Category Archives: Dogs

Tic Tacs are the Mint of All Evil

Yesterday, Tic Tac USA condemned Donald Trump’s use of their products to “score” with women.


Today, I have my own Tic Tac crime to report.  I firmly believe that without Tic Tacs, Donald Trump would not be the scumbag he is today.


An International Life of Crime

When we got Cooper in 1998, we owned a Toyota Picnic, a little six seat van not available in the U.S.  It was kind of a vomit van, actually, because it was well known to induce vomiting by anyone who traveled with us.  We kept a large supply of cleaning supplies with us at all times.

Anyway, I read an article about how, if you stop suddenly, while traveling at 60 mph, a 50 lb Springer Spaniel dog — exactly MY DOG will travel significantly faster as he flies through the car.  He will, in fact, become a projectile and might end up killing your kid.

Now I liked the dog a lot even at that early stage.  But I didn’t really relish the idea of the dog killing my kid to whom I was quite attached.  So, to scorn and jeers from John, I bought Cooper a special doggie seat belt that attached to the seatbelt of the seat behind the driver’s.

Cooper, however, did not approve.  I presume I hadn’t adequately educated him on the importance of self-restraint.  Because he ate his restraint.  In fact, he had started eating the seatbelt too when I realized what was happening and released the rebel.  He then happily sat wherever he wanted in the back of the vomit van.

Fortunately, Cooper hadn’t really done much damage to the seatbelt.  There were only a few bites taken out of it; it worked perfectly well and was not a safety hazard.

But when we moved across the border into France a couple of years later, well, we had to have the car inspected.  And the French car inspectors are famous for flunking Americans.  According to my husband, anyway.  I faced the villains alone.

Now, before you jump all over my husband for sending me into the lion’s den, well there is something you should know.  My husband cannot lie.  He cannot stretch the truth.  He cannot exaggerate.  Worse in this case, he would not have been able to restrain himself from explaining to the inspector that it really was not a safety issue.

Me, well, I’m different.  I grew up getting away with high crimes and misdemeanors.  I rarely got caught, and when I did, well, I got out of it. I’ve had practice.

So whenever we needed to deal with the French government, well, it was all up to me.

I drove to wherever it was, produced my paperwork, and waited my turn.  Truthfully, I was nervous.  I didn’t want to have to spend $1 zillion replacing a seat belt (car repairs in Switzerland/France are tres cher).  So I fidgeted with the container of mints in my pocket.  Tic Tacs.

When my turn came, I was outside with the inspector, chatting to him.  He was a young guy, and was nice and helpful as I tried to have a chatty conversation with him in my pigeon French. In fact, he couldn’t have been nicer to me.

Plus, the car was in great shape, clean and nearly perfectly maintained.  He found nothing wrong on the outside.  Then he opened the front passenger side, and tested the seat belt.  He closed the door and went to the rear passenger seat, and tested that one.

I started to sweat.  The chewed one was next.

He went around and opened the rear driver’s side door.  And that’s when I did it.

“Tic Tac?” I asked him, holding out the container.

“Oui, merci, madame,” he responded, closing that door without looking at the damaged seat belt.  He took a Tic Tac, and proceeded to inspect the driver’s seat belt.

My car passed inspection with flying colors.

And I continued to live a life of crime in France, just outside of Geneva for two more years.


This is a replay of an old story. But How could I resist in light of the news about Donald Trump and how he was forced to be a cad and a boor and a truly disgusting human being.

Because of Tic Tacs.

tic-tacs-2Google Image


Filed under 'Merica, 2016, Adult Traumas, All The News You Need, All We Are Saying Is Give Peace A Chance, Baby You Can Drive My Car, Campaigning, Cancer on Society, Criminal Activity, Dogs, Donald Trump, Elections, Elections Matter, Europe, Geneva Stories, Hillary for President, How stupid can you be, GOP?, Huh?, Humor, I don't really want to know how big it is,, Just Do It and I'll Shut Up!, Justice, keys to success, Oh shit, Pets, Register to Vote Today!, Sex Scandals, Shit, Shit! The Perfect Metaphors for the GOP, Shitty GOP, Size Matters, Switzerland, Travel Stories, What a Maroon, What must folks in other countries be thinking?, Where does the GOP get these guys?, Wild Beasts

National Dog Day


Even though every day at my house is Dog Day, I figured I hadn’t posted a picture of Duncan in a while.   Here he is, the Devil!

Duncs in Maine 7-16 2

Damn!  You caught me looking at the camera!!!


Filed under 'Merica, All The News You Need, Bat-shit crazy, Crazy family members, Dogs, Duncan, Humor, Love, Mental Health, Oh shit, Pooders, Poop, Taking Care of Each Other

You See, I DO Appreciate Art and Shit! 💩

With an artist brother and a sister-in-law, you’d think I’d be more involved in the art world. Sadly, I’m not.

I used to be more of a gallery girl, loved nothing more than spending time in any one of the wonderful museums and galleries near where I lived or worked.  And the galleries I got to visit while living in or traveling to Europe could fill a book.  Still, going to a museum with either Fred or my sister-in-law, with someone who knows a lot about art, well, it is a wonderful treat.

But with my Crohn’s disease as active as it is these days, I don’t go very often.

For anybody without access to art, though, I recommend following my blogging buddy Mark, of Exile on Pain Street .  He works in NYC and frequents museums, galleries and auctions and frequently writes about it on his blog.  Mark does it with wit and without the snobbishness that usually accompanies folks who talk about art.

But nobody posts about art quite like I do.  Or about art theft, because that’s really what this post is all about.  Art theft pure and simple.


Audrey Hepburn and Peter O’Toole in How to Steal A Million (Google Image)

The international art heist I’m talking about occurred in Spain, just outside Madrid.  I’m pretty sure it involved neither Audrey nor Peter.  Nor, probably, would the stolen object ever find its way into the Louvre.

Still, if you know anything about art, the beauty of an object is all in the eye of the beholder.  It may also be dependent on the species.  Or on the leash holder.

Torrelodones, a town near Madrid, paid 2,400 euros ($2,726; £1,885) for this sculpture:

Spanish Dog poop sculpture

Yes, it is a giant, inflatable pile of dog poo.  Photo from BBC (although they might deny it)

The article I read says:

The three-metre high inflatable bought as part of a campaign to encourage pet-lovers to pick up after their dogs went missing, El Pais newspaper reports. The bizarre inflatable disappeared after it had been packed away in its carry-case and the police are now on the trail of the 30 kilogramme dog poop, town officials say.

Speaking to the ABC newspaper, town councillor Angel Guirao said staff were shocked and perplexed by the theft, and a replacement excrement was already on order because “we know that the campaign has been a great success”.

I wish they’d asked me.  I could have provided plenty of models for this piece of art.

Why are you picking on me.png

Why are you picking on me.  Google, eat your heart out cause I took this one!

Don’t hesitate to ask me anything about art.  Or poop.


Filed under Bat-shit crazy, Being an asshole, Conspicuous consumption, Crohn's Disease, Curses!, Dogs, Duncan, Huh?, Humor, Not something you hear about every day, Oh shit, Peter O'Toole, Political Corruption, Poop, Seriously funny, Seriously weird, Shit, Shit happens, Size Matters, Stealing, Stupid things happen in other countries too! Who knew!, Stupidity, Useful thing to do with poop, What a Maroon, Wild Beasts, WTF?

Don’t Ever Let an Opportunity Pass

Have you heard the delightful news?  Dr. Heimlich, of Heimlich Maneuver fame, got his first chance to try out his, ummm, thing on a real, live, choking person.

It’s true!

Dr Heimlich is 96 and living in an assisted living facility in Cincinnati.  On Monday he was sitting at lunch next to a new resident, Patty Ris, 87, who started choking on a pre-Memorial Day burger.  So Dr. Heimlich did the Heimlich maneuver on her, and likely saved her life!  He had never before done that sort of Heimlich on an actual choking person before.  Here’s a link to the story.

Cudos, Dr. Heimlich.  You’ve saved many, many people over the 50 years since we’ve been using the Heimlich.  And a personal thanks from me.

Never one to pass up an opportunity, I thought I’d use this news story to retell a Goliath story.  Many of my newer readers haven’t read about my 120 lb alcoholic psycho dog, so here’s your opportunity.  Older readers don’t need to continue.  There will, however, be a quiz.



Normally, I am the best person to have around in a crisis.

I keep my head.  I think the problem through.  I react intelligently, organize other helpful responders and do what needs to be done.   Yes, that’s just the sort of person I am in real life.

Generally, I also manage to keep a running humorous commentary which is invaluable to the hoards of folks standing around doing the wrong thing at the wrong time.  Because, let’s face it.  Not everyone handles stressful situations without becoming certifiably stupid.

Of course every rule needs an exception, and this story is no exception to the exception requirement.

*    *     *

It was just after John and I bought a house for Goliath because nobody would rent to a young couple with a gigantic dog.

We were incredibly lucky in buying our first house.  It was a tiny split level cape cod type that defied description.  But it was just right for newlyweds.  The whole inside had been redone – we bought it from a contractor who’d lived there.  The kitchen was new, the paint unmarked.  Everything was bright and clean.  The coral colored carpeting was newly installed and didn’t have a single blemish on it.

It had been a long stressful day at work for me, so after John and I walked Goliath and had dinner, I decided to take a long, hot, relaxing bath.  The one bathroom was on the “second floor” which was four steps up from the living room.   As it turns out, it was my last relaxing bath.  Ever.

So I wasn’t far when John announced from the living room below

“Uh, Lease?  We have a problem.”

John was fairly calm, actually.  Of course that would change.

“What’s the problem?” I said.  The water was still warm and I was just starting to wash away the day.

“The red ball is stuck in Goliath’s mouth.”

Shit!  I thought as I got out of the tub and grabbed my robe.  Why couldn’t he just pull the damn ball out and let me have my bath?  I was a tad annoyed at my new husband at that moment.

I went down the two steps to find John holding Goliath steady, calming him down, even though Goliath was relatively calm.

Goliath turned towards me and I immediately saw what John was talking about.

Goliath’s favorite tease-toy, a hard red rubber ball with a bell inside, was there in his mouth.  But it didn’t look like any big deal.  I looked at John with an I can’t believe you can’t handle this without me look.  John didn’t notice.

Red ball with bellStill available.  Photo Credit

That ball really was Goliath’s favorite.  He’d pick it up and taunt us when he wanted to play.  He’d wag his tail ferociously, and drop the ball, catching it in his mouth long before we could grab it from him to throw it.  It never hit the floor.  Goliath would drop and catch, drop and catch, drop and catch.  The bell inside would ring and he would wiggle his eyebrows and his back end.  Come on, grab the ball, he was clearly saying.  Let’s play.  But of course, he would never let us.

This time, as I dripped on the new carpet and assessed the situation, I could see that Goliath had caught the ball too far back in his mouth.  He couldn’t drop it again, and the ball’s size was just a little bit larger than his windpipe.

First I petted Goliath, soothed him, although he wasn’t really terribly upset.  In fact, he was just a little bit confused and uncomfortable.   I looked at John, astonished that he hadn’t just reached into Goliath’s huge mouth full of huge teeth, and pulled out the ball.

So I did.  Or at least I did the first bit — I reached into Goliath’s mouth, firmly placed my thumb and forefinger on the ball, glancing at John to make sure he would know what to do next time.  John and I watched in horror as the dog-slobbery ball slipped out of my fingers, lodging further into his mouth, right at the top of his windpipe, blocking most of his throat.

No longer able to breathe comfortably and no doubt pissed that his Mommy had made things worse for him, Goliath began to panic.  He started running around the house with John and I chasing after him. Trying to catch him, trying to pry the damn ball out of his mouth.

I’ve never felt so helpless.  So terrified.  It was later when I felt like an idiot.

John and I tried everything we could think of – we put the stem of a wooden spoon behind the damn ball and tried to pull it out.  But  it didn’t budge.  The spoon broke, naturally.  We went through a lot of kitchen equipment that night.

Stupidly, in spite of the fact that it hadn’t worked, we kept reaching into his mouth and trying to pull the ball out.  Each time we made it worse and the ball went down further.  With each effort we only made it more difficult for him to breathe, and the more panicked poor Goliath got.

Goliath ran back and forth between the kitchen, the dining room and living room – the three tiny rooms of our tiny little house.  John would catch him as he ran by and try something.  I would catch him on the rebound and try something, anything else.  Poor panicked Goliath raced across the three rooms, a half-dozen times.  And then a half-dozen times again.

Once when he caught Goliath, John reached into Goliath’s mouth behind the ball.  Goliath’s gag reflex, in constant action by that time, led him to clamp down on John’s right index finger.

“Shit!” John shouted as he pulled his hand away from Goliath and let him go.  Blood dripped from John’s hand.

Almost immediately I caught Goliath and did exactly the same thing, only Goliath bit my left pointer finger.  Then it was John’s turn again to be bitten, and Goliath got John’s left middle finger.   Blood was flying all around our new house, our new carpet.  We didn’t really care, though, Goliath’s panic had spread to John and me.

Goliath was going to die.

There was nothing we could do.  My boy would choke to death on that goddam ball in front of us.  And with each movement that Goliath made, the cheerful bell inside of it rang.  Alfred Hitchcock was directing the scene.

Maybe the image of Alfred Hitchcock led me to do what I did next.  Yeah, let’s just assume that that’s what happened. It is the only explanation.

I had to do something or my crazy, psychotic, beloved life-saver of a dog was going to die.  I was about out of ideas, and then I remembered a show John and I had watched on TV just the night before.

I went into the kitchen and took out our largest knife, knowing I had to give my dog a tracheotomy.

At the time, I was not yet a fake medical professional.  I had never done a canine tracheotomy.  I did not, in fact have a clue if dogs have tracheas, and if so, just where Goliath’s might be located.  I didn’t know if it would make a difference if I, ummm, otomied it.

But just the night before, Radar had done a tracheotomy on a wounded soldier on M*A*S*H.  And if Radar O’Reilly, another animal lover, could do it, well, so could I.  Goliath needed me.

Besides he was going to die.  That reality had become crystal clear.  I had to do something.  Something drastic.  And likely messy.

So I took the butcher knife from the kitchen to the living room to perform my surgery there, on the new carpet in the room that was now looked like a crime scene.  My blood and John’s was speckled all over the living room and dining room  rug and smeared onto the walls and door frames.  I stood, knife in hand, and looked around the living room for a clean spot on the rug.

Henkels Butcher KnifeAlso still available here where I got the photo

John had at that time caught Goliath who was still terrified, still panicked, but running out of energy and oxygen.  When John saw me with the knife in my hand and heard my plan, he must have thought

This woman can never get near my (future) children.”

But “Are you nuts?” was all I recall him saying.  Perhaps there were expletives mixed in there, somewhere.  Maybe.

At just that moment, Goliath keeled over.

“Oh my God,” I shouted.  “He’s dead.”  And I began to sob.

“No,” was all John said.  But he started punching Goliath in the stomach, which did not seem like a very respectful thing to do to a dead dog.  To my dead baby.

Out popped the ball.  John, holding tightly to Goliath’s muzzle with his two bleeding hands, breathed into Goliath’s mouth.   Magically, Goliath’s eyes opened.  Goliath took a very deep breath indeed.  So did we.

The Heimlich maneuver.  It works on dogs. 

There’s another thing I should tell you about the Heimlich maneuver.  It’s best to try it before attempting a tracheotomy.

*     *     *

Other Goliath Stories:

For Medicinal Purposes Only

Dogs and Other Nuts

What’s In A Name?

The Olde Towne School For Dogs


Filed under ; Don't Make Me Feel Perky Tonigh, Adult Traumas, Advice from an Expert Patient, All The News You Need, Bat-shit crazy, Crazy family members, Curses!, Dogs, Family, Goliath Stories, Health, History, Huh?, Humiliation, Humor, laughter, Love, Most Embarassing Moments Evah!, Oh shit, Plagarizing myself, Rerun, Seriously funny, Seriously weird, Shit happens, Shit Your Pants Scary, Stupidity, Taking Care of Each Other, Why the hell do I tell you these stories?, WTF?


“A haircut will make you feel better, Lease,” my niece, Jen, said as we wandered the mall.  We were together in Florida to organize and attend my dad’s funeral.  It was December, 2000.

For reasons I still don’t fully understand, my brother Bob, who was Dad’s primary caretaker at the end, was insistent.

“Dad wanted to have Bobby Darin’s Mac The Knife played at his funeral,” Bob insisted.  So in the days before YouTube, Jen and I were on a mission, looking for a CD of the song.  It was no easy feat, let me tell you, finding that recording.*  Record stores were fading, and the stock held by the few remaining didn’t include too many hits from 1958.  Jen and I were getting tired and frustrated.

But Jen was right, I looked awful.

My hair is my best feature and always has been.  It’s strawberry blonde, thick and curly.  It does what it wants to do, which is good, because I don’t like to fuss with it.  And I always let whoever cuts my hair do what they want with it.  It always looks better than when I tell the expert what to do.

Into the salon Jen and I went.

Mellie, the hairdresser I ended up with, was young — 19, she said.  Her hair was black and pink, and she wore thick makeup and brass hoop earrings the size of hula hoops.

I looked at Jen skeptically.

“It’ll be fine,” she reassured me.  Of course, she wasn’t getting her hair cut.

I told Mellie to trim my hair, that I was going to a funeral and needed to be presentable.

“How about …” Mellie started talking about different looks.  But really, I didn’t care.


When she finished, she twirled my chair around like a playground carousel.

“There you go!  You look … sassy!

She’d given me the ugliest hairstyle I’ve ever seen — Jennifer Aniston haircut from friends.  Cut short in the back, with long sides.  It’s not a nice look on a human.

John and Jacob hadn’t been able to get to my Dad’s funeral — there were no flights available.  John was gentle when he saw my new do, though.  After all, I was grieving.  A month later when I had all my hair cut off to get rid of the stupid style, John said “I was really surprised to see you with that style.  You looked like Cooper [our English springer spaniel.]    Long curly bits around your ears and nothing in back.”

Jacob & Cooper in Alps ~2000

Yesterday I had my long hair cut to chin length.  When he was done, my longtime hairdresser Ric, who has never given me a bad cut, spun my chair around and proclaimed:

“Elyse, you look sassy!”




* We were, happily able to find a recording of Mack The Knife:


Filed under ; Don't Make Me Feel Perky Tonigh, Conspicuous consumption, Dogs, Don't Make Me Puke, Family, Gross, Humiliation, Humor, laughter, Memoir writing, Missing Folks, Oh shit, Sassy

The Birthday Boy

I’ve been explaining to Duncan for weeks, that starting today, April 27, 2016, he is a grownup dog.  That means no more stealing shoes (always mine), no more stealing socks (usually Jacobs and always dirty), and no more poop eating.

Because today is Duncan’s 2nd Birthday.


The Sock Monster

Duncan in Jacob’s Man Cave

So far today, he stole my boot, lunged for a pile of horse poop — Mom was too fast for you today! — and stole a clean sock from the basket as I took a load of laundry out of the dryer.  Dogs are gross.

Perhaps I should speak to him in French?



Filed under Adult Traumas, Birthday, Crazy family members, Disgustology, Dogs, Don't Make Me Puke, Duncan, Huh?, Humor, Oh shit, Poop, Shit, Shit happens, Wild Beasts, WTF?

Hey Doc? Do I Have To?

You know, there may be a good reason why the GOP hates science.

Sometimes it is just plain gross.

As a dog lover, my “gross-me-out-the-door” threshold is actually quite high — I can stand some pretty gross things.  Only today my dog Duncan did the following:

  • Drank from the toilet
  • Licked his genitals with relish*
  • Ate poop

Let’s face it.  Dogs are gross.

But we humans?  We are gonna give these pups a run for their, ummm, money.  Their kibble.  Actually, I’d like to give Duncan a run for that pair of shoes he’s always stealing, but that’s another story for another day.

Today’s story involves poop.

Remember last January when I told you guys all about how you can make big bucks with your butts?  Really!  I did! With this post:

Need Extra Cash?

Are you so rich that you’ve forgotten this already?  Forgotten that I told you that you can clean up by donating your poop so that it can be transplanted into

Poor suckers infected with c difficile, particularly nasty bacteria that is really hard to get rid of.

I even provide a chart by which you can measure just how useful you’re being:

Credit (if you want to call it that) Washington Post

Credit (if you want to call it that) Washington Post

The idea behind poop transplants, in case you’ve forgotten, is that scientists believe that we’ve made our guts too clean — we have too few of the good bacteria that lead to healthy poop left inside our guts.

Today I have an update!  Wait, wait!  Keep your pants on!

Unfortunately, this update will not increase your revenue making opportunities.  Still, scientific advances are awesome.

Because now, thanks to scientific advancements, those same poor suckers can now eat shit! 

Really! I read it in the New York Times:

Fecal Transplants Made (Somewhat) More Palatable

There is a  non-profit organization called OpenBiome that is dedicated to providing poop transplants to needy patients with c difficile.  And they came up with a poop pill.  These poop pills will go a long way towards flushing out the bacteria.

Wait!  Wait!   No they don’t!  They flush in good bacteria.  I mean you eat poop pills with good bacteria in them.  And probably some of the nasty stuff too.  Like poop.

And some day, poop pills may be available for folks like me with Crohn’s Disease and other crappy GI diseases.  They are testing poop transplants in folks even as we speak.


Photo: Erik Jacobs for the New York Times

Photo: Erik Jacobs for the New York Times

Personally, I’m keeping a close eye out on this treatment option.  Because with my Crohn’s Disease, some day I might just have to say, “Hey Doc, do I have to?”

* For the record, I do not put relish on my dog’s genitals.  Duncan is not a dachshund.


Filed under Adult Traumas, Advice from an Expert Patient, All The News You Need, Bat-shit crazy, Being an asshole, Chronic Disease, Conspicuous consumption, Crohn's Disease, Diet tips, Dogs, Extra Cash, Family, Gas, Good Deed Doers, Health, Health and Medicine, Hey Doc?, Huh?, Humiliation, Humor, I Can't Get No, Illness, keys to success, laughter, Mysteries, Pets, Poop, Science, Seriously funny, Shit, Shit happens, Taking Care of Each Other, Technology, Toilets, WTF?