Save the dogs; then maybe if time permits, other small mammals

I was going to write a long post about how Troy and I stayed at Tiburon in Naples, Florida, as home base for our Everglades adventure. (For those not in the know, Tiburon is a “resort community” with a golf course connected to the Ritz-Carlton in Naples, Florida). This is, apparently, a big deal to golfers. Troy and I do not golf. Ever. Troy’s mother owns a condo there so it seemed like a good idea, chiefly because it is free. This area is full of zero-percent-body-fat trophy wives of a certain age who get lots of work done and look perpetually surprised due to Botox overload. Coincidentally, we were visited by one of these very blonde, sleek women who knocked on our door to ask us not to get up so early as it disturbed her. Right. Anyway, I digress. This is the land of the very wealthy and every single resident there could be (and should be) charged with the crime of living while overprivileged.

Parking for the visitors of the overprivileged

While I could ramble on about my Margaret Mead exploration of the land of nip and tuck, I would rather talk tonight about something more socially redeeming. As some of you know, I am a big fan of big dogs in general and am especially fond of a particular rescue, Big Fluffy Dog Rescue, that rescues these guys. This rescue is in dire financial straits because it is run by volunteers with huge hearts, but small wallets. This rescue took in 16 puppies in danger of being put down from shelters in the South. These 16 puppies then broke with a very bad disease called parvo, which is caused by a virus and it is very expensive to treat and fatal a lot of the time.  $16,000 later, 10 of the puppies have survived, but the rescue is left with crushing vet bills. I think we can help spread the word and raise some cash to help them out.

Do you want to say no to this face?

I know this post has nothing to do with our more typical discussions like how Troy is trying to kill me on some remote mountain hike, but this is a worthy cause and I promise extra surly posts for the rest of the week to make up for it.

Big Fluffy Dog Rescue is a 501c3 rescue and gifts to them are tax deductible. You can donate to them here and the nice folks that handle donations will send you a letter thanking you for your gift.

I am sure the big fluffies will thank you for your donations and for spreading the word. Tomorrow I promise a detailed discussion of whether bears do in fact shit in the woods. I have visual proof to share that shows they do. Also, Troy tried to kill me in a kayak. Tomorrow. Really.

Sleep the sleep of angels or of a Great Pyrenees, and donate to a worthy cause

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You never really grow up

My baby sister just turned 40. This is appalling, not for her of course as the alternative was unpleasant, but for me, because that means I am positively ancient. I decided to take her for a quick trip to Florida to hang out for a few days. As we are both mature adults, we would surely have meaningful conversations about life and family. Right. All I can say is that the wench ate my eclair. I left it alone and unguarded overnight because, really, no one needs 450 calories before bed, but I knew in the morning it would be there waiting for me.  I awoke to discover the horror of an empty eclair package.

She decimated my unguarded, but much desired, eclair.

 Seriously, did I have to declare dibs before bed? Has she no shame? Apparently not.

The ocean was too calm to pass off a drowning as accidental.

I hereby declare shotgun to infinity. She will never get to ride in the front seat if I can help it. Even though I am 42.

Canoeing with Susan: a lesson in why kids should be sent to summer camp

My little sister is turning 40 soon and we planned to head to Florida to recover from the horror; her from turning 40 and me from having a little sister who is 40. The house we are staying at is on the beach but also is adjacent to a brackish water lake and they rent canoes.  I love to canoe and all things water-related.  I also know how to canoe. I assumed that Susan knew how to canoe because my parents also sent her to camp where I had learned to canoe. Big mistake. Susan has no idea how to canoe.

My Dad is a salt of the earth type whose parenting skills included spouting such gems as “life is hard in the far west” when confronted with a reasonable request for assistance. Dad also believed I should go to 4H camp so I could “toughen up”. At 11, I discovered that 4H camp meant get in a canoe, try to stay afloat and catch and make your own dinner.  My formative summers were spent in exotic locations like Kansas and Missouri canoeing and illegally trawling for bass to stay alive. I assumed Susan got the same treatment, but I never asked since she was younger than I am and was completely beaneath my notice. So when Susan said “hey let’s rent a canoe”, I was hit by a wave of nostalgia and though it would be a lark, especially since I could spend an enjoyable day in the sun paddling around the beach and then head out for a nice dinner without having to catch it first.  I did not consider the danger of Susan.

The site of the canoeing debacle, except the lake was attached to the ocean

To start with, Susan is a completely charming and utterly dangerous human to hang out with. She thinks nothing of lighting a cigarette with a map gas torch while driving down the highway.  She once blew the doors off a microwave while boiling eggs in a Pyrex bowl because “it seemed like a good idea.”  This is the person I decided to canoe with. In my defense, I had no idea she had never canoed because she had been to camp.

Getting in the canoe was the first trick. She almost took a header out of the canoe because she did not understand that the canoe was balancing in the water. I pressed on with the adventure because I thought she was just rusty and would remember how it all worked soon. The concept of balance remained elusive as she continuously lurched over the side to try to reach things in the water. Then, because there is such a thing as a “tide” and she did not heed commands to paddle hard, we foundered on a sand bar.  People from the beach could see us. They were laughing at us. Susan picked that time to jump out of the canoe to “push us off the sand bar”. Genius. Never mind that there were drop-offs everywhere around us.  Drop offs with sharks. She did manage to free us and somehow get back in the canoe just as this swam past us.

OK., this was not really us and this did not really happen, but we did see a 3 foot long baby shark 60 seconds after she got in the canoe. Of course there were bigger sharks just waiting to eat her out of my line of sight.

The bigger question for me was why did she not know how to canoe? The answer was that she got to go to civilized camp. With air conditioning, and three meals a day brought to her by people interested in her survival. Obviously, as the first born, I was expendable since they had a spare. So Dad, remember it will probably be me pushing your wheelchair and I am holding a grudge.