Friday, April 30, 2010

Adventures in Dog Raising

Having braved two elementary school years with a gray front tooth (a byproduct of older sibling babysitting and a brick fireplace), I vowed that my future children would never be “that” kid in class. Good news for them is that I have a practice child in the form of one Huck Flynn. Bad news for Huck Flynn is that I have a practice child in the form of one Huck Flynn.

Because I’m selfish and bypassed several Humane Societies to fetch my AKC-certified pup from a breeder, I had two months to prepare for Huck’s arrival. I used that time wisely—scouring the Interwebs to coordinate matching collar/leash sets and spamming friends and family to solicit name suggestions. Slightly more responsibly, I also scouted local dog parks. Goldendoodles and Spaniels? Sweet, I’ll be back in a few weeks. Chihuahuas and Pitbulls? Hey, maybs I’ll see you at PetSmart.

I bookmarked online training guides and nursed dreams of a dog who would catch footballs, deliver the AJC in the morning and greet me with a Yuengling after work.

One magical Sunday, I brought my protégé canine home. One magical Sunday, a then six-pound Huck became my master, and visions of Superdog died a quick death.

As week night trips to the dog park confirm, my plan to raise the star quarterback equivalent of a canine son has failed miserably.

This dog park, little more than a half dirt/half grass field sandwiched among houses, is 101 Dalmations meets The Breakfast Club. Sadie, a Lab mix, is the park's star cheerleader. She finds a stick and instantly the stick is elevated to squirrel status. Quinn, a fellow Vizsla, is the class president. He says little, is perfectly coiffed and wears the canine equivalent of an ascot tie: a seasonal bandana. Jack, a Golden Retriever, is the class clown, buddy-buddy with both dogs and owners. Kira, a Rhodesian Ridgeback and persistent observer, is the newspaper editor—the canine Tina Fey.

And then there’s Huck. Jury's still out as to whether he’s best personified as a mathlete, or a trenchcoat-wearing fan of dragon mysteries. When not eating dirt or swallowing sticks, he's sniffing tree bases. On occasion, a heated game of tug-of-war will break out, and he'll bark at the participants. Great, a tattletale of a trenchcoat-wearing mathlete.

Either he needs a dad, or I need to lay off clothing him in acid-washed denim vests for Merry Hucking Christmas cards.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Why Blogs Are Not Like Russian Orphans

“Blogs are not like Russian orphans. You can’t just send them back when it gets tough. Get typing.”

Shout out to an Alabama-hailing friend for sending the above text. Yep, it’s been six weeks since the last post. The bad news is that I let Flynnsight take a backseat to extracurricular life that comes with spring. The good news—selfishly for me, that is—is that people noticed. From those who chided me via text to the chap who sent an e-mail with a milk carton and a screen shot of Flynnsight, thank you. It’s nice to know that people—other than my loyal sister, Travis Burt and the person in Illinois who landed on Flynnsight by Googling “jort Spanx”—are reading.

It’s not that I haven’t thought about posting. I’ve got a purse full of Post-it notes bearing blog topics: why Lent is for quitters, the deflating mental challenge that comes with decoding stretched words to authorize online purchases (featuring one "mullet brigade" combo for Ticketmaster), the off-putting rise of 'Best' and 'Warm Regards' e-signatures, the day that Minnesota Phatts and Laserhaire Moval became @Flynnsight followers on Twitter.

Eh, maybe later. For now, I'm plagiarizing content from fourth graders.

The yuletide thank yous pasted below were plucked from a batch of 54 notes penciled with similar content. For good reason, they've hung in my work cube (across from the resume excerpt for Adventuresome Irish Surgeon) for more than a year. Don’t be fooled—these kiddos make me sound like quite the philanthropist. In reality, I helped connect two fourth grade classes with flimsy plastic pens and flavorless ChapStick bearing the Children’s logo.

Out of the mouths of babes…

Key takeaway—never underestimate a pen and lip balm stealer.

Sincere love from,

P.S. To all my fellow PR practitioners: good luck saving lives.