Only 7,997 To Go

I have about 8,000 things I want to post about but I keep thinking, Oh, I should leave the caption contest at the top of the page. Well, screw it. If you have a caption idea you can just scroll down and leave it in the comments, I'll be up here wondering if Jackson is old enough to be left alone with a bulldog in the car while I run in to the grocery store.

Me, two weeks ago, in Trader Joe's parking lot: ". . . and don't talk to anybody, and if you unlock the door the alarm will go off. I'm still not sure this is a good idea."

Jackson, buckled in and holding Cookie by the collar: "Mom, you worry too much."

Oh, I do, do I? Well, Mr. Easypants, uh, I guess you're right, as nothing bad happened except that Cookie shed all over the back seat and I ran around Trader Joe's having an anxiety attack because is six too young to wait in the car? My mom let me stay in the car when I was six, but that was the seventies and all she had to worry about was, oh, I don't know, some hippie coming by and getting me to lick the back of a cute little stamp with a happy face on it.

Given the choice between hauling a floppy, resentful kid around the store or leaving him in an alarmed car parked in a shady spot with a ferocious-appearing dog at his side, though . . . nope, still can't feel good about that, sorry! Let's try it again when you're, say, fourteen, or you weigh 165 pounds, whichever comes last.

I don't think I mentioned it but while Jackson and I were in Denver in August, Cookie's little dog routine got upended, resulting in a sort of revolting condition that we're still dealing with. Normally Cookie sleeps with Jackson at night, which works on so many levels -- there's cuddling aplenty, lending much comfort in case of bad dreamings; they both snore, so they somehow cancel each other out and sleep a lot more blissfully than I would with either of them wrapped around my head; and having a warm, furry being at arm's reach has made the transition from two-and-a-half years of co-sleeping with humans a whole bushelful of easier.

But while we were gone Jack got a little too comfortable sleeping king-sized and solo, leaving Cookie to fend for herself and sleep wherever her sad little head could find purchase, alone and forlorn and probably sighing all night on the couch. One morning Jack woke up and found that Cookie had puked at some point during the night (on the couch), then walked around in a little circle (the way dogs do!) and laid down in the puke and went back to sleep.

The puke crust was so thick and so deeply ensnarled in her fur that when he gave her a bath to soften it up and wash it out, and then tried to hit the chunky spots with a brush, oh yeah, the puke would come out but so would a giant tuft of fur. Huge, horrible, mangy bald spots all over the dog. Also? Impossible to resist picking at them while you're watching TV. Which is why I need to start knitting again.

Here's another horrible petcare-related story! A few weeks ago I started getting worried about Peanut the Tortoise because he wasn't eating that much and he was spending all his time under the couch doing Great Pumpkin knows what, reading old swimwear catalogs. I was thinking of taking him to some tortoise vet that may or may not exist within fifty miles of here.

And then we heard the crunching.

Me: "What is that crunching?"

Jack: "I will get down on my hands and knees and look under the couch and tell you what I see in regard to this noise that's coming from under our butts!"

Jack reached under the couch to clear the old pool noodle out of the way, and what did we discover? THAT PEANUT HAD BEEN EATING POOL NOODLE. Tortoises= not that bright, but being scavengers I suppose they're more willing than a lot of us to try new things, so that's nice, I guess, except that he'd been filling up on plastic styrofoam for several weeks. That and the video put me well ahead in the running for worst pet owner of the year, that much is certain, though he seems to have suffered no ill effects and quickly went back to his regular diet of romaine lettuce and whatever's in the fruit bowl that's about to go bad. Hardy little fucker, that's what.

Okay, wow, only 7,997 things left to post! Seriously, I have a list. After that whole long summer of no time to think, now suddenly every time I turn around I find something I URGENTLY NEED TO TELL YOU ABOUT. But I will ration out my Very Important Thoughts just in case I hit another dry spell. Just when I think this whole blogging thing is so done and my hits are half of what they were last spring and let's just close up shop, I whirl around like Mary Tyler Moore and throw my hat in the air and shout: Who cares! Yay for blogs!