Badass Bunny


I just want you to know that Badass Bunny isn’t always bad. I feel very strongly about animal rights, so I really enjoy supporting the SF SPCA, where my dogs receive veterinary care. The boys had an appointment this morning, and as I paid my bill I overheard a gentleman explaining to an associate that he’s homeless but lives in a facility with his cat Emma. At that moment, a tech returned with Emma in her carrier and explained that she had a fever and needed to see a vet. The SF SPCA has a program to help low-income residents pay for care, but those individuals have to prove they in fact live in the city. So when I finished paying my bill, I asked if I could donate money to help pay for Emma’s care.

I’m sure many of you are familiar with San Francisco’s homeless population. You can’t walk anywhere in the greater downtown area without seeing homeless men and women on the street, and often the best that people can do is only to express their disgust. What I’ve noticed is that many of those men and women have dogs or cats. Regardless of how you feel about the homeless or the city’s policies regarding the homeless, often the only joy these individuals have in their lives is their animals. I love my dogs so much, but I also have a wonderful life. I can’t even begin to imagine how I would feel if I had only my dogs and I couldn’t pay for their care when they became ill. So today I made sure the Emma’s owner could pay for whatever she needed.

5 reasons being a copywriter sucks

Being a copywriter sucks. The act of writing itself is glorious and rewarding. But being a copywriter is like being fed to a sarlacc, the Star Wars creature that keeps you alive for thousands of years while it slowly digests your juicy bits. If you want to be a copywriter, be prepared to fight in the shit. Cause here’s what you’re going to face:

1. Everyone’s a critic. What does that mean for you? It means if Dick the sales manager doesn’t like your copy, then your ad obviously sucks. So buck up, little copywriter, and learn to put your best happy face forward and choke down your contempt for asswipes who think you want to hear their opinion.

2. You constantly have to defend your copy and prove you know what you’re doing. Because everyone’s a critic, and they don’t know the difference between opinions and facts. Or anything about copywriting. Like, ya know, best practices and proven persuasive techniques. Apparently copywriting is just your part-time hobby, not a skill that takes years of practice to master. You just make this shit up as you go.

3. Your coworkers think they can write copy too. Because they post clever summaries of Buzzfeed articles to Facebook all day long. Duh. This also explains why they think rewriting your copy is an appropriate form of feedback. Well, I have some feedback about your copy. Fuck you.

4. Your colleagues think creative briefs are stupid. That’s because they think tactics and strategy are the same thing. You want me to write an email that drives traffic to your website? Did you write creative brief? I don’t need one? Oh, okay, let me just pull that email out of my ass for you.

5. You have to work with smarmy pricks (aka business and account managers) who think they’re creative directors. Oh, you want “shoe” in the headline alongside a photo of the shoe because you want to make sure everyone knows we’re advertising a shoe? Fuck you.

An Open Letter to BART passengers

I know it sucks…packing into the train like cattle to the slaughter, but that doesn’t mean you have to act like you’re gonna fucking die. So, please, keep your ass planted in your comfy seat and wait patiently until the train comes to a stop before you try to muscle your way to the doors. Because if you step on my feet or push me out of your way, I will fucking cut you. 


A Burden to Bear

Bear growls at me as he licks my face. He doesn’t just growl. He cries, groans, and bears his teeth all at the same time. But I insist that he kiss me and squeal at him, “kisses, Bear. Kisses.”

Bear is a 50-pound mutt with short-hair, a beautiful golden-red coat and dark caramel-colored eyes. He’s only about a foot and a half tall at the shoulder, but he’s a husky dog, muscular and broad across the chest. Except for his floppy ears and round nose, he looks a lot like a Shiba Inu, a Japanese mountain dog that was bred for hunting and is known to be independent, loyal to its owner while reserved and sometimes aggressive with strangers and other dogs.

My husband Shawn and I adopted Bear and his brother Dozer from the Denver Dumb Friends League in 2004. They were just puppies then—only two months old and about nine pounds each. The first time we met Bear, Shawn and I both quickly realized he was a belligerent little bully. He attacked our hands, bit our fingers, and gnawed on our clothes. He chewed on Dozer’s ankles and wrestled him to the ground until Dozer cried. I thought he enjoyed beating up on all of us, and I immediately fell in love with him. But my feelings changed soon after adopting him. When I put his food bowl on the kitchen floor, he bit my hands. Every time I gave him a chewy, he snapped it up in his little jaws, then growled at me. He constantly hurt Dozer, and he routinely bit Shawn and me. Quickly I realized he was no ordinary dog: he suffered food aggression, possession aggression, fear aggression, and he didn’t care much for people or other dogs. He wasn’t spirited like I first believed. He was just mean.

For the next two years, I lived in fear. Bear grew into a meaty, strong adult dog with hard eyes; he always looked unhappy, tense, ready to attack. At the dog park, he hunted other dogs like prey, and on a leash he often pulled me right off my feet. In our yard, he chased passers-by up and down the fence, barking and screaming in an uncontrollable rage. In the house, he fought with Dozer over chewies, toys or for space. If we had guests, he attacked their feet or tried to bite their hands and eventually had to be secluded in another room. Shawn and I worried he’d eventually seriously injure another dog or person, and we constantly fought about how to train him. By the Christmas of 2006, I had enough and threatened Shawn: it’s the dog or me. We tried twice to find Bear another home, but only two people took enough interest to meet him, and they both quickly realized he was an anxious, troubled dog, not the lovable, affectionate pet everyone dreams about bringing home.

I resented Bear for not being a good dog. Even worse, I abused him. I never imagined I’d hit an animal, but I did. Every time Bear growled at me, tried to bite me, or became aggressive with other dogs, I slapped him. More than once I choked him with his collar, then tossed him outside like a sack of garbage. I constantly screamed at him and wished him dead. And when he came to beg my forgiveness, I instead hit him and banished him to his bed. On the afternoon that Bear bit my face, I was so furious I grabbed him by the back legs, dragged him out the front door, and kicked him in the gut like I was trying to punt a soccer ball. That was the first time I ever heard him cry. It was also the last time he bit me.

Everything changed that day. For the first time, I admitted to myself I was abusive and completely out of control. And rather than take responsibility for my behavior I instead demanded pity. Poor me, I just wanted a nice, happy dog who likes everybody and look what I got. At the same time, I insisted that I loved Bear because he was so much like me––demanding, relentless, sensitive––a spoiled brat who sometimes flies into fits of rage. But I was lucky. My husband and close friends were always honest, fair, and patient with me about my faults. In contrasting their behavior with me to my behavior with Bear, I realized I always had everyone’s love and support. No one tried to change me, only to help me become the best person I could. But Bear, I abused and abandoned him.

Today, Bear is a happy mutt who’s almost 12 years old. He’s still no angel, and I’m no saint. For several more years I struggled, not just to exercise patience with Bear but also to face up to how much I hated myself. I was cruel to my dog and I didn’t want that in my history, but over time I took responsibility for my actions and grew into a patient, compassionate individual. And with the help of a wonderful behaviorist, Shawn and I both learned how best to care for Bear. He still doesn’t like people much, he’s not fond of having strangers in his home, and he’s definitely not a fan of the mailman. But I don’t let that bother me anymore. When I learned to understand him as a dog, I learned to catch the important signals—when he feels anxious, nervous or uncomfortable—and I protect him. We’ve worked hard for the balance we enjoy in our lives. When he’s happy, he lets me hug him like a child hugs a stuffed animal. When he’s in a bad mood, he growls and cries but never bites. He may not like to snuggle like I wish he did, but he tolerates me when I want to torture him with kisses. And even though he just wants to be with his humans, he’s happiest when we leave him alone. He may not be the dog anyone dreams about bringing home, and he was never the dog I wanted, but he’s the dog I always needed.

The devil’s in the darkness

I’m 42 years old and still afraid of the dark. You’d think I’d be afraid of something more age appropriate, like death. Or wrinkles. But the minute I turn out the lights, I turn into a scared little girl who’d rather soil her bed than get out of it to use the bathroom.

I’m generally a rational person. Even when my fear sets in, I try to reason with myself: look, you, you’ve been home alone all night and you’re still alive. If someone was in the house waiting to attack you, wouldn’t he have made a move already? Stop with this obsessive compulsive crazy talk.

But no amount of cajoling helps. In the dark, I’m positive some large, deranged man (other than my husband) is hanging out in the basement, or standing in the dark stairwell, patiently waiting. And then he’ll strike…when I’ve finally fallen asleep. Or as I run from the bedroom to the toilet.

I’m also afraid of bears. Just the other day I was at Costco and saw sleeping bags on sale. Immediately, I had a vision of myself sleeping in said bag, in a tent in the wilderness, when a big, brown bear attacks and tosses me around like salmon. Then I started laughing and reassured myself this would never happen: I’m Jewish. I don’t camp. Well, except maybe outside Nordstrom’s for a sale.

My husband thinks my fear of bears is silly. Sure, I’ve never met a bear face to face (nor do I plan to), but I have plenty good reason to fear them. They’re huge, and they have big teeth and powerful jaws. From a bear, I know what to expect. The dark is something else entirely. It may be literal, but it’s also a metaphor for my imagination. I have no idea what it’s capable of, and that scares me more than any bear. Or scorpion. Or flesh-eating bacteria. Or pod people. Oh my.