Sunday, March 29, 2020

A Jack Russell terrier and dachshund on the pandemic, Trump, trash TV and other topics

Rupert (left) and Russell demonstrate social distancing

I’ve read dozens of interviews with experts about the global pandemic and its effects on humans but have yet to see an interview with any of the millions of dogs who are also having to make adjustments to their routines. So this morning, I sat down for a chat with Rupert, our dachshund, and Russell, our Jack Russell terrier, to find out how they are coping during these troubling times, and to see if they have any advice for their fellow canines. 

TD: How are you two staying fit? 

Rupert: We’re being taken for walks —lots and lots of walks. I have lost four pounds and Russell has lost three since the quarantine began. 

Russell: We only weighed 10 pounds each when all this started so if this quarantine goes on much longer we could be in trouble.

TD: What do you think of the stimulus package that was signed Friday?

Russell: We sent a message to Nancy Pelosi asking her to include $25 billion to make sure every American dog receives a lifetime supply of Cesar’s Softies Filet Mignon Treats. She wrote that into the bill but the stupid Republicans insisted that provision be removed so we can’t say we support it.

Rupert: Frankly, we are pissed. Most American humans are getting checks but not one dog and that’s not right. Just consider the billions that are spent to keep us healthy and cute — veterinarians, groomers, heartworm preventative, flea and tick control products, dog food, obedience schools, Ellen Degeneres ED Halloween outfits from Petsmart, etc. Congress clearly has no regard for us. 

Russell: Don’t blame Congress, blame Trump. Not only is he a racist, sexist, homophobic, narcissistic, lying xenophobe, he’s a cynophobe. 

TD: What’s a cynophobe? 

Russell: You have nothing else to do, look it up.

TD: Anything else you are doing to pass the time?

Rupert: Yesterday we cornered and disemboweled a baby lizard on our lanai. When mom found out, she started screaming and made dad squash it with a hammer to, as she said, “put it out of his misery” which I found disappointing because we were enjoying watching it squirm.

TD: What are your humans doing?

Russell: They talk about many things they want to do — clean out closets, read books, throw out all that crap in the garage, wash windows, teach us to fetch, yadda yadda. But they don’t do it. They just sit on their butts and watch endless episodes of 90-Day Fiance on TLC. It's a reality show about trashy Americans who meet foreigners on the Internet and decide they are their soulmates, bring them to the United States, then have 90 days to get married. 

Rupert: It’s mindless and makes us embarrassed to be Americans. When this is all said and done, the CEO of TLC should be sentenced to life with Darcy, the crazy woman from Connecticut who fell for Jesse, the control freak from Holland, or with Paul, the convicted Kentucky arsonist who can only talk to his Brazilian girlfriend, Karine, using the translation app on his cell phone. 

Russell: An update for you bro, Paul and Karine got married in last night’s episode.

Rupert: Oh, I missed that, must have fallen asleep.

TD: Are you practicing social distancing?

Rupert: Absolutely. I have always enjoyed sniffing the butts of other dogs I encounter on my daily walks but now I’m hesitant to do that. I read that a dog in Hong Kong was diagnosed with the virus, along with a cat from Illinois. So Russell and I sniff each other’s. 

TD: What is your advice for humans?

Russell: There are hundreds of thousands of loving dogs in shelters who need homes and would like nothing more than to keep you company, not only during this pandemic but for years to come. I was one of them just four months ago. Now’s a great time to go out and adopt one. We won’t argue with you, won’t judge you, will be loyal until our last breath, and all we really want is to be by your side. Plus, we are better adjusted and have more sense than the people on 90-Day Fiance. 

TD: Thank you boys. Wanna take a walk?

Rupert: God no!

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Thursday, March 26, 2020

Doubting Thomas' COVID-19 Be Damned Nutrition Plan

Many thanks to my loyal readers who have called, emailed and texted to find out how I'm doing during the global pandemic.

I am happy to report that, as of this writing, I'm fine. That could change at any time but for now, I'm virus-free due to: 

A)  social isolation. I've left the house only to walk the dogs and, twice, to pick up food at the drive-through windows of restaurants when I got tired of eating out of the fridge or pantry. 

B)  the proprietary diet plan I have followed for the last seven days. I'm sharing it here in the hope that you, too, can remain healthy so that you can also spend this pandemic watching back-to-back episodes of “90-Day Fiancee” instead of doing all the stuff around the house you always swore you would do if you had the time.  

Ready to learn my secret plan? Read on!



1 cup Dunkin’ Donuts coffee with 1% milk

2 Oreos cookies


2 bowls Honey-Nut Cheerios with 1% milk


6 White Castle Cheese Sliders (microwaved)

1 750 ml bottle Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc



3 cups DD coffee with 1% milk

1 36 oz. tub Nestle Toll House Ready to Bake Cookie Dough


22 1 oz. snack portions Tillamook Extra Sharp White Cheddar Cheese

2 sleeves of Ritz crackers

1 5.3 oz. box Ferrero Rocher Fine Hazelnut Chocolates

2 12 oz. cans Miller Genuine Draft


1 20.5 oz. box Fruity Pebbles (dry)

2.5 cups Maker’s Mark Small-Batch Bourbon Whiskey with splash of water


7 Ghirardelli Milk Chocolate Bunnies from grandkids' Easter basket 



4 cups Irish Coffee ( half DD Coffee, half Jameson's Irish Whisky)


1 17.89 oz. Red Baron Brick Oven Pepperoni Pizza

1 2.5 lb. jar Kirkland Cashews

1 12 oz. can Diet Coke


1  52.7 g package Ptasie Mlecsko Dark Chocolate Covered Marshmallows

1 50 oz. box Marie Callender's 3 Meat & 4 Cheese Lasagna  (Family Size)

Rest of 750 ml bottle of Maker’s Mark with splash of tap water

1 750 ml bottle, Joel Gott Cabernet Sauvignon



1 Wendy’s Breakfast Baconator Combo  (sausage, American cheese, applewood smoked bacon, fresh cracked Grade A egg, Swiss cheese sauce)

1 senior Seagram’s Diet Ginger Ale*


1 box Girl Scout Thin Mint cookies

2 orders Taco Bell Nachos BellGrande  

1 Taco Bell 7-Layer Burrito

1 pint Jeni’s Gooey Butter Cake Premium Ice Cream


Finnish Bloody Mary — six airplane-sized bottles Finlandia Vodka mixed with 32 oz. bottle Heinz Ketchup



3 cups Dunkin Donuts Coffee with 1% milk

1 box (6 ct) Little Debbie Honey Buns


1 large Wendy’s Taco Salad 

3 bags Pop Secret Microwave Popcorn

1 9.3 oz. container Market Pantry Rainbow Sprinkles

17 12 oz. cans, Miller Genuine Draft


8 Fat Boy Jr. Premium Ice Cream sandwiches

1 11 oz. pkg. Stouffer’s Creamed Chipped Beef served over large bag Fritos Spicy JalapeƱo Scoops

Mongolian Bloody Mary — 750 ml bottle Bacardi Silver Rum mixed with 14.2 oz. bottle P.F. Chang’s Mongolian Style BBQ Sauce



3 cups DD Coffee with 1% milk


12 oz. box Velveeta Shells & Cheese Sauce prepared according to package directions with one can Chicken of the Sea oil-packed tuna and liberal amount of fresh ground pepper

1 can Dasani Lime Sparkling Water 


8 Publix Blueberry Toaster Pastries

1 16 oz. Bottle McCormick's All-Natural Pure Vanilla Extract



4 cups DD coffee with 1% milk

16.2 oz. jar Trader Joe’s Pitted Amarena Cherries with Stems


7 oz. jar Pastene Monzanilla Olives

1 can Reddi-wip Extra Creamy Whipped Topping

1 1 lb., 8 oz box See's Peanut Brittle


1 Scoop Purina Pro Plan Salmon & Rice Formula

Jemima Cocktail: One 24 oz. bottle Aunt Jemima Pancake & Waffle Syrup mixed with 16 fl. oz. bottle Walgreen's 93% Isopropyl Rubbing Alcohol 

2 Percocet tablets from 2011 wisdom tooth extraction

Be strong. Be well. Be brave.   And remember: That which does not kill you makes you stronger.   

*Free for those 65 and better with proof of age

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Other than that pesky global pandemic, how has your week been?

Yeah, mine too.

I’ve been home all week with the dogs while my wife has been in Washington watching the grandkids. Our son and daughter-in-law flew to Ireland Monday night to attend a wedding that’s supposedly taking place as I write this (Saturday). Great timing.

They were scheduled to fly back to the U.S. Monday but their flight has been moved up a day. Judy was going to come home Tuesday, but I’m hoping that if they arrive tomorrow and don’t have to be quarantined she’ll be able to catch an earlier flight. I looked online and JetBlue’s three nonstops from DC to Fort Myers appear to be basically empty. She'd pretty much have the plane to herself.
I’m on the board of our 3350-door homeowner association. We’ve canceled all upcoming events for the foreseeable future and hope to stream our annual HOA meeting, scheduled for March 26.  By law, we must hold it no later than March 31. Representatives of our 49 neighborhoods are supposed to attend. Last thing anyone wants at this point is to gather in a room with a group of older people who travel constantly. Neighbors left earlier this week for Argentina where they were to board a luxury cruise ship. They're back. The cruise line cancelled all its cruises.  

This morning, I went to Publix to buy necessities we will need to survive the coming weeks including chocolate chip cookie dough, Bob Evans Farms Mac & Cheese, and L'il Cesar Filet Mignon dog treats. It was bedlam. I had to wait for a shopping cart, they were all in use. My fellow shoppers looked purposeful but displayed no outward panic. There were no fights over TP or hand sanitizer or bleach or alcohol or peroxide — there wasn’t any to be had. 

I had to laugh when the PA system started playing Paula Cole's "I Don't Want to Wait … For My Life to be Over."  

I’m not keen on waiting for my life to be over because of some stupid virus, but I can at least take comfort in the gigantic bag of Chili Cheese Fritos I added to my cart at the last minute, which I intend to consume this afternoon as I watch Netflix.

The way I see it, there's no need for anyone to worry about calories, fat or salt any more, so I might as well eat them all while I can.

Stay well. And stay away from me please,