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.