We had an interesting alarm clock last night around two in the morning. From a deep sleep, Jess and I were jolted awake to howling. This time, it wasn’t me doing something strange in my sleep, it was Moose. Apparently, Moose was having a bad dream or a dream where near a fire engine siren.
I said, “Moose!” and he woke up and blinked a couple times, obviously just as confused as I was; he recoiled himself and went back to bed.
We couldn’t get mad at the dog for that, with out heartrates racing, we had a good laugh and went back to bed. Just for the record, howling is not a good thing to wake up to.
Like every year, Jess and I make the CG-Bend-Woodburn Triangle roadtrip spectacular. On our last day there, it was suggested that with all of the ample snow, we should go sledding… but not your regular down-the-hill, walk back up, dependence on gravity sledding. We used the four wheeler to sled. Behold:
Yes, I am wearing a cowboy hat, but not, I don’t honestly believe I belong in one.
This week, Jess and I were happily snowed in. Two extra days off of school meant that we had a lot of time to hang out together, something we didn’t get to do as often as we would like. We had nice breakfasts, worked on the house, watched movies… what else could you ask for?
Then my boredom set it. This is not insult to Jess, but rather, I’m not a person who is very good at hanging around inside a house for more than just a day. One our second snow day, I decided to break out my camera to entertain myself. In particular, we found the smile sensor on my camera to be quite interesting. Apparently, when it is turned to this setting, when a smile is detected, the camera takes a picture. Most of the time it was accurate, other times it caught pseudo smiles or smiles that weren’t there.
After that novelty wore off, I coaxed Jess into helping me with a project. I took four pictures and with some editing on photoshop I came up with this:
Boredom at it’s semi-productive best.
When taking pictures inside the house and then working on the computer got old, we braved into the snowy cold of Cottage Grove. As we usually do on snow days, we went for a walk just beyond where our house is, up into the hills:
Seeing as Moose rapidly tore through his lion and then subsequently an elephant (so quickly, I didn’t even get to take a picture of it)… we finally broke out his squeaky beaver. All plump and furry, he couldn’t help but nuzzle the hell out it. Almost two days in he hasn’t even disrupted a moist little hair on his snuggle buddy.
Of course, he is still prancing to and fro with it, placing it on his pillow and even setting it right next to his food dish when he eats–which is incredibly gross seeing as much as that dog drools and drops when he eats. I had initially thought that the beaver wouldn’t make its debut until close to the civil war, but with those sorrowful brown eyes peeking up at me from underneath his cockeyed ear… how could I say no. Plus, I’ll get some pre-civil war game pictures of a Great Dane mauling a beaver. Christmas comes early:
As all things must, Moose’s beloved lion has been tossed from the mortal coil (well, actually into the garbage). O, how those that are loved the hardest, leave us the quickest. Apparently, soft little legs and feet can only be nibbled on for so long until they give way and their vital stuffing starts to flow. Little pieces of lion were starting to appear in many different areas. Foot stuffing in the kitchen, leg stuffing in the bedroom, and torso stuffing in the living room. At one point, to try and stem the flow of the stuffing, I was forced to amputate one of the lion’s legs. Moose was so worried, he couldn’t watch. Sadly, this amputation only stopped the habitual chewing of the leg and led to feverish chewing of the torso hole of where the leg had been. Then… the lion was just overtaken, deflated from the constant love and nibbles. We put the lion to rest in the kitchen garbage can while Moose was outside. This way, he would be spared from the torment of knowing his little chew buddy was in the can, as well, if he did find out, that’s the only garbage can with a lid, so he couldn’t exhume him for later loving.
Don’t despair, dear reader, as Moose is soon to be given a bigger love-buddy, a beaver in fact. With more promises of stuffing, Moose’s pain and mourning will be once again replaced with bouncing and the happy nibbling of beaver tail.
This past weekend, Jess and I were over in the ‘Burn for my mom’s birthday weekend extravaganza spectacular. Of which it lived up to its name. While we were there my mom was trying to pawn off some of their new toys that they have for their dog Tolley. Now don’t get me wrong, Tolley is a wonderful dog and deserves every little thing he gets, but that dog is spoiled rotten. There are hidden caches of toys that would normally go to kids, but no, they are reserved for the furry among us. These toys are stuffed animals, ranging from squirrels and birds, to beavers and stretched out puppies. Graciously, my parents offered us a couple of toys for Moose because he loves Tolley’s toy so much (he seems to love them more when Tolley has them… or at least loves the opportunity to take them away from him).
Moose came home with a lion that sort of roars and laughs, and a beaver that squeaks. Ever since we got home, Moose has been completely enthralled and enamored with his lion. From the moment it came out of the bag, he has been carrying it around gingerly, being very gentle (except for the times when he tries to pluck out the hair of its mane). When it roars/laughs he bounces around the room then runs into the dinning room and back again, and I mean literally, every time. When he’s leaned up against the coach and starts to feel tired, his head dropping to the floor, he still doesn’t release his beloved lion. It sits comfortably (and moistly) in his mouth.
Moose also puts the lion to bed. I thought it was just an accident at first, but this lion has more rights to Moose’s beds than Moose gives himself. On the first night that Moose had his lion, I noticed that it was sitting in the middle of his bed in the living room, I figured that it was merely dropped or kicked there. Then, when I was getting read for bed, I walked into the bedroom to see Moose drop his lion onto his bed and then circle around it. This was all very cute and funny until the middle of the night when he would shift his weight and we would hear, “ahhhhh ROOOOOAAAAAAAR AHA HAHA HAHAHA!” It took me at least three times to figure out what it was. Even tonight, Moose plopped his moist little love-buddy down and circled up in bed. But what can I say, everyone needs to find that special someone… for some of us, it’s a three inch moist talking lion.
On Wednesday, we left the Grove and took the ridiculously long drive to Woodburn. We sat on I5, just outside of Eugene for a solid 10 minutes going absolutely nowhere. This is a tradition for me, ever since I left for college, I have had to sit on I5 on the day before Thanksgiving… there are some traditions that should fade away. Jess, Moose, and myself took 99 most of the way after we ditched the main northbound drag. It seemed like half of the people from I5 had the same idea, but the traffic had a little bit more speed to it than the interstate.
We made it to Woodburn, had Thanksgiving where my mom “accidentally” dipped her shrimp into Jessica’s eggnog. Nothing says, “Welcome to the family” like seafood in your nog. He had dinner, watched Moose beat up my parents’ dog, Tolley. Did some required day-after-Thanksgiving shopping. Then it was off to Bend.
Bend was nice and cold. Mostly we hung out with the Hansons, did a little helping out with some firewood, and then went to check out some possibilities for my new vehicle. Jess, her dad, and I went to a couple of car lots and saw too possibilities (though maybe not realistic ones). There was a ’99 Toyota 4Runner, which was pretty sleek… it had the sunroof and everything. Then, I spotted a ’00 Dodge Ram 1500, it was very pretty. It had the extended cab, with the suicide doors, towing package, fog lights. I wanted it very badly. Alas, I still only have one very badly beaten Honda CRV.
Moose had a lot of fun at the Hansons, he was outside almost the whole time, running around, exploring… he’s becoming a regular ranch dog, well, except for his extensive problem with wussiness. He was running and jumping the entire time we were there, but as soon as he hopped into the car and we drove away, he was passed out.
Now I’m back to work, which feels like I haven’t been here in weeks. It’s finals week, translation: lots of grading, lots of paperwork.
Jess and I took a trip to the bank, sounds thrilling, I know. We were in there for about fifteen minutes, when we came back out we notice the Moose was in the way back of my car. As Jess opened her door, she says, “Chris, did you remember to take the steak out last night?” My answer was a noncommittal “I think so.” She disagreed with my recollection, her proof being that there was a big piece of tenderloin, sitting on the back seat. I then opened the rear of my car, so see my dog, standing over an opened (and warm) package of steak. The dog must have headed straight for it as we walked in to the bank. The spoiled pup thought that this twelve-dollar package for USDA Choice cut beef was his mid car-ride snack. I ended up having to throw away two pounds of steak in the ashtray outside of the bank. I’m sure that will give somebody some pause.
Here’s really what the post about Wednesday is about:
Deer versus car, versus my car, versus the car that t-boned us at 55 miles an hour
So… I finally talked myself into it, I got my big butt up at 5:15 in the morning and got dressed for a run. I tied my house key onto my drawstring of my shorts, and I was all set to take off for about 30 minutes. As I opened the door and headed out, i saw this gray thing dart towards me from across the street. I realized it was the puppy from across the street. Apparently, he had slipped under the new fence that they had just put in yesterday afternoon… I guess it wasn’t low enough… or high enough, if the dog has a seven-foot vertical leap. The puppy, Jax, was crying and whimpering when he got to me. I picked him up and he was shaking pretty good, so I think he slipped out early in the morning… to confirm this, there were a plethora of muddy puppy prints on their front door.
Being the knight in shining Adidas shorts, that I am, I take him over in my arms and knock on their door for 15 minutes. nothing. Head back to the house, wake up Jess… tell her that Jax is here and now that Moose has seen him, they’re both itching to have an early morning doggie rave. She keeps them busy while I do a reverse phone number look up… no phone number. I do 411, no phone number. I do the CG police… yeah, no phone number. I head back over to their place, Jax once again in my arms–I bang as hard as I can, wondering how these people can sleep through this. Well, apparently, they weren’t because they were supposedly at work. The guy works at the mill and his wife’s working place has yet to be determined. Luckily, our next door neighbor comes out for her early morning smoke… she says that she’ll hang on to him until one of owners comes home, which is usually 9 o’clock.
I usually come home for lunch around 11; so on this day, minutes after I’ve been home there is a knock at the door. It’s our neighbor from next door with, yep, Jax in tow. She says that it’s strange that the owners haven’t come home yet and she asked if we could take the dog back because she needs to run some errands. Jess and I reluctantly agreed to take him back.
What we found out is that Jax is, indeed, a pitbull… seeing as anytime Moose came close to him when he had one of Moose’s toys, he’d let out a frightening growl and bark. It also doesn’t help that Moose thinks that it is his duty to constantly straddle and walk on top of Jax, no matter where he goes. From this we decided that this pup was cage-bound–our second mistake. This dog has the screech unlike any other… it is a horrific screech that reaches beyond the human ear, physically disrupting neurons and knocking brain waves off-kilter.
Later in the day, this is where he remains, pent up and vocal as before. It’s kind of amazing what terrors lurk in cute little puppy packaging. Any coarse word I’ve said about our dog, I have taken back… we have a dream compared to this gray and white demon. I was praying that the owners would come home quick, and if it’s not quick enough, they need to come over with hat-in-hand and ready to clean up some puppy messes.
While talking to the secretary from the high school, who lives three houses down, I found out that her husband worked at the mill with the guy from across the street. Through a series of phone calls and a couple more hours, the guy showed up before any serious damage could be done to the carpet or Jessica’s eardrums.
Another venture into the weirdos that briefly intrude on my daily life and ramble inside my head for weeks on end…
Sunday morning, I got up and felt sorry for Moose because he was out of his food–the food that was pimped by the vet, “Hill’s Science Diet”. So I drove around Eugene (because nothing in Cottage Grove opens before 11 on a Sunday), I hit up Hirons and a little garden story, both of which, I was assured that they would have the large breed puppy food–or so the dog food webpage falsely professed.
Eventually, I come to the Mini Pet-mart, on Willamette. I was extremely happy to see that not only did they have the food, but they also had it in the bulldozer-size bag, because my dog can munch through one of those smaller bags in an afternoon. I sling the food over my shoulder and slug it up to the front; I grab a rawhide for the ride home (for the dog). Once at the counter, I make small talk until this semi-sketchy (as many Eugene-folk are) sees my purchases and raises her finger and says to me, “y’know, Science Diet has by-products in it… there’s a lot more sensible choices that can be made.”
Now, I’m a pretty knowledgeable guy when it comes to by-products, I’m by-product conscious type of person. However, it wasn’t the statement that rattled in my head, rather, it was that I was being given social demerits due my dog food by-productness, while this lady is buying two packs of cigarettes (side note: why does a pet store have cigarettes… I guess that’s the “mini” in the “Mini Pet-mart”).
I wish I could have access to the security camera footage because I think I stood there with my mouth left hanging open sitting in there in the wind, due to the hypocrisy that was apparently in ample supply that morning. In my head I was saying, “You want to talk about by-products, I’d much rather crush up my dog’s food, get some rolling papers, and smoke a pack of that every day rather than the cigarettes you just bought.” Of course, I’m a lot more gutsy in my head than I am with my mouth, so I just remained standing there, stunned.
After I regained my functions, I said to the lady, “yeah. ok.” and paid for my stuff as the comment-lady did her methamphetamine shuffle out the door. As I’m signing the credit card receipt, I ended my Mini Pet-mart visit with, “Yeah, well, my dog happens to prefer the taste of byproduct-laden dog food.”
Truly, life would be without that extra special glimmer, if it weren’t these people.