From the desk of Mr. Pickles, Jedi


Hi friends!

Bam showed me how to log on to mom’s laptop, he’s super smart.  He knew the password.  He’s a handy big brother, mostly because he can reach the countertop when daddy leaves bacon out.  And with his over bite he’s able to open all kinds of things for me.

I’m considering leaving SWAT training.  It’s really a hard decision because my girlfriend Killer is still in SWAT training.  But mom went to a training and learned about Bomb Detection dogs and it sounds kind of cool.  All I have to do is sit when I smell explosives.  How hard could that be?  And they give you a ball to play with. Um, I don’t know what explosives are though….are they bad? I’m still thinking about it though, I don’t want to leave Killer.

Then the other night mom was winding this big ball of yarn for her work.  I’m not sure what she does or why she needed yarn but whatevs!  I was getting really mad because she wouldn’t let me play with the yarn.  But while she was winding the yarn she was watching some movie on TV called Return of the Jedi.  It was so cool, there were spaceships and fuzzy little bear things and a princess.  Not like my sister Princess but a real princess.  So, I hung out with mom even though I was mad at her and watched the movie.  Popcorn may or may not have been part of my motivation for staying.

I liked the Jedi guy.  I mean how cool is he? And he had a light saber thingy.  I decided that I’d be way better at being a Jedi than being Knight, so I’ve changed from Mr. Pickles, Esq. to Mr. Pickles, Jedi. I need to write the Queen and tell her I’m not longer going to be a knight.  She’ll be very upset.

How cool would it be to be able to use the Force to get bacon off the counter?  Then I could really impress Killer.  So, I’m going to ask mom to go to Jedi school.  It’s a real thing, right?

I forgot to tell you I had to go to the doctor last week.  I had a bad cough.  Teagan and Dawson said I was just faking because I only coughed around mom.  I wasn’t faking!  The doctor said I had a cold and gave me medicine.  It tastes like beef stuff.  I’m not sure what beef stuff is, but I like it.  I was good this time and didn’t try to bite the girl who took my temperature like I did the last time.  Do you know where they stick the thermometer?

We went to the puppy resort a few weeks ago.  I’m not sure why mom calls it a resort especially when she doesn’t get us the rooms with the TV and extra treats.  Stupid snobby rich poodles got the fancy rooms and extra treats.  Bam really liked his girl who took him outside and always convinced her to give him extra snuggles.  It’s not bad there, but I was glad to get home to my own fluffy bed and my cardboard box.  Yes, I have a cardboard box like a cat, don’t judge.

That’s pretty much been my life for the last few weeks.  I live a really exciting life.  Princess said a racoon is living under our mini barn again.  Maybe next time I log on I will tell you about how I used my Jedi skills to catch the racoon.  Ohhh I could catch the squirrels too.  I gotta become a Jedi!

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From the desk of Mr. Pickles, Esq.


Bam let me borrow mom’s computer but said I couldn’t tell anybody.  So I found this thing called a blog… I’m not sure what it is but I like to talk about myself so I think this is perfect for me.

Some things you should know about me – I’m a two-year old long-haired miniature dachshund who is most famous for being a “good noodle” around the house.  I also speak with a slight nasal inflection so when you’re reading this keep that in mind.  More important information about me….let’s see ….. for a career I’m currently in training to be a SWAT K9 with my girlfriend, Killer, who is a German Shepherd.  Killer broke up with me earlier this year because mom wouldn’t let me keep the baby bunny I caught and killed to show her.  I told mom it was homework for SWAT dog school, but she still took it away from me.  But I’m so irresistible Killer took me back and she’s my girlfriend again.

For fun I chase tree rats….uh squirrels … in our back yard.  Even Princess can’t catch them so I don’t feel bad that I haven’t caught one yet.  And after the scuffle this summer with the raccoon, Bam no longer assists us in ridding the back yard of wildlife.  The raccoon did scratch his ear and he’s not getting any younger so I totally understand.  I recently took up Yoga – I’m awesome at downward facing dog.

Mom had a list thing that was sitting by her computer and it said “Replace New Years Resolutions With This.”  I think I’m going to take a crack at this, but I don’t know what a Resolution is.  Oh well here we go:

A bad habit I’m going to break.  Hmmmm…. I have no bad habits.  I mean sure I grab the dish towel off the stove and carry it around the house, jump up on the dining room table, growl at mom when she hasn’t fed me in a timely fashion, chew on mom’s house shoes and knock the trash over.  But those things aren’t really habits per se.  Nope I’m good on this one.

A new skill I’m going to learn.  Mixed martial arts or French culinary school.  I’d really like to learn how to make Coquilles Saint-Jacques and Baked Camembert.

A person I hope to be more like.  Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson, I mean I’m totally like him now, totally buff and athletic and funny.  I just need to be more famous.  Maybe Justin Timberlake, I’d really like to up my singing game.

A good deed I’m going to do.  This one is tough.  Maybe I’ll help Dawson deliver Meals on Wheels one day.  I think I’d be good at that.  I mean after all what could go wrong with me in a van full of food?

A place I’d like to visit.  I’m really bad with locations but I’d be pretty happy with anyplace that has cookies.  Or maybe Canada because I want to see a Moose.

A book I’d like to read.  Uh… I really can’t read.

A letter I’m going to write.  I’m going to write a love letter to Killer.  And then maybe the Queen of England because I want to talk to her about validating the ESQ after my name (in England it means you’re training to be a Knight).

A new food I’m going to try.  Mom always says I can’t eat chocolate…. So that’s out.  But I’m pretty much willing to eat anything.

I’m going to do better at.  SWAT dog training, I still must make up for the missing bunny homework.  And I’m going to be better boyfriend and spoil Killer.


Well that’s all mom had listed for her blog so I guess I’ll sign off.


Happy New Year!

Mr. Pickles –  out

From the Desk of Bam

Well since Mom has been super busy lately I figured I should take over her blog. After all who better knows what is going on in the house than me…. After all I’m always here. I just hope she doesn’t get mad because my paws are a tad muddy so her now her keyboard is a tad muddy also. Princess tells me I should do a Year in Review blog for her because all the People do that on New Year’s Eve, but there’s kind of a problem because neither me nor Princess knows what the hell a “year” is. See by our estimation a “year” has to be at least a million days long. Hang on, there’s a squirrel outside so I’ll be right back.

Sigh…. And alas the squirrel wins another round as he waits for me to come outside and then darts for the tree. Squirrels are evil. In case you didn’t know. They spend hours and hours running back and forth across our roof from the tree in the front yard to the tree in the back yard. PITTER PATTER PITTER PATTER – all damn day long!!! Poor Princess has had to go to therapy as the taunting of the squirrels has exhausted her. The therapist suggested for her to start chasing her tail as a distraction but she hasn’t been doing very well with that and unfortunately I can’t help her because I have a long tail – hey where did my tail go? No seriously why don’t I have a tail??

Sorry I got off topic …. “Year” In Review – Right. Well let’s see….. Recently Santa Claus visited and brought me and Princess new doggie beds. He’s a straight up awesome guy. I’m mean he brings you stuff, he’s got a big belly – like me, loves cookies – like me, looks stylish in red – like me. I think I could be the next Santa Claus. Oh wait, Princess says you have to like people to be Santa – that could take me out of the running. I mean it’s not that I don’t like people exactly, it’s just that when I was a tiny baby bulldog my mama doggie told me it’s my job as an oversized, mean looking, ferocious sounding dog to protect the family. It takes way too much effort to figure out who’s naughty and who’s nice so I just growl and snarl and bark at everyone. It’s all show though I mean if a bad guy actually came in the house I’d hide behind Princess – she’s kinda like a ninja (we don’t ask about what happened to her before she got adopted and she doesn’t tell). Any way mama doggie just told me to look mean she didn’t mention I might actually have to face a bad guy, so I hide behind Princess.

Oh yeah so back to mom… she was going to send out her usual Christmas card featuring pics of Dawson and Teagan but I heard her say something about how it was December 22nd and now she didn’t have time – time seems to be a huge deal to People but I don’t understand what it means. Anyway I found these pics… I thought they would like nice in a Christmas card.


Speaking of pics I tried taking selfies this year. Are you supposed to smile? I always look like I’m scared.

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Mom also made these handmade ornaments that looked like cookies that I got in trouble for trying to eat. Like it’s my fault? They looked like cookies, she baked them in the oven…. Why wouldn’t they be cookies? I mean I only wanted to try a small sample, she soooo overreacts to stuff like me climbing up on the table to try to eat one. Just ONE!! That was all I wanted. She really should take it as a compliment that I love her homemade cookies SOO MUCH that I just wanted one. Instead I got my nose smacked. So harsh! Well that went over better than the day I mistakenly ate her breakfast. I didn’t realize she wasn’t finished – that’s the story I’m sticking with anyway.

Oh yeah cousin B got married this summer. I wasn’t really sure I liked the guy she was going to marry because he likes CATS!!! And was scared of dogs!! I may have added to that fear a few times – I mean come on what fun would it be to look like a mean dog and not play the part? But then…. he saved me. There was this soccer tournament and Princess and I were in prison – I mean the kennel – and there was a late game and we were going to have to stay another night…. it was awful! But B came to pick us up. I love B. But her car broke down. So Logan, despite all my growling and barking and snarling at him, came to pick us up. B sat in the back with me and held on to me but she didn’t have to – anyone who comes and springs you out of prison – I mean the kennel – is a stand up guy in my book. I even let him pet me when we got home. Anyway when they got married Mom found us a nicer kennel – the owner is a retired police dog so he runs a tight ship and has nicer People working there.

Speaking of B and Logan, we now have a new cousin – Ivan the Great. He’s a cat. A CAT!!!!! Well he’s just our cousin, poor Sheba and Niyah have to deal with a cat for a brother.

Sheba and Niyah have a new house too. Auntie Mimmie got married this fall and moved to a new house. I haven’t met Dennis yet because SOMEbody thought I would be bad at Thanksgiving and try to eat the whole turkey……. or Ivan. The same SOMEbody thought I would also be bad on Christmas Eve and try to eat the buffalo wings – I mean seriously I usually don’t like spicy food! But whatever… that SOMEbody will be thankful I’m writing her blog I’m sure. I mean it’s not like I’d eat the whole turkey…maybe just half – and I’d share with Princess.

Well like I said things have been kinda crazy around here lately – Teagan’s in Middle School and working hard on her role as Mama Hood in the YAT production of Little Red Riding Hood. I’m cheering for the wolf in that story but it never works out very well for him. In the spring she got to be a LostGirl in Peter Pan and had a kick ass air guitar solo. Wait… did they have electric guitars in fairy tales? I’m confused, but whatever, she’s pretty good at acting and doing impressions and funny voices. I’m not really happy with the Forrest Gump-like voice she uses when she does an impression of me but it’s OK – I suppose it fits.

My bestest buddy Dawson turned 16 – which in People years is a big deal. He had a big party – also wasn’t allowed to attend because it was at the neighbor’s house and they are “afraid” of me. OK maybe Princess has a point about being nicer to people….. Anyway Dawson’s still playing soccer a lot and is starting to look at colleges to play soccer at. They tell me he’s moving away in a couple of years to go to school and play soccer – so I figure if I eat and destroy all his soccer balls he can’t leave. SHH don’t tell him my plan. His soccer season started off really sad though because one of his teammates died in an airplane crash. Bubby was really sad so I cuddled with him a lot – he told me his friend was flying around the world to raise money to build schools for kids in Pakistan because they don’t have a lot of schools there. I don’t know where Pakistan is, but it seems sad that kids can’t go to school there. Bubby likes to add #livelikeharis to some of his posts to remind people to do good things for other people.

Ok…. Princess says it’s time to go back out and try to catch the squirrel again. Poor thing, she just won’t give up. Several neighbors were concerned because they saw a giatnt possum move in under the maxi barn. HA!! they have not seen me hunt possums before.  Just ask B about the time she was babysitting and I caught one and brought it to her – I thought it was a nice thank you but I was told to drop it before I came in the house…. SHUT UP Princess it’s not my fault possums are slower than squirrels!

Anyway Happy New Year from the dogs!


Merry Christmas from Bam &Princess

Bam hacked my computer and composed this holiday letter to his cousins, Sheeba, Colt, Buddy, Aussie and Bosanova.  Bigger apologies should go to Aussie as Princess ate all Aussie’s cookies before they could be packaged.   Oddly Bam forgets to mention this in his letter.  Luckily Bam also forgot to mention the humiliation of wearing a reindeer costume this winter….. Hopefully next year they have located a better sous chef!

Dear Cousin Puppies,

Hope 2012 finds all of you well.  We’d like to give a warm welcome to our newest cousin “Boss.”  We hope you find this extended family as genuinely crazy and odd as we do.  However coming from a bulldog puppy farm and the hardened streets of Indy like we both did we feel living within the craziness is the best for both of us so we just embrace it.

We apologize for the lateness of your gifts this year as our sous chef has once again disappointed us.  We pointed out multiple times we needed the peanut butter cookies by Christmas Eve but she continued to put our request on the back burner until here we are a week after Christmas and the cookies are only now done.  If she didn’t make such wonderful homemade peanut butter cookies we’d certainly fire her and look for a new one.  She came up with the most grandiose excuses:  working 12 hour shifts, shopping for the two kids, attempting to decorate the shamble of tree they brought in the house (which we cannot use as a bathroom or the drinking fountain – really?!?!?!) cleaning house, laundry, making cakes and other goodies to take to her human parties!  Well despite the lateness we hope you truly enjoy the cookies!

Our year has been filled with mostly the same things as last year.  Fighting over our Loofah toys, chasing, tails, barking at the neighbor dogs, eating two meals a day (PS why don’t we get lunch?  Humans eat lunch….), Bam had a fairly successful weight loss attempt with the Green Bean Diet – although he doesn’t necessarily endorse it, and Princess learned how to chase a ball.  Bam continues to keep a vigilant watch over the street, making sure to bark loudly anytime anything moves in front of the house.  You would think the humans would appreciate this more.  We spent a week in the kennel…..well you know what they say what happens in the kennel stays in the kennel.  We want to go to the fancy kennel Sheeba went to next year, where they take pictures and post them on Facebook and give you extra love and playtime.  Bam’s request for his own Facebook account has again been denied, but he’s still hopeful to create “Bambino Gene Baughn” soon.  We’ll keep you updated!

Well cousin puppies, enjoy your cookies!!


Bam & Princess

PS… They just got the girl a bird…. A BIRD!!! In the house…. Can you believe it!  And they expect us to not try to eat it.  Not to mention the traumatic memories Bam still has after getting fluffed by the Blue Jay in our back yard.  Sigh…… they will never learn………

Photo: Mrs "Princess" ClausePhoto: On Dasher & Dancer & Prancer & Vixen ... And Bam


Diets & Facelifts for Bullies

The Bully Diet.  Not bully like being mean to people.  But bully as in bulldog.  Although a lot of personal trainers do come close to the definition of bully …. Jillian maybe?  Anyway this is my 3AM-Infomercial-on-12-channels mega million dollar idea. 

Recently on a trip to the vet I was told my bulldog was overweight.  I prefer the term “husky” or “fluffy.”  The vet – having no sense of humor – prefers the term overweight.  Obese even.  Obtuse if you’re my daughter – which mathematically speaking is correct as it describes a fat triangle.  This was a new vet so I was preparing myself for next excuse of why we didn’t feed him “light” dog food.  It was all there on the tip of my tongue:  it gives him gas, it makes him shed, he has a delicate digestive system.  The truth is that’s $75 a bag and he can eat that in less than a month and I barely spend that on meat for the four of us so it seems dis-proportionate to the family budget.  But before I got even one of the faux excuses out the vet surprised me.  He told me to cut what I feed him in half and then pour a cup or more of green beans on top of his food.  The green beans fill him up with very few calories and then he gets the protein and yummies from his normal dog food.

What a brilliant idea!  I wasn’t really sure that the dog would eat the green beans but he did.  He looked at me funny but he ate them.  And if you warm them up in the microwave the green bean juice mixes with the dog food and it makes gravy.  Anyone remember Gravy Train dog food?  What a great vet – although I’m still trying to find the “gallon jar of green beans” that he suggested we buy.  I’m guessing he doesn’t go grocery shopping much.  But it’s OK, we can buy the 58 cent cans of Great Value French cut green beans – he prefers French cut.  What? He told me.

So one night when threatening my kids that I would pour green beans on their food like I did Bam’s so they would eat some form of a vegetable – it hit me.  This is my money maker.  I could write a “diet” book with various forms of green bean styles and varieties then discuss the nutritional value of green beans and then diagram the 7 day diet.  Day One – Step 1) Pick your favorite breakfast food:  pancakes.  Step 2) cut the amount you normally eat in half.  Step 3) Pour a cup or more of green beans on top of it.  Repeat for lunch and dinner.

I can see it now!  Ladies with my book sitting in their office lunch rooms pouring green beans on ½ slices of pizza and small French fries.  Think you need a milkshake for a snack?  Go ahead – just cut it in half and pour a cup of beans on top.  Sounds yummy doesn’t it?  Chocolate-Green bean shake.  I can see my infomercial now!  Hire a few plus size models (because now a size 8 is “plus size”) with a really bad script about how they can’t lose weight – then enter the super models (size 0 or less) smiling and sharing their secret tips.  There will be whole table full of food – pizza, ice cream, hot dogs, chicken sandwiches…. All topped with green beans!  And I will enjoy watching the super models try and choke down a dish of chocolate ice cream a’la green bean.

I hear you naysayers out there.  But really – sillier diet fads have succeeded.  Well if not succeeded at least they have made their creators a couple of bucks before someone proved they were medically unsafe or found to have no effect on long term weight loss.  Look them up there are hundreds:  the lemonade diet, the cabbage soup diet, the chocolate diet, the 7 day diet, the Russian Air Force Diet.  (I’ll be right back I’m just slightly distracted by the chocolate diet.)

I am a little nervous about using this vet’s suggestions.  In the same trip he also suggested a facelift for the dog.  No, sadly I’m not kidding.  Bam seems to have some type of an eye fold issue on his right eye.  The vet mentioned a very quick procedure to fix this problem which is actually a lack of wrinkle around the eye instead of the opposite for humans.  Gallons of green beans, face lifts for bulldogs – this vet is truly missing the financial windfall available in the wee hours of the morning.

Well for all of you 3AM Facebook surfers who are simultaneously scanning all of those channels playing infomercials (you know who you are) – look for my book soon.  Do you think Anthony Sullivan will do my infomercial?  I think the Austrailian accent would really add a selling touch.  Soon I’ll be bumping elbows with the creators of Eggies, Flex Seal, Magic Mesh, Sticky Buddy and the Perfect Tortilla pan.  Until then just remember:

pour a cup of green beans on it!

(Hmmm….. maybe “Glitta Nails” would sell better?  Oh I’m sure Snookie already has that market cornered)


Anatomy of a Bulldog

I like to tell people I was not all about buying a bulldog.  It was all Dave’s idea and he has a knack for making it sound like it was all Teagan’s idea.  The two of them would go to the pet store and look at bulldog puppies and ohh and ahh.  The truth is I’m a sucker for animals particularly dogs so buying a bulldog was something I knew would eventually happen.  The rational side of me started researching bulldogs.  English bulldogs – you know the rolly polly barrel chested ones that you see everywhere – they have 1000’s of medical problems.  Weight problems, gastrointestinal problems, breathing problems the list was endless.  So calculating the initial cost of a bulldog and adding in the cost of medical I decided a bulldog was entirely too much money.  Plus I wanted a dachshund.  Or something small-ish from the pound. 

Then it happened.  We went to the pet store and there he was.  A tiny little 11 pound wrinkled mess of a puppy.  Of course the kids were in love with him.   I had my concerns because this wasn’t an English Bulldog it was an Olde English Bulldogge.  The owner assured us there weren’t as many medical problems because it was a cross-breed of an American Bulldog and an English Bulldog.  He then explained how this bulldog would be taller and less chesty than his English cousins.  OK I’ll admit the way he was nibbling on my toes was starting to make him cuter and I’m a sucker for puppies.  That was all Dave needed – he saw me warming up to the puppy and before you know it we had purchased a bulldog puppy.  Dave does have a knack for this as the above sentence could also be completed in the following ways:  we had purchased a camper, we had purchased a red minivan, we had purchased a HD TV…. the list is lengthy.

Recently we have given our Bully a little more liberties in the house because we now know what specific things he likes to chew on.  We decided over Christmas break to let him start sleeping with us instead of  being confined.  More specifically he was to be sleeping with Dawson, but he likes our bed better.  The first night wasn’t too bad… I say that kind of like you might say a minor car accident wasn’t too bad.  Teagan usually falls asleep with us and then is placed in her bed or in the fold out bed next to ours.  She decided to move directly to the fold out for fear of waking up with half her arm being gnawed on.  The dog weighs half what I do and takes up twice as much space.  Add to this he is a restless sleeper.  He kicks and bucks and moves about all night.  And the reason I let him continue to sleep there is purely selfish.  If he is confined he starts to whine at exactly 6:59am for food but when he’s sleeping with us he will hold out until at least 8:30 before he demands food.

Last night I had a nightmare that I was being chased by a train.  I know trains don’t chase people but it was a dream.  Not fully awake I realized the train wasn’t a train it was snoring.  Without opening my eyes I told Dave to stop snoring.  It didn’t work so I opened my eyes and found the source of the snoring.  This is what I saw.

And then he licked my face.  He was all snuggled up on my pillow, partially under the comforter and completely sure that he was supposed to be there.  I attempted to push and pull and move him back to the end of the bed with limited success and went back to sleep.  The snoring started again.  Not your everyday snoring but the kind of snoring that will wake the dead.  Then as I got up to move him again I began wondering if they make those anti snoring nose strips for dogs.  As I got near the back-end of the dog he farted.  If he woke the dead with his snoring he would have sent them back to the grave with the gas.

This is when I began to understand the complex anatomy of a bulldog.  Starting at the head:  6 inch thick skull that can headbutt it’s way through a fence, cute little black outlined eyes that always look sad so you’re inclined to give them anything they want, giant floppy wrinkly lips that really do nothing but drool from time to time, protruding bottom teeth that are good for opening things other dogs can’t  – “can opener” style, a giant tongue that loves to give kisses when he’s done something bad, a giant neck that is hard to find collar’s for and an even bigger chest that is hard to find harnesses for.  Then you get to what I call the “accordion.”  The “accordion” is the bulldog’s belly and it works accordion style.  It squishes up then blows air out each end – thus producing both the snoring and the farting at the same time.  Maybe more like bagpipes – based solely on volume because I think bagpipes make more noise than accordions.  And finally there is the stubby tail which whips back and forth at a dizzying pace. 

There you have the anatomy of a bulldog.  I will not ever have another one… I swear – at least until Dave finds another cute puppy…….

Teaching, Nevada & what dogs hear

Today I am reflecting on the past 4 days…. there were multiple things that caught my attention so I’m lumping them all together in one blog.

First, in my quest to find a different occupation I have added “teacher” to the “not an option” list.  I helped Teagan’s 1st grade class during their holiday party make gingerbread houses.  I went with a positive attitude because it was only for an hour and a half.  How bad could 1st graders be for an hour and a half?  The answer to that question is “OH MY GOD!”  In all fairness to her class most of the kids were well-behaved and sat in their chairs and painted icing onto their milk cartons and attached their candies.  However there were about 6 children who were constantly out of their seats, grabbing a parent or the teacher with some urgent need for more M&M’s or to tell on one of the other five for eating the candy before everyone was done.  Two of these lovely children sit in Teagan’s desk grouping and neither of them needed sugar but both of them had consumed enough to send a diabetic elephant to the hospital.  By the end of the hour and a half I had contemplated the consequences for sitting on both of them just to keep them still for 30 seconds.  And I would have felt sorry for myself had it not been for the poor grandmother at the next table over who had one of the other girls who was out of control.  This girl had taken blue gel icing and smeared it all over her paper plate to “make a pond” at her gingerbread house and her hands were covered in blue dye, icing and sprinkles.  It finally took the teacher pulling the girl over to the sink to get her to wash her hands and I overheard the teacher telling one of the other parents that the same girl had a fancy ruffle on her dress earlier in the day that she had cut with scissors and then ripped completely off.  Not that going back to school to become a teacher is a realistic option for me, but there is no way I could handle children on a day-to-day basis.  God bless the teachers out there with all their infinite patience because I know I couldn’t do their job.

Second… “Nevada”. “Nevada” is an example of something I have pointed out many times to many people.  Pregnant women should not be allowed to name their children.  I was shopping for shoes when two children went running past me and I heard a mom yell “Cade and Nevada come here now!”  It wasn’t so much the Cade that caught my attention as the Nevada.  Actually I wouldn’t have given it too much more than a passing thought, but Cade and Nevada were notorious.  No matter what part of the store I moved to Cade and Nevada moved with me with their mother always demanding for “Cade and Nevada come here now!”  After the fourth or fifth time of hearing the mom’s demand for them to come here now my curiosity got the best of me and I had to peek around the corner to see Cade and Nevada.  Both adorable little towheads about 3 and 4 years old, running amuck while their mom attempted to shop.  What struck me was the older of the two was a little girl – the entire time I had assumed the mother was yelling after two boys.  Now I’m all about unique names for your children to avoid having an entire softball team full of Brittney’s (in fairness to my sister, there were only 3 Brittney’s on the softball team) – but Nevada?  All I could think about was in the movie Four Christmases where the characters were named after the location they were conceived (i.e. Orlando, Denver and Dallas).  I guess it’s lucky for little Nevada her parents weren’t more specific or else I would have been hearing “Cade and Reno…” or “Cade and Las Vegas!”  As I moved toward the front of the store to leave I passed the family once again, the mother again catching my attention with her exasperated “Cade and Ne-va-da!” (she had now separated each syllable drastically as if to show her increasing displeasure at her children’s misbehavior).  It took every ounce of energy I had not to go over to Cade and Nevada and pick them up and place them in their mother’s shopping cart and explain to her that by placing the children in the cart you would not have to yell at them in every aisle to “come here” or “put that down” because they are contained.  That was the angel on my shoulder…. the devil on the other side wanted to take Cade and Nevada to the glass aisle, give them a pound of sugar each and teach them to say “Mazel Tov!”

Finally, what dogs hear.  Dawson talks to the dog a lot.  He talks to the dog like someone might talk to a baby and the dog loves him for it.  But on occasion the dog is bad and Dawson yells at him.  Like earlier today when Bam ate Teagan’s gingerbread house (yes the Gingerbread House that I spent an hour and half in hell a.k.a. 1st grade making) and I heard “BAM! NO!……. You are a bad bad dog!  You go to your crate! Now Mister! Fine you can have a cookie but go in the condo!” (note: we call Bam’s crate his condo – as if to make it seem he is on a luxurious Florida vacation while confined).  I imagined what Bam heard.  “BAM! blah blah blah blah condo blah blah blah blah cookie.”  I would have added that he heard the word NO! but I know he didn’t because that word seems to be a bit of an obscure concept for him.  Bam knows exactly 5 words, “Bam,” “Cookie,” “Sit,” “Kissy” and “Condo,” and one phrase “Where do good puppies go for cookies?” The answer is “condo.”  “Kissy” will get you slobbered on and “Sit” only works in conjunction with “Cookie.”  But Dawson does his best at communicating with the dog, my only hope is that soon he teaches him “no” and “bad dog.”  The bad thing is we went from a dog with an extensive vocabulary: sit, stay, come, down, off, car, speak, find, bad-dog, jump and free-dog.  And could do tricks like “hokey pokey bear” and “stop drop and roll.”  And now we have the bully who thinks “kissy” will fix anything he screws up.  Just so were clear it has taken me a while to write this because there is a dog snoring and resting on my right hand the entire time.  OK I’m done… he is now slobbering on my right hand and I think the slobber is dripping into my keyboard