a walk in the wet

The dog needs walks. I need walks too, but I’m a dumb human and I often manage to convince myself otherwise. There are other things I think I could / should be doing – things I’d rather do than leash up the dog and spend fifteen minutes stopping every five steps while he sniffs the latest intensely mysterious whatever. Again, I’m a dumb human and that’s what I convince myself of.

Some days are different, though. Sometimes I find a brief respite from myself. I can go not just out of doors, but truly outside.

The smell of mud.

The humidity rising off of the rapidly melting snow.

The rhythm of my and Junie’s feet on the tar.

The dingy quilt of lowering grey clouds.

The near-constant sigh of traffic on the interstate a short distance away.

These sensations all become amplified when I start to let myself notice them.

The dog doesn’t care where we go. He doesn’t care how fast we go. He only wants to GO. And some days I am in the right frame of mind and I understand.

It’s not about how far or how fast or what direction. It’s the going itself that matters. As long as you can keep going, you’re doing alright.



You’ll have to use your imagination for the mud smell and the satisfying squishing noises.


I don’t get it.


This is my favorite dog in the whole world other than Junior. Just FYI.

You know how sometimes someone shares a link to something, saying things like “OMG, you have to read this, IT’S HILARIOUS”, and then when you click on the link and read the thing it’s…not that funny?

Or worse, you click on the link, read the thing, and find it to be not only NOT funny, but actually pretty dumb and/or ignorant?

And then you sit there thinking back on all the past interactions you’ve had with the link-sender, trying to figure out where things went so wrong in your relationship that they picked up the impression that you would think shit like THAT was amusing?

And because you’re now well down the hyper-analytical rabbit hole, you then start wondering if you even really know ANY of your friends AT ALL, and wondering if anyone truly knows YOU at all, and what’s the point of even trying to interact with anyone socially in a world where it’s technically not acceptable to sit someone down and make them fill out a pre-screening friendship questionnaire because fuckin’ A man, life is short and ain’t nobody got time to waste laughing politely at jokes that aren’t funny?

And further to that end, are all these people who are laughing at YOUR OWN jokes just laughing politely because they’re normal and well-adjusted and don’t get annoyed when things with a build-up of “this is really funny” don’t actually pan out to any amusement whatsoever?

No? Just me? Fair enough. I kind of suspected as much.

Carry on.

showering with ghosts, aka: you can’t go home again

I spent this past weekend at my parents’ house. They had planned a trip out of town and we were staying at their house to keep their dogs company.We live three miles down the road from them so it’s not like we had very far to go to get there, but it was an interesting experience none the less.

Sleeping in my old room was weird but not terribly so. It’s funny how quickly you become reacquainted with things – traffic noise from the nearby road, the way the neighbor’s outside light shines in the bedroom window just so, the sounds of the house creaking and popping in the cold (it was 15 below on Saturday night, not including the wind chill). I wouldn’t say that I slept great while we were there, but it felt pretty familiar even so.

What really threw me off though, was taking a shower at their house. The shower isn’t any different than it ever was – same grey tiles, same black grout. Same creepy drain cover that isn’t actually attached but rather just sits there over the drain hole and slides off if you hit it with your toe. I read too much Stephen King as a teenager to ever be ok with anything other than firmly affixed drain covers, for what it’s worth.

Anyway – point being, nothing about the shower itself had changed appreciably since the last time I showered there many years ago. And really, it’s not like I’ve changed all that much either. But there was just something about standing there smelling the slight sulfur funk of the water, looking out the frosted glass door into the grey and blue bathroom, touching that damn drain cover with my toes and getting creeped the fuck out by it all over again. It wasn’t nostalgic as much as…just wrong feeling. It felt like I was intruding – like I had walked into a stranger’s house and gotten into their shower, but at the same time it was all incredibly familiar because I’ve done it thousands of times before.

It was like I remembered the shower, but the shower didn’t remember me. And that was a little bit sad-making.

But then I got over it because the alternative was to start taking showers at my parents’ house more often and I’m sorry but that drain cover is just WAY too fucking creepy. NO THANK YOU.


Here’s a sassy baby skunk picture I found on Google after I did an image search for “creepy drains” and scared myself so badly that nothing other than a cute animal picture palate cleanser could make me feel better about life. Baby skunk says GOOD DAY TO YOU, SIR!

a bone in hand is worth two in the…WAIT…

I’ve had a big raw-hide bone sitting around in my office for like, a year and a half.


ang nyang nyang

Originally, I brought it in for my boss’s dog, Remy. Remy started coming in to the office with my boss a few days a week because the other family dog (who had been Remy’s side-kick for his whole life), had recently passed away and Remy was having some separation anxiety issues. He was a big, goofy, friendly golden retriever (is there any other kind?), and he liked to rest his chin on my lap while I was typing. I’d have entire conversations with him (like I do with my own dog), complete with “Remy voice” answering my questions to him, etc.

As an aside, if my office-mates were at all iffy on my level of crazy before (which…doubtful), I’m sure that seeing the way I carried on when the dog was in the office PRETTY MUCH cemented it for them.


So, my one beef with Remy was his amazingly foul breath. He was an old dog and had some sketchy teeth. Plus dogs like to eat gross stuff and Remy was no exception. It was summer when he was visiting us so with the combination of his long flowing coat and our suck-ass air conditioning, it made for a lot of panting. Bad-teeth-scented, “I cleaned the catbox for mom and dad right before we came to work and I don’t have thumbs so I think you know what THAT means”-tinged, eye-water-inducing panting. With his chin in my lap. Often for upwards of 10-15 minutes at a time. Usually while looking up at me in that angelic way that made it impossible for me to tell him to go away because I am a SUCKER.


“Sure, I eat poop. You’re still going to pet me, though. Come on, pet me. DOOO ITTTTT.”

Brushing Remy’s teeth was kind of out, because I wanted to actually keep all my digits intact and also it wasn’t really my place to start doing hygiene maintenance on someone else’s dog (although knowing my boss, he probably would have been all for it and may have even offered me money to do it). The next best thing I could think of was a rawhide bone. I was hoping that if I brought one in for him, he’d gnaw on it a little and scrape a couple layers of olfactory horror off his chompers before coming to rest his chin in my lap for scritch-time. I talked to Boss to make sure it was ok, then I went out and procured a nice big golden retriever sized rawhide bone.

As I’m sure you’ve guessed by now, Remy gave nary a single winged fuck about that bone. He barely sniffed at it when I presented it to him. I left it on the floor by his snooze spot for a full week in the hopes he might get curious and give it a try.

Nope. Not one nibble. Not even another sniff.

Sighing and steeling myself for afternoons of smelling catshit-flavored death-breath from then on, I picked the bone up, set it on a shelf behind my desk and basically forgot about it unless someone came in and made a comment or joke about it.

Fast forward to today.

The guy that rents the office across the hall has a big, elderly black lab mix that he brings to work with him most days. He keeps the dog shut up in his office with him for the most part, but sometimes he doesn’t close the door tightly so the dog noses it open and goes on walk-about around the second floor. The guy is usually very quick to herd the dog back into his office but today I guess he was on the phone or something because Neighbor Dog was standing at the top of the stairs wagging his tail happily as I made the steep and arduous trek back up to my aerie (seriously, these stairs are fucking brutal. It’s like Frodo’s climb up Mt. Doom every morning when I get to work).

I stopped at the top and gave Neighbor Dog some well-deserved skritches, then continued on to my office, dog following closely behind. Guy Across The Hall popped his head into my office shortly there-after and apologized for the dog bothering us. We said no, of course it wasn’t a bother, we liked the company, etc. Then all of a sudden I remembered the rejected rawhide bone. I held it up (the dog had his back turned) and raised my eyebrows questioningly. Guy smiled and nodded, saying, “sure!”, so I stepped around the partition and presented the bone to Neighbor Dog.
Neighbor Dog sniffed it once and looked at me, slightly puzzled. I offered it again, saying “it’s ok, you can haz”.
He sniffed it again cautiously, then gave a big wag of tail, chomped onto the bone and bolted across the hall with it, much to my joy (and not a small amount of relief, honestly. I didn’t know if I could take another bone rejection).

So, moral of the story I guess, is to always keep a rawhide bone at your desk.

And that even if one shit-breath dog doesn’t want your bone, another one will eventually come along who does.

And most importantly, that dogs are awesome. Even the shit-breath ones.

Also, I ramble. But you know that by now.