Category Archives: Animals

National Dog Day – Porkchop and Leo

It’s National Dog Day, and since even I have to take an occasional break from Dragon Month, I’ve teamed up with the good folks at Dropcam to talk about what kind of PUPtectors I have.


First up is Porkchop.  You’ve seen him here before.

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Porky is my fuzzy shadow.  When I’m working, he’s under my desk chair.  When I’m cooking, he squeezes himself between my feet and the stove.  You can always count on Porkchop to be in the middle of the action.

When you have dogs and daughters, a puggle with fairy wings is inevitable.

When you have dogs and daughters, a puggle with fairy wings is inevitable.

Porkchop’s PUPtector personality is the Barking Buzzer.  He will bark any time he has the opportunity.  There’s the obvious stuff, of course, like barking at the mailman or when someone knocks on the door.  But there’s also a bark for every car that goes down our road, a doorbell on TV, the evil yellow school bus that picks up the kids in the morning, or random noises from the mischievous cats.  Yesterday morning the garbage truck came by, and he actually barked with his mouth full.  Too cute.

My other sweet pooch is Leo.

Leo loves his girl!

Leo loves his girl!

He might not look like it from this picture, but Leo is definitely The Bouncer.  He barks at the normal things, like the mailman, and howls mournfully when he hears a siren, but otherwise he’s the strong and silent type.  Leo lets me know what he thinks of people, and I’ve always trusted his opinion.  If Leo doesn’t like you, I don’t like you.  At one point, I was staying in an iffy section of town, and Leo scared off a would-be intruder with his massive bark.  He might be getting up there in his years, and only have three legs, but I always feel safe if Leo is around.

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Happy National Dog Day!  Remember there are many dogs waiting in shelters for your love and attention, so don’t contribute to puppy mills.  Those of you here in Southern Illinois, be sure to visit P.A.W.S. for your next furbaby, and to check out Leo’s modeling debut.

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Filed under Animals, Holidays

Top Tips for Writing

It’s difficult to get all my work done sometimes.  There are so many distractions.  I need to be on my computer a significant part of the day if I’m actually going to have a successful freelancing business, but somehow I find myself outside weeding the garden or playing a rousing round of Go Fish with the kids.  I’m getting a little better at focusing, though, so here are my


6. Rig up some sort of system that will send you some nasty electric shocks every time you wander off to Facebook.

5. Encourage your spouse to play video games.  Then you won’t feel guilty about not spending time with him/her. Plus he/she will lose track of just how much time you’ve spent on that computer today.

4. Wear a hoodie, so you can put snacks and candy in the pockets.

3.  Wear earbuds.  These will deter people who may try talking to you, as well as drown out the sound of the kids watching the same episode of Phineas and Ferb for the umpteenth time.  Also very effective for pretending you didn’t hear, “Honey, what’s for dinner?”

2.  Get super comfortable.  My dad’s rule when I worked for him as a kid was to always get comfortable first, and I still abide by this.  The more comfortable you are, the less likely you’ll be to get up and run just one more load of laundry.

1.  Get a cat, and make sure it’s on your lap.  This kind of goes along with “get super comfortable”, because when you have a cat on your lap you can’t get up.  That’s the rule.  Really.  Just ask the cat.


And yes, I was supposed to be writing when I made this.


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Filed under Animals, Family, On Writing, Work

He Doesn’t Bite

My adorable puggle Porkchop is a pretty awesome little dog.  He was abandoned at a foreclosed home by his previous family, and has been ever so grateful that I rescued him.  He plays with the kids and snuggles with us on the couch.  He lays so close to the fireplace in the wintertime that his harness gets hot.  He once curled up on my client’s feet and fell asleep, snoring and all.  And he is also very protective of his territory.

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Like most dogs, he barks when someone knocks on the door.  He also barks anytime a car drives down the street we live on, when the neighbor’s cat stalks the field on the other side of the street, and when a doorbell rings on TV.  (This always cracks me up a little since we don’t have a doorbell.)  But he absolutely loses his mind when the mailman comes.  Our mailbox is out by the street, so he usually gets to go ballistic through the window at the mail truck, but the other day we had a package that wouldn’t fit in the mailbox.  And so the mailman came to the door.

Porkchop was insane with benign fury when he saw the postal worker at the storm door.  I tried to open the door to get the package with one hand  and keep him inside with the other hand, but to no avail.  He escaped onto the porch and attacked the mailman…by ferociously sniffing his pantleg.  The mailman, who surely dealt with angry mutts on a daily basis, just laughed, but my immediate reaction was to say, “He doesn’t bite.”

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And he didn’t.  But I found myself thinking about it later.  What an idiot I would make of myself if as those words left my lips just as Porkchop wrapped his around someone’s ankle?  I can’t even imagine what the series of events might be.  Would it be just like on the Wizard of Oz?  “I’ll get you my pretty, and your little dog, too!”  I can promise you I would gladly run off to Oz to save one of my pets, but I realized that at the very least I need to rephrase my repertoire of oh-crap-the-dog-got-out phrases:

“He hasn’t bitten anybody, yet.”

“He only bites people that are a threat.”

“He won’t bite…unless I tell him to.”

I jest, but seriously I’ve put so much trust in my four-legged friend who has no knowledge of how the American legal system works or what could happen to him if he decided to become the guard dog he thinks he is in his head.  So it’s just a little food for thought for my fellow dog lovers out there.


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Filed under Animals, Family