Stories by
Dave Wiley

Dave Wiley has been a member of many Samoyed lists over the years, and we
all enjoy his tales of life with his family, including dogs Kodah, Kenndrah,
and Kia. This is a collection of many of his best stories. Included are experiences
traveling to Europe, teaching his kids about dogs, and things that only seem to
happen to Dave. Some are poignant, some are amusing, and more than a few will
have you laughing out loud. Now have a seat, get comfortable, and enjoy!
 

'Twas the night before Christmas
12/12/2001

'Twas the night before Christmas
and all through the house,
not a Sammy was stirring
not even when a Kraft American cheese wrapper was krinkling.

The Sammy's all slept,
by the fireplace with care,
hoping that Santa wouldn't step on their hair.

The humans were all nestled warm in their beds,
the Sammy's would all jump up there,
when snoring came from their heads.

The mom had on her kerchief,
the dad raggy pants.
Thank goodness for Christmas
he'd get new ones from aunts.

When from the roof,
there arose such a clatter,
the Sammy's looked to the ground,
to see what would splatter.

Away to the window,
they ran with a hunch,
hearing a whistle,
they hoped it was lunch.

The moon on the crest
of the new fallen snow,
didn't show any tracks
that humans came from below.

When what
to their wondering eyes would appear,
but a very large man,
with a very large rear.

He looked kind of chubby,
the dogs thought, what a spoof.
That a dude of his girth,
Could get up on a roof.

He and his dogs,
with those stupid antlers humans always make dogs wear once a year.
Stood on the roof,
with their crazy headgear.

The fat guy just stood there,
and began calling out names,
And the dogs with the antlers,
well they just sort of came.

Now Dasher, now dancer,
now Prancer now vixen,
On comet, on cupid,
on donner on blitzen.

Then the large guy,
and the dogs standing tall,
ran right off the roof,
with Sammy's in awe.

The dog in the front,
had a very red nose,
and he lit up the sky
the color of rose.

As the guy and the sleigh,
slowly pulled out of sight,
the Sammy's heard him laugh,
and wish all a good night.

Then they ran over to the tree and ate wrapping paper.



New Samoyed Christmas Music.
12/12/2001

Potty bell rings, are you listenin,
if ya don't, tile glistens
You just wanna pout,
he had to go out,
Walkin' in the winter with your sam....

In the meadow he will make a dog pile.
You take a look, make sure its firm and round.
If wife says "runny?" you can just say "no ma'am"
You leave it there cause no one is around.

Later on, step in the pile,
Shoulda scooped, hard to smile
Not a nice site, take your shoes off tonight
Walkin in the winter with your sam....



When Harry met Femke.
2/9/2004

It was December, 1994. I remember vividly, because I never had to
travel this close to Christmas, but a work emergency made this holiday
season different. It was an early Saturday morning, cold and rainy, and I
was on my way from the hotel to Amsterdam Central Station to catch the train
to the airport. Just outside of Central station, I came across a homeless
man. I'd seen him a number of times in the past, as I'd traveled thru
Amsterdam quite often, and normally had given him some change. There are
many homeless people that call Amsterdam central station their home, but for
some reason this individual always stuck in my mind. He was always so
good-natured. Because of the holidays, I was feeling particularly upbeat,
so I handed him 50 guilders and wished him a merry Christmas. He welled up
with tears, thanking me profusely for my generosity, and asked my name. I
told him mine and he told me his was Harry. We chatted briefly and parted
ways.

I went to the ticket vending machine at the train station, only then
realizing I had just given away the last of my money, and the bank was not
open yet for currency exchange. I had no Dutch money to procure my ticket
to the airport. BUT.... along comes Harry. He saw me standing there
bewildered and asked if I need help with the ticket vending machine, as it
was entirely in Dutch and not English. I explained this was not my
predicament. My actual problem was that I had no money. Without the
slightest hesitation, Harry punched out the code for a ticket to the
airport, and deposited the change required. Out came a ticket. He handed
it to me and said, "Thank you". I asked why he was thanking me when it was
I who was deeply indebted to him. He said "Because I have been on the
street for many years. I don't have a lot of friends and you are the first
person in a long time that I have been able to help. This is why I thank
you". Well, needless to say, Harry bailed me out. For the next 8 years, I
have seen Harry at the train station in Amsterdam. He almost always saw me
first and came over for some idle chitchat. A number of times we've had
dinner together. Dinner with Harry isn't what most people perceive as a
normal dinner. We would purchase pizza or fries from the outdoor vendors
and sit on the curb to eat, as Harry wasn't welcome in restaurants. I
consider Harry a good friend.

About June or July of 2002, I stopped seeing Harry at the train
station. And I hadn't seen him since, until a trip in early 2003. For some
reason, I always thought the worst; that Harry, even though he was pretty
young, had probably frozen to death or had been killed. It's Saturday
morning, 5:30 A.M. I am on my way to the train station, roughly the same
time I always go to catch the early flight. I hear a voice yell, "Hey
Dave". I turn to see a clean-shaven, casually dressed gentleman coming my
way. He is out walking his dog. I have no idea who this person is. He
walks up to me, shakes my hand and says "Its me. Harry". I am in complete
shock! I tell him I cannot believe it's him. (I have never seen the man
without layers of dirt all over himself.). He proceeds to tell me where he
has been for the last number of months.

It seems Harry found himself the dog he is now walking. Femke, his new
companion, just showed up one day and started hanging out with him at the
train station. He and Femke lived on the street for a few months until one
day Femke was run over by a car. Harry rushed the dog to a vet, who
informed him the cost of surgery to repair the dog's hip was going to be
very expensive. Harry of course had no money. The vet made Harry an offer.
If he did the surgery, Harry would take up residence on a cot in the back of
the vets' office, and work for him by watching the dogs on nightshift until
the surgery was paid off. Harry readily accepted the offer. Femke came
through the hip surgery with flying colors. Because Harry was so kind to
the animals, and was such a good worker, when the bill was paid off, the vet
offered Harry a permanent position. Harry was no longer a homeless person.
He got an apartment, and he and Femke moved in. The love of Femke saved
Harry from the streets.

Harry and I were supposed to meet for dinner near the train station my
next trip, but Harry did not show up, and I haven't seen him since. I am
both saddened and relieved. A small part of me misses an old friend and
knows I will probably never see Harry again; however a bigger part of me
prays that I never do see Harry again near the train station in Amsterdam.
Why? Because I know Harry is all right. Because the love he received from
having a dog gave him a feeling of responsibility and self worth.

I wish I could thank the vet that believed in Harry enough to turn his
life around, but I never had the pleasure of meeting him. Harry, if I never
see you again, please enjoy the rest of your life. Give Femke a pet on the
head. And thank you for being my friend.

Dave Wiley



Packhiking Story
5/21/04

Me and the girls (my packhiking sammies and my min-pin, which could be the first packhiking min-pin ever) have seen some incredible things when we go packhiking. Nice scenery, nice walks, good weather, bad weather. We had the weird story of the guy relieving himself which I typed up a couple years ago. Well we've now had our second potty encounter on a packhiking adventure. The story is somewhat graphic in nature, so I've left a lot of that kind of stuff out. Use your own imagination.

We were hoofing it through the Cleveland metroparks with about two miles left on our ten mile hike, and we came up to a picnic pavilion area. Off to the left of us were several port o' lets, and one was being used in a very unusual fashion. There was some sort of cart parked next to the port o' let. Not being a sledder, I assumed it was some sort of training cart when there is no snow, but that was pure speculation on my part. The cart was not the unusual part. The unusual part was there were four Siberian husky/malamute looking dogs in harnesses, all hooked to one gang line (I think that is what it is called). The line was probably 20 feet long, and went directly into the door of the port o' let. The dogs were not hooked to the training cart at all, so it appeared they were out on a port o' let sled riding mission. I can only assume there was no way to anchor the cart and the dogs while the operator of the cart and dogs was taking care of business, so she got the brilliant idea to just take the gang line into the port o' let and hold on to the dogs while she accomplished her goal.

You are probably thinking the exact same thoughts I was thinking when I saw this little set up. Recipe for disaster. And, of course this story wouldn't really be worth typing if it ended with the woman coming out and driving off with her dogs into the sunset. I am fishing for my digital camera so I can take a picture of the port o' let pulling team when my dogs yank their leashes, almost toppling me over. I look to see what in blazes set my dogs off, and notice that a squirrel has decided to stop in the middle of this wide open space, pick up a nut and chow it while my three dogs and four port o' let anchored sled dogs hang out in that very same field. So far the potty chain gang hasn't seen the squirrel, but it is only a matter of time as my dogs are doing the "If I wasn't on this leash I would kick that squirrels' a##" dance. Sure enough, the potty pullers heads all snap to the direction of my dogs, then to the direction of the squirrel, and they all appear to get the same idea as my packhikers straining at their leashes. My dogs see those dogs spot the squirrel, and some sort of dog tribal hunting non-verbal communication thing happens, as every one of the seven dogs on either end of the field realizes that its pretty much a race to see which of the two groups can get to the squirrel faster. My dogs redouble their pulling efforts, and the four dog sled team reacted as one, and lung full steam for the squirrel. The port o' let sort of spins about 30 degrees and rocks like the dickens. Luckily, it doesn't tip over, but kind of rocks back and forth a time or two and then rights itself. Well, that is just unacceptable to the sled team, and they give another huge yank. The port o' let spins yet again, and from inside the green tower of privacy potty protective custody, some sort of human screech occurs. The screech seemed to slow the port o' pullers down, and they settled into a nervous stand. At this point the squirrel decided my dogs weren't going to get him, and the port o' pullers couldn't get him, so he started doing some kind of "na,na,na can't get me" dance, infuriating the port o' pullers and driving my dogs crazy. If you ever wondered why dog sleds are built long and low to the ground, as opposed to small and tall, like, say, the shape of a port o let, you need not wonder if this is a design flaw anymore. Anyhow, the pulling and barking started up again. The port o' let did its best to stay standing, rocking heavily back and forth. The dogs, sensing port o' let pull over victory forgot completely about the squirrel, and started timing their pulls with the rocking, and of course triumphantly gave one last tug and yanked the port o' let over. For some reason, pulling the port o' let over gave the dogs some sort of satisfaction, and they just stopped pulling after the port o' let settled on ground. I'm not sure what happened to the squirrel at this point, although if he was anything like that insurance commercial where the two squirrels make the car wreck and high five each other, then my guess is he ran off into the woods to get his friends so he could show them what he'd accomplished.

From the port o' let came a series of cuss words unrepeatable in this story, so I figured I'd better head over that way and see if I could help out. The port o' let, unfortunately had landed face down, meaning the door was now the bottom of the port o' let. I tied my dogs to a tree, and ventured toward the port o let. I asked if the occupant of the tipped port o' let was ok. She said yes, in a lot more colorful and verbal way than just yes, but for the purposes of this story we'll just say she said yes. The port o' let hadn't faired as well. You could tell it was hurt because there was a lot of blue fluid leaking from it. I told the woman that I would have to roll the port o' let on its side, so we could try opening the door, and she should find something to hang on to(unfortunately, what else is there to hang on to in a port o' let but the toilet). Well a couple good shoves later, the port o' let rolled 90 degrees and the door was exposed. The door opened and out crawled mama smurf. The woman in the port o' let had unfortunately been covered in the blue blood of the dying port o' let. Her dogs came running an decided she needed a tongue bath, which did not make her at all happy. About this point she realized that step 10 in the bathroom process entitled "put your pants back on", had been skipped, and she disappeared back into the port o' let to, for lack a better word, finish. Well, she was in absolutely no mood to talk about her ride on the wild side, which I didn't blame her, so she got the short version of what happened outside the port o' let, and I spared her the indignity of having to recite her version of what happened from inside the port o' let. I helped her hook her dogs up to the cart looking thing, and off she went, glowing blue as she went drove down the path and back into the metro park woods. I had no idea where her car was, but I can't imagine what all the other metro park people thought as they walked serenely through the park and were passed by a pissed off blue smurf and her merry band of blue tongued dogs.

Me and my girls are only about 150 points from finishing off our WS in packhiking, but frankly, I am starting to dread going out for those last few points.

Dave Wiley


Duck, duck...... GOOSE!!!!
7/1/2004

Even though I have three dogs, my three year old Samoyed Kodah and I
share a special bond. Kodah follows me everywhere. I am an early riser,
and Kodah always gets up with me, even if she is still tired. The other
dogs and my wife will sleep all morning, but not me, which means not Kodah
either. Our favorite thing to do is take a walk around the lake on weekend
mornings and commune with nature. Since we only do it on weekends, Kodah
seems to have calculated how many days that is, and she now wakes me up
really early on weekend mornings.

Kodah is the only one of my three dogs I can trust without a leash,
which makes our morning hangouts even more special. Its the only time she
gets to go outside the fence off leash. We have ducks, geese, deer,
rabbits, frogs, fish, cats, otters...etc.. all hanging out in our yard.
Kodah leaves them all alone. The ducks she will go by because we feed them
bread, but everybody else she just watches and enjoys on the walk. It is a
pretty cool thing to witness.

This past Saturday, we got ready for our usual walk around the lake.
As soon as I walked out the backdoor, I see the six pack(we have five boy
ducks and one girl duck that I refer to as the six pack). About four years
ago, my wife started feeding these ducks and they show up every year. I'm
pretty sure I could pick one up if I wanted to, they are so used to us.
They know our cars when they come down the road. Kodah likes the ducks, and
will lay down and watch them chomp their bread. Sometimes I think she
considers herself their mom. If they are down by the lake and we come out
of the house, Kodah will run down to the ducks and then lead them back like
a mom duck. She walks, they walk behind her. Over the bridge, through the
backyard, and up to the garage door. Then she lays down and they eat their
bread. Afterward they fly back to the lake, with Kodah chasing, and we walk
around the lake.

Well, back to the story. We walked out the door and there was the six
pack, sleeping under the back end of the RV. Kodah ran over to "mom" them
to the back door. She ran around the back corner of the RV where I couldn't
see her, then YELPED really loudly and RAN right back and sat next to me.
I'm wondering if she hurt herself or something when around the corner walks
a giant hissing goose that Kodah must have mutually surprised when she went
to round up the ducks. The goose, intent on revenge of what it had decided
was an attack, moved toward us, wings flapping, for the counter-attack.
Kodah went directly behind me, knowing I would protect her... Little did
she know I wasn't taking on the goose and I took off running. The goose,
realizing it had the upper hand, went from "I'm a little pissed off and
vengeful" mode to "full attack combat" mode. Kodah took off after me. We
ran down the driveway side by side, goose roughly ten yards behind. The
ducks, still interested in their breakfast, took up the rear of the
impromptu parade, waddling and quacking for their bread. We hit the end of
the driveway and the goose would not give up. I took a left, as we live on
a circle, Kodah followed, the goose still roughly ten yards back, and the
ducks twenty yards behind that, lined up for breakfast. Staying on the
road, Kodah and I completed our first circle but the goose would not give
up. So we went around again!!! On this second lap we caught up with the
ducks, who were still on their first lap of the circle and not covering as
much ground as Kodah and myself and the goose. Now we have no where to go
and slow down. The goose is catching us. I think to myself, why am I
running from this stupid goose to begin with, so I just stop and assume a
confrontational stance. Had I given it a little thought, I might have used
that karate kid one leg stance for maximum imposing effect, but it didn't
come to me at the time. Kodah seemed to read what I was doing, and turned
and faced the goose also. She went with the four legged lean forward
imposing stance, as she had never seen the karate kid. This was it, Man and
Dog vs. the goose. The goose stopped, and it did seem to take up the karate
kid stance, which pissed me off because I didn't think of it first. The
ducks at this point decided they would take up on the side of the dude with
the bread and the "mom", and lined up behind Kodah and I. Their stance was
really not all that imposing.

I have never been in a stare off with a goose, but from watching
Discovery year in and year out because its my wife's favorite channel, I
decided the stareoff was the way to go. After all, it works with dogs.
Some synapse in my brain chose this moment to fire and propose this was
really the worst thing you could do if the animal you were having the stare
off with was a gorilla(from some michael creighton book I read called
congo), so I waffled a little, but I decided the stare off method applied to
more animals than the look away method, so I stuck with the stare off. The
stare off lasted at least thirty minutes, although when I looked at my watch
it appeared to last ten or twelve seconds, and the goose decided it had won.
There was no longer a need to chase me. I guess two times around the circle
making me look foolish was reparation enough for the indignancy my dog had
caused it earlier by the RV. Either that or the goose realized it was
outnumbered by a man, a dog, and six hungry ducks. The goose backed off and
walked away. Kodah and I and the ducks all looked at each other, realizing
that none one of us could be counted on in a tight spot, but then knowing
when push came to shove, we stood up to the goose and showed him pretty much
nothing. Even so, we celebrated our hard fought retreation victory with
bread crumbs all around, and a walk through the woods. Thank goodness it
was 5:30 in the morning and none of the neighbors was awake yet.

Dave Wiley


Just when you thought you'd seen everything when travelling,
you end up seeing everything.

7/21/2004

This story has absolutely nothing to do with animals, so if you aren't
interested, press delete now. Its just a bad airline story. PS this is not
Melissa's thong story.

Yesterday I was travelling home from the Netherlands. I was sitting on
a pretty full flight, yet around the row in front of me there was a void of
four seats. The flight was due to take off around 2:20. At 3:30 we were
still sitting there. It turned out a family of four was having problems
getting through customs to get on the plane. These were the four seats in
front of me. Two were on my side of the aisle, the other two were just
accross the isle. The family of four managed to climb aboard and take their
seats. The four of them took an extraordinarily long time to board. The
family consisted of a husband and wife and twin boys. The twin boys were
around seven or eight years old. Instead of the husband and wife each
taking a twin on opposite sides of the aisle, the twin boys sat together
accross and one row up from me, and the mom and dad sat directly in front of
me.

The twin boys turned out to be quite a handful. Their first act was to
push the attendant call button 700 times till the attendant came and said to
the parents "You know your sons are the ones responsible for that constant
beeping you are hearing over the PA. They are playing with the attendant
call button. Mom and Dad just shrugged and said it was keeping their
children busy and it didn't seem like too much of a bother to them. The
flight attendant was cordial yet firm, but was no match for the parents and
the twins, who intensified their button pushing efforts just because it was
fun. Finally the plane was pushed back from the gate. We taxied to the
runway, and were in line to take off, when one of the twins decided to
remove his seatbelt and go for a stroll. Our plane was pulled out of the
takeoff line and sent to some area of the tarmac to be punished for awhile,
because it is against federal law to take off when all parties are not
seated with their seatbelts firmly fastened. It was now a little after
5:00. Making my connecting flight was not looking good. The good natured
flight attendant suggested to the man and wife that the kids might behave
better if split up. Good suggestion, but it fell upon deaf ears. The
parents lamented about how a flight attendant would have the gaul to tell
them how to raise their children. From this part of the story, who would
have guessed that the parents would end up being more annoying than their
children.

Well we finally did end up taking off somewhere in the vicinity of
6:00, almost four hours late. Now came the eight hour flight to the U.S.
As soon as the announcement was made for seat belt removal, the mom took off
her seat belt. The kids were actually being good now. The mom stood up in
the aisle and decided she would lean over in between her two boys and feed
them m&m's, one at time, out of this huge two pound bag of m&m's. Feeding a
couple little rebels sugar seemed like a bad idea to me, but that wasn't the
worst part of this little scenario. The worst part was the mom. The mom,
in her infinite travel wisdom, had obviously thought long and hard about
what she was going to wear on this long arduous journey. She chose to go
with a nice pair of low riding orange pants which stopped just below where
her butt crack ended, and she cleverly accented this with a matching orange
thong that ended about six inches above the top of the low riding pants. To
make sure everyone knew how well she'd chosen her flight outfit, she capped
it off with a shirt that didn't come anywhere near covering up any of the
previously mentioned stuff. To really make sure she spent about the next
two hours bent over as far as possible, dispersing m&m's one at a time to
each of her kids, which placed her rear end right about where my tv monitor
would have been had there not been a rear end there. So much for watching a
movie. By the end of the two hour bend over m&m distribution session, I
knew more about this woman's rear end than probably she knew herself.
Finally two pounds of m&m's were consumed, and pumpkin(the nickname I'd
bestowed on the orange pants woman) decided she would sit down for a while.
THANK GOODNESS!!!! I turned on my little video monitor and began scrolling
through the movies, when all of the sudden another television related
eclipse occurred. As my eyes focused from the now blocked out tv monitor to
what ever was now in front of the tv monitor, my first reaction was "well,
at least it isn't orange". And in fact it was not, for now access to my
video monitor was not blocked by the mom's butt, but that of the butt of the
dad.

I got the distinct impression that the Cracks(my new nickname for the
family) did a lot of shopping together. Mr. Crack went with black pants
that stopped just shy of the place where his cheeks connected thus
displaying his deserving new nickname, and a black thong very similar to the
one his wife was wearing. In horror I had to only assume they shared
underwear. Mr Crack was in charge of feeding his fine boys a bag of
something that resembled gummy worms and it appeared to also be around the
two pound size. Mr Crack added a whole new concern to my butt-block-the-tv
laundry list of concerns. He introduced the "what if that thing goes off"
element. Women by and large are known not to do that kind of thing to
people, so I hadn't even thought about it when Mrs Crack was positioned the
way she was. But men being a man and all, Mr Crack might even see humor in
ruining the air that was in such close proximity to my nose. I'd wished I'd
watched the video more closely about how that whole oxygen mask thing
worked. Was the oxygen mask available on demand? Was there a manual
release? Could I release it now just in case? I searched the seatback
pocket in front of me for the instructions. The search was in vain. My
other option would be to push the call button and ask a flight attendant,
but the call buttons had long since ceased being answered as the constant
ringing from the two boys had continued over the last three hours.

By now I wasn't the only one who'd noticed the Cracks. There were
whispers amongst the rows behind me. Unfortunately, though, I must have
paid more for my seat than everyone else on the plane, because I had the
only seat in the orchestra section and everyone else was in general seating.
Thankfully, Mr Crack fed his little boys sugar faster than Mrs. Crack, so I
only got to converse with myself in my head about his rear end for roughly
thirty minutes. Maybe now I could watch a movie. Dinner was just being
served and I tuned into a movie called "Hildago", which looked like it
might be good. It was the story of a horse that went from the U.S. to
Arabia in order to..... I was back to only sound and an orange and flesh
colored rear end.

Mrs Crack had jumped back into the aisleway as soon as the dinner cart
drove by. Additionally, she'd dragged down a giant piece of luggage, set it
on the aisleway floor and was in the process of unzipping it. This only
meant to me that instead of watching Hildalgo, I would be watching a rerun
of her bent over for probably a really long time. I decided Mrs Crack was a
gymnast before she got married because normal people couldn't stay bent over
for lengthy periods of time like that. I had a cherry tomato in my salad
that I contemplated setting on the crack showing portion of her bottom just
so I wouldn't have to look at it anymore. The downside was when she sat
down on it maybe in two hours it would just be one more thing to focus on.
How long was this flight? Mrs Crack fished through the luggage for what
seemed like an hour, finally finding whatever it was she was looking for.
My guess was she had more candy in there somewhere for the boys.

Ahhh another reprieve. Mrs Crack had come up with a hat and a plastic
grocery bag of something. She put on the hat(which prompted her new Dr
Suess related nickname of "the crack in the hat") and she took off down the
aisle with the grocery bag. Mr crack was sleeping, as were the baby cracks.
I turned back on "Hildalgo", the story of a horse that went from the U.S to
Arabia in order to compete in a race. This time I made it to where the
racing flag was dropped and the horses were off. There was a future
forewarning shot with all the horses rear ends as they ran into the desert.
Then the screen whited out. Again a nickname quickly popped into my head :
"The crack in the hat comes back".

I side track from my story for just a minute, because the next thing
that happened to me might have answered a previously unanswered airline
question I've always wondered about. What do people do in airline bathrooms
for longer than 5 minutes while you are waiting to get in there. Have you
ever stood outside an airline bathroom for like 30 minutes and no one ever
comes out, yet you know the bathroom is occupied because you were there when
they went in? What is going on in there? Do you really want to be the next
person in there after someone took 30 minutes in an airline bathroom? Mrs
Crack had provided for me a reasonable answer to the question. Mrs Crack
had changed her pants. I would have hoped Mrs Crack realized she was
displaying her assets to a lot of people, and went with a more appropriate
bending over outfit. The answer to my hope would be no. Mrs. Crack had
just taken an intermission and changed costumes for act two. Not only had
Mrs. Crack changed into white pants, she'd changed her underwear as well.
Who changes their underwear when they are flying on a plane? Is this the
twilight zone?

My mind contemplated a whole series of answers. Had something really
bad happened inside the pants that made changing a requirement? Was Mrs
Crack upset that I had not yet given her a dollar so she'd decided to try a
different outfit? Would Mr. Crack also be changing? How many acts were
there in this show? If I pressed the channel changer on the tv remote,
would Mrs Crack change again? There is a lot of time for ponderment when
all you have to do is stare up someone's backside.

Mrs Crack had changed into some white pants now, and some underwear
that were somehow smaller than a thong, which I learned from eavesdropping on
the whispered conversation behind me these smaller underwear were called
t-backs. Who knew flying was so educational. I also learned from the woman
talking to the man behind me that the change of underwear was a direct
result of the color of the pants over the underwear, because if the woman
had stuck with the orange thong and changed to the white pants, that people
would be able to see her underwear. Well, thank goodness for underwear
etiquette. Wouldn't want people to see your underwear!!! The clothing
change on seemed to produce more buttock area being exposed. I was starting
to wonder if I would have to apply for a divorce from this woman when I got
off the plane because based on the familiarity I had with her backside, I
might now be married in some country we were flying over. About the time I
decided I was just going to offer her twenty dollars to see if that would
make her move on to the next fellow, she decided to sit down.

This seemed like a good time to turn on Hildalgo, the story of a horse
who this time didn't even get out of the U.S. as the eight hour victoria
extravaganza had come to an end and the in flight entertainment was turned
off so we could land. When we pulled up to the gate, I made 1000% percent
sure that I would not get off the flight behind the Cracks. Unfortunately,
I missed my connecting flight, so I was booked on a later flight. I hoped
the Cracks were not going to be on my next flight, but even it they were, it
would only be another twenty minutes, so it was more like just an underwear
commercial as opposed to an entire fashion show. Then again, they could be
on my shuttle to parking too.... I need to get to the solitude of my car.

Dave Wiley


The Peacock (a reply to Cheryl West)
7/27/2004

Normally I try to refrain from telling non dog related stories on the list,
but since you brought up Germany, and there is an animal in the story :

About eight years ago, I am travelling to the Netherlands via
Dusseldorf, Germany airport. I have never been a fan of flying through
Dusseldorf because there is no easy train route to go from Dusseldorf to
Maastricht. Basically, I have to catch this large van/small bus
contraption. The shuttle is called the Tater/Aachen shuttle. It is a bus
about the size of a large van, but taller inside kind of like those airport
shuttle service busses that drive you back to your car if you park away from
the airport. The van also has this enclosed trailer that it hauls where
everyone's luggage goes. After the van takes you to Aachen Germany, you
then get on the train, change roughly three times to get to your
destination. A definite trains, planes and automobiles trip. My trip going
there was uneventful.

Coming home I catch the Tater/Aachen bus. I am the last to arrive.
The driver loads up my luggage, and I am bestowed the front seat next to the
driver. I was hoping to read a bit, but the driver is a real chatterbox and
knows me from previous trips, so of course we have to "catch up". The bus
trip takes roughly an hour, and goes through some serious farmland. About
20 minutes into the trip, I ask him if he's ever hit any animals going
through all this countryside. Although he's had numerous close calls, he
says no, he's been pretty lucky. It couldn't have been more than five
minutes after I asked him this stupid question, than out of the corner of my
eye, coming from the right, I see this flash of color. I turn my head just
in time to see a giant peacock do one of those cartoon wings and feet spread
your body as wide as possible splats onto the front windshield of the bus.
CRASH!!!!!!!! The peacock is eye to eye with the driver, so the driver
cannot see anything. The windshield shatters everywhere, the van starts
swerving, we spin around a few times, and come to a stop. I look over at
the driver. He is bleeding pretty good, and he has a peacock on his lap.
Glass is everywhere. If he is bleeding, I now wonder if I am bleeding. I
look down to a pretty nice lapful of glass. As near as I can tell I am not
cut anywhere. Everyone else in the van appears to be ok. The driver stands
up, opens up his door, and flings the peacock out. He starts brushing the
glass off himself. I decide I might as well do the same. I stand up and he
opens the door for me, and I climb out. I brush as much glass off as I can
find. Its in my hair, my shirt, my pants my shoes, and I am bleeding from
somewhere but I can't tell where. Everyone else climbs out of the van. The
glass only got me and the driver. The driver says to me "Well, I can't say
I have never hit an animal anymore" and then repeats it in German. Everyone
gets a good laugh out of it. After a damage assessment, the peacock is
dead, the driver is pretty well cut up, and I have a small cut under my
chin, but nothing else.

The Van, however, has only about 1/2 a windshield, and the little
enclosed luggage cart is laying on its side. Everyone in the van, remember,
is on their way to the airport to catch a flight. The driver has a pretty
good head on his shoulders, so he tries starting up the van, and it does
start. I tell him if he works on getting the van going (one tire is flat),
I will work on righting the luggage trailer. So we have a plan. Me and
four German guys get to work unloading the trailer, and the driver takes one
guy to help with the tire. The four women hover over the dead peacock. We
finish unloading the trailer, and amongst the six of us, we flip it back up
on its wheels. Then we load the trailer back up, the tire is changed, and
the driver pulls out a big lead pipe and starts breaking out the rest of the
glass so it won't fly on us while driving. We get the windshield all
cleared out, and everyone piles back into the van. Off we go to the airport
with no windshield, and the enclosed cart looking like a clown car because
the axle is sort of bent so it is going up and down as we drive. We made
the airport only about 1/2 hour late. We all shake hands and hug, as now we
share a bad travel experience bonding story, and off we all go for our
flight. I continued picking glass out of my clothing for most of the flight
home, a nice reminder of an eventful journey.

My next trip through Dusseldorf would be my last, as the airport burned
to the ground while I was there(not at the airport, but in Europe), but that
is a whole different story.

Dave Wiley


The nearsighted Cupid
8/4/2004

Love comes in many shapes and sizes. When you are looking for love,
you never find it. When you do find it, you least expect it, and when its
over it breaks your heart. Thus was the case with my miniature pinscher,
Kenndrah.

We were hiking through Malabar Farm Parks, a working farm designated as
state park in the central Ohio area. The dogs and I had pretty much
finished our hike and we decided to head over to the barn. I was a little
apprehensive about taking the dogs into the barn as I had no idea how they
would react to the animals in there. It turned out to be interesting to say
the least.

When we first walked into the barn, the only animals visible were a
horse and a cow. Both were disinterested in a tall guy, two Samoyeds and a
miniature pinscher. The dogs had a minor interest, I think because they had
never seen a cow hoof attached to an animal before. Usually they were just
in giant bins with other cow hooves waiting to be purchased and chewed.
They normally didn't come with straw and all kinds of other mangy things
stuck in the hooves. We watched the hooves with the cow attached for a
couple of minutes until the girls decided it wasn't worth the effort to try
to detach the hoof from the big furry mammal, and we moved on. Next up were
the chickens. Now the dogs were decidedly interested. I could only imagine
this was similar to a human picking his own lobster out of a tank, and then
going and sitting in a booth and sipping on a margarita the size of Delaware
while waiting patiently for their hard earned selection to be presented them
on a platter along with other miscellaneous food objects that they didn't
get to pick out. As I watched each of the dogs, I could tell they had all
made their selection, so we moved on down the buffet line for our next
selection.

Next up was the pig pen. Again, I think the sammies were wondering
what those large rotund things were attached to the ears they normally
plucked out of bins at the local dog store. Kenndrah, however, was affected
in a completely different way.

I didn't see the arrow that cupid shot into the buttock of my dog, but
it had clearly happened. Cupid was either: having a bad day; drunk;
nearsighted; intent on using his love powers in a humorous fashion; lost at
poker and had to pay up by pairing a small dog with a pig; or all of the
above. Whatever the case, Kenndrah was instantly head over paws in love
with Cedric the giant pink pig. Cedric (as is name was clearly displayed on
his pen) was oblivious to Kenndrah's tiny barks of affection. He was
interested in smelling her though, and Kenndrah obliged by allowing him
access to all angles of herself. Top of the head first, then a little whiff
of the neck, a couple whiffs down the left side, some whiffs we'll just skip a
description of, a quick turn and some whiffs back up the right side, and
finally they were once again nose to nose. Cedric snorted his apparent
approval, and Kenndrah looked like she had little cartoon hearts flying from
her head into the air as she just sparkled with affection for Cedric.
Cedric decided he wanted to smell up the sammies now, which was in no way,
shape, or form ok with Kenndrah. She sort of scooted her little self in
between Cedric's nose and the sammies. So Cedric figured he was in for
another round of Kenndrah sniffing, and Kenndrah was only too delighted to
oblige. Once again the apparent courting ritual of a dog and her pig ran
through its sniffing motions. The cartoon hearts again flew in every
direction, and I swore I heard harp music.

Unfortunately for Kenndrah, the Samoyeds were ready to check out the
next buffet item, and we had to move on. Kenndrah would not stop crying and
pulling on her leash, so when we finished our barn tour, I took her back to
say goodbye to Cedric. Cedric had moved off to the other side of the pen.
Kenndrah cried for him, but to no avail. Cedric had laid down on his piggy
couch and was completely ignoring her. Kenndrah was devastated. Her first
true love had only lasted for roughly four minutes, but for her, there would
never be another four minutes like the time she'd spent with Cedric.

We loaded into the car, with Kenndrah pressed up against the window
like a Garfield suction cup cat, and we drove off into the sunset. Kenndrah
was miserable, so I stopped off at a McDonalds and got lunch. Giving
Kenndrah her own piece of chicken seemed to help her get over Cedric, and
she slept happily all the way home, crooning over her newfound love, the
mcnugget.

Dave Wiley


Bubble bubble, are we in trouble?
8/11/04

My sister lives in Indiana and was having my nephew's first birthday
party, so we decided we would attend. My wife and I have an RV so we can
take the dogs wherever we go and it works out pretty well. The only problem
is having an RV is sort of like having a van, only worse. Whenever anyone
finds out you are taking the RV somewhere, they all want to "ride along".
And indeed it is a "ride along". I end up doing all the driving, and
everyone else just rides along and has a good old time. My mom found out we
were going to the party, so she called me up to find out if they could "ride
along". Sure no problem. She told my sister, who also has a dog, so she
also called me to see if they could "ride along". No problem. Our little
weekend cruise went from two adults, a baby, and three dogs to six adults, a
baby, and four dogs. Still not so bad, except..... One of our cousin's was
going on vacation and we had to watch their dog that weekend, which brought
the count up to six, one, and five dogs. Ok now we are getting a little
crazy, especially since I have never had all these dogs together before.
For once it seemed like driving was the easiest job and partying wasn't
going to be so easy. After introducing all the dogs, we all piled into the
RV. It took a while, but all the dogs found a place to lay down and the
trip was pretty quiet. About halfway through the trip, we stopped for a gas
fill-up and a potty break. The RV looked sort of like a clown car. There
was one dog per adult, with one adult also having a baby, so everyone had
something when they climbed out the door of the RV except me. Many people
at the gas station asked if there was a dog show nearby as I was pumping
gas. I just pointed to the hill where my family was lounging and said "yes,
its right over there". We arrived at my sisters at midnight, and of course
all the dogs were ready to run.

I decided to take them for a walk. My sister told me about a park
roughly 1/4 mile from her house, so I decided to head over there. Everyone
else decided they were going to bed. That left me and six dogs. I have
seen dog walkers on TV with like 15 dogs, but I never see the dogs going
around in circles tying up the dog walkers like all these dogs were doing to
me. I could barely even pay attention to where we were going, as all I was
trying to go was keep tangling down to a minimum. We made it to the park
with no mishaps, and then everyone started pooping.
 
Picking up poop with one hand in a plastic bag while trying to hold six
dogs should definitely be an Olympic event. Anyone who can even complete
the event should just be given a gold medal in my opinion. I did manage to
get through it without falling in any thing. Now it was time to get in some
power exercising before returning to the RV so off we went.

The park was really nice. It had a number of playgrounds and baseball
fields and all kinds of cool stuff for kids to do. It also had a really
cool water park area. The dogs and I headed toward the water park to check
it out. The water park area consisted of a number of water spewing devices
that kids could run through, a pool, and some steps that led to something
above the pool. Whatever was up there created a waterfall into the pool so
I thought I would take the steps to see what it was. From the bottom of the
steps it looked like some kind of giant dome. I figured it must be an
enclosed Jacuzzi.

When I got to the top of the steps, it was indeed a Jacuzzi, but it
wasn't enclosed. Someone must have taken 10 boxes of Mr. Bubble and dumped
it into the Jacuzzi so the dome was not really a dome, but a ten foot high
pile of bubbles. The dogs were curious about the bubbles and Kia stuck her
head in to try and bite them. When her head returned from the giant bubble
stack, she was sporting a big bubble hat and a pretty good size bubble
beard. The other dogs must have gotten the idea that bubble dress up was
fun, and one by one they began sticking themselves into the bubbles. Four
of the six gave bubble headdress a try. The other two wouldn't do it, so I
decided to just decorate them myself and started putting wads of bubbles on
each of them. For some reason now I thought sticking your head in the
bubbles would be fun, so I also gave it a try. In went my head, out came my
head, a quick wipe of the eyes, and I opened them to..... a really tall
policeman and his partner.

There we stood. Six bubbleheaded dogs and a bubbleheaded man, all
looking like we were doing our best Amish impersonation with bubble hats and
bubble beards. The only thing I could think of to say was "I swear, I did
not put the bubbles in the pool!!!!".

The two police just stood there looking at us. I wondered what kind of
trouble I was in. Would I get a BWD(bubbling with dogs?) Would we be taken
to the slammer or the dog pound? Finally the really tall policeman spoke
up. "The park is closed". I said I was unaware of that, but the cop
pointed out that I had pretty much almost whacked my head on the "closes at
11:00 PM" sign while I was picking up six dogs' poop by the front entrance.
The only thing I could think to say at this point was "Really, we didn't put
the bubbles in the pool". The other cop let me off the hook by saying "We
know. We watched you the whole time". They went on to explain they figured
the bubble perpetrators might come back so they were staking out the park to
see if they would try for the pool as well as the hot tub. I have no idea
how they gave a bubbleheaded man and bubbleheaded dogs such a straight faced
talking to for the next 15 minutes, but they did, and as they did, the dogs
just kept sticking their heads into the bubbles to renew their Amish
costumes.

They didn't give me a ticket. I guess the entertainment value of a
grown man and some dogs with bubbles on their heads being caught by the
police was punishment enough. Plus they probably got free donuts for a week
while telling all the other police in the area the bubble story.

Dave Wiley


Do dogs know what you do for a living?
8/17/04


I should have known immediately, but for some reason it just didn't
register. Dogs can tell what your profession is. I don't know how. I
don't know why. I just know they can.

I was standing in the middle of a football field with 18 other
adventure seeking people, waiting for balloon pilot Russell to give us
instructions on the fine art of riding in a hot air balloon. For me, as
well as most of the others, it was our first experience. As we waited, many
people were walking their dogs around the running track surrounding the
football field. Every time a dog went by, they got all growly and downright
mean. I wondered why all the dogs in this town of Louisville were such
vicious creatures. It turned out they were not, they just knew that
Russell, the average looking man standing next to me, was the captain of the
dreaded hot air balloon that terrorized them even when they were in the
sanctuary of their own backyard. I, however, had not yet realized the
connection. Incredibly, the dogs knew this even without the visual aid of a
hot air balloon, because it hadn't even arrived yet. The only thing that
had arrived was Russell. Sure, you could say it was the fact that he had a
giant van with a "Russell's Balloon Adventures" sign on the side, and a big
depiction of a hot air balloon, but I had not seen Russell emerge from the
van, and I doubted all the dogs had either. Somehow, Russell just gave off
balloon karma.

When the two hot air balloons arrived, it only confirmed what the dogs
already knew. Russell was the enemy. Now that I'd caught on to the whole
hot air balloon pilot theory, I knew immediately who the other pilot was for
the second balloon. The dogs were glaring at him. They switched between
glares at Russell, and glares at the other pilot, until the balloons began
to be filled. Then all dog glares were aimed at the balloons. The balloons
took approximately fifteen minutes to inflate, and we were instructed to
board our pre-assigned basket standing areas. Now the dogs hated 18 other
people, myself included.

There were twelve people in my balloon, and six in the other. The heat
was pretty intense from the propane torch. I forgot about hatred of the
dogs and wondered if my shirt was going to melt on me before we took off.
There was also the element of my hair going up in flames from the intensity
of the heat. I am not very vain, but at 42, losing all my hair in a hot air
balloon fire was not sitting well with me. I never thought I'd think this,
but I preferred the method of watching it slowly clog the shower drain day
after day like other men got to enjoy. I was pretty sure the other men in
the balloon with hair were thinking the same thing. I did notice a sort of
evil grin from a bald guy on the other side of the balloon, as it dawned on
him that we'd all look the same as him when the flight was over. Ballooning
was the great hair equalizer. Then again, he was standing next to his wife,
who had a full head of hair, and I bet the thought didn't occur to him that
she'd be bald also.

It didn't take long for the balloon to lift off. We started at one end
of a football field, and as we rose, we slowly traversed the length of the
field. By the time we'd reached the other end, I was looking down at the
opposing goal post. I now knew what it felt like to be a football and
having the thrill of being kicked 100 yards in slow motion to score three
points. I pretended it was the end of the game and that only seemed to
intensify the glorious feeling. Quickly, the football feeling faded as we
floated out of the opposing end zone. Now I noticed all the dogs on the
track were barking at us as we ascended out of sight.

Examples of dog balloon rage continued as we reached cruising altitude.
If I was a dog warden, I would use a hot air balloon to fly around and find
out every house in my jurisdiction that had a dog, and compare that to a
valid dog tag list. It would be a sure fire way to find out people who
didn't purchase dog licenses. Why would I use this method? Because every
dog far and wide came out to make sure the balloon knew that this area was
owned by them, and there better not be any balloon landing going on.
Barking and marking were common themes as we flew. Interestingly, dogs were
the only animals that were affected this way by a hot air balloon. Cows
never looked up. Sheep could care less. Horses had no idea. But dogs.
Dogs knew. As a side note, I do not believe there are any Samoyeds anywhere
in the city of Louisville, Ohio. I pondered springing my dog hatred theory
on Balloon Captain Russell, and took a round about way to confirm my
hypothesis. I asked Captain Russell if he had a dog. Between loud fire
blowings, Captain Russell filled me in on his dog history. As a small boy,
he'd had many a dog. He loved dogs, and dogs loved him. As he grew older,
he'd discovered the passion of ballooning. At the time he had two dogs.
Slowly he and his dogs grew apart. His dogs gravitated toward other members
of his family, and Russell was no longer the alpha dog of his household. He
was shut out of the pack, but he had no idea why. I took this opportunity
to spring my dog hatred theory on Captain Russell.

If you ever go on a hot air balloon ride, do not repeat this dog hatred
theory to your pilot. Although the rest of the balloon riding people got a
kick out of it, Captain Russell seemed to think my theory was dead on,
instead of just a crazy hair brained thought I had in less oxygenated air.
You could almost hear the wheels spinning in his head as he made the life
choice between being a balloon captain or being able to enjoy dogs again. I
got the impression he chose dogs, because it looked like a great weight was
lifted from his shoulders. I think the balloon even rose quickly as the
great weight left the confines of the balloon basket.

Now I was worried. Would captain Russell be able to land us, knowing
he'd given up balloon piloting for dogs? It seemed like an opportune moment
to spring the second part of my hypothesis on now just plain Russell, the
idea that dogs already knew he was a balloon pilot, and it was to late to
change back. As we headed into a group of trees, just plain Russell debated
with himself and again seemed to come to the same conclusion as I had, there
was no returning to dogs for him. He'd crossed over. He was, and always
would be, a hated balloon captain. Just plain Russell metamorphosed back to
Captain Russell just as we hit the first set of tree tops. He gave a giant
tug on the fire device, and we rose after breaking off a few tree limbs.
Captain Russell was back.

We landed a few minutes later in someone's backyard, the harrowing tree
branch breaking experience behind us. We all stood in the basket as the
chase crew caught up. The bald guy looked upset as all of us dudes with
hair still had it, although my head did feel sunburnt. The chase crew
showed up just as the man who's yard we landed in let out his two dogs.
They came running and barking, proving the fact that captain Russell would
never be able to return to dog ownership. Luckily for the rest of us, the
dogs could tell we were just one timers, and let us pet them and rub their
bellies.

So, if your dogs ever bark at someone they don't know, just for fun,
ask them what they do for a living. I bet it will be a profession of
something that your dogs hate. Garbage man, thief, balloon captain, blimp
driver, electrician(because of their association to lightening), and zoo
keeper are a few that come to mind. And never decide to become a balloon
captain.

Dave Wiley


The cheese stands not for long.
10/5/2004

Fall is here, and with the changing of the leaves the mice seem to
depart their outdoor homes and move into their winter dwelling; which is my
garage. Last week I caught a glimpse of my first tenant for this winter. I
didn't actually see the mouse, but my wife was complaining that her Saturn
was acting up, so I popped the hood as an excuse to open a beer and look
ponderous while standing around in the garage instead of mowing the lawn.
Low and behold a little vermin decided to build a nest on the nice toasty
engine. It was close enough to the serpentine belt that the belt would pick
up chunks of the nest and then make crazy sounds while strewing the
particles about the engine compartment. Crap. I was hoping I wouldn't see
anything and could just have another beer and look perplexed and then tell
my wife she better take the car in. After a few hems and haws, I decided I
would just go ahead and fix the thing.

Out came the trusty shop vac and in a few moments I finished a job that
I would probably claim took me six hours. I headed to the fridge for a
celebratory beer. Since the mouse had moved into my garage, now was
probably a good time to put out the traps so I got those down and went in
the house for some cheese.

Whenever the garage door is closed, I will normally let my dogs come
out and hang out with me. This day was no exception. When I went in for
the cheese, the dogs stayed in the garage. I came back out and figured I'd
better put the dogs in the house. I set all the traps and was just getting
ready to head into the house when "SNAP", off went one of the traps. I
systematically checked traps 'till I found the one that went off, and sure
enough, I'd caught my little saturn dweller in the span of about three
minutes.

I took him outside and let him go and the thankless little varmint went
from the live trap to the ground and made a beeline right back into my
garage. That sort of steamed me a bit. Here I gave him the benefit of the
doubt with live traps, and he moved right back in. As I was walking up to
the garage, I heard "SNAP"!! The mouse had trapped himself again. I
started chuckling because this mouse was such an idiot, until I thought
about it a little bit and realized I was the idiot because this was the
second time I'd caught the little fella in a span of five minutes yet he
still lived in my garage.

I began my search for the correct trap again and I found the mouse.
Ok, this time I was hauling his little mouse rear end out to the woods.
Just in case he was paying attention, I put a towel, or the equivalent of a
mouse blindfold over the trap so he couldn't see where I was depositing him,
thus he wouldn't be able to go back in my garage with the same enthusiasm
that he'd had on the first trapping. I walked him about a 1/4 mile into the
woods and let him go.

Next morning, I went to the garage expecting all empty traps. No such
luck. I swear I had caught the same mouse. Ok this was this dude's last
chance. Now I'm putting out the real traps. Back into the woods, bye bye
mouse, and back to the house. A couple days went by with no rodent
sightings. I picked up all the traps, confident I'd defeated the enemy.

Fast forward to Sunday. The dogs and I head out to the garage and the
dogs get a little crazy. Sure enough, standing on top of my classic 1970
Plymouth 'Cuda with fine-corinthean-leather-chewed-up-by-mice-seats sits a
mouse that looks so much like the three strike mouse I am positive he's
somehow returned.

That does it!!! I get out the giant clothespin mice killer traps and
load them up with cheese; six in all. I am going to get this little dude no
matter what. I go in for some more cheese, set all the traps, do one of
those evil laughs that mad scientists do when they know they've outsmarted
their opponents, and start doling the traps out over the garage. I am
placing the sixth trap when I hear "SNAP". HA!!! I got him already.
"SNAP". What the..... "SNAP"..... "SNAP". Ok now I'm worried the mouse
has attained some sort of super strength and may be just one trap away from
kicking my a##. "SNAP"!! Oh man, he is coming around the corner. The
mouse is coming... the mouse IS COMING!!! I grab the broom just in time to
see Kia and Kodah(my two sammies) licking cheese off themselves and
eyeballing that last trap in my hand. In my haste to prove mental
superiority over the mouse, I'd neglected to put the dogs in the house as I
laid out the traps.

Well, if nothing else, I did end up confirming that I, not the mouse,
was the real idiot.

Dave Wiley

PS. I never use poison, and my traps were all sterilized, so all my dogs
got was a bunch of cheese.


Spring has sprung (Long dog story)
10/17/2004


Spring has Sprung.

I was driving home from work when I heard it. SPRONG!! I had no idea
what the noise was, but something had just given way on my 1994 Chevy
Suburban. I pulled off the side of the road, looking for the source of the
noise. Today especially was not a good day for my truck to turn from an old
reliable vehicle into an inanimate object. Not that its ever a good thing
for your car to break down, but our other vehicle was in the shop and I had
to pick up my wife from work later and retrieve her car. I pulled into the
driveway and gave the truck one more going over. I didn't see anything
wrong.

I went in the house and fed the dogs, and then on a whim decided to
take them with me to pick up my wife. It's always a treat for them to go
for a ride, and Lisa always likes the pleasant surprise of five faces in the
car window instead of the normal two. After feeding and bodily function
refreshing of the dogs, we all packed into the truck to go get Aiden from
daycare.

I am probably a bad dad for letting the dogs roam the truck while I
drive instead of kenneling them, but I do, and they are pretty good about
lying down. Kodah, Samoyed number one, likes the front seat (unless of
course Lisa is in it). Kia, Samoyed number two prefers the way back.
Kenndrah, the miniature pinscher, just likes being wherever something is
going on in the truck. Everyone had taken up their normal posts. Kodah was
still doing her spin-and-find-the-ultimate-comfortable spot on the front
seat, when I heard a noise that sounded like dog gas. Oh man!!! Kodah
heard it to, and stood up to sniff her rear.

Interestingly, all my dogs handle their food sharing experiences
differently. Kodah stands up and smells her rear. I guess since she enjoys
food so much, its just sort of a review of what she had for dinner. Then
she drifts off to sleep, reminded by the smell of whatever it was she ate.
Kia on the other hand, won't move a muscle. If there wasn't a sound
association, you wouldn't even know she'd done anything until the aroma hit.
Kenndrah is the most animated of the three when it comes to her flatulence
passing. She runs around in a circle, basically trying to smell her own
rear, then she "scoots", foot shuffles, and finally for a grand finally she
emits a small bark. Scooting is sitting on the floor, preferably carpet or
something soft, and sort of dragging her rear end, much like she is wiping
herself on the carpet. The shuffle is just as it sounds. She stands in one
place, takes her two back feet, and alternately kicks them until she is
satisfied she has buried the offending smell with invisible smell destroying
material. Outside, it's a bunch of flying grass. The small bark at the end
is only used when she has aromatically shared her food. I have never heard
that bark used to say "dad, give me a carrot", or any other communication.
I should clarify here. Kenndrah goes through this ritual anytime ANYONE
passes gas, not just when she does it. The only difference is when someone
else does it, she runs around and smells all rear ends in the region until
she finds the offending rear end, THEN she starts the scoot, shuffle, bark
dance. If she can't figure out who it was, she'll go to the center of the
room where the ritual can be viewed by all possible offending parties. If
she does figure out who did it, she performs her little dance right in front
of the offending party just to let them know she is privy to who did it.

Anyhow back to the story. After Kodah finished checking herself and
found out she'd done nothing, she looked around. Kenndrah heard the sound
and immediately began shifted into search and detect mode, but was also
unable to come up with the culprit. Kia just sat in the back looking out
the window. She was a possibility, but the sound came from the front.
Kodah again decided to sit down, and when she parked herself, once again
came the fatal Pfffffffttttt noise. She stood up, checked again. Nothing.
Kenndrah again when into search and detect mode, also coming up with
nothing. Scoot, shuffle, bark... and she hopped into the backseat again. A
third time Kodah went to lay down. Pffftttttt.... Stand up, sniff,
Kenndrah hopped up front, check, scoot, shuffle, bark, hop to the back. I
pushed on the seat where Kodah was sitting. SPRONG!!! Ahah. The noise I'd
heard earlier. A spring must have broken in the seat. I think it spronged
because I could push harder than Kodah could lay down, so when she laid down
it sounded like a fart rather than the sprong it made when I pushed.

We'd reached daycare and I went in to get Aiden. We came out and he
was excited, as usual, to see the dogs in the truck. Everyone piled in and
of course the whole noise, check, hop into the front, check, scoot, shuffle,
bark, hop in back thing started all over again. Now though it had the
addition of Aiden laughing his little tush off after Kenndrah finished her
grand finale bark.

So went the entire half hour trip to pick up Lisa. Circle, lay down,
pffftttt, stand up, sniff, hop, check, scoot, shuffle, bark hop laugh. No
culprit found. The sound effects reminded me of watching Willie Wonka and
the Chocolate Factory. I kept thinking of that machine that made the
everlasting gobstoppers. It would make series of noises in a cadence before
spitting out a finished gobstopper. Of course my deranged mind expanded the
thought into what the Oompah Loompa's would sing about this little scenario
going on in the car.

Oompah, loompah doompah dee dooh.
Someone has gas, but no one knows who....
Oompah, Loompah, Doompah dee dee.
All I know for sure is that it is not me.
What do you get when your front seat is broke?
You get a strange noise and a good doggy joke.
None of the dogs know from where the sound comes
And they keep checking everyone's' bums.
Oompah, loompah doompah dee dooh. Now my little son is laughing too...
Oompah, loompah doompah dee dee. Wait until our mommy can see.

I sang my little tune to my son, who found it immensely entertaining.
He would sing the Oompah Loompah parts of the song as well. Now we were up
to: Circle, lay, gas noise, stand up, sniff, hop, check, scoot, shuffle,
bark, hop, giggle, sing the oompah loompah song, laugh.

Finally, we reached our destination. Lisa came walking out right about
the time Aiden was laughing his little head off. "What's so funny?" she
asked. I told her to take a seat in the back and she would find out. Now
Kodah wouldn't sit down anymore. Aiden was in the back going, oompah,
oompah, oompah. Lisa wants to know why he is saying that. I keep telling
her, "Just wait, just wait, Kodah has to lie down". Then came ten more
minutes of nothing. Finally Kodah does her spin. I say "Here we go!!"
Aiden starts to giggle. Kodah lies down. Pfffttttt. Lisa says "What was
that"? I tell her to just watch. Kodah sniffs her rear, Kenndrah starts
searching, including sniffing Lisa now. Aiden giggles his little
anticipatory laugh because he'd just been checked for gastronomic expulsion.
Kenndrah dives into the front seat and checks Kodah and me for any signs of
being the instigator. Then she scoots, shuffles, and does the little bark
thing and hops back into the back seat. Aiden and I sing the Ooompah
loompah song, and then Aiden busts out laughing. Granted the situation is
funny enough, but you throw in the belly laugh of a little kid who is only
fifteen months old, and you can only laugh harder.

I am laughing so hard I am crying. Aiden is laughing so hard I assume
he probably wet his diaper. Lisa is laughing but looking at us like we are
lunatics. She says "so this is what you guys do in the car when I'm not
here?" Then Kodah spins, lays, Pfffftttt and Aiden shifts back to just
the anticipatory giggle. Here we go again!!! Windshield wipers don't help
when the water is in your eyes.

Dave Wiley


Mr. Butterball, I found Your Inventory
11/10/2004

I was sitting in the great room with my son. I'd just strapped him
into his little red car so we could tool around the kitchen a few times
before mom got home when a horrendous noise erupted in the backyard of my
house. The dogs ran to the windows and I pushed Aiden's little car over to
the window as well so we could find out what was creating the huge racket.
So far we couldn't see anything, but whatever it was, it was LOUD!!! I was
reminded of watching Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom when I was a kid and the
woods would be on fire or something and hundreds of animals would be
stampeding out of the wild screaming their fool heads off. I was hoping
this wasn't the case as our house is about one hundred feet from the woods
and I had no interest in watching it get knocked over by a bunch of animals.
We probably waited about five minutes and still hadn't seen a single thing
when I decided we'd put on our coats and find out where all the noise was
coming from.

No one has ever accused me of being a rocket scientist or a grossly
overdeveloped intellectual at any point of my life, and today was no
exception. Here I was letting my dogs outside on the deck and packing up my
sixteen-month boy to go out in the woods and stand in front of a stampede.
In retrospect, I would probably do things differently. As a curious idiot
though, I'd chosen to stand outside during the impending doom.

The noise got louder and louder as Aiden and I put on our coats and
headed out the back door. I walked down the hill to the backyard carrying
Aiden, still not seeing anything, and headed for the bridge. After the
bridge came the lake, and after the lake came the forest, the source of the
noise and probably where the hoards of animals running would originate.

Just as we hit the middle of the bridge, the woods came alive with
movement. From the opposite side of the lake, turkeys were appearing from
everywhere!!! My wife and I have lived in our house for approximately ten
years. I'd seen wild turkeys once over that period of time and it was about
five turkeys. This time I would guess there were about a hundred. The
turkeys were talking up a storm as they descended on the lake and they were
the loudest bunch of animals I have ever heard. The good news was, the
turkeys weren't exactly the stampede I'd expected. After all, none of them
were anywhere near the size of a rhinos aurous. They were sort of a slow
motion stampede, more like a walk-pede. My son pointed to the turkeys and
said "Turkey". This totally threw me. I have no idea where my little guy
had ever seen a turkey, let alone been told it was called a turkey, and now
could recognize a turkey as it walked out of woods, so I looked at him. I
said, "That's right!!! Turkey!!".

My excitement with this little learning experience couldn't have
happened at a worse time because the turkeys were making their way around
the lake and coming toward the bridge when I looked back. The walk-pede had
gotten pretty close when I wasn't paying attention and complimenting my son
on his animal identification prowess. I wasn't sure what the turkeys'
motivation was for hanging out in my backyard, but I certainly wasn't going
to stick around and find out. I hightailed it all the way back to the
house with Aiden saying "Turkey", Turkey" the entire run back to the garage.

We went back inside and called in the dogs and we all stood in the
great room watching the walk-pede of turkeys cover the backyard. My
estimate of the amount of turkeys was now more around the two hundred mark
as a guess. The turkeys started hopping the dog fence and making their way
toward the house. Aiden and I went to the basement for a better viewing
angle of the turkeys. Our house has a walk out basement with windows along
the back, so this was our new turkey walk-pede observation area.

The turkeys seemed to know we were checking them out and came right up
to the windows. Someone must have told the turkeys that this was the
Butterball residence, and they were descending on Mr. Butterball's house to
get back at him for years and years of turkey supplying throughout the USA
as now the turkeys started pecking on the windows. MAN THIS WAS LOUD!!!
Every time a turkey would peck on the window, Kia, Kodah and Kenndrah would
try to bite the turkey. The window we were currently looking out had four
turkeys bashing their beaks against the glass. I went upstairs and got a
box of stovetop stuffing and held it up to the glass, hoping to scare away
the turkeys. It didn't appear to faze them. The turkeys continued their
assault on my house for about twenty minutes until the head turkey must have
signaled them it was time to move on. Just as abruptly as it had started,
the turkeys turned and headed off back into the woods. Aiden and I went out
on the deck and watched as they headed around the lake and back into the
woods. Aiden looked at me and said "Turkey". I said "that's right,
turkey", and we went back into the house.

If there is a shortage of turkeys for thanksgiving this year in the
supermarket, I will probably have to place a call to Mr. Butterball and let
him know that the turkeys have united and are on a million turkey march
somewhere in Ohio.

Dave Wiley


Car!!!
12/22/2004


Last night was a pretty dark evening. Kodah and I needed to take out
the garbage, so I grabbed a flash light as it is nearly impossible to see
Kodah against all the white snow on the ground now that winter has reared
its ugly head. With Christmas just around the corner, there was quite the
load of garbage. Looked like about three trips worth. First trip, I took
out the garbage can. Kodah romped around in the snow following me. Nothing
was out of the ordinary. Second trip I had a ton of garbage bags so I
scooped up about four in each hand. Rather than make an extra trip, I stuck
the flashlight so it was poking out the top of my jacket. If I turned my
body right or left, I could move the beam so I could see Kodah. I then
began the trek down the driveway with all the garbage bags. I had barely
left the garage when I heard a strange noise off to my right. Kodah was in
front of me so I knew it wasn't her. I chose to ignore the noise. A few
seconds later I heard a rustling again. Some animal was obviously hanging
out by the bushes in my front yard. Skunk maybe? I decided I should
probably check it out before I regretted it.

Being an efficient (ok some may use the word lazy in place of
efficient) sort of guy, instead of setting down all the garbage bags, I
chose to go with the "body turn" method of directing the flashlight. I
would assume to the casual onlooker, it appeared I was doing some sort of
James Brown dance move to get the flashlight beam to sweep the area. I had
to rock back and forth as well to make the beam go up and down. So far I'd
danced my flashlight beam through the first three bushes and discovered
nothing. The fourth bush revealed some legs. Since the flashlight was
pointed toward the ground, I rocked myself back to find out what animal was
attached to the legs. It turned out to be a small deer. WOW!!! What a
cutie!!! He or she was munching on my front shrubbery. Bushes in the front
of my house must be like the Christmas turkey for deer. I replace them just
about every spring. They grow all summer, just start to look like an actual
bush instead of just a chia pet, and the deer show up somewhere around
Christmas time and eat them. Its one of those things you just put up with
when you live in the country. Honestly I don't mind it. Watching deer run
through the yard is pretty cool so I will trade a bunch of bushes a year for
that.

Since this was a little deer, I figured the "Christmas turkey" would
probably last it a month. I watched for a couple minutes, then chose to go
back to garbage detail. As I turned the flashlight beam swept across
another set of legs, and another, and another. I leaned back so I could
check out the other deer. There were five total; two babies, two moms and a
dad.

The deer all stood there looking at me literally like deer frozen in a
headlight. In my bright blue jacket with the flashlight sticking out the
top with garbage bags all around me and Kodah standing behind me, I probably
looked like a compact car with one headlight burnt out and a dog in the
backseat. I also probably appeared to be a really bad driver as the
headlight was swerving all over the driveway.

Father deer shifted quickly into family protection mode. He chose to
take on the car head on. Hey, if a car was going to run me over, I suppose
I would go down with a fight too. He charged me, which finally made me put
down the garbage bags, and he knocked me flat on my butt. Imagine his
surprise when the bright blue car with one headlight and a dog in the back
crumpled like a potato chip bag when he crashed into it, instead of the
car(me) barreling him over. I'm sure he was pretty proud of his car defeat.
The flashlight flew out of my coat and was lying on the ground near the
garbage bags and about five feet from where the deer had pushed me, the
compact car. This turned out to be a lucky thing for me because the deer
chose to go after the flashlight and the garbage bags instead of me. He
broke the flashlight, ripped open one of the garbage bags, and then he and
family headed off. I'm sure he was quite proud of himself for defeating a
car. Man the stories he'd be able to tell the other deer.

Kodah showed up right about then and began administering tongue to
mouth resuscitation in an attempt to revive me. It seemed to work. I got
up and although was pretty sore, appeared to suffer no real dents other than
the fact I had a broken headlight. This was good news. I wouldn't have to
call my insurance company or arrange for a rental while I was in the shop
being repaired. I went to the house and got some more garbage bags. Kodah
and I spent the next fifteen minutes re-bagging all the strewn about
garbage. I took it to the curb and made a vow to myself I would never again
use a flashlight to take out the garbage. And next year, I am not putting
any more bushes in my front yard.

Dave Wiley


New Christmas toon
12/22/2004

I just got run over by a reindeer.
Taking out the garbage Christmas week.
You may say that deer are not that vengeful.
But as for me and Kodah we believe.

We were takin' out the garbage,
when we heard a rustling sound
Some deer were eating bushes,
cause they thought that no one was around.

Daddy deer he got all pissed off,
cause a car was shining bright,
so he got a head start,
and he took out one of the headlights.

A car it wasn't really,
it was me with a flashlight,
the deer had won the battle,
there was not much of a fight.

There was not any injury
I was pretty much the same
but that is the last time,
I will participate in any reindeer games.

I just got run over by a reindeer.
Taking out the garbage Christmas week.
You may say that deer are not that vengeful.
But as for me and Kodah we believe.

Merry Christmas all. I know one thing I am getting for Christmas this year.
Hair on the carpet. Does anyone know a good vacuum? JUST KIDDING!!!!

Dave Wiley


Frosty the Snow Pile
1/25/2005

We got about 20 inches of snow this past weekend. On the deck where
the dogs hang out, the snow drifted to roughly four feet. This is bad news
as the walls of the deck are only three feet high. When I went out to plow
the driveway, low and behold two white dogs were standing next to me as it
was a short hop off the deck to freedom. YIKES!!!

I put the dogs back in the house and after plowing the drive, I began
to shovel the deck. Aiden, my 19 month old son watched me from the sliding
glass door. I think I shoveled for well over two hours. When I was done,
I thought about making a snowman for little guy, because he was still
watching me, but I was too whipped. This was Sunday.

Yesterday my mom and dad came over and had Aiden all day while the wife
and I worked. When I came home, I went to let the dogs out. My dad had
built Aiden a snowman on the deck. I thought that was pretty cool since
that was one of my missions for the evening. The snowman was pretty good
sized and had eyes, a nose and a big old smiley face. The nose was not a
carrot. My dad is the frugal sort. He wouldn't waste a perfectly good
carrot on a snowman's nose. I couldn't tell what he'd made the face out of
though, so I looked closer. Was it charcoal? Nope. First of all he would
have had a hard time finding that in the garage. Secondly, he would have
had to waste like 10 pieces of charcoal for the snowman, something my dad
would never do. Was it rocks? Nope, we have a cement driveway. What the
heck was it? I turned on the porch light for better viewing. I still could
not tell what it was. Right about then, my dad came walking around the
corner and asked how I liked his snowman. I told him I thought it was cool,
but what did he make the face out of. He said "dog doo". Dog doo? Now
that is frugal!!! I said something to the effect of "Gross!!!" or "you
picked up dog poop for the face with your hands?" My dad commented "It was
frozen". Oh... it was frozen. Somehow this justified being able to pick up
poop with your hand and shape it into a snowman's face. I looked closer.
The snowman also had a longer piece of dog poop coming out of his mouth.
"So, is the snowman eating poop?" I asked. My dad said, "No that is a
cigar". We named the snowman Frosty the snowpile.

(part 2)
1/26/2005

It is with great sorrow I announce the melting of frosty the snowpile.
Yesterday we had temperatures above 32 degrees. Frosty did not fair well.
I went home at lunch to let the dogs out and frosty's head had tipped back.
He had lost his cigar also. Five hours later, when I returned home from
work, frosty was gone. The only items left from frosty were his facial
attachments. I said a small prayer and then shoveled him up. Though he is
now only frosty the pile, he will forever be remembered. There will be no
funeral. Frosty prefers you send all condolence donations to a Samoyed
rescue location near you, so facial parts can be spread far and wide by
other dogs needing a home, thus creating greater opportunity for the
creation of new frosty's everywhere.

Dave Wiley


The Easter Egg Hunt - By Dave Wiley
3/30/2005

Aiden is almost two years old so this Easter my wife and I decided that
coloring Easter eggs would be a messy, but fun experience. We were right on
one count, it turned out to be messy.

After cooking sixteen eggs and purchasing that same colored Easter egg
kit I can remember since I was a kid, I set the eggs into a strainer and
placed them in the sink. While they were cooling, I headed to the basement
to start cleaning for our Easter party. The good news was, I was almost
finished cleaning the basement, as Aiden and I spent the entire day before
down there. I cleaned, and I found out that a pool table is a great playpen
for a baby. Give a baby a bunch of pool balls, show them how to roll them
into pockets, and supervise all potential throwing attempts and you have
your own nanny. Unfortunately, the Ronco pool table babysitting device was
only supposed to be a one-time deal, but Aiden has the memory of, well a
little human, and when he saw me disappear into the basement, he started
talking to his mother.

"Table, Table, Table" said Aiden. He said it over and over to Lisa.
Finally she broke down and brought him downstairs.

"Aiden keeps saying table," said Lisa. "I have no idea what he wants".
I proceeded to show her the Ronco pool table babysitting device, which of
course she was not happy about. Aiden was having fun though, so she watched
him rolling balls into the pocket as I kept cleaning.

Soon we heard a giant "CRASH" coming from upstairs. I grabbed Aiden
and the three of us hightailed it to the first floor to find out what had
happened. On the floor in the kitchen said the strainer, completely void of
eggs. There was not even a speck of an egg or eggshell anywhere. The dogs
were all laying on their pillows. I walked over to Kia and opened her
mouth. Sure enough, an egg odor permeated the atmosphere. I checked Kodah.
Egg. Finally I checked Kenndrah. No egg. The two sammies had consumed
sixteen shelled eggs between each other in the time it took Lisa, Aiden and
I to come up the steps.

Our first concern was the dogs. We put in a call to the vet, who told
us just to keep an eye on them. He'd never heard of a dog dying of egg overdose
(my vet has a sense of humor similar to mine so he is pretty loose with

his comments to me). He did say to prepare for an evening of flatulence,
laughed, and hung up.

So now our concern was more along the lines of hoping the dogs would
not asphyxiate us sometime during the evening. I kept picturing the fire
department showing up, responding to a call about yellow toxic sulfurous
smoke pouring from the cracks of our house. After my wife went to sleep, I
slipped into the closet and cracked one of the windows open. Maybe we'd be
cold, maybe we'd pass out, but now at least we wouldn't die.

The next morning I woke up to a clear, cold room. No smell, no yellow
smoke, no nothing. The dogs were lying asleep like the egg incident had
never occurred. I closed the window and let them out the backdoor. The
only real sign of the egg incident were all the bright white speckles of
shells that came out for about two days afterward. There was no gas. There
was no discomfort. The hard-boiled eggs just turned out to be a Samoyed
Easter egg hunt. We never did color Easter eggs, so I guess we'll save that
for next year. Then all the dog poop can be colorful.

Dave Wiley


The Eight Minute Circus
4/19/05

A few "highlights of Amsterdam tourist attractions normally include the Anne Frank House, Reich's Museum, the Van Gogh museum, and the Red Light District, but for evening entertainment (besides the obvious red light district) one favorite place to visit is Rembrandts' Square. Rembrandt's Square is a small square where street performers hang out and put on small one or two person shows. It's a nice place to stop in for a couple of minutes and see what is going on as you are walking.

This last visit to Europe gave me the opportunity to witness an animal act, which since I have no idea what it was really called, I chose to bestow on it the name "The Eight-Minute Circus". It might really be the half-hour circus, but one will never know, as police chased it off after only about eight minutes.

The act that was performing when I walked in what the guy that lies-on-top-of-nails. He had just finished up his performance, when, from an alley off to the left, the eight-minute circus began to emerge. The performers included the following cast : One Black Labrador Retriever, One black and white Malamute, one miniature poodle, and a pretty foul smelling sheep. There was also the MC of the group; a guy dressed similarly to what you would picture Aladdin to look like if you were ever just walking down the street and happened to run into Aladdin.

The little band of animals and the human cartoon character went immediately center stage. This perturbed the bed-of-nails guy, as his back bleeding had not yet subsided and he was still collecting coins for his harrowing performance.
 
Aladdin started off by positioning the sheep center stage, head facing toward the crowd. This was the position the sheep kept throughout the rest of the performance. Honestly instead of a sheep, Aladdin could have used a table or a tree stump or a rock or anything, but he'd chosen for his inanimate object a sheep. For all I know, the sheep was incredibly well trained in the art of "STAY", and it is extremely difficult to teach a sheep to "STAY" so in all actuality the sheep was really performing a complex sheep feat. Since I have never known or personally trained sheep to do anything, I do not know the extent or difficulty of his "STAY". I just know the sheep was really good at it, or was a normal sheep just standing around doing nothing like normal sheep do. Whichever it was, he took his place on stage and "STAYED". The bad news for Aladdin was the sheep positioning took roughly four of the eight minutes he would eventually be allotted to show exactly what the eight minute circus had traveled from who knows where to demonstrate.
 
Once the sheep was all "STAYED" and so forth, Aladdin stepped back and started issuing commands. The commands were in some foreign language, and I was impressed that the dogs knew what they meant. I guess the dogs might even know more languages than I did. The first "command" caused the Black Lab and the Malamute to position themselves on either side of the sheep, so if you were an American who enjoyed U.S.A. style football, you'd say you now had the makings of an offensive line. The poodle quickly established him or herself as the brains of the operation and the star of the show. He started about six feet from the edge of the offensive line, ran toward the Malamute and, as far as I could tell, chickened out of the trick he was supposed to perform and instead just ran through the legs of the Malamute, the Sheep, and the Lab emerging out the other side and looking very pleased with himself. Aladdin did not look as confident in the performance as the poodle. Maybe this was all part of the "routine" but since I did not understand "Alladineze" and no one else in the crowd was laughing, I had to go with thinking the poodle had copped out of something.

The poodle was commanded to reposition himself. The Malamute and the Black lab then did a couple of circles and changed sides. The sheep "STAYED". The poodle approached again, this time leaping over the Lab and the sheep. He sort of spring-boarded himself off the back of the Malamute, and into the waiting arms of Aladdin. The audience cheered, the poodle was given a treat, the Malamute and the Lab looked put out as they had switched sides flawlessly and received nothing. The sheep just looked constipated.

Aladdin set down the poodle and issued another command. The Malamute slowly went to his belly and crawled halfway under the sheep, exposing his head on one side and his tail on the other side. The sheep "STAYED". The Lab took up a position that made him appear to be humping the sheep, without the actual humping action. The poodle ran up the back of the Lab, hurdled the Lab's head, and landed on top of the sheep. The sheep "STAYED", and we all clapped. The poodle was rewarded yet again. The Lab extracted himself from the humping position. The Malamute completed his crawl from under the sheep, and the sheep "STAYED". Again we clapped while the Malamute and the Lab took up their former positions on the offensive line.

Aladdin issued yet another command, and the poodle took up residence about twenty five feet away from the Malamute, the sheep and the Lab. This setup gave the appearance of the most dangerous three dogs and a sheep stunt, judging from the distance the poodle needed to gain speed for the trick.

Unfortunately at this moment, the guy with the bloody back who'd laid on nails showed up with the police. The police gave a lengthy lecture to Aladdin as the dogs all laid down, and the sheep "STAYED". The crowd wasn't sure if the police were part of the act or breaking up the act, so we all just waited in anticipation. Surely the poodle would putt down one of the policeman's pants and a chase would ensue.

By the look of Aladdin, it was now obvious that the eight-minute circus was being shut down unceremoniously after, you guessed it, eight minutes.

He issued a command in a foreign language, the dogs lined up, and they began to march back from where they'd come from. The sheep "STAYED" and Aladdin had to stop the dog parade and forcibly retrieve the sheep. Some of us handed Aladdin change as he pushed the sheep into the animal parade. He thanked us in a foreign language and departed.

The bloody back guy with the bed of nails took up his former position and the crowd grew unruly and left. After all, he was the one who'd really busted up the eight-minute circus. As the crowd dispersed, there was a lot of murmuring. I can only assume they were trying to figure out why the poodle needed so much preparation area for the trick they never saw, or they were all sheep knowledgeable folk that really appreciated the amount of time the sheep planted himself in one spot and "STAYED".

Dave Wiley


Top ten reasons a mouse is stuck in your printer.
6/13/2005

10). Someone was printing the latest issue of "Cheese Digest" and left some
of the pictures on the printer, attracting a mouse.
9). An ex HP hardware designer got hired on at a pest control company, and
invented this great new laser cartridge that faxes, prints color pictures,
and catches mice.
8). The same ex HP employee figured out a way to make printers print
images in 3-D. This is not a real mouse, only an artistic representation.
Wait 'till you see him print a gorilla.
7). The owner did not realize you are supposed to hook up your mouse to
the computer, not the printer.
6). The mouse was disgusted that his exercise wheel was still squeaking,
so he decided to try out this apparently newfangled electronic exercise
wheel that photographs you as you work out.
5). If Herman the mouse's mother told him once, she'd told him a million
times : playing the game truth or dare would only get him into trouble.
4). In a vain attempt to impress his girlfriend, Herman demonstrates the
power of his tail by jamming an HP printer.
3) Herman heroically tries to keep the pictures of his uncle in "America's
most wanted mice" from being printed.
2) A mouse, an iguana, and an elephant draw straws to see who will
investigate the strange tan colored object. The mouse loses.
1) This is not really a printer cartridge. It is a machine designed to
produce blow up dolls for the pornography sector. As with all new products,
it is first being tested to produce blow up mice.

Dave Wiley


Grooming
7/13/05

Wow, I am rethinking the whole grooming thing after reading these easy to follow directions. I even came up with an easier step - rent car, return car... Remove Vacuum SUV and add these two steps in the correct area.

I groom two different ways. First way is when wife is not pregnant. Second is when she is, which seems to be all the time since roughly three years ago.

Grooming techniques when wife is not pregnant

1) Go to basement, haul out the 40,000 dollars worth of grooming equipment and devices that wife has accumulated over the years and set them up in the backyard. Put on Hair repelling clothing.
2) Pull first dog from under the bed.
3) Take dog to basement and stick her in the 2000.00 custom tub/beer cooler invented for washing dogs, but used more for beer cooler.
4) Stick dog in.
5) Get shampoo.
6) Get dog from under the bed again.
7) Put dog back in tub.
8) Wash dog.
9) Carry dog to grooming table and yell for wife.
10) Get Second dog from under bed.... repeat steps 3 thru 9.
11) Put away 41,000 of grooming equipment (somehow 1,000 of grooming equipment has been added to the previously carried outside 40,000 worth of grooming equipment.

Grooming techniques when wife is pregnant.

Steps 1 thru 8 are the same, except instead of hauling out 40,000 dollars of required grooming equipment, I haul out a grooming table, a blow dryer, one comb and a hoho for me to eat at some point in the process. Total value of all grooming stuff is under 500.00 including the cost of the hoho.
9) Yell for wife who yells back - DO IT YOURSELF - I AM RETAINING WATER OVER HERE!!!
10) Take dog outside.
11) Put on facial shield normally used for welding metal.
12) Blow dry dog until there is so much hair flying around you cannot tell if the dog is even there anymore, at which point you stop.
13) Put dog back where you thought she was when you were just blow drying a pile of hair.
14) Repeat steps 12 and 13 until dog is dry - this could involve taking vacation days from work.
15) Eat hoho. Hoho, now resembles some sort of cocoanut covered treat even though you know its a hoho.
16) Get second dog and start over.
17) Call for two year old son and wait till he answers, then dig him out of the pile of dog hair that has concealed him somewhere in the fenced in backyard.
18) Give him a bath and play "Crazy Hair" with him so he will allow you to dry his hair.
19) Rethink the entire reason you ever built the beer cooler/dog tub.
20) Pet dogs and feel good about them until next month. Wonder if the cats need a bath, but only for a second.

Dave Wiley


I may know how the giant foam finger #1 was invented.
7/18/2005

Kodah and I had an appointment at 4:00 PM this weekend for a therapy
dog pre-meeting. I had been working on this closet project all weekend, but
shut it down about 3:00 to get ready. Well for some reason, there was this
one area I couldn't leave alone, so about 10 minutes before we had to leave
I got this can of liquid foam that supposedly seals up cracks. Its used in
areas you cannot fit insulation. The can came with a handy dandy plastic
straw looking thing that you snapped on top and directed the spray. I put
the straw on the can and started spraying.

The straw was a crappy aiming contraption. Most of the liquid foam
shot out the side, all over my left hand and up my arm a bit. I set the can
down and wiped off my left hand with my right hand, and just kind of smeared
the liquid foam on the area that I needed it. It was messy, but the job was
done. Or so I thought.

I went downstairs to wash my hands and found out that liquid foam crack
sealer is the STICKIEST stuff in all the land. I could not close my fingers
because if I did, they stuck to each other. I bet this stuff is the same
stuff Mork sprayed on his hands before he did that "nanu nanu" thing that no
human could ever do on purpose unless they had sprayed liquid foam crack
sealer all over themselves.

Washing the crack sealer only seemed to complicate matters. I tried
soap, liquid soap, degreasing soap, straight comet, pinesol, and every other
cleaning product (even goo gone) but my hands were still EXTREMELY sticky.
My wife went up and read the can. The can stipulated that acetone could be
used to remove the stuff, so she went and got me her nail polish remover. I
poured that all over my hands. STILL STICKY!! Great.

In addition to being sticky, Kodah and I were now probably going to be
late for our therapy visit meeting. I wiped my hands as best I could and
put on Kodah's collar. When I brought my hand away from Kodah, I looked
like I was wearing a Michael Jackson costume for Halloween. One hand was
completely covered in fur!!! I went to the sink and wiped it as well as I
could. Grabbing two dish towels, Kodah and I piled into the car and I held
the dish towels to drive the car.

We arrived at the Therapy meeting right on time. I peeled the
dishtowels off my hands and we rushed into the meeting. Of course the first
order of business was meeting all the therapy dogs. Everyone started
walking around petting each others dog. When I got back to my seat, I had
hair from about 20 dogs stuck all over my hands and up my left arm. I know
what that guy in the movie "The Fly" felt like as he transformed into one.

The therapy meeting lasted roughly an hour. I had to pet Kodah most of
the time, and by the end of the meeting my hands weren't sticky anymore.
They were so FURRY I had paws. I was now getting interesting looks from the
other therapy volunteers. After all the upcoming event information was
completed, we went around the room and introduced ourselves. When my turn
came, I told everyone I was the inventor of the foam finger and I was
working on a new version called the hairy finger. I then had to explain the
story of the crack sealer and thanked everyone for allowing me to take home
some fur from each of their dogs. The director lady of the meeting decided
I should probably be paired up with an experienced therapy rescuer as she
expected I might be a bad influence on the kids we would be visiting.

Since Kodah was blowing coat, we made a perfect couple. She dispersed
puffs of hair, and I attracted puffs of hair. At least now I could drive
without the dish towels. I had enough dog hair stuck to me that the sticky
surface of my skin was completely covered. I drove home with my puffy
hands.

The sticky stuff finally just became crusty a few hours later. I am
still peeling some of it off, but its a lot better than being a sticky
furball. I don't think the invention of the hairy #1 finger really will be
a popular item. I'm pretty sure the therapy people will call and tell me
they have enough volunteers, but thanks for my time.

Dave Wiley


The Three Ring Circus
7/29/2005

I now have my own three ring circus.

Announcer : In Ring numbah one, weighing in at 60 miles per hour, with
thunder and lightening and lasting roughly the same amount of time as
Gilligan's three hour tour : Mr Hurricane fallout Stormfront..... (heavy
jeering from the crowd).

Announcer : In ring numbah two, weighing in at a whopping 6 lbs 4 oz with a
height of 19 Ľ inches, born July 21, 2005 - Nolan Michael Wiley (Cheers and
some wailing from babies, and yes we have a new addition to the family).

Announcer : In ring numbah three : Two Samoyeds and a Miniature Pinscher
with a combined weight of 110 lbs, one of which hates the stormfront in ring
number one, one who is stressed out about the appearance of said baby in
ring number two, and one who could give a crap either way but ate a lot of
grass this afternoon....... LET'S GET READY TO RUMMMMMBBBBBBLLEEEEEE ......

It's the middle of the night after baby feeding number two, as it was said
Nolan's first night home from the hospital. We'd just fallen asleep (a
relative term) when the storm hit, prompting Kia to break out into clicky
toenail syndrome as she paced and paced the wood floor around the bed. I
would have gotten up to let her out for a potty break, but with the storm at
full rumble, Kia would have had to be carried out paws extended wide to
enchance her ability to not fit through the door. I went with just laying
there instead. I'd ALMOST gotten used to the clicky toenails and dozed off
when Kodah broke out into a case of the hurka gurkas.

I'm sure the hurka gurkas were brought on by a major case of dog grass
grazing earlier in the day, so I leapt out of bed and hustled Kodah out the
door into the rain - where she promptly stood waiting for me to come out
with her. Soooooooo..... I did. You can get pretty soaking wet standing in
the rain waiting for hurka gurkas to turn into green bile, so when the
incident was completed, Kodah was wiped down with a towel and I had to
change clothes. Exhausted, I hopped onto the bed, made Kia scoot over(she'd
stolen my spot on the bed while I was outside) and laid down.

I noticed something felt wet. Then it started to smell like urine. Kia had
not only hopped up on the bed, but had decided she'd voice her storm
displeasure by creating a lake on my side of the bed. Sooo.... For the
second time in the evening I changed my soaking wet clothing AND woke my
wife up so I could change the sheets.

Not wanting the house to smell of urine, I took all the bedding into the
laundry room and stuffed it into the washing machine. Heading back to bed,
I heard the baby starting to wake up.

When I picked him up, I guess he decided it was time for him to add his two
cents worth to topic of the storm, and he peed on me. Somehow it seemed
appropriate. Luckily the storm was only three hours long so by the time I'd
cleaned up puke, wiped up pee, washed some things, wiped up pee again, and
changed my clothes two billion times, the storm had passed. We slept
comfortably the rest of the night, all 45 minutes worth of it.

So maybe its not a full blown three ring circus, but a three puddle act, and
I need to go buy a urine proof clown suit.

Dave Wiley


Therapy visit - the grand finale
8/16/2005

Last Friday was the final day of doggy camp. Jamil and I worked with Kodah
all week on mainly agility equipment, so when we had to perform today in
front of 10's of people indoors because of the rain, we had to scramble for
some new tricks. We had "roll over" and "fall asleep" down (I changed the
name of play dead because of the sensitivity it might cause in front of a
group of families that someone had cancer). Fifteen minutes before going
on,` I taught Jamil all the obedience commands. Sit, Stay, Down, Come,
Heel. Roll over was our second to last trick, and fall asleep was the grand
finale because when Kodah does it, she kind of waggles her paw and it looks
like she is waving. Kodah is very attached to me and I was concerned she
would end up doing nothing. I was also not sure Jamil would remember all
the tricks as he seemed to get nervous talking in front of people.

The kids and families were already in the room and therapy people and dogs
were all out in the lobby. The kids came and got us one by one. Kodah and
Jamil went about 5th. I gave Jamil Kodah and we went in. Jamil's first
task was to introduce Kodah and I, and tell a little about the dog. He
explained the correct pronunciation of Samoyed, that the breed was from
Russia, the age of Kodah, and introduced me. I explained to the crowd we'd
only just begun a few tricks today, as most of our performance was to be
outdoors, so the only reliable thing that might happen was that Kodah would
shed. This drew out laughter from the crowd, except for the people with
black pants on.

Jamil took her to the center of the circle and performed like a champion, as
did Kodah. Although she kept looking at me the whole time, she did
everything asked. I was very proud of both of them. When the time came to
fall asleep, Jamil improvised and said, "and wave bye-bye to the crowd, as
Kodah's foot twitched looking like she'd obeyed. He'd learn the art of
adaptation well in our little training sessions. He released her with an
"OK", and they trotted over to me as I waited by the door. Jamil gave me a
huge hug. You could tell he was very proud of his success, as well he
should be. Watching him perform was bittersweet for me. It was wonderful
to see a kid proud of his success, but it was really sad knowing this would
be the last time I would see the little guy. He really was a good kid.

Kodah and I left. I swear Kodah's smile was unusually bright. I think she
knew she'd brought joy to this little boy.

Dave Wiley


Frogs, Dogs and Automobiles.
August 30, 2005

Driving and asking your dog what is in their mouth is now on my list of "Things I should never do with my dog".

We were off to the metro-park for some R&R. The group consisted of me, Kia, Kodah, Kenndrah, and Aiden. This seemed like plenty of people and dogs to have at the park. I guess I am a bad dad as I never think to ask anyone whether or not they want to bring along any friends so Kia just decided to bring someone along on her own accord.

The drive to the park was roughly five minutes. Somewhere around the first or second minute, Kia crawled up and laid down in the front seat. While staring at me, I noticed she had something sticking slightly out of her lip.

I asked her if she had something in her mouth. She gave me the wise look of "Of course I have something in my mouth, but I'm pretending not to" so I figured she'd found some of Aiden's crackers on the floor. I didn't really pay any more attention to it until Aiden kept saying "Froggy" from the back seat. I adjusted my mirror toward him and saw nothing. Then he said "Kia, Froggy". I looked toward Kia just in time to see her holding her mouth open and a frog hop from it onto the dashboard in front of me.

Lots of swerving and barking and "Catch it, froggy" noises ensued as I pulled off the road. If you ever wondered if a frog on your dashboard would freak you out while you are driving, my advice to you would be yes, a frog on your dashboard would indeed freak you out while you are driving.

Thank goodness I decided to pull over as Kia was not finished mothering her frog. She belly surfed onto the dashboard and blocked any view of the road that I used to have. To her credit, she did a good job of corralling the frog in her mouth before he began hopping all over the car. By now I had the car stopped and I rolled down the window. I told Kia to spit the frog out the window(like she was really going to do that). Ok so I'd have to resort to "Drop it" and scoop the frog myself. This worked better than the spit the frog out the window command. Kia dropped the frog, I caught the frog, Aiden asked to hold the frog, and I shuffled the frog out the driver's door. Meanwhile Kodah and Kenndrah provided barking color commentary during the entire episode.

We made it to the park without further incident, but before we boarded to go home, I checked everyone's mouth for additional passengers; even Aidens'.

Since Aiden learns a great deal from the dogs, it will not surprise me to find him with a frog in his mouth one of these days.

I am considering teaching the "Spit it out the window command" as it seems like it would be a really handy trick.

Dave Wiley


Going about your Business - by Dave Wiley
9/2/2005

We were trapped. There was only one way back to the car, and it was
blocked. There was no doubt I could not avoid this unfortunate scenario
until it had played out so I pulled my dogs behind a pretty large tree and
waited.

The washed out road we'd taken into the park was usually deserted. As
a matter of fact, because of the big holes in the road, it was even blocked
off to motor vehicles, so to end up in the situation we were currently in
was unusual, even downright crazy. But here we were, sitting and waiting,
hoping we wouldn't be here long.

A dingy red truck was pulled over to the side of the road, and its'
single occupant, the driver, had apparently had some sort of intestinal
attack. He'd pulled over just as we rounded the corner, jumped out of the
truck, and was currently getting in position to take care of his little
problem. He was standing on the opposite side of the vehicle, and had
whipped down his pants. Much to his chagrin, he now had a dilemma. He'd
parked too close to the edge of the road. Why, I do not know. It wasn't
like another car was going to come down the blocked off road from the other
direction, but I guess when loss of sphincter control is in progress, you
think in normal road terms rather than deserted road
I-have-got-a-huge-issue-brewing-in-my-intestines terms.

Normally, parking too close to the edge of the road would not be a
problem, but because the road was washed out, so was the edge. Basically
what you had was this guys' truck pulled to within two feet of a pretty big
drop off that most would refer to as a cliff or a ravine. Personally, I
would have classified it as a cliff, especially if I was getting ready to
hang my buttocks over it to relieve myself.

By the look on the guys' face, I would say he would classify it as a
cliff also, so he tried to take the precautions for not dying as he took
elevated of his sphincter control problem. Did he move the truck? Nope. I
guess because there was no time, or because he'd already pulled down his
pants he couldn't run with the ankle restraint of underwear getting into the
mix. He instead went with just grabbing hold of a mirror that had been
installed on the passenger side of his truck. The mirror was one of those
really big kind that allowed you to see around a trailer or some other large
thing you might be towing, like a man getting ready to take a dump..

I basically had three choices at this point. First, I could come out
from behind the tree and proceed to my car, which would bring me to the
guy's truck in roughly two minutes. To me this wasn't really an option
because I had no desire to give a neighborly hello to someone who had their
pants pulled down and their face was red with concentration. My second
option was to turn around and let the guy had some privacy by walking back
up around the corner and coming back in five minutes, hoping he'd consider
himself comfortably relieved. The problem with this choice was he'd
probably see the dogs and I and we'd possibly disrupt whatever rhythm he'd
gotten into in his "I'm ok now" process. Also, I had a bad feeling about
what was going on. If he was one of those people that needed perfect
silence and no disruptions, this could set the entire bathroom business back
a half hour and I had to pass his truck within the next ten minutes to be at
an appointment. Option three was I could just sit here and hope this whole
incident would be over soon by doing a little bird watching. This selection
made the most sense. I petted the dogs for a minute and then checked the
progress.

The mirror on the side of his truck, as I stated previously, had become
a holding contraption, at least for one hand. The other hand was performing
a balancing function. It was waving back and forth in the air so the man in
his semi-crouched down position, could stay upright enough to finish his
business. I guess the bad news for this man was people are only born with
two hands. He was going to need three.

The man had reached the point where the waste object was ready to leave
home, as it were. This was a bad time for the balancing hand to take a
break from the task of balancing, but it did. The goal of the man had been
to make the waste object fall straight down probably over the cliff, but his
little lost balance shimmy changed the trajectory of the falling object and
it went from going straight down to definitely angular.

At this point I was somewhat disgusted with myself for watching the
events unfold, but I can only relate my voyeurism to something like watching
a NASCAR event. You know something bad will eventually happen, so you stick
around and watch all the boring parts until a wreck occurs.

I now know Underwear can obviously serve more than one function, and
his underwear turned out to be pretty good at the additional function. It
had decided to form a hammock between his legs and catch the falling waste
object. Here is where he ended up hoping for a third hand. Hand number one
was still clenched to the truck-trailer mirror. Hand number two, although
for a second during waste object ejection had stopped performing its
balancing function, was still required for balancing. The dilemma was which
hand would switch to the task of flipping. Hand number two (sort of
appropriate it was hand #2) was chosen as the hand to switch to the task of
flipping from the task of balancing, leaving the guy with the hammock
cradling underwear absolutely no balance.

Three of four flips confirmed to the guy that flipping wasn't going to
be easy, but really what choice did he have, so he switched hand number two
from flipping to balancing to balancing to flipping. Getting frustrated,
hand number two lost its ability to perform two tasks and just settled on
the task of flipping, which obviously would result in loss of balance. Not
thinking, which seemed to be a theme with this guy from the word go, he let
go of the mirror and used hand number one for balance. Unfortunately there
was no need to balance without the handhold on the mirror, and the guy
toppled over. His legs, still handcuffed by the underwear, flew high in the
air and he flipped head over heels off the side of the cliff. I guess if
you looked at the bright side, had the waste object fell over the cliff like
originally intended, when the guy fell over the cliff, he would have landed
in his own pile. So I guess the underwear catch did save him from that.

Now what was I going to do. I chose to stay in my current position for
a few more minutes to see if the guy would end up climbing back up the cliff
and driving off, but he didn't so now I was going to have to go see if the
man was knocked out because I couldn't see him at all from my current
position. The dogs and I walked toward the truck. I could not hear a peep
or any gastrointestinal sounds from over the side of the cliff and assumed
the worst, that the dude was probably lying injured at the bottom of a cliff
with his pants around his ankles and a piece of crap resting comfortably in
the underwear around his ankles. Great. I'd have to climb down the cliff
with dogs in tow, and then try to revive the guy without having my dogs
sniffing or trying to take things that happened to smell.

I walked slowly around the truck, careful to check for the fallen waste
objects before getting to the side of the cliff. There was a lot more room
on the side of the guys' truck than I though. He probably could have taken
care of business without holding onto the mirror and avoided whatever fate
he'd suffered at the bottom of the cliff, but he hadn't so that was that. I
looked over the edge of the cliff.

Fortunately the man had not been knocked out and had already pulled up
his pants. What he did not appear to know was the fate of his newly created
friend. The piece of waste was sitting on his shoulder like a parrot
waiting for a cracker. I guess after falling off a cliff and surviving, a
person would just be happy with the survival end of things for a while
before realizing he was sporting a potty parrot on his shoulder. I yelled
down to ask him if everything was ok. "Yes" he replied. "Everything was
great." He said he was driving when he'd seen some deer and he went down in
the ravine for a better look. "Ok." I yelled back. I'd fulfilled my
obligation as a human being by making sure he was not dead. I chose against
going for sainthood and mentioning the parrot. After all, how long could it
take someone to notice something like that propped on his shoulder? He
started his ascent back up the side of the cliff, and the dogs and I headed
off down the path as quickly as possible.

I tried to make it a life lesson for the dogs. "See what happens when
you poop places you aren't supposed to?" I stated emphatically. The dogs
appeared to immediate grasp the lesson and file it away in their heads never
to hang over a cliff while making a pile.

The only other good thing about the whole scene besides the fact that I
was ready to choke with laughter was the man would be going in the opposite
direction when he departed the abandoned road, so I would not have to see
him anymore. The top of the road had a movable barrier, but the bottom
section did not. This would save me from seeing him and his parrot driving
their truck by us before we ended up reaching our car, which sat in the
parking lot on the other side of the immovable barrier. At least that was
my assumption until the beat up red truck drove by me. Sure enough, the guy
still hadn't noticed his friend seated on his left shoulder and he was
driving down the hill with it. Within a couple of minutes, he'd be turning
back around and going right back by us. Like clockwork he returned within
the allotted two minutes. I waved, and he waved back. Little did he know I
wasn't only waving at him, I was waving to his friend as well. I think the
parrot waved back. He rolled up his truck window and I figured now it
would only be a matter of time until the aroma in the truck got to an
unusual level and he realized that he had an un-welcomed passenger. That
was one good pet. It literally stuck with him through the worst of times.
I hope he didn't realize it too quickly, as I would hate to see him park too
close to a cliff in order to rectify his current situation and end up
falling over again. His truck drove out of sight.

I wondered what happened that day when he returned home. Did he make
it all the way to his destination without having to offer his pet a cracker?
Did he find out about it by seeing it in his rear view mirror, thus scaring
even more crap out himself? Did he end up in an accident, creating yet
another pileup? Was he married, and would he tell his wife about his day in
the woods? "Hi honey, I'm home. I had the worst day. I went to the park,
lost control of my bowels, tried to take care of it, but it stuck with me by
falling into my baseball mitt of a pair of underwear, and when I tried to
flip it out, I fell off a cliff, and now I'm home with the same problem I
had all day except now its sitting on my shoulder instead of making my
stomach uncomfortable". Would the wife have to point out the fact that it
was still on his shoulder? What if he went the opposite direction and
didn't tell about his day. Would it be more upsetting to the wife that he
had to explain a toilet item on his collar over lipstick? Would she think a
he'd been kissing another woman's rear end? How else do you get those kinds
of stains on your collar?

Whatever happened, I was just glad it hadn't happened to me. I dealt
with the whole situation by eating ice cream and giving the dogs frosty
paws. Life was good, and no, it was not chocolate ice cream..

Dave Wiley


Today is Christmas
12/7/2005

It was the middle of March and signs of Spring were beginning to
manifest themselves in the city of Maastricht. The tulip bulbs were sending
out little green signals that in a matter of days, the unveiling of a new
year of flora would begin. Even though it was still cold, I'd elected to
sit outside and enjoy the bustling Sunday crowds as they navigated through
the smallest of the three town squares. The outdoor heaters were radiating
warmth down onto the small group of tables set up under the awning in front
of the restaurant where I'd sat, but I was still wearing my coat. I'd
already ordered my dinner selection and had settled back into the novel I
was reading, when I got the feeling someone was looking at me. Since I
couldn't shake it, I looked up to see if indeed the intuition was correct.

At next table over sat an elderly man, his wife, and what I would
surmise correctly was their daughter. The parents looked to be in their
late sixties, and the daughter, a spitting image of her mother, appeared to
be in her mid-thirties. The daughter was staring intently at my jacket.
I'd assumed I must have spilled something on my coat, but when I looked
down, I realized what the woman was looking at. I was wearing a jacket with
the emblem of a smiling Samoyed face and the name of the Samoyed club I
belonged to. The woman's face reflected a deep sadness. Visibly upset, she
said something hurriedly in Dutch, and left the table. The older woman
quickly followed.

The man looked over awkwardly, and said something to me in Dutch. I
did not know what he said, so I admitted somewhat apologetically that I only
spoke English. He explained in English that his daughter had become upset
by the depiction of the Samoyed. Not thinking, I asked if they had recently
lost their pet. His answer, thankfully was no, but he proceeded to tell me
one of the most saddening, yet heartwarming stories I'd ever heard about a
Samoyed. I repeat it to you as best as memory serves me.

Approximately ten years prior, his daughter's son was diagnosed with
cancer. At the time he was diagnosed, he was given less than six months to
live. He was four years old. The doctor told the family they would need to
start Chemotherapy as soon as possible. Not long after, the son needed to
reside full time in the hospital. His immune system had grown so weak that
the fear was any infection would probably be fatal.

The trip to the hospital turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Not
long after they'd checked him in, the son made a new friend. Someone had
offered a therapy dog visit. The daughter, knowing her son's love of
animals, agreed to allow them to visit the small boy. The therapy dog was a
Samoyed.

The elderly gentleman now stopped talking. My food had arrived. He
excused himself to go check on his family. Sadly, I knew his tale did not
have a happy ending because of the woman's reaction to my coat, but I
couldn't help but want to hear the rest of the story. The man returned
shortly and sat down. He informed me his wife and daughter would probably
be a little longer but everything was ok. I slowly chewed my dinner,
wondering if he'd pick up his tale where he'd left off. He looked off in
the distance for a bit, and I figured he must have completed his story. I
finished my dinner and called for the check. It was then the man began to
speak again.

"My grandson really enjoyed the visits from the Samoyed", said the man.
I replied that I had two Samoyeds and I thought they were one of the
friendliest breeds, but a lot of people didn't care for all that white fur.
The man welled up in tears. He stated that the fur was one of the best
things about a Samoyed, and he needed to finish telling me about his
grandson.

The Samoyed and his owner visited the boy once a week, and they became
quite close with the family. Often they would stay and chat. During that
time, the Samoyed laid next to the boy, letting him play with the fur as he
talked with the therapy volunteer. One day, the boy admitted to the
volunteer that he knew he was going to die. He was hoping he'd live until
Christmas, because he was looking forward to seeing his first Christmas
snow. Holland is known as a place that receives snow very rarely, and this
young man had never seen real snow. He figured his best chance was on
Christmas. His family knew he'd wanted to see snow from a young age.
They'd just never imagined he would never get that chance. It was only
February and the previous Christmas they had not even known he was sick. At
this point the doctor had told the family there was not much time left.

The next week the therapy dog person approached the family with two
shopping bags and an idea and they decided they would try it. The following
visit, while the little boy was sleeping, the therapy worker and the mom
carefully laid out their plan, and then sat back and waited for the boy to
wake. The little boy awoke roughly a half hour later. On the tray above
him sat an assortment of neatly wrapped Christmas gifts. As he rubbed his
eyes and looked around, he got an even bigger surprise. "IT SNOWED!!!" said
the excited little boy. Indeed, it had snowed. The boy was completely
surrounded in soft white Samoyed fur. "Today is Christmas!!" he declared.
"Merry Christmas!!!"

The family brought in a dozen more presents, and the little boy
joyously opened each and every one, still surrounded in Christmas snow.
After he finished his gifts, he asked his mom if he could have a special
Christmas favor. Could he please keep a small tuft of Samoyed hair with
him? The mother asked why. The boy replied, "So every day from now on can
be Christmas".

Less than a month later, the little boy left his earthly existence. At
the funeral, most of the attendees were perplexed when mother and her
parents brought in a large bag of white fur and slowly spread it around her
little boy. She kissed him and held his little hand tightly. "There", she
said. "Now every day will be Christmas."

I sat dumb founded, amazed at the story the man had just told me. He
wasn't quite finished however. "Today is March 11th". He stated. "Ten
years ago today, my grandson passed away. Then you stopped here with a
Samoyed on your jacket. I guess my grandson just wanted to remind us that
today is not a day to be sad; rather, today is Christmas".

I stood up slowly and walked over to this man who'd just poured out
this very personal story to me. I reached into my pocket, and I took
something out. I asked him for his hand, and as he held it out I placed a
small ball of Samoyed fur in his palm. "Here" I said. "This is for your
daughter. Samoyed fur holds special meaning for me as well. I carry it
with me to remind me of home when I am away on trips. From now on it will
also remind me that every day I wake up is special, that every day should be
like Christmas."

Samoyeds are a perfect symbol of how it can be Christmas everyday. They
make us smile most waking moments. They always go that extra mile to ensure
we have a wonderful day.

The Christmas season is usually a happy time for us all. It's a
celebration of life. Whether you are religious or not, it's a time when
people take an extra moment to say hi to someone they don't know; a time
when people take the change out of their pocket and contribute it to someone
more needy; a time when people display generosity toward others. It's a
time of giving.

After the Christmas holiday ends and you get back to the daily grind
it's easy to forget to be extra kind. Hopefully, the next time you pick a
doggy hair off your sweater, this story will serve as a reminder that
everyday is a day to take that one extra step for your fellow beings. It's
a reminder that you can treat every day can be like its Christmas morning if
you just take one extra moment to think about it. Merry Christmas.

Dave Wiley


The Dangers of Laminate Wood Flooring - by Dave Wiley
4/4/2006

The carpet in our bedroom was shot. Even though the wood look was not
part of our house, I'd decided to put laminate wood flooring down in the
bedroom. It was between that and laying tile. Since tile was cold to the
feet, and it was not in my interest to put down something that would give my
wife cold feet really early in the morning, I chose the laminate flooring.

Unfortunately, unlike a lot of products, laminate flooring does not
come with a warning label affixed. After the many problems I've encountered
with it, I think it should. Here are the things they don't tell you about
laminate wood floors and how they relate to your pets.

First and foremost, 33 % of all dogs develop DHD. DHD (which stands for
Dorothy Hamill Disorder) occurred with one of my three dogs, hence allowing
me to arrive at the scientific number of 33% of dogs are affected. I chose
to round down because I didn't want to get a bunch of emails about 1/3 of a
percent of a dog if I included the 1/3 of a percent. The disease is as
such. For some reason, Kia thinks she is standing in the middle of an ice
rink every time she is on the wood floor. She'll stand up, then just run in
place, much like Scooby Doo does when he is trying to escape from ghosts.
The legs will flail, a running motion is attained, but there is no forward
progress. Eventually, similar to a train pulling tons of heavy boxcars, a
forward motion is established slowly. Unfortunately, the forward motion
builds, so by the time the DHD effected dog reaches the doorway, there is no
way to stop, and then a loud bashing sound happens as the dog skids willy
nilly into the bedroom door. This skidding normally leads to another side
effect, which is wife yelling from a dead sleep.

The second side effect is the dreaded CTS. That's right Clicky
Toenail Syndrome. Clicky toenail syndrome seems to only happen roughly an
hour before your alarm clock is scheduled to go off. The offending CTS dog
starts a slow pace around the bed, clicking as she goes. The clicking
builds slowly. Generally, the clicking will wake up a second dog, who in
turn also gets Clicky toenail syndrome. The third dog wakes, and then there
are harmony parts in the clicky toenail syndrome song. Depending on how
many dogs you own, there is a possibility of this building into a clicky
toenail orchestra. As soon as you move even an eyelid, Your Awake Facial
Licking starts(YAFL), and you have to get up and feed the dogs to get them
to lay back down. When you get up 33 % of your dogs will burst into DHD
disorder, run into the bedroom door and make the wife yell.

The third side effect is Help me out (HMO). HMO happens in the middle
of the night when one of the dogs want to get up on the bed, but they can no
longer jump up there because the floor is too slippery. Usually the dog
will stand on two legs, with the other two resting on the side of the bed.
Then they will stare at you while you sleep. You will get this eerie
feeling even as you sleep that someone is staring at you, until you finally
wake up and see the dog staring. You then help them up, and dog number two
comes over for help as well. As you help up dog number two, dog number one
lays on your pillow, and while you try to get dog number one to move, dog
number two lays in the covers that are not on you anymore, blocking you from
recovering even the slightest corner of the cover. Then everyone falls fast
asleep except you.

The final side effect is lack of sleep, because you just lay there and
think up all the bad side effects that have occurred ever since you
installed the stupid wood floor.

Dave Wiley


Dominos and Dog food - By Dave Wiley
4/7/2006

I am convinced that there is no one better to hang out on earth with
than small children and dogs. Its like you live in a cartoon. Armed with
this fascinating tidbit of information, you save yourself a lot of time
being embarrassed about things because, quite frankly, you already know
upfront you will be embarrassed. So, when I made the life choice of
packing three dogs and two kids into the car for a trip to Walmart, I
already pretty much knew there'd be a story to tell afterward.

So off we went.... The mission of the trip was simple. Get dog food,
cat food, cat litter, paper towels used primarily for cleaning up recycled
dog food and cat food, and treats, apparently to pass out when the recycled
dog and cat food made it into acceptable pre-approved disposal areas, like
the deck and the litter box. Being male, I kept the list inside my head
instead of writing it down, primarily because of my stellar past
performances of memory escapades that always made me travel back to wherever
it was I just came from because I forgot something.

The dogs all laid down in the car, the boys were perched in their car
seats, and I drove the four-some odd miles to Walmart. When we reached the
story, amazing gymnastics were performed to get the two boys out of the car,
while keeping the three dogs in the car. Luckily, I was a pro at this.
Someday I will write up the story at how you become a pro. So, armed with
one boy in one arm, and one baby-seat carrying a boy in the other arm, we
tromped into Walmart to get the variety of animal related products we
required.

At the entrance of the Walmart, right next to the 5 billion shopping
carts, the Walmart greeter, and the food place that sells the same rotating
hot dogs that have probably been there since the rotating hot dog machine
was installed, sat a GRANDIOUS display of Easter baskets. My two year old
was in heaven. They had Easter baskets with golf clubs, race car sets, two
foot high sponge bobs, and some with girl stuff in them(funny how when you
have two boys you don't even look at the ones with girl stuff in them). The
display consisted of well over a hundred Easter baskets, all wrapped
beautifully in crazy Easter colored saran wrap. I set my two year old down,
and put the baby seat with baby still attached into the shopping cart.
Aiden took the opportunity to high tail it over to the baskets. Nolan and
I rolled up seconds later with the cart. Aiden had selected an Easter
basket with golf clubs in it, and one with a race track for his little
brother. With all the powers of storytelling I could muster, I explained
how you could not actually buy these Easter baskets, but that the Easter
bunny had rented out the Walmart greeting area as a storage facility for all
his baskets and we would have to wait until Easter for our particular
baskets to show up somewhere in our homes. I don't think my son bought the
story, but he did put back the baskets so we could proceed to the pet
section of the store. I got dog food, cat food, cat treats, dog biscuits
and cat litter while my son watched approximately forty fish peck on the two
dead ones. "Sleeping daddy?" "Yes, I think he's sleeping Aiden". And we
headed off to check out.

After returning to the car to a chorus of "Thank Goodness you're back,
we've suffered" barks, I loaded all the food into the car. Then I realized
we'd forgotten the paper towels. Thinking (usually typing the word thinking
is sort where the story turns somehow into a story) the food would be safe
for two minutes, the boys and I hustled back into the store for the paper
towels. Wow, how cool was this.... Paper towels were just inside the store
by the entrance!! I set Aiden down and grabbed the 24-for-4.99 pack of
super-cala-fraga-listic-absorbant-ala-doshious paper towels and turned back
just in time to have a "slow motion" moment. Slow motion moments are those
times in your life when you know exactly what is going to happen but have
absolutely no ability to stop it. My current "slow motion" moment was
watching Aiden once again select an Easter basket with golf clubs in it, and
an Easter basket with a race track in it for his brother. The only
difference now was he'd chosen the top row of the bleacher section of Easter
baskets to pick his selection, instead of the front row like the first time
he'd chosen.

So, now my life shifted into SUPER-SLOW-MOTION..... I heard myself say
"NooOOOooOOooOOOOO!!!" although it sounded more like a fog horn, and very
slowly, one by one, the Easter baskets began toppling over. They did not
stop until all one hundred baskets had taken out each other and tipped to
the floor like dominos. Really though, it wasn't all one hundred. Aiden
was holding two of them, so it was only about 98 baskets.

The Walmart greeter woman turned a nice color of chartreuse, and all
around me I could hear whispers of "Glad that wasn't my kid". For the next
fifteen minutes, I picked up Easter baskets. Now I noticed all the girl
ones. Girls get pretty nice stuff in Easter baskets too. Aiden said "Do it
again Daddy!!" which earned him a spot in the shopping cart. Finally the
baskets were back together with no help from anyone, and we paid for the
paper towels.

Well when we got back to the car, the dog food, the cat food, the dog
biscuits and the cat treats PROBABLY would have been safe for a few minutes.
They might have been safe for five minutes. They may have even lasted ten
minutes.... But twenty minutes is a long time to leave dogs and food
unattended. The inside of the car wreaked of kibble smell. And I thought
the Easter basket fiasco was a mess. I decided just to put the boys in the
car and go home. The front seat of the car looked like one of those beady
things a cab driver puts on his car. I didn't care. I just sat on it. We
went home, crunching going on the entire time. Nolan, my eight month old,
thought the crunching was uproariously funny, and laughed the whole way
home.

By now my wife was home from work, so everyone went in the house,
and I went back out to the car and cleaned up dog/cat/food/treats for the
better part of the evening, separating it all out into its own piles and
redistributing it into the house storage containers. I'm really looking
forward to Easter this year. Maybe we'll make colored eggs tomorrow. That
went so well last year when the dogs ate all the unguarded eggs. The sad
part is, I wasn't the least bit embarrassed, as I appear to have become
immune. I even thought the Easter basket thing was cool.

Dave Wiley


How do dogs choose who gets the head and who gets the butt?
4/12/2006

Our dogs sleep with us in the bed. One Samoyed sleeps with her head on
my pillow, and her butt on my wife's pillow. The other Samoyed sleeps with
her head on my stomach, and her butt toward my wife. It is a rare
occurrence when this is not the case. I've often wondered how my wife ended
up on the butt side of both Samoyeds. I've never really questioned it,
however, because, after all, why should I. I am not on the butt side.

Last night turned out to be one of those rare instances when I ended up
with Kia's rear on my pillow. I tried to reason it out. Was it a full
moon? Friday the thirteenth? Lisa had a new pillow case and it smelled
better than my pillow case? So far, none of these reasons held water. Then
Lisa hopped into bed. First thing I heard was "P.U. Kia, you need your butt
cleaned!! I informed Lisa that she did not have that end of the dog. Kia
had apparently chosen this evening to eat a triangular pile of dessert, and
this was the reason she had 'xactly disease. 'Xactly disease is an old joke
that explained why some person did not have any friends. He was diagnosed
with the disease and when he asked what that meant, the Doctor's reply was :
You have no friends because your breath smells 'xactly like your rear.

As it turned out, Kia's breath smelled worse than her rear. Would this
explain why she'd turned the other cheek so to speak? Did she consciously
think about which end of her was the most aromatic and then position that
side toward my wife? I thought about seeing if Kodah would eat some poop
and find out which end she laid toward my wife, but only for a fleeting
second. Sure it was in the interest of science, but you have to have some
sort of limits. It took me a few minutes, but I gave up the idea and
decided to go to sleep. We'd only laid there for a few minutes when Kia got
up. She did one of those cat moves where you circle around a few times,
then she laid down, her head on my pillow. Well, that sort of shot the
stinky end toward the wife hypothesis right out the window. Or did it. I
closed my eyes, but seconds later I heard "KIA!! Go lay on your pillow!!"
Kia had broke wind after changing positions. This small act of head and
rear rearrangement right before the ends switched stink levels reaffirmed my
hypothesis that the dogs do consciously choose who gets the stinky end.

I really don't know why Lisa is the stinky end chosen one and I am not,
but I am glad things turned out this way. I guess though, on the bright
side, if they ever make a movie about this, Lisa will be the star of the
movie just like Neo was in "The Matrix" because the movie has to revolve
around the chosen one, not the supporting cast. Sometimes bearing the most
responsibility just plain stinks.

Dave Wiley


Where’s the “Where's Waldo” book?
5/12/2006

Every night since my son was born, my wife or I read him books for twenty
minutes before he goes to bed. This tradition has expanded to my second
oldest as well. At nine months old, he really does pay attention to the
books and tries to turn the pages. One of his favorites, or what appears to
be one of his favorites, is our copy of "Where's Waldo". Waldo is this
little penguin who hides himself amongst other objects. He is on each and
every page, and the point of the book is to find Waldo amidst all the other
things. Finding Waldo is pretty easy, but Aiden still gets a giant kick out
of it, and Nolan laughs just because Aiden looks like he is having a good
time. Sometimes I will put my thumb over Waldo and Aiden has to tell me to
move my thumb to find him.

We hadn't searched for Waldo in a while so Aiden suggested this would be a
good book for this evening. We looked on his bookshelf, but Waldo seemed to
be missing. It seemed strange that we had to find the book about Waldo to
find Waldo. But, this was the case so I hoisted one boy in each arm and we
set off to find the book about Waldo. We looked high. We looked low. We
searched in all the places we'd read "Where's Waldo". The dogs joined in
the hunt. While we searched we found all kinds of things: a piece of kibble
here and there, a ladybug, a dead bee.... Pretty much everything but Waldo.
The dogs were particularly excited every time we found something food
related. They'd eat it and we'd move on. Come to think of it, it didn't
have to be food related, they ate the bee and the ladybug as well. It was
almost like we'd been transformed into the book. At any moment, I expected
to find the real Waldo instead of just Waldo on a page in a book.

After searching the entire house, we'd just about given up on the book, when
Kia started doing what I commonly refer to as the potty dance. I went to
let her out, two boys in tow. She wouldn't go outside. She kept going over
by her pillow. Finally, I guess I frustrated her enough where she just
grabbed the pillow with her teeth. She tugged the pillow away to reveal the
copy of "Where's Waldo". I don't know if all those readings and Waldo
discoveries had somehow made her feel left out or what, but she'd hidden the
book of Waldo, waited for a while, and then help us find Waldo when we
couldn't find him ourselves. I guess she'd just wanted to participate in
the game of "Where's Waldo".

The "Where's Waldo" book ended up a little worse for wear. There were teeth
marks here and there. On one page, Kia had eaten roughly half the page.
Waldo was on the half that was gone. Aiden said "I think Kia has her thumb
on Waldo". He was delighted, however that Kia wanted to be a part of
"Where's Waldo" and suggested we let her participate next time we read the
book. His idea was that we give the book to Kia, let her hide it, and then
we play "Where'd Kia put Waldo?" before we find Waldo. The creativity of
children and dogs never makes for a dull day.

Dave Wiley


It's June, Time to Pull out the Sled.
6/14/2006

One would think since it's June, not a month typically associated with its
record levels of snowfall, a person wouldn't have to worry about Samoyeds
going sledding. Even stranger is taking the combination of June and being
inside the house instead of outside, but here it was, almost the middle of
June, I am indoors, and in a total panic about the sled-riding escapade
unfolding in front of me.

It all started two weeks ago when Nolan, the ten-month human, decided it
would be a good idea to become mobile. At nine months there was an inkling
of this life-changing event getting ready to unfold. Nolan would get up on
his hands and knees and rock back and forth. Then, in one day, he moved
forward. He'd changed from a loaf of bread to a moving object just that
fast. Additionally, Nolan had never been much of a horizontal baby. He
preferred standing in his bouncy seat or his little piano thingy to lying on
his back on the floor. So, less than a week after he'd learned to crawl,
he'd also learned to hoist himself up onto things. I expect he'll be
walking in less than a month.

Hoisting himself up onto things included a variety of objects. The couch,
his little chair, his little red car, the outside of the bouncy chair and
the outside of his piano were just a few of the standup items he could find.
Additionally, he discovered he could hoist himself up on Samoyeds. Fur is a
great thing to grab onto when you are hoisting. To the Sammies' credit,
they'd been through this before, and are quite good about being hoisted
upon.

In addition to hoisting, Nolan had discovered his pleasure of riding around
in a little red car. We'd put him on the car, put his little feet up, and
push him around. Watching him laugh and laugh as he chased the doggies with
his car was priceless. Somehow, the little wheels in his head combined his
love of the little red car, and his love of climbing onto the dogs into a
new sport - car sledding.

I was cooking dinner at the time car sledding was invented. Nolan climbed
aboard his little red car all by himself, assumed the position by putting
his feeties up, an he reached over the front of the car for a wad of
attached dog fur. The typical reaction of the dogs at this point is to
gently get up and walk away, thus saving their fur for more important
things, like blowing it all over the carpet. Today was no different. Kodah
got up and started walking. Nolan, being firmly planted on his little red
car, and firmly attached to dog fur, began to move. The faster Nolan moved,
the quicker Kodah went. By the time they'd reached the kitchen, Kodah was
setting a pretty brisk walk. Nolan was holding on for dear life and
laughing hysterically. I was in a panic.

Luckily, the car, the dog, Nolan and I were all in a straight line. Kodah
trotted toward me picking up speed, I walked toward Kodah also picking up
speed, and Nolan hung on for dear life. It was a race to see if I could get
to the car before Kodah broke into a dead run or Nolan toppled off the car
and found out car sledding wasn't nearly as much fun as he was thought it
was. As the gap closed, Nolan became less and less upright and more and
more unstable. Kodah broke into a run, I broke into a run, and Nolan's
little body leaned heavily to the right. I arrived just in time to save the
little man from a close up of the tile floor. He was laughing so hard his
eyes were watering. That of course made me laugh, and Kodah went on the
carpet to shed at little.

I put Nolan back on the carpet and watched him get back on his little red
car. He eyed the dogs, waiting for one to draw near. You just can't car
sled without the engine.

Dave Wiley


July Fourth
7/6/2006

Our Fourth of July was interesting to say the least. We traveled to Indiana with three dogs, two kids, and a set of Grand parents. The Grand parents did ok with the fireworks. Everyone else?

Let’s see. Somewhere around 9:30 when the festivities started, we were in my sisters’ house. I figured I’d better head out to the RV as the dogs would probably get a little crazy in their kennels. The Grand parents slept in the house. Kenndrah, the min-pin, had already performed potty and diarrhea crate dispersion and roll fest by the time I’d reached the RV. Kia was panting profusely. Kodah could care less either way. Lisa had the kids in the house since they didn’t appear to think fireworks were that amusing either. I took Kenny out of her crate and gave her a quick bath. Then I removed her crate from the RV and hosed it out. In the meantime, I’d let Kia and Kodah out of their crates. Kia apparently does not know the “Don’t run while peeing rule”, a rule similar to running with scissors only not quite as dangerous, so she had peed pretty much all over everything in the RV except the ceiling. While I cleaned that up, Kodah decided she had to dump, so I took her outside. She actually kind of enjoyed watching the fireworks while pooping. It was definitely a “magazine on the pot” experience for her. When we re-entered the RV, Kia needed to dump as well, but she’d already finished by the RV door, which I of course promptly stepped in. So we had clean the shoes, dry out the crate, and pick up the squished dump left to accomplish. Meanwhile the fireworks are reaching the grand finale. I think the name of the grand finale should be changed to “Time to poop and pee again”. Cleaning started all over. Thankfully, the grand finale reached the finale part, wasn’t all that grand, and everyone calmed down.

I set the crates back up, put up the port-a-crib for Nolan, and went in to retrieve the wife and kids. When we returned to the RV, the wife wanted to know why everything smelled like Lysol. I told her she really did not want to know. We all laid down for a good nights sleep….. Except for the approaching thunderstorm. Nothing like pelting rain and occasional peals of lightening and thunder to re-rile up dogs that already have their hair standing straight up like Buckwheats’ in Little Rascals. Rather than sleep, I ended up doing potty runs between rain showers. This worked well until about 2:00 AM when the thunder died down and we just had the gentle drum of raindrops on the roof of the RV. Thankfully the humans, other than myself, slept through the entire thing. Now it was my turn to fall asleep

Ok, what idiot sets off fireworks at 4:00 AM and makes the dog lying right next to you on the bed as you are sleeping wake up immediately and pee on you? I don’t know. I do know that somewhere in Indiana there exists such an idiot though. In addition to lighting off fireworks at 4:00 AM, it was raining still. Can you say total idiot? I took all the sheets off the bed and just threw them outside the RV into the rain. My wife has a plastic cover on the mattress in the RV for just such dog related emergencies as this has happened before, so after lysoling the plastic thing, I laid back down and listened to the crinkle of plastic while I stuck to it. Should be able to fall asleep any time now as long as I didn’t move and mind being stuck to something. I finally ended up sleeping in the driver’s seat until the baby work up at 6:00 AM for a bottle. He, of course had a loaded poopy diaper, just to top things off.

Independence Day? Yea right. Whoever named this holiday had no dogs.

Dave Wiley


The Circus
6/30/2006

When is the Circus?

While this little tidbit of a story is more kid related than dog,
it does have dogs in it somewhere, but you might want to delete it and
move onto more pertinent vacuum discussion.

Traveling with three small children can be a trying experience
sometimes, and with construction up the main drag, going through an area
you could walk through faster than drive is sometimes a frustration,
especially for little kids.

We had to invent a game in order to make the construction zone
more palatable. Each time we go through, I ask the children what was
the coolest thing they've done. Each time they have to give a different
answer. When they say "Disney", the next time they aren't allowed to
use that one. As many times as we've been through the construction
area, we are getting pretty low on the totem pole about talking about
places we've been or things we've seen.

This particular day happened to be Aiden's turn. Now five, the
little dude remembers everything. How, I don't know. About two years
ago, we'd gone to a circus, so he decided that the circus would be his
coolest event that hadn't been used up in his memory banks to date.
During your rehashing of said event, the rule states you have to give
some verbal description about the event and what you liked the best.
It turned out he enjoyed the poodle and horse combination act. The
"act" was a smattering of poodles riding around on a bunch of white
horses while doing various tricks. Admittedly, it was probably the best
act the fly-by-night circus had to offer. I should point out here the
"Circus" was one of those backyard affairs set up on some churches'
parking lot.

After giving his rendition of the memory, he asked when we might
yet again go to the circus. As I happened, right about that time a
rather large woman in a bright purple shirt with Green pants meandered
by the car walking eight dogs of various sizes. She was traveling the
same direct as we were. I pointed and said "Look! Right there is a
clown with a bunch of dogs!" The woman was in a bit of distress walking
eight dogs. The boys laughed uproariously at the spectacle. "How do
you know it's a clown dad?" I pointed out the multi-colored outfit and
the numerous dogs as proof we were witnessing a circus. The boys wanted
to know why she did not have a red nose. I told them it would melt in
the hot sun. Just then, the woman bent down, untangling herself from
the mass of leashes.

"That clown has a big butt dad!" My wife started laughing, the
WRONG thing to do when kids mention such things as large posteriors.
Making matters worse, Brianna, who is all of one year old, decided "big
butt" would be a great phrase to repeat over and over.
Traffic moved ahead with the change of the light, and we pulled
well ahead of the clown with the large bottom. That didn't stop Brianna
though. She said "Big butt, big butt, big butt". Nolan would laugh,
Aiden would laugh, momma would laugh, and Brianna would repeat. We sat
at the light for approximately five minutes talking about the large
backside.

All the sudden Aiden says "Hey look, there's that darn clown again"
in complete seriousness. I looked to my left. The woman caught up to
us as we sat in traffic. Nolan mentioned the fact that the woman should
wear black pants in order to appear more slimming. Nolan is one month
away from turning three. His fashion sense kinda scares me, but his mom
told him he was right. He asked if that is why she always wears black
pants, putting somewhat of a damper on the whole clown issue. Brianna
said "Big Butt" again, just to prove green doesn't seem to help matters
in the slimming sense, and it distracted mom from thinking about why she
always wears black pants. Thankfully, the light, like the pants, was
now green and we could leave the clown, and the circus behind, so to
speak. Brianna still says big butt when it is applicable. I am glad
she's never said it to her momma yet. While it isn't large, I suppose
everything is big to a one year old, especially if there is a remote
possibility it may come down on top of you.

Dave Wiley


While Man's best friend is a Dog, a dogs best friend appears to be the Toilet.
10/14/2008

The water in the back of the toilet had been trickling for a number of
weeks, and I finally got past all the procrastinational reasons not to
fix it, and decided to fix it.

This day would go down in Samoyed history as "The Water Bowl Disaster".
It may even become some sort of holiday.

The toilet isn't just a water bowl to my Sammie's. It's a place of
respite for head petting during those times adults need to sit for a
while. It's a source of comfort during thunderstorms as a curling
around and behind device. It's a hangout when human boys swordfight.
It's the area that creates the reason for the toilet paper pull-and-run
area even exists on the wall. Basically, it if weren't for outdoors,
the toilet would be the primary meeting spot of Sammie's. It's the
equivalent of the water cooler in Dilbert cartoons.

The fixing of the leak in the toilet started out as an innocent enough
project. It looked like the intake portion of the toilet innards could
just be unscrewed and replaced; a great place to begin. The Sammie's
had the look of someone sitting in the waiting room at a hospital
waiting for their loved one to come out of surgery as I poked around the
back of the toilet. Much to their horror, the ever-flowing full water
bowl was then emptied completely, making them think I'd actually killed
the toilet. Had there been a flower shop close by, and the dogs had
money, they'd have whisked down the street for a get well bouquet.

After the inlet pipe was replaced, and the miraculous refilling of the
toilet bowl was witnessed by the Sammie's, proving I hadn't killed the
toilet, there was much woo-wooing and rejoicing, but the toilet still in
fact leaked. This meant major toilet surgery. I'd have to disconnect
the top of the toilet from the bottom of the toilet so the flusher
thing-a-ma-jiggie could be taken out and replaced as well. If you have
no idea of what I am talking about, I apologize for using way too much
toilet technological terminology. Even the guy at home depot had no
idea what I was talking about without toilet pieces visual aid.

Toilet disassembly is apparently worse to a Sammie than fourth of July
fireworks. The water re-disappeared from the bowl, an event that had
only happened twice in the life of the toilet, and both times in the
same day, and the "Head" of the toilet was removed.

I was amazed at how many laps a Samoyed can do around a beheaded toilet
while a toilet slayer such as myself repaired the decapitated portion
off to the side.

I finally finished replacing the flushing thing-a-ma-jiggie and it was
time to put the Sammie's best friend back together. While the
re-assembly took less than 10 minutes, many a toenail and leg hair was
chewed off in anticipation of whether or not the toilet would end up
making it out of surgery alive.

As things would have it, the toilet lived on, the ever-flowing water
bowl was restored to its comforting level, and the Sammie's have spent
the rest of the day setting toys at the base of the toilet in homage and
thanking it for pulling through.

Dave Wiley


Once, twice, three times a breakout....
7/20/2009

Had the week off from work unpaid last week due to "the economy" or lack there-of.

The good news was, I had the week off. The bad news was, it was unpaid. Good news, bad news seemed to be the theme of the week.

Monday started off as good news. In the morning I stained the deck, so the dogs couldn't go on it, but it was looking fantastic. The bug guy showed up and sprayed inside and out. Brianna is two now so I took it upon myself to potty train her during my week off. At 5:45 PM we hadn't had a single accident. That seemed to mark the changing of the guard over to bad news.

I had the swimming pool set up out front for the kids in true country hillbilly fashion. Nolan hopped out of the pool, said he didn't feel good, and promptly threw up on the driveway. Brianna, following Nolan at the distance of one-inch apart, their normal separation, slipped in the mess, fell down, scraped both knees and her eye started swelling up from hitting the cement. The good news was, I already had the hose out and just hosed off all "the bad news".

We all headed into the house, where Nolan promptly threw up on the couch. The couch, divided into two pillows, only caught it on one end, and the dogs thought it would be a great idea to help clean it up..... Outside went the pillow and the dogs. The bug guy, in his haste to spray and depart the house, left the gate open to the fence in the back yard, and off went the dogs.... Breakout! Haven't had one of those babies in probably three years, knock on stained deck wood. I had Nolan lay on a chair next to the couch, put Brianna on the pillow that was left unscathed by the throw-up incident, and took Aiden out to the back yard in search of the dogs.

I caught two of them within five minutes, but Kia is always the trickiest and she was the one still on the loose. I headed into the woods, thinking a two year old and a four year old were sitting in the house by themselves. Ooof. Aiden yells from the backyard "DAD!!", but I can't return because I wasn't paying attention and am now lost in the woods. Five minutes later I emerge about three houses away and run all the way back home.

Kia stands in the pond with water up to her neck. Did I mention I'd just put blue dye in there right after staining the deck to keep down the weeds? I take smurf dog back into the house and everyone is captured. In the mean time Brianna falls asleep on the couch on the good pillow, wets herself because she's sleeping and I haven't taken her potty in about 40 minutes, so both pillows are ruined.

Well at least all the dogs are back.

Tuesday, Kia gets a bath. Everyone seems to be feeling fine. Brianna makes it until just about 5:45 AGAIN with dry undies. I let the dogs out after a thorough check of the gate, and everything is going smoothly. The couch pillows have finished drying in the sun and are put back on the couch. I head down and let the dogs through the walkout basement door. All three go by be, but when I get upstairs Kia is missing.

Brianna says she doesn't feel good and throws up on the couch. She takes out the pillow that had the urine on it the day before, so that goes outside. Out of the corner of my eye, I see Kia running toward the lake. HOW DID SHE GET OUT!!! I put on a movie for Nolan and Brianna, set them on the good pillow, and take off, catching Kia in less than five minutes. GOOD NEWS! Except I catch her in the lake, so she's blue again.

I give her a quick bath, and get back in the house in time to see Brianna has fallen asleep on the couch and wet her pants, taking out the second pillow. Man, this had such a feeling of Deja Vu. We have a set of steps that goes from the garage to the basement, and it turns out the bug guy went out that door. It doesn't shut unless you push it, thereby allowing Kia the ability to escape yet again.

Wednesday, Thursday went good and bad as well, although the couch didn't bear the brunt of most of the mishaps like it did on Monday and Tuesday.

Friday went great. No accidents of any nature. My wife goes on a shopping expedition to Columbus with her sister, that involves an overnight stay. I prepare the house for Nolan's birthday party on Sunday, including making a cake. The kids don't fall asleep until long about 10:30 PM, and cake decorating takes until 3:30 in the morning.

Saturday I have to drive the kids to my parents an hour away, as they are staying overnight so I can take my wife out to dinner for her 40th birthday. Nolan and her have the same birth date, but she doesn't like a "combo" party, so her dinner thing is Saturday night, Nolan's party is Sunday. I pack all the kids stuff up and fill my hands up with sleeping bags and luggage for Nana's house. I put the garage door up, head out with my hands loaded, and just start putting stuff in the car when Nolan opens the door and lets all three dogs tear off into the sunset. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? I drop everything, open the car door and yell "LET"S GO FOR A RIDE"! All three dogs jump in the car, and I haul them out one at a time into the house. On the last dog, I close door to the suburban.
 

I open the door to the house just in time to see Kia and Kodah finishing off the birthday cake they've ceremoniously dragged off the counter because I was a bonehead and didn't push it back far enough. The cake consisted of four pieces - a momma panda bear, and three baby panda bears. Thankfully none are made of chocolate.

We put all the dogs away, and we're ready to go. Unfortunately, to go, you need car keys, and mine are locked inside the car. One of the dogs must have stepped on the door locks just prior to me removing them from the car.

I call up the car dealership, and we drive the RV a half hour there and a half our back so we have a 52.00 key to get in the car, since the extra set of car keys are somewhere deep in the bottom of my wife's purse three hours away on a Columbus shopping spree.

While I'm looking in the window of the car so I can spot the keys taunting me from the interior, I couldn't even get mad. My only thought was "THAT sure is an appropriate ending to the week!"

On the good side, Brianna went all week with only two accidents, both on the couch, and the second set of panda bears turned out better than the first.

Dave Wiley


The Easter Chicken.
4/5/2010

The day before Easter started off like a good day.

Two boys, two dogs, and I headed over to the Pet Store to pick up dog treats.

While we were there, Kodah showed particular interest in one specific toy. It was a rubber chicken; probably the dumbest toy within the confines of the store. Nolan thought the chicken was a grand prize for dogs, and asked if we could buy one for Kodah, and a smaller version of the same chicken for Kenndrah. I said ok. After said chicken purchase, we headed home and traded dogs for Mom and Daughter. Now the car, loaded only with humans, headed to the clothing store for Easter outfits. Brianna needed shoes. Lisa and Brianna departed for the shoe store. Aiden, Nolan and I headed for Chucky Cheese. Apparently, so did the rubber chicken. When we got to Chucky Cheese, Nolan would not stop squeezing the chicken. "Hey Dad, if I grab the chicken around the neck, it squeaks". I ended up confiscating the rubber chicken and hauled it all over Chucky Cheese under one arm, attracting many an odd stare.

When we finished, we walked over to the shoe store. Nolan swore he would not squeeze the chicken again, so I gave it back. We entered the crowded shoe store, squeaking away. Nolan was out of arm's length, knowing I would re-confiscate the chicken if I could reach it, so I finally said, in a voice that most shoe store patrons could hear, because shoe stores are way quieter than Chucky Cheese - "NOLAN, stop choking your chicken!" Did I really say that out loud? Oof.... The look from the woman at the checkout counter made waiting in the car a logical choice.

We went back to the car and sat, waiting for Lisa and Brianna, all the while the squeaking kept up. Lisa entered the car. Lisa - "What is that"? Nolan - "I'm choking my chicken". Big ole glare at.... Well I'm sure you know who. Lisa - "Were you the guy in the shoe store that...." Me - Ayup. Lisa - "Thank goodness you never identified yourself as someone remotely knowledgeable in who I am". Me - "Ayup".

Easter morning we all get in the car to head to Grandma's for breakfast..... "DARN" I say.... Lisa asks what the problem is..... Me -"I forgot the food". Lisa -"What did you make". Me - "I forgot the chicken and the eggs"..... Yep, chicken patties and deviled eggs..... Lisa - "which one did you make first?" Me - "Really? You want to know which one came first?" Lisa - "Well, at least I'm not choking anything".

This has to be some kind of revenge from chicken.

Dave Wiley

P.S. I found out a new reason to miss Kia. She killed every squeaky in every dog toy within a minute of getting it. So far the chicken still squeaks. I'd say I might have to take matters into my own hands......
Darn the chicken....




Dave and Aiden, 2004


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