dogs ruin everything

Ah...summertime in AZ. It's akin to winter in Wisconsin, I presume. Time outdoors is very limited. In Wisconsin, mortals might venture out for a bit of ice skating during the harsh season. Here, when the temps reach 110º, the only acceptable outdoor activity is swimming. 

Our family does a lot of swimming.

Our dog, N.A.S.H.A., hates swimming, but she absolutely loves to be splashed by the water. Somehow she has learned the difference between street clothes and a bathing suit, so anytime any of us suit up, she gets super excited at the prospect of running around the pool bat shit crazy while we splash her and she starts jumping up on us in anticipation.

Don't one is in a birthday suit. Even N.A.S.H.A. has a collar on. 

Don't one is in a birthday suit. Even N.A.S.H.A. has a collar on. 

My five-year-old daughter, Campbell, loves so swim sans bathing suit, so her stripping down is another cue to the dog that a good time is about to be had.

The other day, N.A.S.H.A. was especially excited because we all got into our suits for a family swim. She started jumping up on me, and I feared her nails would snag my bathing suit. "N.A.S.H.A., stop! You're going to ruin my bathing suit!" I commanded.

So she moved onto Campbell, who was just as ticked. "N.A.S.H.A., stop! You're going to ruin my birthday suit!"

Dogs ruin everything.  

we chose a pet for my unborn grandchildren

Boy, my kids say the darndest things.

As many of you know, we adopted a Sulcata Tortoise (aka African Spurred Tortoise) about a year-and-a-half ago. Fluffy came into our lives when he was just a baby and only about two inches long.

Teenie-weenie baby Fluffy.

Teenie-weenie baby Fluffy.

He's now about six inches long and weighs substantially more than when he arrived. Wonder why.

This guy loves to eat.

This guy loves to eat.

Fluffy will eventually weigh in between 100 and 200 pounds, so I'm teaching him to come when called, now, before it's too late. He'll also live to be between fifty and 150 years old, possibly longer. Before we adopted him, we talked with our kids about the fact that this wouldn't be a commitment just for our lifetimes, but that Fluffy might outlive even them. They thought that was pretty cool. Me, too.

We were chatting the other day about how much Fluffy has grown and the changes we've seen in him since he came to us. I said to the littles, "remember, your children will likely have to take him on. He's going to live a really, really long time." 

My seven-year-old son, Porter, said, "Um, Mommy? It's illegal to marry your sister, so Campbell and I won't be having any children together. And I don't think I want to marry her anyway. She's annoying." 

It seems we need to have a different kind of chat.

Veteran's Day in the eyes of the children of a pet sitter

This past Monday was Veteran's Day, and though our family didn't officially give thanks in a formal way, we went on a long hike, and we talked about the meaning of the day with our littles, Porter, our six-year-old son, and Campbell, our four-year-old daughter. We wanted them to understand that it was more than just a day off school.

We didn't go into great detail. A fact that was brought to my attention by the conversation they had in the car on the way to school Thursday:

Campbell: I can't wait for show and tell at school today! I'm so excited!

Porter: Why? What are you sharing?

Campbell: I'm sharing my veterinarian game!

Porter: Oh, that's cool. Is it "V" day at school?

Campbell: (sighing) No, Po! It's for Veterinarian's Day, o'course!

Porter: Cam, you're too late for that. It was last Monday.

Campbell: Well, I didn't have school on Monday, and Thursday is show and tell day, so I'm sharing it today. 

Porter: Well, you're really late, because Veterinarian's Day was on Monday.

It then sunk in. They had no idea about Veteran's Day, and probably were under the impression that all the veterinarians in the U.S.A. were out fighting for our freedom. And that all of the veterinarians in the past had fought for our independence and rights. They know all about the sacrifices veterinarians make for their families, and how some even die for our country. 

They probably wondered who was taking care of all the sick animals.

It took me about three different explanations to untether a veteran and a veterinarian in their minds, and I'm honestly not sure I was successful. They probably just told me "we get it" so that I'd shut up about the whole confusing mess. This is what happens when your mom is a pet sitter. 

So on behalf of our family, however belated, I'd like to send out a big THANK YOU to all of our veterans...and veterinarians.