The Life and Times of Poopwa Foley

Archive for the ‘dog’ Category

It has to be a cosmic payback for publishing the post on the spider in the ear.  Right? 

Last week after sniggering over all the comments on Facebook about people being afraid to sleep at night because a spider might have climbed in their ear as they slept, I realized I myself had an itchy ear.

As stated on Facebook, I really did rinse my ears out with peroxide, effectively killing anything that might have been in there (hopefully) and succeeded in making myself so dizzy I almost fell over in the bathroom.

I missed work last week on Tuesday because I felt so crappy; dizzy, flushed, really headachy…you get the picture.  Since then the pressure in my ears has increased, making it sound like I constantly have a crackling faulty speaker in my head.  And it HURTS.  Like someone took a baseball bat and cracked me in the face.  Not here, or here so much…but right here.



not here, or here so much…but right here.

 Last night, went home and was in bed by 5:30 for a 1.5 hour nap…then back in bed at 9:30pm, still not feeling well.

I dragged myself into work even though I felt icky, flushed, feverish; thinking I could gut it out.  Around 11am I cried “uncle” and made an appointment with the doctor for 3:30 pm.  Which was more like 3:45 pm.

She peeked in my right ear, very routinely.  However, she took an uncomfortably long time looking in my left ear, the source of most of the crackling.  So long, in fact, that I found myself wondering what in the heck could be that *cough spider cough* interesting in there.  I found myself spiderbabbling.

She stepped back, tiny hand on tiny chin.*

“Do you have a pet?”

It’s a spider it’s a spider it’s a spider it’s a spider it’s a spider

“Yes, why?” (It’s a good thing she took my blood pressure before this line of questioning.)

“Is your pet as black as your shirt?”

OMGOMGOMGOMG it’s a BLACK spider

I try to appear relatively calm as I tell her we have a black lab who as recently as last night (and every night, as a matter of fact) sleeps on the pillows of our bed.

“Puh” and “puhppy”

“You have a black dog hair in your ear.”

“Get it out.” I command.  Just in case it’s a spider imitating a dog hair, or perhaps she can only see one of its legs.

“It will come out by itself.  No Q-tips.  No ear plugs.”  Does she not know Q tips are a necessity of mine?  And that from time to time my husband, maybe, possibly snores (lightly, mind you, sort of a “puh” exhale) and that if I don’t have earplugs in, I will hear every single “PUH“?

In her musical voice, she says, “perhaps the ear plugs may have had a dog hair on them when you placed them in your ear.”  Oh, yuck.  Note to self:  throw away all ear plugs.  Because I don’t place them in my ear, I JAM those suckers in.

Long story short, she checked me out thoroughly, told me I had a fever (I KNEW I WAS SICK) and a sinus infection and put me on antibiotics.  For those of you who don’t know, Schnuk’s pharmacies fill a lot of antibiotics for free, regardless of insurance.  Lovely pharmacy.

They also have Q tips and ear plugs.

*I LOVE my doctor.  She is awesome. 

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As weekends go, it was a pretty fun one, to be sure.  After an excruciatingly LONG four day work week, Joe and I slept in Saturday morning, getting up at a leisurely 8:30 a.m.  (I think.  I had the wrong glasses on.)  Into the living room we went to map out our garage saleing for the morning.  Aside from a few promising prospects, there weren’t as many as normal; although there was one with 8 homes on one street, though, and we were sure to score something there.
We didn’t score anything there and in fact, there was one house where the clothes and various dirty household items were strewn about on rickety tables with no prices.  Ew.
People, if you’re going to hold a garage sale, there are ten rules.
1)      You’re trying to get rid of it, right?  Price it that way.  Otherwise you will be packing it all back up again.  If it means that much to you, don’t sell it.
2)      Group like items together attractively.  Make sure they’re clean and if electric, make sure they work.
3)      Put a price on your items.  I cannot emphasize this enough.  People attending your garage sale tend to walk away from something if it doesn’t have a price. 
4)      Signs.  There can never, ever be enough signs to gently guide me, the garage-saler, to the exact location of your garage sale.  After all, if you’ve gone through all the trouble to have a garage sale, let people know where it is.
5)      And if you advertise a garage sale, then hold a garage sale.  We have searched high and low for a particular sale because of what was promised in the ad, only to find a closed garage door.  It wasn’t pretty.
6)      When said sale is advertised, please don’t just say “too much to mention.”  Give us poor coffee-swilling; diehard garage sale fans some idea of what you are selling.  My idea of miscellaneous is household/clothing/glassware.  Yours might be quilt blocks, pictures of cats, old baskets, and embroidered, raffia’d toilet tissue (For Decorative Use Only).  Neither one of us would be happy, right?  Right.
7)      Having a cooler of water/soda or a lemonade stand on a hot, hot day is a stellar idea.  Just don’t charge more for the drinks than you do for items on the table.  And if you are charging more, they have better have liquor in them.
8)      Have a “free” box and put something in it.
9)      If you have colorful children’s items, line them up and down the driveway.  It catches our jaded garage-saler’s eye and makes us more apt to stop and browse.
10)  It never hurts to have friendly people manning your garage sale.  Throw on the radio.  Turn on a fan for circulation in a hot garage.  It does make a favorable difference in your garage sale ambience. 

Yesterday on our Saturday “hunt” we found:  a cool Schlitz sign, a unique square plate, a bag of pretty  headbands, and a ceramic heart decoration. 



the headband on the left is for when I go hunting.  Not.
Jos. Schlitz.  Too cool for school.
new fruit plate.  new heart thingie.
We also, despite our complete zig- zagging around Rockford, found that we came across the same husband/wife couple at three consecutive garage sales in three different neighborhoods.  When we saw them the last time, I mentioned that we weren’t going to map out garage sales next week; we’d just follow them around.  The wife responded by slyly grabbing up all of the cool dog toys that I didn’t see.  The husband retorted that we’d have to be willing to go to breakfast first and pay the bill in exchange for their knowledge and expertise. 
We laughed.  As the husband passed my husband on the way to the truck, he told Joe that he and his wife were going to do a little tweaking to their current garage sale schedule so that he could, and I quote, “see if he could shake us.”
I’m sure he was just kidding.  He probably just didn’t want us to get all the embroidered toilet tissue.
Game on.  See you next Saturday.
Summer…well, it just isn’t summer until you are able to burn a big, ugly 4’ round patch in your lawn.  Gee, that’s crazy…kiddie pools are 4′ and round too!  What a co-inkey dink!

It’s not enough that we had a little blue washtub filled with water for him to romp around in.  Cooper would go to the tub and put his two front legs in it and just stand there, dejectedly.  Wow, he’d say.  No dog should be allowed to have this much fun.  It just obviously wasn’t enough.



No dog should have this much fun. 



We got tired of watching him making a fool of himself and we decided together, because all of our important decisions are made together*, that we would get him a kiddie pool.
His doggy daddy and I schlepped into Menardsh (cue the tv commercial guy) and found the pool.  I tried to find the inflatable rings I saw on sale, (not for Cooper’s pool, silly, but for a future trip up North) but they were sold out. 
In the future, Menards, maybe order more $2.99 floats.  Maybe order more.
At home, hubby filled up the surprise pool with ice cold water, so that when Cooper finished swimming and came over to shake violently next to us, we could also appreciate the refreshing coldness.

Myself, I didn’t appreciate the coldness.  Mostly because I was too preoccupied that his long leash would wrap around my ankle (again) and he’d run one way and I’d fall the other, swept off my feet and staring at the sky before you could say “Damn Dog.”
We bought him outside and he knew, he just knew, that the pool was just for him.



I have a Pool!  I have a Pool!!!
$6.99 has never been better spent.  Oh, he had fun.  Buckets of fun.  He splashed.  He ran.  He drank.  He splashed some more.



Dad!  Look at my pool!





Water, water everywhere.  And yes, I think I”ll drink.



Currently he’s doing a very good impression of a big black throw rug on the living room floor… 
Now that is one happy dog.
…dreaming of chasing sticks and resting up for another big day playing in his new pool.
*I just say that. 
Get down!  Get down!  Go see Daddy!!”   (actual panicky orders I gave my black lab, trying to get him off the couch before he was spotted up there)
That was me, getting busted last week for letting the dog up on the couch.  My husband, in preparation for a trip to Florida, asked me if I wanted to go run errands with him.  I regretfully declined so that I could tweak the article I was working on.  (and had a deadline for.  I wanted to be “prompt” with my submission.)
I figured I’d have a 45 minute chunk of time to write.  I settled in on the couch, pulled my laptop onto (what else?) my lap, and began to work.
In my writing frenzy, I failed to notice (ha! No, I didn’t.) that my dog climbed up on the couch.  He’s 95 pounds and does nothing subtly.  His fur coat looks exactly like a big black blanket, so while I may have noticed him get up there, I became engrossed in writing and forgot he was there. (Ha! No, I didn’t.)
Forgot, that is, until I heard the sound of the back door opening.  Oh. My. Gosh.  Although I couldn’t see who was opening the door from my spot on the couch, from the horrified gasp I realized it was my husband.  He was back very, very early from his errands and opened the door just in time to see Cooper’s back legs hop off the couch.  Dammit.  Caught.
He looked at me while he directed his comments to the dog. 
“Cooper!  Did your mommy let you up on the couch?”  Of course, like every good wife I immediately denied knowing he was even up on the couch, but we both knew the truth.  Also because my hubby felt around on the couch until he located the very warm spot on the couch where the dog had been sitting.  (To my mind, we keep the couch cushions covered with sheets to keep them from getting dirty.  So where’s the harm?)



“what?  me, on the couch?  There’s a first time for everything…”



Also from time to time, when my husband and I are gone, that same dog is also fully allowed on the couch by one child in particular.  This one child (her name rhymes with Banana) has actually taken pictures of her doggie sitting on said couch, and then flagrantly posted them on Facebook, where her dad could see them.



Fast forward one week.   Cooper had a very sore paw for whatever reason.  (Probably because he jumped off the couch.)  He limped around feebly and made us feel very sorry for him.  My hubby couldn’t bear to see Cooper in any pain and petted him anxiously over and over.  I left Coop in my husband’s able care while I went downstairs to fold clothes. 
And came back up to find Cooper happily curled up on the couch next to my husband, who just smiled at me.
I smiled back, in complete understanding. 



(author’s note:  Cooper has made a complete recovery.  And as I write this is sitting next to me on the couch.  But don’t tell my husband.)

Our dog was invited to his first party this summer.  My daughter was going to a cookout at a friends’ house, and this friend has a big fenced in yard.  If that wasn’t exciting enough, they also have two dogs.  OMG.  Cooper was definitely in for a treat…if we let him go.
See, we were a little reserved about letting him out of our sight, mostly because our 1 ½ year old black lab has a well documented history of taking off on us to do a little adventurous sight seeing of his own.  Example:  If you accidentally open the door a sliver too wide, if you (ahem) trip over something and drop the leash writhing in pain on the lawn for all to see, if he pulls just a little too hard just a little too often on his stake and pulls it out of the ground, he’ll run like Forest Gump, looking neither right nor left. 
When he gets going, he somewhat resembles the liquid metal cop from Terminator who chases after Sarah Connor.  You can see that this could be a problem if you factor in traffic…because he’s definitely not looking both ways before crossing the street.  He’s a man on a mission.
Everyone in our family has had to run after him.  He got away from me one night.  I ran after him shrieking, cheese in one hand and baloney in another.  We finally cornered him about five blocks away.  I say we but it was actually my much faster son.  I learned two lessons that night.  The first is that I really needed to concentrate on more cardio at the gym and the second is that I could run after him with a porterhouse steak for bait and he wouldn’t stop.
My daughter let him out one night for an evening potty and he slipped out of the leash.  I should mention that she was completely ready for bed after taking a hot bath; meaning, the over the shoulder boulder holder was off for the night, the flimsy sleep shorts, t shirt, and gigantic hedgehog slippers were on.   Because she wasn’t going anywhere and no one would see her.
Or so she thought.  Cooper does not like to waste any opportunities, so he took off down the street like he was shot from a cannon.  Thinking quickly, my daughter saw no option other than to give chase…and she was furious.  You do not want to tangle with her when she’s mad.  I’ve seen kinder trapped raccoons.  So in 20 degree weather, she was forced to run after him, in her jammies, but with a grim look of determination in her eyes.  (hearing the story later, I almost felt sorry for Cooper.)  At some point, to enable better traction, she stopped and kicked off the large hedgehogs and ran in bare feet.
A marvelous tackle was made on the 40 yard line, which is about 4 blocks from our house.
I was blissfully unaware that anything had occurred until she marched him back into the house.  He didn’t seem worse for the wear but she was livid because a) her feet were freezing and b) because she was forced to run down the street in front of the neighbors without a bra to get that stupid dog.  Cooper wisely hid in our bedroom for a while before finally coming out to apologize.  (Author’s note…he didn’t sound all that sincere.)
But back to the cookout.  Suffice to say that we were reticent about letting him go anywhere in the car with anyone at that point, given his bolting history.  Daughter was insistent that she be able to take him with her to interact with other dogs.  We finally agreed.
The doggie interaction was a big success.  Many behinds were sniffed, gleeful chasing was done, and pecking orders were established.  Cooper, as the new guy, was on the bottom of that pyramid, of course.
Before they left that day to go to the cookout, I lectured Cooper to be a good boy, share the toys, and not run off, please, no running off.  He seemed to understand.
A few minutes later I hear some soft murmuring.  Following the sound down the hall, I hear my husband also lecturing Cooper.  I gently push the bedroom door open only to hear him telling Cooper, “and you better be a good boy.  And play nice.  And don’t run away.  And for goodness’ sake, if you want them to like you, don’t open your mouth too much because your bottom teeth are all crooked, and they’ll make fun of you if they see it.  I’m just saying.  I’m trying to save you from some heartache.”
Cooper was invited back to play a couple of times over the summer so he must have made a pretty good impression. 
Either that or he didn’t open his mouth much.
Dear Santa. 
I have penned several letters to you this year, all of them unanswered.  This time, I waited until my human went to bed to use the laptop.  Although you can’t read dog, I’m pretty sure you can read Times New Roman.   
Santa, I have been a very good boy this year.  I know this because my humans have told me so, over and over again, especially when I’m outside using the potty.   
Do you remember that present I asked for last year?  A new playmate?  And you bought the kitten we named Miss Whiskers?  The one that showed up with a red bow on her tiny little kitten head?   
It turns out that kittens are all cute and fluffy when you get them.  Harmless.  Tiny.  Adorable.  And then, before you know it, they turn on you. Santa, I don’t want bones or chew toys this year.  I don’t want a stuffing free animal.  (You and I both know I can tear that thing apart)  
What I would really like this year is this:  when you come to drop off the presents under the tree for my people, take that cat back with you.  Please.  That cat is a total beach.  I know this because I heard my human say, “That cat is a beach.  She never comes when I call.”  
And she is so mean!  She hisses at me constantly, tricking my owners into thinking I’m the one being naughty.  If I try to make friends and wag my tail at her, she tries to bite it.  Once I bowed to her (yes, I’ll admit I was being sarcastic) and barked, and she whapped me across the nose. What other choice did I have but to chase her throughout the house?  It got me nowhere but chained up outside for an hour.  Don’t get me wrong.  I like outside, Santa, but the cat laid on the windowsill the entire time mocking me.  It stung.  I was humiliated.   
She frames me for household crimes, too.  She unrolled the entire roll of toilet paper and left some by me while I napped.  I got blamed.  She got up on the counter and knocked down the box of dog treats on accident.  I know that mice can be a problem in the neighborhood so, Santa, I was merely keeping our home rodent free when I ate them all up.  Did they thank me?  No.  I got a newspaper swat on the rear. 
The worst thing, though, is that Miss Whiskers hides.  She hides.  And when I least expect it, she springs up from her hiding spot behind a door or whatnot and scares me half to death.  Twice now, the fright has been enough to make me piddle a little bit on the floor.  I bet you can guess who they blamed for that one too. 
As you can see, she has to go. 
Sincerely,  
Cooper (the Dog) 
PS  Sorry about the Christmas tree.  The beach knocked it over.

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  • Mary Fran Says: Thank you for contributing to Sweeps Week! We make a great team. Maybe we'll collaborate in our next lives? SISTERS! lol :)
  • Mary Fran Says: What's better than a Baby Shower aka Early Baby Birthday Party? Baby's FIRST Birthday Party! (Although it's hard to call them "baby" by one! They grow
  • Ann Jones: I'll have to check it out, thanks for the heads up!

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