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Snowballs

17 Feb

Apologies for the absence. The Mayor, E and I have been keeping very busy here in snowy New England.

Some of us a little too busy. Like when I came home to find out the Mayor had made some minor alterations to my favorite Christmas present this year.

ImageBefore

ImageThe Artist in Progress

not even guilty

TA DAH!

saucy pants2

So much hipper now, without that lame pom-pom.

catahoula in the snow

After that I took the subtle hint that I was boring the Mayor this season.

snow dog1

Let us all never forget that a tired Catahoula is a well-behaved Catahoula.

catahoula mirror image

But two tired Catahoula’s is a much more significant endeavor.

Catahoula Gif

(They’re fighting over a “snowball” or “snow turd” as someone without a positive attitude might say.)

who us

Who us? No, we don’t play with that kind of snow.

dogs in the yardWe do wrestle.

IMG_8014We stalk each other.

IMG_8007And we spend endless hours begging to go back outside.

But snow turds?

You’ve got to be kidding me.

sleepy dogs

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Martha’s Vineyard

3 Jan

Alternative post titles include ‘Better Late Than Never’ (we took this trip in the fall) and ‘So What If I Was Too Lazy To Retrieve These Photos Off My Real Camera (The Plight of the Smartphone User)’.

Martha's Vineyard Sunset at the Beach

This was actually our first really big overnight outing with the Mayor. Sure he’s been lots of places in the car for overnights, but he’s never been on a ferry or stayed overnight at a place where we didn’t personally know the owner.

When we arrived at the ferry terminal, which I ridiculously thought was where you catch the ferry, we had to park and take a bus to the ferry. Being that it was noon on a Friday, the friendly bus drivers waited until the buses were full to drive the buses to the docks, causing us to miss our first ferry. The Mayor was very jolly and interactive on the bus,, taking  the ride way easier than he usually does. Lukcy for us when we arrived at the ferry, we found that there was a cargo ferry with our name on it.

TEX MV

We brought the Mayor’s Thundershirt, just in case things got dodgy.

Ladies manThe Mayor was, of course, and especially in his shirt, a big hit with the ladies.

Black Dog Martha's Vineyard

We made our way to some popular destinations like The Black Dog Tavern.

MV Jeep

And rented a very small jeep… but the Mayor didn’t mind; he likes close quarters.

Jeep Ride

MV HIke 2

We took our own self-guided tour of the island, featuring a walk to some great views. (Yes, he’s wearing the shirt again, shhh don’t tell the Jeep rental guy we had a dog in the car. Phhh. Does he even know who the Mayor is?)

MV Hike

View from MV Hike

The view from the end of the walk.

Family

Jeep Ride

 

We also stopped at a lovely farmer’s market.

MV Farmer's Market

MV Catahoula

And even met a Catahoula Beagle mix! What are the chances?

Martha's Vineyard Lighthouse

We saw beautiful coastlines and lighthouses.

MV 3

Blogger The Mayor of Crazytown

And captured all the great moments for the blog.

MV Family

A lovely time was had by all.

Banned

17 Sep

To say that the Mayor is personally offended by my new work hours is the understatement of the year.

leopard spotted hound dog waits outside door

This is the door outside our home office.

As I see it the Mayor has really forced my hand on this one. He told me he couldn’t live without his park days (where the prince gets picked up, taken to a leased plot of land just for our dog wrangler’s use, with hills, streams, toys and cookies re: dog paradise) and I told him “get a job man”. And then he told me that, if I just got two jobs, then he could have his cake and eat it too, so to speak. So that’s essentially how I came to have a full-time job + a part time job.

I have to take weekly conference calls at night and at first, I let the Mayor join, I mean really, what’s the harm?

canvas covered squeaky Kong

This right here, my friends, is the harm. The Mayor’s all-time favorite toy. A durable canvas coated Kong with a tail and wait for it, the world’s loudest squeak. A toy so spectacularly accepted into the daily routine of the Mayor that we had to get Clyde one too. (Sorry?)

The Mayor is obsessed with merging the squeaks of this toy with our voices. It seems to make a showing every night just when we sit down for dinner. I think you know where I’m going with this. It’s called the least productive conference call you’ve ever attended, where some yahoo is in the background making so much noise, your co-workers are reminded that you no longer work in a quiet, professional office.

So the Mayor got banned.

bored catahoula dog

And here he waits, with painful patience, until the dreaded office door re-opens and he can again be close.

little office helper

Summer Hiking in New Hampshire

26 Jun

welch dickey mtn

Can you find the Mayor and his blue pack?

This past weekend we did the Welch-Dickey loop hike in Thornton, NH. It was awesome because you went down a different way then you came up, which made for new scenery and a guessing game for when we would reach the bottom.

Jax and Tex

We had our loaner dog in tow (Jax) and with a 40 minute car ride from the B’s Belmont house, the day admittedly started out a little dodgy. Poor Jax. Poor anyone who had to listen to the excited (?) whine of the Mayor.

Tex hiking

Things started off easy enough. We made the Mayor carry his own water (in plastic bags) and treats in his hiking pack. He got a lot of comments on his pack throughout the day. Little did our commenters know that the pack was our emergency, backup insurance that we would have a restful trip home.

hike nh

The first peak meant nothing to the Mayor. Clearly.

granite state hike

But things got more exciting when we started scaling some granite slabs.

welch dickey hike 2

Not so exciting that you’d want to stop for too many pictures…but exciting.

welch dickey crevices

Don’t tell him I told you, but the Mayor required a little boost in a couple narrow rock crevice situations.

IMG_6899

My sources tell me we were about 2,200 feet high at one point.

lab photo bomb

Jax photo bomb!

tired hiking dog

And we finally got the Mayor to take a load off. Things were working out just as planned.

blue eye brown eye

I should mention that we were under strict orders to keep Senor Jax on a leash, because he, like the Mayor, likes to hike solo, only sometimes his extended journey’s fool his mom and dad into thinking he’s gone for good. There was also a lot of cliffs on this hike, so that was motivation to keep little Jax in check. Everyone we passed assumed Jax was a puppy and was still learning how to hike (maybe he is a puppy, Rachel…) and I let them believe that.

looking back at welch mtn

Once we traversed the top of the cliffs to Dickey mountain, we looked back on Welch mountain.

Jax and the pack

On the way down, Jax started acting up, so we put him on pack duty.

sleepy dogs

And alas, victory.

Cinco De Mayo & The Mayor’s 5th Birthday

5 May

Tex Birthday 3

5?! Are you kidding me? The Mayor of Crazytown is 5? It feels like just yesterday, that we picked up our zesty little Catahoula from the back of a McDonalds in Putnam, Connecticut (I make it sound so appealing). If I ever had the need to cry on command, I would just bring myself back to the moment that I saw his speckled silver head pop out of his travel crate and his enthusiasm that it was Eric and I waiting there for him at the end of his long journey.

Happy 5th Birthday Tex! We love you!

Tex Birthday 1

Tex Birthday 2

Tex Birthday 5
I’m so bored with this photoshoot.
Tex Birthday 6
And I don’t like balloons.
Tex Birthday 7
Okay, I guess I like them a little better in sepia.
Tex Birthday 8

Tex Birthday 9
Did you really  just tie the balloons to me on a windy day?
Tex Birthday

Tex Birthday 10
This won’t end well.
Tex Birthday 11
Told you.
—–

Behind the scenes:

Take Your Dog to Work Day

1 Mar

Today is Employee Appreciation Day, aka bring your dog (or your loaner dog, doesn’t matter) to work day. Shy, handsome Clyde joined me today in my office today to celebrate such.

Catahoula at work
Clyde came prepared with bones, toys and a dog bed and with his ASPCA-like eyes had quickly convinced our Human Resources Manager to re-claim her box of donated dog cookies out of the office donation box.

How to Keep a Dog Contained
I initially built a makeshift barricade (as if this was the wily Mayor we were dealing with).

Clyde the Catahoula
But quickly realized that fear of the unknown was barrier enough.

The saddest eyes
This lack of barrier quickly lured in all dog lovers, only to be shunned, when Clyde rejected mostly all of them, in favor of a seat behind my office chair.

Special Dog
I told Clyde that it was okay that he was extremely selective in his pet-worthy people. There’s a lot of weird people here and they all think they’re the dog whisperer. “Dogs usually love me.” I’ve heard more than once today…Well not this one. Sorry I’m not sorry.

Petting Clyde
Clyde even got to come to a pizza party.

Black and White Catahoula
And shocked and amazed everyone by not eating the pizza in his very near reach.

Saddest Eyes In America
This employee sure did appreciate, bringing old sad eyes into work today, telling everyone his tale of highway rescue and bringing joy to a very select group of people.

Your Logic is Flawed

21 Jan

The Mayor never ceases to amaze me with his logic.

When we first got the Mayor, we dutifully bought him a crate and proceeded to try and make him like it. I’d leave him a cozy bed inside of his kennel and by the time I got home, he’d have chewed it to bits. Okay, maybe I’ll leave him a rawhide? No, never touched. Eventually we came to an agreement, he’d get in the cage on one condition, a kong filled to the top with peanut butter. Heck, if you got out the jar, he’d high tail it to the inside of the crate (this made me feel particularly bad if I was just getting peanut butter out on the weekend and poof, he’s in his crate).

Plagued with guilt over leaving him in a crate all day, I convinced Eric that Tex was ready to be free of his crate during the day. He said okay, if we installed a baby gate that would keep him in one large room of the house, he could get behind this idea.

Later that day, Tex had chewed entirely through this gorgeous, expensive (re: ugly, free) green chair.

Two catahoulas

I dutifully re-stuffed it, patched the holes with duct tape and put an even more beautiful faux-denim (that’s right) ill-fitting slip cover over it. THIS CHAIR MUST NOT BE CONSIDERED A LOSS.

We went back to crate training for a month or more.

Ready again to be released, we let the beast out again in his baby gated room, filled with windows, toys and his trusty peanut butter kong. This will do it, I remember thinking to myself, he’s totally learned his lesson.

Precious ripped through the chair cover and into his previously fixed holes and for good measure, whittled a wooden bar stool leg down for us.

Back to the crate and back to UglySlipCovers.com for another slipcover. I wish I was kidding.

In the meantime, I hired some dog sitters, who came to get Tex twice a week for outings. Over the next few months I decided that just in the two hours between my leaving for work and the dog sitters arriving, I would leave the big guy out of his crate and NOT behind that nasty baby gate. Many other trials took place in that period, until one day, upon informing the dog sitters that Tex did not need to go back in his crate when they dropped him off they replied that they had never come to get him.

[Insert heart attack at work]

I sped home at high speed (as if this would prevent the damage from being minimized), the Mayor had been loose in the house ALL DAY. What might he have done? I couldn’t even begin to wrap my head around what I might see.

I got home and there the Mayor was, happy as a clam, not having touched or chewed a single piece of furniture. That’s when we should have figured out that gates=problems. Obviously.

In the last three years, while Martini and the Mayor have been working out their differences, we’ve kept them segregated with a baby gate that separates the top floor of our house from the basement, giving Martini her space and the Mayor, well, anxiety. Every time we would go downstairs, the Mayor would have to come. Back turned, he would wolf down the cat food before you could blink. Flash forward to present day. During an entryway, stair renovation project this past month, we removed the baby gate and re-did the doorway that the gate was installed into. We thought we’d probably lose a lot more cat food then we ever did before and that the Mayor would be down in the basement every second of every day.

The Mayor of Crazytown

Have we learned nothing? Are we really this dense?

Of course the Mayor doesn’t care about consuming the cat food now, in fact, what cat food? I don’t even know what you’re talking about. Oh you’re going downstairs? I think I’ll just stay up here and look out the window.

—-

For those of you interested in the before and after, I thought I’d include the photos of our entryway/stair renovation project.

redoing entryway stairs

entryway stair renovation

stair renovation project

shelf

Did you notice that sweet new coat rack? I brought home a Pinterest photo of a coat rack I wanted AND the materials from Home Depot (I thought it might make for a more convincing argument, “Well I mean, we already have everything we need to build it”) and Eric built this amazing shelf/rack.

TXstairs

Say, I think he likes it.

The Mayor’s Snow Day

31 Dec

Other possible titles for this blog post include:

Happy New Years (eve)!

Why is the Mayor so Flipping Cute?

And I Wonder Why the Mayor Doesn’t Care to be Leashed…

How I Like to Personally Encourage Bad Dog Behavior

Saturday night into Sunday, we got our first real snowfall in Rhode Island in some time! Besides sunsets, the Mayor and I also enjoy snow and couldn’t wait to get outside Sunday morning to enjoy the 6 or so inches that fell.

Catahoula in the snow

The Mayor enjoying a back yard jaunt in the snow (he put that snow in his own face, I swear).

Catahoula digging in the snow

See!..He’s so special.

encouraging bad behavior

I told him it was time to play in the yard by himself. He took offense.

catahoula hound dog 56

Nut job.

fun at Rhode Island beaches

The beach was beautifully covered in snow.

catahoula hound dog 16
A Sunday miracle, the Mayor let me take his picture at the beach.

leopard spotted dog

Cold, wet, Eskimo kisses are always appropriate.

Happy New Year everyone!

Secrets You Only Tell Your Friends

17 Dec

I’ve been harboring a nasty little secret from this blog.

My dog is downright awful in the car.

I’m talking never sits down, crying like a banshee, infuriatingly bad, not at all funny, awful.

I can’t make it better.

Nothing works.

Believe me when I say, we’ve tried it all. Free reign, seats folded down, doggie seat belts, doggie hammock, benadryl (don’t judge me), a dog companion, sitting in the back seat with him, forcing someone else to sit in the back seat with him, all natural pet calmer downer spray, thunder shirt, extended physical activity, bones, taking him everywhere in the car, Sting (his favorite) on repeat, peanut butter filled kongs, treats (I wrote threats first, Freudian slip) at regular intervals, yelling, exuding calmness and our current favorite, the back seat dog cage. The cage had been working to at least keep his high pitched squealing contained in the back area of our car, so that we could drown him out with music and the sun roof.

This last weekend, I took a mini road trip to visit a friend and happily pick up the new addition to the Phillips’ household in the form of a fuzzy, cute, gray tabby kitten. Prior to our Friday trip, he had a three hour hike, but was still squirmy and loud during our afternoon ride to the city. Squirmy and loud, I can handle. On Saturday morning, after playing all night, then taking a nice, long walk, we got back into the car to pick up our new friend. Homeboy. Was. Pissed. He hated driving to Newbury street on one of the last Saturday shopping days of the season. He hated all the random double parked cars. He hated the mean old cop who wrote me a ticket and yelled at me, while I waited for my friends with the donated cat to bring said cat to my car. And he especially hated the way back seat away from all the action.

We all know Tex like cats, but truthfully, I don’t think he knew she was in the car. She never made one peep and he didn’t seem interested in the cat carrier in my front seat.

As we’re weaving through Boston traffic, to get to 93 so that we could meet my lovely mother and exchange “the goods”, MacGyver decides to pop the lock on my foldable back seats. As I’m merging on to 93, he proceeds to maneuver himself through the bars of  his dog cage and the crack of the seats he’s folded down and perch himself atop all my backseat luggage (I’m sorry, I don’t travel light, even for a single overnight). From there he rests his  head on my head rest (he’s that far up) and gives me a look that I can only describe as victorious.

Infuriated with this turn of events, I drop Tex off in Lincoln, Rhode Island (the half way point on Saturday’s trip) with his grandparents and force poor, Eric, who’s driven to upstate MA for a work event to pick up the bad dog on his way home, while I continued my journey with Kitty.

I left the brilliant specimen of a dog cage in Lincoln, with the bad dog and sure enough, upon installation in Eric’s car, bad dog once again, won.

And in case you were wondering what winning looks like, here’s a video Eric took:

But alas, the trip was successful and Kitty now has the greatest home, ever and I am very happy to report that A & G are no longer animal-less.

New Kitty

Kitty helping with a Photoshop project.

The Sunset Chasers

9 Nov


I am finally ready to admit that fall has arrived, which means that Tex and I have to put a little extra effort into getting to see those beach sunsets after work. Being a man of routine, the Mayor likes for me to come home, feed him dinner, and let him outside, in that order. Don’t bother to take your coat off or set your work things down, just get to the main event!

But on days where I can see the neon pinks and purples of the sky coloring the trees on our little lake across the street, I know that we have no time for things like dinner and bathrooms, we’ve got to get down to the beach to see that sunset. I leave all my work stuff in the car, I run to the door, I surprise Tex by grabbing the leash and we run down to the beach to make sure we can see the sun set.

It was brilliant the other day. One of my favorites (who are we kidding, they’re all my favorites) and I’m lucky to have grabbed my nice camera to get some shots of the Mayor.


I love when the water takes on the color of the sunset.

Catahoula Hound Dog

Catahoula Hound Dog 2
These are his warning ears. As in, I’m warning you to stop taking 2,000 pictures of me and the water and get moving or I will embarrass you on this beach.

Leopard Spotted Catahoula
Speaking of embarrassing, the last couple times we’ve been down to the beach, Tex has been off leash and has managed to find all of the dead creatures of the day and do his business on them. I’m not kidding. After peeing on three dead horseshoe crabs (horseshoe crabs die at the end of summer), he finally found one that was dead on its back and literally pooped inside of its shell. I couldn’t believe it! Am I supposed to just take the whole shell with me? Thanks buddy.

Luckily all the horseshoe crabs were gone when we returned last week, but Hurricane Sandy must have left a dead bird because sure enough the Mayor took a dump right on the dead bird. It’s a really lovely habit.

Catahoula
Sooo that’s why he’s on a leash in these pictures.

Dog at the beach

Happy Sunset Chasing…