Pick Me!

A weblog by Laura Moncur


A Dog In The House

Filed under: General,Our Pets,Sid — Laura Moncur @ 4:25 am

I received an email the other day from a close friend. She got a dog. The boys love him. She loves him. He is housebroken and can sit and shake on command. She sent me a picture and he’s huge. I immediately wanted to email her to say how happy I am that she is safe now. She’s a single mother and the thought of that huge dog in her house just made me feel like she is so much safer.

I didn’t write back immediately because I was busy at work and I’m so glad it intervened. After thinking, I realized that it might not be such a good idea to suggest that she was unsafe before. It’s actually a little disrespectful. She’s an adult. She’s tough enough to handle anything that could come her way and how dare I say that she couldn’t make it without a dog. I’m glad that I didn’t get the chance to dash off a response.

Ah, this is obviously some strange usage of the word ‘safe’ that I wasn’t previously aware of. Douglas Adams (1952 – 2001), Arthur Dent in “The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy”

The truth of the matter, though, is that I feel safer with a dog in the house. My dog’s name is Sid. He’s not huge, but he’s a mean sucker when a stranger is in the house. I didn’t realize how much safety I feel comes from having him in the home. I was alone in the house for about fifteen minutes last week. Mike had taken Sid with him to the corner convenience store and it was just me and the cats in the house.

Before they left, the screen door was all that stopped the world from crashing in on us, but it was ok because Sid and Mike were there. After they left, I locked that door up tight. I had been dancing and singing to my older Halloween mix CDs, but all that changed when they left.

Looking at it logically, I am insane. This should be written down in the Book of Life against me. She is insane because she thinks that a 50-pound dog can save her from anything. The truth is, I am never safe. None of us are. The only thing that keeps me safe is that the Victim-to-Psychopath ratio is skewed. If someone really wanted to harm me, there is nothing out there that could stop them. It is only an illusion of safety that keeps any of us from hiding in the mountains with shotguns.

There is no safety in numbers, or in anything else. James Thurber (1894 – 1961), New Yorker, Feb. 4, 1939, “The Fairly Intelligent Fly”

Yet, there is something so secure about a dog. We rescued him from a shelter and took him into our house. In return, he is nice to the cats, barks at other dogs, and protects me from the bad guys (whether they be the movers or the mailman). He is an entirely different species, yet he is willing to stand beside me against the evil. That’s what we’re all looking for: someone to stand with us against the evil.


Doggie Nightmares

Filed under: Our Pets,Sid — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

I’ve spoken before about the ethereal and haunting sounds of my dog when he has a nightmare, but last night topped it all. I was dead asleep. Both of the cats were sleeping on the bed with me and Sid was sleeping in the bedroom. He insists on sleeping by the doorway, no matter how much we entice him to sleep in the bed that we got for him.

He started making those creepy whining noises that signal that he’s dreaming. That’s what woke me up. Because I have finally become accustomed to their eerie and sinister sounds, I was on my way back to sleep when it happened. He barked.

It wasn’t a normal bark that says he’s happy to see our new visitors. It wasn’t the communicative bark that he shares with the many dogs in the neighborhood. It was the terrified bark that came from him when Cory walked into the house in full motorcycle regalia. It was the uneasy and frightened bark that he yelps when we encounter unfriendly dogs in the neighborhood. It’s the bark that wakes you up in the middle of the night wondering who is trying to break into the house.

Maggie jumped so high that she landed on me in terror. Both she and Linda jumped off the bed and hid in the closet. Because I had heard him whimpering in his sleep before the bark, I knew that he had been dreaming, but he didn’t understand. The bark woke him up and he was disoriented and scared. He rushed out of the room, supposedly to check the house for whatever scared him in his dreams. I went back to sleep, nursing claw marks on the back of my legs.

Now, I’m worried. Why does my dog have so many nightmares? We treat him well. Scary men with motorcycle helmets turn out to be fun loving playmates for him in the end. We feed him. He is never disciplined physically. The worst that happens to him are the times when we lock him in the bedroom when workmen are in the house. Why is he haunted in his dreams?

He’s such a good dog that he should only be having dreams of successfully chasing the neighbor’s cat out of our yard and finally catching one of those birds that tease him from the cherry tree. He should dream of playing tug-of-war with Mike until the both of them are so tired that they just sleep together on the thick green grass. There should be no whimpering and there definitely should be no terrified barking in his dreams. I wish he could talk so I could know what his doggie nightmares are about.


Mike’s Bike Was Stolen Yesterday

Filed under: General,Our Pets,Sid — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

I was up at 5am. It’s a little later than I usually wake up, but I wasn’t worried about being late. I would just cut my Internet reading a bit and I would get to work just fine. At about 5:30 am, Sid went nuts barking at the door. I looked out and I immediately noticed that Mike’s bike was gone. I didn’t see anyone on the porch or along the road, but it was really dark out there and I hadn’t turned off the light inside to help look out there. I woke up Mike, hoping that maybe he had moved his bike into the backyard and I didn’t notice. He hadn’t.

The thief didn’t cut off the lock. The lock was nowhere to be seen, so he must have cracked the combination. I used to be a master at cracking combination locks, but this one seemed secure to me when I bought it in the store. It was a combination I could remember and it was compact. I thought it was the perfect lock. I guess the thief thought it was the perfect lock for him, too.

While we checked the street, Mike noticed a bike left on our lawn. For a moment, I was excited, thinking that Sid had scared away the thief and he had left Mike’s bike on the lawn. Unfortunately, it was a different bike. Instead of Mike’s immaculate Gary Fisher, a beat up Giant Boulder SE with shocks was lying on our grass. It was scratched and the name Bor Yueh was engraved on the rack on the back.

I felt sorry for Bor Yueh. His bike was stolen long ago and now it had been discarded in our front yard in exchange for our bike. I looked the name up in the phone book. There was no one in Salt Lake City with the last name Yueh. Then I Googled the name. Apparently Bor Yueh is not the victim of a crime. It’s a huge company that makes racks for mountain bikes. I felt foolish for not recognizing the name.

So, we have a bike in our possession that is not ours. Not only was our bike stolen, we no longer feel safe in our home. The kind of desperate person who would crack a lock and steal something was on our porch last night. Sid would have eaten the guy alive if I had let him out, but that doesn’t really make me feel safer. It just makes me worry about Sid eating people alive.

Ironically, the bike that the thief left was a little better overall compared to the one that was stolen. It looks like it’s beat to hell, but it has shocks. The chain is dirty, but the crank shaft is in good repair. The bike is even a better fit for Mike’s height. It was worth about the same as the Gary Fisher when it was new. Mike doesn’t want to keep it, though. I suspect that every time he looks at it, it will remind him of the peace of mind that we lost yesterday morning.


Sid Gets His Light Therapy

Filed under: Art and Photography,Our Pets,Sid — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

Sid Gets His Light Therapy by Laura Moncur 02-06-06


Cheetos Dog

Filed under: Linda,Our Pets,Sid — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

The dog smelled like Cheetos the other morning. I thought I was imagining it until I saw Linda, the cat, walk up to his sleeping form and smell him. He opened his eyes, but stayed still while she sniffed him. If I find out that Mike is feeding the dog Cheetos, I’m gonna…

Ok, I don’t care if Mike feeds the dog Cheetos, but I know for a fact that we don’t have any in the house.

Maybe Stinky Ghost is back with a new habit: eating junk food in the bedroom.


Sid’s a Good Dog

Filed under: Our Pets,Sid,Video — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

Click here to see the video

He always comes when I call him unless he knows he’s in trouble.


Sid Vicious: Demon Dog

Filed under: Art and Photography,Our Pets,Sid — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

Sid Vicious - Demon Dog from FlickrEvery time I pull out the camera and ask Sid to sit, he sits… for about 10 seconds. Then he immediately starts doing all of his other tricks. He’ll lift his paw to shake, he’ll take a bow, he’ll start sneezing and yawning.

Honestly, he was just yawning in this photo, but doesn’t he look like something you would meet on the way to hell? Sid Vicious: Demon Dog.

Here’s a better photo:

Sid Vicious from Flickr

Did you know that it’s virtually impossible to correct red-eye on this dog? Not even iPhoto could do it. I had to do it myself and it looks horrible. Oh well, I never said I was a Photoshop expert…


Zadie and Sid Love Their Molly McB & Co. T-shirts

Filed under: General,Our Pets,Sid — Laura Moncur @ 10:39 am

Mike’s aunt and cousin, Gini and Emily Moncur, gave us t-shirts for Sid and Zadie. Since Sid’s full name is Sid Vicious, the Punk t-shirt was perfect!

I’m so surprised that we were able to get them to sit still long enough to photograph them together.

If you want a t-shirt like this for your little punk, head over to Molly McB & Co.


Having a Dog Means Never Having To Sweep

Filed under: General,Our Pets,Sid — Laura Moncur @ 12:47 pm

Having a Dog Means Never Having To Sweep by LauraMoncur from Flickr

I miss Sid. We had to take him to the kennel because of all the


Sid Loves The Summer Sun

Filed under: Art and Photography,Our Pets,Sid — Laura Moncur @ 10:18 am

Sid and I went outside to test the camera on my new 3G iPhone. I heard that it was inexplicably better than the old one, but I can’t really tell the difference. On a beautiful sunny day like today, the cameras on both phones work fine. I guess I should be testing this indoors.

In the end, the true killer features of the new iPhone is the 16GB of storage and the GPS. It’s nice to see that I have plenty of room on my iPhone now. I was pushing the limit with my 8GB.


Sid Vicious: Demon Dog

Filed under: Halloween,Our Pets,Sid — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

Sid Vicious: Demon Dog

Just a friendly “pet” to keep you company on your trip to Hell!

Here is a link to the original:

If you notice, dogs in Hell don’t wear bandannas and they CERTAINLY don’t have rabies tags. I had to edit those out for this photo, which was far easier to do than to try to edit out those glowing green eyes.


Sid Is A Saint

Filed under: Elvis,Maggie,Our Pets,Sid,Video — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

This video is proof positive that Sid is a saint. If you notice, Maggie is watching, far from the fray. Even Mike won’t let Elvis chew on his feet. Only Sid is calm enough to handle this kitten. Twice during the filming Sid looks at us (first to Mike and then to me) as if to say, “Can you do something about him?”

I love how at the end when Sid barks, everyone scatters, even him. Maggie runs from her observation point, Sid stands up to get away from the sharp kitten teeth and Elvis flees from his bark.


Sid Playing in the Snow

Filed under: Our Pets,Sid — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

I found this video while looking through my iPhoto library yesterday and I thought I’d post it here. It was filmed two days after Christmas back in 2007 and I never got around to posting it here.

Winter and snow seem so far away now. I know I just got snowed on my first day in Yellowstone two weeks ago, but it’s so warm now that I can barely remember being cold anymore.

No matter what the weather, Sid has fun!


Elvis in Sid’s Bed

Filed under: Elvis,Our Pets,Sid — Laura Moncur @ 7:40 pm

Elvis, our new cat, has decided that he likes sleeping in the dog’s bed. Poor Sid lets him just take over.

A couple of weeks ago, I saw them both in the bed. It was adorable.

Elvis in Sid's Bed by LauraMoncur from Flickr


Play Dead

Filed under: Our Pets,Sid — Laura Moncur @ 10:00 am

I love this video from LOLCats:

Mike and I taught Sid this trick. He doesn’t do it quite as well as this cat, however. I’ll have to see if we can get him on film.


I’ll Just Have To Remember This

Filed under: Elvis,I'll Just Have To Remember This,Maggie,Our Pets,Sid — Laura Moncur @ 10:00 am

Sometimes the camera just can’t capture my most joyful moments. The other day, Maggie was playing with Elvis’ toy mouse. The sunlight was streaming in the faux stained glass window in our living room and bouncing off the carpeted stairs leading up to the bedrooms. Maggie jumped and rolled and tossed the mouse with glee that is rare considering her shy personality.

When I noticed her playing, I pressed pause on the TiVo, which disrupted her play. Just knowing that I was watching her play was enough to stop the festivities. It was as if she was some sort of sub-atomic particle refusing to both play and be observed at the same time. There was no way I would be able to film her. She wouldn’t even let me watch her.

Elvis peeked around the furniture trying to catch a glimpse of her playing with his discarded toy, but she noticed him. Sid pretended not to watch her play by lying his head down on the carpet, but kept an uneasy eye on her the entire time. With an audience of three, it was too much for her bashful nature and she abandoned the mouse on the third stair next to the scratching post.

The total time she played with the mouse was maybe twenty seconds before the three of us stopped our respective activities and watched her in amazement. Twenty seconds of pure and unadulterated joy washed over us and we drank it in as much as we were allowed. No time for cameras. Not even enough time for Elvis to retaliate. Just a beautiful outburst of bouncingly playful happiness that was impossible to capture on film. I thought to myself, “I’ll just have to remember this.”



Filed under: Elvis,Maggie,Our Pets,Sid — Laura Moncur @ 8:00 am


I’m sitting in my blue comfy chair. I have Elvis on the left arm, looking out the window, following every movement of birds and debris. I have Maggie to my right, sitting on the footstool and Sid on the floor.


I always imagine an alien group observing us. They can tell where all the life forms are in the house and notice that we all congregate in one room, no matter the size of the house. In fact, we are all congregated in one corner of that one room.

I imagine that they would find this behavior strange. Why would they all hover in one tiny corner of that large dwelling? Are they scared? They aren’t close enough to be getting any warmth from each other. They each seem to be moving of their own free will. Why do they congregate when they could spread out? They must get some benefit from the close proximity, despite their differences in genetic make up. What is it?


Sid Died Suddenly Yesterday

Filed under: Our Pets,Sid — Laura Moncur @ 8:57 am

I’m so sad that I can’t really talk about it, but I wanted you to know that Sid died yesterday night.

Sid Moncur: Best Dog EVAR!

We came home yesterday at about 4pm and Sid was acting groggy, ashamed and lethargic. There was a tiny amount of slobbery puke on the floor under the kitchen table. He was so changed that we immediately took him to the vet. They checked him out and said that he looked fine, but to watch him over the evening. We took him home and he lay next to us the whole time. After a couple of hours, we tried to wake him up, but he was so loopy that he barely noticed us, so we drove him back to the vet’s. They took his blood and gave him a few X-rays, but while he was on the X-ray table, he had a gran mal seizure that stopped his heart. They tried CPR to revive him, but he was gone that quick.

The doctor did what he could to find out what went wrong. The blood work came back almost perfect. He was slightly anemic, but everything else looked great. The X-rays looked pretty good as well. There was a slight growth on his liver, but a death of liver failure would have taken about three days, not three hours. The slobbery puke on the floor indicates that he must have had a seizure at our home while we were out. The doctor was able to rule out poison and other toxins. Considering the two seizures and lack of other indicators, the vet thinks that it was a brain tumor.

I know we took the best care of him while he was alive. I had Dr. Lynette’s office fax over all his records to the emergency vet and we were able to compare all of his blood work every year for his whole life. We took really good care of him and we rushed him to the vet the second we noticed there was something off about him. He died quickly and without pain, so I’m grateful for that.

I’ve been looking at all my old videos of Sid. Here are my favorites.

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