A dog walks into a saloon


Fitzgerald, aka “Fitz-Bitz,” Kaprowy-Baker after an exhausting day at puppy school.

Anyone know what a play bow is?

What about a prey bow?

Or a whale eye?

I can now say I’m in possession of these answers, thanks to Caroline Short and Puppy School 101. Our puppy Fitzi started five weeks ago and, I’ll tell you, it’s been fascinating.

This, of course, because he’s the meanest student in the class.


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Monopoly, my love

18xp-monopoly-master768I was listening to NPR last week when I heard some important news that may not have hit the front page of The Sentinel.

The thimble, the wheelbarrow and the trusty boot have gotten the axe.

A T-Rex, a rubber ducky and a penguin are taking their place.

For now, the Scottie dog, the top hat, the cat, the car and the battleship are safe.

For most of you, it’s enough to speak in nouns, but for the rest not as up to date, No, I’m not speaking in spy code names. I’m talking about Monopoly, one of the best board games on the planet.

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It’s time to couch potato

schittscreek_302_1920It’s in this kind of weather at this time of year that, if you could choose, you wouldn’t get out of bed. Or, at least, if you did get out of bed, you wouldn’t move much farther than the couch.

To be clear, it’s not that the weather is particularly trying. I mean, we’re not in the Arctic like king penguins huddled together en masse incubating eggs in this special pouch by our feet. It’s not like that.

But there is this degree of hardship that comes with a cold snap in the mid- to late-portion of March.

Do we label it ennui? Seems like that would be reserved for the doldrums of August. Is it malaise though? Possibly. It’s definitely some kind of philosophical French word that conveys a degree of world weariness.

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I apologize in advance …


IMG_4860Oh god, I am so sorry about this. I have spent the last 30 minutes trying to come up with a different column topic than what you are about to read and nada, folks, nada. I’ll try to pick up a new hobby in the next few weeks so you can read about needlepoint or leather working or something equally fascinating. Maybe I’ll attend one of those painting classes where a group of women each paint a peacock or a boat in a sunset. We’ll at least have a good time laughing about how my peacock looks like a billy goat. But in the meantime — aside from the obvious question of, “What exactly is a billy goat?” — I just have to write about my dog.

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Let’s hear it for Kentucky boys


This isn’t exactly what my savior looked like, but pretty close.

This week, let’s give it up for Kentucky men, shall we? What a great bunch they are, don’t you think? Talk about knowing how to treat someone like a lady.

Take just a few minutes ago. A warning light turned on in my car indicating that I needed 1 psi of air in my passenger rear tire. Obviously, the first question this prompted was: What’s a psi? Second: How was I going to get 1 psi of air into my tire? And most importantly: How was I going to get 1 psi of air into my tire without screwing anything up?

I’ve seen those air hoses at the gas station hanging in a weary tangle on the wall. I’ve seen that my tire has a nozzle on it that should theoretically accommodate such a hose. However, the process of getting the air from the hose into the nozzle and thus into the tire, well, that just seemed overwhelming.

So of course I went to O’Reilly’s Auto Parts (now we have to sing: “O-O-O-O’Reilly’s! Autoparts”) because that’s where I go whenever anything is wrong and that’s the auto parts store I choose exclusively because of its catchy jingle. I breathlessly explained my problem and was patiently directed to Walmart, where they (who knew?) have a lube and tire place around back.

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Jet-set pet at the vet

So there we were at the vet. It was 9 a.m. on a Tuesday and Fitzi, our brand new Boston terrier puppy, needed booster shots.

This wasn’t our first rodeo. The first time we’d gone, Fitzi was plunked on the scale to be weighed. Had his mouth pried open to be inspected. Had his testicles prodded fairly rigorously. Finally, when the tech shoved a thermometer up his bum to get his temperature, Fitzi just looked at me and said, “Are you serious with this?”

The vet hadn’t been the bearer of great news either. First off, Fitzi had worms. Second, he had fleas. Third, one of his testicles hadn’t descended. Fourth, his heart sounded “pretty good.”

Anyway, this go-around, Fitzi was going to get stuck with needles in addition to the rest so I was feeling pretty sorry for him even before we arrived. Was he going to be sore? Would it make him nauseated? Would he have a reaction?

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Let’s talk about smoothies, baby

50992472427__970d6c28-1a88-4b63-9c73-060b38e574ebThe smoothie. Oh me, oh my, what a complicated little drink. At first glance, it could be synonymous with a treat, an indulgence. Not quite a milkshake, you say to yourself, but pretty close. But then you start mulling things over. There’s not going to be chocolate or vanilla in there. And the smoothies of today are not the creamsicle-like concoctions of the 1990s.

It’s at this point that the smoothie starts to be connoted with slight apprehension, maybe even dread. Because if we really think it through, we know exactly what’s going to be inside the glass in the year 2017: a whole bunch of healthy stuff that doesn’t belong in what we would normally consider a drink.

I was intimately introduced with both these concepts of indulgence and reluctance last week when I started my first cleanse. It was Monday morning and I was standing beside my blender hovering a kale leaf over the top of it wondering how in the heck it had come to this.

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Baby mine

img_4498If someone sounded like they were performing verbal cartwheels in our subdivision at 4 a.m. last night, that was me. Dressed in a 20-year-old fleece and my cooking clogs, it wasn’t a pretty sight. But our new baby boy puppy Fitzgerald pooped and peed outside and I was willing to throw him a party.

In fact, I’m learning I’m willing to do just about anything for this dog. Right now, he is conked out on his bed, his chin settled on the fuzzy corner, and is moan-barking slightly in his dream. It is taking everything I am just to sit here and continue typing instead of going closer to stare at him. Everything he does, in my opinion, is so ridiculously cute that I don’t want to miss a second.

Last night, our routine game of Yahtzee was frequently halted because the three of us simply wanted to watch the dog. I mean, I didn’t even want to tally my points and I won the second game. But Fitzi was going ballistic with his Kong pacifier and then with his sock monkey squeaker toy and then decided to nose dive into every corner of his bed. By the end, he was so riled up he was on his back writhing and barking at himself.

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Just two more sleeps

16387365_1701486873477922_1700657066013080432_nWell, my friends, the stage is set for Fitzgerald’s arrival. The food bowls are waiting, the gates are up, the baby bed is soft and cozy, the crate is assembled and we have, possibly, every type of puppy toy imaginable. Did you know, for example, that they make Kong Binkies, which are in the shape of pacifiers? He now has two.

On Sunday, we get to pick up our little bundle of joy and I couldn’t possibly be more excited. I mean, I guess I could be if I wasn’t slightly nervous too, but maybe being nervous is the same thing as being excited, just a little less fun.

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The terrible, no good, very bad recipe

stove-fire1Last night, I stood over the stove and knew I was screwed. No matter how much I mixed, there was a frightening glob in the pot that was slowly but surely sticking to the bottom, thus turning into a frightening glob that was burning. I looked frantically around, wondering if there might be a Food Network star nearby who could help me with this culinary horror. But, alas, no one was there.

Actually, that’s not entirely true: My husband and Gabrielle were there. And, frankly, they looked pretty hungry. But guess what they were eating if this glob didn’t suddenly turn into a lovely meal? Yeah, that’s right: toast. They were going to have to eat toast.

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