Making a Murderer : Canine Edition 

I’m serving 25 years to life.


(My mug shot didn’t turn out the best) 

After ten minutes of questioning, they found me guilty on two counts of second degree murder. Man, that sounds bad, but please hear me out. Yes, I killed, but it was all in self defense – it was all to protect my family.

The first came about a year ago. The intruder was in my back yard, lurking around. He was stalking me and my mother. He would not leave our yard, no matter how much I growled and barked.

I told Marlee to go in the house and lock all the doors and windows. I didn’t want this danger getting anywhere near my mom. I also didn’t want her to see what I was about to do. At that moment, I became the man of the house, and my job was to protect her.

A few minutes went by…

Marlee peeped out the upstairs window, and could not see me or the stalker. In a panic, she bolted down the stairs and whipped open the back door. And there I stood – the blood was on my paws. And the stalker, well let’s just say he wouldn’t be bothering us anymore.

Marlee could not believe what I had done. She looked around to make sure no one was looking, grabbed a shovel, and took care of the dead body. So I guess you could say, she was an accomplice to murder, but of course, I would never do that to her. When I was questioned, I said it was self defense and Marlee was taking a nap the whole time. That investigation remained ongoing until recently.

The second time happened earlier this week. I was in the back yard again, enjoying some sunshine. Marlee was in the house, doing some laundry and house cleaning. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw something perched on the chair, staring in the backdoor window. He was trying to break in.

I quietly stood up and tip-toed towards the porch, but as soon as I put one paw on the step, the intruder cocked his head in my direction. He tried to run – he thought he was going to get away with trying to break into my house.

Well that didn’t happen.

Marlee came outside ten minutes later, to bring me inside for dinner. She found me  standing overtop a dead body. He got what was coming to him, but of course Marlee panicked. She once again grabbed a shovel and hid the body for me. I guess you could say we are a modern day Norman and Norma Bates.

This time, the nosy neighbor watched it all go down. She called the police, and I was cuffed, questioned, paw printed, and locked away for that murder, and then soon after, for the other murder case that was still open.

It has been ruff, being on the inside. You only get one meal a day, and it’s Old Roy -YUCK! They are trying to poison us. You do not get any Bark-Boxes delivered once a month. The only toy you get to play with, is a cat stuffed animal that is missing its tail and one of its eyes, because every dog in the joint goes after it. Oh, and I’ve quickly learned to not drop my kibble in the shower, if you know what I mean. There are some un-fixed dogs in there, who like to thrust.

So yea, it has been pretty hard. I am trying to get out on good behavior. But honestly, I should never have been put in there to begin with, after all, those dang birds had it coming to them. Plus I’m a gentle soul. I only go after something if they are a threat to my mom. So yea, it’s pretty unfair.

Catch my story next month on Netflix, where you can hear all sides of the story, and see who you believe. Making a Murderer : The Canine Edition, coming to Netflix on June 24th. Tune in.

 

 

 

The Slobbery War of 2017

I’ve went to war the past couple of days. I’ve strapped on my uniform of thick black and white fur, my boots of white hair, and my weapons of razor sharp teeth and a bark that can deafen the enemy from two miles away. No, my bark is not worse than my bite – they are in fact equal, so I would not cross me. I’ve went to war to protect my rights of walking and I’ve went to war to defend my mother’s honor and to ensure her safety. I know, I am so heroic, but you can save the applause till the end of my ‘tail.’

The war was bad. The war was ugly. The war was slobbery and even bloody. I am drained physically, mentally, and emotionally, but that is nothing that a piece of cheese, a gulp of water, and a nice back rub won’t fix. I went to war because I had to.

Who was this war against, you ask. Well this war was against the pets that live on  Devan Avenue – The stray cats that sneak in to other peoples’ yards, without them knowing, and the dogs that run wild, never being tied back with a leash or blocked in with a fence. This is one war that your kids will read about in History class, about a decade from now, and they will learn that I was truly heroic.

So, let’s take it back to two days ago, when this war began. Marlee and me were taking our nightly walk – same route, same scenery. I had always noticed this stray cat. It was always crouched down, eyeing us up in the wrong way. It had a smell of garbage, a glare of hostility, and a tail of terror. This cat’s tail looked as if it had been struck by lightening. Maybe it was that way because this cat had been to war before. I figured that had to be it, and that this feline should not be and could not be trusted.

I had let the cat do its thing for about two weeks, but this day, I had had enough. He was not going to look at me or my mom in anger any longer. This world needed less hatred, and I was going to do anything I needed to, to make this world a safer and more loving place. I know what you’re thinking – that is honorable.

The cat was in someone’s yard – a yard that it did not belong to. So when my mom got distracted with a lady walking past her saying “hello,” I took the plunge. I went full force after the cat. The fangs were out, the slobber was flying, and the claws were raging. I got a few swats and maybe even a few nips in, but the cat was an equal competitor. He took his paw of knives, and drug it across my face. I was left with scratches, cuts, and blood. The cat was still alive, but trust me, this story would have ended differently, if my mom didn’t rip me away from the enemy.

You might think I lost that battle, but I can ensure you, that I didn’t . The next day, I walked right past that cat with my head held high in the air, and the cat, well he cowered down in fear and went the opposite direction. He would not bother me or my mom anymore, and he would think twice before judging others with his glare of hostility. I taught that cat a lesson. Yes, I got a few bumps and bruises out of it, but what true war hero doesn’t.

So that takes us to the next day, when two enemies of the canine variety attacked. Marlee and me were walking on the road, trying to avoid confrontation. I guess you could say, I was trying to wave the white flag of surrender. However, these dogs wouldn’t allow it.

Without being tied down or fenced in, and without being watched by the owner, the first dog ran on to the road at us. At first it started harmlessly sniffing me, but it soon turned to rage. It lunged at me with his teeth snarling. He swatted at me with his paw. I had no choice but to defend myself. We both ended up on our hind legs, in a fist fight. He pushed me over on to my back, but I jumped right back up. I would have gotten a flip in myself, if the owner of the other dog didn’t finally control his canine and drag him away from Marlee and me, apologizing to us in the process.

It wasn’t even five steps later, that another dog, a German Shepherd, came running at Marlee full force, with his fangs out and growling uncontrollably. Marlee was terrified. She thought she was about to be attacked. She stood completely still on the road, paralyzed by fear. She pulled me close and told me to sit down. I obeyed, but I knew if that dog came any closer to Marlee, that I would have to defend her. It was my job to keep her safe. All I could do in that moment was growl back and show the dog my teeth. I wanted him to know that I would do anything to protect myself and my mom.

Marlee started screaming. She yelled, “Please someone get this dog. It’s going to attack me!” The dog’s owner finally came out of the house and grabbed the dog, once again apologizing. However, it was too late. Marlee was not physically harmed, but she was scared, and that was not okay with me.

We walked back to the house, and she started crying. Not only was she shaken up because of what had almost happened, but she felt like everything that had happened the past two days were her fault.

I licked her face, to ensure her, it was not her. She was the best owner a dog could want.

We took away three lessons from these events. 1) Always make sure your dog is leashed, fenced in, or controlled. If they are not, they could run out and attack an innocent dog or human just trying to harmlessly take a walk. Leash laws in Pennsylvania are there for a reason. 2) If a dog runs out at you, try and stay calm. I know it is difficult, but it will help to calm the situation down. 3) We obviously need to find another walking route. It’s unfortunate, but has to be done. I don’t want myself or my mom getting hurt by another animal, and when I feel threatened and want to protect Marlee, I am too big and too strong for her to pull back easily.

So yea, it has been an eventful two days.

I went to war. I got bloody. I got hurt, but I also protected my mom. After all, that is my job, and I would go to war with any animal to ensure her safety.

Now, you may cue the applause.

 

 

He Didn’t Need His Eyes to Love Me. 

My owner could not see me, but he could feel me. 

He could feel me pull him forward when the pedestrian walk light turned on to cross the street. He could feel me pull him left, to head over to his favorite coffee shop for his morning bagel and latte. He could feel me pull him right, when it was time to go back home. 

I was my master’s eyes. He relied on me to keep him safe. To direct his way. To make sure he got from place to place on time and unharmed. It was a tough job, but I was glad to do it.

However, I wasn’t only there for guidance, I was there to comfort. I was there to show him love and dedication also. 

So once again I say : my owner could not see me, but he could feel me. 

He could feel my soft fur run under his palms and fingertips as he stroked me from the bed, as he prepared to end his day. He could feel my tender licks, as I kissed his cheek or hand to let him know I was around if he needed me. He could feel my wagging tail to ensure him that I was content being with him and happy to help him. 

After all, I wasn’t just there for guidance, although that was my main job. I was there to be his companion – to be his friend. I was there for him to rely on. I was there to show him love. 

To me, there was nothing different about my master. No, he could not see me with his eyes, but he could touch me with his hands. He could kiss me with his lips. He could sooth me with his voice. He could see me with his soul. He didn’t need his eyes to love me. 

I wasn’t just there to guide him. I was there to show him unconditional love, and in return, I got unconditional love back. 

Today is National Guide Dog Day. Isn’t it amazing that a canine is someone that can guide a blind person through every turn of their life. They are truly spectacular creatures. 

Happy National Guide Dog Day! Your jobs are tough, but you are appreciated and loved. 

Air-Bagging, Tea-Bagging, Poop-Bagging 

Today, I want to take you back to the first day we brought Duke home. Well actually, I want to take you back to the first 30 minutes we brought Duke home. 

No, this is not a sappy, lovey dovey post. This post, my friends, is all about humor and a whole lot of laughter. And after my last post, the mood could be lightened up a bit. 

We will start with the car ride home. Oh, what an interesting car ride that was. As you all know from past posts, as well as Instagram pictures, Duke absolutely loves car rides. He literally leaps in the air with joy every time the word car ride is uttered. 

Well, that first car ride home was something special and was slightly unique to every other car ride we have experienced since then. 

Duke naturally was nervous being in a car, going to an unfamiliar place, with people he had just met. We had Zach driving my car, dog father Ben in the front seat, and I was of course in the back, gushing over the fact that I was officially bringing a dog of my own home. 

Well, I guess Duke got tired of being gushed over, and decided it would be a great idea to jump over top the passenger seat head rest, right on to Ben’s lap, all while Zach was driving. A possible disaster in the making. I knew Duke was a little leery about us, but I didn’t think he had a car hijac and murder planned for the first day. Anyway, lucky for us, no accident happened. 

He stayed on Ben’s lap for about 5 minutes, before deciding, he wanted to come back to the back with me. Without warning, he leaped over Ben’s head and the head rest to get back. In mid air, Duke’s newly snipped, stitched, and swelled equipment drug right across Ben’s face and forehead. I bet he never thought he would be tea-bagged by a canine in his lifetime. 

Zach and I busted out laughing, while Ben was choking over the doggy pubes that he had swallowed. He didn’t find it as funny.  

After a 20 minute car ride full of tea-bags and almost some air bags, we finally pulled into our apartment complex. 

We took Duke inside the house, and then made another trip out to the car to bring the rest of the stuff inside. However, I forgot to fully latch the screen door. Next thing we know, Duke busted out of the door, and ran full force down the road. 

I just stood in shock, crying by the car. Like, I’m talking, Kim Kardashian ugly tears. I thought that Duke was going to run away or get hit by a car, literally 30 minutes after I had signed the adoption papers. Up until this point, I have not told too many people about this incident. I didn’t want people thinking I was a bad mother. 

Anyway, Zach dropped everything from his hands and started bolting in the direction that Duke ran. After I pulled myself together, I followed behind. Let me tell you, I was not in shape to be chasing full force after a dog. And I didn’t have my inhaler with me. 

Finally, Duke was in sight. He was standing under a tree. Zach ran over to him, only to have Duke run faster away again. We soon found out that Duke thought it was some kind of game. He got a lot of enjoyment out of watching us run like amateur track stars after him, only to start huffing and puffing uncontrollably. 

So this sherade continued for a solid 10 minutes. Finally, we saw Duke under yet another tree. This time when we approached him, he did not move. Only because he was squatted down in poop position. Hey, I guess he wanted some privacy. I don’t blame him. Don’t worry, we cleaned it up with our new blue poop bags. 

Zach let him finish his “business,” before grabbing him by the collar and leading him home. 

Yes, he did get scolded by Zach. And yes, as you can probably guess, he got hugged and kissed by me. What can I say, I was emotional.  

The mixed reactions to him running away is probably why it happened again. Not one more time, but three or four more times. Once, when Zach was in nothing but his work socks. 

But, we will save that tale for a different day. 

Stressed, Blessed, and Dog Obsessed

Awhile back, I wrote a blog post talking about the differences between being a dog lover and dog owner. Remember that one? If not, click here to read up.

Anyway, I went from being a dog lover, to being a dog owner, to now being dog obsessed. I know I am not the only dog obsessed dog owner out there, so don’t judge me. And if you’re not sure if you have crossed the line into dog obsessed territory, well I will lay a few examples out there for comparison. So after reading through the list below, I know many of you will most likely shake your head silently in agreement. Don’t worry, you don’t have to admit out loud that you are as dog crazy as I am. Although, I am sure people already can tell.

How to tell if your dog obsessed:

  1. If you catch yourself holding full conversations with your dog. I do this pretty much everyday. But I figure, it’s better than talking to yourself. Quite frankly, it’s better than talking to most humans. They are great listeners, and rarely ever talk back.
  2. If you spend a great deal of time snapping pictures of your canine friend, waiting to capture the perfect shot to share. A great deal of my camera roll is taken up by pictures of Duke. But hey, when I am away at work and start to miss him, I always have cute pictures to ‘oohhh’ and ‘ahhh’ at, and of course show to other people, while proclaiming how my dog is the cutest creature in the world.
  3. If you have an Instagram account for your dog. After all, your own Instagram account, where every other picture is already your dog, is simply not enough. Plus you have to get your canine out in the social media world meeting new animals. Trust me, there are thousands of dog Instagram accounts, so don’t feel bad.
  4. If the only stuff people tag you in on Facebook are dog related. I figure, with all the political crap and negativity drifting around out there, everyone can use a little dog cuteness on their newsfeed. So keep the dog posts coming.
  5. If you budget $30 every month, just to ensure you have enough money for your dog’s monthly Bark Box. But hey, it’s not only fun for your dog, but it is also something exciting for you to look forward to.
  6. If you bring your dog up in conversation at least twice a day. Because what else do you have to talk about that is as important as your dog? Exactly…NOTHING!
  7. If you refer to your dog as your “furry child.” Nothing wrong with that. They are a vital member of the family.
  8. If you feel slight guilt every time you leave your dog for work or to go out to dinner. After all, you are their source of happiness, so when you’re gone, they are just sad, lonely, and depressed. So try not to spend too much time out on the town.
  9. If you own cell phone cases, coffee travel mugs, blankets, portraits, or apparel with your dog showcased on it. Hold on, before we start to judge me, I do not have all the stuff listed above – only some. But hey, it can be good conversation starters.
  10. If you are most content just chilling on the couch all day with your dog, while sharing a bowl of Velveeta or plate of French Fries. After all, nothing bad can happen and your day can’t go sour if you are just curled up, loving your fluffy companion all day.
  11. And the final one of this post : If you spend time during  your day writing a blog post on a dog blog explaining to the world why you are dog obsessed. Ummm….guilty.

So I am sure there are other points that can be included on this list, but I don’t have all that time to spend writing them. I gave you a good starting point. If there are any I missed, that you would like to share, please comment below.

But right now I am going to have to say goodbye. I have a dog to pay attention to.

Don’t Worry, My Sweet Boy. You are Home. 

 

There once was a time, where you were hesitant about me.

You were just a nervous, unsure shelter dog. But after being with so many different people, each time with a different name of your own, I understood your hesitance. Still, I wanted to ease your fears. I wanted to show you that someone could love you forever. I wanted to prove to you that I would never leave.

The first few months were tough. I knew without a shadow of a doubt that I loved you fully. However, it was hard to tell if you felt the same about me. I kept thinking I was letting you down. I never had the assurance from you that you were completely happy.

Then one day it happened. I remember it like it was yesterday.

I was laying in the bed watching TV. You were curled up in a ball on the opposite side, like you usually were. I started petting your soft fur. I wanted you to know I was there, I loved you, and I was always going to be there.

Next thing I know, you were army crawling towards me, looking at me with those sweet eyes. I didn’t know what to expect. Then, just like you had been doing it your whole life, you rolled your body over and held it next to me. You nuzzled your head in the space between my armpit and upper arm, and you fell asleep, just like that. It made my heart so happy. In that moment, I knew you were content. I knew you had made your home with me.

It is tiny, subtle actions like that one that continue to make my heart the happiest.

The way you run down the stairs and wait at the door for me to walk in, after being away. Always with a smile on your face, and excitement in your tail. It is the fact that you are that way every single day, like you know that I will always come home to you. And I have, and I always will.

The way that you reach out your paw to touch me when I am not paying attention to you. Before, you would never dare to do that. You wanted to be alone, untouched and unbothered. Now, you want to be the center of my attention, the center of my World. And don’t worry, my sweet boy, because you are.

Then there is the way you cozy up on my lap whenever I am sitting down. You just plop your whole 54 pounds down on me, look at me with happiness in your eyes, and wait for me to hug you and love you. My legs may start to fall asleep, but I never push you off. Because, there was a time when that would never have happened.

Thank you, Duke, for trusting me. Thanks for allowing me to love you, and thanks for loving me in return. But mostly, thanks for making your home with me. I promise to make you the happiest and most loved dog in the World. 

Don’t worry, my sweet boy. You are home. 

I Will be Your Hero Baby

All dogs start out in this world the way all humans begin – as babies. Playful, curious to the surroundings, open-minded babies. 

All they want and need is attention, love, protection and guidance. Most puppies get this. After all, they are like every other shiny and new thing. They excite people and they are cute to look at. Even though they chew too much, whine a little excessively, and sometimes are just a plain old pain in the butt, people love them. That is until the puppy in them starts to disappear. 

Like all human babies, puppies to grow up. The playfulness slows down and they start to show their years in the face, the fur, and the body. They are still a lot of work, just like when they were puppies, but people are less excited about caring for them. What was once shiny and new, is now aged and worn down. They take a lot more money and time, and some people lose the patience for it. 

That is why many adult dogs end up in shelters, and also why many of these dogs, never find a forever home and family. 

They are dropped off by families that were tired of caring for them or taken away and brought in by people protecting them from families that didn’t treat them right. Either way, it is sad. 

They are put into cages beside other dogs who were forgotten about, and they all just wait for the day when someone with a big heart, who is willing to love a dog that is no longer shiny and new, comes along. 

Some dogs eventually find this kind of human, this kind of family. Some dogs, luck out, and find someone like Marlee. Someone who unconditionally loves them, protects them, and cares for them for the rest of their lives. They aren’t inconveniences to these kind of people. In fact, they are blessings, answers to prayers, an important part of the family. 

However, some of the dogs in those cages at the shelters, never find that special human or family. They just spend the rest of their lives locked in a cage, next to dogs that keep coming and going. These dogs are lonely and sad. They will eventually leave this world, never experiencing the unconditional love that others get to have.

 How heart wrenching is that to think about. Creatures who were put on this earth to show people God-like love and bring joy to humans, die alone, feeling unwanted and unloved. They never get to live out their purpose. 

I know, that dogs are sometimes complicated to care for. I know that once they grow up a little, they become a little less exciting. But I also know that no human will ever find a love that true in any other thing in the World. 

There are so many shelter dogs, sitting in cages right now, just waiting for their forever family or human to walk through and rescue them. Don’t allow some to sit in a cage, and never experience a real family. Go out and adopt a dog today, or encourage people you know to take the plunge. 

You won’t only be rescuing them, but trust me, they will also be rescuing you. 

I chose the above photo to be featured on this post, because these humans have made me the happiest dog in the world. I was taken into a shelter, never knowing if I would find that forever family. After all, I was an older and bigger dog. But one day I met this gentle human, Marlee, and ever since then, I have been jumping into her arms with tail wags, kisses, and unconditional love.