Play Outside: The Remote Control

13 Jun

Unconditional love. Parents say to their children, “I love you no matter what.”  Then later clarify, typically following a bout of bad behavior, “I love you, I don’t love your behavior.”  At one point or another during childhood (and lets face it…adulthood), everyone tests the spectrum of that statement.

You may have been caught clutching the Sharpie amidst your reenactment of Harold and The Purple Crayon, testing the limits of the mysterious porcelain fixture that consumes dead goldfish and whatever else you could toss down there, or tossing a few of those “big kid” words you gathered from eavesdropping on late-night television.

It may be a distant memory now, and whether you tested your ninja skills on the metal blinds or thought your little sister looked better with bangs, we all can remember that one moment when your handful of years flashed before your eyes and left us with the thought…will they still love me?  To a five-year-old this is a legitimate fear; and, if you were like me, classified as having a “wonderful” or “overactive” imagination-depending on what kind of adult you are, this fear involved an artful conglomeration of every fairytale involving wayward child, mixed with a Radio Flyer and setting up camp in the twisty slide at the playground.

If you have been reading my posts about Hank, and knowing that we haven’t passed him off on some unsuspecting dog-lover, it’s obvious that we love him unconditionally.  And up until this incident, most of his mischief has been easily forgivable and typically laughable.  Knock on wood.  

You see, when Michael picked Hank out of a litter of eleven, they developed some kind of secret code…

…that they still use all the time.

 

And despite Hank’s love of destruction, we still love him no matter what.  But if Hank could talk, he might recall the moment Michael came through the front door, as when his stretch of memories flashed before his eyes.

 

This was a rather intricate demolition.

More specifically this is the remote for the BluRay player.  We don’t have cable, so Netflix, watching movies and streaming from Amazon.com is solely the purpose of having a TV.  I came  home to find Michael, a devoted movie lover, camped on the floor next to the fallen entertainment soldier and researching a replacement remote…and furious that Sony did not offer an overnight shipping option.

Hank, who had already been scolded, was sulking in his bed.

He may have been sulking for the “bad dog” talk, but I’m pretty confident that this particular prey was not without premeditation.  The remote sits on the coffee table or above the TV, within a paws reach, as it has for Hank’s entire life.  But on this day he decided the remote was just too smug: lounging there on the table, casually awaiting when Michael would come home and it would lure his attention with it’s glowing blue buttons.  Aided by the comfy couch and squishy pillows, a long day at work and narrow window of daylight; the fleeting hours of playtime outside could be lost if the right cocktail of comfiness won out.

Hank, with images of swimming holes, hiking trails and the dog park, decided to destroy the plastic lynchpin of his nemesis.  And as an added bonus, rubber buttons and electronic motherboards make for a very interactive toy.

But, like you were forgiven for playing DaVinci with your Mother’s lipstick, or when crystal was tagged “out” during a harmless game of indoor dodgeball…Hank was forgiven for destroying the remote.  Hank and Michael: unconditionally in love, and back to normal in no time…

Human Translation:  Play outside.  Computers, iPads, smartphones, Netflix and more, are all fun toys that keep us inside on the couch.   And although we are good at getting outdoors to hike, swim and play…sometimes after a long day at work a little fresh air may take a little more motivation, but bring a bigger payoff.  We are lucky to be surrounded by so many fun outdoor activities, getting outside and enjoying them can be just as relaxing as lounging around with movies.

As for Hank, his list of favorite things makes it so difficult to pinpoint one favorite: eating food containing “sweet potato & fish,” being petted by four hands at once, playing with Alta, sleeping in a fleece nest, treats, toys and everything in between…but something tells me if he had the capacity for logic & reasoning, Hank’s favorite thing would look like this:

 

Cheers!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Winning Isn’t Everything: The Skateboard.

3 Jun

Up until now I’ve posted about a few of Hank’s many conquests, his bossy yet poised sister Alta and a few throwback tales from his “younger” days.  But today, the target in his crosshairs of destruction decided to fight back…and Hank lost.

Some days, Hank treks with Michael to the skydiving office, located at the airport.  Opposed to his usually relaxing days spent lounging on the couch at home, or recreational days at the dog park or hiking trails…these days at the office are very busy for Hank.

His tasks include, but OF COURSE are not limited to:

  1. Security:  Airports are very busy.  Hank is in charge of monitoring who is driving, walking, scootering, running, skateboarding or golf-carting around the office.  Considering he is stationed at a skydiving company, there is a constant stream of enthusiastic customers and their families in and out the door.  Each patron has to be properly inspected, sniffed out for good intentions and given proper clearance to get within a leash length of his Dad.  Note: “proper clearance” can and will be revoked if adequate petting, ear scratching and excessive doting comments are not maintained.  
  2. Babysitter:  Around the corner from the office door there is another office owned by an airplane upholstery company.  It is run by a very nice family, who just happened to adopt a Chihuahua-Labrador mix.    Weighing in at a whopping 3 lbs, Max is a whole lot of sass and based on the amount of taunting directed at Hank, enjoys getting the “big dummy on the leash” jealous of his free reign and lack of restraints.
  3. Ambassador: Many first time skydivers are both nervous and excited about the jump from a perfectly good airplane.  Jokes are told, music and movies are played in the office, all to ease the tension and nerves of those a little more nervous than excited.  But no matter how sweaty your palms or soprano your voice, nobody can resist the hapless, lovable, snuggly Hank-face.  He puts people at ease and distracts them from their impending “leap” of faith; but, there’s no such thing as a free lunch…the cost of your comfort is paid in lots of head rubs and belly scratches.
  4. Anti-Ambassador:  Although Hank does lots of good work in easing the nerves of customers, all his efforts, despite their good intentions, are not always well received.  Many skydiving students and their families are visiting the Los Angeles area from faraway lands, and sometimes those faraway cultures are not as dog-friendly as ours.  In these cases, Hank’s bumbling approach…tongue slung out the side of this mouth, tail wagging wildly…is met with screams, arms waving and jumping for higher ground.  Put yourself in Hank’s paws: take out the knowledge of English and universal body language, common sense and communication skills.  What do you have? Playtime.
  5. Stealing lunches, and lunch scraps: Duh.
  6. Exercise coordinator: The patch of grass on airport property, where Hank is permitted to frolic during the day, is about 100 yards from the office door.  Hank is not yet, nor ever will be, well-behaved enough to take himself to the grass…and therefore requires some supervision. This back-and-forth a few times a day lends some sunshine and exercise time to parties on both ends of the leash.  Two birds, one stone.
  7. Barricade:  Hank’s favorite place to sit in the office (when no laps are available) is in front of the door.  Whether this is to maintain tight security or for the nice breeze through the cracks around the door, it definitely makes sure nobody gets by without pay their dues to the troll under the bridge.
  8. Deputy Sheriff: On the other side of the office is a large hanger housing the Sheriff’s Search and Rescue bright-yellow helicopters.  They frequently take off and land throughout the day and because of the close proximity, generate lots of noise and wind.  Upon takeoff and landing, Hank barks relentlessly and the helicopters and their occupants.  Paying no mind to their intimidating helmets and uniforms, or the incredible din that overpowers his bark completely, Hank firmly stands his ground and alerts all around him that a helicopter is moving, under his orders.
Now, to today.  Hank went to work with Michael and began carrying out his duties as usual.  He can listen to airplanes take off all day, helicopter blades that drown out all other noises, engines revving up when the Porshe club is around but there is one thing on the airport that Hank will not tolerate.  Skateboards.
Skateboards are used by the skydiving staff to get around the airport quickly.  There are three or four that sit in the office for general use and while immobile, propped against the wall, are not at all threatening to Hank.  However, once they are wheel’s-down and that first push is made, Hank and the moving skateboard are at war.  Hank was outside as a jumper hopped on the skateboard to cruise across the parking lot.  He immediately bolted after the zooming skateboard and began biting at the back wheels.  What we can only assume were Hank’s attempts to stop and destroy the skateboard, failed…miserably.
No bloody mess, or rush to the emergency veterinarian…just one very startled, embarrassed little Hank puppy with three bright-white tiger stripes on the side of his nose.  Missing some hair and whiskers (the effect on his already lacking balance, to be determined), Hank looks a little like a dog dressed as a cat for Halloween, and a lot like a dog that lost a fight with a rolling skateboard.
He doesn’t seem to have any pain, except to his ego.  But that’s not stopping him from soaking up the extra attention.
And practicing his “pitiful” face.
…and it works.
Finally, something Hank could not eat; except a course of proverbial humble pie.  Hopefully he will be wary of moving skateboards, and think twice about doing more than barking from a distance…but who knows?
Human Translation:  Take the high road.  You’re able to withstand the gridlocked traffic on your daily commute, the barista that smiles and writes your name diligently on someone else’s cup, the ins and outs of a stressful job and a neighbor that thinks your backyard is her recycling bin.  Despite your patience and acute ability to not sweat the small stuff on a regular basis, there is one particular thing that makes your blood boil.  It’s probably trivial: maybe the tone in which a coworker answers the phone, a lady at your gym that insists on a professional blowout and Hollywood makeup regime for 7a.m. yoga or the moviegoer “whispering” on their cellphone during the movie.  These things are annoying.  And once in awhile a perfect storm arises, where they occur at the end of “one of those days” at the moment when you’ve had just enough…at that point, throwing a piercing glare or reliving your 7th-grade spit-ball champion years with a few kernels of buttery popcorn is just the ticket to turn that day around.  But on all the other days in the year, let it go.  Take the high road, chances are these icing-on-the-cake annoyances aren’t on anyone else’s radar, and if you try and bite the wheels by making a big deal, you’ll end up with tiger stripes on your face too.
Cheers!

The Alta Files: Meet Alta

14 May

Since Stuff Hank Eats began, Hank has been getting lots of extra praise and attention from family and friends.  Like any good sibling rivalry, this has made Alta a little jealous.

I mean, what else could this “look” be trying to say?

So I decided to start posting a little story about Alta once in awhile; because, although Alta doesn’t rip open and consume everything in sight…she is a very special dog.

Readers, meet Alta.

She is going to be 6-years-old this June; I adopted her from the humane society when she was just a year old.  Although I have yet to get her a doggie-DNA test…the general consensus is that she is a mix of German Shepherd, Doberman and a little bit of something else.

Alta is like most dogs in a lot of ways: she likes to lick faces…

She likes to take naps (even more so in places where she shouldn’t be)…

and snuggle endlessly…

she likes to catch bugs while riding in the car…

swim in the waves…

and roll in the snow…

Alta loves me more than anything in the whole world, we go everywhere together, have lots of great adventures and she’s always there with an extra fuzzy snuggle after a tough day.  We were best friends, and then Hank came along.

Alta still loves me more than anything in the whole world, but I think the title of best friend now rightfully belongs to Hank.

She taught him what to do with a tennis ball…

and now they have their own games.

The most unique part of the Hank & Alta dynamic is not something that can be captured in a photo, but something you’d have to hear for yourself.  So unless you’ve happened to hear another German Shepherd do their “talking” or I can get a sound bite up here sometime…you’ll have to take my word for it.  Alta, since I adopted her, does this low, rumbly, guttural groaning that varies in pitch and tone depending on the situation.  It’s sort of like when a baby is learning to talk, the string of nonsensical sounds that are so close to being actual words, but don’t quite make any sense.  Not only does Alta think that we are all idiots for not being able to understand her language…she taught this language to Hank.

I didn’t realize this until I took them both to get their nails trimmed.  First up, Alta hopped up on the table and the woman began picking up her paws one at at time and clipping her nails.  All the while Alta is making her grumbly noises, despite remaining perfectly still (like any dignified 3-year-old lady would) and staring at me through the window like I had somehow betrayed her.

Next up was Hank, who thought it would be much more fun to test the training of the nice groomer and it was like watching someone try and rope a muddy pig (complete with the squealing).  Once hooked up on the table, Hank reluctantly surrendered each paw but not without mimicking Alta’s low grumbles and disappointed glares in my direction.  After retrieving my wild beasts from the groomer and leaving a large tip in the jar, the groomer says to me, “I’ve never heard one dog, let alone two, make those noises before!  It’s like they were trying to talk to me!”

Needless to say, after all the accusing stares directed at me, next stop was the pet store for new treats and toys.

While Alta may be a little bossy at times…

and very protective if you come too close to her loved ones (or the car, house; if you look suspicious or are operating any noisy machinery).  I’m pretty sure she’s legendary amongst lawn crews in northern Michigan…

but at the end of the day she is a very sweet girl…

Keep an eye out for Alta’s tails =) amongst Hank’s conquests.  You see, Alta is way too smart for her own good and most likely the one behind most of Hank’s bad behavior.

Cheers!

Aquaphor: The Snake In The Grass

11 May
I’ll start off again by asking all of you about to think “put your stuff away and Hank won’t eat it…” to pause and look around the room, pick out the most inanimate, tasteless, odorless, noiseless and least fun looking item…and where it is located.  Is it under 6ft off the floor? If you answered yes, that item is fair game to Hank.
Now, think about the frantic 20 minutes before you leave for work every morning: trying to clean up the dishes, make sure gym bag is packed, let the dogs play outside, pack a lunch, and everything else that springs up out of nowhere (i.e. Alta’s knack for bolting out the gate while I’m busy balancing a few bags and a coffee mug and charging the neighbor cat that has been taunting her).  Would you remember to move the remote control from the coffee table to the top of the refrigerator?
The randomness of Hank’s recent destruction was especially surprising because, aside from it’s squishy texture, Aquaphor has no fun smell or delicious taste, it doesn’t squeak or rattle in the the bottle and would be difficult to stomach in one sitting.
Common uses include (but are not limited to): dry & chapped skin, cracked hands & feet, chapped lips, minor cuts & burns.  According to it’s website, Aquaphor is a fan favorite amongst Moms (drool rash & diaper chaffing), Athletes (blisters & windburn), Beauticians (chapped lips & taming eyebrows) and many more.  Oddly enough, not once in their website does Aquaphor mention being a substitute for a delicious dog treat.
Dubbed “fragrance-free” and sitting helplessly on the coffee table in it’s unassuming (but expensive) tube, the brand new bottle of  Aquaphor didn’t stand a chance once it landed in Hank’s crosshairs.
Licked clean.  Not just broken open and sampled…and after discovering it wasn’t salty peanut butter or sweet and sugary, discarded it to collect dog hair.  The tube was bone dry.  Every last ounce licked from the inside, he even managed to get the few drops from the inside of the cap (which he had bypassed and went straight to chewing the bottle in half).  This bottle of Aquaphor was plucked from it’s resting place on the coffee table, chewed in half and then it’s sticky, slippery contents were consumed entirely.
For those of you not familiar with the consistency of Aquaphor (water-based jelly), maybe you’ve used it’s petroleum-based counterpart…Vaseline.  The only joy I can imagine Hank getting out of this particular conquest was: that his tongue kept getting stuck to his face, nose, the floor, Atla, dust bunnies…acting as a makeshift, sticky Swiffer for all the remnants I had missed while cleaning.  Yuck.
Unlike the peanut butter, and unlike what you’d expect after eating thick, water-based jelly straight from the tube…Hank was fine.
No wiser for the wear, but no gassy, bloated groaning and rolling on the floor.  I’m sure he rather enjoyed the water-based jelly poop that he experienced for the next few days, but thankfully for all humans involved-no barfing or indoor explosions needed cleaning up.
Even after a few hours of this later that day…
…still no ailments to be seen.  Luckily, Aquaphor is water based, so other than preventing his intestines from chaffing, dryness and minor burns, and making him loose as a goose for a few days…there wasn’t a need to call the poison control hotline (a number which we keep on the fridge).
HUMAN TRANSLATION: Beware of the snake-in-the-grass.  Whether it’s a sneaky co-worked vying for your job, a stranger watching you a little too closely or the best friend who pinky-promised not to tell an embarrassing story…keep an eye out for the unassuming.  We’re careful to keep the leftovers locked away in the fridge, the bread basket high up on the shelf, valuables away in drawers and anything that shakes/rattles and rolls far, far away from Hank…but sometimes it’s the thing you’d least expect that comes back to get you.

Archives: Peanut Butter, Part 2

10 May

Woo! That took awhile.  Thank you for waiting for the conclusion of Hank’s (rather, my) peanut butter fiasco of 2010.  So to recap, the night before Hank had consumed an entire jar of peanut butter, including: retrieving it from the counter, popping the top off, peeling back the freshness seal and helping himself to a salty snack.  The next day, Hank was still visibly bloated, very gassy and groaning as he rolled back and forth on the floor.  Sure, we felt bad…but it he wasn’t violently ill (unless you count the violent smell coming from the backyard) and even if he didn’t know any better, even if Alta egged him on or pushed the peanut butter off the counter for him…Hank brought this on himself.

Picture the furry, dog version of a kid wanting to stay home from school: the one that empties his arsenal of every pitiful woe-is-me trick, in order to get that magical home-sick call in to the attendance office.  We expected the grumpy, uncomfortable dog, the pouty face and puppy-eyes hoping to gain our sympathy and be allowed to sit on the couch all day.  But we didn’t expect that Hank, especially in his state of discomfort, would take his cure into his own paws…

This is what we found after dinner out that night.

A picture really is worth a thousand words; because in this picture, there are actually two stories being told.

The first: the tale of a curious, chronically hungry and determined little puppy dog-who, after suffering the wrath of 2400 mg of sodium in one salty sitting, was gassy, bloated, and if I had to guess, suffering heartburn, stomach ache and all the other fun stuff you could think of incurring after eating a tub of peanut butter.  So what is the only logical solution to these intestinal infirmities? TUMS!

Yes. Hank followed in the footsteps of his human role models: spicy food lovers, fans of fried everything, and patrons of sketchy and/or mobile eateries…he washed his poor food choice down with a bottle of TUMS.  We couldn’t help but appreciate the irony of Hank’s latest destruction; and it remains a mystery whether or not they actually helped with his sore tummy, or just distracted him with the task of shaming yet another packaging design and chasing around colorful discs that melted on his tongue.

The second story this picture tells is the one of us returning home from eating at a local Thai restaurant.  More specifically, that Michael has a particular penchant for extra spicy Thai food, and was counting on the extra large bottle of TUMS waiting for him…to ward off any miserable heart burn.  Notice the sad, concerned (about looming and inevitable discomfort) face holding up the bottle of destroyed and consumed TUMS.  Michael isn’t sad about cleaning up the rainbow of half chewed calcium carbonate tablets strewn all over the floor…but instead for the fact that it was now too late to make a trip to the the store, and his dog had beaten him to the mixed-berry goodness that wards off the fiery debt you pay for asking for a “9” on the spicy scale.

HUMAN TRANSLATION: Be proactive.  One of the many “mom lessons” that I’ve learned over the years is that as soon as you start feeling the tickle of a sore throat…whip out the hot salt water and gargle.  Yes, I spent most of my childhood warding off this lesson by swearing up and down that I wasn’t getting sick: no, I didn’t need extra sleep to prevent the flu from taking over; and yes, I was positive that the chills and sore throat were allergies so keep that nasty purple syrup away from me!  What Hank’s TUMS solution is telling us is something all of us already know: if you start feeling sick, do something about it.  Don’t pretend it’s allergies or that  it must be a dry time of the year.  No need to raid the drugstore for everything over the counter stamped with the word “cold” on it, but you can: sleep more, drink more water, take a few vitamins and try and get better before it gets the best of you.

Be well!

Love, Hank

Archives: Peanut Butter, Part One.

6 Apr

This is the first Stuff Hank Eats archive post.  These are all the crazy instances where we were like, “He ate what?! …we should really write these down.”  The plan is to scatter these posts during bouts of good behavior, because those can’t last long, and times when we just can’t resist sharing Hank’s stomach’s war stories.

This is how the story goes…

I had left Hank and Alta home alone while I was at work one day.  I had recently moved into my studio apartment and still had an Aero bed inflated, serving as a makeshift couch/extra seating.  Hank had taken a liking to this bouncy flat bed, it didn’t require the effort it took to jump on the real bed, and was much bigger than his dog bed.

I walk in the door and the first piece of shrapnel I come across is a peanut butter jar, licked clean, wrapper shredded and the top chewed to oblivion.  The further I travel into the 500 square feet, I see a lovely (not pictured for your own good) puddle of liquid peanut butter barf on the aero bed.  Completely grossed out, I look to my two lovely companions for a guilty party.  Nothing.  Totally stoic, they both sat there staring at me, as if there are empty peanut butter jars laying around all the time…and I am crazy to look so surprised.

Disclaimer: The peanut butter jar was not left on a low coffee table or cupboard, but had just been bought at the grocery store and was sitting on the countertop with the rest of the non-perishables that I had hastily unloaded.  In order to get to the jar, the guilty party had to pull it down from the counter; proceed to pop the lid off (a task frequently simulated while holding a stuffed toy and removing it’s stuffing through an ear or ripped seam); peel back the paper/aluminum “freshness” seal and reveal 18oz of delicious, salty, nutty goodness.  Yes, you read correctly…the paper seal was peeled back, and we found it whole, and detached from the jar, not ripped or shredded. Apparently, a workday was more than enough time to accomplish these feats.

I begrudgingly cleaned up the disgusting regurgitated peanut butter from the cracks of the Aero bed, almost getting sick myself…as Alta and Hank sat perched, staring at me.  I decided to leave the two furry suspects at home, get away from the stinky peanut smell and go get some dinner out…convinced that I would figure out the guilty party later.

It was easy.

There are about 16 servings in an 18oz jar of peanut butter.  That’s about 256 grams of fat and more importantly… 2,400mg of sodium.  To put it in perspective for us with thumbs, think about sitting down with a spoon and eating two jars of peanut butter.  How would you feel?  Bloated? Gassy? Sick? Uncomfortable?

Check. Check. Check.

When I got home after dinner it was easy to tell which dog had committed the salty crime.  Alta was snoozing away in her bed, her conscience seemingly clear, unaware (or apathetic) of Hank’s uncomfortable situation.

Hank on the other hand, was in rough shape…

He was sprawled out on the bed, then slowly moved between the floor and his bed.  Visibly bloated, Hank would lay on one side, passing gas from both ends, then flip over to the other side, groan, and repeat.  It should have been a doggie Pepto commercial, minus the catchy tune.  It was pretty clear Hank wasn’t in any medical danger, but it was also clear that he was super uncomfortable.  I imagine it would be like that feeling after a particularly gluttonous Thanksgiving dinner, then polishing off all the leftovers, maybe stopping by the store for a few extra fixings that went on sale the day after.

Picture the saddest, fat, puffy puppy face you could imagine on this already cute (in a pitiful sort of way) dog and that’s what face we were looking at for the next two days.  The bloating went down, the bathroom antics (not pictured for everyone’s visual safety) lasted for a few days, and because we learned our lesson about leaving the peanut butter within paws reach…we’re not sure if Hank learned his about leaving it alone.

Stay tuned for the perfectly rational conclusion of Hank vs. Peanut Butter…cheers!

HUMAN TRANSLATION: Learn to reach.  Ordinarily, you wouldn’t think a dog – lacking thumbs, reasoning and long-term memory – would have a tough time getting into a peanut butter jar so gracefully.  Sure, any strong-jawed dog could chew a hole in the soft plastic and proceeding to create a giant mess of chewed plastic, gooey peanut butter and dog saliva.  But Hank not only popped the lid off the jar (turning it into a tiny red frisbee and then chewing it to oblivion afterwards) then peeled the paper seal away, revealing what he had been after.  Besides keeping peanut butter far, far away from our furry friends, we can learn a lesson from Hank and his stomach suffering.  Whatever goal is seemingly out of reach, high up on the counter (or in a toy box on a tall shelf), keeping focused and breaking down a large goal into smaller ones will make it easier to achieve.  To us, getting a scoop (or entire jar) of peanut butter is a no brainer;  but to Hank, with no thumbs, standing three feet below the edible target and never having screwed off a lid in his long two years…breaking it down into smaller tasks made his ultimate goal a reality, along with the following internal (and for us, external) agony.  So whatever your big goals may be: 5-year-plan, emotional growth, physical fitness, career achievements, lifestyle changes or financial benchmarks; make a list, draw a diagram, read your tarot cards, talk it out…whatever works for you, break it down into smaller, easier to manage goals and they’ll be yours sooner than you think.

Destroy a Spatula. Everyday.

28 Mar

This is Hank’s toy box…

He has an array of dog toys from bouncy balls, soft & squishy jungle animals, Nylabones, SnuggaWubbas and everything in between.  So when we left to meet friends for dinner, having put away all of the food and recycling, we figured he would be able to keep himself busy…if he wasn’t too busy napping after an exhausting romp at the dog park.

We were wrong, again.  Einstein defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.  Sure, it may look as if leaving Hank alone at home is insanity, but in our defense…we do try and alter our actions and “beef up security” before leaving him to his own devices.  It just so happens his curiosity is far more expansive than we can hope to anticipate; therefore, now we close the door, hope for the best and maybe at the worst…laugh about it later.

So this is what we found when we got home…

This came off the drying rack next to the sink, about 5ft off the ground.  Whether it was the chewy plastic challenge, the slapping noise it made on the floor or the fact that it could be swung around viciously…it was extremely fun to play with and Hank had a good time.  But it wasn’t quite enough…

This was a very recent purchase for the upcoming gardening I had planned, but more importantly as a means of washing the dogs after they mud, tar and feather themselves with sticks, leaves, bugs and whatever else they can find while hiking.  Somehow, even though the helpless garden sprayer was sitting inconspicuously in the Lowe’s bag on the floor (“on the floor” being the cardinal mistake this evening) Hank was onto it’s vicious intentions of future bathing and cleanliness, and had to take matters into his own paws…destroy the evil garden sprayer before it could destroy his hard-earned efforts of filthiness.  And he was successful.  This garden sprayer, robbed of its hose attachment, grip handle and adjustable pressure ring, would never be used for dog baths, watering a garden or otherwise.

Human Translation-Garden Sprayer: Stand up for yourself.  Whether it’s protecting the dirt caked in your paws from miles of hard trails traveled, throwing your hat in the ring for a job promotion or swapping out your poor excuse for “me time” with an actual bit of relaxation…remember to take care of yourself.  Priorities will swap and rearrange countless times during a lifetime, but since we only get one, it’s good to keep yourself and your sanity towards the upper echelons of the list.

Human Translation-Spatula: Remember being silly is okay, and always try and have a little fun.  Destroying a spatula has a very simple translation; it’s completely unproductive, silly and useless…but for Hank, it was tons of fun.  For us with opposable thumbs, it’s belting out a Top 40 hit in the car, dancing wildly while vacuuming or doing whatever drums up that ab-crunching, tear bringing laughter.  So everyday, destroy a spatula (at least once).