Category Archives: Piper

Lessons learned (probably not)

Of our two dogs, it is universally acknowledged that Ellie is “the stupid one.” She’s sweet and adorable and profoundly not smart.

Piper, on the other hand, is a quick learner and will happily do all the tricks she knows. She’s very sharp.

Yesterday, I had half a stick of butter out on the counter (pushed way back, because dogs) so it could soften enough for me to use it for something. When I went to get it, it was gone.

I’d been putting things away and doing general straightening so I thought maybe I’d put it back in the fridge. I did not.

It was gone. I figured one of the dogs ate it, since they have a history of stealing butter off the counter (Ellie) when they think I’m not looking. So I looked around to see if I could find the bit of wrapper or something. No dice. Nothing. No evidence at all!

My guess was that Ellie had gotten it, since it was really pushed back on the counter and she is taller than Piper is. She will also eat literally anything, whereas Piper is a bit more fussy in her choice of foods.

Turns out, I was wrong. It was PIPER who ate it. She decided to barf all over the floor and there were bits of butter wrapper mixed in with the grass she was obviously eating due to an upset stomach FROM EATING ALL THE BUTTER.

Stupid dog.

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Filed under Ellie, Food, Piper

The differences between the dogs

It’s snowing. A lot, actually, which means I am not going to be spending any significant time outside today.

This means that the dogs will go out into the backyard to do their business, instead of going walkies around the block. I’m fine with this.

There are differences in how the dogs approach this, however.

Piper: half German Shepherd, half Border Collie (approximately). Born and raised in NJ. Has ALL THE HAIR. Literally, three or four layers of hair. LoooooOOOOOOoooves the snow, and will happily run around in circles for hours.

Ellie: half Black Lab, half Pit Bull (we think). Born and mostly raised somewhere in the South (we think). Not a lot of hair on this dog. She only has a thin coat, and her belly is mostly bare. Hates the snow. Will go out, do her thing, and sprint back to the door in record time.

Piper will get bored in about an hour and start agitating for another trip outside. Ellie can and will wait until she is about to burst before she feels the need to go out again. Ellie wins this round.

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Filed under Ellie, Piper

Giving Thanks – Day 8

Today I am thankful for the pets. We have a dog and a cat who are both equal parts adorable and insane.

Piper is the dog. She’s been with us just over 2 years now and is finally starting to calm down. Because she’s part Border Collie, she needs to have a job to do or she gets anxious. Luckily, her job is herding Jillian around. When Jill isn’t around, Piper whines and frets until Jill reappears. It’s very cute.

Carl is the cat. He’s only been with us a few months, but he has gone from adorable wee fuzzball to gigantic handsome cat-boy. He’s fluffy and cute and entertaining as hell.

We love the pets.

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Filed under Carl, Piper

Lazyblogger Photoparade!

We call her “The Terminator.”

Baseball in October? What’s that?

She’s just…so…tasty!

Someone we met at the Dog Park.

At the neighborhood party.

Slimy pumpkin guts!

Further proof that she’s got Diroll genes. Grandma would be so proud to know the “cheese” smile is going strong through another generation.

She’s So Unusual.

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Filed under Jillian, Piper

It’s a sitcom, it’s a horrorshow, it’s my life.

I originally posted this to Facebook last Saturday.

OMG, you guys. I just had the weirdest experience of my life, to date. And I have done some WEIRD shit.

Anyway. As you all know, I have a 4-month-old puppy. Puppies have small bladders, and thus need to pee pretty much every 14.6 minutes. I take Piper out, let her pee in the front yard (which she prefers for short trips), and bring her back in. 440 times a day.

So far, so normal, right?

This past week, I’ve been feeling pretty icky, which means I’ve been wandering out with the dog while wearing just my sweatpants and my grungy blue hoodie, with my [unwashed] hair bundled back into a haphazard ponytail. I seriously look like I’m about to be homeless.

Around 4PM, I took Piper out. My neighbor, who is an older, retired sort of guy was in his car getting ready to go somewhere. He waved at me, I waved at him, it’s what neighbors do. As soon as he pulled out, his wife comes STORMING out of the house, yelling “can you walk that dog somewhere else?”

Um, okay, fine – we were a bit close to the 2 feet of grass on the side of their driveway that borders our yard. Fine! Not a problem! I didn’t grow up with neighbors (my parents’ nearest neighbors are a quarter-mile away) so there are some neighborly sensitive things that don’t always occur to me…. but….

This is where it gets weird. She comes over and starts yelling at me. “Is your husband home?” Um, no, is there something I can help you with?

Her: I see what you’re doing. Every time my husband comes outside, you bring that dog out.
Me: Whuh? What? She’s a puppy! She’s outside ALL THE TIME.
Her: The whole neighborhood can see you running after my husband.

[note – her husband? NOT HOT. He’s at least 70 if he’s a day, and think about what Dwight Schrute will look like when he’s 70. You’re welcome.]


Me: Um…. Are you serious?
Her: You stay away from my husband.
Me: No problem!
Her: I’ll get a restraining order!

At this point, Piper was done peeing and I was about to laugh, so I took her in and decided to go over there and see if there was something that could be done.

I knocked on the door and she’s all “what do you want?”
Me: Can we talk about this? I don’t understand what’s going on.
Her: I’m calling the police. I’m getting a restraining order because you are after my husband.
Me: I think you’re being ridiculous. Please come over, we’ll have coffee and figure this out.
Her: Get off my property! [grabs the phone] He’s old enough to be your grandfather!
Me: You’re crazy!
Her: No, you’re crazy!

Well, duh.

At that point, I just threw up my hands and left because she was freaking DIALING THE POLICE. I put shoes and a jacket on Jillian and we took Piper for a LONG walk around the neighborhood. I was hoping my one friend would be home, because she’s lived in the ‘hood for a long time and knows my neighbor fairly well, but she was out. So we talked to some other people on our street and they were all “yeah, that lady is nuts.”

Is there anything I can do at this point to salvage this situation? My plan is to ignore ignore ignore ignore ignore but… MY GOD. I’m half-tempted to make it worse by watching for the husband and deliberately going out with the dog when he’s outside, but I’m concerned that she’ll poison us somehow. The previous owners of our house actually accused her of trying to poison their dogs at one point, so I’m thinking it’s not a ridiculous fear to have.

What should I do? Should I do anything at all? When Freddie gets home tomorrow I will tell him this whole thing and see what he thinks – he’s a fixer so I’m sure he’ll want to go over there to see what’s up but… I’m so confused and having a whole bunch of WTF moments all at once and I feel really weird, like the world has tilted or that I’ve been drugged without my knowledge. That’s how weird this is to me.

I’m so baffled by this, I barely have words to explain it. It really does call for an interpretive dance.

I know!

I spent the rest of Saturday afternoon and all of Sunday feeling really weird and out-of-sorts. Uncomfortable. Uneasy. Discussed it with my Facebook peeps and my JGz family and between the jokes and the re-telling, I started to feel better. I even feel a bit sorry for Edna (the neighbor), not least because her name is Edna. I’m not sure how old she is, but they are the original owners of their house, which was built in 1960. So… she’s getting on in years a bit. There is doubtless something mental going on there.

I haven’t changed my behavior much since then. Well, I showered. It was necessary. And I keep Piper off of the 2-foot strip of their property, even though that is P’s most favorite place to poop in the whole wide world. The other evening, I was out with Piper for the 5234th time and Bob (the husband) was bringing his trash out to the street. We did the whole “what’s up” thing that one does to be neighborly, and that was that. So I’m even more convinced that Edna’s got some mental thing going on that has nothing to do with me. I’m 100% sure she didn’t mention the incident to Bob, even though I bet he’ll hear about it eventually because I talked to A LOT of people on our street.

For the time being, I’m going to treat this as an isolated incident. No harm, no foul. I’m thinking of planting some trees, since putting up a 15-foot razor-wire-topped fence is probably not an option. But if it happens again, we’re going to have problems. And if she calls me a whore again, we’re going to have REAL problems. I gave up being a whore over a decade ago.

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Filed under Me Me Me, Other People, Piper


It is easier to adopt a white, drug-free infant in New Jersey than it is to adopt a puppy. Believe me, I have tried. Nearly all of the shelters in this state are affiliated with Petfinder, which is nice and they do good work and all that, but the process through which one must go to adopt a puppy is excruciating.

Yeah, I get it, they want to make sure that the dogs and cats and whatnot go to the best homes possible, but the process is STUPID. First, search for a dog you like. Then click on it to get more info, which isn’t much more than “likes to be alive, yay!”

Then, click on the contact info for the particular rescue that is fostering/sponsoring that dog. This will either take you to an email, where you express your interest or to an adoption application, which is slightly less exhaustive than a mortgage application. Okay, great. So you fill it out and send it along and HOPE the rescue organization contacts you. Because a lot of them don’t. Especially if they reject you. But you will never know why! You then apply for a couple of other pups, but this is annoying as all get-out because every rescue’s adoption application is different! Yet, the same! You wonder why Petfinder doesn’t just use a standardized application that you can fill out ONCE. This would make sense, and the older you get, the more you realize that things that make sense are rare jewels indeed.

So let’s say you get someone to contact you about your application. Then the fun begins. Sometimes the rescue organization will call you to find out when you want to meet the puppy. You say “anytime! Today is good, tomorrow is fine, just let me know!” And then you never hear from them again, despite a series of extremely polite emails wondering just what the fuck happened.

Sometimes you do manage to get connected to meet the puppy. And he’s super-duper cute, and your 3-year-old daughter is delighted with him. You all like each other and decide to bring this puppy into your family. But then you get a call from the rescue organization, saying the puppy has started barfing up everything in sight and will be going to the vet. A lot of these dogs come from high-kill shelters in the South and some of them have God knows what diseases and everything else. You check back with the rescue about this puppy and find out that he… didn’t make it.


On your third try, you manage to set up a time and place to meet the pup, only to show up there with a tired husband and extremely bitchy toddler, wait 45 minutes past the scheduled time, get pissed off and leave. Halfway home, you get a call on the cell, all “where are you?” and it’s miscommunication and whatever and by this time you’re just sick of the whole stupid process and… whatever. This is the point where you start to understand why people would go to pet stores and buy a dog.

On a whim, you check Petfinder again and find a cute little lady that you think you might like. So you fill out the application (again, a different-yet-same form) and send it off. They contact you via email to set up a time to meet the puppy! You respond! They respond BACK! With directions to the house!

By now you’re all jaded about the process and barely manage to get excited. But you still head to the pet store to get a crate for transport, keeping the receipt, of course. And then you follow the directions to the house and meet the dog and it’s all over, man. This is your dog.

We have a dog. Her name is Piper. No one is quite sure what sort of dog she is, but we know she’s a mutt. Some say Border Collie, some have suggested there’s German Shepherd in there, maybe some Husky (which explains the one blue eye), and she might even be a Boxer. Time will tell, maybe. Jillian decided to name her Piper. The very first dog we were ever going to meet was named Piper and although that didn’t work out, Jillian remembered it and for awhile, all dogs were named Piper. She briefly considered “Sam” as a name and rejected “David Bowie” outright. Though if we’d named her David Bowie, I think we would have just called her “Dave.”

Piper it is, then.

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Filed under Piper

Meet the newest member of the Zack family!!


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