In which animal services might need to be phoned

There's this company that I have wanted to call me for weeks, and just a few minutes ago I had a giant piece of chicken in my mouth and the phone rang. I thought, "Oh, this'll be the time that company will be calling." Sure enough. Guess who it was. I had to spit the half-chewed piece into a bowl and be all "Hellooo?" like I was Grace Kelly.

Anyway, I think I have an interview; they have to discuss my exorbinant salary requirements first.

In other news, Tallulah is annoying.

One thing you cannot say about this beast is she is not a flibbertyjibbet. She has laser focus when she wants to have it, and it makes you want to set yourself on fire.

Yesterday she went to dog day care all day, because my friend Laurie came over to help me paint that hutch, which has now taken more time than was given to the Sistine Chapel. Both dogs have paint on their ears now from my many projects, and I was thinking the fumes can't be helping their already questionable brain cells, plus I didn't want them underfoot.

So after a full day playing with many many dogs, including a Boxer who was literally leaping several feet above the crowd all day, Tallulah came home and had a lovely dinner that included a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil and I wish I were making that up. I read somewhere it helps with one's coat if one is a dog.

Then she and Edsel went out 817 times as they had requested and at about 8 p.m. I got me some grape juice and set about taking that RIDICULOUS copyediting test that I have been working on for two days now, and it is the hardest thing you have ever seen, even harder than painting the Sistine Chapel, or that hutch.

Here is what Edsel did.

Because Edsel makes sense. Let's see, I played all day, I ate, I peed. Guess I'll take my gangly self and sleep.

Here is what Tallulah did.

She sat two inches from me and stared. Occasionally she would say, "MMMMM!"

"What's the matter, honey?" I asked, knowing NOTHING COULD BE THE MATTER WITH THIS IRKSOME IRKSOME CREATURE. I thought maybe her mind was unstimulated, so I shook paws with her, and we did a down, and we did a turn around, and I commenced my test.


Three minutes later, here is her annoying self. With her focus, Tallulah would have made an excellent proofreader, really, had, say, squirrel's butts needed proofing.

(Now I am reminded of a story, which has nothing at all to do with Tallulah staring at me. I know I am extra extra super crunchy and irritating.

My grandmother had a squirrel in her basement, and every other man in my family must have been out at a spitting contest or some similar manly activity, because she called my Uncle Leo to come get the squirrel. Uncle Leo married into the family, and we all immediately took to my Uncle Leo, as he rocks the house, but he rocks the House of Pancakes more than he does the House of Manliness. Now I just made him sound fat, when in fact he is quite lanky.

At any rate, all of my grandmother's sons and brothers and her husband were the kind of men who were really athletic and sort of no-nonsense and who would have gone downstairs and come up with the squirrel head in their teeth, spit it onto a plaque and made a mount for Gramma in under five minutes. Uncle Leo was not that kind of guy. He likes history and Mark Twain and other boring things.

It would've never occurred to Gramma to call a woman, but really Aunt Sue would have grabbed that squirrel by the scruff and had it out of there quicker than any of the men.

So Uncle Leo gets over there and Gramma hands him a broom, because I guess he was supposed to sweep it into submission, and we hear him in the basement crashing around for awhile. He came back up looking sheepish.

"Did you get it?" Gramma asked doubtfully.

Uncle Leo shook his head. "Aw, nuts," he said.

You could tell he thought he was hilarious with this line, and because I was 11 and thought everything was hilarious, I started to giggle, which made him throw back his head and laugh like a hyeana, and soon we were falling all over ourselves laughing at the stupid "Aw, nuts" line like it was the best thing anyone ever said.

Gramma, who just wanted to stop doing her laundry accompanied by a squirrel as though she were Cinderella, and who did not see the humor in EITHER of us, grabbed the broom.

"Son of a BITCH," she said delicately, stomping down the stairs. "I have to do EVERYTHING myself."

Which just made us pee ourselves more, which Gramma probably also had to clean up. Poor Gramma.

If I look back on my life, I can think of at least 10 times Uncle Leo and I have gone into hysterics and the other people in the room just wished we'd shut the hell up. Remind me of the time we broke my mother's vacuum cleaner.)



Imagine how long she stared at me before I got my camera phone out.

"nok nok"

"Who's there, Lu?"


Honestly, it's like she's trying to get me to begin screaming, then put on a Mr. Peanut outfit and run through my neighborhood singing Up Where We Belong in Latin, then come home and pop out her staring staring eyes with melon ballers and place tiny votive candles in the empty sockets and put her head outside as a cheerful St. Patrick's Day dog-o-lantern.

As you do.

That is her plan. I know it.

So I decided to mess with her.

I thought maybe that moment would be a good time to check her oral hygiene.

"'is not 'unny."

Also, in dog shows, they're always lifting the dog's tail and checking the buttal region.


Also, I contemplated what Lu might look like with an eyebrow lift.

"Not reel howsewife! STOP!"

And gee. Guess who decided staring at mom until she became Mr. Peanut might not be the most stellar plan after all.

"Lu look at time. When it get so late?… Aw, nuts."


81 thoughts on “In which animal services might need to be phoned

  1. Okay, I just got a tissue out to dab my tear-filled eyes as knowing your Uncle Leo and the circumstances, was I finding the Aw, nuts comment equally as funny??! As was Gramma’s response to said comment!


  2. I’ve always gathered from your description that the children are happy and they do love their dogs. The tennis ball on the cross proved it yet again.
    Plus, I’d hate to see June in jail for puppy stealing.


  3. Anita,all dogs need their shots, but the inside/outside thing is really a personal perspective for dog owners. Some dogs really WILL be okay outdoors (and some do better that way), but in most cases, pets are socialized enough to want to live inside with their families for the better part of their days and nights. I am just hoping that June has dramatized this particular family’s mentality for us. Otherwise…STEALING is in the picture!


  4. Anita, toe heads, bahaha! I share your concern for the pup, though, based on the feeling I got from Junie’s post. Are the kids gentle enough with a pup? Is he getting his puppy vaccines? Are they feeding him what a puppy needs? Does June need to STEAL him?


  5. I laughed so loud Chloe startled. Then she went back to snoozing. Thank goodness, because when she’s awake she doesn’t just do the Stare of Urgency, she does the Wonder-What-This-Key-Does paws on the keyboard trick. My friends are constantly getting half finished emails… Great great great post – up there with the Lulah escapes post.


  6. Julie who saw a lady walking her collie carrying a baby doll and peed herself laughing all the way home, chanting Timmy was in the well....

    Wait – Laurie in TN is on to something! Have you checked the well? TIMMY IS IN THE WELL AND YOU WERE TOO BUSY TO NOTICE! TIMMY IS IN THE WELL!! Hurry..


  7. Oh my goodness! My husband thinks I’ve lost it for sure. I’m just cracking up over here and how do you explain this post? The entire post is hilarious. I suppose you and Uncle Leo were laughing so hard you never knew that Gramma killed the squirrel.
    I thought your friend was going to post photos of the new puppy.


  8. Siren–after all the times you have said “I guess I can scratch ??? off my list of potential careers…” now you have the answer!
    And June–I’m sure you get tired of hearing it (?) but you are truly so funny. I love to read your posts. (I too read to my out of town husband over the phone. He thinks you are funny too. He also wants you to kidnap that puppy for its own protection!)


  9. What time do the kids get out of school tomorrow? If you see them call me and I’ll get some pics of you and Goldilocks. Otherwise it’d just be pics taken through the fence. You’re worried that THEY might think you’re nuts, seriously?!?!


  10. Another laugh-out-loud gift from June! Thank you! I especially needed that today (and enjoy it EVERY day).


  11. I think Laurie in TN guessed it. Lu wanted the pillow. My Tessa is such a tattle tale and she will do the staredown if a cat is in her bed.
    Wish dogs could talk. Or not. Actually, the not talking is pretty nice. Reminds me of the scene in Portlandia where a dog has been left tied up outside a restaurant. One of the characters is freaking out because, hey, “…there’s an animal tied to that pole and I’m pretty sure it wasn’t born there.” Anyway, he says, “If that dog could talk, he would say, ‘rouff’ and, ‘rouff, rrrrrouff.'”


  12. “Son of a BITCH,” she said delicately, stomping down the stairs. “I have to do EVERYTHING myself.”
    I had to stop there because when I sat down to read I had to pee badly and I laughed and laughed until I thought I might wet myself. Almost every time I swear I announce “I’m a lady”. Thanks for the giggles.


  13. I think Tallulah is one of those seizure-sniffing dogs. Only she’s a fibroid-sniffing dog and will continue to hound (bah!) you until you get it removed.


  14. Congrats on hearing from the desired co. and good luck as things go forward!!!
    I was dying at the squirrel story, too funny!
    Lu wanted something and you never figured out what she wanted. She was pulling a Lassie.
    Maybe she just wanted the pillow Edsel was snoozing on.


  15. Mr Peanut is awfully lazy, you know, in his last commercial he was totally letting the little guy up front do all of the work on the bicycle built for 2. Maybe he can blame it on the shin splints but I don’t know…
    “Not Reel Howsewife” slayed me! Giggling fit ensues.


  16. I wish you could see me right now. I am too lazy and busy writing to go find my phone and snap a picture, but I have one dog stretched across my feet. The other dog is on her back, as usual, with her paws almost in my face. Both dogs are being cooperative in their coma like states. And then there’s Sophie who is not on the bed with us, but constantly coming over and standing up her back paws and pawing my laptop with her big paws until I do nothing but pet her.
    Love those pictures of the expectant Lu and especially love those pics of Edsel’s Big Apple ears.


  17. “would have gone downstairs and come up with the squirrel head in their teeth, spit it onto a plaque and made a mount for Gramma in under five minutes.”


  18. Such cute pictures of the dogs! And the bottom picture where Talu hauled her rear end up on the couch/bed to get away from crazy lady made me laugh. Love that floor lamp in the corner by the way.
    Sometimes I think my crazy dogs stare at me and are thinking in their head, “What’s she doing? What’s she doing now? Now what’s she doing?” Allll day looong. Ahhh, to have the life of dogs of leisure. My old beagle with dimentia now not only stares but can bark while never waivering his gaze; it’s a little Cujo-spooky-like.
    Every kid should have an uncle like Uncle Leo, what a riot!


  19. Its the playing with boxers. My two, sleep all day and around 8pm decide its time for fun and games. Talu was given that secret.


  20. Its the playing with boxers. My two, sleep all day and around 8pm decide its time for fun and games. Talu was given that secret.


  21. Its the playing with boxers. My two, sleep all day and around 8pm decide its time for fun and games. Talu was given that secret.


  22. Good luck getting the job June! Also hope you get your copyediting test done as soon as you can.
    How the hell do you get rid of squirrels with a broom? With anything? I had one living in my attic for two full years and three teams of experts failed to clear him out. I put up with 3am scritchings and the constant fear of an electrical disaster with that fuzzy tyrant living there.


  23. Classic June. Totally killed me dead. I even made my husband who is out of town listen to me read it to him on the phone. MMMMMM, nok nok, so I messed with her…and the pictures! Could Gramma come over and clean up after me? My fuzzy little white guy with the huge round black eyes can bring you to your knees in minutes. A chewy or a crunchie usually does the trick. I think evening is lie around with the pack and chew on the bones time. If we don’t want any bones it’s not his problem. Makes the same MMMMM sound.
    Hope being all Grace Kelly gets you the job.


  24. Love the chronology of the photos! Lu is already starting to look drowsy in the last couple of MMMMM shots, which is probably why she let you maul her. I looovvve her big head.
    And I hope the cool new company is willing to meet your *exorbinant* salary requirements.


  25. Is the interview for freelance work or for go to their place of employment work? Good luck either way.
    Clearly Lu was trying to tell you something. When you figure it out, let me know because mine are trying to tell me the same thing.
    Lu has beautiful teeth!


  26. Oh and our Leia will do the same thing….she’s a lab. It’s in their blood. To be annoying, I mean. Loveable but can drive you nuts. Oh nuts.


  27. Oops, I AM a rushy reader. Even the second time around I have to do a search for “grape” to find it. Some copy editor I would be.


  28. I have a degree in history and am related to Mark Twain.


  29. I have a degree in history and am related to Mark Twain.


  30. I have a degree in history and am related to Mark Twain.


  31. Radley does the same ding-dang thing to me all. the. time. Even when there are two other perfectly capable people in the room and he’s been out and he’s had treats and he’s been fed and he’s been played with … He comes over, sits down, stares holes in my face and emits the occasional groan. Leans against my foot. Leans against foot some more. Bows head to lean ear against foot. At this point, I usually get all irritated, throw down my mahjong or book or work or whatever, and tell him, “Crate!” Cue the mournful look, but he goes.
    For, oh, five minutes. Then it starts all over again. Sigh.


  32. I think Gramma was raised to think men should be called first. But obviously she could handle it. Also too, for those of you who are Facebook friends with Tamra Baarney from Real Housewives, she is thinking of cutting her hair. You may want to get over to FB. I wish I had one of those Emergency Broadcast sirens on here.


  33. I love how your Gramma was perfectly willing to tackle the squirrel issue herself after Uncle Leo’s failed attempt. Why didn’t she just do that in the first place?
    Your description of Gramma doing laundry accompanied by a squirrel a la Cinderella cracked me up. Also funny? Imagining the look on the sweet animated woodland creatures’ faces upon hearing Gramma cuss as she grabbed the broom and came after them.


  34. Tallulah has decided her job is to protect you and she is excellent at it. Consider she must have been exhausted with the play, pee, eat day that she had, but still did not shirk her responsibilities.


  35. The whole squirrel story I was thinking that I would also be the one to call to take care of it. I don’t know how I got to be this get-er-done gal, but I guess I am.
    Love the Lu “MMMMMM” pictures. She a good girl. She simply missed her momma yesterday all day! You are her person! That’s what they do!
    PS – we need pictures of the hutch and Goldilocks. K?


  36. Working from home today – my cats are doing the same stare down. Like I work at home for the pleasure of them. (Am I really the first comment??)


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