This column has officially gone to the dogs

On the Ball column by Craig Lindsay, Feb. 17 Grand Forks Gazette.

I’m starting this week’s column with a few of the words and phrases that annoy me. English is full of interesting words and phrases but some lingo comes and goes. Words like hipster and bro weren’t part of the lexicon until 10 or 20 years ago. Before that it was all groovy and dude. These words come and go. Some hand on a little longer. Some words and phrases I think should be retired are ‘moving forward.’ This is just a tired old cliche that someone uses when they want to sound important. ‘At the end of the day’ is another phrase I’ve heard when interviewing that really means nothing. You can combine the two and come up with ‘At the end of the day we’re moving forward.’ You’ve said nothing but it sounds like something.

Putting hashtag before everything on social media is a trend which is thankfully drying up. I realize it’s a necessity on Twitter to drive people to your tweets. #grandforksgazette #trendingnews #municipalelection. That makes sense but then people started adding to Facebook posts and texts and whatever else. #wokeup #hadbreakfast #bestcerealever #pleasestop #notcoolanymore.

‘Fur babies’ is another phrase that has popped up in recent years and drives me batty. I get it that you love your animals. We all do. They’re kind of like part of the family. But c’mon the key is ‘like’ as in they’re not. We love our animals and we get sad when they get sick and die but it happens. We mourn for a few days and then get a new pet. That may sound cold but the point is the phrase annoys me. It’s all part of anthropormizing pets (making them human-like). It has to stop.

Just to show I’m not a completely heartless monster I’ll tell a tale of family pets. My mom was looking for a little company at her house so she enquired into adopting a shelter dog. Being a senior, she wanted an older, smaller dog that wouldn’t be a big burden. She was able to foster a nine-year-old Maltese dog whose owner sadly had a stroke and was unable to care for it. The dog’s name is Alby, which is really L.B., which stands for Little Bastard. Despite the name, the little pooch is actually very well behaved.

Alby is not a morning dog, though. Until about noon he will be snoozing and basically out of action. But just after noon he gets hit with a surge of energy and will run around like a hyperactive puppy. Soon enough he will tire out and go back to snoozing, however.

The first time I met Alby was when I was visiting mom just before Christmas. I came out to sit in the big chair and watch TV with mom. Low and behold Alby had taken over the guest chair. My mom even had blankets and towels all over the chair to protect it from dog hair. While I wasn’t happy. I like that chair. Mom suggested bringing in another chair but I refused to be second fiddle to a dog. So I called Alby. Nothing. I tried squeezing one of his chew toys to no avail. Finally I had to pick the dog up and physically move him out of the chair. I was a little worried not knowing whether he would bite me or pee on me or whatever dogs do. With the dog on the floor I quickly took control of the chair. And then Alby jumped on my lap. I guess he wasn’t too upset.

So anyways, it turns out Alby is a pretty good dog. A great fit for my mom. She is more active chasing him around but he isn’t too over bearing.