When dogs aren't garden gnomes, or humans for that matter

I used to be the sort of person that loved a good fight, or crusade. If someone even hinted at maligning a friend of mine - I was there! If someone disagreed with me about an issue close to my heart, I pulled out my proverbial soap box and got down to business! I adored Julia Sugarbaker. I loved a good rant. (I still do, really. If you're ranting - link me!)

And then I grew up and realized that you change more hearts than minds, that it's better to come alongside someone than rail against them, that it's better to help people understand each other than staunchly defend. It's just more effective.

But sometimes people are wrong and sometimes they just don't get that they are wrong, and sometimes there are big repercussions from wrong beliefs and so, because I don't want to rant on Facebook, I'm just going to make my case here.

A friend of mine posted a link in favor of anti-tethering legislation. (Yes, we're talking about dogs). And a man commented underneath that what was better, to leave a dog outside with access to food and water and God's green earth, or stuck inside in a box no longer than his leash.

Well, if you're talking about humans, there's no question. OK, neither is good, but no human being wants to be confined. And this guy, well meaning as he is, wouldn't want a dog confined.

Except that dogs aren't humans. Dogs are den animals. And dogs do just fine in a crate (with a few exceptions). Dogs don't like to mess their dens so they don't potty in them, but a dog can wait 8 hours to go to the bathroom if they need to. Or longer. Because they aren't humans.

What dogs can't do is be chained outside for hours, days, months, years on end, with no interaction, with the sun beating down on them or the rain chilling them, with no den to go into. Their water dishes get overturned. Squirrels run by and all they can do is bark. People run by and they bark. People keep walking and they think the barking works so they bark longer and harder. They get left outside like a garden gnome, just there to decorate the lawn, and they go crazy, truly mentally ill. Then one of these dogs breaks it's tether and chomps on the first thing they see, because they're starving, or frantic, or just plain nuts at this point, and we put the dog to sleep. If it's a pit bull, which it probably is because they're the leading dog chosen for garden gnome status these days, we may even ban the breed and say it's inherently vicious.

So I don't like to point out that people are wrong anymore, I really don't. But if you don't sometimes point it out, then people can't adopt the cute little pit bull at the shelter because their home owners' insurance will drop them or their landlord won't allow it or their town has a breed ban. And then the cute pup gets euthanized for just having stubby legs and a fat head.

Because we didn't know tethering was a bad idea. (And yes, there are good ways to tether for short amount of times, but I'm talking about all day, every day, forever.)

So just this once, I'm pulling out my soap box. I promise to put it back under my bed after this blog post.

PS Janet Reid just posted about a great pup that needs a home if you're on the east coast!

So now it's Wednesday

And Dear Hubby left for Georgia at four in the morning. He's probably still on a plane and can't get enough coffee.

The kids all seemed fine until last night. This morning, one was sick. The other wouldn't wake up for school. (I mean, she was breathing and conscious, just refusing to acknowledge morning. I may have played that card myself once or twice). And Mystery Man went non-verbal when he realized we were nearly out of chocolate milk. This would also be the morning I realized I had an entire manilla envelope full of construction paper I needed to cut out for a Kindergarten class project... today.

So... I made cinnamon rolls, let the kids sleep till 9:30, and got them to school by 10 - with the cutting project all done.

Just one more reason I'm not making mother of the year this year. Again. It's like Lauren Graham at the Emmy's. At least I'm in good company.

I'm pretty sure if I had a dog, he'd have licked the girls faces till they woke up, made me my coffee, and we'd have made it on time. Right?

Just another Monday

You all know my husband travels for business, yes? Quite a bit, really. But today he didn't leave till the afternoon and he'll be back tomorrow. I should be able to handle this.

And I would, except that the children have a built in sensor for when he's left. I don't know how they do this, but I do know if this could be harnessed somehow for national defense we could do away with the creepy airport scanners and probably most world wars.

So.. what did the little darlings do, you ask? It started out small. An absolute refusal to go to hula by Mystery Man - my 3 year old. I couldn't really blame him. It's no fun to sit on the cold floor while your sister ami's around the island for half an hour and he got reprimanded for running last week.

Him: I won't go to hula because I am afraid. Do you know what I am afraid of?
Me: Um, the bathroom fan.
Him: Nope, try again.
Me: The teacher because she told you not to run?
Him: Yes, and that is why I'm not going.

Our hula teacher is a lovely and wonderful person but Mystery Man has trust issues. I bribed him with McDonalds and we made it, but not without lots of conversation and a brief stand off where he said he'd stay in the car where he'd be nice and safe.

We return. It's pitch black and pouring and just warm enough that it's rain, but not snow, but no warmer. He's asleep. We race inside, arms full of food and sleeping three year old. Boop, my 6 year old tells me her ear still hurts. I look for medicine and ponder a trip to the pediatrician for an ear infection. No, it hurts around her earring. Oh. Ohhhhh. Crap.

I look. I have to promise not to hurt her. The back is crooked and digging into her ear. I tell her I'll fix it. She panics. I give her a pencil to bite down on and tell her that's what soldiers did during World War One when you had to set their bones in the field. Yes, I'm not kidding. That's exactly what I told her. She bit down on the pencil. I touched her ear and she went flying. Great. I figured I'd get it when she was sleeping.

Then I hear screaming. Blood is pouring down her cheek and across her chin. It's not good to run when people are holding your earring. I want to look at it.

Boop: You told me the pencil would make it not hurt and now I am BLEEDING! I am not taking any more chances with this ear!

Fortunately, her big sister saved the day and cleaned up the blood and got the Neosporin on. I need to reward her greatly. In large part because of what's coming next.

We return to our McDonald's feast and Red, my 10 year old, is standing at the kitchen island eating. She's wearing a pair of jeans and a cropped sweatshirt that should sit right at her waist but sometimes rides up a little. It exposes a strip of skin right at Mystery Man's mouth level. This does not escape MM's notice. He takes a big gulp of soda, aims, shoots.

He's rewarded with the biggest scream he's ever gotten out of Red. Of course, he repeats his win. I move to stop him, but have issues with, shall we say, misplaced laughter, and can't quite catch my breath. Red shoots daggers at me. I finally get MM to swallow his drink.

I get them in bed. I read chapter two of Harry Potter. I tuck them in. I come downstairs and call my darling husband because I realize I missed his call.

Me: Did you call? Sorry, I was putting the kids to bed.
Him: Don't say sorry. You don't know why I called.
Me: ...
Him: Remember when I said I'd take the garbage to the curb before I left on the trip?
Me: No. No no no no no. You know it's raining, pitch black, and the recycling has to go out too.
Him: How about I make you a great dinner in a couple of days.

Yes, he's cooking Thanksgiving. No, it doesn't count.

I was nice about it. But if you know me at all you know I took the opportunity to point out that if I had my pit bull this wouldn't be an issue. A harness, a good rope, a few choice instructions, and there you go. Don't ruin my dream. It could happen.

And the first thing I did when I got back was blog about it except every time I hit my Enter key it popped up HP sound settings instead of giving me a carriage return and you can't do an entire blog post on one line. I blame Mystery Man, but I have no idea how he pulled that one off...

Clearly, a reboot fixed that problem. Now, to reboot the rest of the evening...