Doggy Blog

Lolapalooza

Perhaps this title would have been more appropriate LAST week in Chicago, but here we are. Maybe this will let you live your Lollapalooza experience (read: teens with Camelbacks filled to the brim with Malibu rum and 5 Hour Energy swarming the Metra and Red Line shouting Lil Yachty songs at the police) for a little bit longer. But that is neither here nor there, we're here to introduce y'all to Lola the Jack Russell terrier:

Lola, not a fan of the Kinks' song that bears her name. "Overplayed." she howls.

Lola, not a fan of the Kinks' song that bears her name. "Overplayed." she howls.


I started walking Lola a few weeks back and it has been a real joy so far. A lot of dogs are content to wander about without a care in the world letting their lives PASS THEM BY. Not Lola. Lola has an agenda. And while I have NO IDEA what it is, she is quite dedicated to it. I know this is true because from the moment I spring her from her apartment, Lola pulls me along as if on rails. All 13 pounds of her. Pulled down the stairs. Pulled around the corner. Pulled out the door. Pulled down the block. I've considered bringing my skateboard to more easily facilitate our journey to wherever the hell Lola is going.

This is not to say I don't have some theories...HOME TREAT HOME BULLETED LIST AFTER THE PIC BREAK!


Chewin' on a stick.

Chewin' on a stick.

Barkin' at a car.

Barkin' at a car.


Likely places Lola is taking me:

  • Reverend John "Jack" Russell's grave in Swimbridge, Devon. Given the alacrity with which Lola is pulling me along on our strolls, perhaps she is taking me to honor the originator of her breed: Reverend John "Jack" Russell. The Reverend, obviously as part of his church-related duties and definitely not in pursuit of killing every fox in the world in a bloodthirsty yet sporting rage, found a cute lil fox terrier one day and thought "Hey! That animal is pretty good at killing foxes. I can make that animal better at killing foxes!" AND SO HE DID and the Jack Russell was thus bred into existence! Interesting true note I just discovered: Rev Russell named this cute lil fox terrier that literally started the entire Jack Russell terrier breed "Trump". Is the universe trying to tell me something?
  • A den of foxes. I suppose this follows from the previous guess. As we humans know, it can be difficult to deviate from evolutionary programming (see: seeking out calorie laden food despite not experiencing any scarcity or having to work to find it; competing to within an inch of your life to beat your buddy in mini golf despite it having no real consequences because you JUST WANT TO EXPERIENCE SOME REAL COMPETITION, DAMMIT; etc.). Well, it's just about impossible for dogs to change their bred-in (not to be confused with inbred, though that is also rampant in the dogmunity) desires, and the guiding principle of Jack Russell terriers is to GET DEM FOXES. I'm not sure how many fox dens there are in North Side Chicago, but if there are I guarantee that Lola would find them all. Also, Wikipedia told me that Lola's short but strong legs are grand for rustlin' up foxes that have bedded down in the ground. I, like many of my generation, do not support fox hunting due to repeated viewings of Disney's The Fox and the Hound but conversely I cannot erase it from history. Luckily, Lola has funneled all of her manic fox hunting energy into...generic manic energy.
  • A den of sticks. Continuing the logical cascade, this follows from the previous post. When I said that Lola funneled her fox-murdering energy into generic energy, it's probably more accurate to say that she funneled it into stick-murdering energy". She loves sticks. Loves carrying them. Loves chewin' on 'em. Loves collectin' 'em too. Her owner informed me on our initial Meet 'n' Greet that Lola has a few sticks that she likes to pick up, carry around, and then drop back down. This has proven very true. Sometimes I wonder why dogs like sticks so much, but then I realize that when I was a child I would much rather play in a cardboard box than with any of my fancy toys. What if I were routinely walked around an environment full of cardboard boxes of all different sizes and shapes? I would absolutely stop and play with all of them. I would also likely seek out a mythical "den of cardboard boxes" much like I presume Lola is doing. Way to connect this rambling story back to the title! Here's my favorite picture of LOLA:
That feeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeel when you find a good stick.

That feeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeel when you find a good stick.


The last thing you need to know about Lola is that she loves you and never wants you to leave. You have to sorta trick her by slooooowly meandering towards the door and then quickly dipping out and closing the door behind you. You will then hear a very sad sound: Lola rushing the door and pawing at it with her paws. I was told at our Meet 'n' Greet that every door in Lola's various apartments through the years are marred with wee claw marks from this pawing. The only solace I can take in this knowledge is that dog's memories are notoriously very short and Lola probably forgets about what she was upset about and goes back to staring out the window or napping. Please do not dispel this myth for me. Long live Lola! Queen of the Jack Russells! Friend of all sticks!

Sean

The Hundred Years War, but with bulldogs

Today, as our really quite bad 29th president Warren G Harding (although his stock may rise by one spot in roughly 4 years) said in the run up to his 1920 presidential campaign: it is time for a return to normalcy. Although he was speaking of the country, I believe this can also apply to a humorous dog blog. Historical records are murky regarding President Harding's love of dogs and/or access to the Internet, but I think we can safely assume he would have enjoyed reading the Home Treat Home Doggy blog in between massive scandals. What this means for today's entry is this: no long narrative about a black lab working as a soothsayer in New Orleans or a sordid tale of two Irish gangster terriers running their block, just a regular story about two bouncing balls of bulldog. Note: we'll get back to the weird stuff soon, but the fact that it's been raining for 3 days straight in Chicago has this blogwriter in the creative doldrums.

That point notwithstanding, this post is a bit of a long time coming. I dogsat for these two international dogs of mystery about a month ago, and the memory is just as fresh and buoyant as it was those many days ago. Some brief introductions: the English bulldog is, perfectly, named Angus; the wee Frenchie puppy is, somehow also perfectly, Lola.

Angus (English bulldog) and Lola (teeny French blip) going for a walk.

Angus (English bulldog) and Lola (teeny French blip) going for a walk.

They might seem like a bit of an odd couple, but I assure you they fit together like two canine puzzle pieces. Two puzzle pieces of completely different sizes. And colors. And temperament. And drool reservoirs. But somehow, it works. The basic relationship dynamic seems to be Angus as protector/big brother/role model and Lola as precocious tween/ball of energy/small boneless furry blob. Here's an example of a day in the life of dogsitting Angus and Lola, in tried and true Home Treat Home bulleted list fashion (we're currently trying to patent the dogcentric bulleted list, bear with us):

  • I enter the domicile.
  • Angus bulldozes down the stairs (he was always upstairs when I arrived, GOD KNOWS what he was doing up there) and begins droolin' and shakin' all over my lower half.
  • I attempt to get Angus in his harness and leash, which is like trying to put a diaper on a greased bowling ball while someone is trying to bowl with it.
  • I feed Angus and triumphantly walk him to where Lola is waiting in her crate.
  • Angus, outraged by the imprisonment of his teeny French ward, begins droolin' and shakin' all over my lower half.
  • I spring Lola from her oubliette and attempt to feed her. This is only possible by filling her food dish and then immediately looking away, as if the mere thought of her sucking up those mahogany pellets disgusts me. I fear this may be a burgeoning eating disorder for Lola, but then I remember that I've seen dogs eat leaves/garbage/cat excrement and relax.
  • I attempt to corral Lola long enough to attach her Byzantine harness and leash, which always has varying levels of success. It felt like the orientation of the harness/leash changed every day, as if enchanted by the malevolent ghost of a disgruntled PetSmart employee.
  • I eventually solve the Gordian knot of Lola's leash, and we exit the domicile.
  • Angus weighs, roughly, 100 Lolas. However, Lola has the energy of 100 Angii (Anguses?). This causes my left shoulder to PULL FORWARD with the weight of Angus's stout frame while my right shoulder begins to rotate like a Shimano fishing reel with the manic energy of Lola the puppy.
  • This continues for the 30-40 minutes of our walk. We weave in and out of trees, fire hydrants, fences, and basically every other impediment we can find to the point where it sorta feels like I'm on a very specific episode of Ninja Warrior.
  • We wander back to their house and Angus bounds up the steps as I holster Lola like a furry lil pistol and carry her up to the door. I loose both dogs from their chains and release them into their chambers. They ramble around for a bit and then I massage an unwilling Lola back into her crate. Angus, seeing everything is up to snuff, somersaults back up the stairs into his dimension.
Angus, in his natural state.

Angus, in his natural state.

A few bits of flavor text that didn't fit in those bullets: Angus likes to set the pace and direction of our walks and in super cute Frenchie puppy fashion, Lola clearly imitates him and follows his lead. She literally makes the same movements as he does. If I had ovaries, I'm sure they would be glowing with radiant motherly energy. Lola ain't no follower though. As you can see in the first picture in this entry, Lola LOVES to grab Angus's leash in her mouth and essentially walk him around. I don't have the heart to tell her that if he wanted to, given the laws of physics, Angus could slingshot her into the troposphere if he wished. Let the wee Frenchie dream. Lastly, Angus had to have a pill thrice daily, which was administered by me with a healthy dose of peanut butter. I know dogs and panut butter have a healthily reported history, but I wish something made me as HAPPY as peanut butter makes Angus. Well...to be honest, I guess peanut butter makes me as happy as peanut butter makes Angus happy. Those with low standards can NEVER be disappointed! All hail George Washington Carver and his edible happiness salve!

Lola, trying out her brand new facial expression: "bitewinking".

Lola, trying out her brand new facial expression: "bitewinking".

Woah, almost went back into that weird territory. Glad to know I still have that gear available. Anyways, I had a wonderful time with these two kooks. If you see them out, give them a stoic head nod from me. And maybe some peanut butter. In fact, if you see me, give me the same.

Sean