Five Ways to Avoid Being Picked Up by Animal Control


When I went to take the dog for a walk this morning an animal control truck was parked right outside my house. Chompy didn’t seem to care, but when I saw it I just knew I was in big trouble. I don’t know why I always assume that I’m in trouble. I guess I just have a guilty conscious, but expected the animal control officer to snag me and throw me into one of those little cages in the back of the truck.

Later, during the walk I had to walk by a motorcycle cop who I was convinced would arrest. If he did arrest me would that mean I’d have to ride on the back of his motorcycle to the station? I’m not sure if that would be good or bad.

Anyway, I know that most of you are probably just as afraid of being picked up by animal control as I am. So here are some tips to make sure you don’t get shipped off to the pound.

1. Avoid walking around your neighborhood. They’re looking for stray animals. Do your best not to look like a stray by driving everywhere. If you do have to walk for some reason put on a leash. Then the animal control officer will know that you belong to someone.

2. Don’t pee on any fire hydrants. I know the temptation is great, but lifting your leg to pee in public is the quickest way to get mistaken for a dog. Fight the urge. I’m sure you can hold it until you get home.

3. Don’t wear that dog costume you bought for Halloween around the neighborhood. Costumes are for Halloween. Wearing it on any other day will just get you into a mess of trouble.

4. If an animal control officer does approach you stay calm and make sure you enunciate your words clearly when you speak. Everyone knows that dogs tend to garble their words.

5. Steer clear of cats. They’re nothing but trouble. If anyone is going to report you to animal control it will be the cat that lives three doors down and pretends to like you. He’ll anonymously report you in a minute and if you confront him on it, he’ll never admit it.

Walking Chompyface

So I should’ve had this video up yesterday, but there were a few glitches. It seems like everything I do this week is a day late and a dollar short, as they say.

Anyway … about the video. This is a dog walking video. If you like dogs and whistling you may be vaguely entertained. If you prefer cats and kazoos, you should probably skip this one. I’ll be getting a kazoo for next week’s video, and I’m sure I can barrow a cat from a friend.

The dog in the video is played by Reginald P. Chompyface. The people are holograms of actual human beings. The “neighborhood” is actually a sound stage on Mars. The music was written and performed by PatriQ. He asks that you ignore the bad guitar playing.

Can’t see this video? No worries. Click here.

Walking the Cat

So you all know about my latest obsession with dogs which is much different than my obsession with foxes because I could actually get a pet dog one day. I guess I could get a pet fox too, but that’s not as easy as just popping by the pound and picking one up.

I keep trying to imagine my pet dog and what she might be like. I scroll through the SPCA website and pick out contenders. I think I’ll name my dog Lettuce. I’ve decided that’s a good doggy name. I’m also going to get a cat and name him Bacon. Every time I tell my husband that I plan on teaching Bacon to walk on a leash he looks at me like I’m crazy.

“You take dogs for walks, why can’t you take a cat?” I say.

“You just don’t,” he says.

My husband obviously has no vision. He has no idea that I’m going to start a world wide cat and dog walking trend. I imagine myself walking Bacon and Lettuce together on a leashes through my new sidewalk filled neighborhood. It will be great. We’ll get so much exercise and I’ll be totally in control. People will point and say look at that lady walking a cat and a dog on leashes. I’ll wave and smile with pride.

Everyone will think, “Gee that lady has a good idea.” Before you know it in every country in the land people will start waking their cats and dogs together. Inspired by the new found harmony between cat and dog all people will stop fighting and peace will spread across the Earth. All of this walking will cure the obesity epidemic and people will be healthier.

The world will be a much better place just because I taught my cat to walk on a leash with a dog. Once they get the walking down I’m going to teach my dog to drive a car and my cat to read a map.

Now I just need to get the cat and dog.

Big Boy

I love visiting the SPCA website so I can choose the dog I’ve always wanted, but will never get. The other day when I went to the site I saw a dog that looked surprisingly like my father. Meet Big Boy.

Big Boy

My father

Not a Small Dog

I used to want a pet fox. Then I wanted a pet donkey. My interest in exotic pets has waned recently. Now I just want a dog. I want a dog so badly that I check the Humane Society’s website every night to see who is up for adoption. I want a dog so badly that I talk about dogs all the time. My husband is probably getting sick of it.

Me: I don’t understand why anyone would want a small dog like a chihuahua. They’re just too small.
My Husband: I don’t really care about the size of the dog. What’s wrong with a small dog?
Me: I don’t know I just think a medium sized dog is much better. What can you do with a small dog?
My Husband: Walk it and play with it just like any other dog.
Me: … I don’t know a medium sized dog just seems better.
My Husband: What makes a medium sized dog better?
Me: That’s easy. You see the thing a medium sized dog has going for it is that it’s not a small dog.

You’ve Probably Seen This Already…

…but I thought it was so funny that I just had to post it. Don’t worry this is not becoming a dog-themed blog–unless of course you would prefer a dog-themed blog–I just happen to be thinking about dogs these days. It’s much like my prior obsession with foxes.

The Dog Days of Wanting a Dog

105:365 Logan at the BBQ

I’ve never wanted a dog. Something about cleaning up poop is just unappealing to me. I see other people walking their dogs carrying a plastic bag of steaming turd and I feel kind of sick. I actually have to cross the street if there is someone on my side of the street stooping over to pick up poop. I’ve always thought that you have to have a special kind of dedication to be a dog owner.

When we stayed in Florida my heart softened a bit to the whole idea of owning a dog. We watched my sister’s house and dog for five days during our vacation.

My sister’s dog is a lunatic of an animal, but the more time you spend with him the more he seems to grow on you. There’s something about those sad brown eyes. I was giving him snacks and treats all day everyday. When my sister got home, she swore he’d gained weight.

Now I see dogs on the street and I think maybe one dog I want to have a dog. Then I see someone squatting down to pick up a hot turd and I think maybe I ‘ll get a stuffed toy dog instead.


In movies about dogs and cats, why are the cats always the bad guys? What’s wrong with cats? I like cats. We always had pet cats when I was growing up. They are independent and mysterious. Some call them aloof, but they just don’t understand cats.

There is a cat that lives outside our apartment. She sleeps under our balcony. Sometimes she sits at our sliding glass door and cries to be let in. She’s a strangly patterned cat. She’s not quite gray and not quite brown. When we go outside, we have to be on the alert because sometimes she tries to slip into the house.

Yesterday she did just that. My husband ran inside to grab sometime he forgot–he’s always forgetting something. When he turned around to leave she had just crept into the front door. My husband said that she was looking all wide-eyed and skiddish. He quickly chased her out.

I like this cat. We’ve talked about adopting her but none of us can really make the commitment. I don’t want to house train her. I don’t want to clean a litter box. I don’t want to pay for vet bills. I think she might already belong to someone anyway. Even though she’s not wearing a collar, she looks so well groomed.

She disappears for a few days at a time and then she comes back. I wouldn’t be surprised if she has more than one home. Cats like that adopt people. She’s probably adopted a few to suit her various needs.

Dog Gonnit

There’s something about a dog that can even entertain people who claim not to like dogs. That’s why they’re used in so many advertisements. Of course, it’s appropriate to use a dog to sell dog food or dog medication or some other thing a dog might use, but when is the last time you saw a dog using toilet paper.

My sister recently bought a dog. It’s a cute mutt with one ear that flops down and one that stands up. My parents visit her more often than they used to just to see the dog. My father scolds it like a child. My mother uses her friendliest voice to talk to it.

“You need to have a kid,” my sister said to me one day. “Mom and Dad are ready for grandchildren.”

“Why do you say that?” I asked.

“The other day they showed up at the dog park with the camera to take pictures of my dog. I mean really! It’s a dog!”

My sister is currently dog-sitting a goofy boxer. It’s bigger than her dog and in need of more attention. She had a cookout for the holiday. It rained so the party turned into a bunch of people sitting around the living room watching the dogs play. They rolled around on the floor wrestling and bashing into every one’s shins and the party guests were all enthralled. When it was time to go even my stepson, who is terrified of dogs, didn’t want to leave. He was enjoying watching the dogs.


I’m not a big dog fan. I’m sorry to all you dog lovers out there. I’m sure your dog is the best dog ever, especially when it’s not trying to bite someone’s hand off. I’m sure I would love playing fetch in the yard with your dog and let it eat Milk Bones out of my bare, trembling hand. Your dog is different from all those other dogs. It’s special.

Some people are afraid of dogs. Dog lovers don’t seem to understand this. When I lived in Vermont, it seemed that most stores had a dog in them. Usually it was a large fuzzy retriever type that would try to sniff my butt while I browsed the CD’s or jump on me while I picked out a bag of chips. “Don’t worry. He’s friendly.” Dog owners always say that. What they mean is, “He won’t take a chunk out of your leg as long a you don’t look him in the eye.”

Once, I went to the video rental store in Montpelier and in the section that contained the video I wanted to rent was a woman and her rottweiler. I walked around the store for a bit waiting for them to leave that aisle so that I could get the video I wanted, but they just wouldn’t leave. She stood there carefully picking up and examining every video in the section.

Finally she noticed me glancing in her direction. “You can come over here and look.” She motioned to me with her hand. “Don’t be afraid of him. He’s harmless. Anyway he’d never bite you. He’s a vegetarian.”

“That’s okay, I’ll wait,” I said as a started another lap around the store.

A vegetarian, it’s a dog. His forced vegetarian diet probably made him even more volatile. My leg was probably looking pretty delicious to him.

My husband and stepson make no bones about being afraid of dogs. I, on the other hand, am slightly ashamed of my fear and try to conceal it, but the dogs know. The dogs always know, so I keep my distance.