Beasts Archives

February 7, 2008

The Biggest Little City aka Reno 911

This is Morty's new favorite spot while we're moving - ie, snoozing on the "dog bed" up front, right between the driver's and buddy seats. (I wonder why Tim always exclaims, "Another cat picture! Oh, good! We just don't have enough of those.")

On our way to California, we stopped in Reno, NV, where Tim grew up, to visit his family. (Any Reno 911 fans out there? Tim loves his home city. I don’t think he really gets how the show makes fun of it. Or, maybe he’s just in denial. It’s been known to happen.) Since Tim was about to go to the Big House, we treated ourselves to a fabulous steak dinner at Harrah’s Steak House. We were chatting with our waiter, Tony, and discovered that (a ahem certain number of years later) he took over Tim’s boyhood paper route at the Reno Gazette.

I got treated to tons of uproarious biggest little city humor. You know, the kind that’s just so darn cute. (Fortunately, Harrah’s has quite the extensive wine cellar.)

“Didn’t you love trying to hit Mr. Krakowski’s cat when you threw the Sunday edition?” OK. Not really, but that might have been a wee bit more interesting, at least.

It sure is a small, small bus world, though.

Reno provided one more opportunity for nostalgia. On our way out of town, we stopped for gas at Baldini’s, the very same place during the start of our bus year, where the door finally jammed for good (after opening three times at 60 mph our very first day on the road, nearly sucking me out each time) and we had to call a locksmith to open it and save our pets from the sweltering 100 degree heat. He was supposed to stop by our RV park the next day to provide us with a more permanent fix, but never did show up. When I finally called his store, I was told that he had quit.

I guess seeing a grown psychiatrist cry was too much for any man. DSCN0049%20%28Small%29.JPG

February 13, 2008

Beware Falling Moose

When Tim and I traveled the Seward Highway south of Anchorage (to get to the Kenai Peninsula) during our bus year, we were struck by the moose warning signs. It seemed to us shrinks a rather perverse twist on the notion of constructive criticism, since rather than merely warning, they also announced how many of the beasts had been hit on Alaskan roads thus far in the year.

Fortunately, we were also not struck by a moose, as this Alaska State Trooper nearly was when one fell off a cliff.

This was actually the only moose we saw on Kenai - a cow and her baby.

(And, speaking of moose, see my Feb 1 entry to win a poopin' moose - and a copy of QUEEN OF THE ROAD, of course.)

August 7, 2008

Vote For Miles!

He's up for Top Dog on Media Bistro's GalleyCat. It is the cutest picture, you must agree. Still, we'd appreciate your support. Vote here!

Here's the picture, as if you need any more incentive (and, yeah, yeah: So what if I submitted a shoe-in to GalleyCAT):


November 27, 2008

Dogs Giving Thanks

We're spending the holiday with dear friends this year, so I'd like to tell you about their very thankful dogs, Roberto and Bernie. I used to call Roberto, "The Luckiest Dog in the World" - until they got Bernie. You be the judge.



Handsome dog, no?

About five years ago, Jim and Lisa were vacationing in Mexico when Roberto, a Lab-Terrier-who knows what mix, came up to them on the beach. He was nothing but skin, bones and scabs: He was allergic to sand fleas and had scratched all his hair off. One hip was out of its socket, so his right leg was dragging. He couldn't get food because of how he looked: everyone shunned him - except Jim and Lisa. They took him to the vet, got him treatment and stayed in touch. Even the new and improved Roberto couldn't find a home, so Jim and Lisa arranged for him to fly back to the U.S. (he couldn't go unaccompanied, but they could only find someone to take him part of the way, so Lisa drove hours to meet him, where they stayed a night in a hotel before driving back) and adopted him. (If anyone calls immigration on them, you'll answer to me!)

Roberto quickly became the leader of their pack of four dogs (the two cats, not so much). And, I quickly discovered you can take the dog out of Latin America, but you can't take the Latin out of the dog. He has this way of sitting in front of you, flopping his head back and looking at you with those big, brown eyes that make you want to... well, buy him a plane ticket and run away with him. Perhaps that's why, when not calling him "The Luckiest Dog in the World," I call him, "The DILF."


You've probably gotten the impression by now that Jim and Lisa are softies when it comes to animals. It's no wonder, then, that they've volunteered for years at Best Friends as well as their local Humane Society. The latter is where they met Bernie.


Two years ago, Jim had seen Bernie, a Chow mix, come and go over several months. When Bernie came back to the Humane Society for the fourth time, the staff said he was now considered unadoptable: he jumped fences and tore up houses when left alone during the day. They were told by management to euthanize him - immediately. But, the staff knew he was a sweetheart of a dog who had simply never been taught proper manners and refused to put him down. They just weren't sure how long they could hold out. So, Jim asked if he could foster Bernie, to train him and turn him into an adoptable dog. It took months of painstaking work at home and on leash for hours every day. Jim fully intended this to be a temporary arrangement - at the time he and Lisa had Roberto and another large dog, as well as a cat. But, when no one stepped forward to give Bernie a fifth try, he stayed in the home he'd already found. (Which, seeing him with Jim and Lisa during the "foster care" stage, Tim and I figured would be the outcome.)

Bernie is a sweetheart of a dog, curious like a cat. He loves staring out the window, watching the world go by, pondering perhaps, on how lucky he is.

Maybe it's not quite a daring, cross-border rescue, or a last minute stay of execution, but what are you thankful for?

October 24, 2009

Bear 1, Project Nerd 1 (Talk About Fatal Attraction!)

Dear Cindy Bear,

As Yogi's girlfriend, you were always so prim and proper. What happened? Fine. I suppose I shouldn't have told you and yours to "bring it on," after the tear-the-shed-door-off-its-hinges incident. For that, I am truly sorry.

When Tim and I heard a rustling outside our bedroom last night, little did we know you and your two cubs (they're Yogi's, right? They look just like him) were trying to get into the garage.


Tim says this is going to be much harder to fix than the shed door, because of all the raking and chewing you did. How about just knocking next time?

I'm also very sorry we scared you when we opened the bedroom door, screaming and banging, trying to get you to stop. We won't bother you, again. The noise you made very clearly illustrated how much you value your privacy.

That's why we were surprised when you returned 30 minutes later.

Tim, deciding you're no average bear, said we should store our garbage in the furnace room in the basement, but I was afraid you'd take that as an invitation to enter the house. No offense, but after what happened between Yogi and me, I just don't trust you around my husband. So, I did some research and feel it's only fair to warn you that we're placing ammonia-soaked pick-a-nick baskets in some of your favorite spots this evening. Please don't get mad, again. It's just that... we kinda like our doors. Seems you do, too. (Did you know our neighbors have even nicer, tastier ones? Promise! I wouldn't lie to my all-time, absolute favorite cartoon character.)

Speaking of Yogi, this isn't a jealousy thing, is it Cindy? Look, I know while at Jellystone, I slipped away from Tim whenever I could, so Yogi and I could be together...


But, Yogi loves YOU. It was just a fling. I don't mean anything to him. Tim's gotten over it. Why can't you? What do you want from me, already? (In addition to my doors.) I'm also sorry I posted this:


I didn't mean to rub your impressive nose in my muzzling in on your den. I'll make a deal with you: I'll destroy the picture, if you leave me, mine and our doors alone. I'll just have the memories. (And, what memories they are!)

If it makes you feel better, you should know that back then, I was two-timing Yogi with my own beast at the park:


On the bright side, this entire episode finally provided an answer to something that's been puzzling me: Why we're seeing so many more critters of every stripe and spot this year than we ever have before. Well, after researching how to disuade you from coming around, I realized that this is the first fall we've spent at the house since Miles died two years ago. He used to pee all over the yard. Ammonia. Who knew he was a working dog?

Or, that you'd be afraid of poodle pee.

Wishing you a restful - and long - hibernation,

PS - You carry those extra pounds you're having to pack on this time of year quite well.

April 17, 2010



Morty checking out the Halibut Capital of the World - Homer, AK.

Two years today and I still miss him terribly. I guess you can't sleep entwined with a being for 19 years and not miss him when he's gone.

I had a dream about him and Shula (it's been over 3 years for her) last night: Both of them just suddenly appeared, looking exactly like they had, behaving exactly as they had. Tim acted as if nothing was strange. In the dream, I asked him how this could be possible. He said, "We wanted them to come back to us so much, they did." I was still skeptical until Morty pooped on the carpet. Then, I knew for sure it was him. Yup. That's my Morty-Pie.

Why wasn't Miles the super poodle in the dream? Well, living in Boulder all these years, I can't get away from some reincarnation theory - what do you want from me? The cats definitely still have stuff to work out in subsequent lives. They'll be coming back for sure - probably many, many times. The poodle? What's not to like? He has achieved the perfect State of Poo - an enlightened being. No need to come back here, anymore.


I was reminiscing with my cousin, Doug, about our dearly departed pets. He reminded me about the cat from his childhood, Lucifer.

Doug worked part-time at an animal shelter, so all of their four dogs and four cats came from there. Usually, they were deemed "unadoptable" and about to be put down. They assumed Lucifer got his name because he was all black, but Doug's family would find out just how precient the name would prove.

As sweet as he was with people, he had to be the alpha animal with all other species. He got into so many cat fights, Doug finally learned how to treat most of his wounds at home. But, "Lucy" was so smart, brilliant in fact, he would let Doug do anything he wanted to tend to the wounds, without any protest. Here's another example of how smart he was, from Doug:

I could never get over how one day, while I was brushing my teeth, he came into the bathroom and jumped into the empty bathtub, which he never did. When I looked to see what he was doing, I saw that he was sitting directly on top of the drain and peeing. I was so shocked. I didn't reprimand him at all, only marveled at what he was doing. Every drop went right down the drain. Sure enough, when I walked into the kitchen, I noticed that someone had accidentally closed the basement door completely so he couldn't get to his litter box. To this day, I can hardly believe the ingenuity on his part in figuring out what the next best option was.

And, this one:

Our next-door neighbor didn't have a fenced-in yard and they had a miniature poodle. So they strung a clothesline from their house all the way to a tree at the back of their yard. From the line, they hung a long leash so that the dog could travel all along the clothesline route and as far around as the leash would reach. Well, wouldn't you know, that bastard cat figured out exactly how far the leash could reach. I caught him one day entering the yard and flopping onto the ground. Then he began rolling back and forth on his back until the dog finally noticed him. The poor pooch went running at top speed from the other end of the yard and, sure enough, just as he got literally within no more than three feet of Lucifer, he reached the end of the line, so to speak, at full speed, and got snapped up and over onto his back with quite some force. The best part was, Lucy was so certain of his measurements, he never even flinched. If he could have, I'm sure he would have chuckled. He definitely enjoyed himself.

Favorite pet stories, anyone?

May 2, 2010

Fox News Update

As the weather improves, I started wondering when we might see our fox family again. Looking through all my pictures from last year, I realized I'd meant to post these, too.

So, without further ado:












We were eating outside one evening, and guess who thought he was coming to dinner?



Maybe he mistook me for his adoptive leopard mom.

We had just gotten new carpet and the installers left the remnant rolled up right outside our bedroom. One night, I awakened to thump, thump... scatter, scatter. Thump, thump, thump... scatter, scatter, scatter. I got up to investigate and this is what I saw:



They were chasing each other into and through the rolled up carpet.

Tim and I have been debating about the whole ammonia thing. The bears are ending their hibernation and coming down from their caves in the mountain. It was a real chore to get our garage door fixed, so I thought we should put the ammonia soaked rags on top of our garaged garbage bins, again. Tim says since it's been so wet, there'll be plenty of berries around for them and they won't need to break into anything. But, wouldn't it be nice not to have piles of bear scat in our driveway? He had to concede I had a point. So sorry, Yogi. Ammonia it is.

But, what about the fox in the backyard? Tim's the one (what do you want from me?) who has to clean all their poop. We could put some ammonia under the deck to dissuade them from using it as a den again. On that decision therefore, I deferred to my husband who said, "Oh, but we enjoy them so much. What's a little poop?"

I guess we'll see if momma fox thought the accommodations at our humble abode were good enough for her. Judging by how she seemed to take ownership, I'm thinking, yeah.


This was taken after Tim and I walked home from downtown. It was eerie indeed to come up to our driveway at dusk and see her, pretending she's queen of all she surveys, on our garage.

There can only be one queen of this road, toots.

Taking the "Fox Xing" sign a neighbor put up, literally:


At least she's looking both ways before she crosses.

If last year is any indication, the little ones should arrive in about two weeks. I've seen a couple of adults in the yard (neither of whom looked preggers), but since it only takes two...

Yes, I know this is wild speculation, but that's what we do here on the Fox News Update. We report, you decide.

September 9, 2010

Hey, Boo Boo!

We had an unexpected visitor last night who made himself quite at home, got himself something to munch on, admired the view and promptly ensured that Tim would have to clean up the yard:









We called Division of Wildlife, as we knew they were looking for a certain cub who could not survive without its mother. Two officers came out (and yes, since I knew they were coming this time, I got dressed. Geez). and thought this one was older, likely about a year, so they just let it be.

You all know how I loathe camping and the out of doors. I consider myself the Boulder Anti-Christ for that reason. As I've said before, I have nothing against nature - I just prefer it through a window. I mean, between seeing fox, more fox, raccoons, a mountain lion and bears in my backyard - in the city limits - do I really need to go outside? Well, OK. There is the whole getting the mail thing. Although with all these critters around, that may well be on hold for awhile, too.

On a more serious note: Any Boulderites heard if the Four Mile Canyon Fire means wildlife is doing their own "mandatory evacuation" into town?

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About Beasts

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to What Do You Want From Me? by Doreen Orion in the Beasts category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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