France and other autistic dogs

Well, I got hooked this week.  Drug of choice:  1st season of Big Love on DVD.  Never knew polygamy could be so entertaining!  And damn if Bruce Dern doesn’t get weirder looking every time I see him – kind of reminds me of Nick Nolte’s mug shot – crazy/strange.

My parents are leaving today to spend 3 weeks in France beret_monet_selfpor_lg.jpgand I must say I feel a bit apprehensive about the 70 year olds going off on their own like that to Europe.  Not that they’ll be completely on their own, but you never know what can happen.  Anyway, they’ve left their neurotic dog with me, which they do when they travel.  Her name is Daisy, but I call her Crazy Daisy because she’s just that strange.  If an animal can be autistic, she’s the poster dog for it.  Taking care of Daisy is easy because she stays in her kennel a lot, usually only coming out to eat and pee. 

Daisy is perpetually on a diet and mom has special food for her, which she doesn’t eat at my house.  Coco eats the regular store shelf stuff – Kibbles ‘n Bits – so when Daisy’s at my house she ignores her low fat foot and goes straight to Coco’s bowl to chow down.  This pisses Coco off, so I end up feeding them both the high octane food.  Daisy, however, loves her other diet food – green beans.  Mom brought several cans of green beans this time and this morning I tried to feed Coco some.  Green bean in mouth, green bean promptly spit out of mouth.  Coco looked up at me with a “what the fuck was that??” look on his face.  I laughed and said “You know, Crazy thinks this stuff is good.”  Coco walked off and I could swear he was shaking his head as if to say “Crazy.  You can say that again.” 

Poor Coco, he gets soooo excited when Daisy comes over.  There is much greeting and smelling of backsides and general romping until Daisy hightails it to her kennel and Coco is left alone to wonder if Daisy will ever be just a normal dog he can actually play with.  There are moments though, especially first thing in the morning when the dogs go outside for morning constitutionals, and then again when they come back into the house, when there is much running and general dogginess.  Coco thinks it’s great fun to chase Daisy outside, and then back in again – running at his top speed, ears back, black fur flying in the wind, chasing old fat Daisy back into her kennel as fast as he can.   It’s near impossible to take Daisy for a walk.  Everything scares her – wind, noise, other dogs, children.  She prefers to stay in her “safe zone” and I’m happy to accomodate I guess.  Poor thing, though, what a scary life she must lead.

As you can see, taking care of my mom’s dog is pretty much a piece of cake. 

Anyway, here’s hoping for a good trip for the parents – who can’t speak a word of French although they practiced and practiced with their CD set they bought.  Dad swears the French speak in a secret language that no regular human can understand.  I’m sure they’ll be quite entertaining for the actual French-speaking people, or maybe they’ll come back and actually be able to ask where the bathroom is in French, albeit with a Midwestern tang. 

Here’s to berets and Monet!


15 Responses to “France and other autistic dogs”

  1. 1 V- August 3, 2007 at 7:57 am

    So Daisy is actually real? I’ve been over to their house quite a few times but have never actually seen this “Daisy”. I’ve seen the kennel but I’ve never heard a sound come out of it. I’ve always assumed that Daisy was your mom’s version of Harvey.

  2. 2 observantbystander August 3, 2007 at 8:08 am

    V – Harvey! That’s what we should call her. Yes, she’s real and she’s agaraphobic. I have a cat like that. Nobody ever sees her but the food disappears.

  3. 3 poseidonsmuse August 3, 2007 at 8:24 am

    OB – Daisy sounds like a funny little dog – I guess “she” can be Coco’s “pet” for a while! Your parents should have a great time in France too – they should be able to pick up phrases of some meaning (as long as they don’t put the words “couchez” and “mangez” together….everything should go smashingly great!!!).

    “Ou est le salle de bain, s’il vous plait”? (Now how’s that for ten years of French….).

    Hugs. Have a great day!

  4. 4 poseidonsmuse August 3, 2007 at 8:26 am

    Crap!….”la”, “LA salle de bain” damnit……(apparently, not so good…)

  5. 5 observantbystander August 3, 2007 at 9:21 am

    And all I can say is oooh la la! Julian’s girlfriend tried to coach my mom (also a Francophile), with limited success.
    Donde esta el bano? All I can do is Spanish.

  6. 6 V- August 3, 2007 at 9:41 am

    I took french for two years in high school but the only french I remember is thanks to Christina Aguilera…

    “Voulez-vous coucher avec moi ce soir” I don’t see you parents using that one…except to each other of course.

  7. 7 Deb August 3, 2007 at 12:36 pm

    Je suis une vampire!

    Yes, I made a friend teach me how to say that. I took 2 semesters of french not too long ago, and I listen to some french music, so I can pick out words here and there. conversation? not so much!

    But, rest assured, you don’t need to know french to travel in france. We’re so spoiled, us english speakers! (and I mean that in both the best and worst possible ways) The best thing to know in any language is “do you speak english?”

    When I traveled in France, I spoke German pretty well, but I couldn’t even count to five in French. (though thanks to the montessori school i went to for preschool, i could count to 10 in spanish and sing “brother john” in french. lol) I found people to be really nice and helpful, as long as I said “parlay vouz anlgaiz?” I’m sure they tried not to laugh at my manglation, but hey, I managed to do okay!

    Your parents will do great.

    My mom turned 70 on Tuesday, and she was like “I expected to feel so much older than I do at 70!” They’re in great health, really, and active and I shouldn’t take that for granted, I guess. But if they went off to France, I’d lecture my mom “take plenty of bandaids! You always get blisters the first day you travel, and you never have bandaids!” And that would be about the extent of my worry. I’m not sure if that makes me a bad child! I’m so uncaring. 😉

    Daisy sounds like a trip. As long as she’s happy, right?

  8. 8 observantbystander August 3, 2007 at 12:44 pm

    Deb – Thanks, I was really apprehensive about this trip for them. They’ve traveled extensively throughout the US and into Canada, but this is their first off-the-continent experience. Mom is especially worried about things but was happy to learn that she could use her email there! (Hey mom, it’s not called the world wide web for nothin’!).

    Daisy seems pretty happy in her little world. I see a bit of a spark when I let her out after dark and she can mole-hunt to her heart’s content. Whatever it takes.

  9. 9 observantbystander August 3, 2007 at 12:45 pm

    V: Oh heavens! I didn’t think my parents did that anymore. Not a picture I like to have in my head! Eeeewwwww.

  10. 10 pradapixie August 3, 2007 at 1:29 pm

    Parlez vous francais? oui, tres bien….That’s it almost my entire French knowlegde and I’ve been going over there for holidays for years. So I’m sure your parents will be fine. Especially if they try and speak French, cause the French respond better even if your accent is awful.
    Hope Daisy settles down… or maybe comes out of herself may be better, at least for Coco


    Pix: Ha! I learned how to freaking edit comments! Just now! (OK, ok. Calming down. Better, better. There. Deep cleansing breath. Done.) Thanks Pix – Yeah, I imagine the old doddering parents will do well in France. They’re in a group FULL of people anyway, so they can’t get lost or anything. Daisy came out of her kennel tonight and interacted (briefly).

  11. 11 writerchick August 3, 2007 at 9:52 pm

    Oh poor crazy Daisey. She sounds like a neurotic little pooch. If you want to have some fun you could play hide the kennel with her. You know, set it up in a different place each day – then she’d have to sniff it out. But don’t make it easy for her, hide it under dirty laundry – behind the trash cans – or lean it against the wall with the door side in. I’m evil, I know. 👿

    WC: Ah yes, I have considered that and would do it if I wasn’t afraid it would send her into a tailspin of depression that she may never recover from….Last year I was sitting for the dog and accidentally left her outside all night. I never told my mother, thinking she wouldn’t notice the dog’s newfound reticence in leaving the house. I think she noticed something was amiss however. I have noticed that I practically have to drag the dog outside now. She pretty much distrusts me completely, but I’m trying to win her over with extra helpings of green beans.

  12. 12 Bella August 4, 2007 at 3:16 am

    OB, how nice that your parents have this opportunity; hey, maybe you’ll get some good souvenirs out of it 😉 I’m all about the presents! Ha! Ha! Ha! I don’t know French, I don’t know Spanish, but I do speak presents — let me know what they bring you 🙂 Very sweet of you to take care of their pooch too, I’m sure that means the world to them!

    Bella – Presents! I’ve asked her to bring me a scarf. I said NO BERETS and NO EIFFEL TOWER EARRINGS! They said they’re not bringing any wine back – which floors me since they’re such wine fanatics. Oh well. Maybe they’ll surprise me and bring back the Mona Lisa.

  13. 13 Paul Baylay August 5, 2007 at 4:40 pm

    What a great tale… Just slowly working my way back through your previous posts. I have a lot to catch up on. 😀

  14. 14 Anthony North August 6, 2007 at 8:07 am

    Hi OB,
    I’m new. Is it alright to abbreviate?
    Don’t worry about your parents. It’s even better than asking, ‘do you speak English?’ All the French words of importance were absorbed by the English language anyway.
    I blame the Normans.

  15. 15 observantbystander August 6, 2007 at 8:18 am

    Anthony: Welcome! Those dang Normans. I’m assuming things are going well for the folks since I haven’t received and SOS or anything yet. Their dog is depressed though.

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