Sunday, December 25, 2011

Ozzy's Countdown: 366 Days Until Christmas 2012!

Ozzy's Christmas 2012 countdown includes the extra day of leap year, thus the number on the post's title. He had such a blast today he cannot wait until Santa's next visit to our home. The trail cameras he set up in the living room caught glimpses of a red fur coat, but the "real" evidence is the stash of doggie toys he discovered under the tree. Ozzy and his canine cohorts played all day with few breaks. I never thought I'd hear the end to all the sqeaks due to a constant assault on the chewy critters.

All four Min-Pins are resting in the recliner this evening. Ozzy is already thinking of items to place on next year's Christmas list. I told him no matter what he wanted, delivery would depend on whether he is naughty or nice. This prompted Ozzy to clean up the toys that earlier were scattered all over the room. It is a step in the right direction, but I am betting it won't last long. Ozzy likes playing too much, thus being good will get old fast.

As Ozzy lies sleeping in my lap, his jerking motion indicates he is dreaming, and from the words he is mumbling it is certian the subject is Santa Claus, or at least I think so. The words "eight" and "deer" have been repeated several times, which lead me to believe he is thinking of eight tiny reindeer... or one eight-point deer.

Is it possible?... Nah! He couldn't be thinking of deer hunting... could he?

Thursday, December 22, 2011

"Daddy Got Game"!

Two days before Christmas eve finds Ozzy and I watching the MAACO Bowl Las Vegas. It features a contest between Boise State and Arizona State. College football at it's finest. Just as we got settled in to our recliner, Boise State took the opening kick-off for a touchdown. Ozzy went ballistic, and his fever pitch excitement has not diminished at all.

About the time I think there is nothing to prevent me from enjoying a peaceful evening watching football with my canine pal, the wife enters the picture and sends me out to the car to grab a couple of bags for her. After filling my arms I returned to the front door and started up the stairs and into the house. Unfortunately I caught my foot on the second step. Momentum took over from there, and I fell face first into the doorway with my bag-filled arms crossing the threshold. I landed with a violent thud, unaware that Ozzy was watching. I looked up from the floor just in time to see him raise his front paws into the air and scream "Touchdown"!

Yeah, he's still excited.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Making Preparations for Santa Claus!

Ozzy's first Christmas with us is turning out to be quite an affair. Everything he has experienced from watching Christmas movies to mailing his list to Santa continues to build his expectations for December 25th. It is fun watching him count the days until Santa drops down the chimney, and he is determined to obtain footage of this rarely seen event.

As much as I have tried to convince Ozzy that if he is awake and watching Santa will not show up, he has devised a plan to get Jolly Old Saint Nick on video. Showing him pictures of Santa has failed to deter Ozzy from his idea of rigging our living room with a trail camera. The viewfinder will be aimed toward the side of the room where our tree and woodstove sit. Ozzy is particularly interested in seeing the Big Guy squeeze through an eight inch chimney pipe.

Since he is determined to proceed with his plan, I am seriously considering offering Ozzy glimpses of red and white fur so his little imagination might wreak havoc on him. It would be similar to the partial photos of "Bigfoot" seen on documentary channels. The only problem may be that Ozzy's obsession would graduate from mere footage to actually setting a trap to catch Santa Claus!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Ozzy's Christmas List!

I recall searching frantically through the JC Penny and Sears catalogs for items to place on my list to Santa Claus. I figured since it didn't cost me anything I could load St. Nick down with a sleigh full of loot. One year I had over thirty toys, and very few were cheap. It became necessary for my parents to intervene and force me to minimize my list so other kids could receive something for Christmas. As it turns out, like father, like dog.

Ozzy submitted his list this morning, and it is so elaborate one would think we had climbed the corporate Christmas ladder. It contains some sensible items, but most are absolutely ridiculous. Ozzy can't shoot a basketball, so that's out. There's also no need for Santa to bring him a chainsaw, and until this morning I was unaware Ozzy could drive an Audi R8.

At this moment we are going through his list and repeating what I went through with my parents. I can't begin to describe Ozzy's expression, but he's got his arms folded and his lips poked out in a disgruntled posture. He'll get over this, but a few chew toys and squeaky critters is all he needs. This will teach Ozzy not to be so greedy, and it will make room in the sleigh for the individual who is actually going to receive the sportscar.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

"Identity Crisis"!

I loved serving in the Army, and the permanent damage to some of the discs in my back are a daily reminder of my time in service. I do not regret it for one minute, but I experience some degree of discomfort every day. Although it is important to maintain a positive attitude, some days are more difficult than others. With the addition of a headcold the last few days have been less than jovial.

Ozzy noticed this change, and he doesn't understand what has happened. He has made attempts to cheer me up. He has tried jokes, dancing, singing, and even suggested another motorcycle ride (we all know how the last one turned out for him). Finally Ozzy thought of the one sure thing to get me in a better mood... "The Polar Express"!

Of all the movies in my collection, the "Polar Express" is one of my favorites. It doesn't even have to be Christmas to watch this flick. It is great any time of the year. Ozzy suggested we watch it on the plasma screen. Normally this is all it would take, but my response was less than enthusiastic. Shocked, Ozzy jumped into my chair and stared up at me for several minutes before he finally asked "WHO ARE YOU?"

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

"Mountain Dew Snowman"!

Call me a Christmas fanatic, but I get it honestly. My parents taught us to enjoy special holidays with family and friends, and to go all-out when celebrating this festive time of year. It takes some time do accomplish, but placing lights and decorations inside and out is a real pleasure, especially after the work is done.

One of my yard decorations is a self-inflating pair of snowmen on either side of a Christmas tree. Two days ago I noticed one of the snowmen looked as though someone shook a can of Mountain Dew and opened it next to him, thus spraying him good. Small yellow droplets were all over the poor thing. I cleaned it off, only to have them reappear the next day. I soon discovered why. Apparently my dog Ozzy has decided to make this snowman the southwest boundary of his territory.

It ain't like we don't have any trees in the yard, you goofy dog!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Riding the Clothes Dryer.

If you follow this blog you know I am the one that washes clothes in our house. I would allow someone else to take care of this chore, but I am particular about the way clothes are folded. I have military life to thank for this.

This morning I was busy removing a load of clothes from the washing machine, and as I placed them into the dryer I noticed Ozzy's intense curiosity sbout the big square appliance. He asked me how it worked, so I told him about the circular motion the machine utilizes to allow warm air to dry the items placed inside. He thought it was really cool, and while I wasn't looking his inquisitive mind put his little body into action. Momentarily distracted by putting a load of dirty clothes into the washing machine, Ozzy crawled into the dryer.

When my task was done I turned on the washing machine, and then I closed the dryer door, set the timer, pressed the "start" button and headed toward the living room. Within a few steps the dryer sounded like it was coming apart, and I heard a loud yell coming from inside. I rushed back and quickly pulled open the door. Ozzy tumbled out of the dryer on a pile of clothes and landed with a thud on the floor. He gathered himself, looked up at me and said "Let's do THAT again"!

I guess the washing machine's spin cycle is next!

Friday, December 9, 2011

"The Russians Ain't Coming... They Are Here"!

Occasionally I share Ozzy's blog stats with him. He loves hearing that people all over the world enjoy his silly behaviour, and hopes everyone has a good laugh. Bringing a smile to our readers is what we do, whether at home or in other countries. As I was going over the various places from which people have read his blog, he perked up when I told him he received hits from Russia.

We watched a series called "Wild Russia" on one of the documentary channels. Ozzy asked me if I had ever been there. I have not visited Russia, but I did tell him what I knew. I told him it is the largest country on earth, a vast place with diverse climates. The Russians are a great and noble people with an incredible history much older than that of the U.S. They always send superior athletes to the Olympics. Oh, and the Russian Boar is one of the most aggressive animals on the planet(since I am a hunter I had to fit that in). When I think of Russia,the word "strong" is the most prominent term I could think of.

I told Ozzy as much as his mind could process, and he sat quietly for a moment, contemplating all the information I had shared with him. The silence was broken when Ozzy asked me if we could visit Russia someday. Without missing a beat I told him the Russian people have gone through alot throughout history. They have survived invasions, revolutions, and World War II. I just don't think they could survive Ozzy!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Ozzy's First (and Last) Motorcycle Ride!

I had to go to town, my truck tire was flat and the air pump didn't work. I pulled the cover of the ZX-14 and gathered my riding gear. Ozzy saw me preparing to go for a motorcycle ride, and pleaded with me to take him for a spin. I had a few minutes to spare, so I cranked up the bike, threw on my coat and helmet, snatched up Ozzy and we took off.

I got a few miles up the road and I could hear Ozzy screaming "Faster! Faster!" I turned off the main highway onto a side road, and brought the big Rice Rocket to a halt. I asked Ozzy if he was certain he wanted more speed. He said he wanted to see what this bad boy could do. That's all he had to say.

I buttoned up, leaned over, grabbed the trottle and with a violent twist we were off. The front tire came off the pavement as the rear increased our velocity. Houses were going by like fence posts. I heard Ozzy screaming again, and I thought he was having the time of his life... I was wrong. When we arrived at our home I pulled into the driveway and stopped the bike at the front door. Ozzy's front paws were dug into my jacket so deep I had to pull it off with him still attached. His eyes were blown so wide open he couldn't close them, and his tongue was wrapped around the back of his head. He attempted to speak and I barely understood his words, but I could tell he wasn't happy. I playfully asked him if he wanted to go the the doctor's office with me. I can't repeat his response on this blog. I think it was the final ride of the Ozzy Gang!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Emergency Surgery on Santa Claus!

Each year the Christmas decorations go into storage. This past year the mice found them and began an assault on the wires and knocked out Santa's lights. Most folks would replace their decorations with new ones, but I decided to perform surgery on our Santa go get him up and running. Good news to those who may be concerned, Santa came through his surgery and is back at work on our front lawn.

My dog Ozzy is still irritated at the mice and what they did to our electronic Santa Claus. I have assured him that rat and mice bait will be utilized in the building from now on. Ozzy says that isn't good enough, and he is planning something BIG for the mice. I discovered one of his "ideas" would take out a city block. If I do not keep an eye on Ozzy's project, World War III just might start in McDuffie County, Georgia.

Someday soon if you are watching the news and you hear of a storage building blown sky high, don't blame terrorists. Ozzy is determined to rid our area of mice permanently.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

"It Came From the Kitchen"!

During the fall Georgia, USA is known for mild days and cold nights. On those days the weather turns warmer than usual, the insect population will come out to play. During many of my hunting trips I have headed to the woods on a cold morning only to sweat on the walk out. This ebb and flow affects home life as well.

A couple of weeks ago we experienced another mercury rising, and the temperatures reached a balmy 76 degrees. Ozzy and I were taking a break from cutting firewood in anticipation of the next cold front. Apparently our resident pest population took the oportunity to enjoy the warmth, and as we sat on my recliner, a scorpion crawled from the kitchen to the living room threshold. Ozzy watched as the small critter sat motionless as if trying to decide whether or not to proceed in the same direction or turn back.

After a few minutes Ozzy lost patience, and being the inquisitive canine he is, decided to study this strange looking bug up close and personal. As he moved closer, Ozzy noticed the creature's tail curled up and pointed at him. Moments later my dog was nose-to-nose with the scorpion, and actually thought the whole showdown was somewhat humorous... that is, until he got popped on the nose. Ozzy yelped, grabbed the end of his snout, and retreated to the safety of the recliner.

I have never seen a cross-eyed dog, but Ozzy's attempts to stare at his new wound were funny, though he didn't think so. He spent several minutes rubbing his nose, and with a somewhat suprised expression asked "What did I do"?

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Bourne Ozzy!

After an evening of the "Bourne Trilogy" Ozzy is pulling his usual behaviour. He thinks he's Jason Bourne. It sure is interesting to watch him repeat lines and put himself in the same situations as our movie hero. That my dog is a nut is an understatement.

Shortly after the first blu-ray ran its course on the plasma screen, Ozzy screamed "I don't know who I am" (I could have told him that)! Just as we started the second movie my wife came from the kitchen with coffee for my son and I. Ozzy took the opportunity to spin a few more lines from a diner scene. "I can tell you the makes of both ATVs in the yard... I can tell you our waitress needs to bring ME a cup of coffee... I know that YOU can't handle yourself, and at this altitude I can eat two donuts before I have to come up for air. How can I know that, and not know who I am"?

This has gone on for two days now. Ozzy could probably write his own screenplay for a Bourne film. I am keeping my fingers crossed that he doesn't decide to blow something up. I really can't say much, though. It reminds me of my antics after exiting a theater following a Bruce Lee double feature.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

"Momma Can't Build a Fire"!

My dog Ozzy was complaining to me that his Momma's fire building skills are lacking. Our wood burning stove is the ticket for relief from the cold weather, but only one of us is able to sucessfully and safely get a fire burning in it. Ozzy's initial attempt would have probably set McDuffie County on fire, so he has been forbidden to try again.

My wife can do many things, but this is not one of them. Perhaps my teaching skills are lacking, since I was obviously uable to communicate proper instructions in basic firestarter skills. Poor woman thinks "match...check; wood...check; stove... check". Forget kindling wood, since she goes straight for the big stuff. Ozzy's constant harassment doesn't help matters either. They both question how one match can set an entire forest to burn, but they can't cause a fire to ignite in our stove.

Ozzy suggested that fire starting be pemanently assigned to me (thanks, Ozzy), since I'm so good at it. It makes me wonder what other chores have been sent my way in this fashion. If I fell off the planet, my family just might fall apart. Ozzy says one thing is for sure... Momma can't build a fire.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Ozzy: Worried About Johhny Depp!

I'm not sure of all the details, but I understand Johnny Depp nearly suffered a fatal plane crash. It sent shivers through my spine. Apparently this was a close one, and it has Ozzy shaken as well. A man realizes where he is on the calendar of life when the celebs he grew up with begin to pass away, Ozzy says this one would have been too soon.

Johnny is the star of our some of our most beloved movies. Many of my friends cut their teeth on "Edward Scissorhands" (no pun intended). Ozzy and I watch "Sleepy Hollow" at least once every couple of months. "Sweeny Todd", "Alice in Wonderland", and a great number of Depp's movies are regulars around here. Nobody in this household is ready for his demise, and Ozzy is especially glad it was not a fatal incident.

At this time we are stretched out on my recliner watching a Christmas movie on the plasma screen. Ozzy wondered what we would have done if we lost one of awesome as Johnny Depp. "I'll bet he is happy to make it home to his wife and children", Ozzy said. Then he huddled a little closer, looked up into my eyes and told me he wouldn't know what to do if something happened to me. Personally, I am certain our beloved actor is especially appreciative of life right now. Some have not been as fortunate.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

"Dog Nog, the Canine Christmas Beverage"!

My dog Ozzy and I have been trying to savor every moment of the season. We are still in the ritualistic process of decorating the house. He's still not sure about the invasion of the Santas, but he's getting adjusted to their presence. The tree is beautifully decorated, Ozzy has been working on his letter to Santa, and we have tried to catch most of the Christmas specials on the Hallmark Channel.

Ozzy pays close attention to details others might overlook. We have to be careful what we say around him, since he tends to repeat what he hears. Recently he has heard the term "eggnog" on several occasions, and his inquiring mind can't let it go, no matter how many times I change the subject. I finally explained the harmless version to Ozzy, and it sounded so good he wants to try some. I purchased all ingredients but THE one. Unfortunately Ozzy now knows there is a more "spirited" version of eggnog, and is determined that if we are gonna drink eggnog, it's gonna be "real" eggnog.

My feeble attempts to explain the downside to this practice has proven to be futile. Ozzy is demanding the doctored version of this holiday treat. We all know what coffee does to Ozzy, imagine what effect a special recipe eggnog will have on my furry little "wild child". In fact, he believes it is only fair that he be allowed to try his "dog nog". He says it's an equal rights issue... says if those nasty felines get their catnip, he should get his dog nog.

I may need to place a distress call to the Dog Whisperer.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Ozzy Says "Merry Thanksgiving to All"!

Earlier today we visited my sister and her husband and enjoyed fellowship and a Thanksgiving feast. My Dad and his wife were there, and the mood was real upbeat. We watched the annual Thanksgiving football game and played armchair quarterback and cheerleader at the same time. This time of year I seem to shine, and I try to savor each moment of the holiday season.

My dog Ozzy was excited to see us return, since he was told we would bring him some of the left-overs from our Thanksgiving meal. He and his canine cohorts were each given a helping of turkey with all the trimmings. Since this is Ozzy's first Thanksgiving and Christmas season with his new family, I have tried to teach him all I can regarding this special time of the year. He did not complain one bit about the Thanksgiving menu, and after he stuffed himself, he needed some assistance getting into the recliner with me.

After he got himself situated Ozzy was in a relaxed position similar to mine, and as we reclined together, he rubbed his tummy, gave a little sigh, and loudly proclaimed "Merry Thanksgiving to All, and to All a Goodnight"! Yes, he's still a little confused, but I'm working on it.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone. We hope yours was a special as ours!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

"These Dogs Ain't Right"!

Last evening we took my Father and his wife out to dinner. My younger brother and his little boy came up from south Georgia to spend some time with us, so we fed them as well. After dinner we ran an errand before heading back to the house. When we arrived home we discovered our dogs had a feast of their own. I just can't figure out how they did it.

We keep our dog's food in a plastic container with a snap-on lid and two latches that provide a secure seal. The container is kept in our kitchen pantry with the door closed. How these four small dogs opened the door, located and pulled the dog food container out and removed the lid is still a mystery. We received four different explainations. Of course, all four maintain their innocence, but all four are lying.

There has been a breakthrough in our investigation. Ozzy has agreed to testify under oath against the others in exchange for a lighter sentence. His initial story denying any involvement in the dog food mystery was extremely interesting. This new story will probably be downright entertaining... can't wait to hear it!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Church Break-in... Ozzy's On the Case!

Upon arriving at church this morning we discovered our building had been broken into by a thief. The perp took seveal items, though he left more expensive items, which I thought was strange. My dog Ozzy said he would investigate and solve the case if he knew what was missing.

Since he offered to help, I gave Ozzy a list of the stolen items. The thief forced a window open and took our copying machine, a small guitar amplifier, a microwave oven and the food from our refrigerator. Ozzy thought for a few moments, and in a manner similar to Sherlock Holmes he concluded from the missing copier and guitar amplifier that who we were looking for was probably an aspiring musician who needed the amp for his band and a machine to print copies of his lyrics to send to record companies. I asked him what the missing microwave and food items meant. Without a second thought, Ozzy said "Well, he's obviously a HUNGRY aspiring musician who needed the amp for his band and a machine to print copies of his lyrics to send to record companies"!

Who needs the Sheriff's Department when you've got Ozzy on the case?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

US Army Sniper School!

My dog Ozzy spends most of his adorable life in a good light. There are some days I feel the local dog pound could use another guest, but those moments are rare. For instance, we provide a loving home to four small min-pins, two of which are male. Although both have been "fixed" this does not prevent them from doing the old leg-lift in an attempt to show their appreciation (and ownership) of our home. Ozzy went too far recently when he became upset over his Daddy giving attention to one of the other dogs. Chrissy is a sweetheat, and although manipulative and extemely demanding, she is a joy to us as well.

On this ocassion Chrissy was lying on my chest trying to give her daddy some sugar, and I was loving each moment, of course. However, Ozzy did not like his daddy having another pooch steal his attention, and devised a scheme to demonstrate to the other three that I was "off limits" to any of them. He waited until I was outside to perform on of his leg lifts in order to mark his territory, which happened to be the back side of my recliner. I admit it was precision work with perfect shot placment. It took me a while to notice what and where he had perfomed this act.

Angry, I sent him outside, scolding him as he went through the front door. After cleaning up his accident, I went outside to call him in to discuss the situation. I called and called, and there was no response (there is nothing more useless than a dog who won't come when he is called). I started to worry as time dragged on, and thought for a moment he had run away. I was not aware that he was only a few feet into the woodline, lying low and blending in to his environment. It wasn't until I changed to a more friendly tone that he stood up from where he was hiding. I was impressed with his ablility to utilize cover and concealment as well as he did, and without proper military training. Any soldier would have been proud, as I would have been had I not been forced to scour the back of my chair.

To conclude, the pin-point accuracy of his little shot combined with his natural ability to hide from a former US Army Infantryman and Scout was so impressive I am considering taking Ozzy to a local Army recruiter and sending him off to Sniper School at Ft. Benning, Georgia. He definitely demonstrated his ability to live up to the Sniper moto, "One Shot, One Kill", although he is still "One Dog" who is in deep trouble.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Village!

Call me crazy (Ozzy sure does), but the fact is I love this time of year. Blame it on my upbringing, since my family raised us to enjoy the holiday season, from October to January, especially Christmas. Each time I put up the Christmas tree it reminds me of those wonderful experiences I had as a child. This year my tree went up earlier than usual, and though not yet decorated (that will happen sometime this week), I can still plug in and enjoy the lights.

My late mother gave me what I consider my favorite gift of all-time... a ceramic Christmas Village. Since I always admired her lighted miniature town, she felt I needed one of my own. Each year I display my village I think of my Momma, and remember the light she brought to my life. I still miss her very much.

On a more humerous side, last night I broke out the village and placed it on a table in a spot where I can view it from my recliner. Over the years I have added several pieces such as trees, a flying sleigh, and a variety of townsfolk that add a neighborly aspect to it. My dog Ozzy watched as I put each piece carefully in place (I must have looked like a kid playing in his toybox). There is even a dog, and I playfully told Ozzy it represented him. In fact, I talked the entire time as I put the tiny town together. When I was finished Ozzy told me I was short one piece to represent me.... he said "After all, every Village needs an idiot"!

Yessir... Man's best friend!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Santa's Early Practice Runs!

My dog Ozzy and I were watching "The Santa Clause" in HD on the Hallmark Channel earlier this evening. It reminded me of my childhhood and my family's annual trips to Ft. Pierce, Florida to spend Christmas with my paternal grandparents. We would load up in a station wagon and make the 7 hour trip, usually late in the day, and most of the trip would be after dark, thus there were few things to do to pass the time. My father often suggested we watch the sky for signs of Santa making "pracitce runs" in his sleigh.

Ozzy loves to listen to stories of my childhood, especially events such as Christmas. I told him we would spend hours scanning the sky through the car windows searching for the sleigh. Each aircraft with flashing red lights that crossed the night sky was identified as Rudolph with his bright red nose leading the sleigh. Those with additional white lights were identified as planes and eliminated as candidates. Ozzy was determined to give it a try, and although I felt it was still too early in the year, I allowed him to go outside and observe the night sky.

Several minutes passed, and Ozzy ran into the house with an excited expression. He said he had just seen Santa's Sleigh, and Rudolph's red nose clearly visible from our front yard. He went outside again to see if he could spot Santa a second time. Moments later he caught sight of the sleigh, and called for me to come outside and witness the spectacle with him I watched the craft move across the night sky, told Ozzy how fortunate he was to witness two of Santa's practice runs, and suggested we retire into the house. Ozzy insisted he be allowed to remain outside just a little longer so he could see Rudolph's nose once more.

A half hour passed without a report of another sighting. Worried, he came back into the house, and asked me why he wasn't able to see Santa a third time. Unable to answer to his satisfaction, Ozzy paused for a moment, and then asked " You don't think it's possible Santa was texting while driving and crashed the sleigh, do you"?

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Masked Min-Pin!

My dog Ozzy and I were watching a special on the Biography Channel about professional "Wrastling". Inspired by charasmatic figures such as Stone Cold, Andre the Giant, Hulk Hogan, The Undertaker, and Sting, it didn't take long for Ozzy to see dollar signs and fame within his grasp. He officially declared himself as the latest wrestling menace, "The Masked Min-Pin". Since every wrestler has a signature move, his would be simple but unique (I won't get into detail, but it is the posture a male dog uses to mark his territory). He says humiliating the opponent is important.

Ozzy figured his first match should be one in which he would prove to the world that he is a force to be dealt with. Now, if it was me, I would start small and work my way up, so as not to bite off more than I could chew. However, it's not in Ozzy's personality to take short cuts, so his first match was against our Alaskan Malamute. 115 pounds of Sled Dog vs 14 pounds of red furry.

I did not see the match, but it's outcome was predictable. On his next outdoor excursion Ozzy started irritating Aurie, and being the gentle giant she is, she played along briefly... until he tried his signature move. It was over shortly thereafter. I heard him squall, and by the time I got to the door, the "Masked Min-Pin" shot between my legs and headed for saftey, his pride wounded and his wrestling career over.

With his trash talking ability, Ozzy still might make a great promoter!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Growling at Santa Claus!

I spent several hours consolidating our exercise equipment into one area instead of having it spread out all over our house. In the process I made a command decision to put up our Christmas tree a little early. I also took the liberty of putting out two of our many Santa Claus figures. My wife says it's too early, but since I enjoy Christmas all the year, it is normal for me. Ozzy, however, is celbrating his first Christmas with us, and has never seen Santa up close and personal, and it's been ugly so far.

I prefer the old school Santa look, and one look at our numerous figurines leaves little doubt. I placed one Santa on a counter that looks out into our living room, and the other is on the DVD cabinet. Ozzy believes we have twin intruders, and has been on edge since yesterday afternoon. He spent two hours growling at these home invaders, teeth bared and the hair on his back standing straigh up. He tried to dial 911 twice. I was awakened last night by a sudden thud, only to find Ozzy on the floor next to a hunting knife. He had fallen off the couch trying to climb up to the dvd cabinet in an attempt to "open Santa up", as he puts it.

I find this hard to understand since Ozzy loves Christmas movies, but he's thinking there's a big difference between Santa being on the big screen than being in the living room. The threats resumed this morning, and he's been telling the two Kris Kringle dolls to be gone by sundown. This is going to take a while to explain, and I hope he learns quickly that Santa Claus is the good guy. Otherwise, when I break out the rest of our Christmas figurines, Ozzy is going to believe it is an all-out assault!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

My Dog the Bodybuilder!

Nutrition supplements are advantageous for several reasons, especially as they apply to athletes and aging adults. As we progress in years our body makeup changes due to diminished hormone and protein levels, thus a good quality multivitamin and protein supplements are essential. This evening my wife made protien shakes for Jake and I, and they were delicious. Ozzy got in on the act, and I allowed him to enjoy the last part of my shake. Looking back it would have been better had I not allowed him slurp the last of my protein supplement.

For the last half hour Ozzy has been running back and forth between the living room and the bathroom, posing like a body builder in front of the mirror. He claims his chest has grown, and he now describes himself as "ripped". He walked in a few minutes ago and asked us to check out his abs. He also believes his glutes are on par with Jean Claud Van Damme. Right now he's rifling through my P90X videos while trying to decide which workout he will do tomorrow. Now every mirror he passes he has to stop and stare at himself for long periods of time.

I thought I was just being a sweet Dad by giving him the last of my protein shake, but I believe I have recreated Conan the Barbarian. I'm not even going to mention the word "steroid", since he'll place an order from some doctor in Mexico.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Mystery of the Missing Boiled Egg!

Before leaving for work this morning my wife was preparing ingredients for the evening meal, which included boiled eggs. After the necessary preparations she began combining the items into her special blend, and realized she was short one boiled egg. "Who ate one of these eggs?", she asked angrily. It wasn't me, since my breakfast consisted of coffee and a Zone protein bar. My son Jake was already gone to school. Ozzy simply shrugged his shoulders. It seems no one ate it. My wife concluded she was mistaken, and cooked one additional egg for her recipe, then left for work.

It was several hours later before the missing boiled egg suddenly reappeared in a more sinister form. My wife was the first to catch the invisible invader... "Aw, c'mon guys!" she said. I was next; "Goodness Gracious, who did THAT?" I asked, covering my face with a blanket. Ozzy pointed at my son Jake, who swore upon pain of death it wasn't him. A house of mysteries... no body was responsible for the missing egg, and no one transformed the room into a contaminated environment that may be uninhabitable for the next month. Everybody was angry, somebody was lying, and we didn't know who we could trust.

It wasn't until evening prayers that Ozzy, in a guilt-ridden tearful confession admitted to the crime and spilled the beans... or, the boiled egg!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Spotlightin' Deer!

Earlier this evening put on a fleece overshirt, grabbed a flashlight, and walked down a trail in our yard that leads into our woods. A strong summer storm had uprooted a large oak tree, and I went to fetch a couple of logs I cut to split for firewood. Our property is next to a Wildlife Managment Area, and several of the deer which reside there walked onto our property to feed on acorns. My sudden intrusion caused the deer to stir, and I continued to hear them in the forrest as I split wood with my axe. When I was finished I walked into the house with an armload of firewood and told my family about the deer I encountered.

Shortly thereafter my dog Ozzy was busy collecting items from around the house. First he grabbed a camo hat, then an orange vest. I paid little attention to what he was doing until I saw him try to walk out the front door dragging large spotlight and a deer rifle. Of course I asked him what he was doing, and he answered very simply, "Going Huntin'". "Now?", I asked. "It's past legal huntin hours. You can't go hunting deer at night using a spotlight. You might get arrested." Ozzy responded that if I was at home kicked back in my recliner, that the Game Wardens were chilled out at home as well. "Besides, he said, we need Meat"!

Would someone please send Ozzy a copy of the Georgia State Hunting Regulations before I have to post his bail?

Thursday, November 3, 2011

It's The Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

My dog Ozzy is an action flick kind of dog. Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Highlander... as long as it has fights, explosions, car chases, and the like, Ozzy's your man, er, dog. The most important part of his favorite movies is good guys win, bad guys loose, and they all live happily ever after. Tonight I decided to play a Christmas movie, and Ozzy settled in, hoping to see Santa Claus, reindeer, and elves. However, this one was a Hallmark romance, and Ozzy groaned when I pressed play.

The flick stars Henry Winkler, and is called "The Most Wonderful Time of the Year". It contains a familiar story line... Boy meets Girl, but the Girl is already dating another guy. Unfortunately this guy is boring, and the girl's uncle, played by Henry Winkler, plays matchmaker. It is a good story with humor, tender moments, disagreements, and all the mushy stuff my wife enjoys. I was suprised my 17 year old son watched the entire movie and enjoyed it thoroughly. However, Ozzy, aka, "Mr. Attitude" was sure he would be bored to death, so he moaned and groaned through the first few minutes of the movie. He slowly began to change his mood, and sat glued through the rest of the story. In fact, by the end of the movie, Mr. Boring is out, Boy and Girl finally get together, and Ozzy was sitting back in my recliner, tears streaming down his little face.

This will be Ozzy's first Christmas with us. After he wiped his eyes with his tiny paws, he looked up at me and said "If I experience this feeling every Christmas, then it definitely is the most wonderful time of the year"!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Bigfoot Attack!

My dog Ozzy loves to watch Bigfoot documentaries and movies. His vivid imagination is much like that of a child, and matches his playful nature and constant desire for attention. The last few days (especially Halloween) brought a plethora of Sasquatch programs, so Ozzy and I watched most of them intently. Eyewitness accounts of such Bigfoot behaviour as growling, tree knocking, and throwing objects were apparently retained in Ozzy's memory bank.

This morning, after one of his bathroom breaks Ozzy came back into the house with tales of a Bigfoot attack. I laughed, which uspet him, since he swears it was true. Ozzy claimed he could hear something moving in the woods, and it was throwing objects at him. Thirty minutes later, after he begged to go back outside to investigate, I relented.

Ozzy returned to the place of the alledged attack as I watched from the kitchen window. Every few moments Ozzy would jump as if suddenly startled, and bark towards the woods. It took a moment, but I discovered the objects nearly hitting little Ozzy were acorns falling from the oak trees in our yard... and the movement in the woods were the resident squirrels making a ruckus. However, I dare not tell Ozzy, as it would spoil his adventure. I'll play along, since the time may come when I see Bigfoot, and need someone to believe me.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Burnin' Down the House!

Our family has been blessed by great friends during our lives, including those who have passed on. One of these is the late Lucky Dale Meissinger, an internationally renowned chimney sweep, if you can believe that. Lucky Dale accumulated a collection of wood burning stoves, and decided to give one to us as a gift.

We have enjoyed this stove every winter. It is the centerpiece of our home, and the warm glow it generates makes our home even more inviting. Our dogs love to lie in front of the stove and experience it's warmth on chilly days. Ozzy is especially fond of this fantastic source of comfort, and looks forward to my starting a fire every evening.

I had to attend a doctor's appointment today. The weather was rather cold today, and when I left the house was still warm inside. However, in due time the indoor temperature dropped, and Ozzy decided to try to start a fire himself. Rubbing sticks together didn't work, neither did using an entire box of matches. He finally got a bright idea, and I'm grateful I arrived home in time to intervene. Ozzy had dragged a gas can from outside up the steps and into the house. He found a blow torch in the tool shed, and was just about to unleash hell in our little stove. Five minutes later, and we would have probably checked into a motel this evening.

After I explained the safety issues, Ozzy promised to leave the fireplace duties to me, but he did volunteer to drive me to my next doctor's appointment.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Trick or Treatin'!!

We live way out in the boonies, it's dark and scary, and nobody comes to our house except the UPS Guy. Ozzy was determined to go trick or treating, and since he worked so hard on his costume, I took him to a local neighborhood. His costume was made from burlap sacks and grass, an idea he picked up from M. Night's movie "Signs". It took alot of time and imagination, but I believe Ozzy is the first person, er, dog, to ever go out on Halloween night dressed as a crop circle. So, the adventure begins.

The first house we came to a lady answered the door. She obviously was alive and well during the sixties as she took one look at Ozzy and said, "Oh, how cute... a marijuana patch". Ozzy looked up at me and shrugged his shoulders, but he did get some candy, said thank you, and set off to the next house.

The second house was occupied by a man who owned a landscaping business. He took one look at Ozzy, told him to wait a moment, and walked back into his house. A minute later he came out of his garage with a weedeater and chased Ozzy all over his front yard. This lasted several minutes until the man finally collapsed on his front lawn, the weedeater still running wide open. No candy obtained here.

In the third and final house lived a family who were obviously die-hard Georgia Bulldog fans. These folks had gone all-out to establish a spooky environment, their front porch dimly lit with blacklight bulbs for a desired effect. This caused Ozzy's costume to appear blue, reminding them of the color of Boise State's football field. They barked at Ozzy, and threw candy at him as they chased him out of the yard.

Ozzy jumped into the truck and asked if we could go home, like NOW. I asked if he wanted to try another neighborhood. I knew of one just outside of town where the folks were friendly. When I told him most of the people in this rural area were farmers, he adamantly refused. He said the costume he had on would probably remind them of "Children of the Corn". On the way home we stopped by WalMart and bought our own candy. "There's always next year", I told him. Ozzy looked up at me and said next year I will be the one to knock on the door.

Thursday, October 27, 2011


Here we are, my dog Ozzy and I playing on the internet, checking out his blog and my facebook page. The ocassional advertisments pop up on the grid, some are uninvited while others are inticing. One of the ads on my fb page caught Ozzy's attention right away. Now he wants to drive an Indy Car.

What would cause my little pal to notice this particular add? It wasn't the flashy cars, the specs of the engines, nor the speed with which they run. In fact, there wasn't an Indy car in the picture. Instead, it was the "who" that caused Ozzy's heart to race. I literally watched him melt into the recliner, loosing physical and mental control as if shot with a tranqilizer gun. The only word he could get out of his mouth sounded something like a "Wow".

You are probably wondering who could take a sophisticated pooch like Ozzy and turn him into instant mush. I don't expect you ladies to understand his unusual behaviour, but the guys will sympathize with Ozzy. The only face associated with Indy Car that can force men to make an appointment with their cardiologist to install a pacemaker is Danica Patrick. Yes, Ozzy saw her on a small fb add and fell head-over-heels in love with this racing beauty. Other than what I quoted earlier, he has not said a word for 15 minutes, which is probably best for now. It would certainly be difficult to carry on a conversation with a constant supply of drool streaming from his lips.

The next time you have access to a dictionary, look up the word "smitten". You just might see a new picture (or face) right beside it!

Ozzy Meets Darwin!

A couple of months ago my podiatrist gave me an injection in my heel during a scheduled office visit. My dog Ozzy went with me, and sat in the waiting room while I reclined in a chair and underwent my proceedure. Ozzy had a great time needling me about that incident (pun intended). However, while he waited for me in the lobby, Ozzy read an article in some magazine concerning evolution.

On the way home I fielded questions from my inquisitive canine about Charles Darwin's theory, and explained the various ideas some hold as to the age of the earth, the beginning of the universe, and the origins of man. He asked about the artist's rendering of the evolutionary chart which shows man's progress from the primordial ooze to the fish, frog, monkey, and ultimately an upright intelligent human.

Ozzy finally decided to put his own artistic talents on display by drawing my evolutionary chart. He grabbed a piece of paper and a box of crayons and began gleefully working on the origins of Daddy. It took him more than an hour, during which I found him laughing on several ocassions. I couldn't wait to see the outcome of his little project, and was quite suprised at how well he did.

According to Ozzy, my chart starts with a small green spot, develops into a one-eyed blob which later grows feet and walks itself into a hideous little toad. From there my ancestry stretches into a hunched but upright hybrid between a lizard and the Creature from the Black Lagoon. After the creature comes something that Ozzy refers to as a Go-rilla, and then of course a slick-headed redneck with funny ears holding a motorcycle helmet. I must admit Ozzy outdid himself on this one. Not bad for his first attempt at art.

I was curious about one thing on my evolutionary chart... the little green spot that started it all. When I asked Ozzy what it was, he smiled at me and replied, "Oh...that's a booger".

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Brawl That Got Ugly!

It seemed simple enough, or at least that's what the infomercial claimed. The canine fresh breath product "Plaque Attack" appealed to me, especially as it pertained to my dog Ozzy. To be so small, Ozzy packs a powerful punch when it comes to dog breath. He is capable of causing traffic to back up for miles on the highway in front of our house.

The add said to point and spray, so I ordered a pump-action bottle to try out on Ozzy. The testimonials called it a miracle. It took two weeks, but when the package arrived I was disappointed to find I had received the Plaque Attack gel. It requires a more involved application. Since Ozzy only weighs 15 pounds, I placed him in my lap, squeezed a dab on my finger, and held his tiny head still while I attempted to wipe a little gel on his teeth. I did not realize I would be in for the fight of my life.

Ozzy's first reaction was a head jerk, which freed him from my hand. I tried again, and things got animated in a hurry. What appeared to be a simple task turned into a full-blown wrestling match. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn't hold the little rascal still. I got gel all over my shirt, and couldn't hang onto the bottle either. Add to this Ozzy's new-found WWE wrestling moves, I became engaged in a battle that included techniques used by Stone Cold Steve Austin and the Undertaker. At one point Ozzy got loose, climbed up on the edge of the couch, and pounced on me while screaming "Stinger Splash".

Within a few minutes I found myself the victim of an arm-bar take-down, the left side of my face on the floor with the right side facing up, and a botttle of Plaque Attack gel stuck in my mouth. With a John Senna scream and a squeeze of the bottle, I was not only twisted like a New York pretzel, but I had the freshest breath in McDuffie County. A three-count later the match was over, with me on the losing end. The spray bottle would have worked better.

Wounded pride aside, I have to think positive... at least my wife won't mind a welcome home kiss this afternoon.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Deer Season's Opening Day!

On Saturday my dog Ozzy experienced that special day which deer hunters all over the nation look forward to, obsess about, and tell tales that seem either insane or impossible. No other day attracts so many hunters into the fields and forests of America like Opening Day of Deer Season. This was his first, and he was like a kid on Christmas morning.

Preparing family members for the hunt is quite taxing, with everyone running around the house trying to locate the items necessary to take to the woods. I get hit with questions such as "where are my socks", or "who stole my hunting boots"? Ozzy followed me around as I gathered his hunting gear. He looked quite lovely in his bright orange vest and camo hunting cap (I should have taken a picture). After all was secure, I grabbed my backpack, and we headed to our hunting spot.

Upon arriving at our destination, we exited the truck. It was dark and we needed a flashlight to see our way. As we walked toward our blind Ozzy began breathing heavily, which initially caused some concern. To my suprise he was immitating the hunters he had seen on television. Anyone who regularly watches outdoor network programing will find most hunters are out of shape physically, and even limited walking causes massive shortness of breath. Ozzy just thought it was something he was supposed to do, and I convinced him that it was not necessary.

When we arrived at our blind, it was still so dark that we could not see each other. Ozzy wasn't very quiet, and I told him he must have learned to whisper on an artillery range. It was necessary that he receive a crash course in how to talk quietly during the hunt. I also knew he would wiggle around like a worm, thus the decision to hunt in a blind. I placed some deer scent wafers some 30 yards from our position, and we took our seats and listened to the sounds of the night woods prior to dawn when the forest comes to life.

Ozzy and I listened intently for footsteps or vocal communications from deer and other animals. We heard the sounds of sticks breaking and the crackle of leaves as a variety of nocturnal creatures navigated the woods without benefit of daylight. A hoot owl caused him to giggle, but perhapst the most humorous moment of the morning came when I decided to pull a buck grunt call from my backpack. I gave two or three soft, low frequency grunts in an attempt to illicit a possible response from a nearby deer. The only response I received was Ozzy telling me that I was disgusting, and if the noise I was making continued, I would need to sit downwind.

Hunting with Ozzy is going to be as much fun as "Messin' with Sasquatch".

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Woodsmen's Workout!

Okay, I know this blog is supposed to be all about Ozzy, but I just have to share this one with bloggers worldwide (animal rights activists might want to cover their ears). Ozzy went hunting with me today, but this story is from yesterday's black powder rifle grand finale. This is a story for the ages... well, maybe not, but it happened.

My son Jake had a highschool football game last night, and I nearly decided not to go hunting. It was 4 in the afternoon, so I decided to go until 6. I really didn't expect to see anything, and since I had not exercised all day, I carried some weight bands with me. It might not be iron, but bands and a shake weight work in a pinch. I arrived at my natural blind, and after getting situated, I began a thirty minute workout, which isolated biceps, triceps, and shoulders.

Towards the end of my last set of exercises, I happened to glance up, and walking along the ridge across from me was a deer, which was the last thing I expected at that point. Two minutes later I bagged my deer and called my wife over the cell phone. Apparently the secret to hunter success is engaging in a Woodmen's Workout while waiting on the quarry. The final part of my exercise was dragging the deer to my house.

When I arrived home, my dog Ozzy was busy looking through our DVD collection. He says if my weight band workout was successful, he was going to try his Brazil Butt Lift videos in order to bag the next Georgia State record buck. You'll read all about it on Monday.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Ozzy's Deer Hunter Research Results Are In!

After selecting a well-travelled spot in the deer woods and creating mock scrapes and rub lines throughout the area, my dog Ozzy's trail cameras recorded some amazing deer hunter footage, some of which cannot be disclosed on this blog. Let's just say Ozzy has learned that some folks stoop to levels even he didn't know existed... and dogs do some pretty disgusting things.

Our cameras revealed hunters from all walks of life, and all shapes and sizes. It was "Swamp People" meets "Texas Chainsaw Masacre" in most of the footage. Occasionally we caught glimpses of real intellect, but that was rare (and most from the deer). Ozzy said he never thought a hunter would actually sniff a scrape, but several did. One camera recorded several hunters finding a large mock scrape at the same time. It was the Hatfields and the McCoys all over. Fists,tobacco juice, beer bottles and false teeth flew in a free-for-all that resembled a WWE "Last Man Standing" brawl in Vegas. Ozzy's scientific opinion is these folks need a role model... and some serious medication.

Perhaps the most interesting footage was a man that sprayed too much doe scent on his clothing. He carelessly passed by several cameras... followed by several very large enamored bucks. He hasn't been seen since. Ozzy said he hoped this guy saved the last bullet for himself.

The suprising result of this study is Ozzy wants to experience deer hunting firsthand. It just so happens that Saturday is opening day for the Georgia firearms deer season. I am now obligated to allow Ozzy to sit in the stand with me, so things should be real interesting. He told me he wants to see if this hunting thing will drive him as mad as the subjects in his deer hunter study(I'll let you know on Monday).

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Monsters Are Coming!

The leaves continue their change in nature's colorful transformation to the cooler days of autumn. With these changes come the annual celebration of All Hallow's Eve, what we Americans call Halloween. My wife set out decorations which include pumpkins, faux fall folliage, happy little scarecrows, and hay bales. The atmosphere in our home is much more upbeat compared recent months. My dog Ozzy is caught up in the euphoria, spinning yarns and relishing the joy of celebrating his first fall with a family that loves him.

The yearly halloween moood-setting ritual began earlier this week as we pulled out several dvds such as "Wolfman" and "Van Helsing". Tuesday night we watched "Sleepy Hollow" starring Johnny Depp, which is one of Ozzy's favorite movies. It features a spooky little town, scarecrows, pumpkins, the usual gore, and, of course, the Headless Horseman, whom Ozzy refers to as a "haint". Every time he watches this flick he is glued to the screen.

Thus far our efforts to set the mood for the season have been successful. For the last two days Ozzy has playfully claimed the haints are hanging around the house, and creatures he calls "booger monsters" are scratching at the front door. Last night he approached me from the kitchen in a stealthy fashion, baring his teeth, raking his claws, breathing heavily and growling like a werewolf. I take this as a hint as to what he expects to watch on tv this evening... and we still have over two weeks until "Spooky Day".

Just like Paul Revere rode through the countryside over two hundred years ago, Ozzy is shouting a warning to all who may hear, "The Monsters are Coming"!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Ozzy the Meteorologist!

My dog Ozzy and I watched Channel 12 News this morning, and he was so impressed with the weather report that he decided he could be a meteorolgist. I thought little of his statement until he put his plan to practice. He insisted on proving he could do a better and more accurate job of predicting and reporting the weather, and asked for my assistance to prove his theory.

Ozzy had me pull a chair from the kitchen table and place it in front of the television. I sat in the chair and watched as Ozzy stood on the chair and rendered a rather animated report in front of a blank screen. He swayed his front legs in a fashion similar to a meteorologist demonstrating sweeping winds and fronts bearing down on the continent. Without any limits Ozzy took great liberties to expand on the report we watched this morning. Rain and cold fronts were replaced by more dramatic climate changes that, if true, would be rather frightening.

The end result of the report is far more elaborate than fact. Ozzy's report includes three menacing tornadoes, a line of Hurricanes bearing down on the CSRA, flooding on a mass scale, all of which will cause the Strom Thurmond Dam to burst. Augusta is in big trouble (an earthquake was included in his dire prediciton). When it was over, he asked me how he did. I was too scared to speak. This wasn't a simple weather report... this was Judgement Day!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Stay Out of the Clean Laundry!

Due to the United States Army's meticulous pracitice in all areas regarding soldier training, I learned to fold laundry the military way. I grew up under the care of a momma that neatly folded our clothes and placed them in drawers in an orderly fasion. My mother refused to send her kids to school in clothes that looked like we slept in them. However, I did not learn this art until basic training at Ft. Benning, GA. Thanks to Uncle Sam I earned laundry duty when I got married (my wife never went to basic training... enough said).

I usually retreive the clothes from the dryer and place then on our couch to be folded shortly thereafter. Every item must be folded in a certain fasion, no exceptions. Unfortunately, Ozzy finds the warmth and scent of the freshly washed and dried clothes irresistable, and I often find him huddled just under the top layer in a little brown ball. He receives a scolding and a gentle nudge in order to discourage him from climbing back into the stack. He resorts to stealthy techniqes to avoid detection, but ultimately gets caught and scolded every time.

Today he determined that he would get away with his laundry rebellion by devising a getaway scheme to avoid detection. After washing a today's load and placing them on the couch, I went outside to check the mailbox. When I came back into the house I took a headcount to make sure none of the canine faction sneaked outside behind me. Ozzy was missing, so I began looking for him and calling his name. It was a moment later I witnessed what some would describe as a miracle... a pair of shorts rising from the dead linen pile and sneaking down the hallway by themselves. Of course, Ozzy was attached to this wonder wear, but he could not be seen until the shorts were pulled away. A brilliant manuever by a truly resourceful adversary.

He did not receive a scolding this time. His getaway shorts saved him, and provided me with a much-needed laugh.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Fall Festival!

My dog Ozzy is captivated by the annual changing of the leaves that occurs each fall. I turned him loose in the yard to do his dirty work, and found him frolicking in the muscadine leaves out back. He was rolling around and giggling like a love-struck teenager, and I was thankful the patch of leaves weren't poison ivy. He stopped long enough to crouch in one pile of leaves in an attempt to camoflage himself. He got as low to the ground as he could, and I could hear him quietly repeating the sniper moto of "one shot-one kill". He asked if I could see him, and I told him I could not as I playfully looked around for him, similar to a parent playing hide-and-seek with a child. I called out his name several times, asking where he was. I could hear him laughing in a quiet, sinister kind of giggle.

Today was a fun day for Ozzy and I, unlike yesterday when I arrived home to a living room trashed by naughty min-pins. After we finished our game we started back toward the house. Ozzy looked up at me and said he had fun, and hoped we do this again soon. Sounds like something a kid would say, doesn't it?

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Ozzy Has Had a Long Day!

My dog Ozzy is trying to sleep after a long and promiscuous Sunday. We returned from church this afternoon to find our house in disaray. While we were out Ozzy's pal Chrissy jumped up on the counter and grabbed a loaf of bread and a bag of roasted peanuts. Needless to say the party started at that point, and probably ended just before we arrived home.

Upon entering the house we discovered pieces of plastic wrapper all over the great room floor. Peanut shells were distributed on every chair and needed to be cleaned up before anyone could take a seat. I am amazed that four small dogs could devour a loaf of whole grain bread (Spazz looks like a tick about to pop). If it wasn't so comical it would be frustrating to deal with. It is particularly humorous that these little ones know they have misbehaved, and try to disappear under tables and chairs, hoping we won't notice the mountain of evidence they leave behind.

It is now early evening and Ozzy is crashed on the couch in a deep sleep. Poor thing looks like a four-legged Sleeping Beauty. The best part will be waking him up and pestering him the rest of the evening. I love listening to him whine and plead with me to leave him alone. Payback...this is gonna be fun.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Ozzy Is NOT a Good Caregiver!

I'm not sure what happened or how I contracted this little ailment, but it started yesterday and got progressively worse. Fever, headache, chills, muscle aches, all signs of some kind of flu. I have been popping tylenol and drinking Gatorade all day. It feels like my head is about to pop, and my dog Ozzy is not much help.

I received several messages from friends and family encouraging me to maintain my current treatment stategy. I even got up early to go hunting, put on a pot of coffee, sat down in my recliner while my beverage brewed, and promptly fell asleep. Two hours later Ozzy woke me up laughing in my face, calling me a whimp. He questioned my manhood in allowing a little thing like sickness to keep me out of the woods. A few minutes ago I asked Ozzy to fetch me another Gatorade out of the fridge. He said if I was a real man I would get off my keester and go get my own drink... and while I was at it I should grab milkbone dog buiscut for him.

If any of you folks ever get sick, do not expect any sympathy from Ozzy. I will get better, and will bide my time until Ozzy catches some ailment. When he does, I'll watch him writhe around like a worm on a hook, and I will remind him of today. Revenge will be sweet, it will be righteous, and it will be without mercy!

Ozzy Did It!

When we arrived home from my teenage son's football game we discovered several items either torn up or misplaced. There was also evidence of a canine presence on our kitchen table and counter. The dogs were seated in separate chairs with little halos hanging over their heads. This prompted an investigation into the mystery of the unknown culprit.

Upon questioning what happened, each dog denied any involvment. While paper towels aren't a burden to clean up, clean socks and other clothing items needed to be rewashed. Hair fibers were all brown in color, and since three of the four amigos are black and tan, that leaves one possible suspect. Ozzy is the only one that is completely brown, so all suspicions were placed on him. He denied any involvment, and claimed that the hair fibers were circumstancial. He obviously watches too much CSI, and thought he could weasel his way out of this situation by casting doubt as to his guilt. I wasn't buying it, and he knew it.

After a serious interrogation, Ozzy finally broke and confessed to the crime. His reason for committing such an offense was his disappointment in not being able to go to the game with us. His behaviour was idicative of his rebelious nature, and he was protesting the only way he knew. We decided that he would be grounded for a month. He will not be going to any football games, so this probably means more protests are forthcoming. Hell hath no fury like a small dog scorned.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Ozzy's Deer Hunter Research Continues!

We are nearly a week into Ozzy's Deer Hunter Research Project, and thus far the results are interesting. I wanted to give it a little more time, but Ozzy bugged me about checking our trail cams until I had no choice but to submit. Allowing time for subjects to infiltrate the area is a part of the study that Ozzy does not understand (he's not a patient pooch). Trail cams monitoring the mock deer rubs and scrapes yeilded fruit the first weekend via an up-close and personal photo of a set of Billy-Bob teeth and a pair of hairy notrils was too much for our little dog to resist. He hoped there would be more footage.

Ozzy and I checked another trail cam set up deeper into the timber, and we were not disappointed. If it wasn't for our new subject's camo we would have thought we caught Sasquatch on film. Ozzy said this individual, whomever he (or she) may be is nearly as fuzzy as the nasal passages caught on film earlier. The only features we could make out were a pair of beady black eyes behind a hideous set of thick-lensed glasses. Also in the picture was a buzzard who apparently gagged when this person walked under the tree limb where it sat. Of the two subjects in this photo, I concluded the human was in worse shape. In fact, this guy wasn't even phased by the bird barf. Ozzy hasn't stopped laughing long enough to express his opinion of this nasty hunter. The only words he could manage to say was that this guy flat-out stinks.!

We will continue to check our cameras as Ozzy's hunter research continues.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Deer Hunter Study, Part 2!

Last week my dog Ozzy started a study of deer hunter behaviour by selecting an area and establishing a network of fake rubs and scrapes, and then setting up trail cameras in order to record hunter activity. The area covered approximately 100 acres so Ozzy could get plenty of video footage. The cameras along the false rub lines were set to still photos, while the large mock scrapes were monitored by cameras set to record sixty seconds of intellegent hunter activity.

We rode out this afternoon to investigate one particular camera in order to get a small measure of what we could expect during the entire study period. This particular camera was set along a mock rub trail. Pictures included several birds, squirrels, a few small deer, and a huge set of tobacco-stained Billy-Bob teeth below two nostrils in need of some serious trimming. The subject was obviously sniffing around the camera. Our scientific conclusion is the location for Ozzy's research looks promising.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Ozzy: Locked Up!

My wife's Grandfather passed away early Sunday morning, so we left town to travel to the funeral. Meanwhile Ozzy and his canine cohorts were left in the care of our local dog kennel. Since the establishment charges per cage, and we have four little goofballs, we felt it would be advantageous to place them in pairs, thus paying for two instead of four. First, we felt they would keep each other company during our absence, and it would be a bit cheaper. Now don't any of you readers judge me, since I know perfectly well you have done similar things while staying at motels.

Well, the plan seemed work out fine until I received a phone call from Ozzy. He was not aware of the reason for our leaving. All he knew was they were herded into a car and hauled to the Big House. Then he gets locked in a cage without being read his rights and told what he was charged with. It took him nearly two hours to convince one of the kennel staff to allow him his "phone call".

After several attempts I was sucessful calming Ozzy down, and explained the situation. He was less sympathetic with our situation, and more irritated at his. We had him placed in the same cage with Spazz since we thought it was a better pairing. Ozzy says Spazz stinks, needs a tooth brush, and snores like a freight train. I told Ozzy we would be home soon, and until then he should try to deal with it. He promised he would, and the phone call ended.

Shortly after 10 PM the Georgia State News Agency said in a television news broadcast that there was a jail break in McDuffie County, Georgia. The four inmates were last seen headed toward Washington, GA. They are considered armed and extremely dangerous.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Deer Hunter Study!

Ozzy has been busy gathering information on the subject of Deer Hunting. He has watched several outdoor network programs to get a better understanding of this great tradition. While you may think the subject of Ozzy's study is the infamous Whitetail deer, you are mistaken. Ozzy is more fascinated by the average deer hunter, and his research will focus on hunter tactics and behaviour.

Ozzy's first step was choosing an area in which to conduct his research. Once located, Ozzy provided a list of items necessary for a successful venture. The list included a garden rake, a small spade, motion activated cameras, deer urine, and a large file. Once the items were secured, we proceeded to an area we knew hunters paid little attention to. While you may think this strange, you need to read further to find why Ozzy wanted to begin his study at this location.

First, Ozzy took the large file and created a "buck rub" on a large cedar tree in clear view of a well-travelled road to get the attention of any hunters who happened by. Next we proceeded to walk deeper into the woods stopping to create rubs every twenty feet to give the impression of a serious rub-line. We must have spent two hours marking cedar trees and saplings all over the area. Next, the rake was utilized to leave enough mock scrapes to drive even the most experienced hunter crazy. Each scrape was "doctored" with deer urine to add realism and enduce further excitment.

The finishing touch was a real stroke of genius if you ask me. Ozzy took the small spade and placed what looked like a large deer paw print impression in each scrape. One might conclude the world's largest buck was roaming in an area 100 acres in size. The scrapes were impressive enough, but the rubs on the trees would entice any hunter into believing the next world record was within reach. Hunter footage will be captured by several cameras set at either still-photos or video footage.

We left the area after spending a good part of the day setting the trap for what should be the deer hunter footage of the century. Now we wait and see what fruit our study will bear. Remember, this is Ozzy's idea.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Our Cherokee Heritage!

My dog Ozzy is excited to discover the Cherokee ancestry of his adopted family, and is trying his level best to learn some customs of this ancient people. I told him of their ancient homelands, and how they were the largest native tribe in the southeast. Hunting and raiding parties would travel great distances to conduct their affairs, and were respected and feared by all other groups with whom they came in contact.

Trying to prevent Ozzy from confusing the Cherokee lifestyle with other well-known tribes has been quite a teaching experience. Long hair and elaborate headresses were associated with plains tribes. Cherokee men usually plucked or shaved their heads, and it was difficult trying to keep Ozzy from grabbing my razor and going to work. When he asked what he could do to be more like "his ancestors", I shared historcal facts that would help him better understand life in times past.

Ozzy said he saw a tribe conduct a vision quest ceremony, and said he wanted to conduct one of his own. I did not take him seriously enough, and shrugged it off. Taking advantage of my inattention Ozzy disappeared into the woods to gather items necessary for a his little adventure. Ozzy watched the tribe utilize a few items from nature's garden, and during his search he happened upon a strange mushroom. An hour later I found Ozzy blissfully chasing butterflies all over the front yard, uttering strange sounds and speaking a language I have never heard before. He also told me a toad spoke to him and said we should sell all our possessions and move to Oklahoma. Later that afternoon I had to intervene when he tried to rally the family and conduct a war dance before attacking one of our unwary neighbors.

With this in mind, there is absolutely no chance I am going to tell Ozzy we have Scottish and Irish ancestors as well. For the life of me I can't picture Ozzy playing bagpipes and wearing a Kilt.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

"Over the Hill! Happy Birthday Old Man!"

It is September 28th and my dog Ozzy harassed me the entire day. It wouldn't have been such an ordeal if he made a few off-handed remarks about my 51st birthday. Instead, he took cheap shots at me every chance he could. The problem is I heard most of them when I turned 40 (the much anticipated year of the fabulous "finger exam"), and every year following. However, his referrence to my need for a supply of "Depends" was the last straw.

Why is a man considered "over the hill" after a certain age. What exactly does "over the hill" mean? What hill are folks referring to? Does the idea of "Boot Hill" play into this unreasonable vein of thought? I want to know what IDIOT came up with the concept of a downhill trek after 40. I never felt I was walking uphill to begin with. In fact, I was always under the impression that the way up was more difficult than the way down. I mean, does a car engine strain more to run uphill or downhill? As far as I'm concerned, if I have spent half a century plugging away to get to the top of the hill, I'm going to have a blast coasting on the downhill leg of the journey.

Ozzy has been staring at me during this entire rant. He says I'm making a mountain out of a mole hill. Hmmm. Is that up or over the Mole Hill?

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Daddy, Read Me a Story!

I am not sure how my dog Ozzy discovered one of the duties of a father is to read books to his children. Either he saw it on television or my wife put him up to it. No matter which one is true, I now find myself caught in one of Ozzy's little manipulative webs.

It all started when Ozzy jumbed into my chair, looked at me with the same sad eyes seen in the blog's profile picture, and sweetly asked, "Daddy, will you read me a story"? It softened my heart, and I caved like an unstable coal mine. I asked what he would like for me to read, and he left the decision to me. My story book selection is limited, so I picked a book from my wife's collection entitled "The Light in the Forest".

I was certain Ozzy would enjoy this story about the adventures of a Native American boy, so I opened the book to the first page. Ozzy settled in, his eyes wide with excitement in anticipation of his daddy reading a story to him. About ten minutes into the book, I could feel him squirming in my lap. Ozzy looked up at me and asked if there was any violence in the story, to which I replied "Not really". Then he asked if there were any fine chicks..."Not really". "How about car chases and explosions like the Vin Diesel and Paul Walker flicks"? "Not really". At that moment Ozzy's expression changed from interest to disappointment. "Boring", he said. "Let's watch a movie."

I guess I need to drop by Borders Bookstore and grab a few "James Bond" novels for Ozzy's next attempt at a bedtime story. It's everything Ozzy asked for, and then some.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Football Saturday!

After a busy week Ozzy and I decided to spend the day watching college football. At the time of this writing there is a knock-down drag-out game between Clemson and Florida State. Channel surfing yeilded the usual mix of great games tempered by blow-out victories. Ozzy has a soft spot for the underdog, and tends to root for such teams as Idaho, Florida Atlantic, and the like. He says he would like to apply to a smaller college and join the football team as a walk-on. Then he would lead the unheralded team to a national championship, winning college football's most coveted prize en route (he's been striking the pose all afternoon).

Ozzy says Georgia has a freshman running back that impresses him. That's saying alot, since very few things impress Ozzy. This young man is an amazing athlete with a good combination of size, stength, and agility. Ozzy says the Ole' Miss defenders had a difficult time tackling him. He said it was like trying to catch a kricket while wearing a blindfold.

The games on tap for this evening include Florida at Kentucky, Vandy at South Carolina, among others. Ozzy says we are going to relax, tune to our favorite team, lie back in our recliner, and place the fan in a position where it blows up one pajama pants leg and down the other.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

"Peace on Earth... For Now!"

It took alot of political wrangling on my part, but difficult negotiations have resulted in a peace accord between the Squirrel Kingdom and Min-Pin Nation. A demilitarized Zone (DMZ) has been established, along with promises from both sides in order for this document to be "signed". If paw prints will suffice as binding, then this deal might actually work. On behalf of the pooch patrol, Ozzy made compromises that are a sweet deal for his bushy tailed counterparts.

A permanent border has been established along the boundary of our manicured yard and the tree line. UN peacekeepers (mice) have been stationed along this new DMZ to enforce the treaty, but it seems apparent to us the sqirrels are not fully complying with this new agreement. Thus far there have been several complaints from Ozzy and company. This morning Ozzy charged the squirrels with breaking the treaty by lauching acorn rocket attacks while he was leaving a calling card on the edge of the lawn (the West Bank). Twice Mack attempted to mark a tree (the Oak Tree Gaza Strip), only to be harassed by marauding tree rats. To make matters worse, the animal version of the United Nations passed nine resolutions condemning my dogs for the incidents. Just an hour ago, several squirrels were placing pine cone bombs in various places within the doggie boundary. Another resolution was brought to the floor of our UN once again blaming the dogs. Now the squirrels want us to give up half of the yard, and there was a kidnapping attempt on Chrissy. Ozzy says he's had enough... there can be no peace.

Within fifteen minutes of this last breech, I let the dogs out once more to do the doggie thing. They immediately hit the woodline, barking in all directions. The squirrels weren't expecting a suprise raid and ran in a free-for-all frenzy to the closest tree they could find. It seems everything is once again as it should be. Ozzy is still high-fiving, fist pumping, and chest bumbing with the rest of the gang. It takes the phrase "You go dog" to another level. He says everything has returned to normal.

Nothing is ever "normal" around here. Think about it... I talk to a dog, who responds in kind. Ozzy is always stirring up trouble, I get left holding the bag, and he gets away with his foolishness. Normal is everybody else. In the immortal words of the great sage Henry Fluker (my neighbor), "Ya'll ain't right". Henry's diagnosis is correct. Now I'm just waiting on the Men in the White Coats!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

"The Empire Plans to Strike Back!"

After yesterday's humiliating defeat at the hands of the dreaded Squirrel Kingdom, our home now resembles the Pentagon preparing for war. Personnel running to and fro, orders barked out as Ozzy and his canine squad make preparations to strike back at the "force of evil" lurking in the woods which surround our home.

At the time of this writing Chrissy and Spazz are posted as lookouts, peering through the windows for signs of what Ozzy refers to as the "enemas". Any movement in the woodline is greeted with a glaring teeth and a hardy growl. Just moments ago an acorn dislodged, landing on our roof and causing the dogs to scurry for cover with cries of "Incoming" echoing through the house.! This is serious business, and anyone who doubts a dog's resolve to maintain order in the yard is sadly mistaken. Ozzy says this bushy tail act of aggression must be answered, and in this counterattack all squirrels will be terminated with extreme prejudice!

Ever since WWII started in our back yard, the dogs have sought to deliver a final devastating blow, and I have sought ways to avoid further violence, offering to negotiate peace between the two sides. I told Ozzy his idea of terminating all squirrels is genocide. However, Ozzy argued that he and his little Ranger Unit are well beyond sentimental feelings, and if it takes "gingerale" to eliminate the enemy, so be it (see what I have to contend with?). It makes me wonder what conditions will have to be met in order for things to return to normal. I do know the dogs will not give up chasing the squirrels... "It's what we do", they say. Ozzy says if I can pull this off, bringing peace to the Middle East would be a walk in the park.

All I am saying is, Give peace a chance!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

"War on the Horizon!"

No human word seems to have a more behaviour-altering effect on a dog than "squirrel". Even the most relaxed canine can transform into a ravenous beast in the blink of an eye. However, my little group of min-pins are always on the lookout for tree rats. Simply opening the front door unleashes all the fury of hades. Although merely four in number, these pooches seem to go in twelve different directions, hitting the woodline in an all-out assault, causing squirrels to scramble for the safety of the trees, their peaceful lives interrupted by an unexpected attack. Ozzy and company did not realize things were about to change.

Apparently the squirrels have decided they have had enough, and are taking the fight to the dogs with a vengance. Ozzy's world was turned on it's head this morning, as he an his cohorts received an unexpected response from our fuzzy-tail tree rodent population. The day began as usual, with the front door opening wide, and the little dogs hitting the woodline barking in all directions. Suddenly the vicious assault turned into a dead silence; there were no squirrels. Standing in disbelief, Ozzy and company weren't sure what was up. Then without warning, a squirrely scream from above unleashed a bombardment of acorns and pinecones. Cries such as "Give me liberty, or give me death" echoed through the trees. My favorite was "dang the pinecones, full speed ahead" (a southern squirrel, no doubt). In short order, the dogs in a panic came running out of the woods, squalling and reeling in disbelief. Their pride wounded, I let the defeated group back into the house.

After they gathered their wits, plans for a counterattack were underway. Ozzy tried to drag a shotgun out of the firearm safe, and the others attempted to arm themselves with anything they could find (I thought I heard Spazz say "This ain't happening"). It is no longer a game of chase between canines and tree rats; it is total WAR! I offered to act as a mediator between the two combatants, but Ozzy said this has been taken to another level, and unless it is met with force, chaos will reign in our backyard. He says it is now time to unleash the "Dogs of War", and he fully expects to have control of the situation within hours.

Whether this skirmish escalates into a full-blown revolution is uncertain, but there is one thing I am sure of: I just witnessed the "Shot Heard 'Round the World", and unless this squirrel rebellion is crushed, it may soon be coming to a neighborhood near you.

Monday, September 19, 2011

"After Further Review..."!

This particular post is being written at 3:15 in the morning. I was sleeping soundly until I was aroused by a loud bark from outside the house. As I struggled to gathered my wits, I also noticed the outside floodlights going on and off, as something was setting off the motion sensors. I soon discovered the cause of this middle-of-the-night ruckus.

The culprit was our Alaskan Malamute "Aurie" (named for the northern lights). She wanted to come into the house, so she started running in a circle on the outside perimeter, and would stop at the front to bang on the door and bark. This sensless display caught Ozzy's attention, and he asked me what her problem was. I was still too dazed to answer, and the only thing my brain could come up with was "I don't know".

At this point Ozzy kicked into his Monday Night Football instant replay mode, and demanded that this entire scenario be placed under review. "First, he says, we have a large dog running circles around the outside of the house at 3 AM, causing the motion- activated lights to go on and off, and stopping only to bark and bang on the door. In addition to this, we're talking about a Malamute, the mighty hunter, the scourge of the Arctic Tundra, companion of the hardy Northwestern Native Peoples, puller of sleds, the saviour of Nome, Alaska... and she wants to come from 60 degree outdoor temperatures to 70 degree indoor temperatures. You may not be able to figure this out, but it's obvious to me: After further review, I think she's an Idiot!"

I believe my little "ref" made the right call.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Too Early for Halloween!

My dog Ozzy is a hard-core M. Night Shyamalan fanatic. He is constantly asking, and sometimes begging me to put on one of the Blu-ray discs so he can watch his favorite flicks. He is obsessed with both "The Village" and "Signs". Lately one of these movies has become vital in his planning for a Halloween costume. Yeah, it's a bit early, but this is Ozzy we're talking about.

Ozzy has asked for some unusual materials for his costume. I can understand cloth, paints, glue and glitter, but when he asked for burlap and grass I had to ask what he was up to. He claims his costume will be an original taken from the film "Signs". I racked my brain trying to figure how he could create one of the aliens using burlap and grass, as it sounds more like alien Bigfoot material than an actual alien. That's when Ozzy told me how wrong I was. Ozzy is not going trick-or-treating as an alien... He's going to dress up as a Crop Circle!

I'm not sure whether it's the smartest or dumbest thing I've ever heard!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

"Thor, Dog of Thunder!"

My dog Ozzy recently watched a tv program which tells of costumed vigilantes patroling the streets in various cities nationwide in order to protect the innocent. He decided to become Thor, the Dog of Thunder. At first I thought this to be cute; now I'm not so sure.

In order for Ozzy to transform into his alter-ego, the first step was creating a costume. He snatched a towel out of a pile of clean laundry and tied it around his neck as a cape. Later, when he was let outside for exercise, he found a rubber mallet in the tool shed. Thor was reborn, and I'm certain criminals everywhere shivered in fear.

Later that day I was running the vaccum cleaner, and failed to hear "Thor" yelling "Save the Earth", "Down with Yodenheim", and "Slay the Frost Giant"! However, I got the message loud and clear when he wrapped the rubber mallet around my shin. I dropped to the floor and writhed around like a wounded athlete on Monday Night Football. The last thing I saw was a caped vigilante leaping down the hallway looking for more villians with which to do battle. My poor son was in his room; moments later I heard him scream. The Dog of Thunder has saved the day, leaving two victims in his wake (just in time for my wife to arrive home from work). Make that three victims!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

"You Have a Right to an Attorney"!

I came back from town to find foam from a pillow in pieces all over our great room floor. The pooch patrol were all seated in different chairs looking ignorant of what had transpired. Ozzy had a piece of foam hanging from the left side of his mouth, and I began fusssing at him.

Immediately Ozzy pleaded his innocence, so I asked if there were any eyewitnesses willing to testify. His canine pals gave me explainations as to why they could be of no assistance. "I didn't see a thing", "I was in another room", and "I'm not talking" left me with no choice but to utilize the evidence to get a conviction. Ozzy explained the foam in his mouth was purely circumstancial, and was not enough to charge him. I felt I had a case, but he countered with a claim to right of council. He also said I failed to read him his "Veranda Rights" ("Matlock meets "Gone With the Wind").

I realized Ozzy was slicker than greased asphalt, and proving he was the perp would be an immpossible task. If this crimewave continues, with no one willing to testify, I may have to resort to video surveillance. What has this world come to?

Friday, September 9, 2011

Ozzy's First Chaw!

My dog Ozzy and I were driving through the country one day and pulled into an old country store. Sitting just outside next to the entrance were several "Old Timers" enjoying a chat and a chew. The cool morning air invited tall tales of hunting exploits past and the hopes of fortunes during the coming season.

I told Ozzy to stay in the vehicle while I went inside to find refreshment and a fresh serving of boiled peanuts. I greeted the group of gentlemen before I entered the store. Ozzy couldn't resist his curiosity, and while I was inside he joined the group out front. As I gathered items to purchase, I heard a commotion from outside. When my business was done, I walked out front to witness Ozzy conversing with the Old Timers, and enjoying a helping of Beech Nut Chewing Tobacco. The men were laughing at Ozzy's stories, and were amazed at how far he could spit. He was a quick study, mastering this ancient art in short order.

Ozzy did not expect the nausea that usually coincides with the first chew, and spent the rest of the road trip with what he described as "sea sickness". I was forced to stop several times for him to hang his head out of the window. He vowed he would never do that again.

Yesterday Ozzy asked for a can of snuff! Here we go again.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Shave And a Bath, Please!

A man's daily ritual of shaving makes an impression on his kids, especially young boys that wish to grow up in their father's image. Years ago my son shaved his face, and received a few nicks in the process. I knew this would eventually happen. Never in my wildest imagination did I believe this would apply to my dog Ozzy.

Recently Ozzy mentioned on several occasions his desire to achieve manhood (if dogs can do so). He believed part of this "rite of passage" included initiation by the dreaded first shave (I tried to warn him). While I was in town one afternoon, Ozzy proudly strutted into the bathroom, wet his little face, doused himself with shaving cream, and created a real work of art. When I arrived home, I found him with small pieces of tissue paper all over his face. His visage was like that of a pampered poodle dog that had been groomed by an angry Apache on the warpath. Ozzy exclaimed that next time he would use a bottle of Nair.

Regardless of the outcome, Ozzy believes he has graduated into "manhood". Now he just needs to graduate from charm school.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Ozzy's New "Girlfriend"!

My dog Ozzy has no problem rolling me out of bed in the middle of the night to be let ouside. I keep watch while he and his cohorts run around in all directions staking claim to our yard. It was very dark one particular night when Ozzy met the "new dog" in the front yard.

I stood on the parking pad while Ozzy stumbled onto his newfound love. Initially he growled loud enough for me to investigte. Although visibility was limited, I could make out two figures standing nose to nose. Ozzy introduced himself and proceeded to talk trash, while his "sweetheart" remained silent (Ozzy accused her of playing "hard to get"). The mush he lavished on "her" was enough to make one sick. Ozzy was not a happy camper when I called him to go back inside without inviting his date. He tossed and turned the rest of the night.

The next morning I took Ozzy back to the front yard and properly introduced him to my son's football. Upon realizing what he had done, he looked up at me and calmly said, "They all get prettier at closing time".

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


One of the daily chores we have to do around the house is running the vacuum clearner. I can't turn the doggone thing on without Ozzy attacking it from every angle. He seems determined to bring the little machine's life to an abrupt end.

Earlier today I pulled the vacuum out to clean debris out of a chair, which includes removing the extension and using the open suction end of the handle. At one point I placed the handle on the floor. Ozzy attacked, and vacuum cleaner snatched on to his nose. Ozzy tried but couldn't escape without help, and I managed to pull the hose off his face before it sucked his ears into his brain. Ozzy shook his head, and the his only words were, "Great Googly-Moogly"!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Beautiful Dreamer!

Dogs are entertaining in a variety of ways. They play fight, fetch objects, express joy unspeakable when their humans arrive safely home from work or school. Man's best friend is a source of many unforgettable moments, and Ozzy has provided his share of memories, even while he is sleeping.

Two nights ago Ozzy fell asleep lying on his stomach in what I consider a normal position, and then rolled onto his back, his tiny legs sticking straight up, his little feet slightly bent. Normal breaths were occasionally interrupted by deep breaths and exhalations similar to a whimper. Snoring was on the menu as well, and it wasn't long before he began twitching and emitting a sound best described as a muffled bark with an occasional whine. At one point his movements gave the impression he was running through a field; then I thought I heard him speak someone's name.

The next morning I asked how his night went, stating it was obvious he not only slept well, but he was dreaming. When I asked what it was about, he gave the type of explaination that military personnel refer to as a "tap dance". He stuttered and stammered, nervously scratching like he was infested with a thousand fleas... until I asked him who "Fifi" was. It was the first time I had ever seen a dog turn red, and the first time Ozzy was speechless.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

College Foosball Ain't the Devil!

So here we are, me and my dog Ozzy, kicked back on my recliner, catching the all the sights and sounds of college football.  It is the beating heart of football fans everywhere.  Friendly (and not so friendly) rivalries are renewed, family and friends are reunited, and we find ourselves settling in to everyone's favorite time of the year.

This is all new for Ozzy, and I am trying to break him in slowly.  It isn't working too well, as his first glimpse at the coming season was a cute chearleader.  He kept trying to press the rewind button on the remote so he could check her out again and again.  When we got beyond that, we spent the rest of the firs hour tuned to College Gameday.  Ozzy asked if eating chips is part of the tradition, and since it is, I went to the pantry and grabbed a couple of bags.  Chips, cold drinks, team flags and shirts in hand, we settled in for today's games.

Update:  During one series, a player from an opposing team caught a screen pass, made a break toward the outside, and ran down the sideline.... Ozzy jumped up, screaming "Get'em, Get'em".  Chips went everywhere.  He's definitely learning all about football.  He'll probably start betting on games before too long.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Too Hard to Swallow!

Man's best friend can be many things to their owners; comforting, frustrating, and puzzling.  At times they can be downright entertaining.  My dog Ozzy and his canine cohorts rally when they recognize a particular sound or word.  I can never sneak into the kitchen and open any food item unnoticed.  One sound that causes excitment is a can or jar of nuts.

On several occasions I  have left a container of nuts out by mistake, and left the house without putting it back into the pantry.  Ozzy and company quickly recognize a vulnerable food item, and nuts are a special treat.  I can understand the ease at which these dogs break into a can, but I am often amazed when they unscrew a jar lid.  I have never caught them in the act, but I wonder how they divide the spoils.

While I was away one afternoon, Ozzy found a plastic container of Bubble Gum.  He went to work breaking into the container, and of course his buddies joined in the heist.  I would have loved to have seen the beginning of this raid, but I did walk in to discover the results.  Watching a group of small dogs using thier front paws trying to dislodge pieces of gum stuck between thier teeth is rather funny.  Ozzy, however, not only had gum in his teeth, but also all over his face.  I didn't say a word, but had a puzzled look.  After a moment of staring, Ozzy suddenly blurted out "Hey... I was trying to blow a bubble, Okay?" 

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

"The Mayans Goofed!"

My dog Ozzy has been fascinated by the end-time predictions of the Mayans and other prognosticators.  The one item they have in common has to do with events in the solar system and a certain alignment of stars and planets said to bring about dramatic changes on earth.   The following story is a result of a certain pooch's end-of-the-world imagination gone haywire.

About thirty minutes ago our quiet evening was interrupted by Ozzy barking and screaming, "It's happening!  It's the end of the world"!  He had been standing on top of our kitchen table looking out the window into the darkness, and he witnessed a spectacle that set him off.  He ran to the couch and hid under a blanket.  He claimed he saw the stars moving and realigning to fulfill the terrifying prediction he learned about on the History Channel.  I walked over to the window, looked out, and saw nothing.  "What are you talking about, Ozzy?"  He ran back and jumped up on the kitchen table, pointed out the window, and said "See those lights moving around out there?"  After that he ran back to the couch, climbed under the blanket again, and cried "It's the end of the world"!

It took me a moment, but I finally realized he what he was seeing; "Those aren't stars, Chicken Little... those are lightning bugs."  Ozzy eased out from under the blanket, walked over and jumped up on the table, and starred out the window.  After a minute of thought and observation, he shook his head and said "Nostradamis never mentioned anything about lightning bugs".

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

15 Pound Meteorologist!

My wife accuses me of being hypersensitive when it comes to small, helpless creatures, and my dog Ozzy has picked up on this.  I must first inform you that I suffer from chronic back pain due to time in military service.  Changing weather patterns can have a dramatic effect on the severity of my discomfort.  Ozzy overheard a recent comment that I can sense an approaching front and other weather phenomena, and is using this to his advantage. 

Just the other day Ozzy was moaning about his "arthritis" flaring up, and said he needed to relax on the couch.  After I made him comfortable, he asked me to get the tv remote for him.  He claims he would have done it himself, but the possibility of afternoon thundershowers caused too much pain.  I thought this to be a strange comment.  Later that evening he said he could "feel"  the 10-15 mph wiind gusts in Kansas, and suggested a bowl of ice cream might help ease his suffering.  He was playing me like a banjo.

However, Ozzy's little scheme unravelled yesterday.  When I returned from the doctor's office I walked up to the door, and as I fumbled with my keys I could hear theWeather Channel on the television.  I opened the door and walked in, only to find the tv turned off, and Ozzy sitting in my recliner whinning about the pain he was experiencing due to the "partly cloudy skies in Pensacola, Florida".  Then he looked up at me with his sad-sack expression and said another bowl of ice cream should alleviate his suffering.