The mower

The other evening, the boys were outside in their natural habitat, hunting for bugs and eating the tall prairie grasses in our yard . . .

But then, just as they were getting the most satisfying of nibbles on the most succulent of prairie grasses . . .

A jarring disruption occurred . . .

It was the daddyman, celebarting Daylight Savings Time with his new reel-mower:

The newly mowed grass sure looked nice, but it made for some sad, sad Chickerdoodles!

Chix-a-Lot Friday: Who you callin’ grumpy?

Well apparently it’s come to the attention of certain people that I can be a bit of a grump. Humph.

Well I may be a little grumpy now and then, but I know who my friends are. My friends are the people who, rather than thinking of my moodiness as a flaw, celebrate it. Like my friend Burns. She loves grumps, including me. She loves them so much, in fact, that for the past couple of years she has taken to knitting these cute little dinosaurs called Grumpasauruses. My mama and I love them because they are both cute and grumpy, just like myself.

Well Burns must have known how well I identify with her Grumps, because the other day we got a package in the mail from her, and what was inside? A mini-me, a Chick Grumpasaurus! Isn’t he awesome?

The minute he arrived, I had to check him out thoroughly, and I was impressed.

He’s got my spots, my brown tail with a white tip, my grumpy expression, my squinty eyes, and even my famous Chick ears! Just look how much we are alike:

I asked mama if I could keep him for myself — since obviously he was a gift for me — but she said no, that she was afraid that the Dude and I would want to play with him and accidentally hurt him. Well what she didn’t realize is that she hurt me by accusing me of such sad things! I told her as much, and we compromised — she let me take a little nap with him and practice balancing him on my head, and then he retired to his very own spot on our mantle, where he will watch over us every day. Mama says we can even feed him my potato and duck kibbles every now and then so he doesn’t get hungry up there!

Thank you for loving us grumps so well, Burns!

Dad’s take: A songwriter’s muse

Chick has long been the muse for my bathtub songwriting.  He inspired me to pen updates to old standards, such as “Chick[en] on My Mind,” “American Bull,” and “Every Chick Has Its Thorn.”

The songs were always simple but catchy, never imparting more than three key pieces of information about Chick: (1) Chick is a dog; (2) Chick is white; and (3) Chick weighs 50 pounds.

As you can see, I don’t have a lot of talent in this department.

 

So, it’s taken me a while to find the right inspiration from the Dude.  Well, it happened this weekend on our little road trip out to the Hill Country.  The tune, best played on a ukulele, draws from American roots music, and tells the story of the Dude’s first road trip.  It’s called, “Dude, Please Don’t Puke in My Daddy’s New Buick (Again).”  It’ll be available any day now on iTunes.
Check in tomorrow for more about that road trip…

Out-of-town escape!

We’re headed out of town!

The boys have packed up their backpacks and their tiny guitar, and they’re ready for our adventure. We’re heading out to Fredericksburg Texas with the boys’ grandparents — we’ll be doing some hiking, some relaxing, some stargazing, and some front porch sitting. We’ll be so far out there that we won’t even have the interwebs, so we’ll see y’all back on Wednesday!

Reality Bites: the consequences of falling in love

When B and I met in 2004, he had his sights set on law school in general, and Texas in particular. I was pretty settled in my DC life — I hadn’t ever lived anywhere else. In a few short weeks, it became clear — he was moving to Austin, and so was I.

I didn’t have a plan, and at the time it felt like I was giving up a lot to make the move. It was exciting, but scary. I was dazzled to have B in my life and be so sure about that puzzle piece, but felt a little crazy giving up what seemed like so much. But I jumped in with both feet, and life has been one amazing ride.

Eight years later, we met Snickerdoodle. As we have done with a handful of foster dogs in the past, we started joking a few days into his stay with us: “I’m going to keep him.” Only the more we joked about it, the more we realized that we weren’t sure if we were joking.

Obviously, the Dude fits in to our family quite well. Our own Chick took to him pretty much right away, which is a real rarity for him. Over the past weeks as we’ve walked into a room to find them laying on top of each other in a sweet, napping dogpile, we’ve gotten to thinking — is it possible that we have chosen the Dude for ourselves, and Chick chosen him for himself, too?

As with any other big decisions, this one comes with consequences. The biggest? The fostering career that we have put so much of our hearts into will have to go on hiatus, at least for a while.  As much as we love the idea of a houseful of dogs, we just can’t properly care for more than two — the Chick and one other.

This scares us a whole lot in some ways. Because everything will be different. And it excites us a whole lot in other ways. Because everything will be different.

Stay tuned to follow along on this ever-wild ride.

 

 

Chix-A-Lot Friday: I am a really big deal (and another package for the Doodle)

I already suspected that I was a really big deal because of the way people always dote on me and tell me how handsome and clever and charming and sweet and soft I am. But now I KNOW I am a big deal. Wanna know how?

Well my foster brother Dude is sick with the heart-eating worms, so he’s been getting lots of extra treats and pets and packages in the mail from blog-friends. But here’s the thing: I am not sick with any kind of worms at all, but I am also getting extra treats, pets, and packages! Obviously there is no sickness-reason for me to be getting special things, so I must be getting them just because I am such a big deal — right? And believe me– I am not complaining.

Last week we got another package in the mail from one of our blog readers, a nice lady from a cold place in the North. Her name is Kate. Mama gets packages all the time with business stuff and rescue stuff and shoes and books and other things, so I didn’t think much of it. But the second that package came through the door and I gave it a quick sniff, I knew. I could smell that the address label said not “Mama” but “Sir Chick and Snickerdoodle” on the front of it. Hooray for me!

So the Dude and I stared her down patiently waited until she opened it. And when she did, we couldn’t believe our eyes. We were so amazed by how beautiful the insides of the box were that we nearly forgot about the jars of treats that were underneath all the beautifulness. Mama must be some kind of magician because she took all that beautifulness, untangled it, and hung it on the wall, until it looked like this:

I bet you don’t even know what that is, right? Well I will tell you! It’s like an advent calendar, only for counting down not till Christmas, but till Dude has officially kicked all of his wormies!

There is one card for each day between last week and the day that the Dude can officially play tug-of-war and go running with me.

Inside each card, there is a happy thought for them people, and another for us dogs. Like this. (I will let you guess which happy thought is for them humans and which is for us dogs):

And boy oh boy, our gift-giver sure did hit the nail on the head! How did she know that mama loves lunchtime margaritas, and that we love packages in the mail with doggie treats inside? She must be a mindreader!

So every evening, mama plucks another card off our Dude-vent calendar and grabs two cookies from the cute jars that Kate sent us, and we go into our very favorite room– the movie / office / dog / guestroom / home of The Dora. Mama asks me and the Dude to lay down on the rug, and reads us our happy thought for the day. Then we each get a cookie.

We can’t get over the yumminess of the cookies, the thoughtfulness of our blog friend Kate, or how beautifully our Dude-vent calendar matches our favorite rug in our favorite room. Mama says nobody has ever done anything quite so creative for us before. She even got a little leaky-eyed when she opened up the package and saw all of the beautifulness inside and read all of those words on the big piece of paper. And now eveningtime is our favorite time of the day! Thank you Kate, we just know that Mr. Dude’s recovery is going to speed on by!

Chickerdoodle cookies to mend a dog’s heart

The party just doesn’t end for the Dude and the Chick, does it? The gorgeous, hand-knit scarves they received from a special facebook fan aren’t the only gift the boys received to help Doodlebug heal from his heartworms. The other day in the mail, we received another package — this one from our dear blog-friend Alana (and her two beautiful pit bull type dogs, Molly and foster-ish Brodie). Check out this package full of treats!

They’re not unappreciative, but the boys passed right over the toys: a soft, fuzzy, squeaky heart for the Dude to serve as a role model for his own ailing heart and a rope toy for the Chick-man so he can get out his crazies playing with mama and dad instead of bugging his brother who has to remain calm for the next six weeks. Why did they ignore their lovely new toys? Because of the scrumptious, handmade cookies that Alana, Molly, and Brodie made for them.

Fantastic, right? They even look and smell like human snickerdoodle cookies — but these are a special creation just for our boys — Chickerdoodles!

A seasoned mama to big, block-headed dogs with a huge appetite for cookies, Alana must have known that treats are the absolute best way to get a couple of greedy boys to pose for photos with their bounty.

A big thank you from Texas to Alaska for the goodies, friends!

 

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