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The Tale of Why I Don’t Ever Eat Cheez-its

My dog eats poop. I don’t even know if she has discerning taste, or if she just eats whatever poop she finds. It seems to come and go with her moods, as she will go weeks or months without eating any, then suddenly go on an enormous binge of turd tasting. We have two dogs, and the other one doesn’t eat poop, it’s just the big German shepherd mix, Maizie. (The dog my wife willed to her.)

It’s gross, I know. But I also know that Maizie is not alone in the dog world for her horrible habit. We’ve tried all sorts of things to get her to stop, but she still trucks onward, flopping a random piece into her gullet just when you think she’s over it. For all of you who don’t know about this, don’t own dogs, or don’t even particularly like dogs, just know that this is not actually all that unusual. Dogs will eat almost anything.

With Maizie, I’ve not actually understood her motivations for eating. She seems to have preferences for certain things. For instance, she LOVES those bacon-shaped dog treats. She can hear you open up a package from miles away, and come rushing to the kitchen, ready to snatch the entire bag out of your hand, cut it up on a mirror and snort it like some desperate addict. But if you gently offer a piece, she swallows it like a pill. Seriously. The treat is in her mouth for maybe a nanosecond. Why the desperation? I know she’s well fed. I mean, isn’t part of the enjoyment of eating tasting the food? I’ve certainly been assaulted by her tongue with affection enough times to know that there is plenty of room for tasting things on the huge flap of flesh.

So, I’m sure that there are some more astute dog owners who are reading this and think they have the solution to Maizie’s dookie eating, and I assure you, you don’t. We’ve tried everything from training to medications, you know, things to make turds taste bad to her (yes, I was surprised that someone thought to invent a powder that, when added to food, will make poop taste bad as well. You’d kinda think that sort of invention wouldn’t ever leave the inspired person’s notebook, yet, here we are, living in a world where I make less money than someone who thought to make a dog food additive that makes shit taste bad.) We’ve resigned ourselves to the fact that we’ve got a loving, caring, smart, wonderful, beautiful dog…and she just likes to chomp on poop every now and again.

So what does this have to do with Cheez-its?

Well, Cheez-its once held a place in my mind as a clever little flat Goldfish cracker that is convenient, has a nice little “fresh from the can” cheese taste and aroma, and is in convenient, never-satiating, sized to-go packs. It ranked in there as one of the top snacks in my book to eat if you’re ever bored, slightly hungry, and never actually want to feel full. In other words: a staple of an American diet.

In my getting to know Maizie during her ten years thus far on this planet, she has proven to have vacuum cleaner in her genetics. No, her culinary palate is not limited to shit, she also enjoys, well, literally everything. She has eaten shoes, child lock gates, ovens, and even a pair of glasses. If it was in reach and seemed like it would fit in her mouth, at one point in her life she would at least try it before spitting it out. To this day, if you wave something enthusiastically enough in front of her snout, she will assume it is food and get mondo excited about it. If I waved a bicycle in the air and said “WANNA TREAT?” she would wag and spin in excited circles until you tossed that bike right at her head.

So, here’s what Cheez-its have to do with my dog…

A few years back, my wife and I crammed ourselves into a one-bedroom apartment on the third floor of a building without an elevator with two dogs who needed walked quite often. This was about the same time we realized that Maizie had a taste for turds. There were plenty of other dogs living around the complex, and I’d say 90% of their owners had no concept of the skill of cleaning up after their dog. It was almost to the point where I gave up on picking up my own dogs’ poop, because they’d do their little spinning routine, drop their package, and I’d lean over to pick it up only to be a little confused as to which one to pick up, as there were so many choices ((I would occasionally grab a cold one (not a beer, obviously) and then shutter as I knew that I’d just traded turd duties (or doodies, if you must) with the owner of some strange dog)). And occasionally, just to add to my horror, I’d be picking up a poop and while I was busy, Maizie would fling another poop into her mouth while I was too busy grabbing turds to stop her. It seemed like a cruel bait and switch. “Here dad, you pick up this poop I made while I pick up this other poop with my tongue!”

She’s lucky she’s beautiful.

On the first floor of the same apartment lived a large family with a bunch of kids. And the parents never seemed to be all that into the whole discipline thing. They kinda just let their kids run and scream in the hallway, slam doors, and spread their various snack foods around as their pleased. I wasn’t fond of that family, but Maizie loved them, because they always left the various snack foods around. To a dog like Maizie, these rugrats were like Santa’s elves, delivering tidings of sugary snack food to graze over while both entering and exiting the apartment.

As I’ve established, Maizie will eat anything.

But then, a kid had spilled Cheez-its on the floor. And then stepped on them. And then possibly rolled in them. I really wasn’t sure how that many Cheez-its could be spread out over that large of an area in that many various sizes and shapes and shards without some amount of planning. When I first came down the stairs, I thought, “Damn, Maizie. they just set out a buffet for you, didn’t they?” I shrugged, as there was no way around them, save jumping out of the second story window with two dogs. So, we pressed on, my hand tightened on the leash, ready to use all of my strength to get the fat dog past the buffet so she could go potty and then hit the poop buffet outside.

As we walked, nay, sauntered through the Cheez-it spread crushed thoroughly into the carpet, Maizie sniffed, and wagged, and sniffed, and wagged…

…and then just moved on. NO interest WHATSOEVER.

I was befuddled, flabbergasted, appalled, confused…everything. I almost led her back to the crumbled snack spread and tried to tell her that those…were Cheez-its…and those taste good. Instead, we went about our routine, and she snacked on a big, messy turd.

She liked the turds…she liked everything…yet…Cheez-its are rejected? I’d never seen the dog reject anything before in my life.

And honestly, when we went back in the apartment, I went more slowly through the Cheez-it war zone, just to give her another chance at them. Not because I wanted her to start eating Cheez-its as much as it was that I wanted the last thing she ate not to be poop.

And, once again, she turned her nose up at the Cheez-its. Nothing. No interest. If I had offered her the bicycle at the time, she would’ve taken it. Being the last piece in a human centipede would be this dog’s dream, yet…

…no Cheez-its. Never.

This, my friends, is why I reject Cheez-its. If a dookie-loving dog won’t eat them, then neither will I.

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The Tale of Why I Don't Ever Eat Cheez-its

My dog eats poop. I don’t even know if she has discerning taste, or if she just eats whatever poop she finds. It seems to come and go with her moods, as she will go weeks or months without eating any, then suddenly go on an enormous binge of turd tasting. We have two dogs, and the other one doesn’t eat poop, it’s just the big German shepherd mix, Maizie. (The dog my wife willed to her.)
It’s gross, I know. But I also know that Maizie is not alone in the dog world for her horrible habit. We’ve tried all sorts of things to get her to stop, but she still trucks onward, flopping a random piece into her gullet just when you think she’s over it. For all of you who don’t know about this, don’t own dogs, or don’t even particularly like dogs, just know that this is not actually all that unusual. Dogs will eat almost anything.

With Maizie, I’ve not actually understood her motivations for eating. She seems to have preferences for certain things. For instance, she LOVES those bacon-shaped dog treats. She can hear you open up a package from miles away, and come rushing to the kitchen, ready to snatch the entire bag out of your hand, cut it up on a mirror and snort it like some desperate addict. But if you gently offer a piece, she swallows it like a pill. Seriously. The treat is in her mouth for maybe a nanosecond. Why the desperation? I know she’s well fed. I mean, isn’t part of the enjoyment of eating tasting the food? I’ve certainly been assaulted by her tongue with affection enough times to know that there is plenty of room for tasting things on the huge flap of flesh.
So, I’m sure that there are some more astute dog owners who are reading this and think they have the solution to Maizie’s dookie eating, and I assure you, you don’t. We’ve tried everything from training to medications, you know, things to make turds taste bad to her (yes, I was surprised that someone thought to invent a powder that, when added to food, will make poop taste bad as well. You’d kinda think that sort of invention wouldn’t ever leave the inspired person’s notebook, yet, here we are, living in a world where I make less money than someone who thought to make a dog food additive that makes shit taste bad.) We’ve resigned ourselves to the fact that we’ve got a loving, caring, smart, wonderful, beautiful dog…and she just likes to chomp on poop every now and again.

So what does this have to do with Cheez-its?
Well, Cheez-its once held a place in my mind as a clever little flat Goldfish cracker that is convenient, has a nice little “fresh from the can” cheese taste and aroma, and is in convenient, never-satiating, sized to-go packs. It ranked in there as one of the top snacks in my book to eat if you’re ever bored, slightly hungry, and never actually want to feel full. In other words: a staple of an American diet.
In my getting to know Maizie during her ten years thus far on this planet, she has proven to have vacuum cleaner in her genetics. No, her culinary palate is not limited to shit, she also enjoys, well, literally everything. She has eaten shoes, child lock gates, ovens, and even a pair of glasses. If it was in reach and seemed like it would fit in her mouth, at one point in her life she would at least try it before spitting it out. To this day, if you wave something enthusiastically enough in front of her snout, she will assume it is food and get mondo excited about it. If I waved a bicycle in the air and said “WANNA TREAT?” she would wag and spin in excited circles until you tossed that bike right at her head.
So, here’s what Cheez-its have to do with my dog…
A few years back, my wife and I crammed ourselves into a one-bedroom apartment on the third floor of a building without an elevator with two dogs who needed walked quite often. This was about the same time we realized that Maizie had a taste for turds. There were plenty of other dogs living around the complex, and I’d say 90% of their owners had no concept of the skill of cleaning up after their dog. It was almost to the point where I gave up on picking up my own dogs’ poop, because they’d do their little spinning routine, drop their package, and I’d lean over to pick it up only to be a little confused as to which one to pick up, as there were so many choices ((I would occasionally grab a cold one (not a beer, obviously) and then shutter as I knew that I’d just traded turd duties (or doodies, if you must) with the owner of some strange dog)). And occasionally, just to add to my horror, I’d be picking up a poop and while I was busy, Maizie would fling another poop into her mouth while I was too busy grabbing turds to stop her. It seemed like a cruel bait and switch. “Here dad, you pick up this poop I made while I pick up this other poop with my tongue!”
She’s lucky she’s beautiful.

On the first floor of the same apartment lived a large family with a bunch of kids. And the parents never seemed to be all that into the whole discipline thing. They kinda just let their kids run and scream in the hallway, slam doors, and spread their various snack foods around as their pleased. I wasn’t fond of that family, but Maizie loved them, because they always left the various snack foods around. To a dog like Maizie, these rugrats were like Santa’s elves, delivering tidings of sugary snack food to graze over while both entering and exiting the apartment.
As I’ve established, Maizie will eat anything.
But then, a kid had spilled Cheez-its on the floor. And then stepped on them. And then possibly rolled in them. I really wasn’t sure how that many Cheez-its could be spread out over that large of an area in that many various sizes and shapes and shards without some amount of planning. When I first came down the stairs, I thought, “Damn, Maizie. they just set out a buffet for you, didn’t they?” I shrugged, as there was no way around them, save jumping out of the second story window with two dogs. So, we pressed on, my hand tightened on the leash, ready to use all of my strength to get the fat dog past the buffet so she could go potty and then hit the poop buffet outside.
As we walked, nay, sauntered through the Cheez-it spread crushed thoroughly into the carpet, Maizie sniffed, and wagged, and sniffed, and wagged…
…and then just moved on. NO interest WHATSOEVER.

I was befuddled, flabbergasted, appalled, confused…everything. I almost led her back to the crumbled snack spread and tried to tell her that those…were Cheez-its…and those taste good. Instead, we went about our routine, and she snacked on a big, messy turd.
She liked the turds…she liked everything…yet…Cheez-its are rejected? I’d never seen the dog reject anything before in my life.
And honestly, when we went back in the apartment, I went more slowly through the Cheez-it war zone, just to give her another chance at them. Not because I wanted her to start eating Cheez-its as much as it was that I wanted the last thing she ate not to be poop.
And, once again, she turned her nose up at the Cheez-its. Nothing. No interest. If I had offered her the bicycle at the time, she would’ve taken it. Being the last piece in a human centipede would be this dog’s dream, yet…
…no Cheez-its. Never.
This, my friends, is why I reject Cheez-its. If a dookie-loving dog won’t eat them, then neither will I.

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Intelligent Life (A Poem)

Intelligent Life

separation

An alien king came to my front door
On his search for intelligent life
I thought he was after my brain for sure
Then he left with my kids and my wife…
Intelligent Life copy
ILLUSTRATION BY PHIL ROOD. PLEASE VISIT PHILROOD.COM. YOU WILL BE HAPPIER FOR HAVING DONE SO.
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Killer (A Poem)

Killer copy

Killer*

Written by Michael Haase, illustrated by Phil Rood
separation
Killer was the meanest dog in town,
with sharp teeth and powerful jaws
Though only five pounds,
He was the toughest around
Defeating each ankle he saw
separation
ILLUSTRATION BY PHIL ROOD. PLEASE VISIT PHILROOD.COM. YOU WILL BE HAPPIER FOR HAVING DONE SO.
separation
*This poem dedicated to my second dog growing up, a small poodle that showed up on our doorstep. My mother ironically named him “Killer.” He was a good little pooch, even though he had a tendency to hallucinate…except for that one time you kept barking at the basement wall…yes, there was a dead squirrel in there. That one time. Good dog. RIP Killer. Hope you and Chip are living it up somewhere.
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The Tale of Why I Am Scared of My Wife

I’m scared of my wife, but in a healthy, respectful way.

Why?

Because she has the power to pull into her universe anything she wants.

That sounds crazy. What kinds of things?

I am a good first example. She signed her name with my last name in high school, even though we never dated then. She knew we were going to get married someday. She never pushed with her love for me, as she knew that all she had to do was remain patient. Even when I pissed her off near the end of her senior year, she remained my friend, stayed patient, and eventually we started dating and got married. It will be for ten years this summer.

…but that’s another series of wonderful stories. None of them creepy at all.

The story I want to tell you right now is about my dog.

My wife and I pulled into our driveway several years ago, back when we were living in a duplex in Fairlawn, Ohio, about one year after getting married. We stopped our car near the end of the driveway and did not want to pull up farther because a large, well-built, dark-colored German Shepherd-type dog was standing in between our car and the garage.

The dog looked like it could take somebody out with the greatest of ease.

I remember looking back and forth between my wife and this dog, and one of us eventually said something like, “Should we get out of the car?”

The dog looked like something you should not approach.

Eventually, we did get out of the car and slowly approached the dog. It was well-groomed and wearing a spiky collar. It didn’t get too close to us, but it didn’t run away. So, we went inside and got some deli-style turkey slices. The dog then decided we were okay people, and let us pet it. It was a little bit nervous, but fine with us, all things considered.

A little background to this story is that my wife and I have probably returned ten dogs to their owners after finding them astray. It’s a hobby we have that falls into our laps from time to time. We even returned a dog to its home after finding it in the road right in front of what turned out to be its own house. We drove it all the way to the vet and found out that we had kinda just stolen a dog temporarily, but that’s another story for another time…

Back to the dog we were discussing. It turned out to be a she, and she was obviously quite intelligent. She seemed young and well trained. Because of this, we tried commands, but none of them worked. We found a ball. It turned out that the dog could fetch. This was a smart and happy, yet nervous, dog. Someone obviously would be missing this dog.

We didn’t own a dog at the time, so we didn’t have a leash. We tied the cloth belt from a bathroom robe to the dog’s collar and started walking her around the neighborhood. She didn’t try to run or pull away. She walked with us. This was obviously a loved dog. We approached a few neighbors, but no one knew to whom the dog belonged.

We decided that we would take her to the vet in the morning to see if she was microchipped. At that moment, it was too late to go. We decided to keep the dog for the night, and we were honestly quite excited about it. This was a very nice, intelligent dog who was kind enough to give us a trial run at dog ownership for the night.

She was as good as we thought she would be. She wined a little, but that was obviously because of some nerves. She was sweet to us, listened to us, and still had some puppy excitement in her which was cute, even though this was an 80-pound dog with pristine teeth that appeared to be razor sharp and fully capable of tearing through our jugular veins should she feel threatened.

At one point, I suggested to my wife that, if we ended up keeping the dog, we should name her Maizie. The name came to me because my wife and I had (prior to becoming parents) always played the “what do you think of this baby name?” game, and Maizie was one we both liked, but since I’m Michael and she’s Margaret, we didn’t ever want to give any of our children another “M” name. We just aren’t that goofy. Sorry if that’s the motif in your particular family, but I’m sticking to my guns. You all have the same last name…why do you need more and more to match? There’s no law against naming all of your children the same name, is there?

Anyway, my wife was absolutely happy with calling the dog Maizie, so that’s what we started doing.

And my wife immediately fell in love with the dog. With Maizie.

I’m pretty sure Maizie even slept on the bed that night.

The next morning, we took Maizie to the vet, and, much to our disappointment, she was microchipped. At least we were doing the right thing and returning the dog to her owner. It was another one for the books.

It turned out that the owner lived around the corner from us. He was a stocky man who owned another dog, a purebred black German Shepherd. Once he saw Maizie, he was happy and started giving her commands in German, which she obeyed diligently. My wife and I looked at each other and read one other’s mind (“German! Of course! Why didn’t we try speaking to the dog in fucking German?”). It turned out that Maizie’s owner trained German Shepherds to sniff out drugs and corpses and other intense shit. Maizie (for whatever reason her owner was calling her “Mira”) was being trained in German as well, but her owner bought her for his girlfriend as more of a “pet dog.”

We told him she was an amazing dog, and we loved having her, and asked where we could get a dog like that because we want a dog now. We pointed to where we lived, because it was that close.

Finally, we said goodbye to Maizie.

My wife was upset. I was a bit bummed, too. But we had no right to be, of course. It was just that we fell in love with that dog.

The next day, I noticed that my wife had used the picture we took of Maizie for any potential “found dog” posters and made it the wallpaper on her cell phone.

This is how the witchcraft began.

She kept that picture on her phone, and said that she wasn’t going to remove it until Maizie came back.

We would drive by the owner’s house often, as it was on the way to most things, and every time we drove by, my wife would point and casually say, “my dog lives there.”

This went on for a month. We didn’t even look for other dogs. I don’t even think we had any other interaction with Maizie’s owner during this time. Little did he know, across the street and three houses down, a woman had a picture of his dog on her cell phone, called his dog by another name, and every time she drove by his house, the woman pointed and claimed his dog hers.

Creepy. I know.

I don’t get it. To this day, it still gives me the heebie-jeebies. 

About a month after returning Maizie, my wife and I are taking a nap, and I’m awoken by the doorbell.

It’s Maizie’s owner.

He’s telling me that his purebred German Shepherd is getting too aggressive with Maizie. (He still insisted on calling her “Mira” for some reason.)

He’s telling me that he remembered that we liked Maizie.

He’s wondering if we’d like to keep Maizie.

For free.

Forever.

I’m half awake at this point, so I think I muttered something like, “Jesus. Are you…really?”

And when he swore that it was the truth, I woke up. I was happy. Maizie was coming home that night.

I thanked the man thoroughly.

Then I closed the door and realized what my wife had done. I was a little creeped out.

Naturally, she was ecstatic when I told her.

I asked her why she couldn’t will us a winning lottery ticket. I think I asked her why she only uses her powers for husbands and dogs.

My wife also had a pair of glasses at the time that she had been asking to be replaced because she didn’t like the frames, but I had been refusing because I didn’t want to spend the money on a perfectly functional pair of glasses. When Maizie came home to us, she chewed those glasses in half within minutes of being with us.

And she never chewed up anything else, ever.

My wife absolutely scares me sometimes. 

 

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I Ate My Dog (A Poem)

Roast Dog

I Ate My Dog

My hunger was great, and to help it to end

I roasted and gobbled up man’s best friend

I had raised my dog from a very young year

I knew all he ate; no reason to fear

People eat animals all of the time

Eating cows and piglets is never a crime

So why is everyone angry with me?

I ate my own dog, he was mine, don’t you see?

If I owned a duck and yet called it a pet

I could still eat its eggs and roast up its breast

If I raised a cow, then it would be quite okay

To chomp on their calf, grown strong from my hay

But I ate my pet dog, and you’re all so upset

“Why, oh why, would you eat your own pet?”

You’ll be happy to know, I won’t do it again

He tasted quite awful, my so-called best friend…

Illustration by Phil Rood. Please visit philrood.com. You will be happier for having done so.