And They Call It Puppy Murder.

 Hey. Hey wait! Wait everybody. Hold up. I have something funny to say…

 annnnd nevermind. Just gas.

This week has been a series of unfortunate events. I am currently using frozen garlic bread to ice a foot that I miraculously injured via sitting still.While hopping on one foot to gingerly protect the sprained other, I rammed the good leg’s knee into something pointy and awful. Also my dog has some wrathful intestinal warfare going on, filling up my fresh, new house with atomic stink bombs so radioactive that I keep checking to make sure that I haven’t actually shit my pants, too. Suddenly smelling like garlic and butter doesn’t seem so disgusting. This just in, Thomas not only agrees, he thinks it is all scrumptious and has taken to trying to bob for garlic bread off mommy’s gnarly cankle. So, you see, there’s nothing but poots and potent freezer food going on around here. While I Febreze my entire neighborhood and think about not injuring myself further by sitting still, you just thank your lucky stars that I’m not smart enough to hit this post with some Smell-O-Vision and enjoy this old piece of work which, oddly enough, revolves around stinky dogs and dysfunction. Let it be known, this blog is straight up classic and timeless.


TRUANCY. It’ll Kill Your Dog.

 I went to the Mommy Market this week. Target was gloriously Target-ish: swarms of red-shirted teenagers stocking new shipments of shoes, pouty baristas mixing lattes in the mini Starbucks, Jackson’s entire population of moms cramming carts full of seasonal decor. It’s all so beautiful.

Baby and I waited patiently in line behind a few other customers. He cooed and gurgled at the cart in front of us, a fairly frazzled mother and her adolescent daughter. The girl begged for candy. Then she begged for Blistex Shimmer chap stick. Then she begged for batteries, and- in a last desperate attempt- declared that she would die if her mother wouldn’t let her get a pack of  pink Bic razors. The mother waved her hand signaling surrender. I winced  seeing this parent being completely dominated by a small child. It was like watching her getting a spanking at the age of 40, and I was humiliated just to be watching. Mostly, I winced because I still can’t look at those little pink devils without feeling physical pain.

Pleased with her victory, the young girl pranced towards our cart, noticing Baby’s focus on her. She held his hand, speaking babytalk to him as he bounced and reached out to touch her hair bow. Trying to make small talk (and, as always, opening a big ass can of worms), I asked why she wasn’t in school today. “I faked sick,” she stated proudly.

Here is the point where a normal adult would giggle nonchalantly, shoot her mom a judgmental glare, but then return to business as usual.


“When you skip school,” I leaned in closer to her. Poor girl had a look of total thrill in her eyes as she prepared to hear an awesome secret. ” A puppy dies.”

Her face, appropriately stunned, stared blankly at me and then returned to her mother’s side. Sniffing and coughing to exact the perfect display of illness, she looked back at me only once, as if to say “Thanks for ruining everything, asshole.”

I felt a little guilty on the drive home. Did I really have to spoil her day of freedom?


I’ve decided I did the girl a favor. Better she hear the harsh truth from a perfect stranger than experience it first hand. I developed an uncanny ability to get out of going to school by a fairly young age. It started innocently enough. I would have a “horrible headache”, a “muscle cramp”, maybe even a “stomach bug” . Carefully studying the level of parental sympathy that coordinated with various illnesses, I could effectively get what I wanted: a day all to myself sans quizzes or gross cafeteria lunches. On rare occasions that my mother seemed to put up a stern front, I would up the ante. Using anything available (fish sticks, spare packet of taco seasoning, orange juice) I would splatter my bathroom, leaving behind a pukey massacre. I never knew if my mother genuinely felt convinced by the sight of this “vomit” or just admired my ingenuity and masterful method acting, but either way I would be given a free ticket. I won… or so I thought.

By 6th grade my parents had put me in a private school. I hated it with a fierceness, felt totally isolated in a sea of wealthy, well-dressed kids, and desperately wanted a day off. I formulated a plan. We were out of taco seasoning, so I opted for a sore throat. I think I even went so far as to use words like “pustules”  to really amp it up. Midway through my school-free day, I realized that I really didn’t feel so well. I had consumed almost a whole block of cheese and two sodas for lunch, so I chalked it up to poor dietary conditions. To my shock and horror, my mom called around lunch time to inform me of my afternoon doctor’s appointment. Oh, we’re gonna play hardball ole’ girl?

I was smart enough to know that I could not possibly get sick in an hour; I’d have to settle for miraculous recovery.

You can imagine my surprise when the doctor entered the room and explained that I had mono.

I am being punished for skipping school. I have messed with the universe,and she is seriously pissed.

Three weeks and an inflamed spleen later, I resolved to never act sick to get out of school again…

Until high school, that is. Several years into my superior attendance habit, I was ready to dust of my sick pants and get to faux gagging. I told my mom a line about “chronic diarrhea”  which she gladly accepted without further explanation. I was off the hook for the day. Just me, a couch, and 8 hours of utter laziness.

In the early afternoon the doorbell rang. I opened the door to find a middle-aged man and woman standing on the steps. They held leashes and the man leaned a leg against a large crate they had brought along. Maybe they came to abduct me?

The Dog whisperers informed me that they had come to pick up Maggie and Bart.

[Maggie and Bart were our pet bulldogs. They had stinky, crunchy faces and were prone to seizures, but I mostly loved them.]

I sat on the stairs in front of the crazy dog couple and cried. As Maggie snorted excitedly through her flat nose and Bart tried to chew on my hair, I said a very serious apology to my  stumpy dogs.

You are being punished because I skipped school. I have messed with the universe, and you guys are pretty much animal sacrifice for my sins.

I found out later that my mom’s boyfriend couldn’t stand the smelly dogs. She had scheduled to have them taken to a Bulldog Rescue when we were away at school to spare us the trauma of it all. Whatever reasonable explanations were given, I remain convinced that my fake-poop episode set off a chain reaction in which the final link in the chain was getting my loveable dogs sent to a puppy mill.

There you have it. Verifiable proof that truancy will straight up kill your pets or (at very best) cause your spleen to explode. I expect to get a letter from that little girl years from now. It will go something like this:

Dear angel,

I’m so glad I listened to your advice. My cousin skipped school. He got an unsightly skin rash and his parents got divorced. Things could’ve been really bad for me. You are a life saver.



And to this I’ll say, ” You are welcome, brat. You are so very welcome.”

32 thoughts on “And They Call It Puppy Murder.

  1. Oh GOD, that’s horrible and funny at the same time. The heartbreak of having your dogs picked up for a rescue WITHOUT WARNING. JESUS. Just imagine if you had BEEN at school and come home to find them gone! Your Mom’s boyfriend was an ASSHOLE.

      1. Haha. You guys are fierce! He really wasn’t that awful, just so tidy and particular about things that two sloppy dogs were too much for him to handle. Fear not! My mom dumped his butt :)

    1. The boyfriend was pretty much a prick (and apparently was the one behind the dog drop moreso than my mom). Luckily she gave him the boot. I was pretty shocked at the time but found out later that they were sent to live with a big family on a farm where they could have free reign. In all truth, I’m pretty sure those dogs were pumped to leave our crazy house!

    1. Yes! I’m already working on what accident should stop me from running NEXT week. Also trying to figure out scientific proof that brownies and Diet Coke cure ankle ailments :)

  2. Oh, Tori. Is it wrong to laugh and cry at the same time? I am so sorry you are out of sorts and your general universe is smelly, but DANG, that little girl deserved that one. :)

    1. Oh Andra, I’ve felt pretty awful for ruining that kid’s day since it happened. At the time, I was in the “I have a newborn and a sleep deficiency and whatever crosses me is getting punched” kind of attitude. That girl was just in the line of grumpy fire :)

  3. I don’t know what to be more sorry for: your current conditions or what happened back in the proverbial day. (Which actually wasn’t that long ago…) But you’re right. The universe was definitely trying to tell you something. That, or your mother was very, very slick. Could be both!

  4. Injuring oneself while not moving totally sounds like something I’d do.

    And now I’m craving garlic bread. Of all the things.

    Hope you’re back on your feet soon, and try not to piss off the Universe ;)

    1. To be safe, I am being perfectly silent and trying to only think about really peaceful, happy things. I just know the first thing that flies out of my mouth will be snarky and that Universe will have to kick my butt again :)

  5. You poor soul, Tori. I don’t know which is worse the dog trauma or your current status as cripple. Mimi really sent the dogs off? How sad! But bull dogs really are smelly.

    By the way, thanks for the lovely package! I LOVE the photos! You are dear, what can I say?


    1. My poor mom. She had less of a role in sending them away than I thought at the time. It was a super picky, incredibly finicky boyfriend that pulled those strings. I learned later that the whole thing wasn’t nearly as dramatic as it seemed at the time. Those pups were sent to live and run at some incredible farm. They probably high-fived their paws as they were being driven away from us :)

  6. I’m sorry about your dogs. I think I would’ve gotten rid of the BF instead…he was probably smellier :) (Sorry, I’m an animal lover!)

    I hope you scared that girl straight so she stays in school. I’m sure her mother would thank you if she could find you :)

    1. In all honesty, those dogs were a hot mess. As an adult I’d probably have a harrd time loving them. Plus, the boyfriend was clean and anal retentive like you would not believe. I’m pretty sure they were sent to a farm for bulldogs (the kind where they don’t get killed), but I remember thinking at the time that I had seriously faked a stomach bug and gotten the poor kids a death sentence!

  7. Worst thing my parents ever did was to say that it was up to me if I felt too sick to stay home. Now I wasn’t getting away with anything, I was just lying. I felt too guilty.

  8. I’m so glad they haven’t invented smell-o-vision yet. and you better stop sitting still so much! It’s dangerous. I worry about you and your sitting still so much, you never know what can happen!

  9. Surprisingly I never missed much school.
    Probably because that’s where most of the ladies my age seemed to hang-out.
    I did skip the awards ceremonies where they supposedly distributed those little perfect attendance pins, though. So that was fun.

  10. If the garlic bread disappears, there’s always frozen peas for icing your ankle – the colour might be less attractive to Thomas (if he’s like my kids, and turns his nose up at anything potentially healthy.) Why do these things always happen to you?! Heal fast.

  11. I only got this far: “Also my dog has some wrathful intestinal warfare going on, filling up my fresh, new house with atomic stink bombs so radioactive that I keep checking to make sure that I haven’t actually shit my pants, too.” I started laughing – snorting, actually (I’m so sorry!) – and my husband asked why. I read it out loud. His response, “Wow! That’s one hell of a sentence.” Yes, it is, husband. Yes, it is. Okay, composing myself to read the rest of the post. Really, I’m sorry I laughed. And I really, really hope your injuries are a thing of the past.

  12. “When you skip school, a puppy dies.” HIGH FIVE! And I’m okay writing that only because the dogs went to a farm. And I skipped school, too. Oh, God – I’m placing a frozen garlic bread on my stomach – it hurts from laughing. But, as per my last comment, I am really, really sorry I laughed. And I do really, really hope your injuries are a thing of the past.

Ramble on, little rambler...

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