All Our Children Meow and Woof: February 2007

All Our Children Meow and Woof

I created this blog to sort through my emotions as Finnegan, a great Irish Wolfhound, fought bone cancer for nearly 26 months. Fortunately, his battle subsided for many months and during the course of the 26 months, I shared stories about his feline siblings. On August 8, 2008, Finny passed on in my husband's and my arms. He fought the good fight and he will always have a special place in my heart. *If you have a question, please write me at finnegandog at gmail dot com.*

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Three Legged Irish Wolfhounds Taking Over!

If you might recall, I introduced you to a lovely Irish Wolfhound who had the same nasty cancer as me and had the same leg amputated! Yikes! Anyway, she now has her own blog called Breeze Baby (3 legged Irish Wolfhound). She only started it this past weekend and I think that is pretty cool! Welcome to the doggy blog family Breeze!

100th Post and Don't Mess with my Finnegan!

Emma's post today was quite apropos. This blog is fairly harmless and not particularly confrontational. Although I am sarcastic and at times, judgmental, I try not to hurt people's feelings. Today has not been a great day. I was up half the night coughing and now I feel crappy. At work I raced around getting things done that should have been done a week ago. When I looked at Finnegan's latest video, I noted a new comment. Usually, the comments are kind and talk about the viewer's love of Irish Wolfhounds or what a neat dog he is, etc. This time, I found a comment that said to the effect: you don't feed your dog enough bitch.

Wow. I looked at the video again and thought, well, yes, he is on the slim side being HE HAS CANCER AND ALL. Then I thought, oh my god, am I not feeding him enough? I know I give him six to eight cups of food a day (if he has any more, he becomes fatty Irish Wolfhound) and three small treats but maybe this person is correct? *Insecure Insecure Insecure*

Then I realized the following:

  1. You cannot see his ribs in person and he has always had a slender figure. Unlike me. Go figure.
  2. I feed him the recommended amounts and adjust it if I think he is getting too much or too little.
  3. He just finished chemotherapy three months ago; he is not going to be as bulky as he was before treatment.
  4. This anonymous poster called me a bitch so that tells me he is immature, mindless, and rude.
  5. There is this nice little feature called the delete function where I can remove the comment.
  6. Possibly it could have been sarcasm but since I don't know this person, it is not appropriate considering the blood, sweat and tears I have given Finnegan as he has fought and continues to fight for his life.

So, I realized I should not be insecure when someone I don't know criticizes me, Finnegan is fine and is loved by his family and his blog family, and the delete button is something special.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Just Another Quiet Sunday

As usual, the humans, kitties, and I are having a quiet Sunday. Mummy and Daddy let me sleep in until 9:30! Ahhhh! Those weirdos usually get up at six. I just don't get it. Personally, I need my beauty sleep! This morning was especially quiet after breakfast and I slept another two hours. It's rough, I know. Please wipe the tear from your eye. We'll make it through this tough time together.

At around 12:30, Mummy and Daddy came back from their run and took me out back to play! Oh yes, it sounds exciting, sure. Mummy, Daddy, Me. . .and the mentally disturbed deformed psycho cat. You know, the orange cat with extra toes who is all sweet and nice one minute and the next...BAM! He tries to rip my face off. Precious little darling, isn't he?

We went out back for a little fun time. Of course, Daddy had to bring the compost out, which smells soooooo delicious. Mmmm, drool is forming at the corner of my mouth as we speak. Initially, Mummy did not allow Donald the Royal Craziness outside because she saw a hawk swoop into our neighbors yard. If I had to make a bet on Donald versus a hawk, I would pick Donald. He is one scary [bleep]. Once the bird flew away, Donald joined us. Oh joy.

Here is what is not fair. Since it has been warmer out, the top layer of snow is somewhat solid and crunchy. That means when I step on the snow, I sink right down. Being a tripod, that makes walking a little tricky although I realized the faster I go, the easier the trek. Okay, and here is what is NOT fair, Donald can delicately place his little paws on the snow AND HE DOES NOT EVEN SLIGHTLY BREAK THROUGH THE SNOW. SEE! I told you. No fair.

And wait, there is certainly more. For some reason when he has had too much "outdoor time", he becomes psycho kitty and attacks whatever is near him. This could be shrubbery, the fence, or my humans. Today, it was me. He gave me the old one-two and made a hideous screaming noise. Daddy promptly picked him up and brought him inside. That ended our outdoor time. Since then, Daddy is grading homework, Mummy is sewing, and the kitties and I are napping.

All is right in my world.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Mindless Saturday

It's the ridiculously juvenile things in life that amuse me. My sister sent me this. Thanks Lorizzle!


Andreerah! (What my nephew called me when he was two to four years old)

2. YOUR GANGSTA NAME:(first 3 letters of real name plus izzle)


3. YOUR DETECTIVE NAME:(fav color and fav animal)

Honestly, I like cats and dogs equally so either Red Cat or Red Wolfhound

4. YOUR SOAP OPERA NAME:(middle name, and current street)

Godfrey West (I live on a numbered street so that part seemed silly...). I guess I would be a male soap opera star. Hmmm.

5. YOUR STAR WARS NAME:(the first 3 letters of your last name, first 2 letters of your first)

Amian. I imagine I would be part amphibian.

6. YOUR SUPERHERO NAME: (Your 2nd favorite color, and favorite drink).

Green Chai

7. YOUR WITNESS PROTECTION NAME:(parents middle names)

Ann Charles *yawn*

8. YOUR GOTH NAME:(black, and the name of one of your pets)

Black Donald, Black Finnegan, Black Shrimpycat, Black Lilly, or Black Mr. Stinny. I think Black Lilly is the most goth because black flowers are deep.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Finnegan Friday

Yes, I am handsome.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Random Thoughts Wednesday

How can Dateline still being doing the series "To Catch a Predator?" Perhaps NBC should change the name to "Evolution at It's Best: Catching Dimwitted Perverts". Also playing last night on ABC 20/20 was a show about half-siblings in a romantic relationship. Hmmmm, I see a Tuesday night theme on T.V.... I watched Nova on PBS instead.

What is stronger than an eleven pound, ten inch tall, blind cat? Not me when attempting to cut his nails. That boy has some serious wrestling maneuvers.

If you live within a ninety mile radius of Northeast, Pennsylvania (it's a town in Northwestern Pennsylvania - do you see the irony? Those Pennsylvanians are clever, I tell ya, clever!), check out Rahal Farms. A Lebanese family owns this farm and grows everything from from nuts to cherries to peaches. The farm will be ready to sell produce on or about June 25. Last night, the daughter cooked a fantastic Lebanese feast at the Whole Foods Cooperative and for members, it was only five dollars. Wow. And did I mention it was fantastically delicious?

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

It's Not Easy Being Donald

At any time, in any part of the house, Donald can hear the back door opening and will push his way out of the house. Although Donald is an "indoor cat", he is allowed outdoor visitation. Typically, he ventures outside on warmer days in the company of Finnegan and Prof. H. and/or me. He is never unattended and when the excitement becomes too overwhelming for him, and he starts hissing at shrubbery, Donald is returned to the comforts of a warm house.

As you are aware, we have more snow than we know what to do with it. We thought of making an army of snowmen around the parameter of our backyard to intimidate the neighbors' yippy dogs. Yes, on both sides of us we have dogs who think barking is their God given right at any time of the day for any reason for as long as they want at a decibel and pitch that could cause convulsions in folks susceptible to seizures. Of course, building these snowmen would take time away from other things I enjoy such as thinking of reasons why I should not bulldoze my house.

Back to Biggy D, the Donald, Donny Boy, Biggy Paws. This past Sunday, I took Finnegan out back in hopes of taking some pictures or videos. As usual, Donald managed to sneak out with us. At first when he stepped his delicate wittle pawsies outside, the snow was packed and he did not sink down. When he reached the fluffy snow, down down down he went. The snow was higher than his head. He howled at me like I had the nerve of creating this sh*t and how dare I do this to him and why did I not warn him of this inconvenience!!!!! "Damn you human! You will rue the day you made me suffer so!" he must have been thinking.

Being the warm hearted animal person I am, I told him: "Tough Donald. You wanted out. You deal with it". I think I heard him grumble under his breath and he headed under the deck where there was little to no snow. Eventually, I brought him inside but I think this picture captures him complaining about how rough he has it:

Sunday, February 18, 2007

My Movie!

I realize this movie has no action but you can hear me bark! Because I rarely bark, it was an exciting moment for Mummy to save it for all to listen. Make sure you turn your volume on!

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Irish Wolfhound Barking

Turn up volume if you want to hear what Finnegan sounds like when he barks!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

My life is on track

After a pretty terrible 2006, I think my life is finally back on track. I foresee 2007 as a great year. A year that will make up for the heartache (Finnegan's cancer diagnosis), bone breaks (my wrist), and the uncertainty of where my professional life was heading. As of January, I felt like I remained in a deep rut. Nothing would change. I was stuck. Depressed. Tired. Fed up.

And then. And then things changed. Life improved. It became less bleak. Professional stability and a sense of belonging arose. Rather than feeling like a tremendous weight on my chest could cease my breathing at any moment, I am smiling. And laughing. And finally, relaxed. I can see light at the end of this very dark tunnel. I see joy where the was none. I have found acceptance in my profession. Children in my future.

Peace and I have found each other. At last.

Deep Deep Snow

You doggies (and hamsterrriers!) would not BELIEVE how much snow we have here! It keeps snowing and snowing and snowing. Last night, Mummy AND Daddy got their cars stuck and had to be pushed through the deep mucky snow. That does not sound like fun! It's good that I am a big tall Irish Wolfhound. Would you believe the snow comes up almost to my chest? And I am about 38 inches (about a meter) tall at the shoulder! That makes for some tough walking for a three legged boy. Luckily, Mummy and Daddy shovel a path for me to do my, ahem, business outside.

Now that the snow storms are finished for a while, it is COLD. Not just cold but really REALLY cold. Ouch! It is 9 degrees Fahrenheit with a minus 10 degree windchill. That is minus 12 Celsius without the wind and minus 24 with the wind.

Enough about the weather. Things are going well for me. I am doing really well going down the stairs but I still need a little assistance going up the stairs. And when I say assistance, I mean bribes. Nice tasty peanut butter treats. Mmmmm, the drool is slowly dripping out of the corner of my mouth. Mmmmm. Treats. Okay, where was I? Oh yeah, stairs. I take after Mummy and I am not exactly the most graceful doggy in the world so stairs have never been my forte. Now that I have three legs, I do not have the confidence to do the stairs like I did before.

This is how it goes:

  1. Hop one foot up on the bottom stair.
  2. Look up the stairs longingly at Mummy.
  3. Get off the bottom stair and try a running start.
  4. Hop one foot up on the bottom of the stairs.
  5. Attempt to get up the second stair.
  6. Decide #3 was not fast enough.
  7. Get back down and do running start even faster.
  8. Get up two stairs.
  9. Wag tail because of this great accomplishment.
  10. Realize lost momentum and whimper.
  11. Mummy cheers and encourages me, and a waves a treat at me as a bribe.
  12. Get down the two steps and do a really super fast you can barely see me moving I am so fast running start.
  13. Make it up the stairs.
  14. Receive treats and applause for my valiant effort.
  15. Relax with Mummy and Daddy.

So there you have it. Like I said, I have never been good a stairs and neither is Mummy, she falls UP the stairs (Editor's Note: My receptionist knows when I am going up the stairs because she hears me tripping. And I wonder why my nickname is "Grace"). I do make the effort and I can go up the stairs. It is just not as easy as it used to be. Plus, I have been spoiled and Mummy usually takes me around the house instead of using the stairs. In houndsight (get it? houndsight? hindsight? sight hound?) she should have made me do the stairs earlier on. Oh well.

By the way, what on earth is going on with the television show Lost?

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Project 365

Somebody lurves me.

Happy Smoochy Day!

I hope everyone has a very happy Valentine's Day!!! Make sure your mummies and daddies give you tons of love!

If you are anywhere in the eastern half of the United States, stay warm! Don't go outside for too long. Make sure if you get salt and ice in your paws that you make your humans wash them really well.

Much Finnegan loves sent everyone's way!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Busy Busy Busy!

Mummy is busy wheeling and dealing.

I'm busy...napping, eating, and.....that's about it.

Updates to come soon!

Friday, February 09, 2007

All You Can Eat Finnegan Buffet

Last night, Mummy started making dinner and so I decided to join her in the kitchen. The menu consisted of vegetarian tacos and guacamole. Huh? Can anyone explain why my Mummy and Daddy don't eat meat? So weird. Anyway, I am at the PERFECT height to reach things off of the counter. No need to jump, put my paw up, or anything! I am chin level with the counter and of course this makes for easy grabbing. While Mummy cleaned the dishes, I noticed something that smelled won-der-ful on the counter in a grocery bag. Mmmmmm.... So while I thought Mummy was not looking, I carefully reached up and started pulling the yummy goodness toward me. I thought I almost had it when I heard:

"FINNEGAN NO!" and the delectable and delicious treat was snatched away. What's with that? So what if Evil Cold Mummy had already given me two treats specifically made for dogs. So what if I already had dinner. I WANTED THAT ITEM!

And can you guess what that item was? The item I so desperately wanted?

A whole avocado.

Thursday, February 08, 2007


Holy Sh*t! Last night as I drove home from work, I noticed flashing lights of one of the local university's police cars (actually an SUV) behind me. It seemed like they were trying to get through so I tried to pull over the best I could. As I waited for them to pass, I noticed they were not even trying to get around me.

I wondered, what the hell? Did I do something wrong? Do I have a light out? Did I run the light? That is just what I need in my life at this very special moment, a ticket from our very finest. And a university cop, no less.

Well, I realized I was NOT the target of their flashing lights. While watching them in my rear view mirror, I saw two plain clothed detectives race up to the Jeep behind me and one of them pulled a gun (I think) and pointed it into the car. The passenger was dragged out of the car and thrown against the car! Finally, I realized I should probably get the hell out of there. I think my heart did not stop racing until I got home ten minutes later.

Initially, I thought this was my first time seeing a police officer in action, guns drawn, taking care of business.

And then I remembered Salt Lake City about six years ago. Prof. H. and I lived together, in sin no less, in a duplex next to an alley.

At three in the morning, we heard all sorts of commotion in the alley below our bedroom window.

Dammit, I thought. I have to work tomorrow.

When I looked out the window, I saw a circle of kids, probably college aged, watching a fight break out. A drunken loud fight right below my bedroom window. Thanks, jackasses.

We waited for it to stop. And waited. And waited. During this time, we thought we heard someone kicking in our fence. Finally fed up, we called the cops. The 911 operator told me that we were the fifth call about this incident.

Shortly after calling, a cruiser arrived and we could hear the crowd breaking up and running off. Except for the Genius. Oh no. Genius stood his ground. No WAY was he going down without a fight. By this point, we were wide awake and decided to take in the show. We peered out our second story front window for a front row view of the action. If I had the time, I would have popped some popcorn for the ultimate gawking experience.

As I said, Genius would not give up. He stood on the sidewalk wielding a very dangerous weapon. Perhaps it could even be described as a weapon of MASS DESTRUCTION. What was it? A Tiki torch. Seriously. One of those light weight bamboo party torches you pick up at Fred Meyer or Albertson's on sale for $5.00. He meant business fer sure.

An officer, who I believe had his gun out, shouted "PUT DOWN THE STICK!" or something to that effect. He shouted this several times.

Genius kept asking in typical drunken slurred speech: "WHO CALLED THE COPS? I WANNA KNOW! WHO CALLED?"

Prof. H. and I crouched down a little further when we thought Genius looked up in our direction.

Finally, after this brilliant interaction, he dropped his deadly party weapon and the cops threw him to the ground. Of course, on our front lawn. At this time, Genius was blubbering like a baby and shouting incoherently about some girl. Wah wah wah.

Eventually, he was taken away in the cruiser and Prof. H. and I were able to return to bed.

Ahhh, the excitement I witness...

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Finnegan's Long Distance Friend - Breeze

This is Breeze, another gorgous Irish Wolfhound, the night before her surgery. Such a sweet girl!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

My Hometown

Emma is my hero today. She wrote a good post about the development of Erie and how the city and county council members could learn a thing or two from smaller cities like Burlington. I posted the world's longest comment giving my two cents. Long story short, I think Erie should consider two things, if they want to listen to me. Emma's post provided the impetus to put my possibly grandiose ideas down on paper (or I guess cyberspace).

First, because Erie has a huge manufacturing workforce that has been laid off, consider drawing in companies who are interesting in building alternative energy sources (like wind power, solar power, etc.) and environmentally friendly materials. I realize Pennsylvania is supposedly an expensive place to manufacture goods but why not invest in a beautiful region and set an example of making a Rust Belt City into an Ecologically and Environmentally Friendly City.

Second, Presque Isle is freakin' gorgeous. Lake Erie is an enormous asset. Now that GAF is leaving, let's look ahead and make plans to beautify the waterfront. Burlington's waterfront used to be an eyesore before the city and state made a concerted effort to redevelop it with a boathouse, restaurants, a fabulous bike path, a theatre, and many other assets. For more information about the Burlington Waterfront, check it out here.

I don't know if it is the coffee or what but I was completely giddy when I saw "Burlington, Vermont" on my Google reader. Must. Get. A. Life.

Project 365

At the time this photograph was taken, the temperature felt tropical.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Fa Fa Freeeezzzzzzzzzzzinnnnnnnnggggggggg

Brrrr does not adequately express how I feel when I go outside, although I tolerate the cold better than Mummy does. Brrrrrrrr..... I have my suspicions that Mummy and Daddy secretly moved us to the Arctic Circle and failed to inform me.

Because it is so cold, Mummy wants to put her North Face down jacket on me. I disagree with this plan. First, it would not fit around my big strapping Irish Wolfhound chest. Second, I would look absolutely silly, and black really isn't my color. I'm more of an autumn color palate. Finally, it would confirm our neighbors' suspicions that Mummy really is a little crazy.

Those who live in warmer climates, i.e. places that are warmer than 20 degrees Fahrenheit, PLEASE SEND WARM WEATHER OUR WAY!

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Frosted Goodness

Erie might be cold but it certainly can be pretty.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Waiting to Have Two-Legged Human Speaking Children?

We are reaching the point in our life where having children will be forth coming. At this time, we (Prof. H and I) agree that we are not ready financially and professionally to have them. I think it makes sense to wait to have children when we are both settled into our careers and we have a nice little nest egg just in case the worst happens. Plus, I having a human speaking child is EXPENSIVE! An acquaintance is just weeks away from delivering and she received some pretty scary news. She could go into labor six weeks before term. Besides all of the medical problems that could arise, she and her spouse are not yet ready. They are waiting to purchase some furniture until after the baby shower. That makes sense. Baby cribs, changing tables, and rockers all add up. Not to mention diapers, clothing, wipes, and who knows the other limitless purchases they will need to make.

We have been criticized for deciding to wait to start a family until we are financially sound. It is not as if we have an unrealistic goal of "financial stability" or we have not marked an approximate figure that we wish to reach. I believe our plan is sound, realistic, and responsible. Although our future children can go to a fantastic university for a fraction of the cost, I would like to have a college fund if our children attend graduate school. Fortunately, my parents paid for my siblings' and my undergraduate education. However, I paid for my graduate education and the cost was astronomical. I envision Prof. H. and I in a nursing home still writing checks to Sallie Mae. Certainly I do not want my children to face the same insurmountable debt. If the cost for higher education does not change, I cannot even imagine how anyone could possibly afford it.

So there you have it. Expect in a year and half to hear that Attorney McBitchy will become Attorney McPregnant. God/Goddess/Whoever helps us all. My mother already said she will be moving to Australia when I am pregnant if that gives you any idea of what a pain in the arse I will be!

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Meet Mr. Stinny! The Kitty Who Likes to Talk


I know, I know. We have been saying that we will post a new and improved movie of Finnegan. And we will. Unfortunately, by the time I get home from work, it is too dark to film. I say "film" like I am Martin Scorsese. And I can't film because I have had too much to drink. Just kidding! Maybe if I did drink before filming, the video would be better...

I thought I would DEFINITELY have the opportunity to make a little film featuring Finnegan. However, it will be in the teens if not colder this weekend. So, I might wait a little longer until the weather cooperates. Neither Finnegan nor I want to spend too much time in the cold.

Instead of showing a Finnegan video, I will likely share a video of his feline sibling, Mr. Stinny. Stop back soon for Mr. Stinny's big debut.