For those who don’t know, Mr. T was sued by his crazy cat-loving, baby-hating, bikini-waxer, spinster next-door neighbor from hell, who claimed that the only reason the condo association decided to tent the building for termites was because of Mr. T’s unit.

See, back in March Mr. T took off a huge section of drywall and found termites on an exterior load-bearing wall, which belongs to the condo association. He immediately reported the damage and the condo association decided to tent. Moving out was a hassle, but all the other neighbors thanked Mr. T for pressing the association to take action. Crazy Cat Spinster, however, decided it was time to sue.

I received the lawsuit papers while Mr. T was in Italy, and I was rip-roarin’ furious! We tried to counter-sue her when we got back from our trip, but the coward skipped town and re-appeared the day before the trial, when it was too late to serve her.

We got the first indications that the day would go our way when we showed up at small claims court the morning of the hearing. The clerk asked Mr. T if he had counter-sued the plaintiff. Mr. T told him he had been unable to because she had skipped town, and the clerk asked if he would like to counter-sue her right then and there!

Of course Mr. T agreed, and the clerk told Crazy Cat Spinster, “We’re going to deal with this all on the same day. You can either go forward with the trial today or postpone until later.” WOOO-OOO!! Part-aaaayyy!! Crazy Cat Spinster had no choice but to agree to proceed with the counter-suit!

Word of advice to any nasty cat spinster neighbors reading this and plotting to groundlessly sue someone just because the justice system allows you to: Choose your victims wisely. Don’t mess with a Ph. D. who has spent twenty years at top-notch universities doing research and giving dissertations. Because if the man can argue a new scientific theory in front of a panel of highly-educated peers, he can certainly disprove your groundless, vindictive little case. I don’t think they have a Debate Club at waxing school…

If you’re ever in small claims court, here’s what NOT to do. She failed to provide Mr. T with “discovery”, a.k.a. all the documents she was submitting to court to prove her case. Then, when she was asked the reasons why she was suing Mr. T, she rambled on and on like a lunatic, whining and sniveling without ever making a coherent point. The evidence she submitted was pathetic. Imagine, she gave the judge pictures of all her flowers, to demonstrate just how much of a hassle it had been to move her plants during the tenting. Puh-leeeease!!

The judge was very annoyed by her incompetence, and before she had even concluded the presentation of her case, he cut her off to summarize her points. Then he let Mr. T have his turn, and my man creamed her! He had a five-section package of pertinent information, carefully labeled and highlighted, including case law, state statutes, and condominium rules & regulations.

Crazy Cat Spinster never once made eye contact with Mr. T, and were it possible to grow smaller and smaller with the refutal of each of her claims (like in the cartoons), she would have been no bigger than her ugly, mean cat by the time he was done with her.

The judge glowered at Crazy Cat Spinster and came just short of saying that she’d wasted the court’s time with her incongruent arguments. He ruled overwhelmingly in Mr. T’s favor, and my man and I happily left court hand in hand.

What started as a stressful morning turned into one of the most exhilarating afternoons of our lives as we celebrated this victory with a well-deserved lunch at P.F. Chang’s. To top it all off, when we got home and took the dogs out, Morena made a mad dash towards Crazy Cat Spinster’s mean ol’ cat. That’s my dog!!


Browsing through the links that lead to my humble little blog, I encountered MsShad, a funny and brave lady who lives in Idaho but dreams of moving to San Francisco (really, who doesn’t?). I was thrilled to get to know one of my readers, yet I was dismayed to discover a complaint about the lack of dog-related postings on my blog.

Not one to purposely alienate my readers, I present to you “It’s a Dog’s Life”. Enjoy!


Meet Checkers. She’s a 15 week old red merle Mini Australian Shepherd. Her mother is a champion agility dog and her father is a champion show dog. Checkers is a champion pooping and peeing machine. But hey, we all have to start somewhere!

Checkers: “Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful.”

Meet Morena. She’s a 2 1/2 year old Ensenada Terrier, the only one of her breed. She was found by yours truly on the side of the highway in Ensenada when she was about three months old, covered with mange, starved to the bone, and suffering from a broken paw. She is now a bright, healthy, loyal and bilingual dog (because it was easier to teach her English than to teach Mr. T Spanish).

Morena: “Yo quiero Taco Bell.”

Impressed by Morena’s language abilities, Checkers decided to sharpen her intellectual skills. She has become quite a voracious reader.

Checkers: “Oh, I’m sorry. Were you planning on ordering from this catalogue?”

When they’re not attending to their intellectual endeavors, Morena and Checkers enjoy hanging out together in the park. Morena loves teaching Checkers new tricks. Here, she’s explaining the force of gravity through a practical exercise.

Morena: “Just let yourself go. I promise it won’t hurt a bit.”

Morena loves to catch the frisbee…

Morena: “Agility champ, schmagility champ… Look at me!!”

… But more fun than catching the frisbee is keeping it away from Checkers.

Checkers: “Come back, black dog. It’s my turn! I wanna play, tooooo…”

At the end of a tough and challenging day, nothing beats a relaxing snuggle on a human’s stomach.

Checkers: “Morena, why is your human smiling so demonically?”

Whew! Rough day. And to think that tomorrow we have to do it all over again. It’s a dog’s life…

You know you have a serious case of writer’s block when the only thing you can think to write about is your dog. *sigh* Please humor me, I’ve been running around trying to plan 12 weddings and a cooking class, so it’s a miracle these words are actually making it onto the page.


A little over two years ago, my now ex-husband and I stopped by the side of the highway leading into our town to ask some questions at a new furniture store. He got out of the car and started talking to the owner, who was standing outside the store. I was still sitting in the car when, out of the corner of my eye, I saw something black moving in the tall grass next to the road. At first I thought it was a rat, so I rolled down the window to warn my ex of its presence. However, the store owner replied: “Oh, that’s not a rat. It’s a little stray dog that wondered here this morning. It’s been lying there all day.”

WTF?? It was probably 40 degrees! I jumped out of the car, parted the tall grass, and saw the saddest, biggest brown eyes looking helplessly at me. She was tiny, no bigger than a sewer rat, and she smelled just as awful as one. She had little tufts of matted fur but most of her skin was hairless and covered in mange. Her ribs and backbone were prominent, and her left paw was oddly twisted to one side.

My heart broke for this poor little creature, so I took off my jacket and scooped her up, being careful not to touch the skin. The ex and I jumped back in the car and drove to our vet. Meanwhile, our two huge labs kept wanting to see this new – if rather smelly – passenger, so I had to fight them off and yell at them to stay back. All the while, the little puppy looked at me, a mixture of fear and appreciation in her sweet eyes.

The vet took one look at her and said that he’d try his best to save her but couldn’t guarantee anything. We left her there and went home. Every week, we’d go visit her and it was a joy to see her gaining weight and growing hair. After six weeks, we got the all-clear and took her home. The vet said we had saved her life; she wouldn’t have survived the night had we left her on the road.

We named her Morena, a Spanish word that means “dark-skinned female”. She was a shy and fragile little dog who found comfort in the warmth of our fat yellow lab, Jack. She would cuddle up to him and lie not next to him, but on TOP of him! It was the cutest thing…

To be continued…