… on dead trees, post puppy depression, and a vacation

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sit a bit

Today is tree-taker-downing day at the Dingle house and it’s just – because I want another ‘d’ word – dandy.

Along the side of our house are a series of super tall pine trees that have gone to meet their maker, shuffled off to buffalo, come to the end of their time.  So, to avoid a potentially catastrophic toppled tree-based emergency this winter, the trees must come down (I did argue that such an event would be a terrific column opportunity, what with the mayhem and hilarity that would surely ensue if a tree fell on our house. But my nearly perfect husband just looked at me and made a face and didn’t send the tree guy away).


So if the tree guy was staying I thought that it would be brilliant to go outside and take a bunch of photos of trees being struck down by a man wielding a chainsaw while dressed head to toe in orange (which, come to think of it, was probably to make sure that hunters saw him and didn’t shoot him. But then that would be wHierd because wouldn’t the chainsaw deter the deer from coming close to our yard today anyway? I don’t know. The relationship between hunters and chainsaw-toting tree removal guys has always been a mystery to me.)

Anyway, I thought the photos that I could capture would be great because, between the guy with a chainsaw, and the dogs and me (and a few special effects experts), my brain had all sorts of options for cliché horror references for this column, featuring me and my dogs. You know; fake blood, distributed limbs throughout the woods, German Shepherd Walking Dead (I would get to be Machonne)….


So I went outside with Marshal Dillon Dingle and Blaze (Monty was hanging in the kitchen and Fred was tired and shagged out after a prolonged squawk (yep, dead parrot sketch reference yet again – nailed it!) and I started taking some photos. A lot of the initial pictures were blurry because Blaze and Marshal Dillon Dingle are dogs and, when they are first let out, they seem to feel the need to streak around the yard at lightning speed (also, they leap and dance a little bit too) before they can be talked to sensibly.

So once they calmed down enough to listen, I told them my plan about the chainsaw guy and the horror-oriented column.

Marshal Dillon Dingle was totally up for it and went to search for a hockey mask a la Jason Voorhees from the Friday the 13th movies.

Blaze just looked at me.

Then Marshal came back, hockey mask-less, and double checked on his mission. Marshal Dillon Dingle needs clarification of his orders.


So I told him again about the horror movie themed column and he got all excited again, barked at the sky in a fit of glee, and headed off to see if he could find a hook hand (I’m pretty sure Marshal Dillon Dingle has always secretly wanted a hook hand though, so that wasn’t really something he was doing for me and the success of my column).

And Blaze just looked at me.

After a few more clarifications, followed by fits of joy and barking on Marshal Dillon Dingle’s part, I noticed that Blaze was still sitting in front of me with that look on her face.

The look that says, “I need a vacation without the kid.”

And it got me to thinking – as Marshal Dillon Dingle was gathering sticks and stuff because he forgot about the horror theme again and instead was thinking he would help the tree guy by eating the sticks that were already on the ground (Look, it’s Marshal Dillon Dingle. I can’t explain why his brain works the way it works – nor can I explain why I seem to be able to understand his train of thought – but I’m telling you, he thought he was helping the tree guy and, therefore, helping me (and, yes, I worry that I understand his logic and that may require me to medicate myself beyond wine someday, but I don’t have time to consider that right now)).

Talking with you makes me feel like I have an attention deficit. Do you know you have that effect on people?

So anyway, I was standing there watching Marshal Dillon Dingle drag sticks around and/or eat them and Blaze was sitting in front of me just looking at me, telepathing that she needed a vacation and I suddenly realized that she actually might because I flashed to the fact that she hadn’t always looked at me this way.

So all ideas about the horror-themed column went out the window (at least for today because who knows what will happen as Halloween approaches) and we came in and started going through old photos. Well, Blaze and I did. Marshal Dillon Dingle’s issues with navigating the keyboard only start with the fact that he lacks opposable thumbs.  The ‘no tongue’ rule just seems to be beyond him.

So we’re clicking through the photos and I find that I am correct. There is just that hint of change in Blaze’s expression pre and post Marshal Dillon Dingle joining the fray.

I’m totally serious.

What do you mean you don’t believe me?

No way.

You too?!


The following will serve as Exhibit A.

These are photos of Blaze Dingle prior to Marshal Dillon joining the Dingle household. I have annotated them for your edification.

Then this happened and you can consider this Exhibit B:

Initially, we see that Blaze’s sweet, female German Shepherd maternal instincts kick in. This is Exhibit C:

But then Marshal Dillon Dingle would not sleep when Blaze wanted to sleep (Exhibit D)

And then we started to see……the look (Exhibit E)

And I got to thinking that this look was somehow familiar. And then I thought, “Oh my Gosh this is so wHierd because I think that I, Lisa Dingle, had the same look that pre-Marshal Blaze had…..before I had kids.

And I’m telling you that I recognize Blaze’s new look. And it’s earned, I tell you! Not only does Marshal keep her up at night, and not always (okay, very….very rarely) does what he is told, but he is also very rascally. And sometimes resorts to very childlike behavior.

Like photo bombing her cover girl photos (Exhibit F):

There is also other childlike behavior, including fart jokes and penis references but I have no photographic proof of those things.

Once, it got so bad that – in a fit of post-puppy depression – she tried to bury him (Exhibit G):

But we were able to stop her and rectify the situation quickly with a few freeze-dried liver treats, thus avoiding a visit from the Department of Social Services.

But as Blaze and I progressed through the photos on my computer, it was clear that the problem was getting worse. I don’t know how I missed her cries for help when they were right there on film. I mean, one of the most telling photos sits right at the top of the Just Ponderin’ blog (I’ll include that one here so that you don’t have to scroll up). Blaze’s patience has nearly reached its limit. I can tell. Sometimes she isn’t even turning her best side to the camera (something very important to Blaze. She has big dreams.)

So that’s it. Blaze needs a vacation. All Moms do at one time or another.

I just told her.

She’s pretty psyched.

She’s actually holding up a crudely written sign right now that says she wants to spend a month backpacking across Europe.

Now she is holding one up saying it won’t be too expensive because she can stay in youth hostels and has a good friend in Naples.


She loves pizza.

Okay. I have to go. Blaze is now bucking for a First Class plane ticket and if she makes it to my nearly perfect husband first, he’ll give in.

He can’t say no to his princess.

Thanks for readin’.

P.S., Wanna comment? Because I love that. I don’t have the comments turned on here, so that you can just hang out and read without a lot of extra stuff. But you can head on over to the Just Ponderin’ facebook site and comment to your heart’s content. :))