How Not to Give your Dog a Bath

June 17, 2018 12:55 PM for June 15, 2018

I have a new found respect for dog groomers. Their jobs are not easy.  Friday, before my wonderful Meijer shopping trip, I decided to give the dogs a bath. I bought a fancy shampoo and conditioner about a year ago that I haven’t used. It’ll be fun, I thought, to give Sammy a nice bath and condition his coat.

I’ve given Sammy a bath several times in the past. He’s has this thick coat, though, that is almost cat-like. It’s soft, he sheds, and, my favorite aspect, he doesn’t smell. Sammy can get a bath once every couple of months and be fine.

Charlie is a different story. Charlie has a thin, curly coat that I keep clipped short. About three weeks out from his bath, Charlie gets a bit odiferous. After four weeks, he’s downright stinky. If he goes any longer than four weeks between baths, I’m spot cleaning him with a wet wash cloth and soap trying to beat back the scent.

My mom was very particular about who she allowed to groom Charlie. He has very sensitive skin and is prone to razor burns (according to my mother). I figured I better skip the hair conditioner on Charlie.

Mom used a groomer that has a mobile grooming salon that she would bring to my mom’s house. Since having Charlie, I’ve been having her come every four weeks to bathe and groom Charlie. Since Sammy doesn’t get stinky, I have her give him a bath and a small trim every other visit to save money. It’s been at least a year since I’ve given Sammy a bath myself.

The last time I saw the groomer, her next opening was five weeks away. This is one week beyond Def-con 1 of stinkiness for Charlie.

Last Thursday night, three weeks into our five-week wait for the groomer, I was sitting outside with the dogs. I noticed that they were taking turns gleefully rolling on their backs in the same spot on the lawn. Oh-oh.

That night, when Sammy jumped on my lap, I noticed a gamey odor on him. On Charlie, the same gamey odor blended into his normal 3-week-from-being-groomed- dog stink that was already a bit more pronounced than usual (I think because of the kennel stay). I decided I needed to take matters into my own hands and give the dogs baths on Friday.

I don’t know if Charlie has ever had a bath at home. I don’t think so. I don’t think my mom gave him one and I know I haven’t. When I inherited Charlie, I also inherited the groomer. I’ve been spoiled.

Being that Charlie is almost 17 pounds, I didn’t think he’d fit in the kitchen sink where I normally bathe Sammy, who is only 10 pounds. I decided to bathe them in our walk-in shower in the master bathroom.

I put on sweats and got both dogs into the bathroom. They were excited to be able to come upstairs with me in the morning. Normally, they stay downstairs with Dennis while I get ready.

I decided to do Charlie first and get the worst over with. I was not looking forward to giving Charlie a shower. I expected him to be nervous and shake the whole time. I envisioned struggles to run out of the shower stall and him cowering in the corner while I tried to spritz him with the hand-held sprayer.

My fears for Charlie were, once again, unfounded.  He was a bit perplexed as to why I was carrying him into the shower, but as soon as the warm water hit him, I think he understood. He stood perfectly still and let me wash him, and turn him as I needed to. He even let me wash his face and rinse it with the sprayer. I towel dried him for a minute and let him go to wander the bathroom.

Then it was Sammy’s turn. Sammy is not a dumb dog. He saw what was happening with Charlie and he wanted no part of it. While Charlie stood in the middle of the bathroom shaking himself, Sammy was playing keep-away — with me trying to catch him in my wet, bare feet on the slippery floor. Eventually, I cornered him and picked him up.

Once I got him in the shower and set him down on the floor, he bolted before I could get the shower door closed. I got back out of the shower and chased him around the bathroom in my now wetter feet until I cornered him again. This time, I outsmarted him and closed the shower door before I set him down.

He did okay as I was running the warm water over him. However, it’s been a year since I bathed Sammy myself, and I forgot about his undercoat. Sammy is like a little otter when he gets wet. The top part of his coat repels water, and his thick furry undercoat stays dry. I had to put the hand-held sprayer an inch from his skin, to soak his undercoat.

In this midst of doing this, Herbie, our water-loving cat, managed to get into the bathroom without my knowing. Hearing the shower on, he nudged the shower door open a few inches like he always does. Sammy is not a dumb dog. He saw his opportunity for freedom and he grabbed it!

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Herbie the water bug.

Sammy went tearing out of the shower stall sopping wet and ran into the bedroom. In my haste to catch him, I dropped the handheld sprayer in the shower which banged off the shower wall and spun water around the bathroom like a sprinkler. It got the walls, it got the floor, it got the water-loving cat who decided he doesn’t love that much water and took off. Charlie stood there, looking at me perplexed, wondering what all the fuss was about.

At this point, I was as wet as the dog. I got back out of the shower, skated across the wet bathroom floor with my wet, bare feet into the master bedroom only to find Sammy rolling on his back in the middle of our bed. Herbie was on the floor next to the bed licking himself and giving me the evil-cat-eye for spraying him with the hose.

I retrieved the two old towels I had out for Sammy, dried off the bathroom floor and the walls. I got a fresh, good towel, put it next to the shower and went to catch Sammy who was now grinding his wet head into my pillow.

We went back into the bathroom and I made sure the bathroom door was securely shut this time. I carried Sammy back into the shower, shut the shower door and started over. Most of Sammy’s top coat was already dry, but his undercoat was still damp.

I successfully shampooed Sammy okay, but when it came time to rinse I realized I might have used a little too much shampoo. Bubbles were pouring out of his undercoat in an alarming quantity. It was like pouring cold root beer over ice cream. Pure bubbles.

The more water I ran over him, the more bubbles I got. I bent over so long, that I started to get dizzy, so I sat down on the bench in the shower, put Sammy on my lap, and let the hand-held sprayer run over both of us until the bubbles finally stopped.  It took about three minutes. At this point, I decided we were done with bath time and I opted not to use the doggie hair conditioner.

I turned off the water and I put Sammy on the floor of shower where he immediately shook himself, managing to spray water everywhere including my hair and my face and my glasses. I dried my face and Sammy with the last towel. Then I let Sammy out of the shower stall, where he went into the middle of the bathroom and shook again. And again. He shook himself a total of three times which ensured that whatever part of the bathroom hadn’t yet been hosed down, was now wet. The mirror was dabbled with water droplets. So was the window. My make up table had a sheen of water over it, and there was no longer a dry towel to be had.

I took off my wet clothes and left them in a heap in shower and I opened the bathroom door to the master bedroom. Sammy made a beeline for the bed and rolled around on the comforter. Charlie joined him.

I decided I might as well shower for real this time, so I closed the bedroom door so the dogs couldn’t escape and cause mischief. I gathered the wet towels into a heap in the corner along with my clothes, and then I cleaned the shower stall and took a shower. I found an old beach towel to dry off with. By the time I was done and had dressed in dry clothes about twenty minutes had passed.

I sat on my now damp bed with dog brushes and started to brush Charlie. I was so happy to find that he was almost dry. It took about a minute and a half for me to run a brush through his hair and he was done.

And then there was Sammy. Sammy looked mostly dry but when I put him on the bed to brush him, I found that his undercoat was still sopping wet. I swear, it’s like a sponge! Out came the hair dryer, and I spent the next twenty minutes blow drying the dog. Not how either one of us wanted to start our day. Once he was finally dry, I spent the next ten minutes brushing him. I never spent this much time on my own hair even when it was longer.

Finally, we were done. The dogs were dried off, I was dried off and the bathroom was dry-ish. The bed, however, was not. It was damp and had a strong odor of wet dog.

I stripped off the comforter and sheets, put them with the wet towels and put on fresh sheets.

Then I let the dogs out of the room.

There was great joy and exuberance as the dogs celebrated their freedom. They ran at full bore through the upstairs and then downstairs where the three cats were lying in the sun on the floor taking sun baths.

It looked like an explosion of cats when the dogs came running into the room. Each cat immediately jumped up and fled to higher ground. One jumped to the kitchen counter and the other two scaled cat gyms.

Four loads of laundry later, I was finally done with the after effects of bath time. Dennis was forced to towel off that morning with a couple of hand towels but he was a good sport about it. Both dogs were super soft and smelled wonderful.

Later that afternoon, as I sat outside with the dogs, I noticed that they were taking turns gleefully rolling on their backs in the same spot on the lawn. Seriously?

Is it wrong to febreeze a dog?

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Here is Mr. High-Maintenance himself looking all cute and sweet-smelling.

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Mr. Low Maintenance looking very chill after his bath.

 

1:58 PM

 

Checkout Clerks and Crocheted Pants

June 15, 2018 1:55 PM

I got a glimpse into the how the other half lives today.  And it happened, of all places, in the checkout line at my local Meijer store.

For those of you who don’t have a Meijer store, it’s similar to a Target with a super large grocery store attached. Our Meijer has meat and produce that rivals the high-end expensive grocery stores in my area.

I go to Meijer once or twice a month, usually when they have half pork loins on sale. Pork loin is one of the main foods Charlie can eat, so when it goes on sale, I make a trek to Meijer and buy a lot of it. At least eighteen to twenty pounds at a time.

Meijer canned vegetables are inexpensive, and they have the handy pop tops. Normally, a pop-top can vs. a can-opener can wouldn’t motivate me to hike a store roughly the size of a two football fields to buy it. However, when I’m making Veg for Charlie, having pop top cans makes a big difference. I use twenty cans of carrots and greens beans. That’s a lot of cans to open manually and my can opener is slow.

One Meijer trip a month is dedicated to buying 20 cans of canned pop-top veg for Charlie. I try to not combine the veg purchase with the pork purchase in the same shopping trip. The cart gets pretty heavy to push around with 20 pounds of pork and 20 cans of vegetables in it.

I was in a hurry today, though, so I bought both pork and veg. And I shopped for our Sheepshead card group party. We rotate playing at different houses, and it’s our turn to host this month. I grabbed a few bags of junk food, and some cute little bakery angel food cakes for strawberry shortcake. I needed bacon for a recipe I’m making. Meijer only had the super, big, two pound package of the brand I like, so I had that in my cart as well.

While I was in the meat section, I tossed a package of brisket burgers in the cart for dinner tonight. So while I didn’t buy a lot of different items, my cart was pretty heavy and laden down with meat. Lots and lots of meat.

There are down sides to Meijer. The main one is that most of the check out lanes are self-service. There are very few checkout lanes that are manned by Meijer employees and, in my experience, Meijer checkout clerks are the slowest individuals I’ve seen work a register.  I can check myself out and bag my merchandise much quicker than going through a checkout lane.

However, today, I was feeling lazy, and I was pushing about twenty-five pounds of meat plus all my veg canned goods and I just didn’t feel like bagging it all myself. The check out lanes weren’t busy, so I gave it a shot.

There was a lady with a pre-teen daughter in line ahead of me. The lady was probably in her mid-thirties and she was tall and slender. I noticed this because she was wearing black crocheted pants like these.

black crochet pants

I thought they were cute on her. Never in my life, even at my thinnest weight ever, could I pull off wearing crocheted pants. I would have to sandwich my thighs into them and little pillows of flesh would be poking out of the crocheted holes. When I peeled them off at night, the indentation from the crocheting would leave patterns on my thighs. Kind of like when you cut a tied rump roast out of it twine. Not a cute look.

When it was the Crocheted Pants’ turn to be checked out, the checkout clerk decided he needed to refill his bags. He still had, what looked like to me, plenty of plastic bags on his carousel, but apparently I was wrong. He needed more. Many more.

While I waited for him to get the bags from another lane, and load them up on the carousel (moving in slow motion the entire time, I swear!) I had plenty of time to survey the items Crocheted Pants had on the conveyor belt.

She had organic milk, frozen salmon burgers and tuna. I considered leaving the line to swap my brisket patties for salmon burgers for tonight’s dinner. I’m sure Dennis would love that. I’ve also considered making riced cauliflower “mashed potatoes” for Dennis in the past. I like being married though, and I think passing salmon off for brisket or cauliflower off for potatoes is grounds for divorce in Dennis’ mind.

Accompanying the salmon burgers, Crochet Pants also had a plethora of green veggies – fresh, not canned. She had some box that boasted quinoa as an ingredient and several frozen entrees that said Vegetarian in big, bold letters.

And there I stood, behind this bounty of healty food, with twenty-five pounds of meat in my cart. The contents of my entire cart looked like a mound of flesh – except for the canned veg and a couple bags of junk food. I wanted to tell her, it’s for the dog! All the pork is for the dog! We eat fresh vegetables, too. The canned veg is for the dog! The two pounds of bacon are for a party. So are the bags of junk food! Truly, this isn’t how we eat every day.

As we continued waiting, Crochet Pants and I, for the checkout guy to finish loading his bags, Crochet Pants’ daughter started to get restless. She was surveying the candy that lined the aisle for all the impulse purchases. Eventually, she grabbed one and started badgering her mother for it.

What did she grab? Peanut Butter cups? Nope. Snickers? Nope. Gummy Bears? Wrong again. She grabbed Extra Sugar Free gum.  Her impulse purchase was sugarless gum. Even the kid eats healthy!

Perhaps, I thought, if I ate that way, I too, could wear black crochet pants without my thighs poking through like a bratwurst splitting out of its’ casing.

Did I mention that Dennis is barbecuing a beef brisket for our card party tomorrow?

brisket

This is why I will never wear black crocheted pants.

When the clerk finally finished loading his plastic bags, Crochet Pants Lady produced her own reusable shopping bags for him to pack her groceries in. I would say if she produced those earlier maybe the checkout clerk would have delayed the restocking of the bag routine, but he probably saw twenty-five pounds of meat in my cart heading his way. I don’t think it would have mattered.

As the checkout clerk slowly, and methodically checked out Chrochet Pants’ groceries (I saw tofu go by!) and there was more space on the conveyor belt, I started to load my meat on it. Each pork roast was at least five pounds and encased in plastic. They made a thwap sound as I hauled them onto the conveyor, similar to the sound my thighs would make as they slapped together if I wore crocheted pants. But the meat is for the dog! Really! 

Two pounds of bacon went on top of the roasts. It’s for a party. I won’t even use it all. It’s just the size they had.

When it was finally my turn to get checked out, I have to admit, I was cranky. At this point, I had spent more time waiting in the checkout line than I did shopping. I was not in mood to make small talk with the checkout guy. Apparently, he didn’t sense this.

When he saw all my pork, he laughed, and made a comment about how we must be grilling out a lot this weekend. Finally, I thought, it’s my chance to explain the plethora of meat! Unfortunately, Crochet Pants was long gone and would never know.

“It’s for my dog!” I said. “He has allergies and all he can eat is pork and lamb. I like to stock up when it’s on sale.”

The checkout guy looked at me as if I’d lost my mind. “Your dog?” he said, as if I told him I was going to throw the meat directly into the garbage. Obviously, he was implying that no one should be spending that kind of money on an animal. My pork was on sale for $1.30 a pound. I wonder what he would have said if I had bought the ground lamb, like I sometimes do, at $9.99 a pound?

My crankiness with this guy was escalating.

After a few moments, he said, “I have to ask so I can tell my wife tonight. How does your dog like his pork prepared?” His words were polite, his tone was not. He was judgemental and condescending. Those are the nice words that I thought. There’s were others I won’t share here.

I explained my process of grounding the meat, mashing the vegetables and frying it all together. I was very polite, even though I didn’t want to be. I did not share that the dog belonged to my dead mother and I was doing what I had to do to keep him alive and happy. No need to justify my choice. I also held back the urge to sarcastically comment how glad I was to be offering conversation for him and wife tonight. I guess it’s only fair that I provide some entertainment for him, since he provided a blog post for me.

In the few minutes I spent talking with this guy, I decided that someone who is in their late fifties and clerking at Meijer probably didn’t take the job to pass the time. That’s hard work and a lot of standing. I am fortunate that we have to means to be able to purchase the food Charlie needs. Not everyone would be able to do that. I don’t know if that is the situation that caused the clerk’s attitude or not. Maybe he’s just not an animal person. I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt and assume it’s the former and not the latter.

It was an experience using the Meijer checkout today. It showed me a glimpse into two different ways of life and attitudes. One made me chuckle. One made me mad. Next time, though, I’m going back to self checkout, no matter how many pounds of meat I’m lugging around.

2:51 PM

A Dose of Reality

Thursday, June 14, 2018 8:52 AM

I’ve been feeling a bit old these days. Not old as in body aches and creaks, although those are there sometimes. Old, as in seeing tangible evidence of the years that have passed and recognizing the undeniable truth that I, too, have passed from one stage in life to another. Kind of like seeing a tree that was a twig when you planted it and fifteen years later it’s a 30-footer. I’ve got plenty of those in my yard.

The incident that got me thinking about the stages of life is one that’s actually far removed from me now. I heard about it third hand, but it still impacted me.

I found out this week that my ex-husband retired from his profession last week. I remember when he got his first paycheck once he finished his apprenticeship and how excited he was for the bump in income. We weren’t yet engaged, but we were close. There’s a lot of mileage between that close-to-engaged-couple and the ex-spouses/co-parents that we are now and only some of it can be measured in years.

I still find it hard to believe that the young man who was so excited to finally be starting his career has retired. Granted, my ex-husband is only fifty-five and that is young to retire, however, his was a profession that is hard on the body. Retiring after thirty years isn’t uncommon. But still. I was once married to someone who is now retired.

Dennis and I were talking about this yesterday and it brought up the topic of waiting to do things in life. Many people sacrifice and forgo pleasures in the present to enjoy themselves in their retirement. My paternal grandpa was like that. He was a motorcycle police officer in Milwaukee for thirty-years. His greatest dream was to retire to Florida. I suppose riding around on a motorcycle in January in Wisconsin will make a person yearn for warmth.

It worked out for him. Once he got his thirty years in on the force in the mid 1950’s, he retired and moved to Florida. He was in his early fifties, probably about the age I am now. Granpa worked on the force down in Florida for a bit, too, as well as sold cars for a time. He lived in Florida until 1979, when he passed away.

Other people aren’t as lucky as my grandpa. They put-off dreams until retirement and then health problems crop up, and retirement never comes. Or it comes, but they aren’t able to physically do the dream anymore.

So how do you know when it’s the right time to pursue the lifelong dream, whether it be a large purchase, relocating your life or taking the dream trip?

Two years ago, when I turned fifty, I did act on a lifelong dream. I got a dog. And although conditions weren’t ideal to get one, (we ended up fencing in our front yard because we don’t have a back yard and now I’m pretty sure we’re the house the neighbors are worried is hurting their resale value), I’m still glad I did it.

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Our house, Pre-Dog. Notice how small the pine trees are.

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Same view, Post-Dog, 9 years later. Look how big the pines are! It’s hard to see the fence from this view, but it’s there.

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House, Post-Dog, closer view.

Getting Sammy is the exception, though. Normally, I tend to fall in the procrastinator category where I opt to save the money instead of spend it, over-think the downsides and eventually decide that now isn’t the right time to do whatever.

Except, I am now old enough to have been married to someone who is now retired.  I am roughly the same age as my grandpa was when he made his “next stage in life” dream come true.

Does that means the right time is now to start seriously looking at making those someday dreams come true?

 

9:20 AM

 

 

 

Rambo Dog!

Monday, June 11th, 2018 7:20 PM for Sunday, June 10th

Yesterday was a rough pet day around our house. Three of the five had potential medical issues.

Yesterday was a rough day for the pet parents, too.

Frankie, our live-wire kitty who doesn’t realize he’s going on 6, managed to injure a leg while playing with me. He loves to jump and spin with a wand toy that has three feathers attached to it. Yesterday, he must have overdid it because after our play session, he was limping and favoring a leg. It wasn’t bad enough to take him to the emergency pet vet, but I did fear we’d be going in this morning to have it checked. Thankfully, after sleeping the afternoon away in the master bedroom, he woke up fine. No clue what happened but it was scary!

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The second incident occurred with Herbie, our other wild-child cat who is Frankie’s 3/4 brother (same mom and dad’s were brothers. Sounds like an episode of Jerry Springer, doesn’t it?) Herbie is a bit of a brute. He’s larger than his brother, Frankie, and he’s not nearly as smart. Sounds kinda mean, I know, but it’s true. Where we have to make sure Frankie isn’t smart enough to get into a situation that will hurt himself (like figuring out how to get on the top of the shower rail and be unable to get down) with Herbie we have to watch and make sure he doesn’t do anything dumb that will get himself hurt.

The problem is Herbie is very stubborn, He wants what he wants and he’s unlikely to  concede defeat without a battle. A stubborn streak combined with not-so-many-smarts can make for a bad situation. Which it did.

Herbie, unbeknownst to me, decided to sleep directly under the recliner part of my chair. When I went to put the chair down, I noticed there some resistance. As I was trying to move it up again to check what it was stuck on, Herbie launched himself out the side, fur all disheveled, shaking his head and grumbling.

Thankfully, we have a recliner that moves up and down with a motor, and it moves very slowly. I, literally, cannot get out of this chair fast. It takes a good 8 – 10 seconds for it to go up and down. This is actually the exact reason we spent the extra money to get a recliner with a motor rather than the normal manual kind. I’ve had experience with closing a cat in one of the kind that snaps down and it was very, very scary. It involved a day long vet stay and I was very lucky that she wasn’t injured and I could take her home.

Now if it was Frankie lying under the recliner and he saw it starting to inch its way down toward his head, he would leave. And if he didn’t, once the recliner touched any part of him, he certainly would leave and probably yowl, too. Not Herbie. Herbie stuck it out until he had no other option but to move or get crushed.

Thankfully, Herbie was fine, although he ignored me for several hours. The incident brought back some very bad memories for me. It was scary.

Herbie eyes

Herbie

Charlie, The Survivor, was our third problem child yesterday, in two different ways. If you read this blog, you know how I’ve talked about having to make dog food every week for Charlie because he has food allergies.

His primary allergies are chicken and wheat products which means dog kibble is off-limits for him. Which is fine by Charlie since he’s never eaten dog kibble in his life. He refused to eat it as a puppy so my mom always cooked food for him.

Once he started living with us, Charlie saw Sammy eat cat kibble as a treat, so he stole a piece. He liked it a lot! Now as a treat, I will give Charlie a few pieces of cat kibble several times a week.

We always keep a bowl of dog kibble out for Sammy. Charlie has never been interested in it because he doesn’t like kibble and because he refuses to eat food out of a bowl. He literally will not eat off a dish or a bowl. He eats on a plastic placemat. This bowl-aversion does not carry into his water consumption which he handles just fine out of a bowl. (Thank goodness! Not sure what I’d do if he didn’t).

Yesterday afternoon, for what ever reason, (he had his breakfast and lunch) Charlie decided to try Sammy’s dog kibbles. And, apparently he liked them since he ate the entire bowl! That about a cup and half of dog kibbles made of chicken and wheat consumed by a small dog with chicken and wheat allergies. I braced myself for the worst.

I waited. I watched him. I took him outside extra times. Nothing. No effect whatsoever. None today either. Dare I hope that he outgrew this allergy (and bowl aversion!) and can now eat kibble? No more veg days! Or at least less of them? I would be very happy if that ends up to be the case, however, I’m not getting my hopes up. I will give it another few days and let him have some more kibble again and see what happens.

The second thing Charlie managed to do, has left me in awe of his bravery and strength. During one of his potty breaks outside at dusk, Charlie stepped on a honey bee and he got stung. He came limping into the house on three legs, licking frantically at his foot.

I’ve never had an animal stung by bee before, so I grabbed my mom’s old dog first aid book and looked up what to do to help him. Turned out it’s basically the same thing you do to treat a human bee sting. Watch out for anaphylactic shock. None, thank God. Scrape the stinger out with a credit card. Not easy to do on a furry paw, but Dennis managed to get it. Apply a baking soda poultice to the spot. Again, not so easy on the bottom of a paw, but we managed. Finally, rinse it off and apply ice to reduce swelling. That one didn’t go so great. Charlie was pretty much done with the whole thing by the ice part.

The book said to expect pain and swelling for a day or two at least, and that we could give him benedryl to help reduce swelling. I was expecting a couple days of him being laid up, and us having to carrying up and down the stairs.

Through the entire ordeal, Charlie didn’t yip once. Not even when he got stung. (I swear like banshee when I get stung.) After tolerating our futzing with the sting for about a half hour, Charlie limped over to his bed on three legs and went to sleep. He’d wake up every so often, lick his foot a few times and go back to sleep. By the time we went to bed, Charlie was fine. He bounded up the stairs two at a time like he does every night. He jumped on the bed before I could lift him up. No limping at all.

Today, there is no sign there was ever anything wrong with his foot, I can’t see any swelling at he’s running around the house as usual. He even went for a short walk today.

I am newly impressed with Charlie. I’ve now nicknamed him Rambo. He is one tough dog!

charlie by addy

Charlie AKA Rambo

Dennis and I are grateful that today was much less eventful in our house. And I now always wear shoes out in the yard. I’m not as tough as Charlie.

7:56 pm

 

 

Admitting my Prejudice

June 10, 2018 2:15 PM for June 9, 2018

Yesterday, while I was browsing the vegetables at the farmer’s market, I realized that I am prejudiced.

Prejudice is not a word I use lightly, and I do so now with even more caution considering our current political and social culture in the USA. Prejudice, however, is the only word I can give for my knee jerk, gut reaction, that I had yesterday.

For the past several years, we’ve gone to this particular farmer’s market and we found a vendor that has really good lettuce. It’s huge, it’s tender and it’s always freshly picked. I know this because over the years we have chatted with the gentleman who sells it.

This gentleman is probably in this mid – thirties and he is always there with his son. Both father and son are nice looking — blonde hair, blue eyes. Both are always clean and presentable with short hair cuts, and ironed button down shirts tucked into nice shorts or jeans.

The son, in particular, has always impressed me. At ten or eleven, he possesses politeness and poise well beyond his years. He’s respectful and his manners are impeccable. This vendor sometimes sells bushes and larger plants and I’ve heard the son offer to carry these items to the car. He comes off as being a really nice, well-brought up kid.

We came to like this vendor and we always go to him first. It’s been that way for a couple of years.

And then on the last day that we attended the farmer’s market last year, this nice man had his son and his daughter with him. It was the first time I’ve seen the daughter. She was clean and well-pressed, like her brother, although she had long hair and was wearing a long-ish skirt instead of pants or shorts like the son.

Perhaps I watch too much Handmaid’s Tale, but the skirt made me think of the repressive, fundamental Christian faiths where the women always wear mid-calf lengths skirts — Michelle Dugger style.

The type of religions that demand women always defer to the man’s opinions. Where women live with their fathers until they are married off and their purpose in life is to reproduce. Groups where birth control is frowned upon and abortion is forbidden. Groups that believe homosexuality is a grave sin and AIDS was God’s way of punishing the sinners. Groups that don’t believe in gay marriage and produce offspring that could one day refuse to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple getting married.

Whew. That’s a lot of baggage to put on a single garment choice of a little girl on one day.

I never gave it another thought until yesterday, when we saw the nice man selling his lettuce. His son was there again, too. A little taller than last year and still neatly dressed in a button down shirt and jeans. His daughter was there, too. In her long hair, blouse and her mid-calf denim skirt.

I’m ashamed to admit this, but my initial thought was to not buy lettuce from him anymore so I’m not supporting a faith that subjugate women.

I am not partial to any particular religion myself. I consider myself an agnostic or spiritual but not religious. I don’t put any more credence in one faith over another. I’ve known people from all kinds faiths – Catholic, Lutheran, Methodist, Baptist, Jewish, Muslin, Hindu and Jehovah Witnesses. While I’ve occasionally been on the receiving end of prejudice being that I don’t practice an organized religion myself, I can honestly say that I’ve never cared about anyone else’s beliefs before this.

So why have the problem with the lettuce vendor and his faith?

I don’t know. I wish I understood why I reacted the way I did, but I honestly don’t. I was ashamed of myself at having that initial thought, though. I felt like I was the same kind of narrow-minded discrimenatory ass as the guy who won the Supreme Court Case last week  where he refused to make a wedding cake for the gay couple in Colorado.

I know that even if this family is a conservative, fundamental Christian family, it doesn’t mean they believe women are inferior, or homosexuality is evil. And even if they do, they are entitled to their beliefs, the same as I am entitled to disagree with them. This the very thing that being an American is all about and it’s a privilege I believe is worth fighting to preserve. It’s not enough to just spout the words. It’s the actions that make it real and that applies to beliefs on both sides of the issue.

As long as the lettuce vendor doesn’t care that he is selling lettuce to an agnostic, I will be fine with purchasing it. And shame of me for ever considering otherwise.

We purchased our lettuce from the vendor, yesterday, same as always. His son will still well-spoken and polite as was his daughter. I told the vendor we were happy to see him return to the farmer’s market because he always has the best produce.

And I meant it.

3:02 pm

 

What Not to Do to Your Dog in Public

Saturday, June 9, 2018 1:26 pm

For the first time this year, Dennis and I took Sammy to the farmer’s market in Waukesha this morning.

One of the reasons I wanted to get a dog, almost 2 years ago now, was so that I could have an animal I could hang out with outside of the house. Someone who could ride with me in the car to get a hamburger or ice cream. Go to a farmer’s markets and outdoor flea markets on occasion.

I love my cats dearly, but they’re not all that enthused about jumping in the van and going for a ride. And I’ve tried walking them on leashes. They were very adept at crouching on the ground with their claws embedded into the earth, but as far actually moving with the leash on, not so much.

I was surprised, and dismayed when we took Sammy to his first farmer’s market a year ago. He hated it. He cowered at all the people. He barked at all the dogs and wouldn’t let anyone, human or animal, get near him. When we tried to take him through a drive through for a hamburger, he barked and growled at anyone who happened to pass within six feet of our car.

Not what I expected.

Dennis enrolled Sammy into a socialization class at our local HAWS last summer. Sammy learned how to let other dogs approach him and Dennis learned how to help him feel safe when other dogs and people were around. Today Dennis put all that training to the test and then some.

Being the first time he’s been in public since last fall, Sammy was a little more on edge at the farmer’s market than normal. He has to get used to it again, but he was still doing well. Sammy prefers to walk with Dennis when we’re there. I think it’s because he did the HAWS training with him. Or maybe it’s because Dennis prefers to walk with Sammy when we’re there.

You see, Sammy is a magnet for attention. As we walk him down the aisle people literally stop and comment to each other and us about what an adorable dog he is. Several people called him the “laughing dog today”. I swear Dennis walks a little taller with an uncharacteristic perky spring in his step when he’s walking Sammy at the farmer’s market. (I’m the one bringing up the rear of the group juggling all the bags.)

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Sammy is wearing his smile here.

Today, though, Dennis took Sammy’s socialization exercises one step further than ever before. Probably further than anyone at HAWS ever expected one of their doggie-graduates to have to endure.

A family came up to ask and asked if Sammy was a Pekingese. I said he was not, he was part Pomeranian, part Shih-Tzu. The husband replied that they had a Pomeranian at home that they loved.

To my shock (and embarrassment), Dennis scooped up Sammy, flipped him on his back and showed this family how when you turn Sammy upside down his ears flip-up and he looks just like a Pom. The dog who, last year at this time, was so freaked out he couldn’t go in public was now being tipped on his back so strangers could admire his ears.

The family was a bit taken back and didn’t know what to say, although, they did comment that Sammy didn’t look all that thrilled about the whole thing. I wonder if HAWS has a class to socialize humans on the things not to make your dog endure while in public?

Sammy handled the situation like a champ. I was proud of him. We tried to reward him for literally having exposed his vulnerable underbelly to strangers with hot, homemade donuts but he wasn’t interested. Dennis, however, was.

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Sammy ignoring his piece of donut

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Fresh, hot donuts. Yum!

I’ve heard some people go to the farmer’s market to get fresh vegetables. We go for fresh made donuts.

Sometimes I do buy vegetables, too. But it’s usually to make things like Beef Stroganoff and strawberry rhubarb crumble.  I resisted buying the fresh dill for Swedish meatballs. And in a small nod to health, I bought a head of lettuce.

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Since the donut treat was a bust, I wanted to make sure Sammy had something he really enjoyed to attach to our outing. I suspect he still only tolerates going to the farmer’s market, even when he isn’t flipped on his back, so we needed another place to stop.

The answer was easy: Five Guys Burgers. Sammy’s favorite place to go.  He even knows the name. Say Five Guys at home and he gets all excited and runs to the door.

Come to think of it, so does Dennis.

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Watching for Dennis to bring the goodies

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Waiting for the next bite

2:24 pm

Fight Like Cats and Dogs? Not in Our House!

Wednesday, June 6th, 2018 9:40 AM

It is a commonly held belief that cats and dogs do not get along. We’ve all heard the cliche’ “fight like cats and dogs”.

Personally, I’ve never thought that is the case. When I grew up we always had a cat and a dog and they never fought. When I was newly married to my first husband we had a cat and dog, too, before we had our son. They never fought either.

Naturally, when I brought in Sammy a year and half ago, and then Charlie nine months later, I had the expectation that the dogs would not fight with the three cats.

And they do not. They actually play together which we need to monitor because the dogs can get a bit loud and overbearing; but they never fight. Maybe I’ve just been lucky.

There are vast differences, though, in cats vs. dogs.

After a vacation where you lock a dog in a 5 X 8 room in a kennel for four days, they will greet you with unbridled love and enthusiasm. Their joy in seeing you will be boundless and there will be much licking, tail wagging and maybe even a little excited piddling. The fact that you were the one who left them for four days in an uncomfortable situation will never occur to them. As soon as they see you, you will be best buds again.

Cats are a bit different. After leaving them at home when you go on vacation, without barking dogs, and a pet sitter who visits and feeds them, pets them and plays with them not once, but twice a day, they will, in fact, ignore you when they see you. They know that you abandoned them and they will  look at you as if you are the lowest, most insignificant, non-entity they have ever seen. Until they decide they forgive you and insist on cuddling up on your head all night.

Nights. That is one thing I didn’t consider when I added dogs to our household. Dogs sleep schedules are much like human’s. They sleep at night and are up during the day. They are diurnal beasts. Cats are nocturnal beasts. The sleep all day and are up at night.

With three cats and two dogs, this combination of animals pretty much guarantees that some animal will want attention from Dennis and/or myself every hour of every day. This causes problems as we would enjoy uninterrupted sleep for at least five hours a night.

And then there’s that magic time of year that we are in right now, when the days grow long and the sun rises earlier. When the sun rises, so do the dogs. When the sun rises in the vicinity of 5 AM there is an overlap between the nocturnal beasts’ nighttime playtime and the diurnal beasts’ daytime playtime.

This is not good news for the humans in the house who now have two species cavorting at the end of the bed instead of just one.

There is now a competition for who gets to wake us up first. Will it be the cuddly cat who knows he only needs to purr to get me to pet him or will it be the dog who thinks licking whatever skin happens to be exposed will bring him attention? It could also be the cat who nibbles my nose to wake me. At least she’s gentle. Usually.

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Lucy, the nose nipper as seen on our web cam from when we were in Las vegas

Lately, it’s been the whining, barking dog who insists he has to go outside because it’s light out who has been getting us up. (This is the same dog who will refuse to go outside in winter until the sun comes up which is a good two hours later than it does now.)

I’ve heard there are people who lock their animals out of the bedroom at night. We’ve tried that and have the shredded carpet outside the bedroom door to prove it. Cats do not like to be locked out of anywhere. Dogs don’t like it either.  That’s one area that they are both the same.

I believe this dichotomy between sleep schedules is the real reason the combining of the species has been discouraged throughout the ages. It has nothing to do with them fighting.

I am probably the only person in the state who is looking forward to the days growing shorter.

10:38 am

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I Always Knew I was an Odd Duck

Tuesday, June 5, 2018 for Saturday, June 2, 2018  11:40 AM

If you ever have the opportunity to see someone’s dream come true, you should take it. It’s an amazing experience and one I had the privilege of doing last Saturday. I’ve been meaning to blog about it sooner, but catching up on the week’s worth of chores that accumulated while we were in Las Vegas has kept me from writing.

If you’ve read my blog before, you’ll remember that I wrote about a writer’s lecture I attended in May. You can read about it here.

While at the lecture I learned of a writer (the one with the cool shaved hair style) who was having her first book published. She wrote a fantasy novel and it is being published by a small press who accepts fantasy works.

Since my novel-in-progress involves time travel, it, too, is considered in the fantasy genre. Before I even knew what her book was about, I was interested in learning more about it. Her publisher could be a resource for me if I ever finish my book. I learned she was having something called a Book Launch at a small coffee shop in Waukesha on June 2nd where she would sell paper copies of her book.

I’ve never been to a Book Launch before. I debated not going since we just got back from Las Vegas and I was tired and had tons of laundry to do. In the end, though,  I decided to ignore the mountain of laundry and go see what it was all about.

I’m so glad I did! There were probably twenty-five or so people who attended it, and I think I’m the only one the author didn’t know. She introduced herself to me and I think she was a bit surprised I was there. I was, in fact, the only person who attended the book launch alone.

This author had a good size family and there were several tables filled by them. She also had members from her writing critique group there and her employers. I’ve decided that I need to make more friends. If I ever am fortunate enough to do launch a book I think I will maybe get four people to attend. Five if my writing coach’s husband attends.

The author said a few heartfelt words about the inspiration for her book. She allowed her vulnerability to show through and I had to choke back tears. I couldn’t be the only one crying at this happy event! She read an excerpt from her novel and then signed books at the end of the event.

The energy in that room was absolutely amazing. The author was (pardon the cliché’) glowing with pride and with excitement. She was witnessing the culmination of a fifteen-year dream come true and I was there to share in her joy. It was pretty awesome.

At the risk of sounding like a new-age crazy person I have to admit that I am a big energy person. I often pick up on the energy of people and of places. I’m drawn to a few, I’m put off by more. This event and the author, drew me in the same way as the writer’s lecture drew me in last month. On the rare occasions this happens it’s truly magical.

I always thought I was an odd duck in this respect, my ability to feel the energy of people and places. Then I found a test that proved I am.

There is a personality assessment used by psychologists and counselors called the Myers Briggs test which breaks down personality types into 16 groups. I was first introduced to the Myers Briggs test by a boyfriend twenty years ago. We were having problems and his counselor suggested he ask me to take the Myers Briggs test. Which I did, but I didn’t find out the results then. My boyfriend said it gave him lots of insight into me, though. That didn’t stop us from breaking up. Twice.

I took the Myers Briggs again in a week-long seminar at my local college for people looking to change careers. This was about 10 years ago. As the instructor was handing out our test results, she told me that I was the first person she’d had in her five years of teaching who had my particular personality type. INFJ.

What is INFJ? It stands for Introverted iNtuitive Feeling Judging.  We make up roughly 1-2% of the population. We are called “mystics”, “empaths” and highly intuitive. In short, we’re big on picking up on the energy of the world around us. Apparently, there are a few other odd ducks like me out there after all.

INFJ types are not shy. Introversion does not equal shy. Introversion means we recharge our emotional and creative batteries by spending time alone. I will stake my small talk abilities against an extroverts any day. I’ll just need retire into my own world for a few hours to recharge when I’m done.

At the book launch on Saturday, I was invited by several ladies to share their table when I was sitting alone. Normally, I accept these invitations, however, I did not accept on Saturday. I could already feel this was a special event and I just didn’t want to be distracted by making small talk from experiencing it.

I hope the nice ladies that invited me to sit with them weren’t offended. One of them was a therapist so maybe she figured out I was an INFJ immersed in the moment. I hope so.

It’s a bit vampiric, I think, to attend another author’s book launch and feed on the positive energy her hard work produced. It was invigorating, though, and also inspiring. I went back home and made some deep cuts and revisions that needed to be made to my book. I’m going into one-on-one writing coaching this week, so moving forward with the novel has been forefront in my mind and I think attending that event helped me make the changes I needed to make in my book, but didn’t necessarily want to do.

Are you curious about your personality type? The actual Myers Briggs test is quite involved and is administered by professionals. However, here is a link to one I’ve taken several times on the internet and it always tags me as an INFJ the same as the actual test did. It takes about 10 minutes to take.

If you turn out to be a fellow INFJ message me in the comments. I’d like to meet another one of the 1-2% walking around out there.

I’m about half way through the book I bought at the book launch. It’s called Pick Your Teeth with my Bones by Carrie Newberry and it’s excellent! The writing is far better than many of the books I’ve read from the big name publishing houses. It’s about a shape-shifter girl (NOT a Werewolf — they are different!) who is forced to face the creatures who killed her mother and sisters. It’s fast-paced, funny and a great read.  You can purchase your own copy off Amazon.

book cover

12:50 pm

Highlights from Vegas with some help from Jimmy Buffet

Sunday, June 3rd, 2018 2:45 PM

Dennis and I spent four days in Las Vegas this last week. It’s the first time we’ve been away for the that long in two and half years since we last visited Vegas. I will be scoring this blog post with snippets of Jimmy Buffet songs because there is a Jimmy Buffet song appropriate for just about every occasion. (And we spent a lot of time at Margaritaville in Las Vegas).

Vegas has changed in two and half years. The hallways between the hotel rooms and elevators are longer. And the casinos are bigger, too. Everything is farther away and we did much more walking this time which is the reason that I was so stiff on Saturday that I could barely walk. I’m growing older but not up…

I really need to get that swim spa and start getting into better shape.

Seriously, there have been changes in Vegas since we were there last. Uber is now the way to get around. We did have a car, but we found it easier and cheaper to Uber between casinos on the strip. Especially since most hotels are now charging for parking (another change since the last time we were there).

Buying pot is now legal in Las Vegas. We ate pizza in a restaurant across from a very upscale strip mall that had a pot store next to an Einstein’s bagels and a gourmet popcorn shop. Coming from a state where having pot on you will at least get you fined, if not arrested (depending on how much you have), seeing a thriving pot store out in the open was a bit surreal to see. …I’ve run my share of grass/Made enough money to buy Miami …

Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville restaurant now has a casino as part of it. They have actual Jimmy Buffet slot machines (Dennis won on them!) and they have Coppertone suntan lotion scent dispersed into the casino through the air vents. Even the carpet looks like an aerial view of islands in an ocean. For a guy that sings about chilling and living the easy life he sure has an aggressive and amazing marketing presence. Bet he didn’t build that by spending his life sailing, fishing and drinking. Wasting away again in Margaritaville…

Speaking of drinking, I discovered a drink called a Bloody Maria at Margaritaville. I’m sure this isn’t a new drink, but it’s new to me. It’s basically a Bloody Mary made with tequila instead of vodka. I hate vodka but I like tequila! What a happy find that was. Why don’t we get drunk…

We also discovered gourmet cheese burgers and milk shakes at a restaurant in our hotel called the Black Tap. They were the best burgers I’ve ever had. Cheeseburger in paradise…

ham2

The milk shakes were something to see. Dennis had Oreo Cookie and I had Cake Batter. His had a full Oreo Cookie ice cream bar and mine had a large piece of cake on top of the shake. They were humongous and fun. And expensive! Holy cow were they expensive. It was a good experience, but unlike the Bloody Maria, I think this will be a one-time experience for me.

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Our massive shakes. We didn’t even eat half of them they were so big and so rich.

One of the most serious changes were the many security guards with German Shepard dogs in the casinos on the Strip and also walking around Fremont Street downtown. I’m not sure of the exact reason, but I’m assuming they are trained to smell for explosives or gunpowder? One morning,  I saw a security guard in our hotel down on one knee rubbing the belly of her German Shepard who was rolling on his back and clearly enjoying the attention. The guard dogs have an important job to do, but they’re still dogs at heart. I was glad to see there was real affection between the guard and her dog. Somethin’ ’bout your dog sittin’ by your side…

There are some things in Las Vegas that have not changed and probably never will. It is hot. Ninety degrees and above every day.

You will lose. And I did. Every bit of cash I brought to gamble I lost. Dennis didn’t lose all of his so I guess that’s kind of like winning.

There are unusual people. Mainly in downtown, but I have also seen them on The Strip, too. Fruitcakes on the street/Struttin’ naked through the crosswalk in the middle of the week…

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The guy in green was a street performer. I’m not sure about the other guy.

Fifteen years ago, it used to be easy to pick out the “ladies of the evening” but now it’s not. They blend in with the other young women dressed for a night on the town. Apparently, styles for the party crowd have evolved to the point where many of the women dress in short, tight dresses with stilettos. This is not a condemnation nor an approval, merely a fact. And maybe a little awe and envy on my part at how those women can actually walk in stilettos when my feet were hurting in cushy Skechers. I go for younger women/ Lived with several awhile …

It was a good trip. One of the best since we got married in Las Vegas over ten years ago.

It was different, though. In the past I’ve worried about my mom when we were gone. I didn’t have to do that this time. Her 89th birthday would have been last Wednesday on the 30th. I was glad to not be home on that day. I think it was better to be in a different place. Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes…

I always worry about my animals when we’re away but this is the first time I’ve had dogs and been away for that long. Charlie and Sammy both survived kennel life well and Charlie the Survivor actually did better than Sammy. Sammy was very nervous and had to be checked out by the vet on staff to make sure there weren’t any bad issues with him (there weren’t, thank goodness). Charlie, being the survivor that he is, just rolled with it. I think that maybe because he’s old, he’s lived through a lot and nothing much phases him anymore. …some of it’s magic, some of it’s tragic but I’ve had a good life all the way.

Not a bad place to be in life, that’s for sure.

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Both dogs were very happy to see me and insisted on lap time.

So which Jimmy Buffet song are you humming now?

3:47 pm

 

 

My Husband, the TSA Magnet

June 2nd, 2018 11:06 PM

Last Monday,  when we traveled to Las Vegas, I was reminded of how Dennis is a magnate for airport security. It’s been that way for the past 15 years or so.

Dennis’ checked luggage is searched on most flights. Mine has only been searched once during the close to twenty years we’ve been traveling together.

Dennis has been the recipient of countless TSA random searches. I’ve never had one (knock on wood).

When going through customs in Mexico, you press a button to determine if your bag gets searched or not. Red means search. Green means no search. Dennis always gets Red.

I’m convinced all this scrutiny, random or otherwise, is the result of something that Dennis did in an airport during the spring of 2002, before we were married.

This was shortly after the shoe-bombing attempt happened in December of the prior year. Air-travel security was still being redefined after 9/11. Tensions were running high in the airports in general. Many people were still afraid to travel by air, and those who did were often nervous and wary of their fellow passengers. Security was viligant. Very viligiant.

Dennis and I were, once again, traveling to Las Vegas. We had checked in, got our boarding passes and cleared security.  We were early getting to our gate, as we always are.  As we sat there waiting to board, I noticed a lot of security guards milling around. I didn’t think much of it. At first.

Within fifteen minutes, our little gate had at least ten officials — both security guards and police officers. There were a few suited men milling around, as well. They  looked like FBI agents look on TV. People were starting to look nervous, whispering to each other and looking around for something or someone suspicious that would warrant all the security. I was getting nervous, too, as it became clear that whatever or whoever was drawing their interest was in our area.

Little did I know that the culprit was sitting right next to me.

As a group of four sheriff deputies descended upon us, Dennis leaned over and said to me, “I know what I did. Don’t worry, it’ll be okay.”

That was it. The sheriffs politely escorted Dennis away to a closed door room near our gate.

I was astonished. What should I do? Should I call a lawyer? Should I try to follow him inside the room? He couldn’t have done anything that bad, could he?

All these thoughts were going through my head while several gates of waiting passengers were staring at me as if I was part of some evil plot. The older woman and her husband who were sitting next to me changed seats. I tried to be nonchalant as if this sort of thing happened all the time. Nothing to worry about. Nothing at all.

After ten minutes, it was getting close to the time to board, and still no Dennis. What should I do if they start to board the plane? I couldn’t leave without him, could I?

Of course I couldn’t. Not because I am noble, but because I realized that Dennis was holding both our boarding passes.

Another five minutes passed, and I was ready to start hounding the gate agents for information, when I saw Dennis hurrying down the hallway towards me. He was flustered, but he looked unharmed.

Our fellow passengers in gate area didn’t look happy to see him.

What had he done to cause such a ruckus?

He had hid extra cash in his sock and as he was walking to the gate it shifted. While I was in the ladies room, he took off his shoe in the hallway and adjusted his sock. That was it.

Apparently airport security saw him take off his shoe on video and out of an abundance of caution, called for extra security, detained Dennis, checked his shoes and his sock and eventually let him go.

Our flight left a few minutes late that day due to Dennis and we had four very large, very imposing “passengers” that just happened to be seated all around us. I used the quotes because these passengers weren’t waiting for the flight before or during Dennis’ ordeal, nor did they have any carry on luggage. They didn’t read, talk to each other or nap during the flight. They all just sat there, alert. Once we landed in Las Vegas, these passengers didn’t take the tram to the luggage area with the rest of the passengers on the plane. They never did show up at the luggage carousel, either. I am convinced that the airline bumped several passengers to put security on the flight in the seats around us. I have to say, I felt very safe flying on that flight. I don’t think we’ve ever been safer on a plane than we were that day.

I haven’t thought about that story for awhile until we flew out of Milwaukee on Monday. Dennis and I now have TSA precheck, which means we can bypass normal security lines. We don’t have to take out our plastic baggies out to be x-rayed or take off our shoes or belts. It’s almost like traveling pre-9/11 except for getting our bag scanned and walking through a body scanner.

However, two or three times a day, a random bag check is flagged on a precheck TSA passenger. And guess who got flagged? Dennis, of course.

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Here is Dennis waiting for a TSA agent to search his bag. He no longer hides cash in his socks.

Thankfully, this check didn’t require security guards and closed door rooms. Just a quick check of his backpack and we were back on track.

The sock story has become somewhat of a legend in our house and we laugh about it now. But to this day, I still always carry my own boarding pass.

June 2nd, 11:59PM