planted in the garden. By 1 o’clock it was too hot for anymore yard work and I was ready for a treat. Ernie was ready for a walk (Dexter had already put in several long hours of intense hole digging [followed by equally intense lounging in aforementioned holes], so he was deep into an afternoon nap).

Whatever – digging holes is hard work .
*sniff*

Whatever - digging holes is hard work.

I leashed up Ernie and set out for a new bar that a co-worker had told me about, the Satellite Bar & Lounge. Merits of this bar included a) interesting architecture, b) the owners had used lots of found items to decorate and furnish the bar, c) excellent beer selection, and d) it was dog friendly. So off we went.

I had a vague idea of where this place was, but never having walked the route I didn’t realize that sidewalks were few and far between once I got about 5 blocks from my house.  I almost turned back a few times, but soldiered on.  Ernie and I finally made it to the Satellite Lounge, which, true to my coworker’s word, was a pretty interesting space.  Big garage doors made up one wall, and they were both open to take advantage of the beautiful weather.  I took the bartender’s suggestion and ordered a Bell’s Porter, and she directed Ernie to the bowl of water set out for dogs at the end of the bar.

**As a side note, I have to say this bartender knew her stuff.  When she asked me what I’d like to drink, I asked her if there was a delicious beer I needed to try.  She asked if I liked porters, then plunked a Bell’s in front of me – a $4 bottle of beer.  Way to upsell!

Business was pretty slow, and I struck up a conversation with a few  other bar patrons – fellow pit bull lovers.  Ernie made the rounds and it was only as I finished my beer and got ready to leave that I realized I had introduced Ernie to everyone, but not myself.  Oh well.

Manners – I have none.

With the goal of getting closer to home, we left and headed to the Barbary Coast.  I was hoping to get a mint julep and maybe even watch the Kentucky Derby, but alas, this was not to be.  I’m not really sure why I expected a dive bar to stock fresh mint and simple syrup, but a girl can dream, can’t she?  Instead I got a PBR and watched Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls.  Still a good day.  A couple came in with their 6 month old puppy, Moses; I recognized some of the specific command words  she was giving him from the Puppy Pre-School Ernie and I had attended, and after a brief conversation discovered that they were currently enrolled in the same class.

A steady trickle of patrons entered the bar, with a few more dogs; one a cute little dachshund mix, and another couple with their two beagles.  After brief introductions and butt sniffs, the dachsund playfully chased Ernie around the bar before they both settled down.  Then, two young guys entered the bar, both with their dogs.  One, an intact male bull dog.  The other, an intact male pit bull.  I groaned inwardly.  I know that Ernie doesn’t do well with intact male dogs – invariably they try to mount him, so I don’t really blame him.  But I quickly put him into a down stay as they passed.  The pit bull got leashed to a bar stool, but the bull dog was left to wander around.  He kept approaching Ernie (still in a down stay) and trying to stand over him.  I kept shooing him away.  Finally, I stood over Ernie and blocked the bull dog from approaching Ernie anymore.

Anger was slowly burning in my chest – why were these two dogs still intact?  I know there could be any number of reasons why the dogs were, (see this entry from save the pitbull, save the world) but the attitude of the young owners made me think that it was all male ego.  The bull dog, with his runny eyes and turned-out front paws, didn’t seem like a prime breeding specimen to my (admittedly) untrained eyes.  And the intact pitbull was a “rare, blue” pit; I shuddered to think of all the puppies he has or could father, born outside to a skinny, over-bred bitch and sold for $300 a pop.

Moses’ owners were giving me sympathetic looks, and after the third time the bull dog ignored his owner and approached Ernie (his owner came over each time and lifted the dog up by his harness to physically removed him), the woman told me I should ask the bull dog’s owners to leash his dog, or ask the bartender to get him to leash him.

I knew I wouldn’t do that – lots of times Ernie and Dex are at the Barbary and not on leashes, and I didn’t want to make a scene.  I know that the bar isn’t a dog park, and I am aware that if the dogs become too much of an issue, it would be easy for the owner to say that they just aren’t welcome anymore.  The dogs in question didn’t seem to be bothering anyone or anyone else’s dog, so I just leashed up Ernie and left.

I hate that I hate seeing intact male dogs – I immediately judge the owner as irresponsible and uninformed.  I assume they want to breed their dogs for a quick buck – especially if the dog in question is a pit bull.  With so much backyard breeding going on, and so many advertisements for pit bull puppies stapled to telephone poles, it seems like a selfish act.  But I am also aware that if every male pit bull was neutered, there would be no more Ernies or Dexters.  And so I am torn.

I still judge, though.

On a lighter note – it’s contest time!

NobleWorksCards.com has contacted me about offering a give away to my readers.  Dingo ran a similar contest a while back, and the rules will be similar here.  Head on over to NobleWorks and check out their selection of cards and other stationary.  Let me know which product best encapsulates the Mutha Fudruckin’ way of life, or just which one you like best.  Leave your response as a comment (or you can email me @ badmuthafudrucker [at] gmail [dot] com).  The winner will get a $25 shopping spree at NobleWorks.  The winner will be chosen at random from all of the comments left (on any post) between now and midnight (eastern time) Thursday.  I’ll announce winners on Friday.  Every comment counts as one entry, and if you let me know that you’ve spread the word on your blog and/or Twitter, I’ll count each shout out as an entry.  So get on it!

This one cracked me up:

I kid, I kid, Hemo.  I don’t want you to run away (again).