Dachshund Chronicles:  Chapter 3

Dachshund Chronicles: Chapter 3

A/N:  Harley is (was) my beloved long-haired dachshund and Roper’s twin sister.  Twin, at least, in biology.  In reality they couldn’t have been more different.  Harley was always more adventurous, playful, clever and fearless than poor Roper.  

“I told you that Aunt Harley was brought in as a consultant during the New Money security crisis. It took some convincing to get her to come live in The Under Dome. She was busy with her traveling and her flying whale and the like. Now, an interesting note here – Roo, Cookie, Myself, even Bruce were all sent to the thereafter by the Okinawa. I know, it’s strange how Roo and Bruce ended up working for her for all eternity … I suspect that there’s some kind of evil pact involved, but I don’t want to delve to deeply, if you know what I mean. Anyway, Harley actually had a good life up above. She was treated well and she traveled and didn’t have the constant threat of the Okinawa hanging over her. But one day, the Bastard went crazy and poisoned her stew. It swell’t her, ruin’t her and kill’t her all in a matter of days. She says she’s forgiven him after reading some newspaper accounts that said it wasn’t the Bastard’s fault – the stew was tainted by the Chinese – but you never know about Harley.”

“So Harley came to visit and see the condo I’d had built for her. She said she needed more room, started building the brownstone she lives in now and the next thing I know, she’s moved in. Then she brings in this flying whale, an alien and two buffaloes. Of course, we found out pretty quickly that alien was an agent of New Money and he just had to go. But the buffaloes are good people. They’re big and that represents the kind of strength The Under Dome needs to project in today’s world. Plus, a pair of Noble Bison really jazzes up a parade. And we all love a parade.”

“Aunt Harley has been a good fit in The Under Dome, overall. I do wish she’d embrace the grub-lovin lifestyle a little more, though. It’s kind of embarrassing for me on a political level, but in general, the voles and moles seem to love her. I guess she pays well.”

The telephone on Roper’s desk rang suddenly, startling him. He jolted in his chair and spilled the tumbler of mole waters in his lap. “Iienh!” he yelped, as the icy liquid plopped onto his boys. Frantically, he clutched the handkerchief from his vest pocket and mopped at the moisture seeping into the plush mohair upholstery of his desk chair. He reached convulsively for the telephone and snipped out a sharp, “Hello!”

As he listened to the caller, he continued dabbing himself with the handkerchief. “Oh, hi, Harry. What’s going on? Oh? Really? Uh huh. Uh huh.” Roper nodded as he listened to his Executive Vole. “Oh. Well, I don’t know about that …” he trailed off as he leaned toward his desk drawer to retrieve a blow dryer. An electrical outlet installed inside the drawer allowed him to simply pull out the appliance and turn it on, which he did, after adjusting the air speed and temperature with the knobs and buttons mounted on the front of the dryer. He aimed the air flow at his ‘boy area’ and leaned back slightly to allow maximum drying. “Listen, Harry, why don’t we meet for a snack at the Café and we’ll discuss this in more detail. I’ve got the twins right now, but I’ll call the Au Pair to come get them. Okay, then, I’ll see you in about 20 minutes.” He hung up the telephone.

Roper finished drying himself, put the hair dryer back in the drawer and turned to the twins. “Children, Pa Pa has to take care of some business. Granny Cookie will come get you and take you to your Croquet Lessons.” He tapped the communicator pinned to his vest and said, “Roper to Granny Cookie.”

“Uuhnnn!” came the reply.

“Cookie, I need to cut Story Time with the twins a little short today. I have a meeting and I won’t be able to take them to their Croquet Lessons so you’ll need to come get them at my office.” Roper stated into the communicator.

“Uuhnnn.” The voice came from the communicator.

“Okay, then. Roper Lee, out.” Roper tapped the communicator again. “Alright, children, I’ll see you later. Remember to focus on the ball and take deep shallow breaths. Granny Cookie will be here shortly to pick you up.” He patted each of them on the head and exited the office.

Beard to Beard:  The View From the Family Bed

Beard to Beard: The View From the Family Bed

Too often, I find myself completely caught up in my work. My Companions are so important to me and I tend to measure my own happiness and contentment by their happiness and contentment. Which is unfortunate because some of them are, quite honestly, never happy or content. (Bachmann) Anyway, when I take the time to relax and enjoy some down time, I look for hobbies to fulfill my creativity AND engage my strong intellect. I enjoy crafting and puzzles, couch aerobics (a great way to get my heart rate up & strengthen haunch muscles), and, of course, studying Irish and Viking history. It’s my passion, really. But occasionally, I need a more paws-on type of activity that just allows my mind to drift and clear. Dealing with the kind of troubled Companions that I do – well, I’ll just say that there are a lot of problems in my head to which I must find solutions. Wait – that didn’t come out quite right. What I meant to say is that I have a lot of problems to solve in my head. No, wait. I have a lot problems that I need to use my head to solve. No. I mean, my head is full of problems. Oh, well, fuckle. Those damn Companions are so completely screwed up that I spend all my time thinking of ways to help fix them! It’s exhausting! GAAHHH. So, how do I clear my mind and recharge my spirit?

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This is Breakfast in Bed Chewy. Chewy and I like to snuggle while I pour out my troubles to his willing ear. He is a loyal and true friend and one I would likely not be able to continue my good work without. He’s always willing to give me feedback, especially when I’m working on a really difficult case, like – How do I convince Russell that not having a head doesn’t excuse his poor table manners? Or, do I need to get Emrys a Christmas gift, even though I’m pretty sure he’s Jewish? Spending time with Breakfast in Bed Chewy allows me to give the most I can to my other Companions. He’s the most understanding, stalwart, compassionate and flavorful friend I’ve ever known.

Dachshund Chronicles:  Chapter 2

Dachshund Chronicles: Chapter 2

AN:  Character’s Based on Real Animals/People:  Grandma Okinawa – my mother, with whom Roper lived (along with my Dad and older brother aka ‘Stinky Foot’, so named because he wouldn’t bend down to pet Roper, but would use his socked foot to rub him); Cookie – my childhood pet poodle; Roo – another childhood pet poodle & Cookie’s older sister; Bruce – our wandering Angus bull who loved to find holes in the fence when I was growing up; The Rabbit, Armadillo – two of the many outdoor creatures Roper was afraid of in life & representative of all the things Roper doesn’t like/trust;  Fluffy – One of our kennel dogs, long-haired dachshund, Roper’s first ‘conquest’, mother of his children.  Other named and unnamed characters not defined in Author’s Notes are merely creations of my imagination, sometimes based on real life and sometimes not.  If you have any questions about characters or story-line (I realize it’s a bit hard to follow, not knowing the characters like I do) please, please, please don’t hesitate to ask.  I hope you enjoy  …


“The vole who found me, your Uncle Harry, had taken me back to his village. At that time, The Under Dome was nothing more than a primitive colony and didn’t have any name at all. I was in their great hall being studied by the village elders. Once I came around again, I was able to talk to them and we discovered we had much in common. Since I was in need of a place to live and they were a generous species, it was agreed that I would live among them. That was the beginning of something magical – destiny was guiding all of us.” He sipped from his mole waters and sipped again, then went on.

“Over time, I became comfortable with the voles, and they became comfortable with me. They brought me food while I recovered from Okinawa’s cruelty and gained strength daily. It was at this time that I discovered the beauty and simplicity of the vole way of life and the precious delicacy of grubs. Harry became a constant companion and go-between for the other voles and me – an ombudsman if you will. We spent a lot time walking around the village, discussing all manner of subjects. We spoke often of the vole village’s economy and how it was floundering. High unemployment rates and lack of tourism and industry had led many of the vole youth to move to larger nearby villages and left the colony with a small tax base and dwindling resources.”

“As my butterscotch pelt began to rebuild its protective gleam, I noticed differences in it and many of my other physical attributes. My boys were larger, fuller and more symmetrical. My haunches were more sinewy than ever before. I had a bounce in my step unlike any other time in my life and my pelt was almost blinding in its butterscotch sheen. After discussing this with Harry, we could only conclude that it was the all grub diet I had been consuming over the past few weeks. It was at that moment that I knew I had discovered the key to turning the village economy around.”

“After weeks of marketing research and a grueling advertising campaign, the grub was elevated from idle snack food to the single most important product throughout the realm. I had patented my ideas regarding grub cultivation, processing and distribution, as well as many industrial models for various grub use: Fuel, food, clothing and entertainment.”

“As the grub gained in popularity, naturally the economy of the village improved. There were new factories to be built, new avenues of grub production and use to be explored. The village population grew and it was decided that it should have a name. I suggested The Under Dome as a sign to the other villages and hamlets that we were the seat of power in the realm. Naturally, the voles agreed that it was a perfect name for the village. And, naturally, they chose to elect me as Mayor. I took the honor very seriously and began to implement many new programs and policies. I came up with TEN, The Under Dome Emergency Network, and also our 111 system of emergency reporting. By dialing 111 through 911, depending on the level of emergency, citizens could get quality emergency services without having to wait for other emergencies in a different category to be dealt with.” He sipped from his mole waters and wiped his chin with the lacy handkerchief he pulled from his vest pocket. Replacing the handkerchief, he spoke again.

“It was a wonderful time in our history, children. There were so many aspects of civilization to be explored and I was leading the way. The Voles and Moles were so responsive to my ideas and I had plenty of them. Using grubs to create culinary delicacies from the above ground world; opening grub related businesses like the Southside Café with Harry and World of Grubs Amusement Park; creating units of voles to work in specific areas of service and calling them Vole Squads – all the product of my busy mind.”

Roper glanced at the multiple surveillance monitors arranged along one wall of his office. Transmitted through cameras placed all over The Under Dome, there were various images of different parts of The Under Dome: Streets, offices, shopping districts and residential areas. He nodded in satisfaction at what he saw – voles, moles and other citizens of the Voledom going about their daily business. Some, he noticed, were scurrying toward the campus of Thunder Dome University, carrying backpacks and to-go cups of grub latte or grubspresso from the trendy Southside Café that he owned, along with his right-hand vole, Harry the Vole. Others were entering the grocery store, post office or one of the many other shops and boutiques lining the neatly carpeted streets. Occasionally, a mole taxi would stop along the curb, a weary shopper would climb inside and the taxi would zip away, its one large wheel spinning dizzily.

“As time went by, other villages and colonies in the area began to look to The Under Dome for governmental guidance, market regulation, entertainment options and the like. At one meeting with the leaders of some of the other vole colonies, it was suggested that perhaps the whole Voledom would be better served by uniting under one government – the The Under Dome government. It was at this time that I was elected as Governor of Greater Under Dome, the united villages and colonies in the realm. I really began to implement some great ideas at this time: More subterranean tunnels under the city to create a defense network I called The Under Dome Deeper, and later, The Under Dome Deepest; Super Vole Squads; the Chinese Armadillo Relocation Project and treaties with other factions such as the Beavers.”

“It was around this time that your mother came to live with me here. Also, Granny Cookie, who was just Cookie back then, came to live on the outskirts of The Under Dome. Of course we knew back then that Roo and Bruce and the Rabbit had settled somewhere in the Outer Banks of The Under Dome, but we didn’t realize that they were Disciples of Okinawa at that time. It wasn’t until the past year or so, with their colonization of New Money, that we came to understand the threat they represented.”

“After your mother and I were married, my political and business careers really began to thrive,” said Roper, sipping his drink. “I wasn’t really able to spend much time with her, but I did assign her a ‘special’ vole squad just to manage, I mean take care of her. We settled into a comfortable routine and then I began to campaign for President of The Under Dome.”

Roper smiled, his upper ‘lip’ curling back to expose his bright white teeth. When he tried to stop smiling, he found his mouth too dry and his lip stuck over his teeth, giving his expression a opossum-like quality. He quickly gulped some of his mole waters and his lip slid back into place.

“It wasn’t terribly difficult to convince the citizens of The Under Dome that I was the best choice for President,” he began, “especially since I was the only candidate. But I wasn’t lulled into complacency by that fact, no sir. I took the office very seriously. Once I was elected, I set about making some permanent changes to the Voledom – leaving my legacy, as it were. I made sure there were plenty of jobs, plenty of grubs and plenty of opportunities for the voles and moles. I also began to expand our foreign policy by renewing our treaties with the Beavers and bringing in outside consultants like your Aunt Harley. I’ll tell you more about her arrival in The Under Dome later. But the most important step I’ve taken since becoming Ruler of The Under Dome (and all it’s territories) is this: Voledom Security. That’s right, security. It’s like mole waters – you just can’t ever have enough of it.”

“When I relocated the Armadillo’s to China, I thought that I had taken care of the biggest threat to our safety. But I later learned that Roo the mule, Bruce the Bruce and the Rabbit had colonized the barren Outer Banks area of The Under Dome and named their settlement New Money. They were carrying on their usual activities – mule-ing, Bruce-ing and spreading malicious and harmful lies. I knew we had to act quickly and decisively. I located the spies they had sent to infiltrate the The Under Dome infrastructure – it wasn’t hard, they dressed little rabbits in vole suits. They forgot to tell them, though, that voles don’t hop. I rounded them up and sent Cookie to deal with them. I don’t really know exactly how she dealt with them, but I heard there was a lot of ramming and grunting and rubbing her nose on them. I set up a task force to handle the counterfeit grubs New Money was circulating into the The Under Dome economy. It could have been very damaging, but the Super Vole Squads really did their jobs well. New Money is still a threat, but since they brought Shecky the Schnauzer in as their Chief Financial Manager, we haven’t heard a lot out of them. We have to be ever vigilant. Danger lurks around every corner. Behind every door. Under every chair. In every file folder.” With increasing panic in his voice, Roper began to look frantically around his office. “Yes, danger is always dangerous. And full of danger.” He clutched the tumbler of mole waters in both paws and drank deeply. The twins heard him mumble to himself, “deep shallow breaths …” and they watched him take several to steady himself. After a few minutes, Roper seemed calmer and after another gulp from his mole waters, he was able to pull himself together and continue the tale.

Dachshund Chronicles:  Chapter 1

Dachshund Chronicles: Chapter 1

AN:  What you need to know about Roper Lee … he was a VERY tense, nervous little dog who was afraid of everything and everyone.  He was oddly preoccupied with his “boys” and spent a lot of time laying on his back displaying them.  He belonged to my brother, didn’t get much in the way of exercise or proper nutrition (too much people food).  He was lightly flamboyant and prone to fashion fads.

The Dachshund Chronicles:  Chapter 1

“Once upon a time, a dynamic and gifted butterscotch dachshund met a tragic end in the land of Doot. Grandma Okinawa, a bitter, evil queen, jealous of his magnetic charisma, brilliant intellect and abundant charm, smote him with a nuclear antibiotic.”

Roper Lee, El Grande Super Supreme Ruler of the Voledom of The Under Dome (and it’s territories) sat in his office this Wednesday afternoon, nibbling on ‘grub rinds’ and telling the story of the rise of The Under Dome to his 3 month old twins, Griff and Taffy.

Sitting on the plush, mohair carpet, the twins listened intently while their father recited the tale of adventure and danger that made up their heritage.

Roper took a sip of mole waters from the crystal tumbler on his desk and continued. “You see, children, Grandma Okinawa had been on a campaign of annihilation for quite some time. She had swell’t me, ruin’t me and she was determined to finish things off and kill’t me.” Roper leaned forward slightly, his voice lowering for dramatic effect. “She had already dispatched my good friend, Ambassador Ringworm, to the great Thereafter.”

The twins looked up at Roper with eager faces. “Tell us more, PaPa!” they begged in unison.

“Well,” said Roper, “Okinawa was crafty and sneaky. She also had many tools of death and destruction at her disposal. One of her most heinous methods of torture was the dreaded ‘Stinky Foot.’ The twins eyes grew round as Roper described his last days on Earth. “The ‘Stinky Foot’ was used to weaken me. It was disguised as a tool of affection, but its actual purpose was to deposit a sinister residue of death on my gleaming pelt. The residue would dull my butterscotch gleam, which of course is my natural defense against sickness and disease. Once my pelt’s gleam was diminished, it was just a matter of time before Okinawa’s nuclear antibiotics did me in.”

Roper paused, ate a few grub rinds and took another careful sip of mole waters. Clearing his throat, he went on. “Once I was kill’t, I don’t remember exactly what happened immediately after, but I do remember my first moments in The Under Dome. It was dark and I was able to tell that I was underground. However, I could still see a bit of light from above ground peeking around the clump of dirt covering my disposal hole. I suppose Okinawa thought she could convince me I was receiving special treatment by being buried in a ‘grave’ with respect or whatever, but really, it was just one more way she could try to destroy me. The ‘grave’ was nothing more than a clump of dirt perched in the driveway and she used her ‘Doot Bus’ to drive back and forth over the top of it, trying to crush me into dust.” Roper stopped here, took a deep, shallow breath, and tried to shake the horror of the memory from his mind.

“I was just laying there, trying to decide what my next step should be, when I heard a strange noise come from behind me. After I regained consciousness, I was in a large room and there were several unusually small, hairy creatures peering at me through tiny slitted eyes. I was to learn that they were voles and I had been deposited into their realm.”

Roper leaned back in his chair, closed his eyes and rubbed his paws together thoughtfully. “Yes, children, I was to learn a great many things over the next few weeks. I had been given the greatest gift, which was to be my best revenge against Okinawa – – survival and success.”

Beard to Beard:  A Public Service Announcement from Georgie

Beard to Beard: A Public Service Announcement from Georgie

A severe cold front has moved into our area.  Please be advised that below-freezing temperatures and potentially, freezing rain, will likely hover over the region for the next several days.  I have cancelled all Companion field trips and The Family Bed Education, Rehabilitation and Training Center will be closed until spring.  The Companions and I would like to remind everyone to please bring your pets indoors while it is so cold.  Prepare them hot, protein-heavy meals to boost their internal heating capabilities.  Some foods that are known to promote interior pet warmth are meat, broth, warm milk, melted cheese, eggs, coconut oil, bacon, gravy, and hazelnut coffee with heavy cream.  Other measures can be taken to keep your pet warm, as well.  For instance … you know that hot blanket you put on your own bed to keep warm while you sleep?  Well, did it ever occur to you that your dachshund might like to get on in there and warm her haunches, too?  Probably not because you’re too selfish and uncaring to ever consider that your poor little Diggy Dog is freezing.  She’s not shivering because she’s excited to see you, dummy – she’s shaking to try and generate some warmth so she won’t die!  Also, instead of putting your pet outside to do her business, perhaps you should consider getting her some of those really cool puppy pads so she can go inside.  After all, you don’t go outside when you have to pee or poop.  Well, sometimes you do if there’s already someone in the bathroom and you have to go really bad, but it’s a choice for you, isn’t it?  That’s right.  Your pet should have a choice, too.  Put those pads in the bathroom and let her go when you go … in comfort.  I mean, she’s already there in her capacity as Bathroom Supervisor, might as well make it a more efficient use of everyone’s time.  Take a minute or two to talk with your pet about how this idea could work for you.  Additionally, stop telling your pet how cold it is outside.  Trust me, she knows.  She knows because you keep shoving her haunchy ass out there and leaving her, even though there’s no way you could not hear her desperate cries from your comfy chair … right by the window.  And another thing – maybe you could scoot your butt over and let your poor, cold, weak, helpless dachshund sit beside you in that comfy chair.  Under a snuggly blanket.  And give her some of that good-smelling hot tea  you’re always drinking.   Accommodate me!  I mean – accommodate your pet!  Sharing is important.  So.  Bring in your pets and keep them warm.  And thank you for your support.

Wanna know something?

I’m so glad you stopped by It’s Just Some Pancakes!  The idea for this blog was born from many hours remembering  animals I’ve known and loved in my life.  I know it may seem strange or even crazy to make up such an elaborate story involving animals, especially those who are no longer in the land of the living.  But the truth is, that making up these stories really helped me and the rest of my family deal with the grief of losing our beloved pets.  Keeping their memories alive in this way provided a way for us to share the good memories we have and picturing them in all their adventures is just entertaining.  
In addition to the silliness, I also love to share tips and tricks about making a home in The Farm Mama.  As a stay at home mom of 4, I know a thing or two about organizing, saving money and homemaking on the fly.
I hope you’ll take a few minutes to look around – I’d love to share the fun with you!