Tuesday, March 16, 2010

So long, farewell ....

Say good bye to 3WAAW on Blogspot folks.


BUT - say hello to WOOTUBE at its own domain!

Please change your bookmarks - new posts will no longer be appearing on the blogger platform and although this blog will remain up, it will be stuck in statis!

Keep up with the program - join us at wootube.net

See you on the flipside, babies!!

Monday, March 15, 2010

You may not remember me

but my name is Mr. Woo. You haven't seen me in quite some time.
*drips sarcasm*

The Food Lady is too good for us lowly dogs these days. She never bothers to photograph us anymore. She doesn't even know how to use the camera these days.


I don't understand what the problem is. It's not like that boring old dog is taking up all her time anymore. She sent that ole' bag of bones packing so he went back home.

There's a lot less swearing in the house now. But also a lot less leftovers.

All weekend long she totally ignored us. I decided to to beat some sense into her with this big stick I found, but Piper and Tweed wouldn't let me.

Tweed wasn't really into it. He had another plan to punish The Food Lady and drive her crazy - all weekend long at the agility trial he said he did something called "blowing her off," "flipping her off" and "giving her the bird." I don't know what it means, but he seemed pretty satisfied with himself afterward.

He spent a lot of time reflecting on what he calls his "Missing Contacts and What-Are-Weave-Pole-Entries-Anyway" plan.

Except it didn't work. TFL says she still loves him anyway.

She still loves me?

And Piper is just a suck up.

"*I* didn't miss any poles or contacts. Of course, I didn't run in the trial this weekend, but still. I'm a perfect princess."

Dexter is a spaz. He can't be trusted with any Food Lady Punishment plans.

Now The Food Lady says she is busy working on making us more famous by redesigning the blog, so she STILL doesn't have much free time to photograph us.

*sigh* My life is so hard.

Please tell The Food Lady to spend more time with us!

Monday, March 08, 2010

See Sport Run


Of course Sport does not run. But he DID shuffle determinedly after Tweed a couple of times, just like the old days, whilst we were playing DumbBall.

Sporty can't go for long walks, so we compromise - once a day he gets to come clatter around the horse paddock while the other dogs play ball. For the other walk of the day, I slip him a Percocet, he goes to sleep on the big pillow and I take the dogs out for a long run without him.

However, yesterday Sporty accompanied us all the way down to the barn and back. He seemed to really enjoy it - so much so that when I let everyone out for an afternoon pee, he took himself for a second walk down to the barn without me. Then he got lost, so I had to go retrieve him. Fortunately, he moves very slowly.

But he's pretty handsome for an old guy, huh?

This morning at breakfast he said that he didn't want his food, he wanted what everyone else was getting, so he got a bowl of tripe, which he ate!

For dinner, he ate a bag of sample kibble that the nice folks at Elemental Canine gave us to try out. He also ate two slices of processed "cheeze" and about 4 mouthfuls of his actual, 40-minutes-to-prepare meal.

I rather enjoy having Sporty around. I do wish he'd close his eyes when he sleeps though, because I keep thinking he's dead.

But he's not.

Anyway, mostly I stopped by to let you all know that as part of my Master Plan for 3WAAW I will be migrating the content off of Blogger and onto its own server. There will be some changes to the site, which I'm making based on some excellent advice from Judy at JTdataworks. The idea is that 3WAAW will earn its keep down the road!! There may be some interruption to the blog, though I do hope there won't be ... but despite the changes you will eventually see, it will still be 3WWAW - ie, irreverent and peppered with swear words :)

See you soon!

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Do you believe in magic?

So your Food Lady has a part time job ... working for a magician. Yup, you've read that correctly ... I spend a couple of days a week at the beck and call of a magic man. It's rather fascinating stuff. Last week I spent several hours making things out of FIMO ... I can't tell you what I made, or I'd have to kill you. Also, I'm still not really sure what it was I was making, cuz it's awful secretive, this magic business.

There are some downsides to this job:

1) It's kind of like working for a congenial and slightly less creepy David Blaine.
2) I'm a captive audience for all these magic tricks that make me SHIT MY MIND.

But there are also some real perks to this job:

1) He feeds me lunch, that sometimes includes cake!
2) He pays me in real dollars, not magicbucks.
3) I get to see one of my favourite things every time I walk into his house.

Remember this fine old gentleman?

Oh yeah - it's the world's most demented canine tyrant, His Majesty Sporticus. Now EIGHTEEN AND A FREAKIN' HALF YEARS OLD, Sport refuses to die ... probably just to be obstinate. Or, the most likely explanation, is that it's some kind of magic at work. How else can you explain how Sport, going on 19 years old, still shuffles around this earth making people do his bidding? It's gotta be magic.

This week, Sport is staying with me and my crew while my boss and his wife have disappeared into the magic box and reappeared in the middle of NYC. Sport rattled and squeaked his way into my living room, collapsed himself into a heap of dusty old bones on a big fluffy pillow and has been making me do his bidding ever since.

Sporty is much as I remember him - serious, sweet and bossy as fuck.

You! Peon! Bring me some food I will eat. Except I WON'T eat ANYTHING that I have eaten before, so be creative. But not too creative, for I won't like that one bit. In fact, maybe I'm not even hungry at all. You'll never know, will you? Why are you just standing there?! GET TO WORK!!

This is one OLD dog, my friends. He is on a million medications to keep his heart beating, his joints passably mobile and the grim reaper at bay. Every time I pick him up (which is shockingly often, and usually because he has gotten stuck somewhere) he wheezes and coughs and I'm sure the end is nigh.

He has a very special eating regime that I, apparently, SUCK at, because he completely refused to eat his dinner last night (a dinner, I might add, that involves several steps, about 40 minutes of cooking and a very specific presentation) until I peppered it liberally with slices of ham. And for a dog who gets stuck in corners, he's remarkably adroit at removing strategically placed ham-bits from the rest of his food.

This morning he woke me up at 6AM by peeing on my carpet.

I love having Sport here because ... well, because I love Sport! But I also hate having Sport here because I am nursing this 24-7 dread that he's going to die on my watch. His owners have assured me many times that if he dies while they are gone they won't blame me, because he's EIGHTEEN AND A FREAKIN' HALF YEARS OLD and he's bound to pop off eventually. But I'd much rather he waited until they come back from NYC and if he must kick it, he does it in their house and not mine. (Of course, if he doesn't stop with the refusal to eat anything I make him, I may kill him myself. Perhaps I'll kick him until ... oh never mind.)

A day with Sport goes kind of like this - he wakes me up at an ungodly early hour by pissing in my floor, so I leap out of a dead sleep, hustle him at a snail's pace to the front door and shove him outside. Then I crawl around cleaning up the trail of pee, crying because 40 seconds ago I was asleep and now I'm the opposite, and I'm confused. He wanders around outside sniffing stuff and trying not to get lost at the pace of .0927 miles per decade, then waits for me to reappear because he can't get back up on the deck. I lift him up, he coughs and wheezes - I squint my eyes shut and repeat the phrase "don'tdiedon'tdiedon'tdie" until he stops coughing.

Then we sort of propel ourselves through the house until we're back in the big room, where Sport whines until someone gets off his big fluffy pillow, where he promptly collapses. I make a meal he won't eat, replace it with something else he won't eat, lie down on the floor in front of him with a spoon and beg him to eat, kick his bowl across the room and hurl invectives at him for not eating, then I give him several slices of ham and some liver cookies, which he will eat. At least, which he will eat today. Who knows about tomorrow?

I finally sit down with my coffee and Sport decides he needs to pee again so we repeat the shuffle, lift, cough/wheeze, don'tdiedon'tdiedon'tdie, whine, collapse routine. And then it's time for one of his many medications, delivered sneakily in a liver cookie (I can do magic too, you know!).

Repeat several times daily, go through the whole eating thing at dinner time again, eventually go outside with him for the last pee lest he inadvertently wander into the mouth of a coyote, move his fluffy pillow into the bedroom, go back to the big room to convince him that the pillow CAN, in fact, move rooms and he doesn't have to stand where it used to be and stare at nothing, eventually lift him up and carry him to the pillow, cough/wheeze, don'tdiedon'tdiedon'tdie, sleep.

Sport is a lot of work!!

But having him here, and working with SAINTS, has really gotten me thinking about when and how our old dogs should die, and how much and for how long should we be keeping them alive? Sport can scarcely move these days, and spends much of his time either asleep or staring blankly at nothing, like a wall. Who knows what's going on in his little pea brain? Is he thinking "you bastards, let me go?" or is he going " ow ow ow ow ow" in his head or is he grateful that he's still here to rule the house from his pillow?

Don't get me wrong - I am in NO WAY second guessing his owners' decisions about his well being. I won't pretend that having him for a week is like having him for my very own, and I know without a shadow of a doubt that they are doing everything for him they can and with his best interests in mind. I'm definitely not suggesting that Sport should not still be with us (and besides, it's not like he's actually alive anyway; he's in a state of suspended semi-animation thanks to MAGIC).

It's just that I've never had a really old dog myself, and having this decrepit old house guest just, I guess, makes me think about this stuff. I try to imagine, say, Piper at EIGHTEEN AND A FREAKIN' HALF YEARS OLD - she is such an animated, lively, busybody of a dog. What would she be thinking if she were really old, and couldn't do any of the things she loved to do, and couldn't really move or walk or make Mad Teeth(tm) at her friends? Would she hate every blessed minute of it or would she just be happy that she was still hanging around being a puny little witch?

Kill me, and I will haunt you. And so will my sidekick. Bitch.

And when do they tell us that it's time for them to go? Do they know? Briggs never told me - my vet told me. But did Briggs want to die? I'll never know; all I knew was that he was going to die in a matter of days, possibly hours, and I didn't want him to hurt anymore, and there was nothing else we could do for him. His imminent death was inevitable, and as much as it pained me, I don't think I let him go too soon at all. But a dog like Sport - who is dying by degrees just because he's old ... when is it too soon? Or too late? How do you KNOW?

Part of me hopes Tweed lives to be as old as Sport, and part of me hopes he doesn't at all. Mostly because as long as there is breath in his body, he will bark at me, and I cringe at the thought of 9 more years of his incessant barking. Wootie will undoubtedly live to be about 43 years old, just to torment me.

Having Sport here this week is like a living (<-- interpret that liberally) philosophy lesson for me. Also, it gives me a glimpse of Hell ... a Hell where I will be forced to beg dogs I love to eat all day long. He really is an obstinate old goat. He maybe can't move much or even really function, but he can sure still lie down in the worst direction possible for getting a decent photograph. sp3

At SAINTS they make life and death decisions all the time. It must be heartbreaking for them. And sometimes, I imagine, the dogs make the decision themselves about when it's their time to go, which must also be heartbreaking for them. It's so easy to get attached to these little lives, isn't it?

Yesterday I took my dogs for a walk (but not Sport, that'd kill him for sure) and Tweed stepped on a whole branch of thorns - he was wearing a thorn shoe! And he limped right over to me, poked me in the knee with his nose and when I looked down, he held his paw right out to me to remove them for him. Can you imagine? We've finally reached that place. He's my old dog, and he loves me!!

Are you still on about that? doG you're boring.

Friday, March 05, 2010

Life's A Beach

At least, it was today.

Your Food Lady has been a busy girl! She's working on all kinds of things these days, including a special thank you to the lovely folks who donated to keep me (and by extension, Wootube) up and running. Watch your mailboxes!!

SAINTS photo shoot number 2 took place this week, and I think it gave me carpal tunnel syndrome. That'sa lotta dogsa! There's a sneak preview for you here later in this episode ;-)

So today was the first day I've had some free time, and I took advantage of it to spirit some very pouty dogs off to the beach for a couple of hours. They said after a week of being largely ignored, it was a nice gesture, but not good enough.

I'm leavin' on that midnight train to Georgia...
as soon as it shows up.

In an historic first, Tweed agrees with Woo, and is also thinking of hopping a boxcar and abandoning me.

Dexter, however, is just hoping to throw himself under the first train that comes along (he's a teenager; they are notoriously full of angst)

Boys are dumb.
(Piper has the retention span of a goldfish, and has already forgotten she was annoyed with me)

Piper called me a name *pout*

But the allure of the ocean jollied them out of their pissy moods.

And there was rejoicing.


And there was DumbBall

And there was irritating-Tweed-by-following-him-around-which-we-know-he-hates-but-we-do-it-anyway-just-to-be-pesty.

And then I had to stop with the photos, because my wrist was swearing at me. Now there are dog-shaped piles of sand making the floor look arty, and 4 soggy and tired dogs heaped around under furniture.

This leaves me some time to edit more SAINTS photos.

This time around we tried to simulate a studio effect. For Every. Single. Dog. It took a long time.

I say simulate because, of course, we have no studio. All we had were some white sheets, a reflector and many packages of tempting Snausages.

But I think the results were quite good, all things considered.

I can't see them, but I can sure frickin' smell them. Where are the damn Snausages?

I have some difficulty standing. If you were less cruel, and appreciated my Dexter-like ears, you'd give me a Snausage.

I don't need your stinkin' Snausages. But don't touch my monkey.

SnAUsaGEs! SNaUsagES! SNaUSagEs!

All in all, I think they turned out quite well! At least for most of the dogs. A few were not so cooperative, and in a couple of other cases, I just failed to get a really nice shot.

Carol told me this evening that Rose passed away this afternoon. I am now sad that I didn't get a really love photo of her during the session - a hard lesson to learn when photographing SAINTS dogs ... you may not get a second chance.

RIP Rose.

It's hard to stay sad, though, when Dexter The Canine Spider goes dancing past you like this:

I *definitely* got the weird puppy.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

Today I was at S.A.I.N.T.S for one of many upcoming shoots of their wonderful and whimsical collection of special needs animals. Carol, the founder, and I are talking about collaborating on a photodocumentbookthing about this huge and amazing rescue she runs.

While I was there, I overheard the most *interesting* conversation. Apparently, someone came up with the most brilliant idea for a fundraiser - a fundraiser wherein they either raise $2000.00 .... or Carol shaves her head.

S.A.I.N.T.S. is an incredible sanctuary for senior and palliative and "unadoptable" animals. Over 130 of them call this little farm Home.

The old.

The Blind.

The maimed.

And the ... uh ...

Oh, it's Percy. Best. Cow. EVER.

All of them have found safety, love and physical and emotional nourishment in Carol's home.

That's why I don't think it's very nice to make Carol shave her head! She's already lost her sanity, she shouldn't have to lose her hair too ;-)

If you're interested in helping Carol keep her hair, email S.A.I.N.T.S. to find out how you can purchase a lock of her hair and give it a good home on her head!

And please give Daphne a cookie. She's starving.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Mommy will kick you until you're dead.

Say whuuut?

Ha ha! I was having a conversation recently with an animal trainer friend of mine (whom I won't "out" here in case she doesn't want anyone to know about her personal vulgarities) and when I made a joke about Wootie's recall being something along the lines of "Fine! I hope you drown in that river, you willfully-deaf, disobedient, pile of orange garbage!" she told me that her newest response to *her* 'selective listening' dog was to promise to kick him until he was dead.

I *may* have laughed until I cried.

Abby doesn't find it all that funny.

This got me thinking about all the Frustration Phrases that have either come out of my mouth, or the mouths of my friends, with respect to their dogs over the years.

Why just last weekend, after the agility trial, I posted on Facebook something to the effect of how proud I was of Tweed, and that I'd left Piper in the dumpster behind the gas station on my way home. Which was indeed something I had threatened her with when we left the trial site.

She's just kidding. Right? *goes off to find Piper*

In agility class, Tweed expresses his enthusiasm by talking about how happy he is. Loudly, rhythmically and eternally. It's this great, booming, metronomic ARF ARF ARF ARF - you could play an entire symphony on the piano to this noise. He does it while other dogs are running, and it increases in frequency when he thinks it's his turn: WOOFWOOFWOOFWOOFWOOF. It. Drives me. INSANE.

Our class often runs late, and generally our last exercise is a timed run-off where we all try to run clean and beat everyone else. The next class is frequently coming in to set up while we are finishing up the Competition Run - and since I have two dogs who run 16" Specials, Piper is often near the beginning, and Tweed somewhere near the end, so they catch Tweed's run mostly. I don't know all the people in the next class, just a few of them.

Recently one friend in the late class told me that I scared the bejesus out of some of his classmates by hollering at Tweed "I will reach down your throat and remove your bark box with my fingers if you don't shut up!!"

You'd have to catch me like a tennis ball first!

(don't tell anyone we were playing Dumball, okay? Shhh.)

Food Lady let us play Dumball! Food Lady let us play Dumball!!

Dexter, I will shake you until your testicles drop.

(Hmm. Not a bad idea, actually.)

My friend Finn, whom I've blogged about before, is like the tattooed patron saint of needy animals. She's worked in animal welfare her whole life. She travels the world lending a hand to animals in crisis; she was in New Orleans post-Hurricane Katrina, she is regularly at New Hope's Casa Lupita in Nicaragua. Now she is heading off to Haiti in the aftermath of the horrible earthquakes that have devastated the Haitians. In other words, there is nobody more invested in the well being of the world's critters than Saint Finn.

And yet, Finn has been heard to tell her dogs that she will beat them repeatedly with a 2X4 before sending them back to the Pound. Loudly.

I think people need to have more of a sense of humour when it comes to their dogs sometimes. We get so caught up in being politically correct about how we train, how patient and tolerant we can be ... we forget sometimes that dogs can be really freakin' frustrating, and that it's okay to get irritated, and that without a healthy sense of humour about it, we might go insane. As long as you channel your frustration into funny ... that way, you're a lot less likely to *actually* take it out on your dog.

Last night Dexter ate my headphones for Skype. Whilst sitting on my toes, I might add, innocent as a Spring blossom, the little turd monkey. I *may* have told him he was getting the leftovers for breakfast, and that there would be no more real food coming his way, ever.

I don't know about you, Mr. Husky, but I think TFL just likes to hear the sound of her own voice. I don't like it much, and that's why I ignore her. What say we take her out?

Plus I think they learn something from it.

Last night in agility class, Piper nailed her weave entries every.single.run. That's never happened in the history of Piper. (Piper: "The dog full of GO, but empty of KNOW" ~ courtesy of Christine. hee hee!!) I like to believe the dumpster threat is responsible for this magical turn of events.

So what's your dirty little secret? What threats do you utter at your recalcitrant canines? Don't be ashamed - I won't judge you! After all, my K9 Mantra is:

More Beatings. Less Love.

Oh shut up already. And here's your stupid frisbee.

Thursday, February 25, 2010


So, umm, lots of you folks made me cry - and I'm not a crier either. Usually you'd have to pinch me really hard or something to get me to shed a tear, and then only if you ran away really fast afterward because if you pinch me, and I can catch you, I'll channel those tears into return pinches;-)

I cannot believe how much you all love this blog, and how kind you've all been. Really, I am overwhelmed.

So here's my situation, since you all deserve to know why I'm cryptically trying to sell my camera stuff.

You probably all know that last year I lost my job at a NPO I worked for when this stupid moron ugly co-worker, her even stupider and uglier husband and a pack of their intellectually challenged friends decided to stage a hostile takeover of the BoD through false means (me = still bitter). The new, fake, BoD terminated our positions, shut down the NPO and then a battle in court between them and the old, genuine BoD ensued that has tied them up in court since forever.

Piper hates the stupid ugly people.

Like any jobless person, I applied for Unemployment Benefits, full expecting to find another job right away - I always have. It's rare I don't get a job I apply for, historically speaking. But their timing could not have been worse because, umm, there are no jobs. The economy sucks goats. I have been unable to find gainful employment since. Hell, I can't even find crappy employment.

Sad Wootie is ... sad.

This month, my Unemployment Benefits ran out. So I have no job, no money, and no safety net, because I was not exactly earning a fortune at my last job (the curse of doing Good Works for a living). I am dead serious about not being able to pay the rent - it's no euphemism, or exaggeration. I have sold everything I have to sell, including my beloved bicycles, just to get by these last few months. My friends have been just stellar, paying for my agility classes and trial entry fees, donating dog food to my hungry canines ... but I cannot continue to let people fund my life!

That's in part why I am so reluctant to put a tip jar on the blog. People have been so very generous already, I feel downright naughty accepting more help. I'll beg shamelessly for rescue, but it's awfully hard for me to ask for help for me.

But not for Tweed.

I also don't want to make any of YOU pay for *my* blog! I do this because I love it - it's so much fun to chronicle the many (mis)adventures of my dogs and the fact that you all get to enjoy it with me is just a bonus for me. Your comments often make me laugh harder than you probably do at the blog itself. You give me back as much I give you. That's what makes this whole blog thing work, imo.

Lastly, I don't want anyone to think I'm plugging for money. There are so many disingenuous people in this world with a sob story - I wasn't trying to elicit sympathy from anyone by trying to sell my camera gear. I just want to pay the bills, and the camera et al is all I have left, really.

But I won't sell it, not right now - not because I never intended to in the first place, but rather because several people have offered to buy the whole shebang and rent it back to me again until I've paid it off again. I think losing my cameras would be like losing an arm, so I can't pass an offer like that up if I can avoid it (because without my arm, how would I beat Wootie for being so BAD?). So if you've emailed me about what I've got to sell and not received an answer, that's why - not because it was a sympathy scam.

I would love for this blog to make money, I really would. But because I started this blog for my own selfish enjoyment, I would - and still don't - have any idea how to go about making that happen. I am completely open to suggestions. I am no entrepreneur. I'm just a girl with a camera and too many dogs for any sane person. But I definitely don't want it to make money at the expense of any of YOU. I won't charge for subscriptions ... my dogs are whackos for free, you should get to appreciate their whacko-ness for free too!

But pay ME, and I might give you another ear.

The many many emails, atop the many many comments here, that I have received are trying to assure me that my 'art' such as it were, is worth paying for. I really struggle with this, friends, but my protests get drowned out by your arguments. And I'm tired of Pia calling me an asshole! ;-)

So I acquiesce, and I'll put the tip jar here on the site. I'd never even heard of such a thing until you all collectively bellowed it at me.

If you want to donate, I love you and I'm deeply humbled. If you don't, I love you for reading the blog. And you have NO idea how much Tweed loves an audience.

ETA - I don't know what I am doing wrong with the donate button? I just followed the paypal instructions. As you may have figured out, I'm quite techno-stupid. What's the secret here?

Okay wait - more Edit ... I think this will work. The only paypal account I have is the one associated with the rescue, so if this works, maybe just add a note that it's not a rescue donation so the funds don't get mixed up? ARGH! It's already complicated ;-)

If this helps - just use the address sheenas@shaw.ca It's all connected to the same account, I think, but that address differentiates it from the rescue one...right?

In return I promise to buckle down and try to find a way to make what I love to do pay for my simple little life. A friend and fan is hooking me up with someone who apparently knows how to make websites make money. Another friend has suggested I check out a government run self employment program for sad sacks like me with an idea but no idea how to execute it. I will also look into selling prints or other items made with my camera - if anyone is familiar with setting up webstores or similar, and wants to help me get that off the ground, I'm all ears (kind of like Dexter). And of course, if any of you fine folks in the Lower Mainland can hook me up with an actual job job, I'm all about the networking and will take any help I can get.

I don't know what else to say, except that I promise to try and repay you all for your kindness by being funny and taking funny photos. A little birdie tells me I'm not too bad at it, after all.

No, not that birdie.

But wouldn't it be totally creepy if, like, it did?