RSS Feed

Fishin’ balm

So you’ve got horsies? asks the young fella in the red vest.

I catch this comment as we pass by this oh-so-helpful Tractor Supply employee carrying a load of, what I suppose to be, equine goods and sundries.

Yes, sniffs the customer as she plucks her truck keys from her purse.  I have Horses.

I look at the Husband.  Yikes, I say. Someone got up on the fancy-ass side of the hay bale this morning, didn’t she?

Oh hey, I’m not profiling horse people here, I want you to know that. Not every lover of things equine is the sniffy, just-carry-my-horse-stuff-to-the-car-but-don’t-expect-me-to-talk-to-the-likes-of-you kinda person. Of course not, because when I grow up I’m gonna be a horse person and I never talk to people like that. 

And it’s not like coming out of Petco with the ever pleasant employee carrying my three bags of kibble* and she says something like, so you’ve got doggies?

Because I’d be all, Heck yeah! You betcha I got doggies! I have three in my house, but only because I’m still not sure how many I can have and still be married. Oh, one more if we add in the stuffed one, dog not husband, but that’s a long story. Hold on, lemme show you some pictures of them! This is Jager, he’s a little freaky, but a good dog and …

That’s how we dog people are. Well, a lot of us anyway. Whether we call them doggies, mutts or Get Off the Table!, we want to share their goodness with everyone.  We love them, so you will too.  Right?

So anyway, I’m at Tractor Supply Co. and on a mission for dog.  You know about TSC? The handy rural goods store now ubiquitous to every suburban commercial strip mall?  My country-living friend, who drives from his rural farmland into town gets so frustrated with the whole experience he refers to the place as Tough Shoot** Charlie’s.  Because they never seem to have in stock whatever it is that he drove ten miles to get.

And thanks TSC, because I’m coming up dry on this trip too. I knew it was a crap shoot (not a farm joke, but it should be) to find my obscure item. Having never before even laying eyes upon a tub of Musher’s Secret, I suspected it may be best procured through methods involving not talking to people. Ordering off the internet, that is.

See, I’ve been a little concerned with the dogs’ delicate paws on the hot asphalt as we walk the black mile to my car in the P&G parking lot. So after checking with folk***, the big recommendation was to apply Musher’s Secret as a protective measure.  Sounds good to me, but my TSC visit was all for naught. I ended up taking the cashier’s suggestion for Bag Balm as a substitute. A public discussion involving the benefits of udder cream should be one of those awkward moments, the kind you just grit your teeth and not tell anyone else about later. Yet in the midst of the special environment that is TSC (is that alfalfa I smell? and rubber?), it didn’t strike me as weird until I stepped outside. In the privacy of my car, I take a quiet moment to come to terms with the fact that I have something called Bag Balm resting benignly on the passenger seat. The green tin just sits there all innocent like it doesn’t have a dirty name or anything.

So unable to squash a pesky sense of curiosity, I pop the lid on it thinking, well, at least it likely smells real pretty and holy cow this stuff smells like old kerosene stored in a overheated barn. On the plus side, I’m betting the dog won’t even try licking this off his paw pads, so there’s that.

I admit, though. It did feel a little awkward buying this tin o’lubricant and because I didn’t want to get caught with the stuff, say if I had a car accident on the way home and this was sitting opened on the front seat, I also bought this to normalize things.

See?  It’s not so weird anymore, is it? Right?

It’s a dog toy, y’all.  Hanging there on display with a tag proudly displaying it sturdy enough for rough play.  Practically non-destructible, it says. In other words, the dogs probably won’t want to play with it. 

But it’s like I always say. Without hope, there’s only despair.

Oh that’s it! I was struggling trying to remember what this fish thing reminded me of.  Well, besides a cast member from The Beatles’ Yellow Submarine.

It brings to mind a certain demotivational poster from

Ambition – The journey of a thousand miles
sometimes ends very, very badly.
I want this on a coffee mug, y’all.


Basking in the sense of relief that comes with finally remembering something like that isn’t enough for me. I feel myself brewing up a stellar idea. Dream big is something else I always say. Usually in dripping sarcasm, but hey, I bet there’s a poster for that too. Never mind all that right now, cuz I have a really good idea.

I want a photo of Micron catching the fish toy just like the bear in the Ambition poster. Easy peasy, I think to myself.  I grab the Canon, the Blue Meanie fish and usher the mighty Micron to the backyard. 

The Dream Big session lasts a remarkable five or six minutes before I call for assistance. It’s proving to be overly ambitious to toss the toy, then focus and snap the photo in the exact moment before Micron catches it. This isn’t defeat, of course. I just need another warm body out here.

Toss the fish high in the air, I tell the Husband. No, not like that! It needs to arc and come down straight at his open mouth. Like a football. Kind of.  Ack, NO!  It has to be like a spawning salmon swimming upstream, but upside down. I’ll flip the photo in Photoshop to put it right side up, right? You see? Quit looking at me like that, you know what I mean, you’re just not listening. Be the salmon, honey. You’re fighting the rapids because nature is telling you to find some hot salmoness for your species to survive when Bam! you’re eaten by a bear. Got it? 

Still, this is not defeat. It is not. I bravely accept that my creative genius is not shared by others and we plod onward.

And so we toss the fish and snap some photos. Again.

And again.

Finally, we get closer to what I’m looking for. I’m frustrated by the motion blur in the photo, though. We are so close now.  There is no way I’m giving up at this point.  

Then I notice the dog is panting. And that last fish toss was either impossibly ill thrown or quite possibly aimed at my own head.  My team is losing their passion for this project.


Minor change in vision, I say to the Husband. Here’s what I want you to do.  Just hold the stupid fish right over Micron’s head. Yep, just like that. So he opens his mouth to grab it and . . .

Click. Got it.

*Three dogs, three different diets. Go fig.

**I didn’t mean shoot.  I know, I can say fancy-ass, but blush at saying sh**.  I can’t explain it.

***Google search

About Donna Black-Sword

Lover of all things Dog.

4 responses »

  1. BOL. If we were you, we'd go to Zazzle and have that “Fixation” meme turned into a coffee mug for sure.


  2. So I pop over to Zazzle to see what's going on there and kinda got lost. Lots 'stuff and the customization options can keep me happily entertained for quite a while, I think. Thanks for the tip, Vlad.


  3. Great pictures, Donna. I have tried so many things on my CCI Hearing Dog, including Bag Balm. I find Bag Balm to be very greasy, and it has left permanent unremovable stains on the carpet and bedding. 😦

    I find Muttluks' PawStick Pad Protector works very well.


  4. Excellent photos, Donna. I've attempted a lot of points upon my personal CCI Listening to Canine, such as Tote Cream. We discover Tote Cream to become really oily, and contains remaining long term unremovable unsightly stains about the carpeting as well as bed linen.

    buy fifa 15 coins
    lol boosting



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: