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Posts tagged ‘dogs’

My Afternoon Snack

Last year, when I was a broke philanthropist instead of a broke waitress, I spent a year leading youth on volunteer projects for various nonprofits. This was an absolute blast. My job was basically to be cheerful, make sure the work got done, and that no one was bleeding. Or to administer proper care when someone did bleed. The previous leaders said they never had to break out the first aid kid. Me? Almost all of my summer projects involved a boy who said he was a Parkour champion in Australia. It was only halfway through the summer when I could predict he was about to do something and successfully stop it. I wasn’t there he dived into a creek and broke his arm but I was around when he did somehow cut his foot open in a kiddie wadding pool.

This kid does not matter to my story but he was at the volunteer project I’m about to talk about, and I will probably be telling stories about him until I die. I mean not everyone is an Olympic swimmer who owns several snow leopards, is related to all my favorite actors, and won a donut eating contest at the Irish Festival the same night I was there, even though I didn’t see the contest, but everyone knows that the Irish are synonymous with donuts.


It was the volunteer project I drew the short straw on. I was at an animal shelter with a majority of youth who were 11, and two teenagers that acted like they were. Our main duties were separating newspaper pages into two columns, removing staples from said pages, and stuffing envelopes. This is not a normal project, but we make an exception for this agency because the kids get to play with cats for thirty minutes at the end and operate a big shredder. The shredder is for the papers, not the cats. Secretly, I still thought the perks weren’t enough to make the project interesting, and the kids not secretly and very loudly agreed with this.


It was right after lunch and playing games when we were on the second half of sorting papers. This was the period when cat time was so close but still not upon us, and they were still silly from their break and dreading more newspaper work. At junctures like these the job of the team leader is annoy kids to death with peppiness, conversations, and riddles while they complete their mind numbing tasks. I was surprised how much kids love riddles, and how bad they were at them, but they weren’t having my distractions that day.

We worked in a cramped office with four other people and the kids were trying to find anything more interesting than newspaper pages to occupy their time. One child’s eyes lit up, or at least lost their glassy, bored look, when he spotted a box of desserts on the table. He asked our volunteer coordinator for one of the cookies he discovered. We were at an animal shelter, the cookies were little grainy yellow circles, and the box they were in had bones drawn on it. She offered him one and when all the other kids started shouting “eww!” he cottoned onto what they were. The volunteer coordinator snacked on one and asked if anyone else wanted one. The kids thought this was the grossest thing they’d ever heard. I know because they said so loudly and a lot for a very long time.

The treats came from a special dog bakery, a really cute store that my poor dogs will never experience because holy crap it is expensive, called Three Dog Bakery. I have no idea if they are national or not. Many of treats are made with ingredients that humans normally eat. The only difference is that the flavoring is not what we’re used to because the dogs don’t need it. So she explained that while they will taste different, it was just like eating any other cookie but the sugar and a few other ingredients were missing.


The kids still thought this was the grossest thing they ever heard. The dog treats were perfectly edible for humans, one kid originally wanted one, but no one would touch them even though they were all offered. Having them labeled as a dog treat was too repellant, and they could not wrap their mind around the fact that humans were welcome to eat them. They were “dog treats” and they couldn’t see them as anything else, even the kids that were curious weren’t going to admit that to the others and be labeled a dog biscuit eater for the rest of the summer.


When she turned and asked if I wanted one, I immediately nodded and popped one into my mouth. If it is a cookie and I am allowed to eat it, then I will eat it. I don’t even understand how there is another option. They were gross though. I need sugar. All the kids stared slack jawed at me and waited for me to sprout a tail and start barking or something. For the record, the weirdest thing anyone ate that summer was a live roly poly.

I suppose my point is that, when I walked into my aunts living room today eating a cookie shaped like a sheep, I was not all that horrified when I was informed that it was a dog treat. When I bit into it, it was kind of dense. However, it was also adorable and it had frosting and what looked like coconut shavings. I was told to help myself to anything in the fridge. It was in the fridge.

I did end up giving most of it to my dog. I chipped my tooth a month ago (and massively freaked out over it) so once I learned it wasn’t just a hard cookie and was meant for dog teeth, I shared. I did scrape most of the frosting off it though. He wouldn’t have appreciated it and I definitely did.

I tried to explain my summer story to my family, and that humans could eat these treats, but it was very hard to hear me over the laughter. See, that’s a true family. They got over being grossed out extremely quickly so they could get to the mocking. My mom started barking at me. My eighty two year old aunt joined in. My mom asked “How could you do that… No Nicole, how could e-w-e do that?” I wondered why they were keeping dog cookies in the fridge. My mom retorted with, “You weren’t even drunk!” They. Could. Not. Stop. Laughing. Even when my mother would say something incomprehensible, she would just recover with, “well at least I’m not a dog biscuit eater”. They kept saying woof woof. I turned to my mom and said we should probably leave and pretended to get up.  My mom shook her head. I sighed and relaxed back into the couch. “Good girl”, she said.



It’s that time of year when I walk into a new place and suddenly start sneezing. Multiple times. In succession. I don’t have one of those tiny, cute, girl sneezes that sound like a puppy, or a bunny, or some other small adorable animal sneezing. It’s more something like this:

I keep sneezing because I have allergies now. I developed them a couple years ago. They come and go rather suddenly. I almost forget I have them every year until I need to break out the Benadryl for a couple weeks. I don’t even know what I’m allergic to or why it started. These are the possible reasons I’ve considered so far:

Age: I went for 18 years without allergies, how is it fair to suddenly develop them? I guess it’s like anything with getting old, but I am still protesting. My body is a conformist and has to get worse as it gets older instead of becoming more awesome or taller or something. I’ve heard other people say that they experienced adult onset allergies too. That it happened just as suddenly as mine did and it doesn’t go away. Yay.

Location: Kansas normally has an increase in mildew and ragweed this time of year. The amount of pollen also does… stuff. I have no idea what I’m talking about. I can never figure out what I’m allergic to or if it has to do with where I live or not. I’ve been told that Kansas is bad for allergies because of– stuff. But I can never remember what that stuff is.

The Lords Will: However, I think we’re on good terms.

Change of location: I first got allergies the summer I returned from my freshman year of college. My uncle says it’s because I’d never lived anywhere else before. As you might be able to tell, I have no idea how allergies work so I can’t tell you if this is a valid theory or not.

Genetics: Neither of my parents are particularly prone to allergies but as I’ve often alleged, I got the worst traits from each of them. My father is a respectable 5’11’’ but I got my mother’s 5’1’’ height (which I round to 5’2’’). I don’t look anything like my Mexican mother but I do resemble my pale father who burns easily. So I’m sure their combined DNA could figure out a way to give me terrible allergies even though they’re both fine.

I’m Cursed: No. Too Melodramatic.

Pets: If it was them, I figure I’d be allergic to them more often. And I’d be screwed anyway because I wouldn’t get rid of the dogs.

Besides, who would get rid of that face? Well, someone did. But we aren’t letting him go that easy.

I do realize that other people have allergies that are a lot worse than mine. I generally complain once when it starts, start taking my Benadryl, and wait it out. Plus, this blog post gave me an excuse to post a picture of my dog. And he’s adorable.

In other news, I was a rock star at being semi-productive today. I got some writing work done, did my laundry (and put almost all of it back in the proper places!), and am getting closer to moving into my new apartment. The highlight of my day was when I discovered a diet plan that proposes because our genetics are relatively unchanged from how they were thousands of years ago, we should eat the same food our prehistoric ancestors did. My mother always pretends she’s dieting so I told her about this. Her response was, “You mean like dinosaurs?”

Cooking Again

When I first became a vegetarian, I received a vegan cookbook to use. I was determined to make every recipe and start cooking more. I think I made about three things. And I added cheese to every recipe, but otherwise I tried to stick to the instructions.

This was a challenge anyway because I am not a good cook. The first problem I encountered was the book. It was nice. And by that I mean it was fancy and expensive. I needed sea salt, fresh herbs like basil and thyme, vegan butter, and okay maybe I substituted a lot more than cheese. I used whatever I could find in the house and I thought it would be alright when I was making wraps once. I made the wrap by scratch and I used regular salt instead of sea salt. In the exact same measurement. It was so salty I couldn’t even pretend to enjoy it for more than too bites. I think it was a little chewy too because it took my dog a whole minute to eat it. He sat there determinedly chomping on the wrap but it didn’t look like he particularly enjoyed it either.

Now, I’m cooking again. This time I started easy.

Pre-bought dough and cut up fake hot dogs


I don’t always use meat substitutes but these fake pigs in a blanket were pretty good. My mom was grossed out by the idea of fake hot dogs but even she had more than one. The dog didn’t get anything this time though.


Are you a good cook? What is your best dish?

One Step Closer To Moving Out

So, my parents are moving. They aren’t making progress. Part of that may be my fault. I can only manage to keep everything off my floor for a few days at a time, or at least it’s after a few days that I realize that somehow all of my clothes are on the floor again. Or are still on the floor. I’m not really sure. I’ve been told that people who look at the house aren’t allowed to snoop in our stuff so I plan to throw everything in my dresser and nightstand as soon as we have an open house. It’s the same strategy I employ when we host family gatherings. There are also a million little details I don’t even notice that are apparently essential to selling a house. Okay, I get why we redid the laundry room. It’s been torn up since we tried to keep our first dog in there overnight. Re-grouting the tile floors are the current project and I can’t say I ever even noticed anything was wrong with them to begin with. Or why we needed to paint certain ceilings again. Or why the house can stay bright yellow but my room had to be painted a different green. I feel like I’m living in a Girl Scout Uniform now.

I don’t really get anything that’s going on with the sale of the house. Right now it looks like I’ll be moving out before they sell the house. I am trying not to focus on how much rent I could save by staying a couple extra months. Instead, I am reminding myself how excited I am to move. And I am so thrilled. Not with the actual moving process but I want an apartment, added costs and all.

I went apartment hunting for the first time on Saturday. I realized two things. One: I should not do important things like find an apartment hungover. I went through most of it in a daze and I spent all the time between apartments sleeping. This is the awful KU games fault, so maybe the solution is for them not to lose anymore. I don’t think I asked the right questions, not that I would have known which questions to ask anyway, and I was very lackluster. But as long as they didn’t know I was actually hungover maybe they preferred that to someone who seemed rowdy. The second thing I realized is that I should not be apartment hunting. I didn’t know the right questions to ask and I didn’t care. I wanted somewhere cheap and clean. I know there are tons of apartment horror stories, but I can live almost anywhere and I’m not picky. We’re in a safe area, its a convenient location, and we might be getting a cat. What more do I need? Sophomore year our suite living room had a hole in it. Right in the wall by the door. I kind of liked our weird eyesore because it showed how truly crappy those suites were. One of the parents fixed it though, and we got a fine for that at the end of the year.

We went to the cheapest apartment and I pretty much made up my mind. It wasn’t as fancy as some of the others but it was cute, it had enough room, and it was way cheap. Its my roommate who is more discerning. She was also more hungover. She missed apartment hunting all together and I can’t say she missed much. However, I did heavily plug my favorite place and even she was pleased by the price. On the bright side if my parents are still here when I move out I can come over and visit my dogs. As cheap as I am, they’d still be the main reason I came over. Maybe I’d eat some of the food when I’m over but I’d still play with them more.

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