Category Archives for "oliver"

Weekend regurgitation: A James Bond, Mission Impossible and Snoopy combo

Every day I become the human personification of Einstein’s definition of insanity by trying to play the game of fetch with Oliver. It goes something like this:

  • I throw the ball and excitedly call out Get it, Ollie! Go get it!
  • Oliver chases after the ball.
  • Oliver retrieves the ball.
  • Oliver runs back to me with the ball in his mouth.
  • I declare enthusiastically Good boy, Ollie! Give me the ball!
  • Oliver collapses onto his stomach and shimmies to the couch with the ball in his mouth.
  • I firmly demand  Ollie, give me the ball! Give me the ball!
  • Oliver plays dead.
  • I plead Drop the ball, Ollie! Drop it! C’mon! Drop it!
  • Oliver plays dead.
  • Oliver plays dead.
  • I stomp off.
  • Oliver spits out the ball and contemplates it.
  • I begin to praise him with Good boy, Ollie! Now, give me …
  • Oliver immediately pushes the ball under the couch with his nose.
  • For the rest of the day, Oliver follows me all around the house, whining and whining and whining some more because his ball is under the couch.
  • Lather, rinse, repeat.

I leave you with the post I wrote last year when Oliver was a four-pound, pliable ball of fur who could squish under couches and retrieve all wayward balls. Unlike today, when Oliver is a seven pound, less-pliable ball of stubbornness and ball retrieval is now performed by a none-of-your-business pound, rigid, misshapen rhombus of middle-aged, frustrated estrogen.

Happy Sunday, everyone!



The name’s Chamberlain. Oliver Chamberlain.

(originally published April 2010)




Chew on this


Chew (choo):  a verb meaning …

… to use one’s teeth to grind something, such as your owner’s favorite toy and reason for living. That would be the favorite toy and reason for living that is located on the couch and that controls the TV, not the one that is located in the vicinity of his groin and that controls every other aspect of his life. Because using teeth on that particular favorite toy and reason for living is a deal breaker. For anyone.

… to chomp.

(PS: Our house is where pens come to die.)

… to gnaw.

(PPS: Our house is where writing utensils of all shapes and sizes and colors come to die.)

… to bite repeatedly, with no regard for potential electrocution or mommy’s sudden onset of agoraphobia stemming from her inability to leave the house without a fully charged cell phone lest some bizarre misfortune befall her, such as a pack of crazed, suicidal alpacas breaking free of their herd and smashing into her car at full trot, leaving her with no means by which to call her husband and shriek incoherently that she needs help immediately as she is being attacked by ugly, short camels. The fact that for the prior forty years she functioned just fine without any kind of cell phone or alpaca incident whatsoever, notwithstanding.

… to munch on, with no regard for mommy’s sudden weight gain due to her inability to run down the driveway, let alone for three miles, without a fully charged iPod because a fully charged iPod helps her forget the blood, sweat and tears that is her daily run, whereas strapping Lady GaGa, Rhianna, Ke$ha and Usher onto her back only serves to remind her of how much a hernia sucks.

… to nibble ferociously, until the point of amputation.

(PPPS:  It’s like 127 Hours boiled down to two minutes except the scenery sucks and James Franco is pudgy, bald and seasick.)

… to gum.

… to masticate.

(PinfinityS: Which, sometimes? Is a good thing. Like when your owner is prone to buying up the entire world over the Internet when his wife isn’t looking.)

… to feast upon, especially when you are not let out of your crate for a full ten seconds after your owners walk in the door.

… to consider, deliberate, reflect, dwell upon, ruminate or otherwise ponder.



Weekend regurgitation: Using the Charlie Sheen rehab philosophy to break my puppy’s pooping habit

We brought Oliver home to live with us when he was eight weeks old which was almost exactly one year ago today. Our lives have never been the same. Nor have our carpets.

I did not know how much I could adore an animal until we got Ollie. I had never considered myself a dog person and even today, dog slobber still makes my skin crawl right off my body and hide under the sink. I thought I’d simply be tolerating a dog for the kids’ sake but holy flippin’ jeebers, I love this little guy. It’s just the two of us together five days out of seven and he spends his time sleeping on my lap or on my feet or following me all around the house, so much so that I have to be careful not to stop in mid-stride lest he bonk his nose on my ankle.

Unfortunately, he has developed a Pavlovian response to couches in that, when he sees one, he automatically poops behind it. Just yesterday, while on one of my routine couch checks, I was all SHIT SHIT SHIT! Somebody get me some tiger blood, Adonis DNA and the drug called Charlie Sheen. YOU’RE GOING TO KICK THIS HABIT, OLIVER, AND BE A WINNER. No ifs, ands or buts about it. Everything after “but” is dial tone anyway.

And Oliver was all Would you mind sitting down while you’re having a psychotic break? I need a lap. I’m exhausted.

I leave you with the post I wrote soon after we brought Ollie home, about my first impressions on raising a puppy.

Happy Sunday, everyone!



First impressions on raising a puppy

(originally published March 9, 2010)


What in God’s name was I smoking when I agreed to this?

Whatever it was? I’d like some more, please.

Having a puppy is almost like having a newborn baby, except that my boobs are not engorged and I can’t shoot my uterus across the room by sneezing.

A newborn baby is easier than a puppy because newborn babies come with diapers.

Puppy diapers are truly an excellent idea. Someone go invent them. Thank you.

I’m worried people are going to think I shrunk a real dog in the dryer.

You can turn a tiny, happy puppy into a furious, demented hyena simply by placing him in a crate.

If you’d prefer a screeching, rabid, pissed-off, psychotic hyena instead, one who acts as if his testicles are being french braided and then pureed in a Cuisinart, place that tiny, happy puppy in a crate and then walk out of the room.

I will never take another shower in peace and quiet.

I don’t remember what peace and quiet sounds like.

Puppies keep your feet warmer than fleece slippers.

There is something to be said for unconditional love that doesn’t come equipped with an I HAVE NOTHING TO WEAR! WHEN ARE YOU GOING TO DO LAUNDRY? OH MY GOD, I CAN’T WEAR THIS! MY LIFE SUCKS gene.

Puppy breath smells like ass. With infected hemorrhoids.

Dog food and treats don’t smell much better.

I thought I’d never meet another mammal who could produce ten times its weight in pee within a 24 hour period without benefit of a raging bladder infection.

Puppies are mammals, right?

Puppies are softer than clouds.

Puppy poop looks like milk chocolate covered pretzels.

Puppy poop on cream carpet looks like dark chocolate covered pretzels.

My carpet is scared.

I am scared.

I now know what it feels like to have my own personal stalker.

I did not think it was possible to love any living thing like I do my own kids.



Weekend regurgitation: Oliver

Oliver turned one on Friday which means in dog terms, I’ve been cleaning up poop behind our couch for seven years.

I am exhausted.

To celebrate this milestone, Zoe and Helena got him some chew toys and I got him a buzz cut. Because nothing says Happy Birthday like getting a Brazilian with a pair of puppy shears at PetSmart.

The girls have been advised that from now on, if they do not brush Oliver once a day to avoid matting, they will be sporting the cue ball look this spring as well. And somehow, I don’t think it’s going to look as cute on them as it does on their six pound, formerly furry brother.

But as cute as my little canine Kojak is now?

It’s nothing compared to this, back when he was mistaken for Bret Michaels by a really drunk, half naked bombshell last summer.

In my defense, I was really thirsty. And it was really hot out. And ever since my twenties, I don’t handle my liquor well. Can’t say much about the bombshell part other than I’m a legend in my own mind. Also delusional.

I leave you with the post I wrote last year right after we brought Oliver home. Happy birthday, Ollipoppers!

And happy Sunday, everyone!




(originally published March 8, 2010)


We brought Oliver, our eight week old shih-poo puppy home last Friday. Or, I should say, we brought Ollipops home, as he was dubbed by the girls and me within five minutes of crossing the threshold into our kitchen.

We are smitten, to say the least.

However, Nate is strongly opposed to the Ollipops moniker, believing it detracts from Oliver’s masculinity.

I think you could strap a machine gun belt on Oliver, wrap a spiked collar around his neck, tattoo naked ladies and skulls all over his body with the requisite I LOVE MOM on his bicep and throw him on top of a Harley and he still wouldn’t look masculine.

Do puppies even have biceps?

He’s tiny, not much bigger than our remote. He’s basically two pounds of fur with eyeballs and a bladder the size of a shrunken, dried up pea. Pun totally intended.

We gave him a bath in our kitchen sink the first night and we had to keep a tight grip on him to keep him from swirling down the drain because without all of his puffy fur, he shrunk to about the size of a macaroni noodle. Next time I will bathe him in a colander, just to be safe.

He’s doing surprisingly well with the potty training. I don’t have time to count up all the accidents he had inside the house the first couple of days because Zoe’s high school graduation is two years away and I don’t want to miss it but suffice it to say that I think Oliver got the hang of it sooner than we did. He did not have any problem peeing outside. We, on the other hand, had a recurring problem determining whether he had, in fact, peed outside or was he just screwing with us, out of some misguided notion of alpha status? Because I’m all about the alpha and at one point, I may have screamed I’VE GOT 850 STRETCH MARKS AND CELLULITE AND CAN COOK CHICKEN 101 DIFFERENT WAYS, BUSTER. I’M THE ALPHA, I’M THE ALPHA! and he may have replied LOOK AT THE POOR HUMAN IDIOT! I COULD DO THIS ALL DAY! but I couldn’t say for sure.

Oliver is pretty low to the ground and covered with poofy fur. There is very little clearance for unobstructed pee sightings. The ground was already dirty and wet with the thaw so feeling around for fresh pee was not an option and can I just get a THANK GOD for small favors? Because I don’t like to feel around for bodily fluids, I don’t care how cute you are.

Oliver hadn’t made it obvious yet as to how he intended to announce the imminent arrival of his pee: squatting, lifting his leg or holding up a billboard with I’M PEEING NOW. PAY ATTENTION emblazoned on it in neon blinking lights, which was our preferred choice. Everything we read instructed us to not stare at him while he peed because apparently, a dog is not unlike a certain human whose urinary tract will curl up into a fetal position and crawl right up into her esophagus where it will grow roots and cause her to burp incessantly until she can be absolutely certain that no one within a five mile radius will think she is performing something as disgusting as *whisper* tinkling.

What? Like your bladder doesn’t run screaming out the window when someone walks by the bathroom door? Or pulls onto your street?


This left Zoe and me taking Oliver to go potty in his snow blowed potty area late at night, illuminated only by a 60 watt bulb on the back of the garage and a flashlight. We averted our gaze and pretended to be thoroughly engrossed in our neighbor’s basement windows while peeking at Oliver out of the corners of our eyes. I tried to hold the flashlight steady and aim it at Oliver’s nether regions. This is surprisingly hard to do when you’re shaking from the frigid cold and facing in the complete opposite direction.

Through the night, Zoe and I had what amounted to the same conversation over and over ad nauseam:

  • Did he go?
  • I can’t tell. I think he did.
  • How can you tell?
  • I can’t. I’m being optimistic.
  • My eyes are cramping.
  • Go potty, Oliver! Go potty! Go potty! Go potty! Go potty!
  • Keep it steady, I can’t see anything! Aim it over here.
  • We need a bigger flashlight.
  • Is he squatting?
  • Yes! YAY! Wait. UGH. No. That’s not his bottom. That’s his head. They look exactly the same out here.
  • I think he’s eating the grass.
  • Are you sure?
  • No.
  • Wait! He lifted his leg!
  • Why did he fall over? Do you think he has balance issues?
  • I don’t know and I don’t care. JUST GO ALREADY.
  • OK. Just feel it.
  • Feel what?
  • It! See if it’s wet.
  • What do you mean, “it?”
  • You know! IT. Down there.
  • Oh my God, I can’t believe you just said that. Isn’t that against the law or something?
  • Not in my world. Besides, it’s either that or we freeze to death. Which is it going to be?
  • I’m not feeling his business! You do it!
  • Ooooh, no, no no … if you recall the contract you and your sister signed in order to get the puppy? Article 28, section 12, subsection 12-b specifically states that you, the undersigned, will supervise all matters of waste elimination, including feeling his business. Nicely put, by the way.

By Sunday, Oliver decided to squat as he peed and now it’s pretty easy to determine when he has done the deed and if there’s any doubt, I just make my girls feel him up because that’s what good moms do to instill a sense of personal responsibility in their kids: make them eat their veggies and grope puppies.

Never have I been so grateful for the physical composition and aromatic nature of poop.



Dear Santa, can I please have a shiny new elf to hump for Christmas?

Dear Santa,


*lick lick lick lick lick lick lick lick lick lick lick lick*

*sniff sniff sniff sniff sniff sniff sniff sniff sniff sniff sniff sniff*

*jump jump jump jump jump jump jump jump jump jump jump jump*

*hump hump hump hump hump hump hump hump hump hump*

How are you? I hope you are well and chubby. I weigh six pounds! How much do you weigh? Please say hi to the elves. And the reindeer! And Rudolph! And Jesus! HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JESUS!!!! I LIKE YOUR BEARD.

I like yours too, Santa!

*sniff sniff sniff sniff sniff sniff sniff sniff sniff sniff sniff sniff*

*lick lick lick lick lick lick lick lick lick lick lick lick*

Jesus is really old. So are you. My birthday is January 7. I’m going to be one! If my mommy doesn’t stuff me and use me as a door draft stopper by then.

I like barking! And running in circles! And barking! And humping fuzzy pillows and my squeaky hedgehog! What do you like to hump?

Is Mrs. Claus squeaky?

*sniff sniff sniff sniff sniff sniff sniff sniff sniff sniff sniff sniff*


*hump hump hump hump hump hump hump hump hump hump*

*jump jump jump jump jump jump jump jump jump jump jump jump*

I have been a ginormous pain in the ass very good boy this year. I am forgetting learning how to potty outside. I’ve been forgetting learning this for an eternity a long time. It’s fun to learn!

I pee sitting down. Mommy thinks this is weird but I don’t know why because she pees sitting down too. I know because I follow her but only until she screams asks me to get out of the goddamn bathroom.

Do you pee sitting down?

*sniff sniff sniff sniff sniff sniff sniff sniff sniff sniff sniff sniff*

In the summer, I liked to go outside eleventy times a day and chase butterflies and sniff all the different blades of grass and bark at everything nothing.


That was me barking! I can make your ears bleed without even trying! Yay!

*hump hump hump hump hump hump hump hump hump hump*

*sniff sniff sniff sniff sniff sniff sniff sniff sniff sniff sniff sniff*

I don’t know why Mommy doesn’t like nature. I think it’s awesome! And now all the nature is covered with snow! Yay! I like to play in it and make big yellow circles in it with my business. But I don’t like to poop in it. Yucky. I like to poop behind the couch. Where do you like to poop?

*jump jump jump jump jump jump jump jump jump jump jump jump*

*sniff sniff sniff sniff sniff sniff sniff sniff sniff sniff sniff sniff*

I hope you’re coming to our house this year! My mommy and sisters bought a stocking for me but I intentionally and with great malice accidentally ate it and I don’t think I was supposed to. I hope they buy me another one. Mommy said something about pigs flying. I think she meant reindeer, don’t you? Mommy’s probably confused. That happens a lot sometimes.

*lick lick lick lick lick lick lick lick lick lick lick lick*

*jump jump jump jump jump jump jump jump jump jump jump jump*

Can I have some new toys for Christmas? Ones that don’t squeak, please, for the love of God. I like to rip all sorts of things that don’t belong to me to shreds with my fangs chew my toys and now they’re getting oh-my-god-it-smells-like-corpse a little worn. And Mommy doesn’t like it when I play The Lion King by myself and stalk the garbage can and go all Animal Kingdom on used pad and tampons.

*sniff sniff sniff sniff sniff sniff sniff sniff sniff sniff sniff sniff*

*lick lick lick lick lick lick lick lick lick lick lick lick*

Smells like bacon!

OH MY GOD! WAIT! Can I have some doggie snacks too? Mommy doesn’t like it when I hop into the big plastic jug of pretzels from BJ’s in the morning eat pretzels.  I’m not sure why. I mean, Daddy leaves them open on the couch every night for me because he never listens to Mommy. And they make me poop a lot!

Thank you, Santa. I love you!


*jump jump jump jump jump jump jump jump jump jump jump jump*

*lick lick lick lick lick lick lick lick lick lick lick lick*



P.S. Mommy says I should ask you for some new, industrial strength bowels that are manufactured so as to not release their cargo within a twenty foot radius of anything remotely resembling a couch. Gosh, I hope I got that right. Those sound like big, important words.

P.S. #2: Mommy says I need to promise not to pee all over the floor like a psychotic garden hose when I see you. Or anyone.

P.S. #3: Mommy says to bring a new throw rug for our front door, just in case.

P.S.#4: I just peed.

*lick lick lick lick lick lick lick*



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