Shenanigans and Tom, Destroyers of Worlds

I have two dogs. They are named Shenanigans and Tom Foolery. Shenanigans is mostly black, Tom is mostly grey. Their mother, Angel, was a stray who spent a couple of years living in the barn of a friend. Angel looked like a Great Pyrenees, rough coated Collie mix, and I think that’s what she was. Angel, and her puppies, have the Pyrenees polydactylism. (aka, extra toes.) Their father was a purebred Australian Blue Heeler. So, what do you get when you mix Blue Heeler, Collie, and a Great Pyrenees? This.
Tom Foolery and Shenanigans, front view.


Shenanigans and Tom Foolery, side view.


You may be thinking to yourself, these aren’t very good photos. Don’t you fancy yourself some kind of amateur photographer? Didn’t you used to take pictures for a living? Is this the best you can do? The answers are yes, yes, and yes. It’s the best I can do because whenever I bust out the camera, they start playing a game Evan and I have dubbed, Call of the Wild. Likeaso:


Call of the Wild often looks like this.


But more often it looks like this. Note who is in the lead (Shenanigans).


It goes without saying that people who love their children and/or pets will often see them in an overly favorable light. They think their child is the best/smartest/kindest/most creative/whatever. I’m no different. Except for one thing – I am actually right when I say that Shenanigans is the most athletic dog on the planet. She’s a true all-rounder, like Barry Bonds before the steroids. She can jump and she can run blazingly fast, but where she really reaches a supernatural level of ability is in her reflexes.

I submit as proof: one dead woodchuck, two dead rabbits, two dead field rats, countless dead squirrels and a handful of robins. ROBINS. Like, animals that can FLY AWAY. And these are all just animals who have happened to wander into the backyard. Essentially, if you cross into Shenanigans’ quarter acre piece of earth, you’re not likely to leave. And those are just the dead animals I know about it. Here’s the other thing about my dogs. They don’t just kill. They eat what they kill. All of the above are just the ones I managed to get a hold of before they finished them.

While Shenanigans is the star athlete of the two, Tom is the brains of the operation. (It’s very Pinky and The Brain, now that I’ve stopped to think about it. Shenanigans even drives Tom stark raving mad on a regular basis.) I submit this story as proof of Tom’s intelligence. On one blazingly hot August afternoon, I go outside to see what Evan’s doing in the shed. Shenanigans runs up, but not Tom. I instantly know something’s amiss, because this is literally the first time in three years that Tom hasn’t come running up to greet me. I ask Evan where Tom is. He says under the fig tree, because it’s so hot. “It’s not because it’s hot,” I say, “it’s because he’s got something dead under there.”

I call Tom and he’ll only come halfway to me. Tom is All Caps OBEDIENT, so now I’m certain he’s got something dead under there. Besides, he’s wiggling all over the place while saying, “Oh my gosh! Hi, so good to see you! Ha ha ha! Yeah, nothing to see under here! Nope, nothing! Ha ha ha! Nothing to look at here! No need to look! Ha ha ha!” I go in, expecting a squirrel. I find a woodchuck. Tom looks at it lovingly, and then turns to me. “Isn’t it the most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen?” Tom asks. “Yes, Tom,” I say. “It’s beautiful.”

I put Tom and Shenanigans into their kennel, where they both view the following: I disappear into the house. Come back with a black plastic bag. Disappear into the fig tree. Come out with a full plastic bag. Disappear to the side of the house. Return with no black plastic bag. I then set the dogs free.

Shenanigans runs straight to the tree. She will search it an additional 147 times over the course of the day. Tom goes straight to the deck, flops down, and enters into a depression. He never looked for that woodchuck. He knew it was gone.

What prompted this post was the murder of yet another rabbit last night. I went outside, found Tom on the deck. Shenanigans did not come running up. I know something is amiss. And then Tom starts in with the nervous laughter. “Ha ha ha! Good to see you! Good to see you! Ha ha ha! I haven’t done anything, just so you know. I’ve been on the deck the whole time. I didn’t do anything! Ha ha ha!” I look out in the darkness. The only thing I can see of Shenanigans is her white tail tip wagging. I flip on the floodlights. She has a rabbit. A really beautiful one, too. I’ve rarely seen such a large wild rabbit. I almost wondered if it was a domestic, and whether I’d find “Lost: Pet Rabbit” signs up around the neighborhood.

Shenanigans mournfully watches me bag up the partially eaten rabbit. When Tom comes too close she growls like she means it. This is HER good-bye moment. Not his.

Remarkably, as bloodthirsty as my dogs are, they are incredibly wonderful cat babysitters. They love our cats with a devotion that’s so sweet it’s almost sad. They have the herding blood in them deep, and pretty much the only time I can get a photo of Shenanigans that isn’t blurry is when she’s at watch over her flock of cats.


Shenanigans, purebred American Catherder.


Tom likes the cats just fine, but Shenanigans worships them, with a keen maternal instinct. She knows it is of utmost importance that they never get near the road, and she endeavors to keep them out of the front yard. The other day, Spooky bolted the length of the backyard, headed for the front. A young cat in their prime can move astonishingly fast, and she had the jump on Shenanigans. Shenanigans set after her, looking for all the world like a wild dog in Africa about to take down a gazelle. I tensed, wondering if I was about to watch the horrific murder of my beloved pet by my other beloved pet. Shenanigans caught up with Spooky and in a haze of dust, came to sliding stop immediately in front of her, making a roadblock of her own body. Spooky collided with her, and then clutched the ground. Shenanigans wagged her tail and nuzzled Spooky. I could practically hear her say, “Don’t go out there, little miss! It’s dangerous! Now go on inside, and let mommy disembowel some more rodents.”

Quote of the Day!

Frequently, whilst out with friends, I will declare something the “Quote of the Night.” As we’ve not yet reached night today, I don’t know if the night will have a Quote of the Day, but the afternoon definitely did.

Many of you know that I act as driver to one Ursula M. Flower, aged 89, to her doctor appointments, occasionally to the grocery store, and also to CVS, that latter location about 52 times a week. I know the CVS well, my friends.

Ursula, who insists that I call her Grandma, and who, thanks to her shortness, everyone simply assumes is my Grandma, is a regimented woman. She eats the same salad every day – iceberg lettuce/roma tomato/hothouse cucumber with cucumber ranch dressing. She also drinks 4 oz of red wine every evening, strictly for medicinal purposes, doncha know. And once every so often, she likes a Mich Ultra. I guess she digs those rollerblading-at-lunch commercials.

Once, when coming out of surgery, the nurse told her she could have no alcohol for twenty-four hours. Ursula complained bitterly. The nurse thought she was joking. I was like, “Nope, girlfriend likes her evening wine.” It was great seeing the surprise on the nurse’s face. Ursula quickly, and vehemently, insisted that it was STRICTLY FOR MEDICINAL PURPOSES ONLY. IT’S ONLY FOUR OUNCES. IT’S GOOD FOR YOUR HEART. GOSH. EVERYONE KNOWS THAT.

Anyway. Today, I set off to Grandma’s house, such that I might take her to the chiropractor. I called her, to let her know I was on my way. It was then that we had the following conversation:

Holla! Me and Grandma Ursula at the liquor store, getting me a liquor!

URSULA: After going to Jason’s, could you take me to the liquor store? (NOTE: The chiropractor’s name is Jason Robeson. I call him Dr. Robeson. Ursula calls him Jason. Presumably because she’s 89.)

ME: (?!?) Sure, Grandma – what for?

URSULA: I’m going to go visit my friend, and she likes sherry, so I want to bring her some sherry.

ME: Sure, Grandma, that’s no problem.

URSULA: I thought maybe I’d get myself some gin, too. Maybe even some vodka.

ME: (?!?!?!?!?!?!?) Sounds good!

URSULA: Are you sure that’s okay? Are you sure you have time?

ME: Of course! It’s no problem!

URSULA: Okay, well, if you take me to the liquor store, I’ll get you a liquor.

ME: (Brain explodes with joy) HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! THAT’S A DEAL, GRANDMA!!!!

If you take me to the liquor store, I will get you a liquor.

You can’t make that up, ladies and gentlemen. That’s pure, distilled joy, in word form, right there.

For the record, I picked out a bottle of white wine on sale. 8 bucks, normally 12. Quite a fine tip, if I do say so myself. Although – and this is a true story – after the chiropractor and the liquor store, she did say, “Oh, and can you take me to CVS?” I, of course, gladly drove her to the CVS. I really want my own private room there, with a cot. That would improve my quality of life significantly.

In the meantime, I am compensated by such things as eight dollar bottles of pinot, and the sentence, “If you take me to the liquor store, I will buy you a liquor.”

Important Correction

Some of you may remember this post wherein my husband said some things I found to be incomprehensible. Namely, he’d had a run of horrible pain/congestion/pressure inside of his head. Like, his head was broken.

So, he gets a CAT scan of his head, and they tell him, “It’s because of your deviated septum.”

Evan said, “If it hasn’t bothered me for 30 years, I don’t see why it would start now.”

I am paraphrasing. The actual conversation is in the first post. My reaction was like, “Are you nuts? It’s caused you all this pain, and you say that?”

Well, as it turns out, EVAN WAS RIGHT. The issue was his rear-most upper molar. It didn’t show up on x-rays, but it was going bad. By the time he had a root canal done, three of the four roots were dead, and the last one was actively infected. That infection was going up into his sinus, causing the congestion.

Obviously, everyone in the Flower household is very happy about the laying on of endodontist hands that led to the miraculous healing.


EVAN WAS RIGHT. Again. Evan’s bullheaded distrust of the medical community was proven right. Again. At this rate, he’s never going to listen to me, or them, ever again. Not that he ever listened to anybody in the first place. But this incident will only reinforce said bullheaded distrust.

That said, they wanted to do surgery and reorganize the shape of his head. Meanwhile, it was a tooth that caused all the trouble. And by trouble I mean a year’s worth of pain/agony/countless sleepless nights/and the inability to breathe through one’s nose.

There’s a lesson here, and that lesson is, if I’m going to eat crow, you better believe I’ll at least get a blog post out of it.


****WARNING: This blog post is probably better left unread by parental units; also possibly Becky Boydston. Just know, this is definitely a PG-13 sort of a blog post. Thank you for your understanding. ****

So! Whitney Houston would have you believe that the greatest love of all is crack, and/or loving oneself. I humbly suggest that the greatest love of all has been exhibited today by Smoove D and Smoove D’s special lady friend Claiborne, who have given me a gift the likes of which will never be surpassed.

They have OFFICIALLY entered a phrase into the lexicon, a phrase partially popularized by yours truly. Now, credit where credit is due – I didn’t invent this phrase. It came into being on DO NOT GO THERE. Unless you like crude, racist, insensitive, vicious humor. I actually don’t much care for Maddox, the guy who runs the site. That said, he is in possession of a certain sort of brilliance. He’s kinda like Charlie Sheen, except he’s been Charlie Sheen since the late 90’s, full bore tiger’s blood for more than a decade.

As it so happens, Maddox once took on women’s fashions. This is what he had to say about baby doll dresses:

As it turns out, R.I.P. my boner is a really useful phrase. For example, at our New Year’s Eve party, everything was hoppin’ along, and then the music shifted at midnight to Auld Lang Syne, a particularly mournful version of it, and wow, man – R.I.P my boner.

As you can imagine, life offers too many R.I.P. my boner moments. Moments where high hopes and good times are dashed against the jagged rocks of reality. Fortunately, the act of saying, “R.I.P. my boner” at the moment of disappointment can help restore those good times even as threaten to fade away. This has been my experience, in any case.

And so, in honor of the many good times restored by this very useful phrase, Smoove D and his lady friend set forth to institutionalize the awesomeness that is R.I.P my boner.

And they did so – with gusto.