Specifically, dog and child parenting.
I am the ([too] proud) parent of a canine. He is my pride and joy and yes, he is probably better than your human child. I’m not apologizing for it, just like doughnuts don’t apologize for being delicious and Mother Nature doesn’t apologize when she tricks you into wearing a dress and you’re freezing your ass off. The Universe just happened to bless me with the best dog ever.
Now, I know most dog owners have the skewed perception that they have the “BDE” but they’re wrong. I do. Well, sometimes.
Just like my parents raised my siblings and I to be good people, we have our moments of bad, and so does my Border Collie, Mannie. His “bad” is limited to his excessive barking, which only bothers my family and my super-bitch neighbor whose career is sitting on her stupid ass and complaining all day.
Excessive barking, and not liking other dogs. I’ve already mentioned The Forgetful Lady and her forgetfulness for the facts that A) she has never met my dog before, despite her insisting her Lab and my dog are like, BFFs; and B) she consistently forgets that Mannie really doesn’t like other dogs.
Mannie just hates them. What’s the big whoop?
And while we’re at it, Mannie also hates yard work, the UPS truck/man, cats, any animal that is not himself or my brother, trucks, and he questions children–especially if those kids are scooters, skateboards, bikes, motor scooters, roller skates or any device that makes your demon child mobile. He hates them.
Big whoop: people don’t like hearing that a dog hates dogs. Or that a dog doesn’t like kids. Or a dog doesn’t like _____. People think all dogs are happy dogs that love anything, just like people think children are all happy kids with halos circling their lice-infested heads.
Yesterday, Mannie and I had possibly the worst walk known to man, for every obstacle that could interfere did interfere.
First, we encountered other dog walkers, automatically assuming their dogs are just as excited to meet mine. Crossing the street when they were clearly headed toward me made me feel rude, but the look they gave when I apologetically announced, “Sorry, my dog’s not very nice!”
It was as if I told them their dogs were infected with a rabid disease going to kill them in 1.4589 seconds.
Moving along, we encountered a man doing yard work, edging his lawn like a mad man. Mannie went ballistic, causing us to cross the street again to avoid being blown away by his frenzied yard-manicuring. But the guy, taking notice at Mannie’s interest in his chore, decided that this was funny and began to taunt my dog.
Really? WTF yard man?
After pulling Mannie down the freakin’ street away from temptations of chewing up leaf blowers, we encountered them.
No, not street gangs. No, not coyotes, bears, or wild turkeys.
ON MOVING DEVICES.
HEADED TOWARD US.
And their mother, standing outside in a delightfully tacky combination of Wellies and sweats, shouts, “Oh HAAAAAY, yoooooooou! Kids, LOOOOK!! It’s Mannieeee! Hiiiiii, Manniieeee!”
And I cringe.
Because weeks before, when the kids weren’t mobile, Mannie seemed to like their swift pets. Even though I was nervous–especially when some dumbass child put his face near Mannie’s mouth, in which I just about had a heart attack–Mannie did fine.
But fast forward a couple days later, when said children are now zipping by on moving contraptions that, (no shit) ATTRACT a freaking BORDER COLLIE, he has the instinct to herd them.
And the mom, completely oblivious to my dog ripping and thrashing on his leash as I desperately try to pull him away from the children now surrounding us in the street, flying by on Barbie scooters like demons on wheels, says “HAAAAY KIDS LOOK IT’S MANNIE” and they close in on us.
And Mannie snarls and barks, eager to herd these pesky brats back where they came from. Had it not warranted a huge lawsuit or injuries or anything, I probably would have let him. Instead, I did the normal, law-abiding citizen-y thing and told the kids “I’m sorry, he doesn’t like scooters and stuff. He’s not friendly to pet right now” and bolted the eff out of there.
But yesterday, Oblivimom in her Wellies and sweats, surrounded by a swarm of rascals on bikes, unleashed her children onto Mannie and I. I was forced to do the thing most people fear–exercise–and immediately dead lift my 45-pound animal in my hands, in protection from the sugar-trashed kids invading our personal space.
“Sor—rry,” I huffed as I walked past Oblivimom, carrying a freaking Border Collie in my hands. “Man–nie is ki–nd–of in–a — bad– mood– today.”
And… she smiles.
“Our dog looks JUUUST like Mannie!!!!! HIIIIII MANNIEEEE! KIDS LOOK IT’S MANNIE!!”
I continued walking, patience drained from holding a freaking heavy ass dog, and we went along our merry way. And as if Mother Nature hadn’t pooped all over this walk to begin with, Mannie spotted a cat that serenaded him with a variety of “meows” before I dragged Mannie down the street back to our safe place where we watched TV together and were not surrounded by children, leaf blowers, cats, or UPS men, who happened to drive by riiiight as we stepped into our driveway.
Anyway, while this detailed story of our walk only makes Mannie sound like a pest, it’s really children that are the brats. That’s the moral. Oh, and my dog is still awesome. Look at him in his Halloween bandanna.
I have long been a fan of this amazing Brown Butter Pecan Bark and usually make it as holiday treats to put into cookie baskets for teachers, coworkers, friends and firemen. I first tasted it from a family friend who got the recipe from her family friend, and so on. Best part is, it’s a simple 4-ingredient recipe that makes a lot of bark and tastes way more complicated than it is.
And when you’re day is already complicated, the last thing you need is a difficult bark (and believe me, my dog is already my difficult bark). Thankfully, I’ve got you covered. Simple AND a holiday gift in one? You’re welcome.
Brown Butter Pecan Bark
1 cup butter (2 sticks)
1 cup white sugar
1 cup chopped or whole pecans (you can use mixed nuts if you’d like, but I had pecans on hand and it’s what I always use)
About 2 pkgs (approx. 12 sheets) honey graham crackers
1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F. Lay your graham crackers tightly across the area of a lightly greased rimmed baking sheet. Trim any crackers to fit the sides of the pan if needed. Set aside.
2. In a large saucepan, bring the butter, sugar and pecans to a boil over medium heat for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Carefully (and evenly) pour boiled mixture over the entire plane of graham crackers, spreading pecans around evenly. Immediately pop graham crackers into the oven and bake for 8 minutes.
3. Allow graham cracker bark to cool completely before breaking into pieces and storing airtight.
It’s amazing how butter and sugar melt into a perfectly sweet caramel poured over crumbly, yummy graham crackers. Absolute perfection!
And this bark is so genius to gift, especially for the holidays. It’s cheap, tasty, and so easy to transport and tie up in cute cellophane bags!