Friday Zen – Movies We’d Like to See

I have always loved Pride and Prejudice, and I’ve always harbored a sneaking suspicion that Lizzie Bennet could kick some serious ass if you ever backed her into a corner.

Wouldn’t it be nice to see that ass kicking moment captured on film?

Turtle Ninja Warriors


Painted turtles are cute, and grateful to be rescued

Painted turtles are cute, and grateful to be rescued

I’ve saved a couple of turtles this summer, and it always gives me a sort of warm, fuzzy feeling to be able to pull over, shoo them on their way to the safe shoulder of the road, and see them give me a look of endearingly turtle-ish gratitude.

The turtles I’ve saved so far have have all been Painted Turtles, a sort of cartoon version of a friendly turtle, with a shiny shell and brightly colored body. Most of them have been around six inches long, and, most importantly, none of them have tried to kill me.

Coming home from Paula’s on the weekend, I encountered a mammoth turtle about 3/4 of the way across the road. “Mammoth” is the appropriate term – this thing had to weigh at least 27 pounds, and was the size of a hubcap. It was covered in green slime, and so far as I could tell, it wasn’t moving. There’s been a lot in the news lately about how turtles are being threatened with extinction because they are hit so often by cars while crossing roads. They do this to get from the marshy areas where they live to sand or gravel areas where they can lay eggs.  Once the eggs hatch, the turtles reverse the journey, heading back into the the marshy areas across the road.

I felt an overwhelming urge to try to help this poor, beleagured animal get to safety, so I pulled over at the side of the road and grabbed a copy of “The French Bullytin” magazine I had sitting on the seat next to me. It’s a full sized, glossy magazine with a sturdy cover, and seemed perfect for scooping up giant turtles and nudging them to safety.

Turtles are slow moving animals – everybody knows this. Turtles are pretty much what defines the word ‘slow’, not to mention ‘steady’.

You can imagine my surprise, then, when the immovable moss covered rock in the road reacted to my attempts to scoot her along with a magazine by doing a 360 mid air whirl that ended with me confronting a hissing, snapping, saw toothed maw that seemed intent on snapping my arm off.

Just like this, only bigger, angrier, and with more hissing

Just like this, only bigger, angrier, and with more hissing

Remember that kids cartoon, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles? It all makes so much sense now, because this turtle was doing some serious “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Snapping Turtle” moves on my ass. No one ever warned me that turtles could do spin kicks, and no one ever warned me that turtles hiss.

Angry Mutant Ninja turtle managed to grab ahold of the corner of my copy of the French Bullytin, and tore it clean in half.  I was suddenly very aware of all the statements about Turtles being “creatures who are entitled to regard the brontosaur and mastodon as brief zoological fads” (Tortoise Trust, also suppliers of the photo above).

I admitted defeat, and left the turtle to make her own way across the road. When I drove by the same spot the next day, there was no sign of her, and no sign of her having been hit by anything, either. I have to imagine that if any car was stupid enough to try and run her over, she would have simply chewed through their tires and done a crane kick to the underbody.

I might start keeping a small, flat shovel in the car, for future rescue efforts. Also possibly body armor.

Butters’ Babies & the Big Boy

Three French Bulldog puppies

L to R - Lyra, Bon, Hammy

It’s funny how much more I notice the differences in the development in Butters’ litter, who I see once a week or so, compared to a litter that’s always underfoot.

With my own litters, I sometimes need to see and compare the photos that I take to really get a true feeling for how much they change over time. With Butters’ kids, the differences can sometimes be so striking as to leave me almost taken aback.

Last week, for example, the Big Boy (who Paula is calling Bonhomme) seemed to have lost his big, plush head. This week, it’s back, and with a vengeance. I now realize that he is going to be a slow maturing boy, growing into his headpiece over time, and likely looking his best at around two years or even older.

This doesn’t surprise me, when I think about it – his half sister Delilah did the exact same thing, losing her plush puppy head at about the same age, then slowly getting it back over time, until today, at three, her head is her best feature once again. I actually prefer these slower to mature head types – it means that they won’t end up with the huge, overdone ropes of wrinkles that we sometimes see in Frenchies, and which I find sort of coarse looking.

His sister is another type altogether – like her mother, she is what she is, meaning she likely won’t change in any significant ways between now and six months, other than to become more of what she is today. Leah is the same – Leah at a year is a just a bigger, more mature looking version of Leah at six weeks and six months. No curve balls or surprises in her development, which is always nice, but which usually comes in my girls, more so than in my boys.

Hammy, on the other hand, remains his adorable, grinning self – lighter in bone than his brother, and definitely not as ‘correct’, structurally, but still with a sort of unidentifiable ‘adorable’ factor that some puppies just have. Alvin had it, too. I can’t even put my finger on it, but it’s a combination of sweetness of expression and a permanently formed grin on their little faces that leaves them looking like the happiest puppies who’ve ever lived.

I can’t wait to see what I think of them next week, when they turn seven weeks old.

Photos after the cut, along with an awfully cute video.

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The Boys are Done!

Dexter with co owner Sue Simon, and Luke with handler Lana

Dexter with co owner Sue Simon, and Luke with handler Lana

We have some fabulous show news to share! Thanks to the able handling of co owner Sue Simon, Dexter is now officially known as Champion Bullmarket Absolut Darkly Dexter.

Sue owner handled Dexter to all his American wins, something that some people would have you believe is now pretty much impossible in the American Frenchie ring, where handlers are seen to be the dominant force to reckon with.

As if Dex’s win wasn’t enough, his son Luke managed to also finish his Championship just this weekend, taking Winners Dog in Owensborough, Kentucky for his final win. Luke, now better known as Champion Bullmarket New Hope at Spiritdragon, is co owned with Dr. Andrea Morden Moore, DVM.

The next goals for Luke are for him to complete all of the required tests for his CHIC health clearances, and to take his chances in the ring at the Wisconsin FBDCA Nationals. Luke will also be competing in the rally and agility rings, with Andrea handling and training.

Way to go, boys! We’re so proud of you both.

The difference between Pugs & Frenchies

A lot of people believe that Pugs and Frenchies are pretty much interchangeable. This is likely because of their physical similarities – smaller sized, smush faced, weird little tails (or sometimes no tail at all, for Frenchies). Ultimately, though, their differences are much greater, and can be summed up in the following videos.

The first is of a Frenchie who scratches records, DJ style.

This is Frenchies for you. Note the cool, laid back look on this Frenchie’s face? That’s because Frenchies are the hipster doofuses of the dog world.

If they had a choice in cities, they’d pick Williamsburg. Hats? Porkpie, all the way. They eat charcuterie, they listen to indie bands and shop at Army Navy stores. You can get a Frenchie to wear a costume if you wrestle him to the floor and can get his head through the neckhole, but he’s going to be shooting you pissed off looks for the rest of the night.

The second video is of a Pug who sings the Batman theme song.

There you go, that’s Pugs for you.

Pug city of choice? Cleveland, in their parents basements. Hats? Propeller beanies (or genuine licensed WoW tractor caps). They eat cheetos out of the bag, they listen to pop music and the theme songs from Cartoons, and they wear corduroy pants and t shirts from Big K. A pug will go with you while you shop for a new tiara and feather boa for him, and he’ll try it on while you take polaroids.

Pugs and Frenchies. They might look alike, but they’re really not at all similar. This is why they usually end up making such good friends for each other.