Checking in with the Finley kids…

I ended up sharing one photo of each of my babies today. So I thought I’d document them here…

Diego aka. The Woogs: Age 12?

The combination of that pillow and this cat makes me laugh every time.
The combination of that pillow and this cat makes me laugh every time.

The Rza aka. Peezu: Age 7

A "little dog on cat" action
A “little dog on cat” action

Jackson Finley aka. The Big One: Age 9

This fucking guy.
This fucking guy.

They’re growing up so fucking fast.

Why I’m never taking my dogs to the vet again

He's wearing this muzzle because I can't control MY behavior.
He’s wearing this muzzle because I can’t control MY behavior.

There’s no better testament to how much owners influence the behavior of their dogs than the vastly different experiences Aaron and I have taking Jackson to the vet.

Aaron is the default parent (yes, I’m using the term “parent” because “owner” sounds so sterile) to take the dogs to the vet during emergency situations because I am NOT good with blood and panic-y situations.

But I started taking the dogs to the vet for non-emergency purposes because I’m the parent who works at home. In theory, it’s easier for me to be the vet person.

Now, Aaron always reported perfect behavior from Jackson during his vet visits. But the last few times I took Jackson, he’d get panic-y in the waiting room, cowered from vet employees, and bared his teeth at our usual vet!

WTF, Aaron, you liar!? Our baby is a god damn monster. And he really hates our vet. I have no idea why — she’s a totally sweet lady who always speaks gently to him and treats him well. And he’s NEVER been one to hate people. Other dogs while on a walk, yes. But people? No. (Well, except for that one crazy guy once… thank gawd.)

So this time, when Jackson’s weird neck wounds from two months ago refused to heal up completely and seemed to get worse, I begged Aaron to resume his role as “the vet person.” Jackson behavior and my anxiety was making the visits way to stressful for me. And I suspected that my anxiety may even be triggering Jackson’s mood.

Aaron obliged, and took off work to be a good parent. I wished him luck today as he left the house, even suggested he take the muzzle that had come in handy last time.

Guess what… Continue reading →

In happier news

Jackson turned six last week!

I bought him this bone and he was a super good boy waiting for the “okay” to gnaw away. I also took him for a nighttime jog.

Oh man, I can’t believe he’s six! They grow up so fast.

give a dog a bath

Who knew there would ever be a day that giving my dog a bath would make for one of the best Saturday nights of my life.

It started as a lonely night. My husband went to play at a friend’s house and I stayed home alone for the first night since I’ve been sick. I was bummed and feeling anxious. And then Jackson actually asked to have a bath! (Seriously… how many of you know a dog that actually asks for a bath? Well, if you know my dog Jackson, then you at least know one dog that does.)

So Jackson hops into the tub and just gives me the look that says, “I’m so f-ing stinky even I, a dog, think that I stink.”

So I start the bath and climb in myself, because when bathing this dog you’re BOTH getting a bath. Jackson’s so good. I get him wet and then soap him up while singing the “Your A Stinky Dog” song. After a minute he wants to shake — I tell him not to, and he holds back, even though you can tell it’s SO unnatural for him. And then when he’s all washed up and before I let him out of the shower I tell him, “okay shake” and he just goes to town!

After the bath, Jackson tears around the apartment soaking wet while I hop out of the tub covered in stinky dog hair and chase him around with a towel trying to get him dry before he succeeds in rubbing his wet-dog smell all over the couch and chairs. And all the while I’m laughing so hard that my sides hurt! Finally Jackson submits to the toweling down and, smiling ear to ear, pants and squirms on the floor. When he’s had enough of that it’s up and sprinting back and forth a few more times just because he thinks it’s fun, until I can get him wrangled up in the towel again.

When he’s finally dry it’s my turn to bathe. And all of a sudden I’m smiling ear to ear just like my dog and I can’t remember when I’ve been this happy. That silly, wet, stinky, pit bull makes me so damn happy!

“let freedom ring”

Jackson and me at the protest.

I am proud to say that I attended my first protest last night! Hundreds of us headed out to Santa Monica Blvd & San Vicente to protest the passing of Prop 8. Like I said, I had never taken part in a protest before; even though I strongly apposed the war, I kept out of protests and things like that because honestly, I just don’t know much about war and politics. But I do know what discrimination is! I do know that it’s not okay to deny people their civil rights based on ignorance and fear. And because of this strong believe and my overwhelming anger at the bigots that live in my state I took to the streets with Jackson in tow. Because, as a pit bull, Jackson knows a LOT about being discriminated against as a breed out of ignorance and fear. (And also I needed to walk the dog anyway and it’s not completely safe to walk the streets at night by myself.)

It was a wonderful experience, there were sooooo many people out showing their support for gay marriage and expressing their anger and the injustice that was inflicted upon the people of this state. The speeches were great and I was glad to learn that the fight against prop 8 is not over. But what was the best part was the march. Cars were honking in support as we walked by intersections, people were cheering and there was a general positive vibe in the air.

the large crowd listening to the speeches

One of the people I met at the rally told me that he had just moved to LA and he was overwhelmed by how many people had come out to protest. He wondered how the prop could have ever gotten passed in the first place. I told him that he was in West Hollywood, one of the epicenters of the gay community. Obviously not everyone who lives in California will be this understanding and supportive.  And that made me really sad to come to terms with this exact idea in the past couple of days. But for one night I could pretend that majority was with us. For one night I could surround myself with hundreds and hundreds of people who felt the same way as I did. And I felt GREAT for the first time that entire day.

Protesters marching on Santa Monica Blvd.

Now there’s a movement on the internet that I just learned about and it made me smile as much as the protest last night did. It started in this post from a blog called Eating Out Loud. It’s called “Let Freedom Ring” and here’s an excerpt that explains it all:

I decided to snap a photo of my wedding band placed on a slightly different finger than normal to express exactly how I feel toward every single person who voted Yes on Prop 8. It’s my personal version of ‘let freedom ring’. The battle for equality changes course but it’s very far from over.

I decided to do my part and join the “Let Freedom Ring” movement…

Let freedom ring!

I welcome supporters of gay rights to snap your own photo showing your wedding ring on your middle finger. Spread the word that this fight isn’t over. Whether you’re gay, straight, bi, white, blue or tan — show your support by letting freedom ring on your blog then go here to log it for everyone to see!

My hero!

Now anyone who reads this blog knows that I’m a die-hard pit bull fan. One of the reasons I love pits so much is their gentle and intuitive nature. And it kills me that they have such a bad reputation, but sometimes, sometimes, that bad rap comes in quite handy…

A couple months ago I was walking my dogs (Jackson, the pit & Rza, the terrier) late at night on their before dinner constitutional. On a dark corner near a busy-ish street Jackson stopped to be behind a bush. I was standing on the corner with the little dog waiting for Jackson to finish his business when I looked up and saw two enormous dudes rushing diagonally across the street towards me. I thought it seemed odd, but it was all happening so fast and out of the blue that I didn’t even have a second to process the fact that this could mean danger. About the same time as the dudes got to the corner Jackson finished peeing and trotted up to my side. The dudes took one look at Jackson and they both jumped backwards, threw their hands up in the air in an “i surrender” motion and went “whoa whoa whoa” as they slowly backed away, arms still in the air. Jackson just sat there, he didn’t bare his teeth, he didn’t bark, the hairs on his back didn’t raise up like they usually do when he’s freaked out. He just sat there being a good boy the whole time.  These dudes just panicked at the mere sight of a pit bull. And before they took off running in the other direction one of the dudes looked back at me and said, “That’s a good friend to have.”

Jackson proved the veracity of that statement once again last night…

I took the dogs out for their evening walk when I got home from band rehearsal. I normally dont do take them late at night anymore since I had that freaky run in with the two dudes. But i thought, eh, no big deal if I only do it every once in a while.

So i make it as far as one block away from the apt when I see this guy running FLAT OUT as FAST as he could, rounding the corner and running down the street ahead of me. And i thought, yikes, that’s like “running from the cops” fast! And, sure enough, a cop car slowly came around the corner with it’s search lights on. They were too far away from me to hear me tell them where he went so I just pointed and they drove off looking for him. But the cops passed right by him! So i ran ahead trying to flag them down, but they had already disappeared, and so i went around the block in an attempt to get far away from the running guy.

After a brisk walk I came back around to our street and headed towards home. That’s when I heard someone yelling at me, and when I looked over it was the running guy who was coming right towards me! I couldn’t understand what he was yelling, I had my ipod on plus he wasn’t making much sense anyway all I knew was that he wasn’t happy and he wasn’t nice. I started walking faster and noticed that he was following me, so I stopped and mentally signaled to Jackson that i was afraid of this guy. I was worried that Jackson wouldn’t do anything and just sit there like he did the first time I was approached by the two dudes. But Jackson responded immediately! And right before the running guy got close enough to touch me Jackson lunged at him- barking, snarling and snapping like a, well, like a pit bull!

The weird part is that the running guy was was so out of whack that he didn’t back away, he just stared at Jackson and said “what is that!?” So I let out a little slack on his leash and Jackson lunged at him again, this time a lot closer, and that’s when running guy finally got scared enough and took off the other way, into someone’s backyard!

And then i started RUNNING towards home, and ran into the cops who were questioning some girl, and had a random guy in the back seat of their cruiser.

I ran up to them with my two dogs in tow and said, “Are you the ones looking for that guy?”

They said “Yes, we’ve been looking for him all night.”

And i said, “Did you just hear my dog barking? That guy was coming right for me. I saw where he went if you want to check it out.”

They immediatly let the other guy out of their car and took off to find the guy again.

I don’t know if they found him or not because I ran home, letting Jackson pull me faster and faster towards our apartment.

My Furry Crack Pipe

Jackson and me.

Few things make me angrier than someone fucking with my dog. I’m like that mom that miraculously developed superhuman strength to lift up a car when her child was pinned underneath it, when it comes to loving my dog, Jackson. And when someone (namely one mustachioed douche bag reporter) comes out with a generalized negative outlook on my pets breed, the pit-bull, I feel as though he’s fucking with my baby; pinning him under a streetcar named negative press.

Let me preface this angry rant with some back story here…
Continue reading →