Friday Five

1. Reggie will eat anything, including napkins, but he gets especially excited about barbecue leftovers. Look at the concentration. Look at the dedication to his goal. What you can’t see is him stamping his paws in a sort of strange flamenco dance.

Thanks, Ken!

2. I dusted off an old recipe for chocolate white chocolate chunk cookies. They were as good as I remember.

And the batter ain’t bad either. After I was through, washing the bowl was a formality.

Finger lickin' good

3. Close call this week! I was crossing Fourth Avenue after the walk light came on. As I was about two lanes into the intersection, I heard a horn. Now, in Brooklyn, we learn to tune out honks like OJ Simpson ignores police cars, but I had a moment of panic and checked the stop light, which was definitely red. A car shot out in the lane next to me and blew right through the red light, not even slowing down. A teenage boy on a bike was even closer to the car than I was. He slammed on his brakes and flew over the handlebars, landing on his chest in the strangest position. Luckily he bounced up quickly, but he was definitely dazed (and confused). He reminded me a bit of my nephew all lanky and awkward. Made me wonder how different the afternoon could have been if either one of us had been just a little quicker into the intersection. But if that were the case, wouldn’t you know it – one of the cars stopped at the light was an ambulance.

4. Would you think differently of me if I told you that I really want to see the movie Bridesmaids? It’s the brainchild of SNLers Maya Rudolph and Kristen Wiig and producer Judd Apatow, being billed as The Hangover for women. Sign me up.

As an aside, you may think that you have worn the ugliest bridesmaid’s dress in the history of bridesmaids, but I am here to tell you that I win grand prize in that category. Unfortunately (or fortunately as the case may be), all evidence has been destroyed. But I’ll just say this: The dress was so ugly that after the wedding, when I couldn’t even stand to have it in the back of my closet making my other clothes feel bad, I took it to a second-hand store. The store refused to accept it, saying they wouldn’t be able to sell it. That, my friend, is one ugly dress. I think I’ll need to write a complete post about this one.

5. I’ve had two conversations in the past week about the Thundershirt, so maybe more of you want the info, and you know I’m all about bringing it to the people. The Thundershirt was designed for dogs to help release their anxiety in a variety of situations. (I guess you could try it on your cat, but be prepared for a struggle.) Many dogs are afraid of thunder, fireworks, travel in a car/crate, vet visits, etc. This shirt wraps around a dog’s torso tightly so they feel safer. When I visited Best Friends last year, a number of dogs were wearing the shirts and the staff told me it was very useful. For some, the anxiety disappeared completely, and for others, it lessened the stress greatly. The concept isn’t new, of course. It’s the same reason we swaddle newborns and use gates around cattle when giving them shots. And Temple Grandin discovered similar calming effects when she built a human “squeeze machine” to lessen her own anxiety. (Now sometimes called the “hug machine” for people who want a happier euphemism.) It looks like a regular dog coat, but it’s made from a breathable spandex-type material. For the record, I’ve also seen people use an old t-shirt, but you have to tie it snugly around the body and most t-shirts tend to stretch out over time. Reggie will be wearing this the next time we go to the vet #canyousaynightmare. If you get one, let me know how it works out for your pooch.



  1. A fabulous five! Was there really an ambulance at the stop light? What a frightening incident. Glad you and biker boy were safe, relatively speaking.

    The dog is adorable. The cookies look yummy. Glad you are safe (already said that). The movie Bridesmaids tweaks my interest, so again – you are safe. No judging. And finally, if the thundershirt works for dogs, I have a friend that runs a dog rescue. I should donate several to her place.


    1. There really was an ambulance there at the light. The medic stuck his head out the window to check on the boy. He was more rattled than anything. I was rattled and I didn’t come as close to that car as he did.

      Let me know if your friend finds the Thundershirts useful. The folks at Best Friends have reported great results.


  2. I will have to pass the Thundershirt link off to my in-laws for their big yellow lab! Fortunately, none of my dogs are bothered much by thunderstorms. Also, I didn’t realize cattle were comforted by gates when working them. I assumed it was designed to make it easier on ranchers and other cattle workers. Interesting! Thanks for the Friday Five!


    1. Reggie’s not too bothered by storms either, but he gets really nervous at the vet. If this can make him a little calmer so she can do a proper exam, I’ll consider it a success!

      It’s an interesting story with Temple Grandin. She was living at her aunt’s ranch as a girl and noticed that the cattle being put into the squeeze machine were instantly calmer when getting their shots. She’s autistic and has trouble with anxiety, so she built a squeeze machine for herself. The even pressure around her body made her relax.

      Thanks for stopping by!


  3. Reggie is so cute! A very photogenic dog.

    Glad to hear that your close call remained just that. Those kind of situations do tend to make me dwell on the “what if’s” for a while though.

    Ugliest bridesmaid dress: Why is it that brides often make their bridesmaids look hideous? Surely, they’re going to be in the photos too. I don’t know if you saw photos of the recent royal wedding? At last: a bride who makes her maid-of-honour look as stunning as herself!

    Thundershirt: Had never heard of it, but it makes sense. Rosie always wants to be held tight when she’s scared. Am going to pass this info onto a friend whose dog has to be sedated every time there is a thunderstorm.


    1. Reggie humbly accepts your compliment. 🙂

      I remember my friend’s famous last words as we bought those dresses: “Oh, you’ll definitely be able to wear this again.”

      That is one anxious dog who needs to be sedated during a storm. I hope she doesn’t get too many thunderstorms. There are also CDs you can buy with thunderstorm sounds, so you can put the shirt on and start desensitizing the dog. Let me know how it works out.


  4. Wow, glad you’re OK. I had a close call like that once and will never forget it.

    Would love to see a video of your dog doing the flamenco dance! That shirt might be a good idea for my dog–he’s traumatized by the vet and thunderstorms.

    For what it’s worth, The Washington Post raved about Bridesmaids.


    1. It definitely took me a few minutes to recover after that car whizzed by. I had to compose myself, like “What just happened?”

      Reggie’s flamenco dance is pretty special. He only does it when he’s really excited about some food. He stamps his feet back and forth and twirls around. Then sometimes he starts to drool, so it ruins the image a bit.


  5. Those cookies look delicious, Jacquelin!

    Glad you escaped being creamed by that car!

    As the owner of one of the most neurotic dogs ever, I must check out the Thundershirt…



    1. I think I was channeling you when I made them. I’ve seen some of your mouth-watering goodies. In a few weeks I’m bringing lemon bars to a party, so if you have any tips, let me know.

      Keep me posted if you get that Thundershirt for your dog. I’d love to know how well it works for him.


  6. I’m sorry for not keeping up with your blog lately! I’ve missed it! I’m not chained to a desk anymore with a 9-5 corporate job anymore, so I am rarely at the computer these days. I’ve missed reading your blogs though. Anyway, that intersection story is scary! I am glad no one was hurt. And your cookies look amazing!! Yum!


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