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The baby squirrel, and all that followed

Tuesday, September 1st, 2015

My sister Becca has this story. And I’ve asked her to tell it to me, like, three times because it’s so good. Now I want to share it with you.

Awhile back, Becca found a baby squirrel alone in her driveway. Here it was:


Her dogs were barking, and she knew she couldn’t leave it – so she did what any animal lover would do: she wrapped it in a towel, brought it inside, and put it in a puppy kennel.

She called Animal Control, but got a voicemail message. “If this is an emergency, call State Patrol,” it said. So she called State Patrol.

A gruff man answered: “State Patrol.”

“Um, is this where I should call if I found a baby squirrel?” Becca asked.


State Patrol was obviously no help, so she did an internet search and got the contact information for a wildlife sanctuary called Squirrel Creek. She got in touch with the nicest man, who told her to yeah, sure, bring the squirrel on down!

So she and her husband Mike drove down to Littleton after work, and pulled up at a huge lodge. They were confused because it looked like a business – a restaurant, even – but when they knocked on the door, a lone man answered. “Come on in!” he said.

They walked into a huge, empty banquet room, complete with a full bar and everything. “So, what is this place?” Mike asked.

“Oh, it’s a wildlife refuge. Also, a restaurant and a bar and a swing club and an events center.” With visions of swing dancing happening on the dance floor, Becca and Mike left the squirrel and headed home.

Becca posted an update on Facebook, telling her friends that the baby squirrel had been taken care of, and gave a shout-out to Squirrel Creek for being so great. They told all of their friends about this cool place down in Littleton – and maybe they should all go sometime?

Until one of their friends googled it. And they found this:

Screen Shot 2015-09-11 at 9.42.48 PM

They’d invited all of their friends to a 50,000 MEMBER SWINGERS CLUB. (Also a wildlife sanctuary. Of course.)

Neighborhood pest

Tuesday, October 14th, 2014

I’ve been walking Foxy after dark these days. I know, I know – but just because the sun is going down earlier doesn’t mean she needs any less exercise.

Last night, walking through crunchy leaves, I rounded the corner and noticed a man on the porch of the house I was passing. He was frantically trying to unlock his front door. When he noticed me, he turned around and breathed a huge sigh of relief.

“I heard you coming. I thought you were a raccoon.”


Well boogedy boogedy.

Summer camp

Friday, July 12th, 2013

Today is a very sad day, one I’ve been dreading for a long time. I’m saying goodbye to Toad, and sending her to Kansas City to stay with my mom for a bit.

I’m calling it “summer camp” because to think of it as anything else breaks my heart. I know that it’s for good reason – I’m out of town every single weekend for the rest of the summer, not to mention an 8-day work trip in August, and while I have a few good dog sitters, I don’t have THAT many good dog sitters. I know that Toad being with my mom will be the best thing for her – she’ll have consistency and air conditioning and people to rub her belly. I know that Labor Day will be here before I know it, and I’ll be driving out to Kansas City to bring her home.

Still, I’m having trouble stomping down that accusatory voice telling me I’m abandoning her in the name of convenience.

She’s been mine for two years – two very complicated, constantly changing, fragile years for this little dog – and I’ve taken the responsibility really seriously, maybe even to a fault. I pay really close attention to Toad. I watch her to make sure she isn’t in pain. I take her with me everywhere I can because she hates to be alone. And now I’m just… sending her away?

But given that there’s no good reason for me to be concerned about her living at my mom’s house (i.e. the lap of luxury), it makes me think that my anxiety over the whole thing is actually related to something else. It’s probably more selfish.

I’m just going to miss her.

She’s been my near-constant companion, a listening ear, the one who wakes me up in the morning because she’s hungry and then won’t eat her food unless I put cheese on it. She sits on the front porch without a leash and doesn’t run away. When I talk, she looks attentively at my face, even though her brain is very small.

And on nights like last night, when the rain came pouring down and flooded my kitchen once again, and I was standing in the backyard drenched to the bone, frantically trying to figure out how to stop the water from pouring in, and having no luck, came back inside in waterlogged sneakers, threw towels all over the floor, caught what I could in bowls and pans, and thought about posting about it on Facebook just because I need someone to see me – there was Toad. Watching my every move. Witnessing my life. Reminding me that I’m not alone.

She has a fresh shave, and a little bag packed with her few things: her dog dishes, Zuke’s treats, heartworm pills, and the leash she never needs. She’s ready.

If only I could say the same for me.

Family resemblance

Thursday, March 14th, 2013

My little dog Toad is the best. She really is. She is so ridiculous and happy and cute, and she’s always excited to see me, even if I’ve been in an ugly mood all day or my hair is looking like a sea anemone or I’m having an existential crisis. No matter what, she’s hopping in the air as high as her three legs will boost her and smiling a huge dog smile and breathing that horrible dragon breath all over everything.

And these are her relatives:


Wednesday, February 13th, 2013

Mark my words: I will never, ever sell Toad to Budweiser.

But I am 100% in favor of men in Carhartt jackets.

Haircuts for bears

Wednesday, April 11th, 2012

Every morning, I pull up to read about current events.  As a person with no TV who despises talk radio, it’s the only window I have to the outside world.

This morning, rather than reading about politics (so long, Santorum) or George Zimmerman (so long, lawyers), I opted to click on this link:
Texter looks up, sees 400-pound bear

I am so glad that this moment was captured on film.

Speaking of bears, I mentioned that Toad got her summer haircut.  She went from looking like this:

to this:

So long, bear.  Hello, 3-legged baby cow with a feather extension behind her ear.

(I promise, she is cuter and less pathetic than this picture makes her out to be.)

(But only a little.)

And with that, I’ll take my leave. I’m pretty sure I’m going to spend the entire day thinking about:
1) paying my estimated quarterly taxes,
2) how we still haven’t found a house to move into, and
3) the fact that in just 8 days, HUNTER IS COMING TO VISIT – which means that once again, this moment will be made possible:

I cannot wait.

Tom Hanks as Animals

Friday, February 18th, 2011

Do you know about this site?

Please tell me you know about this site.

Moose on the loose

Thursday, July 2nd, 2009

In my opinion, the world’s scariest creature is not a shark, or a bear, or even a naked mole rat.  The one beast that I never hope to meet in a dark alley is a moose.

Moose are some mean mother truckers.

Ever since I read “Hatchet,” and the kid was stranded alone in the Canadian wilderness, and the moose swam up in the lake UNDERNEATH HIM and gored him with his horns, I have been terrified.  This is unfortunate, because tomorrow, I will board a boat bound for the Last Frontier, where people see moose outside of the local Applebees.

But who knows – maybe moose will win me over.

Perhaps if Alison Krauss serenaded the encounter?

(Why does that make me want to laugh so hard?)

Speaking of savage behemoths, I just learned that the state marine animal of Alaska (every state should have one) is the bowhead whale.  This is by far the ugliest beast I have ever seen.

If I don’t return, you can either blame the state of Alaska for death-by-wildlife, or Christopher McCandless for the inspiration to just never come back.  At this point, it’s a toss up.

Picking fur off of my shirt today

Friday, May 22nd, 2009

As I mentioned yesterday, I am house-sitting / dog-sitting this weekend.  Sleeping in a king size bed is weird.  I like my little double mattress.  The king bed just feels so… huge, and excessive, and unnecessary, and lonely.

Oh!  But it’s not lonely when you have two gigantic Labradors to share the space!

Gah.  I will never understand people who let their dogs sleep on the bed (sorry, Becca, and all you other crazy dog people).

Don’t get me wrong – I love dogs.  I LOVE them.  But there is a reason that L.L. Bean is still in business, and I’m pretty sure that it has nothing to do with their multi-colored fleeces.  Although the Christmas 2006 Parsons family might beg to differ:


The upcoming holiday weekend

Thursday, May 21st, 2009

Whoa.  Didn’t mean to quit blogging.  But it happened for a second.

– – – – – – – –

I was invited to spend this coming Saturday on a pontoon boat with 30 other people.

I would rather streak across a golf course.

Many of the people who are going to be on the boat read this blog, and I want you to know that truly, it’s not you – it’s me.  Nowhere on my list of favorite things does it read “sun,” “heat,” “burn,” “sweat,” or “stranded with no escape.”

Incidentally, these are all of the same reasons I hated summer camp – although I can emphatically say that the number one reason I hated summer camp was the fear of getting my first period away from home.  (Sorry for saying “period.”  Oh, and sorry for saying it again.)

Instead of doing something summery and boatish and what some might call “dreamy,” my Memorial Day weekend plans include the following:
–    Pet-sitting for a former co-worker (uh oh)
–    Cleaning out the 12-year old black lab’s eyes on a daily basis (the owner showed me how – and I’m serious, I might vomit every day)
–    Seeing Lori McKenna at 12th & Porter on Friday night – oh, sweet bliss!
–    Babysitting for very cute twins on Saturday night
–    Holding babies in the church nursery on Sunday night
–    Welcoming Julie back from the Caribbean
–    Welcoming Nashville Miranda back from Argentina
–    Hanging with Erin Castioni – which could quite possibly lead to all manner of spontaneity.  I mean, remember last time?

What are YOU doing for Memorial Day weekend?