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!

Lil Wayne and Juvenile

Me @ petsmartAt my office, we have a cat guy. He feeds and cares for several feral cat colonies around town, and while he is on vacation for a few days, I agreed to take care of them.

He’s had to move one colony deeper and deeper into a patch of wooded area to keep them safe from automobile traffic and cruel people (he found a few cats poisoned a few months ago), so by the time he got around to showing me where they were, I had to don rainboots and a generous dose of Deep Woods Off, and was advised to carry a stick for pushing aside spiderwebs.

The first couple days of cat watch were uneventful; I tromped to the designated spots, left food and refilled water and did a quick head count. On the second day the food had been overturned and a pair of turtles were happily munching on the soggy cat kibble; I was annoyed and ever-so-slightly afraid (yes, I was intimidated by a turtle), but it was tough to stay mad at the turtles, with their mushy cat food-smeared heads pulled half-heartedly into their shells.

I will cut you.

On Sunday, as I was checking on the second half of the colony, I spotted a tiny orange tail peeking up over the edge of a slanted board. Trying to be as quiet as possible, I crawled over to get a better look. Three kittens, no more than 3 weeks old, were huddled together in an orange and calico pile. Mom had already fled at my intrusion. Brushing aside a few more cobwebs, I reached in and scooped up the tiny fur bundles and tromped back to the car. By this time, the kittens were squalling relatively loudly, and I had visions of vengeful cats streaming out of the woods to pull me down and reclaim their screaming young.

SPOILER ALERT: It didn’t happen. My hike back to the car was uneventful.

I scoured the car for something to keep the kittens in, and the best I could find was a dutch oven my friend had recently returned to me and I hadn’t brought back into the house yet. I lined the bottom with a t-shirt and placed the kittens inside.

I pulled into the PetsMart parking lot and reached into the backseat for the pot o’ kittens. I carried them inside, now fast asleep, and made my way to the Banfield vet counter.

Hansel is displeased

Lil Wayne is displeased

“Can I help you?” the receptionist asked, giving me and the dutch oven tucked under my arm a quizzical look.

I tipped the dutch oven enough to reveal the huddle of kittens (thank goodness I had decided against putting the lid on).

“Um, I found these? And I was hoping you guys could tell me how old they are and what they’ll need before I can bring them to my vet tomorrow morning?”

A vet tech took the pot from me and took it back to weigh the kittens and check their temperatures. She came back out a few minutes later to tell me that they all looked relatively healthy, if a little small, and that although they didn’t have any teeth yet, she didn’t think they’d need to be bottle fed. She walked me over to the cat section and pointed out what wet food I should mix with some KMR (a kitten milk replacement) to offer to the kittens. Another vet tech walked by with a small pet carrier and a mysterious bulge in her scrub pocket.

Gretel, a calico kitten

Juvenile

“You’ll need to keep them warm,” she said, patting her pocket. I could just see some orange fluff sticking out – kitten #1 had found a home. She handed me the pet carrier with the two remaining kittens inside, then offered to give me a syringe to help feed the babies. Some kittens never take to the bottle, she explained, because they can smell the latex and don’t like it. Their clinic had better luck just using a syringe to offer formula.

So. There are two kittens currently snoozing on my coffee table under the watchful eye of Ernie. Julie has named them Lil Wayne (orange) and Juvenile (calico). I’ll keep you posted on their progress, but I need some help.

Ernie inspects the new arrivals

Ernie suggests we name them "Sugar" and "Spice," since they look delicious.

Also – homes. These guys are going to need homes. I am at my pet limit, and Hemo wants absolutely nothing to do with these guys. She insists that we are a one cat household, and I agree.

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.

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.

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).

What, you wanted to READ something?

I’m too excited to write many words today because it is SUNNY!  and WARM!  and FRIDAY!

I ordered this vegetable collection from Burpee a few months back, and my plants arrived yesterday and I can’t wait to get them in the ground this weekend, along with some other garden favorites (tomatillos, jalapeños, zucchini, squash, cucumbers, pumpkins, watermelon…) I’ve started from seed.

The animals are a big help in the garden.

Hemo warms up the soil in the flower beds.Hemo helps

Ernie keeps a close eye on the seedlings.

Sorry…but you had too many peppers, anyway.

Ernie helps, too.

And Dexter…well, Dex sure does love the new grass.

Grass!  Glorious Grass!  Wonderful gr–

GRASS!  GLORIOUS GRASS!

Hey!  Can’t a guy enjoy a roll in the grass in peace?

Oh Dex, you are lucky you’re so cute.

Stop lookin’ at my butt.

Dex's butt.

The hard part is sitting back and waiting for the garden to start producing.  Mutha Fudruckers are not known for their patience.

Is it time to enjoy the fruits of our labors?Now?

Not yet, baby Ernie.

Have a great weekend…

She sees you when you’re sleeping…

Attention:  You have been robbed!

Yes, robbed.  All weekend I was busy having adventures and soaking up awesome stories to tell you about this morning.  I saw FERAL PEACOCKS!  I am not even joking about this, friends.  FERAL PEACOCKS.  Just let that sink in.  Oh, one was roosting in a pine tree, while another was prancing on the roof of an abandoned trailer (I am such a tease).

But that’s all you’re gonna get out of me today, because my (thankfully female) coworker pulled me aside after our staff meeting today to inform me that my dress was split up the seam in the back, exposing my flower print underwear and embarrassingly white thighs to whomever chanced to walk behind me.

Holy shit.

So instead of tales of FERAL PEACOCKS (including my friend Kristin, who is apparently a FERAL PEACOCK WHISPERER), I’ll leave you with this:

Imagine the creepiest, most judgmental gargoyle you can think of.  Now imagine it in your backyard.  Now imagine yourself a bit hungover.

BEHOLD!

The media has got it all wrong.  Rabid pit bulls can’t hold a candle to the menace that is Hemo.

Hemo is judging you.

Oh, so you thought you’d make some healthy and delicious oatmeal pancakes for breakfast?  Sounds like a great idea – make a big batch, freeze’em, and pop them in the toaster in the morning for a quick on-the-go breakfast.

You do know that oatmeal pancakes ≠ oatmeal cookies, right?You know oatmeal pancakes =/= oatmeal cookies, right?

Yeah, Heem, I know, but I’ve got this whole canister of oatmeal – I might as well use it.  In fact, let’s double the recipe; I gotta get rid of this stuff.

*sigh* Don’t say I didn’t warn you…
*sigh* Don't say I didn't warn you.

(original recipe – Heart-Healthy Oatmeal Pancakes)

Okay:
milk – strike one.  Substitute coconut milk.  check.
oatmeal – check.
oatmeal flour – wha?  *drags out food processor* check.
baking powder – nope. But it’s optional, so…
salt – check.
egg whites – check.
cinnamon – check. Scratch that.  I had cinnamon – at Steve’s house.  So…cocoa powder? check.

45 minutes later:Dang pancakes - looking good!

Dang, pancakes, you’re looking GOOD.  Let’s have a taste test!

*blech*

*sad face*

Shoot, these taste like oatmeal.  Plain oatmeal.  I need some sweetness in my life!

*rummages in the fridge* How about some blueberries?

Taste test No. 2

Verdict: These things still taste like coconut-flavored cardboard.  With blueberries mixed in.  W.T.F.

*breaks down and adds some brown sugar and vanilla*

I didn’t even try the rest of the batch.  I just cooked them all and threw them in the freezer.  This morning I popped two in the toaster and…

Do yourself a favor – next time just open a can of tun.  At least that won’t go to waste.What did I tell you?

Usually this would CLEAR a room

TMI Thursday

A story in two parts

Living alone has it’s perks.  One being the ability to rip a mean fart with out judgement.

Or so I thought.

Part I
The other day I was laying in bed, enjoying my Saturday morning.  It was a great morning – crisp and cold outside, toasty warm inside; Hemo was curled up on my chest rather than on my head.  I stretched and let out a little fart.  No biggie.  I shook it out from underneath the blankets and dozed off.  I woke up a couple minutes later and felt another fart coming somewhat reluctantly down the pike (I’d had some beers with friends the night before – you know how it is) and decided to give it a little help.  Just a nudge to ease the pressure.

The loudest fart you’ve ever heard ripped out of my butt-hole and trumpeted though the house.  I swear the blankets flapped around me.  Ernie and Dexter, who were two rooms away, started barking like we were being attacked by an army of mailmen and came barreling down the hallway.   Hemo jumped 2 feet in the air and streaked out of the room.  It took me 20 minutes and a handful of treats to get everyone calmed down.

Part II
Last night I was one the phone with my sister, talking about how my dad’s wife sucks and how significant portions of my life are lost browsing Instructables and convincing myself that not only are tesla coil radios awesome but that I could make one myself by following the step-by-step instructions provided.

As I’m talking I (naturally) make my way to the bathroom.  Just as I get comfortable, I tell my sister I’m going to have to call her back.

me: Beth, I’m going to have to call you back.  I just farted in the toilet and the dogs are going ape-shit.
her: What?  I can’t hear you.
me: Just…I’ll have to call you back.  DOGS!  CHILL THE FUCK OUT!