The Cool Kids

My darling dog is very popular. In the three months that we have had Ninja she has already made quite a few dog friends at the parks we go to and never lacks a play mate. Ninja basically has more dog friends than I have people friends.

I would be proud of her if I wasn’t so disappointed.

Now, hear me out, Dear Reader (read me out?) before you judge.

I am thrilled that my dog has the friendly disposition that allows her to make other dog friends easily. After all every person hopes their child dog will be well-liked. Ninja isn’t a bully and plays well with other dogs (I know this because the other people at the dog park always mention it).

But this never ending supply of doggy friends is turning Ninja into a snob.

The other day we were at the park and the sweetest, friendliest and most adorable Border Collie was desperately trying to catch Ninja’s eye. Together they frolicked for a bit, happily taking turns chasing each other with their tails wagging. Then Ninja caught a scent and abruptly turned away, far too busy and interesting to continue to have time for this sweet dog.

Ninja was suddenly too cool to play with her.
(I may be projecting just a little bit as this interaction was very reminiscent of my entire adolescence. And, if I am being honest, my entire adult life. I, like that sweet border collie, have never been one of the “cool kids”. Shocking, I know.)

This lovely Border Collie was already being ignored by its owner who was across the field on her phone totally indifferent to the goings on, and now she was being ignored by Ninja. The dog came over to me for a few cuddles and Ninja continued to ignore her, coming by only for a minute to step between me and this other dog in a blatant attempt to banish her and to remind me that my cuddles are property of Ninja.

It broke my heart.

Probably more than it should have.

Dear Reader, that little dog looked so dejected and sad when Ninja walked away. She rolled over in submission, did the puppy bow, and spent about 10 minutes desperate for Ninja’s attention. If she could have stood on her head to get Ninja to play with her I honestly think she would have.

I am not sure what it was about this Border Collie that made Ninja decide she wasn’t an adequate playmate, and since I can’t read minds (not even dog minds) I will be forever in the dark.

Alas, I suppose none of us can choose our kids dog’s friends.

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Why you gotta be so cool?

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Story Sharing

My Dad and I are writing a story together. We take turns writing one line each and then trading off. So far it’s been interesting.

I, being a serious writer with very little humour and a passion for prose have been taking my sentences quite seriously.

My Dad, on the other hand, is using this as an opportunity to make fun of me.

I mean, sure, I did buy a water bottle for my dog, and sure, that is a bit of a yuppie thing to do. But is it really necessary to turn a very serious, potentially award winning short story into a joke about my spoiled dog?

This may have been a sore spot for me.

Regardless, the exercise has been a fun one (even if I have been waiting days and days for my turn to write again – hurry up, please!). It’s interesting to not only have to limit myself to one or two sentences at a time but to also relinquish control of a story and just see where the exercise leads us. I am a planner, someone who likes to know the major plot points before putting pen to paper which is something I can’t do here. Within the first sentence my Dad had already changed the complete direction of the story.

Apparently my Dad is not a puppet ready to dance to my tune.

Alas. I suppose this will make me a stronger writer.

Or, at the very least, remind me not to tell my Dad about Ninja’s rain coat and backpack.

Who Knew?

Apparently telling your neighbour that you saw a murder in the park on your morning dog walk and then revealing that it was just a large gathering of crows is not actually funny.

Who knew?

I suppose it doesn’t help that the park I go to at 5:30 in the morning is rather scary. (Unless my parent’s are reading this, in which case it is perfectly safe and not at all intimidating. I promise.)
I also suppose it doesn’t help that recently there was a dead body found buried in a different park that is also close by.

Alas, tact is not my strong suit.

Perhaps I should just stick to awkward knock, knock jokes?

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PS. Dear Reader, I seem to be the only person who suspects that my upstairs neighbour was involved in the recent park murder (of the human variety, not the crows). Apparently daily laundry is not “grounds for suspicion”. I remain vigilant.

Little Miss Menacing: “King of the Seals”

My Dad is convinced my dog is going to attack him.

Or, more accurately, he is convinced she is going to rip his throat out in a murderous rage.
(Too graphic? I was going for ‘Game of Thrones’ gritty but I feel like that just sounded forced? Thoughts?)

I digress.

My poor Dad is genuinely terrified of my sweet pup. It all started the first time he met her and she barked at him nervously. In her defence, he had just driven Kevin home from having his wisdom teeth out and she was very sketched out to have some strange man arrive in her new home with her family member that now smelled of blood and the dentist.

Really, you can’t blame her.

After that encounter my Dad ended up having a terrible nightmare (his words) about my dog, who he has nicknamed “King of the Seals”, killing him in a terrifying and graphic way. (Apparently Ninja resembles a boy seal? I don’t seal it … har har har)

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Little Miss Menacing

It didn’t help that their second encounter involved her freaking out and growling quite menacingly at his recliner (and him in it). I’ll admit that was a less than ideal second meeting.

He is fairly traumatized.

As a loving daughter I am torn between trying to respect his fear and telling him to get over it because my doggy is the best doggy and there is no better doggy anywhere.

I mostly lean towards Option B.

As a Rescue Pup, Ninja is understandably intimidated by very tall men, and my Dad is very tall. She is cautious but warming up to him each visit, though I think she senses his fear and it makes her more nervous. In an effort to help I have offered him Ativan and muscle relaxants for their visits, but he has declined in case it dulls his reflexes when she attacks.

Alas, only time and increased exposure will help them become more comfortable with each other. (Though I doubt she will ever forgive the recliner, but in all honesty it had it coming …) In the meantime I continue to regale him with stories about my fur baby that inadvertently frighten him even more.

I suppose it would be prudent to keep any story that contains the words “she tore it to shreds!” to myself …

Capture

Ninja’s most significant casualty, my nearly 20 year old oven mitt.

Awkward Update

I feel the need to defensively discuss my lack of blog posts this last year while adopting a heavy yet subtle passive aggressive tone and explain that just because I haven’t been posting doesn’t mean I haven’t been writing.

(This post is for you, Dad.)

You see, Dear Reader, it’s just that my attention has been elsewhere. Instead of writing sarcastic and manic blog posts I have been focusing my sporadic talents on harassing my family members and close friends via text message (some of these texts have become quite lengthy – almost essay worthy).

Oh, and I have also been writing and illustrating personalized books for my niece and nephew.

(Any guesses which one of these tasks is more time consuming? Hint, it’s the more annoying one.)

The books I have written my niece and nephew are part of a series I plan to continue until the kids are old enough to realize I am not very cool and/or they become less interested in presents that aren’t money. Whichever comes first.

“Walter the Pirate Captain Who Only Does Good Deeds” and “Emily the Explorer” are the first books in the respective series and they are all about my darling Munchkin buddies. My ambitious plan is to write one book per child per year. I’m pretty sure I was delusional when I assigned myself this task, but now that I have started and promised the Little Buddy’s one book per year (a fact I didn’t expect them to remember – but they do!) I am doing my best to keep up.

The books are very grounded and gritty, as is suitable for very young children. They feature a heavy dose of realism with an emphasis on teaching the Munchkins the truths about life. In Wallaby’s books he captains a ferry boat that turns into a diesel train (because a steam train is so passé according to him) and in Em’s first book she and her robot pal rescue a brontosaurus that has been stranded on Saturn.

Naturally.

Basically the stories are pretty biographical with real events and totally plausible plots.

… Or at least the plots would be more realistic if my brother would just buy my Niece a rocket ship or at least find a DIY Tutorial that is capable of reaching deep space. Alas, I suppose we will just have to use the “power of imagination”.

Anyways, there really was no real point to this post other than to share a bit of what I have been working on these days. (Though I have neglected to include examples of my text message prowess as the content is not always appropriate or easily understood out of context.)

… I am going to end this awkwardly now and just share a few pictures from the books I wrote.

 

NBFF (New Best Friends Forever)

I have a new best friend.

This is a bit of a controversial statement as my sister has always been my best friend (and still is, for the most part – no one can replace my sister) but my new friend and I just have a bond that has developed so quickly into something deep and irreplaceable.

We first met on June 4th though I saw her picture a few weeks before and just knew that we would be close. It sounds weird but it’s the truth. You know that feeling you get when you see something and just know that your life is about to change? That was the feeling I got when I saw her. It was the eyes that did me in, brown and soulful. She has the type of eyes that just instantly let you know everything is going to be ok.

No. Not just ok. Better than ok.

Within days of meeting we became inseparable. We go for walks together every day, usually twice a day. We plan adventures and cuddle on the couch to watch Netflix. Kevin loves her too which is making our constant companionship possible. And my sister, Julia, adores her. They even go on adventures together without me (I try to pretend I am not jealous, but they both know I am).

And to top it all off my best friend is literally a Ninja.

This girl sneaks, jumps, and plays like a character from Daredevil. It comes naturally to her and is pretty darn cool. I would be envious if I didn’t love her so much. She has limitless energy! It’s almost exhausting but it balances out my cautious personality perfectly.

She never talks over me and lets me voice my opinions, no matter how silly or stressed.

She always has a hug for me, even when I think I don’t need one.

She has helped tremendously with my anxiety, forcing me to leave the house and just get outside when all I want to do is curl up and sleep.

She understands me and loves me unconditionally, no matter what.

Sure, she likes to try and steal food off my plate (a pet peeve of mine) but everything else about her is so amazing I can overlook this one flaw.

I just know that we are in this together for the long haul and I can’t say how happy that makes me.

Without further ado I am pleased to introduce you, Dear Reader, to my best friend.

Ninja.

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Sincerely Sinister?

The man who lives in the apartment above me murders people.

I assume.

I suppose it’s slanderous to say this, but I’m at least 14% sure and that’s pretty darn sure for someone as indecisive as me.

The evidence is pretty damning.

I think.

I mean, we don’t hear murder-y sounds coming through the vents and there is no stench of blood coming from the dumpsters. There also aren’t a lot of missing people in our neighbourhood.

But he does do laundry every morning at 6:30am.

Every. Morning.

At 6:30!

He’s an older gentleman who lives alone and either owns one pair of underwear (in which case he should just buy a few value packs of Fruit of the Loom since it would cost less than the energy costs of daily laundry) or has a raging case of OCD.

Or he murders people!

At the annual BBQ I tried to do some subtle investigative work by asking questions like “Had he ever been to prison?” or “Does he ever succumb to murderous rages?” but rather than getting any good answers I just got awkward laughter and uncomfortable silence.

The uncomfortable silence of guilt, perhaps?

Kevin has asked me to not encourage our neighbours to think we are giant weirdos but I think that it’s much weirder to do daily laundry at 6:30 in the morning than it is to ask thoughtful and engaging questions at social event.

… I don’t think I won that argument …

I hope that my upstairs neighbour is not somehow a devoted follower of this blog. I mean, I have no qualms about murderers reading my blog I just don’t want to make things awkward in the elevator.

Or at least make things any more awkward than they are after our encounter at the BBQ …

Alas, dear reader, I suppose I will never know the truth.