Trick or Treat? You Decide.

By Georgie Gurl

There’s a change in the air here in Jurassic Park. It’s not as thick and sticky as it was a week ago, a steady breeze has been helping to keep the mosquito squadron grounded and the pink cotton candy sunsets are happening earlier every night.

But there have also been some other, more unsettling changes in the hood. Odd, menacing creatures have moved into some of our neighbors’ yards and my humans seem oblivious to their presence.

On our walk tonight, for instance, we encountered two homicidal maniacs. One of them, a yellow man with Da Vinci Veneers, no neck and unflattering glasses, was carrying the head of a small orange person he must have decapitated moments before. Ack! And his accomplice, a lumpy white man with a large orange nose and buck teeth, was waving his stick hand at us, trying to lure us into their trap.

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It was a horrid scene, I tell you, and I had to do some fast thinking. At first I growled at them to see if they would stand down — but no such luck. These guys meant business. At that point, I turned around, tucked my tail between my butt cheeks and took off running in the other direction. “Georgie, SLOW DOWN!” the human yelled as I pulled her down the street with all my might. SLOW DOWN? SERIOUSLY? SPEED UP YOU LAZY WOMAN! CAN’T YOU SEE WE ARE ABOUT TO LOSE OUR HEADS?

Fortunately, I got her away from the maniacs, but as we whizzed down the street, I  noted numerous other disturbing items: skeletal remains, rotted pumpkins, spooky gravestones and trees strewn with cobwebs. WHAT THE HELL IS HAPPENING TO MY TRANQUIL JURASSIC PARK?

Noticing my fright, the human giggled as she always does when she is nervous and told me to “relax” — and that there was a perfectly logical explanation for it all. “Georgie, those are just Halloween decorations. They’re supposed to be scary. It’s all part of the fun,” she said.

Ummmm. Ok, you human weirdo.

At that moment, I made a decision. If scaring the bejesus out of cute little puppies is her idea of “fun,” I am going to give her a run for her money.

So that’s where you come in, my dear faithful readers. My humans don’t know it yet, but I’ve been working on Halloween costumes all day. I just need you to tell me which one you think will frighten them the most.

First off, is Georgie The Alligator. GET IN MY JAWS! I WILL EAT YOU!! BAHAHAHA!

 

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Then, there’s Georgie The Intense Coyote! Hello, my pretty! Bring me your pets! I will eat them as snacks and maybe gnaw off your leg while I am at it! BAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

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And last but not least, Georgie The Creepy Clown. Like my makeup? Well, I ain’t your neighborhood Avon Lady, suckers!! BAHAHAHAHAHA!

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Vote on your favorite costumes now and let’s see who gets the last laugh on Oct. 31.

Trick or Treat! BAHAHAHAHA!

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Leaping Lizards and Fetid Frogs: Confessions of a Four-Legged Garbage Disposal

By Georgie Gurl

So I’m just going to throw this out there. I’m a girl who likes to eat. A lot. And pretty much, anything.

Dry kibble? Delish!

Big bugs? The crunchier the better!

Sand? Sure! Why not?

Used, snotty tissues? But of course!

You could say I’m pretty much the four-legged fuzzy equivalent of Fat Bastard from Austin Powers. His motto is my motto: “GET IN MY BELLY!”

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Oh, I see the disdain in my humans’ eyes when I’m nibbling on a beetle or snacking on moths. “Georgie, NOOOOOOOOOO!” they scream as they stick their giant, salty fingers into my mouth and pull the yummies out. So rude.

And let’s be honest. I could bite those fingers right off if I wanted to. They know this too. But, good-natured Wheatie that I am, I play along with their game and use my “soft mouth” and give up my treasures. They can have the moth. They can take the beetle. Because you know what? For every one June bug they steal, there are 10 they never know about that I will chew slowly, savoring every last ounce of exquisite bug flavor.

Tee hee.

But even I have to admit it all spiraled out of control a few weeks back, when on a whim, I graduated to eating amphibians.

I know what you’re thinking. How could you, Georgie? Blech. That’s disgusting! But you have to put yourself in my puppy paws for a second. I have this primal urge, you see, to hunt and devour small prey and these critters are just so enticing—much more fun to hunt and much bigger and meatier than the bugs. Mmmmmm. I just had to know what one tasted like.

The human didn’t even realize it, at first, when I casually picked up a putrefied frog on our walk a couple weeks back. It didn’t even resemble a frog, in fact. It was old and weathered, and looked more like a stick and I very nearly got away with it. But I blew it. I got a little too overzealous about my discovery and that tipped her off.

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“What have you got there, Georgie? Is that mulch?” she inquired.

“Oh, it’s nothing,” I replied with a coy smile as I gnawed on my treasure. She didn’t believe me. In a split second, she was prying my clenched jaws open and fishing around inside my mouth for whatever I was hiding. Of course, I let her have it, and she tossed my prized frog jerky into the storm drain and shrieked “FROG!”

It was a damn shame.

I learned from that experience and I was more careful the next time. I selected my next victim, a small, brown reptile, during a solitary trek into the yard to pee and enjoyed the delicacy in private. No one, I decided, would ever need to know about the untimely demise of Mr. Lizard.

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But as it turns out, even the best laid plans of mice and men, and even brilliant Wheatens, often go awry—and my lizard dinner came back to haunt me.

At some point that night, the satisfaction in my belly turned to a rumble. Gurgle. Gurgle. Gurgle. Oh my god, let me out of this crate!

Needless to say, there was little to no sleep for me or my people for the next several nights. My belly in utter turmoil, I slept fitfully near the back door. My kind and caring humans took turns tossing and turning on the couch as they assisted me with my hourly trips outside.

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I’m almost ashamed to admit that it took a $100 vet visit, a week of antibiotics and a week of chicken and rice to cure me of this bad case of the lizards—but I was relieved that the humans never discovered the cause. That is, until the lizard evidence showed up in one of my deposits. The human’s head almost exploded. “What the heck did you eat, Georgie? IS THAT A LIZARD HEAD?”

I wish I could say that the episode has cured me of my strange addiction—that I’d never so much as lick my lips at a reptile again. But the truth is, just two nights ago, on a nightly stroll, I did it again. I licked a giant, ugly toad. And not just any toad, either. This fat, warty beast was the infamous Bufo toad, which when aggravated by a predator, can shoot a nasty toxin out from behind its ears that will send a dog into a frothy fit and fatal seizures.

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Fortunately, my devoted human (and sometimes enabler) screamed like a banshee and rushed me inside and rinsed my mouth out with water. “Georgie! OH MY GAWD! That toad is poisonous! You can die from licking it!” she shrieked.

I got lucky, though.

Such is the life here in Jurassic Park, where even seemingly succulent snacks can lead to sudden death and Fat Bastard puppies have to work their way through 12-step recovery programs. After my rock bottom moment with the Bufo and battling the lizard flu, I have to admit it’s true what they say—that you’re only as sick as your secrets.

A Terrier’s Legacy

By Georgie Gurl

Long before there was ever a Georgie Gurl, there was another dog named Eli.

He was a terrier, like me, but his ancestors were from the Scottish Highlands, an entire sea apart from the green countryside of Ireland where my canine forefathers rollicked and roamed.

His fur was as white as snow, and I’m pretty sure he wore a kilt, dined on haggis and played the bagpipes. At least, that’s how I imagine him.

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He led an extraordinary life, this four-legged Scotsman. During his youth, Eli was an avid huntsman and not once, but TWICE, actually caught squirrels. But Eli was so kind, he never hurt his prey. He simply released the chattering rodents and went on his merry way.

 

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An athlete in every sense of the word, he also played soccer and dominated the sport of poolside volleyball, never tiring of bouncing a small, blow-up ball back to his humans with the tip of his wet black nose.

Eli’s life was not without its hardships, however. A torn knee ligament in the early 2000s sidelined his sports ambitions—and his distaste for small children, along with an inability to learn any real tricks, ruined his dream of joining a traveling carnival.

But when one doggy door closes, another one opens up, and Eli soon discovered a penchant for politics and embarked on a storied political career. Amazingly, it didn’t even matter that he couldn’t read or write or understand the issues. He just had a way with people on the campaign trail. He was cute and nosey friendly and made everyone he met feel happy.

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After about five years of serving as the unofficial mayor of an over-priced northern Virginia condominium complex, Eli set his sights on a large community of single-family homes in southwest Florida. He won that mayoral non-election handily too—and in spite of the fact that he attempted to kill the mailman every day.

He just had that “je ne sais quois”—a kind of magic, if you will.

At Christmas time, the neighborhood kids would come to his house and sing him carols. And his humans credit just about every friendship they ever made to the 27-lb ball of scruff and fluff, who only walked one way. Eli’s mantra: “Why go home when it’s so much more interesting to be outside?”

Regrettably, I never met Eli the Scottish mayor. He passed away three years ago today—before I was even a twinkle in my sire’s eye. But the universe works in funny ways and it turns out we are inextricably bound because we rescued the same humans, and guard the same hearts.

Sometimes I’ll do something just like Eli used to do and my humans will get a funny, misty look in their eyes. I’ve even heard them wonder aloud if maybe I’m Eli reincarnated. I don’t have the heart to tell them nope, that’s not it. I’m just a little girl, doing my best to make my big brother proud.

 This column is dedicated to my brother, Eli, who was born on Sept. 28, 1999 and passed over the Rainbow Bridge on Sept. 28, 2014.