Dogs EVERYWHERE!!!

I posted the other day about all the real-life stuff that was keeping me from all my blogging and blogging interactions. I totally forgot about the dogs who were coming to visit. My best friend/roommate is a dog breeder. She has multiple dog breeding friends. One lives close, and there’s a lot of interaction. She even wants me to show one of her dogs. She’s out of town this weekend, so this is happening.

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I love dogs and most animals. I just prefer them one at a time. Count them. There are eight. One’s even dog size. I can’t complain too much. This was her house last weekend when I needed to go out of town and have my friend come with me.

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A To Z Challenge: Charlie

So, this sucks. I’m not going to lie. This was rushed and is really just a retelling of Charlie’s Profile. I’m really tired and have been distracted all day. My mind is mushy. I did a post earlier about why. Things have actually gotten more stressful since. I’m having a hard time focusing. I wanted to prepare these ahead of time to avoid this but only made it through the first two. I am a little embarrassed about posting this. It should be much better, but it has to be up today. I would normally do a few rewrites. I only gave this a quick read through. That’s the A To Z Challenge. I might not make it through this successfully. Last month would have been fine. The timing is not working in my favor.

Charlie

Captain Grek, the head alien in charge of the refugees, didn’t have any rules against pets. The idea of a refugee alien having a pet never crossed his mind. He had a lot more urgent matters on hand, like escaping LambaBad, formerly Nasga, finding a safe planet to hide and regroup, escaping the ship of Lambads that pursued them across galaxies and through wormholes, the fate of the ship that crash-landed at the same time they did, the well-being of the aliens in his charge, getting the humans to release them from quarantine… The list goes on ad infinitum. When the refugees were finally released from quarantine, his list grew even longer. Abby decided it might be best to keep her pet a secret.

Following their release from quarantine, Abby spent most of her time researching pets. She decided that a fish would be the easiest to keep secret, but the least likely to be fun or provide companionship. The most fun would be a kangaroo, kangaroo rat, giraffe, koala, monkey, or dog. Rabbits looked too Yamfennian to be a pet. She decided a small dog would be the most fun, provide the best companionship, and be the easiest to conceal. Following her meticulous research of dog breeds, she decided on a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.

Having a puppy turned out to be a lot more work than Abby’s research led her to believe. Charlie loved to tear asunder whatever she could find. She also expelled waste wherever she wanted, and it was an unpleasant waste. Abby worked with her continuously. She studied every training technique she could find. It would be a lot easier if they could communicate. Abby found that no one had ever learned to translate dog language into English. Abby had an epiphany. She would resume work on her anthropomorphizing device.

Her first experiments were on inanimate objects. She had early success with a towel. It just screamed a lot and talked about its horrible life drying butts. Abby took it out into the Canadian wilderness and released it into the wild where it would never have its face shoved into a butt again.

Her successful experiment encouraged Abby to try living creatures. She gathered up any other animal she could find and hold secretly. No animals were harmed through the duration of Abby’s experiments. She started, like any clichéd scientist, with a rat. Ratchet, Abby was not good at naming things, got very large for a rodent. That was it. She released it into the wild where it became the king of rats. It ruled over them with iron whiskers it had made. The anthropomorphizing device may have had some weird side-effects. She followed that up with a turtle, named Turt, that failed to grow or gain any apparent intelligence but loved pizza and an ant, named Anty, who would only communicate via Twitter. Various other mutations came along before Deertorious, which was, yes, a deer with some variation of a faux ancient Roman name.

Abby was walking Charlie in the woods around the crash site/refugee alien compound with her device. They were supposed to take their blasters anytime they were outside of the compound. Abby inadvertently grabber her device since it was the main thing on her mind at the time.

When a deer jumped out of the bushes and ran straight for them with his antlers looking particularly dangerous, Abby pulled out her device and blasted him. She grabbed Charlie and dove out of the way. The deer stumbled and rolled into more bushes. The deer stood up on his hind legs and gave Abby a peculiar look. It was almost as peculiar as the word ‘peculiar.’ If there’s any word that should mean what it means, it’s ‘peculiar.’ ‘Whimsy’ is another one.

“Hello,” said Abby, tentatively.

“Hey,” said Deertorious.

“What’s your name?” asked Abby, with growing excitement.

“I’m a deer. We don’t have names,” said Deertorious.

“How about Deertorious?” Abby asked.

“Sure,” said Deertorious.

Abby asked a series of questions before excitedly returning to her workshop. She wanted Deertorious to come back with her for further tests and inquiries, but he wanted to remain in the woods where he belonged. In the end, it was his decision. He was a lot bigger than her and had antlers.

When she returned to her workshop, or Ab’s Lab as it had become known, Abby couldn’t resist the excitement of a successful anthropomorphization. She looked at Charlie who looked back at her with her big, loving eyes. Abby held her breath, closed her eyes, rubbed her foot, and zapped Charlie. Abby heard a cough. She opened her eyes, but all she could see was a cloud of smoke.

A voice emanated from inside the cloud. “I’m glad I didn’t end up like those other blokes.”

“Charlie? Charlie, is that you?”

“That’s my name. Don’t wear it out,” said Charlie. “You know because your name’s Abby, and if you try to wear my name out there, it won’t go over well.”

Her first attempt at a pun wasn’t a winner, but it was a precursor to the pun machine she would become.

Abby and Charlie talked all night. Abby was elated to have someone to talk to. Charlie was happy that Abby could finally understand what she was saying. Most of it was requests for food.

In the morning, Abby brought her best friend, Hitch, into her room.

“Who is this?” asked Hitch.

“I’m Charlie. You must be Hitch,” said Charlie. “I’ve heard ever so much about you.”

Hitch looked at Charlie, confused. “I haven’t heard anything about you.”

Abby explained Charlie to Hitch.

“Captain Grek can’t find out about this, Abbs,” Hitch said.

“I have a plan,” said Abby.

Abby hacked into the computer system. It was easy for her. She was one of the lead designers and programmers of the system. Within minutes, Charlie was a Niibellian from the planet Niibell and assigned to Hitch’s squad. Hitch informed the rest of the squad.

The next day, when the squads were lined up for training exercises, Captain Grek stopped by Hitch’s squad.

“Something’s different,” said Captain Grek.

“We’re lined up correctly,” said Hitch.

“That is unusual, but it’s not what I meant,” said Captain Grek.

“We’re prettier than usual,” said Charlie.

“You,” said Captain Grek. “Who are you?”

“Charlie,” said Charlie. “Who in blazes are you?”

Abby tugged on Charlie’s tail and whispered, “Charlie, quiet.”

“I’m the Captain of the Refugee Alien Defenders,” said Captain Grek. “How are you here and don’t know that?”

“She’s cranky today, sir,” said Abby, shoving Charlie behind her.

“Who is she?” Captain Grek asked, again.

“She’s Charlie, from Niibell,” Abby said, nervously.

Captain Grek tapped on his wripter and brought up Charlie’s profile. It was all there. Abby added every necessary detail and some extra information to flesh out her back story.

“Hmm…” said Captain Grek. “Why does she seem so unfamiliar?”

“I don’t know, sir,” said Abby. “You’ve been very busy with making sure we’re all all right and forming the Refugee Alien Defenders and our training.”

“That’s true,” said Captain Grek, “but I made these squads. I am intimately familiar with everyone’s skills and weaknesses.”

“You have been known to forget a face or two,” said Hitch.

“Have I?” asked Captain Grek. “You might be right. Carry on.”

As soon as Captain Grek turned his back, Charlie saw a rabbit hopping through the grass. Charlie was in pursuit of the rabbit before Abby could say anything. Captain Grek turned around, glared at Abby and farted.

Charlie 

Snow Dogs: A Tale Of Ears

First, introductions:

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Prince Troy And Abed In The Morning Delight (A.K.A. Troy, Troia, Screech, Kreacher, Baby Boy, etc…, Victoria Rose Delight (A.K.A. Tori, Bat Girl, Bat, & Victorious), & Charlie Chai Delight (A.K.A. Muppet, Mup, Charlie, The Muppet-Face Villain, Chuck, Charles, & Mommy)

Anyone familiar with this blog is probably aware of Charlie’s role in The L Squad. She was even the subject of a poem. This is not about that. This is about snow.

It rained here tremendously yesterday. Overnight, it snowed just as much, if not more. After I finished my morning work-out, I debated whether or not to go for my hike. Charlie might say, “Weather or not…” I’ve never met a dog so into puns. I am still relatively new to snow. I grew up on the coast of California. We didn’t have snow. I love it. I can’t drive in it worth gwatuchorazz cheese, but I like hiking in it. From the top of the mountain, our little community looks absolutely beautiful buried under a white glaze.

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The little dogs love the snow. They will go in the yard and run around like dang fools. They will even bark at the falling snow, which is insane.

I know the snow is going to melt over the next few days. That’s what happens here. Snow is beautiful for a day or two. Then it’s mud. If I’m going to skip a hike day, my thought is that is should be a day they’re going to get muddy. I prefer to take the little dogs out and let them get a little wet than to take them out and get them a whole lot of muddy.

I bundled up like Randy from A Christmas Story, “Hey, kid!”, leashed the dogs, and embarked. Things were going snowily. Charlie got to poop in the snow. I got to pick it up in a little green bag. I don’t have a picture of either. Sorry. Charlie got to make tinkles in the snow. The other two were far too excited for bodily functions.

It is my wont to go up the mountain. Usually, I will run part of the way until it gets too steep and I get too weak. There’s always that point where my legs say, “We’re wobbly.” That happened early on this trek. Running in the snow is like running in the snow. Running uphill in the snow is like not going to happen.

I’ve taken the triumvirate for hikes in the snow multiple times. They will often gather snow as we go. They get these little snowballs on their feet and chest. I’ve tried snowshoes. They don’t make it a block. About halfway up the mountain, I noticed Troy had a huge ball, bigger than his head, stuck on his leg. He and Bat both had a bunch of little snowballs in their ears. It was kind of funny. I wished I had brought my phone so that I could take pictures. They have to walk with their faces to the ground in case of smells. At one point, I saw Bat rub her face in the snow. Fortunately, Charlie is far too civilized to put her face anywhere near the ground.

By the time we got to the top of the mountain, it wasn’t funny anymore. We all started sinking in the snow. After a little while, I was stopping every few feet to relieve them of huge snowballs from their feet, chests, and ears. The snow in Troy and Tori’s ears was literally stretching their scalps and making their eyes bulge.

Finally, Charlie had enough. She said, “This is ridiculous. We are going back.” She didn’t say this with words. She just turned around and started walking. I don’t think she cared if the rest of us followed or not.

I’m pretty sure that if we kept going forward, the snow wouldn’t have been as thick as what we just walked through, but I wanted to get them home as soon as possible. I didn’t want to take the chance.

When we were less than a block from home, Troy decided he didn’t want to walk anymore. Charlie, the only one who doesn’t require a leash, kept stopping and falling behind. Troy and Tori love to get wrapped in their leashes. It is leash anarchy with those two. Today, the leashes were getting wrapped around their legs, the snowballs in their legs, and the snowballs in their ears. I tried to carry Tori at one point, but the leashes were so tangled I could hardly get her off the ground.

We finally got home and this happened:

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“Seriously? What are you doing to me?” – Charlie

 

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This is what happens when you take a California costal boy and move him to the Sierra Nevada, which literally translates to Snowy Mountains.

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Poor babies. Look at their eyes.

They left a trail of snow all the way to the bathroom. The heater was on. I turned on a small personal heater. I tried to get the snowballs out, which usually ended in squeals. The snowballs would usually turn to iceballs in my hand instead of coming off. It didn’t work. I locked them in there for a half an hour to 45 minutes. Troy lived up to his Screech moniker by whining the whole time. I checked on them often, with treats in hand. They even escaped twice. They actually pushed the shower doors open and jumped out of the tub.

Following their second escape, I decided to expedite the snow removal process. It was getting slushy. My best friend/roommate has a super dog grooming hair drier. They are her dogs. I went back into the bathroom armed with said hair drier. It was so hot in there it was like a sauna. About half an hour later, they were finally released from the bathroom.

The first thing Bat wanted to do was go outside in the snow. Denied.

Neighborhood Serenity

The sun shines though the chill in the air
Not a sound to be heard anywhere

 

Not a cloud in the blue sky so bright
Anticipating the stars of night

What could ruin such a lovely day
Shatter the peace and chase it away

Take this neighborhood serenity
Bark, bark, bark, bark, bark, bark, love Charlie

Please, sit anywhere.

 

L Squad Profile: Charlie, The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Tinker Bell was just a typical adorable tricolored Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, not to be confused with the much smaller snub-nosed King Charles Spaniel, or, as often happens, the Cocker Spaniel. She is also occasionally confused with Jim Henson’s Muppets. It’s not common but it happens. She was not nearly as dainty as the name her breeders gave her would suggest. She was a small dog, destined not to exceed 20 pounds, though she was very curious and adventurous even as a puppy. She was the first in her litter to exhibit any signs of intelligence but was also prone to fits of wild exuberance and a slave to her spaniel nature. She often exhibited a strong prey drive and an overwhelming desire to chase things.

When Abby first saw Tinker Bell she was immediately smitten. Abby, being ever logical and rational, still took over an hour and a half to decide which puppy she wanted. The loneliness she carried around with her cried out to be squelched, so Abby, in a further attempt to assimilate to Earth and its customs, decided to indulge herself in the strange Earth ritual of owning another life form. At first, the thought was repulsive, but her solitude wore her down and she began researching pets. Throughout her research, she was drawn to the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel’s flowing fur and calm demeanor. She continued to explore other species but kept returning to the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. She finally acquiesced to her growing desire and contacted a reputable breeder who could provide exemplary health and lineage records.

At first, the breeders were hesitant to sell one of their fine specimens to an alien. Abby initially neglected to inform them of her extraterrestrial status when she first called them. When she offered to repair a low hum their stereo was chronically making, they asked her to fix a laptop. After making quick work of a long list of technical repairs, the breeders hardly minded all the pink fur Abby left on their couch. As dog breeders, they were used to black, brown, and white fur interwoven with everything, but this pink fur was disconcerting. By the time all the repairs were done, the breeders had come to know Abby a little and had actually grown to like her. They decided she was the kind of person to whom they would feel comfortable selling a dog.

Abby finally got to meet all six members of the litter. She sat on the floor with them and they mobbed her, sniffing and licking and rubbing and crawling all over her. Abby was taken aback by the greeting she received. She was not remotely prepared for it. After a few moments of hesitation, she decided she liked being playfully mauled by these tiny creatures. Getting a pet was the right decision.

The first thing Abby did when she got Tinker Bell home was change her name to Charlie, Charlie the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. She thought she was being clever. Sometimes even those who are geniuses can be banal when to attempting creativity. She also failed to realize that Charlie isn’t a girl’s name. From there she moved along to getting all her shots and starting training.

As mentioned above, Charlie was very smart. She took to her training like a bee takes to bumbling. I don’t know what that means, either. She learned quickly. Abby was so proud of her little Charlie Belle, she brought back the Bell when she learned that Charlie isn’t a girl’s name and added the extra ‘e’ to make it feminine instead of a potential surname. Charlie was so well behaved that Abby started bringing her to her squad training. When Captain Grek found out, he forbade it. Abby was so distraught that she nearly quit the Refugee Allied Defenders (R.A.D.). She started spending less time training with the R.A.D. and more time training Charlie.

Concerned with her repeated absences, Hitch came to Abby to find out what was happening. Abby explained and Hitch flexed his growing leadership skills. He told Abby how much the squad needed her and how important she was to the R.A.D., even if the others couldn’t see it. He promised that if she recommitted herself to the squad they could make Charlie their official squad mascot. Abby reluctantly agreed. Hitch was still her best friend and the only friend with whom she could actually communicate.

The new arrangement actually made Abby feel lonelier. She was spending more time away from Charlie as she was always training. As captain of a squad, Hitch had his new responsibilities, which kept them from doing all the fun things that made them friends back on Nasga. It didn’t matter that he dragged her away from her important work to go play. Abby was torn between her responsibilities to her squad and her responsibilities to Charlie. Her loneliness was steadily increasing.

One sleepless night, while lying in bed with Charlie curled up on her chest, Abby had an idea. She remembered an invention she was working on on Nasga. It was a machine that would imbue animals with Yamfennianesque qualities. If it worked, she could instill in an animal the ability to speak English, walk upright on two legs and hold things in its newly formulated hands. Said animal would be able to think and communicate like a Yamfennian. She could anthropomorphize Charlie. She jumped out of bed, which was terrifying for Charlie who was still on her chest before being flung onto the bed and subsequently bounced to the floor. After apologizing to and calming Charlie, Abby headed straight to her workshop and got to work.

Following a few failed experiments, which lead to an enormous rat, a turtle that failed to grow or gain any noticeable intelligence, but loved pizza, an ant who would only communicate via Twitter, among various other mutations, Abby was ready to try it on Charlie. Abby closed her eyes, crossed her fingers, rubbed her foot, that’s considered good luck on Yamfenn, aimed the beam from her machine at Charlie and pressed the button. The smell of smoke and burning hair arose in the workshop. Terrified, Abby opened her eyes, but couldn’t see anything through the cloud of smoke. After a brief pause, she heard a cough. Abby frantically swatted at the cloud of smoke attempting to get it to dissipate. From somewhere in the cloud she heard, “I’m glad I didn’t end up like those other blokes.” Elated, Abby ran into the cloud of smoke, found Charlie and wrapped her arms around her.

It worked. Abby had actually created a device that could anthropomorphize an animal. Charlie was now officially a sentient being. Well, she was already a sentient being. She was a… a… a person. She could now walk upright on her hind legs. She had hands instead of paws. Well, they were hand shaped paws. She could talk. Most importantly her intelligence level was now Yamfennianesque. She wasn’t as smart as Abby, but she would make a serviceable assistant and a friend.

There was one side-effect that Abby would have to fix if she ever attempted to anthropomorphize anything again. Charlie developed a disturbing affinity for puns. Abby wasn’t sure if it was something in Charlie’s nature, something caused by the device, or something Charlie picked up watching television. She was sure she was going to have to train it out of her.

In the morning, after staying up all night talking to Charlie, Abby called Hitch. She had to share this amazing news with her best friend. Now, she had two best friends and she wanted them to be best friends. Hitch was amazed and speechless. It’s a good thing Charlie could talk now or the conversation would have run quite dull. After Abby explained everything to him, Hitch panicked. He told her that she had to keep this a secret. If anyone ever found out, she would be in big trouble and her invention would be confiscated.

Abby explained that she went a different route. She hacked into R.A.D.’s computer system and enrolled Charlie into R.A.D. Hitch could only slap his forehead. Abby went on to explain that she retroactively added Charlie to the manifest of their escape ship as a passenger, so it would appear as if she had been with them since Nasga. Anyone who doubted her legitimacy need only check the records. Charlie was now a refugee Niibellian from the planet Niibell. Abby had to hope nobody did further research because it wouldn’t take much to learn that Niibell doesn’t actually exist. She couldn’t find a planet that was home to anthropomorphic dogs, so she made one up.

When Hitch assured her that someone would notice a new member of their squad Abby reminded him that no one outside the squad pays any attention to them. They’ve been deemed the dregs of R.A.D. and no one on any other squad even acknowledged them, except to taunt them. Abby’s recent inner turmoil and withdrawal made the L Squad’s performance drop even further, leading them to be labeled ‘hopeless.’ They could easily sneak in a new member without anybody outside the squad noticing. They only had to tell the squad. If anybody did notice they would all vouch for her and direct them to the records, which would support their assertion that she’s always been there. Hitch grudgingly agreed, but only because they were best friends who had traversed the universe together. Abby did save his life by sneaking him aboard their escape ship. The least he could do was let her have a dog.

Charlie’s training revealed that her transition to a fully anthropomorphic Cavalier King Charles Spaniel was not so full after all. While most of her intended transformations were amazingly realized, she did retain some of her natural instincts. Her spaniel instincts remained intact. All her training was still liable to be overridden by irrational spurts of excitement. She still loved chasing things and would often streak away after something, usually a rabbit, which Abby found disturbing.

Even when the L Squad was eventually sent out into the world for their, often mundane, missions, Charlie would have to be kept on a leash, which Charlie resented. She frequently tried to talk Abby out of making her wear her leash, but every time Abby relented Charlie would run off and end up in trouble. That only made more trouble for the squad, which got into enough trouble before the addition of Charlie. Now, Charlie’s leash is omnipresent on every mission unless she is given a specific task and it’s better for the mission that she is released.

If Charlie weren’t anthropomorphic and lived in your time this is what she might look like (Photos Courtesy Of Lavender Cavaliers):

This is what Charlie might look like if she had a different life and was on a bed with her Aunt Holly Rose and Uncle Paxton:
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If she were on a log with her Aunt Holly Rose & Uncle Gizmo:
Dogs

On the beach:
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If her tongue were hanging to the side:
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If she were Wilson from Home Improvement:
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If she were forced to play dress-up as an elf and not happy about it:
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If she were forced to dress-up like Santa Chuck:
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If she had a stick (or a stick blaster as in The L Squad: Phase Two):
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(She looks kind of savage in this one.)

If she were babysitting:
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