Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Busybody Biker Bobsies

This weekend I took my dog Daisy hiking at a local state park. It was one hot mofo out, but since she loves going for long walks almost as much as she loves eating cookies and poop, I couldn’t leave her home. I brought plenty of water and we took umpteen breaks en route. We didn’t run into another soul on the trails … it was bliss. Until we finished our walk, just ten feet from the parking lot. Which was where we ran into Chatty Biker Couple. Decked out in full mountain biking regalia, they were probably in their late forties. And my, did they enjoy dishing out the unsolicited advice. It started with a simple, “Oh, look! A Toto dog! I love Cairns,” from Biker Betty. Then Biker Bob chimed in, “Oh, she’s so hot! Look at her. She needs a drink of water!”

And since my head was pounding and I was about to turn inside out from the heat, I didn’t say, “Oh, I believe in withholding water from her on hot days. Builds character.” Nor did I say a thing about her refusal to even sniff the water I offered her for the last fifteen minutes. Instead I smiled wanly and said, “Yep. She’s just about to get a drink.” I then proceeded to give her one. Which she drank like she’d been in Death Valley for a week with only dried jerky for sustenance.

Then Biker Betty said, “I haven’t seen a Cairn that wasn’t stripped!” Now, if you’re not familiar with the breed, let me clue you in to stripping. It has nothing to do with a pole, Lucite heels, or dollar bills crawling with bacteria. It’s actually the severe-sounding way Cairn Terriers are groomed so they look kind of poofy and spunky instead of bedraggled and shaggy, which is how Daisy looks lately. Their hair is actually pulled out, or stripped, in patterns until there is nothing left but the undercoat, and then the idea is that the overcoat grows back in.

Wow, talk about a convoluted explanation! Anyway, I don’t know a groomer that does this, and since Daisy screams at the vet before they even touch her, I don’t think she would much cotton to being stripped by a stranger. Would you? So we stick with a simpler but still effective brushing technique.

Anyway, I just kind of shrugged and said, “Yep, she’s still got her full coat.” Just then Daisy put on a miserable, hot expression better suited for Eeyore in a scratchy wool sweater in August after barely escaping a house fire.

Biker Bob butted in again. “Oh, and these woods are just CRAWLING with ticks. Better check her later! Do you use Frontline?”

I could only nod. I wanted to tell them to shut up so I could feed her a post-hike snack of chocolate, chicken bones, and antifreeze, but they barely let me get a word in edgewise. Finally, after blabbering on with some story about how he puts Frontline on his cat before she goes out on her leash, Biker Bob rode off after Biker Betty into the tick-filled wilderness. I was too tired to be really annoyed, but it made me wonder. What is it about people giving unsolicited advice to pet owners or parents of small children? Are they truly concerned about the welfare of the small being in question, or do they just want to reinforce their own smug self-image as a “concerned” and “informed” citizen?

Also? Daisy is one of the most spoiled dogs I know. She’s more spoiled than egg salad sitting in the sun for six hours at a picnic. She’s more spoiled than the kid who had a bat mitzvah headlined by Aerosmith and 50 Cent. Do the Biker Bobsies not watch Animal Cops Detroit? It’s not like she’s limping around with an eight pound tumor dangling from her face.

Anyway, enough of that. Other things happened this weekend that involved drinking and much laughter, but I decided to save the juiciest stuff for my next book. Because a girl’s gotta have some secrets. Especially where she helped her friends hide the body.


  1. Anonymous11:34 AM

    Yes, I'm sure you are the post child for animal cruelty, Jess.. geez! people... ...

    "Other things happened this weekend that involved drinking and much laughter, but I decided to save the juiciest stuff for my next book. Because a girl’s gotta have some secrets. Especially where she helped her friends hide the body."

    oh gawd... :)

  2. Anonymous11:48 AM

    ^^ Mark got to you, didn't he? hehe. Is J going to post his pictures someplace?

    ... still paranoid about the book ...

  3. We took our spoiled dog (two meals a day, two walks a day, what a brat!) for a walk around a local reservoir (ack! I can't spell!) on Monday, and she poo pooed all of the water opportunities that we offered her. When we got back to the car, she drank like she had been in the dessert for two months. Sigh. At least there weren't any bossy people around to harass us. :)

  4. I think it's the part about the smug self-image. People like that make me want to beat my head against a wall.

  5. I'm getting the feeling you want to tell us something. I won't pressure you or anything.

    I love the part about withholding water from the dog to test it. Solid stuff. Does your doggie eat its own poop? That's such a good way to save money.

  6. Oh Jess! I confess that I am an avid watcher of Animal Cops and I saw that one with the icky face tumor on the poor doggie.

    Shame on Daisy for trying to make you look bad. You should have her stripped for that.

  7. Mmmmm. Cookies and Poop.

    You should have told them, "She's lucky I let her out of her cage today. Seeing daylight is usually reserved for holidays only."

    I hate when strangers give advice. I seem to get more then my fair share too. Do I give off a weird type of pheromone or something?

  8. Anonymous12:56 PM


    What kind of bat mitvahs did YOU GO TO??!!! I never got to see 50!!!


    have you seen 'My Sweet 16' on MTV? Oh my god.

    Anyway. This story cracks me up. Don't ya just love unsolicited advice?

  9. My boyfriend was dog-sitting for his friends this weekend and we brought the dog to the dog park near his house. I swear, when our precious doggy charge wasn't humping every other dog he saw, HE was being humped. And they were all neutered (of course)! Horny, dominating bastards. "I'll show you who's boss! Oh yeah, you'll take it and like it bitch!" (Literally.)

  10. Your dog eats poop? Hahahah this is a hilarious post. I hate people who like to dole out unsolicited advice. Now go write more posts like this and take better care of your dog!!! ;)

  11. Anonymous3:10 PM

    Jess, you mistress of metaphors. You are killing me. And your little dog too, apparently.

    To answer the question you posed - it's the former. Those people are all about the smug.

  12. Anonymous3:45 PM

    Oh I am so all about lipping people with the advise lately. But when I get tired like you were I smile and wave too!

    People are weird! I could never ever imagine talking to someone else like that!

  13. Or you could have told them, "Hey, it took me over two hours in this heat to catch this little morsel and put it on this leash. I like em this size, nice and tender. They're great on the grill. Beats the hell outta a brat fry. Now if you two will excuse me, I've got some skinning and gutting to do. Have a nice day."
    Biker B & B would have been out of there before you could say Kibbles & Bits! hehe

  14. OMG - an 8 pound tumor dangling from her face! I laughed out loud. And spoiled dogs? Guess where Minnie is right now? I guess my lap wasn't good enough. She climbed off my lap up onto the desk. (No, she's not a cat - I'm sure she's a dog) Now she's sitting next to the keyboard like, "Sigh, this is so boring, human!"

  15. Tempted as I am to start in with the "my dog's more spoiled than your dog" routine, I'm going to take the high road an comment on the bikers instead.

    Doo doo heads.

    And there you have it. The best I could come up with at the end of a long day. Funny story!

  16. Anonymous8:21 PM

    My dogs have perfected the ability to appear as torture victims when others are around. My neighbor called me yesterday to apologize because he had neglected to buy dog treats (he has no dog) My two dogs were wailing at the fence as if their tails were caught in a bear trap.

  17. Anonymous10:14 PM

    Actually, you do know a groomer who does that. Me! If a dog isn't hand-stripped from puphood, they're not likely to take it well in adulthood. Also, clipping the hair softens it and makes it next to impossible to strip.

    There is no reason to strip a pet, unless you just prefer to. Show dogs coats have to be stripped, because a huge part of the standard for most terriers is coat texture.

    As to him never having seen a Cairn that wasn't hand stripped, what a load of hooey. Like you, most people don't have a groomer who knows how to strip, therefore most pet Cairns are clipped.

    Stripping is also expensive. I charge 60.00 an hour to do it (and believe me, I earn that money)and it's usually about a 4 hour process (broken up into hour long segments,usually), and it only costs about 30.00 for a clipping, total. Another huge reason most pet Cairns are clipped. People who show their Cairns often learn to strip to save the money.

    Ok, I just realized that I Hi-jacked your comments. Sorry about that.

  18. Anonymous11:18 PM

    People like that "mean well", and don't often realize they've missed the mark.

    Can't wait to read the new book!! :)

  19. Anonymous7:48 AM

    Geez, couldn't they just go get a frappachino or save the planet or something? What ever happened to good, old fashioned ignoring each other?

  20. There were no witnesses I hope.

  21. Are they truly concerned about the welfare of the small being in question, or do they just want to reinforce their own smug self-image as a “concerned” and “informed” citizen?

    It's the second thing you said.

  22. biker advice? tell 'em to get their own newspaper column and leave ya the hell alone. ;)

  23. The unsolicited advice comes from the mouths of people who feel the need to assert their own intelligence. Because if they couldn't hear themselves out loud they would self destruct.

  24. At the vet today, I overheard a woman telling a man with an English Bulldog, "You need to be careful with his ears, they can get infected easily." She didn't even have bulldogs, she had...I dunno, something else, and the guy looked at her like, "Whatever lady." She may have been right, but I'm sure he was smart enough to do his own research. And if not? Well, that's none of her business, as she's not his Vet.

    Irksome! :)

  25. Yes Jess Honey, we call it Assvice.

    People feel free to let the assvice fly.

  26. Ha! I've got nothing clever to say because I know far too many of those people and I've wasted all my lines on them.

    You need a large black dog with a menacing look as a companion to Daisy and then no one will dare to bother you about a thing.

  27. Congrats! A classic case of ASSVICE! Enjoy. ;)

    Now, I want to hear about the a matter of fact, I want to hear about my own.

  28. Daisy is still eating poop, huh?
    All I can picture is the biker couple with a little dog like that....kinda funny.

  29. Anonymous11:53 AM

    I think this "giving advice" protocol is a very American thing -- maybe from our Puritan background. In France, women bring their babies into smoke-filled bars, and no one cares. Here, someone would call the cops on you.

  30. Don't worry,Jess, I think you'll be ok because I hear there is a twelv step program for animal abusers. :)

  31. Anonymous4:17 PM

    Gotta love that unsolicited advice. I try not to get defensive about it, but still. Instead, like you, I attempt a joke, but it's crazy how some people don't have a sense of humor, and it's usually the types who know everything and hold you against your will until they can impart all their wisdom.