Tag Archives: life with dogs

The doorstop.

Coincidence is one of my favorite spices in the seasoning of life. I yearn for the moments when things that never should have happened unfold as if they were planned.

I had one of these simple, mildly enlightening encounters the other day when searching for a heavy object to keep the door from slamming in our tiny San Francisco apartment. After successfully jamming most of our excess crap in a storage unit, I was having a hell of time finding an item that:

1) Would sit flat on the ground
2) Weighed enough to withstand a heavy breeze

And old pair of work boots had already failed me and my next move was TBD. Of course, the only reason the door has to remain open is for the dog to roam free around the apartment and he was anxiously watching my every move.

That’s when I spotted my trusty, battery-powered drill. It had all of the above-named characteristics, and to my surprise, perfectly matched our “burnt orange” big city couch. Problem solved—and color-coordination coincidence noted.

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Move It: 2017 Edition

Back when all my worldly possessions amounted to a twin bed, a stack of CDs and a Mr. Coffee, I thought moving was fun. These days, things are a little different. With five bicycles, three grills and a small collection of non-Ikea, grown-up furniture, changing addresses is a stress-inducing hypothetical endeavor. Add a pretty lady, a big black dog and their stuff to the mix, and the subject of relocation is enough to inspire visions of a massive bonfire fueled by unnecessary household goods.

So when the landlord’s real estate sign went up in our yard back in June—roughly eight months after we moved in—the task before us seemed daunting. The Craigslist search. The big dog discussion. The you-want-how-much-for-the-deposit shock factor. The packing. The truck. The loading and unloading. But we did it. Mission accomplished. With a little help from a friend*. Now, as we dig our way out of the boxes, we’re up against the real-life limitations of physical space. We’ve stacked, stored, reconsidered and rearranged. I gave up on recovering the tape measure two weeks ago. I’ve come to terms with the idea of never owning a couch again. I hate shoes (other than the ones on my feet). Extra shirts seems extravagant. I find myself questioning why anyone would need more than two forks. All the things I’ve loved before are clutter and clutter is the enemy!

But one must remain calm. It’s the only option a relatively sane person has. In the end, we’re lucky to have a roof over our heads, a wonderful new neighborhood just beyond our front door and, of course, a magical sunflower watching over the entire process. Without the sunflower, I’m pretty sure the above mentioned bonfire would’ve been the first and only thing on my agenda.

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Cut from my lady’s garden at our previous address, this sunflower has kept me grounded.

* I hired a mover who happens to be a nice guy and by the end of the process I considered him a friend

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A retriever of sorts.

Most domestic animals serve very little purpose beyond making humans feel happy and needed. At least this has been the case with both of the awesome dogs I’ve had in my life.

But Woody (current four-legged friend), surprised me last night. Rather than killing the random cat that wandered into our massive, messy backyard, he cornered the animal and then came to my side to let me know something was amiss. A few minutes later, the cat, too frightened to move, was perfectly positioned for quick retrieval by the owner. Turns out, the poor fur ball is an indoor-only creature and made a break for it earlier in the day.

It was a heroic move for a Missouri pound dog, in my opinion. Everyone went home intact and feeling a little better about the world. Of course, because Woody had the self-control to skip the kitty snack, he was rewarded with lots of hippie lamb treats and a generous belly rub.

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On patrol in the wilds of Alameda County.

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In conversation.

Among my many annoying habits, I talk to Woody the dog throughout the day.

When feeling guilty about leaving for work, I pose philosophical questions, “What does it all mean, buddy? Am I just another rat in the race?”

Or when getting ready for a walk, I try to position a quick trip around the block where the expectation is a prompt poop and pee as some kind of adventure, “Do you want to go outside with me and explore the world?”

And we spend a lot of time debating the pros and cons of electronic devices, “Silly me and this cell phone—all this texting back and forth for what? For what?”

Treats are cookies. A bowl full of kibble is breakfast (or dinner). And our life together is just like any human relationship.

Right now, for example. He’s had his breakfast,  I’ll be leaving shortly for my day among the rats, he definitely wants to explore the world and I’m sitting here wasting time on an electronic device. He has needs and I’m not fulfilling them.

Off we go.

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