Please Fix Your Website So I Can Sign My Dog Up for Affordable Health Care.
Our bulldog, Wonderbutt, has been growing increasingly disenchanted with his own bottom lately. To be honest, I know how he feels. But I think his unhappiness might not be for cosmetic reasons.
We took him to the vet yesterday, and she postulated that the poor guy might need a tail amputation.
Have you seen Wonderbutt’s butt? He has no tail.
I pointed this out to the vet, and she kindly explained that, despite the fact that he appears to be lacking in this region, he actually has a very deep “pocket” where the tail was supposed to be. And this pocket seems to be the source of our the poor guy’s discomfort. She showed me what they would amputate, and it looked to be about 1/3 of his butt. “And then it would just be one smooth region,” she said. I almost asked if they offered any two for one deals. But this vet is new to us and, so far, thinks that I am a somewhat sane pet owner. I’d like to keep it that way for at least a few more visits.
Of course, when I explained all of this to my husband, Cap’n Firepants, and showed him the bill for this consultation, he looked at me as though I had just grown a butt on my head and stuck a yellow tulip in the crack.
I am torn between being jealous of Wonderbutt for having a valid medical excuse for surgically shaping his butt and being sorry for him because we have no money in the household budget for a bulldog butt-sculpting operation. The less expensive alternative, which is for me to regularly clean the pocket and try to squeeze some poofs of some kind of magical powder into it, is sure to make both of us miserable.
So, for now, the daily scene in our household will be Wonderbutt running away from his butt and the woman who is trying to catch his butt so she can make it less threatening.
Perhaps the exercise will do both our butts some good.
What’s Not to Love?
Sometimes I forget that not everyone is as enamored with fat gassy bulldogs with an underbite as I am. Wonderbutt was hanging out on the Starbucks patio with Cap’n Firepants and me the other night, and getting lots of lovin’ from passersby. But then a tall, burly guy rounded the corner with his latte and stopped short when he saw Wonderbutt. He glared at me and backed away slowly to find a seat somewhere else. I know I can be pretty intimidating, but I can’t help but feel that Wonderbutt had something to do with the man’s quick retreat.
Forget the Milk. It Does a Number on My Sensitive Stomach.
In honor of See What Dangerous Items Your Dog Can Eat Without Needing to Be Taken to the Emergency Vet Clinic Month*, Wonderbutt has been making great strides in his clinical research.
The other night we discovered his “pad” looking like it had been invaded by a homeless (note the newspaper section) junkie afflicted with the munchies.
No one could attest to how many oreos had been in the package when it was left on the counter, and no one could figure out how Wonderbutt could get to the package on the counter, which is ten feet higher than the top of his head.
Dimples and I had noticed that evening that Wonderbutt seemed gassier than usual. He was kind enough to emphasize this by sitting between us with his bottom aimed at our faces and releasing a not-so-silent-but-just-as-deadly sample for us to sniff.
By the time we discovered the probable cause for his unstable stomach, it seemed ridiculous to call the vet to inquire about possible chocolate poisoning when we would be forced to declare excessive stinkiness as his only symptom.
In a related story, I was informed by my sister, Crash, that her dog had chosen the same day to ingest a Harry Potter DVD and portions of some scrapbooks. It’s obvious Wonderbutt texted orders to his cousin to get cracking on her contribution to this month’s research project or else be in danger of losing all funding.
I can’t wait until this month is over.
* October is National Bullying Prevention Month, National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (We don’t want to prevent Breast Cancer – just be aware of it this month, I guess), Clergy Appreciation Month, and Sarcastic Month. That’s just a sampling. Here’s more if you are really curious. There is apparently no one in charge of Month Declaring, so people can just willy nilly announce that any month is special for whatever reason. I officially declare November to be Worldwide Cut-Out-Trying-to-Monopolize-the-Calendar Month.
Momma Didn’t Raise No Pencil Pusher
So, what do you think he was trying to tell me with this act of rebellion?
A. How is this different from my dog food? They both taste like sawdust.
2. I hate people who spend time writing their blog instead of paying attention to me.
III. I may not be the sharpest pencil in the box but that doesn’t really matter now, does it?
Four. I’m going to make this #2 live up to its name.
ALWAYS Have an Exit Strategy
Our bulldog, Wonderbutt, has been trying very hard to run away from his own butt lately. He suddenly leaps up, looks at his rear end, and then races around the house, screeching to a halt in random locations, and sitting down hard. Then he tries to bite whatever is bothering him back there, and generally topples over because dogs shaped like fat sausages just can’t do that kind of contortion. This picture shows Wonderbutt following one of his desperate attempts to elude his bottom, at the end of which he barged into Dimples’ bedroom where Cap’n Firepants was relaxed on the floor reading to her with a blanket over his legs. Wonderbutt charged underneath the blanket, then whirled around and glared at everyone from underneath – apparently blaming us for his disobedient derriere.
But enough about him. Let’s talk about me.
The other day, I was getting ready for work, and decided to wear a dress that I hadn’t worn in awhile. I vaguely recalled that it had a zipper on the side, but my fumbling didn’t find one, so I decided to pull the dress over my head. Of course it got stuck. That happens to me a lot. But this time I could not wiggle my way out of it in either direction. The more I tried, the more stuck I became. What’s worse is that I realized during my struggles that there was a zipper on the dress – and it was very decidedly zipped. Which made me feel a bit less fat but a lot more blind.
The sight of myself in the closet mirror made me panic further. Cap’n Firepants was in the shower. There was no way I was going to let him see me like that. There are just some things you can never unsee. And I certainly couldn’t let my daughter see it either. I only had one option.
I tiptoed to the bathroom and got the nail scissors out. This was no easy feat considering that my arms were strait-jacketed to my sides. Even more challenging was cutting the dress. But a shot of adrenalin made this an easy task when I heard the shower water turn off.
Unlike Wonderbutt, I can’t blame my butt for my wild dance around the room; the dress never even made it to that region of my body. Nope. Just my own stupidity and lack of planning.
From now on, I’m going to take a cue from my dog. If I’m going to insert my uncooperative body into a piece of fabric, I’m going to make sure there is an easy way out.
Either that, or I need to perfect that glare that lets everyone know that the fact I look ridiculous is entirely and completely your fault, not mine.
Oh, and Watch Out for the Bogeyman Who Lives in Our Shed
“XYZ Pest Control. How may I direct your call?”
“Direct me to the person who just made me leave work and haul a$$ over to my house for no good reason.”
“Sure. Just one moment.”
5 seconds later.
“XYZ Pest Control. I’m the person who just made you leave work and haul a$$ over to your house for no good reason.”
“You said my dog was running around the backyard chasing you.”
“Yes, that’s what I said.”
“I am standing in my house right now. With my dog. In the kitchen. He has a dog door that leads to a pen that is surrounded by chicken wire. The chicken wire is 4 feet tall. Are you saying that my 70 pound bulldog leapt over the chicken wire, chased you around the yard, then leapt back over the chicken wire, and raced back into the kitchen just in time for me to arrive home?”
“That seems unlikely.”
“You’re darn right that’s unlikely. Unless you were carrying around a shoulder of beef. Were you carrying around a shoulder of beef?”
“Because that would be stupid, you know. Since your job is to get rid of pests, not attract them.”
“Yes, that would be stupid, ma’am.”
“Okay. Now that we agree that you’re not stupid, the only logical conclusion is that you made this story up just so you wouldn’t have to spray our backyard. And you are going to come back here, do your job, and not charge us anything at all, right?”
“Good. Oh, and by the way, watch out for the snake back there.”
That’s exactly how this whole thing went down.
Except for the part after “How may I direct your call?”
Wonderbutt Gets Ready for Halloween
What does it mean if you promise yourself to blog regularly to hone your writing skills, and then you skip the writing part of the process? It means Wonderbutt kindly presented some blurry photos right when your week hit its busy peak…
Then Dimples tried to put a Halloween headband on him, and that was the end of Wonderbutt pretending to be helpful.
Wonderbutt Goes to Starbucks
I always wanted a Starbucks dog.
You know the type. The owner sits at sidewalk table sipping her coffee while the dog calmly snoozes on the ground behind her chair. His tail wags every once in awhile as other people approach and ask leave to pet him. The owner smiles and nods, and everyone comments on the laid-back canine’s sophistication and fine manners.
It was pretty clear nearly from the outset that Wonderbutt would not be a Starbucks dog.
An animal who Poops as He Walks (and farts to the beat of the Texas Two-Step when he is still) is generally not welcomed by patrons of eating establishments or coffee shops.
Nevertheless, after nearly 3 years of holding out hope that Wonderbutt would one day develop some social graces, I decided to stop waiting for
San Antonio Hell to freeze over and just take him to Starbucks anyway.
When I informed my husband (the long suffering Cap’n Firepants) of this plan, he gave me the why-don’t-you-just-check-yourself-into- a-mental-hospital-and-save-us-all-a-lot-of-trouble look that he has been giving me more and more often lately.
But he has learned that I must make my own mistakes because, like Wonderbutt, I will scratch my butt when I have an itch – even if it means that I am going to fall over backwards and bonk my head on the concrete floor.
I was grimly certain that this was going to turn into some kind of Marley and Me fiasco, with the not too remote chance of being banned from every Starbucks in the universe after an episode of Wonderbutt humping a few customers, wrapping his leash around a table, and dragging it into the adjacent Trader Joe’s parking lot.
But I figured, “At least I make sure he poops before we leave the house.”
I used my new trick of letting him into the part of the yard where he is never allowed to poop which, of course, makes it inevitable that he will indeed defecate right on the walking path. I sealed the deal by dramatically declaring, “Oh, no! Please don’t poop there!” And, of course, that is exactly what he did.
Then, we hopped in the car to take Dimples to swim practice, and continued on to Starbucks with my backpack full of plastic bags for the rest of the poop that I knew would follow as soon as Wonderbutt realized that his “movements” were restricted.
Cap’n Firepants met me at Starbucks, and sat outside with Wonderbutt as I picked up our order. Then, the three of us hung out under the shade – waiting.
I was waiting for Wonderbutt to invent a new way to embarrass me, but it seems that I was doomed to be disappointed. Although he was certainly not the laid-back Starbucks dog of my dreams, he was surprisingly well-behaved. There were two other groups of people on the patio – who completely ignored him. Other than approaching every new person that entered the area in the hope of licking them, Wonderbutt remained by us – alert, but somewhat disappointed by the lack of attention he was receiving. He didn’t seem to understand the point of this new activity, but was not completely adverse to sacrificing the boredom of the lonely kitchen for this exciting change of scenery.
Overall, to the surprise of all parties involved, the experiment was a success. Wonderbutt lasted two hours at Starbucks without getting us kicked out or threatened with a lawsuit. I guess, if I want blog fodder, I will have to become a bit more adventurous.
Stay tuned for the next installment: Wonderbutt Goes to Church and Burps During the Homily.
Don’t worry. I’ll still bring the plastic bags – just in case.
Working Out with Wonderbutt
You’re not supposed to play tug-of-war with your dog. Don’t ask me why. I heard someone say it once – probably the Dog Whisperer. Or maybe it was a nun. They tend to give frequent mandates on avoiding any type of fun.
Other than snoring and farting, tug-of-war is the only thing Wonderbutt loves to do for an extended period of time. Since he needs to lose 1/3 of his body weight just to be considered “slightly rotund,” I feel like the least we can do is let him spend twenty minutes a day on his favorite form of exercise.
Lately, Wonderbutt has begun to confuse my exercise time with his exercise time. Now, as soon as I am five minutes into doing Tae Bo, Wonderbutt wakes up from a heavy snore, and races into the bedroom, completely ready to exercise too. His way of communicating that he is eager for action is to try to hump my leg as soon as I fling it out for a Tae Bo side-kick. When I finally shake him off, he looks momentarily confused, then leaps onto his rope toy and pitches it into my face just in case I have any doubts as to his intentions. (Which I kind of do, since he was just trying to hump me.)
Wonderbutt is not a fetch dog. He wants to be chased, and if you don’t feel like playing that game, then he wants nothing to do with you; he will forlornly drag his rope toy back to his bed, and put his head on his paws, sighing in disappointment at your laziness. Or, you can get down on the floor and start growling at him. Then he is more than happy to prance over to you with his toy, dangling it in your face, leaping backwards every time you reach for the rope, and growling viciously. So, by now, you’ve broken about 100 Dog Whisperer rules, including putting yourself on the same level as the dog, sticking your face in his, and encouraging him to growl at you.
But the dog is exercising.
For the most part.
The only part of Wonderbutt’s body that never gets fatigued is his jaw. After about three minutes of tug-of-war, the rest of his body gives out. Then, he clamps down on that rope for dear life while I drag him throughout the house, which is a bit rough on the carpeting, but works quite well on the concrete floors in the living room. (I am seriously considering attaching Swiffer Dusters to his sides.)
After being dragged for a couple of minutes, Wonderbutt gets his second wind (after releasing four or five of his own), and leaps back to his feet to resume play.
I started to complain about Wonderbutt regularly interrupting my Tae Bo – until I realized that I couldn’t catch my breath the last time I played tug-of-war with him.
I thought I was doing him a favor, but wouldn’t it be funny if he thinks he’s the one helping me out?