Things About Frank

We got another dog. I am not sure why we (we being mostly I with a moderate amount of enablement from the remaining girls at home) got another dog, but we did. It wasn't as if there was a shortage of dog hair on the couches, poop in the house or scratches on the floors. It wasn't as if every flea in Stevens County hadn't already found a comfortable place to live in this house. But we got another dog.

In some ways the new dog is more like a horse, if we're going by sheer size, volume of food consumption and general maneuverability around the house. At this point he outweighs everyone else that lives here. In fact, he makes Truck look like ein kleine hund. The new dog is a purebred Bloodhound, the kind I have wanted pretty much my whole life. The kind with big droopy lips and eyes who howls at the garbage truck and bays like he's on the trail of an escaped criminal when someone doesn't give him a snack at the dinner table.

Frank adequately compensates for all of the teenagers that have moved out of my house in his moody flailing about. He is the master of dramatic sigh-filled flops onto the couch, following by a series of long high pitched moans that are eerily reminiscent of MacKenzie doing math homework. He helped himself to a plate of waffles on the back burner of the stove one day, thereby filling the rather large appetite gap left behind when Halle moved out. And his knack for watching you silently with knowing eyes from across the room has replaced the hole that When left when she decided she'd had enough of Northport and moved away. Most of all he is chief accomplice of the legendary Noone, helping to spill, break, tear and cover in mud and/or slobber every single item in the house and then disavow all knowledge. Natalee says that his drool dries all sparkly like unicorn blood and she seems to enjoy the sheen of glitter cast liberally around the house.

He's a big baby, really. A two year old softy who doesn't understand that his 6 inch dinner-plate paws come down with the force of a baby elephant everywhere he goes. He tries to play with Dagny, who just gets mostly offended and insulted that he can't seem to control the perpetual flopping. But he is a nice boy. He's gentle and listens MOST of the time, when he feels like it. He and Truck are NOT best friends, because the thing about hounds is that food is their favorite, and sharing is not.

Frank's real best friend is Ava, the neighbor's pretty German Shepherd, who shares his affinity for smelly river water and running away whenever possible. Luckily Frank has taken to running away to Ava's house when an unwitting child leaves the gate open, and the Middlesworths bring the reprobate hound back sadly sans-girlfriend. I am not unconvinced that Truck hasn't been unlatching the gate just to tempt the giant puppy away from his house, but I have no visual evidence of this sabotage.

When we got him, they called him Hank, but since we already have a Hank dog in the family, we morphed his name to Frank, which has become interesting when we get him and Truck confused and start calling out weird amalgams of both names. My sister insists that it's not her fault if she accidentally calls Frank something more obscene. Luckily he also responds to "poophead" and "dufus" so we have a  lot of fall back options.

Since Frank joined the ranks of The Doghouse, I will admit that my vacuuming skills have improved exponentially. I will never understand how short-haired hounds lose so much hair during the winter, like a punishment for not banishing them to the frigid out-of-doors. Another perk to having a horse sized dog in the house is that the cat is less than impressed, so Crookshanks has more or less taken up residence out side, which is fine with me.

We love Frank. Less when he is yelling at Truck for hurting his feelings by walking through the kitchen, and more when his lips fan out like mink blankets across the couch. At this moment he is hiding outside in the rain where he RAN when I tried to put some tea tree oil drops on his neck to discourage his flea comrades. I think witnessing Dagny being washed in the kitchen sink aided his fear response, and he probably thought he was the next creature to be crammed into the metal square that is smaller than his head. Poor Frank. Life is scary. Don't tell him he has a vet appointment for a rabies shot on Saturday, he would probably cry about it all night.

Things About Low Speed Crashes

People who are unrealistic about their age and ability level should probably not go snowboarding. Probably, people like that shouldn't even be let out of the house because there is a lot of liability involved. I mean, it doesn't help when people like that go out for drinks the night before and their "best friends" tell them that one more Salted Nut Roll won't hurt. (Ok, Maybe it was actually me saying that, but still.) Bad ideas, all the way around.

I am unrealistic about my age. I am CERTAINLY unrealistic about my ability level in that I actually think I might have one at all. I am very unrealistic about how many Salted Nut Rolls, glasses of wine or Shock Tops are a good idea on any given night. The most unrealistic thing of all, however, is imagining that it's a good idea to go careening down a hill on a flat, waxed board, with enough of a hangover to wish things around you would quit rushing and sparkling in the sunshine.

The craziest thing about snowboarding with absolutely no skill level whatsoever, is that even if you never exceed speeds of 3 MPH, when you crash it still feels like dying. It's not like I have worked up any velocity! I mean, the mass is far greater than the speed, and even so, I think that I snapped my neck and broke both wrists at least three times apiece. I even knocked the wind out of myself in a slow motion yard sale in deep slush. Today I can't move my head. My neck can't even hold my skull upright. I have been in a weird semi-reclined leaning position all day, basically with the muscles in my neck that are tightly spasmed holding my head at an awkward angle slightly off of the pillow.

I started to get excited halfway through the day up at Red Mountain yesterday when I finally got around to using my toe edge and figuring out how to drive my board with my back foot, which kept changing because I am not sure if I prefer left or right forward. I watched my sister with a broken ankle swooshing down the hill as though it was the easiest thing ever, and I felt envy in my heart, possibly with some malice. She's not THAT much younger than me. Where did she get a skill level? It's hurtful.

I did get my crashing skills finely honed, with a little help from Aspen, who has mastered the art of the faceplant. I even held a perfect record of not ONCE disembarking the chair lift without tripping the three young kids that I was "chaperoning". I'm sorry you guys, I thought I had a skill level. This is probably due to the wild success I experienced last year on the ski hill.
traditional ski-lft selfie with AP

Luckily I had exactly nothing that I HAD to do today, other than lean weirdly on my couch and complain a lot to anyone who would listen, and perform some deep self-evaluation about unrealistic expectations and Peter Pan complexes. I was planning on taking Frank the Bloodhound for a brisk three mile walk, but that idea went right out the first time I tried to stand up.

Anyway, I will just be here on my couch for the next 8-10 days until the muscles in my neck rescind their mutiny. Send wine, or Salted Nut Rolls.

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