Stuff Annie has Destroyed

As anyone who has ever owned a puppy will tell you, they like to chew stuff. Now having a puppy is one thing, and we thought we had done a pretty good job of puppy proofing our house when we got Annie. As we would come to learn, puppy-proof did not mean Annie-proof.

I decided it would be fun to recount a partial list of items that Annie has destroyed, or at least attempted to destroy. I thought it would be a quick project. I was wrong.

Annie, like any puppy, didn’t mean to destroy beloved items. I doubt she even knew that any item was more or less valuable than any other. I could wax philosophical about  dogs not caring for the perceived value of things, but I think I can sum up her lack of appreciation for the finer things in life in a far simpler way: She’s a dog. (more…)

Annie, Guinness and the Mashed Potatoes

One day after coming home from somewhere I don’t recall, having done something unrelated, we were greeted by something we couldn’t believe: the wonder of snow inside our house.

I was pretty sure that snow wasn’t supposed to fall indoors – at least not in the summertime. Yet the floors were dusted with snow, as were the piano bench, the walls, the dog toys, and the ruined canister of bread crumbs resting at the top of the stairs.

Wait, what? (more…)

Annie and the Towels

Annie has a towel problem. We’re not sure why, and we’re not sure how it started, but it’s pure Annie. If you’re like me, then you’re probably assuming that Annie’s towel problem would be as simple as a bad dog stealing towels. An overgrown puppy stealing stuff from the hamper is far too pedestrian an activity for Miss Annie, Ferret-Dog of Newfoundland. Annie has a far more peculiar problem, that I had to be shown first hand. I simply did not believe the stories my lovely wife and children were telling me. I had never seen Annie’s towel problem, and I have a pretty strong suspicion as to why that is. You see, I too have a towel problem. (more…)

Annie: The Beginning

I thought that I would share the story of Annie coming to live with us, since people who were not members of Newf.Net at the time don’t know the tale. You see, Annie was a mistake.

No, I don’t mean that it was a mistake to get Annie, though some days I might grumble otherwise. What I mean is that we did not plan on getting Annie, or any dog for that matter. At least that’s what we like to tell ourselves. Or should I say that’s what Lauren likes to tell me.

I had decided that we would not get another dog until I had finished my book about Cozy. Cozy, who’s page on this blog has remained empty as I struggle to write the perfect piece about her, was our first dog as a couple. She was our first baby, years before we had human children. Cozy had died a few years before, and I had still not recovered. (more…)

Annie and the Zombies

There are zombies afoot. Our woods are full of the shambling undead. Of course we’ve never seen them, but we know they’re there. My Cozy first noticed them many years ago, but to read that story you’ll have to buy the book I wrote about her. You know, the one that hasn’t been picked up by an agent or publisher? Yes, that’s the one. Let me know how you like it.

To summarize the most wonderful zombie-dog story ever written (but not read), I’ll just say that there were zombies in our woods, and Cozy kept them at bay for eight years. How do we know there were zombies in the woods? Well, they never got into the yard, so they must have stayed in the woods. The logic is irrefutable. I should warn you though that I have been told the operative word in my previous sentence doesn’t mean what I think it means, so draw your own conclusions. (more…)

Annie: Bagel Snatcher

I like bagels. In fact, I don’t know anyone who doesn’t. I know two people who don’t like cheese, but that’s just weird. Bagels, on the other hand, seem to be universally adored. Of course now that I’ve put that in writing, I’m sure I’ll get a flood of comments such as “I find your wanton disregard for those of us who dare to dislike bagels, much like bagels themselves: distasteful!” These comments usually appear in a more succinct “you suck” format, but I’ve learned to read between the lines.  Allow me then to backpedal and say simply that I don’t know of anyone who doesn’t like bagels. But wait… that’s a double negative, which will get the pedants on my case, provided Annie isn’t already sitting on it. What was I talking about? Oh yes – bagels. (more…)

Annie and the Butter – Part III

Annie turned two years old on Wednesday. Many people will tell you that a Newf is fully grown at the age of two. That may be true physically, but I’m here to tell you that the age of two is not the pinnacle of emotional development for a Landseer Newfoundland Ferret-Dog. If I had to venture a guess based on recent behavior, I’d say that 34 might be the age of enlightenment.

Annie is now very much a teenager. She understands the rules, but she can’t be bothered to obey them. She doesn’t grab every piece of underwear from the hamper like she used to, but she will grab a pair if she’s feeling spunky and ignored. She is no longer a rampaging menace in our house, but has grown into more of a patient, conniving menace. You know, like a dragon. The moment she starts hoarding treasure, my suspicions will be confirmed, but until then I’ll be keeping a careful eye on our suspected Draco Canis Ferritus. At any rate, we needed to celebrate the second anniversary of the she-beast’s hatching, and like any good celebration, ours centered around cupcakes. (more…)

Annie the Cheeseburglar

Before we get started, I’ll need to get this out of the way: My family enjoys American Idol. I resisted, feeling that the whole reality show genre was positioned squarely beneath me, but my wife liked it, and the kids liked it, so my resistance waned. After finding myself watching from the doorway, pretending that I was on my way to do something more respectable, I finally had to admit to myself that I wasn’t nearly a high-brow in my television tastes as I had liked to think. (more…)

Annie the Girl Scout

While I would love to have a story about Annie becoming a ceremonial member of the local Girl Scouts troop, this tale is, like Annie, far more complicated.

All of my girls are Girl Scouts. Lauren is even a Girl Scout leader. Annie though, is not a Girl Scout. I think perhaps she secretly wishes that she was, though who’s to know what really goes on in her ferret-dog brain. (more…)

Annie and the Chocolate

Not for dogs!

I like chocolate. In fact everyone likes chocolate in our house. We try not to have it too much, because it’s not the healthiest thing in the world, but sometimes you just need a tasty morsel of gourmet chocolate to melt in your mouth while you moan in pleasure. You know you do it. There’s no need to deny it. We’re all friends here.

Since we all love the stuff, I buy my girls a tower of heart-shaped boxes filled with a variety of tasty gourmet chocolate every Valentine’s Day. Sure I eat half of them, but that’s not important right now. What matters is that I care enough to buy my girls the chocolate they deserve for no other reason than I like it too. Chocolate defies both logic and grammatical protocols you see. (more…)