Dogblog: What’s a bad-ask?

A few weekends ago my dad was gone and my mom took me and the naked puppy to play with some cousins in a big house with a big yard and I had so. much. fun. Tons of funs. All over. And also my mom came home with a bike from her cousins, for my dad to use because he has been talking forever about riding this kind of bike (dad says it’s a “fixed gear” but I hear “fixed” and I plug my ears and I go in the other room) and so dad has been using it which means…

…my mom is also exercising. She told my dad after they lost the other naked pup in January and found out in February that they can’t add to the pack until this fall that she wants to “lose weight” but I don’t know why she wants to when every time someone “loses” something it’s a bad thing.

Grown ups are so confusing to me. Also confusing: Who ate all my big Milkbones?

Anyway, every day when Mom goes exercising, she puts on her stinky exercise shirts and puts a little black X on the calendar so she knows when she did her exercises. Sometimes she makes me go but I hate the exercises. Yesterday Mom got so speedy and I was being so slow that she brought me home and put me back in the house still wearing my leash. That’s how much she was in a hurry to do exercising. The naked puppy doesn’t seem to mind, but that’s because all she does is sit in her stroller and enjoy the view. Pups these days.

Sometimes I hear my mom say that doing her sweaty-exercises makes her feel like a “bad ask” but I thought asking was good so I really do not get it. I was pretending to sleep the other day when Mom was talking to herself about jogging with the stroller and me (ugh) and how having a baby and then having some weights to lose (on purpose! again, what??) and hauling all three of us around the neighborhood makes her feel like a “bad-ask.”

I guess Mom’s exercises are making her happy though because she is missing some of her weight. I don’t know why she doesn’t look for it, the way we all have to look for Dad’s keys when he loses them. Like I said, grown ups are confusing to me.

So Dad is happy because his bike is “fixed” (LALALALALA CAN’T HEAR YOU ) and Mom can’t find some of her weight every time she comes back from her baby-doctor’s office every month and that makes her happier and happier so she keeps doing her exercises. Today she’s wearing pants that usually she wears not buttoned (woof! wasn’t supposed to say that!) but they are buttoned up and she even had to wear her belt tighter yesterday on her jeeenes genes Jene’s? regular blue pants. I think she looks very nice but I still don’t understand why no one is looking for the weight she keeps losing! Sometimes I try to help her find it and she says to get my nose out of her ear.

What? Maybe that’s where all my Milkbones went. Sheesh.




Just some things that warmed my heart today

Today warmed my heart over and over. It was beastly hot and a bird pooped in my car through a window that I left cracked but beyond that it was one of those days when certain little things stand out and bring joy. Those little things that make life happy, even when–or perhaps especially because–they weren’t directed at me, I simply got to witness them. And my heart was warmed.

These are those things:

Our Very Dear Friends celebrated their 5th wedding anniversary. They decided at lunch to drive to Chicago for a romantic dinner. They don’t live in Illinois.


This scruffy dog waiting patiently for his owners outside the grocery store.



A voicemail I got from one of our nephews. It was a thank you phone call for a small package we sent but no one hung up the phone. I got to listen to three minutes of their afternoon snack time but the highlight was the exuberant shrieks of joy when my dad showed up unexpectedly. A four-year-old voice cracked with unchecked delight over and over again: “PAPA! Papa!! Papapapapapapapa!! PAA-pa!” I listened to the message three times.


The little oyster laughed hysterically at Dietrich’s tail wagging in her face. She waved back.


My cousin’s kids sent a birthday party to heaven for their brother who passed away suddenly in January. He was one of three beautiful triplets and today is their 1st birthday. My throat gets tight and my eyes leak to think about him. Still, the photo of a worm’s-eye view of the twilight sky with two dozen colorful balloons rising past the top branches of some deep green pine trees is a beautiful tribute that reflects just a hint of the love this family will always have for their dear baby boy.


Days like today…well, I love them.

So you’d like to live in our commonwealth

Welcome to Arlington. Before you park on our streets and flush our toilets, please answer the following questions and obtain the following registrations and permits.

You need to park on the street in front of your own house. You need a permit for this. To obtain one, we need to know the following:
1. How old were you when you first got your driver’s license?
2. Are you the original owner or lessee of your vehicle?
3. How far do you drive every year?
3a. In miles. 3b. In kilometers. 3c. We meant kilometres.
4. Do you ever drive anyone in your vehicle?
4a. How many people? 4b. How often? 4c. How tall are they?
5. How tall are you?
6. Shoe size?
7. What’s your sign?
8. Do you eat breakfast every day?
9. Make, model, and year of the vehicle.

You need to obtain the correct residential parking permit. Please indicate which permit you are applying for. You may or may not apply for the right one, and it may or may not be free. We might also make up new ones between the time when you apply and the time we issue a permit.
1. Flex Pass
2. Vehicle Specific
3. Landlord Permit
4. Short term visitor
5. Long term visitor

To obtain a permit, you must prove residency. To prove residency, you may park in the street outside your new place long enough to unload your household, but please don’t stop to use the bathroom before running down here to apply for the permit to park. Also, please don’t actually run over here. You need a permit for this.

Please note, there are four zones in Arlington County and your permit is not valid in all of them, so try not to drive your car once you park it. And don’t park it in the wrong place.

Well, now that you have unloaded your car and obtained a temporary pass to park in our streets, we see that you have a dog to walk. You need a permit for this. To obtain one, we need to know the following:
1. How old were you when you got your first dog?
2. How many Christmases did you have to ask for a dog before getting one?
3. Does your dog like to ride in the car?
4. Where are you parking your car right now?
5. Did you fall for our trick question?
6. Do you brush your dog’s teeth, as recommended by the American Veterinarians Council?
7. Did your dog go to obedience school?
7a. Private? 7b. Public? 7c. Charter? 7d. Parochial?
8. Breed, age, and vaccination history of dog.

So, your dog needs to poo, does he? You need a permit for this. To obtain one, we need to know the following:
1. Are you collecting your dog’s waste in biodegradable post-consumer material or reusable fair trade organic animal waste baggies?
2. Do you buy these locally or order them from Etsy?
3. Where do you put these bags when they are full?
4. Can you prove residency at this address?
5. Is this the address listed on your parking permit?
6. Did you fall for our trick question this time?

And now we see that you’d like to dispose of your dog’s waste. Naturally, you’ll need a permit for this.
1. Can you prove residency at the address at which you are disposing of the animal waste?
1a. If yes, we’d like to see your permit. If no, which car is yours?
2. Do you know that animal waste is biodegradable?
3. Then why are you throwing the poo in the trash can?
4. No, that’s still not the right trash can.
5. Didn’t you register for the right kind of trash can when you were registering your vehicle, your shoes, your dog, your poop baggies, your iPhone, and your first-born child?
6. What makes you think you can hack it here?
7. Why are you crying?
8. Why are you rocking in the corner and eating your hair? (You’ll need a permit for that.)
9. Don’t you want to live in our commonwealth, where everyone drives new emissions-free cars and wears sensible shoes?
10. Are you jumping in the river?
10a. Permit required.