On Cocky Novels, Cocky Authors and #Cockygate

Something happened over the weekend. Actually the “happening” of it has been in the works for a while, it was the “blowing up” of the situation that happened this weekend.

As a disclaimer, let me say that I don’t believe I’ve read or typed the word “cocky” so much in such a short span of time as I did over the weekend (and then while writing this!).

Now, for those who didn’t hear about “Cockygate” let me offer you a condensed version (for all the dirty details you can certainly search the #cockygate hashtag on Twitter!):

Claiming Cocky

Romance author Faleena Hopkins apparently secured a trademark on the word “Cocky”. It’s not clear if her trademark is only on the word “Cocky” in a specific font or if she’s truly secured a trademark on the word in any font (which seems the case based on the registered trademark). What seems to be undisputed is that the word “Cocky”, because of her trademark, can no longer be used in any romance e-book title or series title.

 

 

Faleena Hopkins then took it upon herself to contact authors of books with “Cocky” in the title and threatened legal action (note, Faleena Hopkins NOT her attorney, sent out the threats):

 

 

 

 

The authors who were contacted were understandably upset. They’ve written books, marketed them, had them listed under the current titles for quite a while (and trust me when I say that marketing and promotion is a time-consuming endeavor!). Suddenly, this chick is contacting them, telling them they have to change the titles of their books or face legal action. Some of them reached out for support, or with questions, (I’m not sure where the actual spark came in) and an explosion erupted throughout the romance writing community, as well as the creative arts community at large. New hashtags were born (#cockygate, #ByeFaleena, #FreeCocky) and the outrage spread.

“Of all the Cocky and bull things…”

So, why is this a thing? Cocky is one word, right? Well, yes, it’s one word. One very big word (no play on words intended!) because of the implications…

First, let me say that I understand branding and that Faleena Hopkins has an entire series called The Cocker Brothers of Atlanta, and each individual book includes “Cocky” in the title. She claims that her readers were becoming confused by all the “Cocky” book titles and they were purchasing books they thought were hers, only to find out that wasn’t the case (which, a- maybe the readers can check the author name before purchasing a book they think is hers and b- you can always return a book if it isn’t what you thought you were buying…). Her claim is that she pursued the trademark to secure her branding and the integrity of her series.

Why the problem? Well, one person is taking ownership of a word. A word!! By pursuing a trademark on the word “Cocky” she has prevented any other romance author from using the word “Cocky” in their e-books. This is a big deal when you consider the genre and subgenres this affects. The romance industry, and specifically the more, erm…sexy works within that category produces a substantial number of titles every month! One of the things that draws readers in is the imagery the title creates. If you’re searching for a spicy romance novel the word “Cocky”, and its double entendre, leaves no doubt about what kind of novel you’re getting. The number of books with “Cocky” in the title is staggering. I just entered the word into Amazon as a book search. There are over 1,000 results!

Not only is Faleena Hopkins personally threatening authors, she’s involving Amazon and authors are having their book listings removed. This is an action that’s notoriously difficult and time-consuming to get reversed, even under the best of circumstances. 

 

The writing industry is, in general, one of the most supportive peer groups I’ve ever experienced. It’s full of cheerleaders, well-wishers, mentors, collaborators, and people who will, at any minute remind you that we’re all in this together. One writer (and I’m kicking myself for not saving this message!) said she was appalled to find out, upon the release of her book, that another with the same title had been released just before her own. She contacted the other author, explained what happened, and offered to change her title. The other author told her “No” and wished her the best of luck with her book.

There are a number of books in the world that share a title name: The Cloud Atlas (by both David Mitchell and Liam Callanan); Possession (by A.S. Byatt as well as Ann Rule); Forever (by Pete Hamill and also by Judy Blume); Elsewhere (by Richard Russo and again by Gabrielle Zevin) just to name a few. Imagine how quickly the word choices would dwindle if each book had to utilize unique words, or a unique combination of words.

This issue will have a strongest impact on book titles with 1-3 words, and specifically in the romance e-book trade. Though, if I were to re-title and release my own book as A Cocky That Defies the Dark (not that my publisher would go for that, lol!), I’d be in trouble.

Now imagine the implications of authors being allowed to trademark individual words.

What if a mystery author were to trademark the word “Murder”?

What if a sci-fi author trademarks the word “Space” for a title?

How long would it be until books were titled “Book #…” or “Book of…”, well at least until someone trademarks the word “Book” in a title.

This is all to say that to actually pursue the trademark of a single word in a title is a selfish move. It says that you put more value on yourself and your work than on anyone else in the world. To imagine that you’re entitled to the sole, proprietary use of a word–a word!!!!–is the most self-centered thing I’ve heard in a very long time.

And speaking of cocky….

And so, while the romance writing community was blowing up Twitter (and Facebook) this weekend, Faleena Hopkins, romance author and trademark owner of the word Cocky (which is now apparently under appeal with the US Patent Office), posted on Facebook about how she was being attacked online…while also posting this on Twitter. 

 

Doesn’t really strike me as someone who feels attacked, or even like maybe she misjudged herself a wee bit.

So, that’s the update, and my 2 cents worth, on the #Cockygate issue. The lesson I’d like to leave you with is that words are intangible things that we all use to express ourselves and to share our life experiences. Without the free use of language our ability to create and express ourselves is hindered.

Keep words free. Don’t be an asshole!

 

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Query Letter Basics

By this point in my writing life I should have earned some sort of certification in the art of query letters. I’ve spent countless hours obsessing over each of mine. I’ve written, revised, thrown out and rewritten each of mine at least a dozen times. I’ve researched query letters, read books, articles, watched videos and participated in group discussions about the basics of querying. And yet, the art of writing a query letter still feels like an elusive talent.

Don’t get me wrong, I think I’ve come a long way. My query letters are effective. I have an understanding about the structure and purpose of a query as well as how to write a decent one. What I lack is the innate ability to create a query that is pure artistry—and, I’ve decided that’s okay.

A few years ago I decided to learn more about what makes an effective query. I began looking for opportunities to read the kind of queries that are sent out on a daily basis. I participated in group query critiques, researched query letters for books I’ve read, took part in some early stage contest queries, and read a bit from the inbox of a small publisher. While I did have the chance to see which query styles and information made the greatest impact, I was also astonished to see some of the “queries” that are being sent out. While I understand some of the enthusiasm-based mistakes of newer writers, I feel it’s time I add my voice to the list of those who really, really—really!—want you to have the best chance at success. After the amount of time you’ve spent on your novel, you should do it justice by submitting it with a professional query.

To start, these are not query letters—ever!:

  • “Dear _______, I’m attaching the first chapter of my novel as directed on your website” (that’s the entirety of the communication. Also, the website stated no attachments)
  • “Dear ______, Category: Young Adult. Genre: Horror. Word count: 76,500.” (yeah…that was all there was)
  • “I have several fiction projects, all of which can be viewed at this link. If you find any interesting you can contact me and we can discuss publication” (I’m not following that link, nor is anyone else)

So, what is a query?

A query letter is a formal, professional, letter that writers send to agents, publishers, magazines, or writing contests that describes a project they’ve written (or are proposing) and are seeking representation/publication for.

The purpose of a query (which Jane Friedman so perfectly describes on janefriedman.com) is “to seduce the agent or editor into reading or requesting your work” (Note the word “seduce”! It’s perfectly used).

All the bits:

The following are all the bits & pieces your query letter should have. Some authors will change up the order (ie-book details first, personal info last). When I’m reading a query I’m not as concerned by the structure of the letter as in the work that’s been put in to making it interesting, but there are some traditionalists who prefer a specific structure—and some even list that on their submission guidelines!

  • The greeting. Be specific in whom you are addressing your query to. Do not send a “Dear Sir or Madame” or “To Whom It May Concern”. You should have researched this agent/publisher and have in mind exactly who your submission is targeted towards.
  • A brief and personalized paragraph that includes the reason you’ve chosen this agent/publisher to submit to. Did you hear them speak? Read other books they represent/published? Read an interview? Let them know you’ve done your research and why you’ve chosen them.
  • Your hook. This paragraph will include the details of your book: a brief description of the story (this is not a synopsis!), the word count and genre.
  • Your bio. Again, this is a brief paragraph. If you have published works, writing related awards, or anything else that’s literary related include that. If you have special training or skills that lead you to be specifically qualified to have written this book, please mention that. Do not mention that your mom, spouse, friend, or your cousin’s best friend’s neighbor loved the book.
  • Your contact information. Yes, if you’ve emailed the query letter your email address will be evident—unless it’s been forwarded from a first reader, to a follow up, distributed to a team, and back again. In closing your query—as with any other professional letter—be sure to include your name, phone number, and email address (and please, for the love of all things good in the world, if your email address is left over from your partying days consider a more professional one for writing correspondence—nobody wants to correspond with BigPimpDaddy69@getit.com).

 

Even with a perfectly crafted query it’s up to you to research agents and publishers to ensure you’re targeting your submissions appropriately and following submission guidelines. I’ve returned several unread queries, referring writers to the submission guidelines. In talking to publisher/agent acquaintances there’s a consistent practice in rejecting—or even deleting, unread—queries that don’t follow guidelines. You’ve spent so much time writing your novel, give yourself the absolute best opportunity by making sure your query letter shows the same dedication to quality as your manuscript.

 

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Social Media Games

Disclaimer: I will not play your Facebook games. Or your Twitter games.

I’m not talking about the Candy Crush or Farmville invitations I’m constantly getting (but really, please stop sending those). I’m referring to the recreational blocking, unfollowing and unfriending that happens on social media sites.

We seem to have entered an era in which we deal punitive blows to our friends, acquaintances–and, yes, even family members–by deleting their very existence from our timelines and friends lists. I, personally have been deleted/blocked/unfriended on three different occasions. Not one of those times was it based on anything that I’d done, only because I happened to be the friend of a friend of someone who may have been involved in drama with my “unfriender”.

I don’t like conflict. I’ve whittled it out of my life and aside from the inevitable (work place, family, kid issues) I live a very quiet and drama-free existence. It’s chaos (I did mention the kids, right?), but a quiet and manageable chaos. Very rarely will you see me voice my opinion or get involved in any online debates over issues. I feel that online debates are held in a forum that doesn’t support resolution or even a respectful discourse. I’m more than happy to debate face-to-face, but I just don’t see the internet as an effective means of debate on social issues or conflict resolution.  So, with that, I must say that if you try to engage me in an online argument, I will not join in. If you’re involved in an online battle, I won’t join in. I don’t feel the need to prove myself or be “right”. I’m just as happy to walk away and enjoy my quiet, peaceful existence. I can say with 98% certaintly that I haven’t, nor will I ever, tried to engage in an online battle with anyone or slander anybody. But as much as much I am an Olympic champion at letting things roll off my back, I am also a reformed hot-head and being “punished” for someone else’s actions/words is one of my hot-button topics. If you delete/block/unfriend me simply because I’m acquainted with someone who you have conflict with I will never reestablish that connection with you again (I do have family who can attest to that).

Please don’t misinterpret my position: I’m not referring to legitimately wanting to remove negativity & drama from your social media life. There are going to be times you’re completely right to block someone. If you’re being harassed or just find that someone’s posts are offensive, then by all means block them. But please don’t rush into being punitive when dealing with everyone. A little bit of disagreement and opposition are good things, as are cooperation, compassion, empathy and respect for those we disagree with.

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ADD and the Work-at-Home Mom

8:45- Makes list of tasks to accomplish before next break to get fresh water and do a social media & email check.

10:45- First round tasks accomplished. Heads to the kitchen for cold water.

  • “Yikes, there’s a lot of tupperware in here that needs cleaned out.”
  • Pulls out said tupperware to empty & wash figuring 5 minutes of work. Tops!
  • Realizes she will need a large towel to lay out the containers to air dry. Goes to laundry room.
  • “Who the hell took my whites out of the washer and left them to mildew in a crumpled heap on the floor?!”
  • Returns said whites to the washing machine, adds detergent & bleach.”What is that smell?” Goes to bedroom hamper in search of other whites to include in the load.
  • Nearly breaks a hip stepping on an errant dog toy (yes, because she is getting to the age at which protection of the hips is becoming very serious). Returns other dog toys to the proper basket.
  • Sorts laundry in bedroom hamper. Returns to laundry room with whites. Starts laundry.
  • Locates smell.
  • Cleans litter box.
  • Takes kitty crud to outside trash. “Who the hell brought Grandpa O’s old shower chair out of storage and left it outdoors?!”
  • Returns shower chair to storage.
  • Returns to kitchen. Realizes she forgot the towel.
  • Retrieves towel from laundry room.
  • Washes tupperware and leaves on towel to dry.

11:30- Back to desk. Realizes what time it is and that her break and lunch are over.

11:31- 12:01- Sits down to write a scathing blog anyway!

12:02- Realizes she is thirsty and her water is still in the fridge.  And she has to pee….and still hasn’t checked e-mail, Twitter or FaceBook.

 

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A “Gun Nut” (?) Speaks

Yesterday afternoon I was listening to a talk radio program and one of the on-air personalities made a comment that I found to be very simplistic and, at the same time, inflammatory. So,  I guess it’s time I stick my neck out there and get involved with some controversy.

First, let me say that I am neither a Democrat nor a Republican (and no, that doesn’t mean I am with the Tea Party, or any of the other smaller parties). I am simply an unaffiliated voter. So, how would I classify my political views and what has been my political influence? Well, I am the biological offspring of a Democrat and a Republican. There are two places in the world that I would consider Home: western Colorado and Portland, Oregon. Having spent most of my time in a small town I would say that I am more strongly influenced by my experiences here. And so, I would consider myself a conservative with liberal tendencies (though some of my very conservative friends might call me a liberal with conservative tendencies…either way). I prefer to vote according to the issues and what I personally feel is important, I don’t agree that any one political party or group of people know what is the best in every situation. Nor do I believe that politician’s really have the best interests of their constituency in mind.

So, back to the radio program that inspired me to forge ahead and put my beliefs out there for the world to pick apart. During this program the host and her guests or co-hosts were discussing the recent and sudden increase in suicide rates for males in their 30 and 40’s. One of the women stated (and this isn’t an exact quote as I was caught off guard by the comment), that this is what the “gun nuts” (that part would be a direct quote) don’t understand, that they just want more guns available without taking into consideration things like suicide. I find it appalling that she would make such an off hand remark. Suicide is a terrible epidemic and it is tragic that  a person gets to such a desperate point that taking their own life seems to be the only answer. But, you can’t throw suicide into the pile of arguments being used in an attempt to further gun control measures. Removing and or controlling guns won’t stop suicide, there are far to many methods by which someone can accomplish it once they’ve made that decision.

One of the arguments they brought up is that there need to be checks, before a person is allowed to purchase a gun, that would identify people who are undergoing psychiatric treatment for depression (as well as other psychiatric diagnoses). The problem with this argument is that you would be allowing the government to access your private, health-related records, and impose limits on your civil liberties based on the information they find. That might seem like a perfect answer when dealing with people who are suicidal or have murderous intent, but those people can’t always be identified. And, where does this “profiling” stop? Do we allow a limit on the number of prescribed pain medications for a person who has been treated for depression? That would prevent an overdose, even if the intent doesn’t currently exist. Perhaps the government would then see fit to prohibit alcoholics from obtaining a driver’s license in an effort to reduce alcohol related automobile fatalities. What if you were diagnosed with a terminal illness? Could someone tell from your medical or psychiatric records if you were buying a weapon in order to commit suicide or simply because your grandfather had been an excellent marksman and you’d always wanted to learn to shoot as well?

I know, some of these examples seem to be ridiculous. “That would never happen,” you might chuckle to yourself, while shaking your head at my reactionary imaginings. The thing is, we never imagined that our right to bear arms would be infringed on either. Doesn’t it say, right there in the Second Amendment to our Constitution, that “the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed”?

Am I a “gun nut’? Well, I own guns. In my home there are a number of handguns and rifles. For the record, I am a responsible gun-owner. My weapons are kept in a safe so that my children can’t play with them. I do own guns that have been described as (and no, they are not created, marketed or purchased as) “assault rifles”. Do I need these guns? At this time I don’t have a need for them. I am not even a hunter (and, for the record, our right to bear arms isn’t a right to bear arms in order to hunt!). So, why do I have them? Well, I enjoy going out with my family to shoot. We are taking the opportunity to teach our children to have a healthy respect for and understanding of guns. Typically, when we go shooting, it involves several generations and/or extended family and friends getting together and bonding over a shared interest. Sometimes we shoot at targets and sometimes we just shoot the shit out of some cans. And, it’s fun!

In addition to target shooting we have guns for self-defense. While we aren’t exactly Doomsday Preppers, we are fully capable of defending our home and children at any time. If we needed to hunt for food, and I know people who fell on hard times and were only able to feed their families because of the meat they hunted themselves, we could do that as well.

So, yes, I have guns, but I don’t think of myself as a “gun nut”. I cried for days after Sandy Hook, and every time I see a picture of one of those beautiful people who’s lives were taken. But, I firmly believe that the change that needs to come in order to reduce gun violence and suicide is a change in our mental health system. We need to be able to offer more acute intervention and long-term support to people who are struggling with mental health crises. I wish that more people would focus on the mental health crisis in the world than on weapons. Guns are really just a tool, and we are instilling a false sense of security in our population by enacting restrictions on this one tool when there are so many others that will take its place. We need to get to the root of the problem: our broken mental health care system.

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I didn’t like it then, I’m crabbier now

There are certain patterns from High School that seem to play out throughout life. No matter how far the years carry me from my high school days, or how few people I still know from those days, the patterns seem to remain the same. Let it be known that one of those patterns, the female popularity competition, is alive and well and thriving in the American workplace.

Now, I’ll admit, I may be a bit uneasier around these shows of female superiority than other women. The fact is that, aside from growing breasts, menstruating and exercising my reproductive cavities I am a failure at most things “womanly” (and let’s face it, I pretty much phoned it in on each of those accounts and let Mother Nature take over!).  I’ve never been a girly girl. I’m not the cheerleader type, I can’t sew, barely cook, and have never scrap-booked. I grew up a tomboy. It was so much easier to hang out with the guys than with the girls. They had reasonably low expectations of their friends. I proved that I could burp on command, do a brodey in a “borrowed” Camaro and throw a punch. All that was accomplished in one day and I was part of the group. All it took to impress the guys was to show up at school and be the first to say, “Dude. My mom totally bought me the new Mötley Crüe cassette and it rocks!” (That’s right bitches, I said “cassette”, I went to school during a time when, with enough determination and hatred, you could bind your high school nemesis to a flagpole with your choice in music!).

That pattern has carried through into my adult life. While other mothers spend their time finely crafting their legacy by taking their children to volunteer in soup kitchens, to piano lessons and Shakespeare festivals my own children know how to burp on command, throw a mean combination of punches and kicks, and have a healthy appreciation for southern rock and the innovative career of Tony Hawk. And, that is how I found myself terribly unprepared for the Female Superiority Contest (FSC from here on out) that took place recently.

The FSC, like all others in high school started simply enough. One of the girly-girls asked, “Hey, do you know what would be totally fun for us to do?” And, at some point, another girly-girl seconded that motion with an, “Oh. My. God. We should totally do that!” Pretty soon the entire cheerleading squad was involved. As were the jocks, the geeks, the band, glee club and the faculty. And they were all looking at me expectantly. And for some reason my head began to nod, and the words, “Sure. Yeah. Great.”, screeched from my mouth. I had committed to the FSC. There were rules and regulations. Before I knew it, I was not only expected to participate but I had to commit to routine, no winging it for this FSC. Now I’m preparing and practicing. Each day that brought me closer to the FSC made me more nervous and certain that I would fail miserably and prove myself unworthy of all the feminine gifts I’ve been granted (and I’ve got to be honest, sometimes you just want to punch someone, and those are the times that PMS is really a great excuse gift). I consulted with professionals, changed my routine and practiced some more.

The day of the FSC, I was confident going in. I presented my glorious achievement to the group and prepared to finally be acknowledged as a contributing member of the female alliance.

And I waited.

Maybe they didn’t notice at first my amazing contribution. I tried to subtlely point out my own craft among those assembled.

Still nothing.

“I don’t want to be obnoxious.” I reasoned. I’ll just wait. Certainly someone noticed. I joined in the congratulations and adulation of the contributions of all the others.

Still– no mention of my own glistening achievement.

I left that day without a single word. Am I an absolute dud? Was all my hard work and stress for naught? Do I lack that one code in my genetic makeup that would predispose me to succeed in womanly pursuits? I don’t know the answers to those questions, but I do know one thing. One fact that is more certain to me than any other: it’ll be a cold day in hell before I take part in another fucking potluck!

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Obesity in America, The Halloween Factor

Let me preface this post by stating that I am in no way in the picture of healthy living and healthy bodies. I could keep Jillian Michaels and Bob Harper tied up for years, trying to get my ass in good enough shape to run a lap around a track in less that a day and a half. But I have noticed a disturbing trend, that even fat people have to admit, must be stopped. It happens every year, on Halloween night, and if you’re in tune to your surroundings you may notice it.

Now, Halloween is only the beginning of the landslide into holiday dietary purgatory (or, “binge-and-purgitory” as I like to call it). It marks the beginning of a three month Bacchanalian celebration of chocolate, food and wine. It is the worst time in the world to be on a diet. But, even if you have fallen off that wagon and thrown healthy eating to the wind for the season, there are certain standards that must be upheld.

The problem that I am trying to bring to light, so that we can all discuss it, and heal, and move on, is the habit that people have fallen into of driving behind their children on Halloween night. That’s right, door to door, your precious little cherub runs, ringing doorbells and yelling, “Trick-or-Treat!” And door to door, you follow in the car like a stalker waiting and watching for the opportunity to snatch that innocent lamb right off the street.

First of all, it’s annoying to those of us who are walking with our children. We have to be extra cautious of our own children because the neighborhood has been inundated with cars following kids. There are more cars on Halloween in the subdivisions than any other time of year! We’re constantly on edge, wondering if that car is following that kid–or our kid–to snatch them? Also, the headlights and exhaust fumes are just obnoxious to have to deal with in the middle of all that “fresh air” we thought we’d be getting.

Most importantly though, and this goes back to the idea of standards, if you are going to go out, begging for candy (and you know you’ll be eating your fair share so it becomes your responsibility as well!), get your fat ass out there and walk around the neighborhood while your kid does the begging, just like all the rest of us fat asses are doing!

 

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How I Ended Up On House Arrest

There was a time in my life when I considered myself soo responsible. I was responsible for getting myself to work, to school and to the gym on a regular basis. I was responsible for paying the rent on the Party Palace in a timely manner, assuring said party den had adequate electricity, was cleaned and that I had an amazing outfit to wear to any soiree that came up anywhere in town. At the time I considered myself a damn responsible person.

Now I realize that I was just blowing smoke up my own ass. I didn’t know a damn thing about real responsibility and how it comes back to bite you on the ass every once in a while. I had no idea that the time would come when I was responsible for the actions of every living creature that I have housed for a period longer than one nightmarish weekend. Not only am I held accountable for those creature’s every action, I am also judged by them. If my offspring drops an f-bomb in the recess line, it reflects on me. One of my children scribbles graffiti on the bathroom wall during a party at his martial arts studio– my status drops (it doesn’t help that the budding criminal is stupid enough to graffiti HIS OWN NAME!). I have absorbed the scrutiny of the world innumerable times in the few short years since I first unleashed my urchins on the world. Each time I have soundly swallowed my pride and attempted to make amends. And now…well…this time I’m essentially on house arrest for 10 days and I’m pissed.

This is the point at which I need to introduce you to another member of my family. The little bastard, I’ll just call him Li’l Bastard, came into our family about a year ago. Well, he didn’t really come into our lives so much as we went looking for him (a fact that hasn’t escaped me). Since that time he has worked diligently to diminish both my shoe collection and the value of our home.

Recently Li’l Bastard has been going AWOL every time we leave the house. In general, he’s just been a neighborhood nuisance, jumping the fence, running around visiting people and helping lost shoes find a new home. He is a very gentle dog; he wrestles with the kids but has never hurt one of them so I was mainly worried about his safety.

I spent $250 on a wireless fence system thinking it would be a quick fix since The Hubbin was out of town. I spent 2 days trying to get the perimeter of the wireless “boundary” figured out and putting up the white flags so the dog would know where the boundary was. The boundary seemed to move on an hourly basis, letting him through one minute and shocking him 5 feet before the marker the next. I boxed it up and took it back to the store to exchange it for an in-ground, “Stubborn Dog” version.

After my purchase I went to dinner at my sister-in-laws. After I had stuffed myself with a particularly good enchilada casserole I got a call from my neighbor. Li’l Bastard had gotten out—several times—and was now being housed in his garage. That wasn’t the end of the story. It seems as though Li’l Bastard bit someone who was jogging past our house (not that that urge has never occurred to me) and Animal Control had been called. The neighbor assured the dog cop that Li’l Bastard was up-to-date on his vaccinations so he wasn’t hauled off to the pound.

I had to contact Animal Control the next day, a dog cop was sent to my house and I showed proof of his license and vaccinations. Then she dropped the bomb. The damn dog is under quarantine for 10 days (in case he was exposed to rabies while running around). At the end of those 10 days I have a mandatory court date and will have to pay fines and restitution. Li’l Bastard isn’t allowed out of the house except for a potty furlough and isn’t allowed to leave the property. I can’t leave him in the garage because it’s too hot and he would destroy the house if I left him in. So, I am essentially stuck at home with a one-year-old boxer who is dangling from the curtains because he can’t go out and play.

I will accept the fines, even though he is The Hubbin’s dog and I will forever hold this over his head, but when did it become my responsibility to do the time for someone else’s crime? Responsibility sucks.

(And…for those of you who don’t know…if you’re running and a dog chases you…STOP RUNNING!!!)

The Felon on Furlough...and Looking For a Jogger
The Felon on Furlough...and Looking For a Jogger
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