Bully Inn

I wasn’t in a big rush to add a new dog to our family since losing Dutch, but in the last 14 months we’ve housed 3 strays… and Terrence has wanted every one of them. Unfortunately for him, along with the help of our amazing friends, we have found a loving home for each stray that’s come through our door. This isn’t one of them, this is Queen Sizzle, she belongs to my brother Paul.

Whenever I’d attempt to open my heart to one of our strays something in me shut down, I couldn’t do it. I’ve developed quite a reputation for being the witch that won’t let Terrence have a puppy. For a while I was convinced that I’d never get over Dutch and be able to have another dog. That is until Paul asked us to watch his puppy, Queen Sizzle, two months ago. I seriously didn’t want to give her back. Sure she was annoying and I had a few complaints about her lack of training. Her most obvious flaw being that she wasn’t accustomed to going for walks and as a result would keep me walking around my neighborhood for several hours a day with no finale. But what she lacked in training she made up for in good behavior and personality, so we threatened to keep her captive anyway– she was adorable.

Somehow my brother is trusting us again to watch his girl while he and his family are off on vacation. Terrence is already plotting to keep her and I’ve been spoiling her rotten. Thankfully Paul listened to my advice since her last visit with us and she’s learned all about being walked and what’s supposed to happen. She’s still rusty on her commands, but those are easy to correct. I’m hoping to teach her to lay down before our week is up. Yes, our time will come to an end. I don’t actually want to keep my brothers dog, sure it would be nice, but my nephew and nieces love her too much. I mean c’mon, they gave her this regal title to carry along.

Queen Sizzle has awoken something in me, she makes me want my own pup. She also makes a few of our friends want one as well, the ladies got charisma. Dogs like Sizzle are great for pit bulls, I wish every skeptic could know a bully like her. Dutch had that same charisma, he turned a lot of skeptics in his day. Currently we’re waiting until after all the commotion with the wedding, my holiday rush of orders and Terrence’s tech traveling season to end before we seek out our own puppy. Although we’re getting more and more impatient, we know it would only be fair to our future dog. In the meantime, her highness over here is welcome whenever she wants.

In hiding.

Penny has not come out of the bedroom in weeks. Sure she comes out to eat, drink… expel. Oh and lets not forget when she runs into the living room to shred the furniture… before running back into the bedroom, her daily cardio. She just doesn’t hang out anymore. She used to lay nearby all the time, now I can never find her. Penny’s really been into hiding in my hamper, under the bed and in her carrier. Unless shes in the bedroom window stalking her least favorite squirrel. I almost feel bad installing the air conditioner on her, which is why I’ve barely slept what with all the tossing and turning due to overheating. The above picture was taken yesterday when I had my camera within arms reach of Penny pleading for attention.

Just for fun I added a second photo, Penny after we came home from the Mets game a few weeks ago… the things she lets me do to her.

Come out and play.

For months I’ve been waiting to see these infamous cicadas. Everyone keeps talking about them, posting pictures of swarms coming out of the ground. Terrence and I have been whining about feeling left out for months, that is until he went backpacking upstate and came home with these pictures.

What a jerk. Now I was the only person that hadn’t seen any cicadas. I was convinced they just didn’t like Staten Island’s North Shore, every park I’ve visited so far have been completely cicada-free. I concluded that I would forever be the only person that wasn’t going to see any cicadas… that is until yesterday. I drove down to the South Shore to quickly grab something from Target and on my way into the store I saw a squished cicada on the floor. I WAS SO EXCITED! I called Amanda immediately to boast about my cicada sighting, who cares if it was dead or alive, I saw one. She didn’t answer, my excitement had to stay within. Then on my way out of the store I saw several more squished cicadas, I began to count, 1-2-3… 4-5, AND THEN… I heard a lady screaming and saw her waving her hands all around her head. CICADAS!!!!! I saw 3 flying around the parking lot, it made me so happy. I can’t wait to go back to the South Shore now and go on a cicada hunt. I want to get up close and personal with my new friends.

I know you might think I’m gross, but I love them.


*All photos taken by Terrence O’Brien

Adorably nappy.

I can’t tell you how many photos I have of this kitty in various stages of nap. She is so freaking cute! I recently gave her a ball of yarn to play with and she’s gotten in the habit of being a million times cuter, I don’t know how Terrence and I are going to survive this. I’ll try to get a picture of her playing with the yarn soon, view at your own risk.

Her Royal Neediness.

This week while Terrence was at CTIA in New Orleans, Penny was more needy than ever. This usually happens when he goes away. For those of you that don’t already know, Terrence works from home and Penny is very attached to him. So when he’s gone and I work all day, she gets lonely. She either shows this by being overly needy or overly depressed. The day I took this photo was definitely the latter.

This particular day Penny stayed in bed from the time I went to bed around 5am (I don’t sleep well when Terrence is away), and didn’t get up until I scooped her at 2:30ish that afternoon. This is not normal Penelope Pussycat behavior, I thought she was defective. She didn’t like me very much for disturbing her, but I made up for it by letting her sit outside with me. She loves the back steps.

Tonight Terrence returns, we’re both oh so excited. Well, Penny doesn’t know she’s excited yet, but she is… trust me.

(Photo taken with Instagram)

A Dog, Interrupted: Part 1

It’s been a while since I’ve touched a computer, a few weeks ago our lives got a little side tracked and it’s taken me some time to find my routine again.

In the end of March a coworker told me about this “puppy” that had been sitting outside his house. The dog had been there all day and whenever anyone on the block opened their doors the dog would run up and try to go inside. No one knew where the dog came from or who it belonged to. Since the dog was a pit bull everyone was scared and several neighbors had called animal control to come take the dog away. My coworker felt bad for the dog but at the same time wanted it gone from his block, so after work (and several hours of him nagging me) I went over to investigate the puppy.

Driving up to his house I looked all around, but didn’t see a dog. I drove slowly up the block, still nothing, figuring the dog had moved on I began to drive back home. Something made me turn back around to check again, and on my second attempt passing the house there he was crouched behind a truck. I parked my car and sat observing the dog for a couple of minutes. I watched for myself as he walked up to every house and scratched at the front doors, pushed on their gates and barked when he heard someone stir inside. He looked like he lived in every house he happened upon, like he had forgotten his keys and needed some help getting inside. As I had suspected the dog was not a puppy, it was instead a full grown Staffordshire terrier (I guessed 3-4 years old). The dog had cuts on his legs and face and was skin and bone, but still quite muscular. He was also fairly dehydrated.

I walked up to him and he came right over and rubbed himself against me. One man who was watching from his window told me I was crazy and expressed his concerns and fears about having the dog outside his house. He told me he had asked around the block and no one claimed ownership to the dog, he also told me how upset he was that animal control hadn’t come yet. The dog was super sweet and in need of care. Not wanting animal control to inevitably put him down I called Terrence and explained the situation, once he gave me the okay I opened the door to my car and the dog hopped right in.

As I pulled up to my house I realized something, I had no way of getting the dog from the car into my apartment without either losing him or potentially getting one of the neighborhood cats eaten. I scoured through the trunk for a solution and was thrilled to find a bit of rope. Sometimes it pays to live with an ex Boy Scout, I’m always randomly prepared. After I got the dog into the apartment I didn’t know what to expect from Penny, so I ushered him into the bathroom for safe keeping while I devised a plan. I distracted him with a bowl of water while I dug out Dutch’s old doggy gate and treats. The dog had no desire for the treats so I went across the street and asked to borrow some dog food from Terrence’s mom. He didn’t bother with that either, he only wanted to drink. I began to slowly worry that I might have a sick dog on my hands. Once I started worrying about that other things started to quickly roll in after. I checked him for fleas before I took him into the car, but I noticed a flea-like bug crawling next to him on the floor of my bathroom and began to get even more worried. Oh no, what have I brought home to my cat? What if she catches something? If I kill the cat Terrence will never forgive me. I have to get this dog cleaned and checked out ASAP.

I contacted some girlfriends in the vet and grooming fields and begged for them to come to my aid. I quickly learned that grooming salons and vet offices will not care for a stray dog, so we were on our own. My friend Christina rushed over and drove to Animal Care and Control with me. While we were there they scanned him for any sign of a chip. They also supplied us with food, shampoo, bowls, linens, a harness/lead and a HUGE cage. They told me that as long as I found the dog a home I didn’t have to return any of the stuff they gave me, including the cage. Basically they’ll do anything to avoid taking in a pit (since they occupy about 90% of shelters and usually end up being euthanized within days or weeks of arrival), and will help you in any way if you agree to hold onto the dog and find it a home.

So my friends Christina and Amanda came home with us, Amanda convinced her boyfriend to come over and bathe the dog while Christina held him. Amanda and I set up his cage and put out some food and water. The dog drank non-stop, but also peed the very same and all over my apt, despite all his many walks. My friends had tons of fun playing with the dog, they took dozens of photos of him and tried all night to convince me to keep him. Having just lost my dog of fourteen years I’m in no mood to start over, yet. Eventually everyone went home and it was just me and this adorable yet co-dependent dog. He panicked and cried when I left his side and if I turned away for a second he peed on something. Exhausted and irritated I quickly began to wonder what I had just gotten myself into.

Got a package.

I put Penny in this box and closed it up so I could present it to Terrence as a gift. Once he was done being psyched about his awesome kitty, I took her away and returned the box to the floor so she could hop out. Instead of leaving the box Penny decided to camp out in it… because she’s adorable.

A nose by any other name.

Today I wanted to focus on one of my favorite parts of Miss Pussycat, her nose.  We believe our kitty to be the most beautiful of all kitties, and this teeny detail may be the biggest reason.  When she was a kitten she had ringworm on her nose, and even then it was still adorable. Disease ridden, but adorable. She only got slightly irritated by me taking incredibly close range photos of her today.  Penny let me know when she was done by putting her little paw on the camera lens, damn cute kitty.  I then stopped and played some games with her, then gave her a couple of treats as payment for her hard work.