She doesn’t mind

By Mir
September 25, 2009

I’m trying really hard not to turn this into a place where all I ever do is talk about how smitten I am with my dog. I mean, I know she’s the cutest animal ever to grace the planet and everything, but there comes a point where even fellow animal lovers start to go: “We get it. She’s adorable and you like her. Congratulations! You DO realize that she can’t walk on water but can and does lick her own ass every chance she gets, right?”

There has to be a line, is what I guess I’m saying.

On the other hand:
2) She’s the only family member I can write about with abandon and never stop to worry that she’ll be upset with me about it.

Heck, I didn’t even bother giving her a pseudonym. I probably should’ve. Ummmm… did I say her name is Licorice? I meant to say her name is… uhhhh… Fuzzy Foofibottom. Obviously.

[I considered a pseudonym, actually. Which is kind of sad. And then I was all, eh, screw it. LICORICE LIVES ON THE EDGE, MAN!]

The Dog Emailer makes everyone fill out a C-BARQ on their dogs upon entering training class, and GOODNESS did I gloat and grin as I worked my way through line after line of rotten canine behavior, checking off “NEVER” for how often my precious snookums engages in each of them. Because she’s practically perfect in every way! Her manners are impeccable!

The universe—sensing that I’d just taken more than my fair share of tokes off the karmic hubris bong—decided that would be a good time to let Licorice in on the little secret that she, you know, LIVES HERE now, and doesn’t need to keep trying to impress us. Over the course of the next three days, she:

1) peed on my bedroom carpet (first accident ever)
2) started refusing to potty outside (preferring, instead, to eat grass and poke at fire ants, and then cry when they bit her)
3) began waking up in the middle of the night and barking/crying in the hopes that someone else in the family had a burning need to come rub her belly
4) my personal favorite—and some might say the crown jewel of it all—walked outside, located some cat poop thoughtfully left for us by one of our crazy neighbors’ 19 cats, and rolled around in it with abandon.

[Oh, humility. How fleeting you are, right up until bathtime.]

Anyway, she is still Completely Awesome, naturally, but more Awesome With A Side Of Rotten, you understand. And I can write and write about that and she doesn’t mind in the slightest.

Chickadee’s favorite way to anthropomorphize the dog is to say, “Licorice! Hey, Licorice! Breathe if you want [insert thing the dog supposedly wants here].” We are trying to explain to her that that’s utterly ridiculous, because it’s not as though the dog is going to STOP BREATHING to voice dissent. Everyone knows the only fair way to ascertain her opinion is to, instead, say, “Licorice! Eat this piece of pepperoni if you agree!”

And the truth is that I’d rather deal with a poop-crusted dog than some of the stuff we’ve been fielding here, lately, and not just because the dog doesn’t care if announce that she’s a little shit(ty) sometimes.


I look at my husband and see an incredible man with a nearly boundless capacity to do The Right Thing even when it sucks hairy donkey balls. It is one of the things I love best about him, and also the thing I worry about most with him. I also feel like the Transitive Property of Spousal Annoyance means that while he’s sucking it up, I fall into a murderous rage on his behalf. It helps no one and I know that. Still, seething has always been one of my strengths.

I look at my daughter and see a child-woman leaps and bounds beyond where I was at her age, in so many ways. I am so proud of her for so many things. And I know that the push-pull we engage in these days is as old as mothers and daughters, and I hope she knows that when I assure her that yes, I really am trying to ruin her life, I’m kidding.

I look at my son and still see the ghost of the laughing toddler he used to be, and wonder if he will ever be that happy again. Conversely, sometimes I tell myself that these are his Hard Days, and once we get through these, easier times lay ahead. I hope. In the meantime, I struggle daily with the urge to scoop him up and shield him from the world, to put him in a little bubble with endless ice cream and Bakugan and only people who love him exactly the way he is.

Pseudonyms or not, those stories are ones that require careful consideration before sharing, or cannot be shared at all.

So I asked Licorice if she minded if I told you about the cat poop, and she ate the pepperoni I offered, so there you go.


  1. Megan

    I taught all my kids to roll their eyes and say, ‘muUHM! You’re REWining my LIEuhff!’ Which meant that, natch, all the fun was gone by the time they actually wanted to use it. Also I declared it as a title of honor – Ruiner of Lives – and claim it totally comes with a cape. And very nice leather boots.

    Licorice sounds a totally spot on, normal, fabulous dog – which means every third thing is adorable and yet irritating. Little fink!

  2. TC

    We are having Terrible Times with our version of Monkey. BOY it sucks. It sucks so much I couldn’t even come up with a colorful and witty way to describe it.

    And, um, hate to break it to you, but Licorice is only the second cutest animal ever to grace yaddayadda. Snug…MY SNOOKUMS…is first. Just ask my husband or my kids!

    But I’ll give you that he’s a reallllly close second. How’s that?

  3. Ani

    Adolescence is hard. Step-families are hard. And watching our kids struggle is hardest of all.

    March on in the knowledge that we are all in this together, that we all struggle and celebrate and cry tears of both joy and agony. We are….mothers.

    May the gods grant you a weekend of no midnight-yowling dog, kids who do not squabble, good weather, and margaritas all around. And, if the dog could skip the cat-poo-roll, well that’s just icing on the cake. :-)

  4. Leandra

    You do know, don’t you, that you’ve thrown a horrible case of dog lust on me, right? So I need to hear more about Miss Cutie Fluffyface’s misdeeds in an effort to cure my puppy lust.

  5. Randi

    Awww! I’m sure Licorice is an amazing dog – so when do we get more photos Mir?! I’m okay with all the stories that you want to share, as long as we have some photos!! LOL

  6. Sharon

    Keep sharing the dog stories. They are great.

  7. Kristi

    You never fail to humor me, Mir. Never.

  8. D

    I could read your dog stories all day. I have been there and done that with gushing. It is your lil baby.
    If I am at an event or gathering and I find out someone has a dog, we talk about them forever! Even whip out our phones to share pictures with our stories.
    Fun times.

  9. Lylah

    Transitive Property of Spousal Annoyance. So true. I am going through a big bout of this right now…

  10. Tracy

    Please don’t ever stop talking about Licorice. I love to hear the adventures and lessons she has and has taught. Please give her a pepperoni for me. =)

  11. Ann from Minnesota

    Things I have washed off the dog in my past:
    1. Rotting, greasy soybeans (horrible smelling!)
    2. Greasy, black chicken poop that had been shoveled out of the

  12. Ann from Minnesota

    Shoot! Didn’t mean to submit yet!

    Anyway – the chicken poop was in a big rotting pile behind the chicken house. (Really SMELLY!)
    3. Rotting fish that apparently were begging to be rolled in.

    Also – had a little Shitzhu named Teddy who liked to snack from the cat’s litter box. If the smell of that wasn’t bad enough – the clumping litter packed into his nostrils and stayed there until removed by me.

    Now that’s unconditional love!

  13. Crickett


    “Ruiner of Lives”! With a cape, and boots? I am SOOO stealing that title when my DD gets into her teen stage! Until then I’m so stealing it for a WoW character!

  14. Mom

    Take it from a formerly expert seether – it just isn’t worth it. Try to recognize it as it is happening and consciously let it go before it eats holes in your stomach. Suffering that way for those you love and care for doesn’t help them, often makes them angry and is generally self-destructive.

    Been there, done that, burned the T-shirt.


  15. ccr in MA

    “seething has always been one of my strengths”

    What a coincidence, me too! Olympic-caliber.

  16. Jeanie

    Please keep posting about Licorice. I never tire of dog stories. Love them! I have four dogs, one of which is a black and white shih tzu, so I can relate. She went to the groomer this morning, and, boy, does she look cute!

  17. Chuck

    I don’t know what it is about dogs and rolling in poop, but they are drawn to it. My last dog (who was the most awesomest dog EVAH in my totally unbiased opinion) pulled that stunt two or three times and got to pay for it after the trip to the park with a dunk in the tub.

  18. Brian

    I often think of the old saying:

    “Lord, let me be the person my dog thinks I am.”

    I should have been a Doggy Blogger all this time, hmph.

    (and I have to chime in that yes, poop is like doggie catnip; especially those lovely brownies the cats leave right there in the box just WAITING and CALLING the dogs’ name.)

  19. Caroline

    “May the gods grant you a weekend of no midnight-yowling dog, kids who do not squabble, good weather, and margaritas all around. And, if the dog could skip the cat-poo-roll, well that’s just icing on the cake. :-)”


  20. Karen

    It’s so reassuring that someone out there is still in love with thier dog. I love ours, don’t get me wrong, but there are days that I want to toss them to the curb, one by every blessed one.

    I’d probably keep the puppies though. They’re harmless. And cute. And have puppy breath.

  21. Licorice

    You know, if you’d give me real pepperoni instead of that turkey-based stuff, I’d probably stop rolling around in stuff.

    And, MOM! You told everyone about my peeing problem! Now I can never go out on the Internets!


  22. jerilyn

    Oh, I love your blog – so cute, and its great you can love your dog AND the baby, my dogs kinda got the short end of the stick after babies arrived! I’m gonna link to ya on my ‘best links’ page

  23. Neil

    My god, soon you will be booted out of Mommyblogger-ville and forced into a new home with the Pet Blogs!

  24. GrandeMocha

    I hoped my Meanest Mom on Earth title came with a cape. I never thought about boots. Excellant suggestion!

  25. Colleen

    I must find a way to use “sensing that I’d just taken more than my fair share of tokes off the karmic hubris bong” as often as possible in conversation.

    I love that you found your ideal dog. I truly think God created dogs so we could understand the meaning of love without expectations or conditions. I would argue that my dog is truly the bestest ever, but we know how that would go. Write about snookie-ookums as often as you need. We’ll be here ready to read.

  26. Heather

    I have been feeling the same way about my boy lately. Kids are mean and he has a hard time handling it. However, the other day I was saying something referring to the way one of his “friends” treats him and he said, “mom, they are my friends and I have to deal with it, not you.” So I guess that put me in my place! He turned 9 a couple of weeks ago, I didn’t know such wisdom came with turning 9.

  27. kim

    I admire your ability to write a post that includes both of these two phrases: karmic hubris bong and hairy donkey balls.

    That is real talent!! And one of the reasons I keep coming back.

    Seriously, this is not meant sarcastically. I am going to start using that karmic hubris bong thing myself.
    Nice job.

  28. Katie in MA

    I love when you weave uproariously funny and tearfully poignant together – that’s one of your strengths, too. Also, you’re making me want a dog. So, stop that.

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