fAngus and Ragnar · Minerva

Of Puppies, Canine and Human

This post is for you, Ron: as of today you’re in the blog.

The man I’m seeing (I’m 43…the struggle for appropriate labels might be silly, but “boyfriend” seems oddly not-quite-accurate…and I’m likely overthinking it anyway) has a horde.

(Yes, I know you’re reading this and you are decidedly a horde. I’ve been there at dinner and during Minecraft demonstrations.)

Since they’ve given me appropriate social media names to use, for now I’ll call them: Dr. X (14), Butterflies and Ron (11, twins), and Siplex (9). I’m 100% certain I don’t get some of those names, but whatevs. I believe I’m not out of line by using he/she/she/he pronouns, although they’re welcome to direct me to do otherwise when I see them at dinner tonight.

This is the same 14 year old who called me old the other day, followed by accusing me of being 32. THIRTY TWO! I love that kid. He’s fucking awesome. All four of them are fucking awesome. They’re creative, funny as hell, kind, and full of energy in ways I wish I still had. I have a whole new source of paintings (Butterflies) and animation (Siplex) and history facts (Dr. X.) and writing (Ron). They’re a constant surprise and I love how they look at the world.

Seriously, I hit the goddamned jackpot.

Ok, I’m done now (and no I’m not sucking up. I don’t need to suck up when I’m the one bringing pizza).

Perhaps to the lasting regret of their father, the girls in particular love my pets. Ron is more than a little obsessed with Minerva (Minerva approves of this), and has been pushing hard to get a puppy (or maybe just a dog in general…I’m unclear on that point) in their house.

Minerva gave me a lovely series of cleanup activities today, so let’s have a quick reminder of the perils of puppy-ing. Last summer I increased my household with an obnoxiously cute Great Pyrenees puppy on my birthday. No, it doesn’t matter that I got her on my birthday, other than the timing worked out that way and I rather enjoyed that she was my excellent furry bday surprise. Minerva began her residence in my house as a cotton ball with eyes and feet (and a disturbingly innocent seal-face). As such, Minerva got away with most of her naughty behaviors out of sheer adorability. Including the lack of sleep a person gets for the first year or so of puppies (as I understand it, that’s applicable to canine and human varieties).

The innocent face of an unholy terror.

Honestly, this is how most children survive, isn’t it? They’re so damn cute you can’t really be mad too long. I mean, I was a teenage girl once, and I likely shouldn’t have survived my mouthiness unscathed, but I did. I’ve apologized to my mother more than once since I turned 19 and realized I was a jerk in high school. Anyway. I lost a lot of sleep since Minerva joined my house.

Minerva is now 9 months old, and nearly 80lbs. We still have issues with potty training (by “we” I really mean “she and occasionally Ragnar”, not me…just for clarification I am fully potty trained), some of which I suspect may always be an issue simply because of how she spent her first 6 weeks, crammed in a filthy kennel with the rest of her siblings. My carpet pays the price (you’re welcome, carpet cleaning companies), because unlike most dogs she doesn’t consider her “den” (the house) a place you don’t use as a bathroom. But even if she was perfect about housetraining, all dogs go through the same sorts of illnesses skin puppies (that’d be human children for you non-dog people) have. There’s random puke, blood, upset bellies, and accidents throughout their lives. But they’re cute and loved and there you go: messes are just part of pet ownership.

As she’s grown, Minerva’s serial killer side has come out. Yesterday I found a monkey’s paw on the floor, so I’m probably doomed now.

TWO. TWO monkey paws! 100% certain my house is now cursed…
The unfortunate victim of dismemberment. And some evisceration. I haven’t found his other missing limb yet. THIS IS MY LIFE.

Then, this afternoon, I went downstairs after a longish work call to let both dogs outside. They like to nap in the library, so it wasn’t too weird that they weren’t in my office with me. I should have known better: silence for pets and toddlers is a disaster.

Recently I discovered Minerva likes to nap on a folded up blanket on the floor. So, being a KIND AND GENEROUS pet parent, I bought a couple dog beds last time I was out.

Fool. I am a fool.

Now, my library is a modern-art installation of dead pillow innards ripped out by a death dealing fluffball.


I looked her in the eye and said “WHAT IS THIS, MINERVA?”

She responded by flopping on her back and showing her belly, like “I know I was naughty but it was SO FUN MOM and aren’t you proud of me for not eating any of it and I totally killed that pillow monster you brought into this house for you, YOU’RE WELCOME.” For the record, it is possible that Ragnar did this and is blaming his sister by pretending none of it happened at all. I should probably install cameras if I’m going to be certain, but they won’t help clean it up anyway so the point is moot.

She’s a master at completely unacceptable attempts at manipulation with cuteness.

Hi, I know I’m not supposed to be on the bed, but look how cute I am and aren’t you proud I can jump this high?

I’m not saying sharing my house and my time with furry monsters has been bad or would be a bad idea…I’m just saying there’s a lot of work and attention and peripheral duties that come along with them. I can’t imagine my life without at least one dog or cat in my house, though, even when I’m cleaning Minerva’s morning poopcident before I’ve had coffee.

I have no good way to end this post, so I’m going out with a Ragnar pic, because he came up while I worked on it and fussed until I took his picture, which he hates and immediately pouted over.

“Is that a camera? REALLY?”
“I hate you with the fire of a thousand suns, mom. But you feed me chicken treats and snuggle when I want to, so I’ll just ignore you for a while instead of murdering you in your sleep. That’s fAngus’s job anyway.”

PS: Ron, there are way too many parentheticals in this post. Do not use this as an example of good writing. Just sayin.

5 thoughts on “Of Puppies, Canine and Human

      1. j’accuse! (I don’t actually speak French and I’m pretty sure I used that wrong?) Look!! MORE PARENTHESIS! I have a problem, obviously.


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