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.

 

 

 

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To my Mom on Mother’s Day

I remember crawling into your bed at just five years old. The thunder was cracking, the lightning was flashing, and I was scared. But as soon as I crawled into your arms, and you held me tight, the fear suddenly diminished. I felt safe next to you. This was even before the tornado came.

About two years passed, and suddenly we found ourselves huddled in the corner of our basement, under covers, praying for our lives. But just like you had done two years ago, you held on to us kids so tight. You refused to let anything happen to us. You made us feel safe. And even though it was scary and traumatizing, we made it through that night. We lost every material thing, but in the big scheme of things, that didn’t matter much. We still had each other, and that is all we needed.

The years after the tornado were tough on me. I had nightmares after nightmares. But when I had one of those nightmares, and I woke up in a panic, I knew where I could find my comfort. I would slide out of my bed, tip-toe across the house, and crawl in your bed next to you. You always knew why I was there. You would tell me it was okay, and you would hold me in your arms. And for the rest of the night, I would feel safe.

Then there were the times that I was sick. I am sure I would have recovered the same in my own bed, in my own room, but that wasn’t good enough for me. I wanted to be with you. You would make me hot tea, Vicks me up, tuck me under your covers, and there we would lay, watching Lifetime movies, until we both fell asleep. I was in your arms. I felt safe and the sickness suddenly disappeared.

There were also the heartbreaks. I know you remember each one vividly. They broke your heart almost as much as they broke mine. And I didn’t even need to ask you – you already knew. You told me to come over to  your room, and there I would stay, crying with you, talking to you, watching Lifetime movies with you, until we finally both fell asleep. I was in your arms. I felt safe, and the heartbreak suddenly started to disappear.

But it wasn’t just the scary, sick, or sad times that I would spend with you. There were nights, that I just wanted to be with my mom, the woman who raised me, loved me, and inspired me. So I would come over to your room, we would lay in the bed, eating popcorn and drinking Pepsi, watching Lifetime movies, until we would fall asleep. I was in your arms. I felt safe, and I felt unconditionally loved.

You have always been there to hold me when I needed you most. You first held me in your arms 25 years ago, as I took my first breath. In that moment, there was so much love, so much joy, and so much safety. I knew from that first minute on, that you would always be there to hold me, and you have never let me down.

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom – I love you.

 

To my Master’s Graduate 

You graduate tonight.

Oh, what an accomplishment that is.

You spent four years going for  your Bachelors in Education. You studied hard, stressed a lot, but succeeded of course. You tried finding joy in teaching. You tried finding happiness in that career for about a year, but you were unsatisfied. You knew you were made for greater things. Everyone around you knew you were made for greater things. God knew you were made for greater things.

After some thinking and a lot of praying, you decided to head back to school for yet another two years. You wanted your Masters in School Counseling. You wanted to help people.

God clearly showed you your path, and you took it, without hesitation.

I am so proud of you. Not only that, I look up to you. I may be a minute older, but you are so  much wiser. Not only that, you are beautiful from the inside out, which is something I always knew. Anyone who knew you or even just met you, could see that beauty shining through.

That beautiful soul is one reason you were made to help people. You listen to people, without judgment. You care about people, even when they try to make it impossible. You love all people, even if they aren’t like you.

Thinking about watching you walk across that stage tonight to get your second diploma, brings tears to my eyes. I can’t think of anyone more deserving of recognition. I couldn’t be more proud of my twin sister, my best friend, my soul mate. I love you more than I can even describe.

And it is just the beginning for you, because I know you are destined for great things. More importantly, God made you destined for great things.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11

You have such a bright future, my beautiful sister. God gave you that hope, so that one day, you could give hope to others.

So as you walk across that stage tonight, hold your head high and smile the biggest smile you have ever smiled, because you have accomplished something great. When you hear all that applause, know that you deserve it. Everyone sitting around you tonight watching, can see that beauty shining so bright, just like the ones who love you the most have always seen.

Congratulations twin sister – I love you so much!

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. 

Two Years.

Today is my adopt-a-versary. My gotcha day. However, I’m sure you all knew that already. I’m sure you had it marked in your calendars since last year. I mean, it isn’t as big as Martin Luther King Day or Christmas, but come on people, it’s pretty high up there. At least top five. Oh and by the way, I am still waiting on the gifts and cake to start rolling in.
So of course there had to be a blog post about this monumental holiday. But, instead of being all sappy, and making everyone cry hysterically with how sweet and corny I can be, I decided to make everyone slightly chuckle instead. Yes, I do enjoy a good laugh.

A lot has changed in two years. I’ve gotten better looking (if that is even possible), more witty (of course), a little more tender (don’t tell anyone I said that; I don’t want to ruin my bad-ass image), and more comfortable and content with life. Let’s face it, my life is way better than yours. My mom and dad are way cooler than yours. In general, everything about my life is pretty amazing. Well most things are amazing – we still have that whole bath situation to sort out.

Anyway, I figured I would compile a list of 15, because that seems to be a good number. A list of the 15 things I have learned in my two years of being adopted. So continue on…

  1. All dogs literally hate the mailman. This is not just true in movies. It is very accurate in real life. I think they are some sort of terrorist, or maybe they just smell like bacon. I haven’t decided yet. Either way, I would bite my mailman’s arm off if I was loose when they arrived.
  2. Pretending you’re scared of getting your nails trimmed at Pet Smart is the best way to get attention, from both your parents and strangers. All you have to do is start whining slightly and add in a little tremble for extra effect, and a second groomer will just come over to you, just to hug you until it is over. Come on people, I am not that big of a baby. I just want the extra love. Plus, your mom and dad will feel so guilty afterwards, that you will either get a bone or a vanilla ice cream dish. It’s a win-win.
  3. Human food is way better than dog food, and if you give the dopey-eyed look long enough, you will definitely get some of your human’s dinner. And you know what I think – I think that chocolate isn’t actually toxic to us dogs. I think humans just tell you that so they don’t have to share.
  4. No matter how hard you beg, or how many times you put it on your Santa list, you will never get out of getting a bath. I will forever hate this time of the month, but shaking all of my wet, dog fur onto my dad afterwards, makes it semi tolerable. 
  5. Lounging on the couch is only acceptable when I am at my grandparents’ house or dad is not home. But as soon as Marlee gets the call that Zach is heading home from work, I jump off the couch and the lint roller comes out. Shhh, don’t tell Zach our secret. 
  6. Squeaky toys are the best. I used to never be into toys, but after getting the BarkBox every month, I have grown to love all toys. I will sometimes wake up in the middle of the night and start squeaking and tossing my toy up in the air. It’s mostly for my personal enjoyment, but I also get a kick out of watching mom and dad wake up wondering what the heck is going on.
  7. You feel like a new man every time you take a poop. I guess it is like a load taken off of you – pun intended. But seriously, every time I relieve myself, I bolt into the house full force and start throwing my toys all over the living room. Maybe it’s my way of telling Marlee there is a fresh pile for her to clean up.
  8. When you are named after your dad’s favorite college basketball team, you will be forced to wear a t-shirt every game for good luck. I just learn to accept it. And warning, there will be family photos involved.
  9. I know I am not supposed to lay on the mattress when the bedding is being washed, but that never stops me. Marlee loves it when my black fur gets all the over the white mattress pad.
  10. Cuddling with Marlee and Zach at night is the best part of my day. Zach makes a great pillow, full of fluff, and Marlee makes the best snuggler.
  11. Running away, even as just a game, isn’t worth it. When I first was adopted, I used to get loose and have Zach and Marlee chase me for hours. Now, if I get loose, I just lay down on the grass in defeat and wait for them to come grab me. Mostly because life anywhere else wouldn’t be as great as the life I have with them, and partially because Zach spanks hard.
  12. I will forever be between the ages of 4-6. Marlee and Zach do not know my exact age, so anytime they are asked, they always say 4-6 years old. They have been saying that for two years now. I guess I am like Edward Cullens and won’t ever age.
  13. Barking at any stranger or dog that walks past me is my favorite thing. I get a kick out of watching them jump a little.
  14. Sometimes all you need to make the day better is a little bit of porch sitting with the family. Plus when you’re out there at the front of the house, you feel like the King of the neighborhood. 
  15. Being with a family, who loves you as much as Marlee and Zach love me, is pretty awesome.

So yea, life for the past two years has been nothing short of fantastic. I am one lucky dog. I am loved. Everything is okay in my world, well except for the bath situation, but like I said before, I don’t think that is changing anytime soon.

Now, I am going to enjoy the Burger King cheeseburger meal that I got for dinner, while wearing my crown, because I am the King.
 

Lick Those Chops 

I absolutely love finding new crockpot recipes to try out on my days off. There is nothing better than prepping for dinner in the morning, and having the rest of the day to get other tasks done, while your dinner is simmering in the slow cooker. It takes a little stress out of the day.

Tuesday was such a nice day, so I wanted to take advantage of the sunshine. I put the ingredients in the crockpot on low, threw a few loads of laundry in, and decided to treat myself and Duke to a three mile walk. I didn’t have to worry about getting back in a hurry to prep and cook dinner. I could take my time and just enjoy the day. 

And there are a ton of beautiful, sunny days ahead, as we continue with Spring and merge to Summer. So, I am going to share with you a crockpot recipe that is easy, delicious, and will give you the time to enjoy the sunshine.


 Serves 8 | Prep Time 5 Min. | Cook Time 7 Hours

Ingredients : 1/2 cup light brown sugar | 1/2 cup ketchup | 1/4 cup soy sauce | 3 tablespoons Sriracha | 1 teaspoon minced garlic | 1 teaspoon pepper | A dash of salt |3 pounds of boneless pork chops | 1/4 cup cornstarch | 1/4 cup of water

Directions : Add all ingredients, except for the pork chops and corn starch, to the slow cooker. Stir ingredients to mix. | Add in pork chops and cover  both sides in mixture. |Cook on low for six hours. | Add in slurry of cornstarch and water. | Cook and additional hour.

Now, go enjoy your walk. You’ll be ready to lick those chops when you get back in!