Saturday, February 24, 2007

watching for the mailman

It's been warmer and sunnier here lately (thank God!), and I sometimes open the front door in the afternoons to let some more light into our hopelessly dark living room. Bean likes to peek out the screen door every now and then to check on the neighborhood and look for the mailman. It's funny because the only things that are above the bottom of the screen door window are her eyes and her ears. I wonder what she looks like from other side of the door.

Friday, February 16, 2007

the seatbelt and the vet

Yesterday I took Bean to the vet. She loves her vet, and she loves going there because she gets so much attention and so many treats. Every time we go they weigh her by getting her to step on this giant scale, and every time she pretends not to know what she is supposed to do, so that they have to literally cover the scale in treats to get her on it. She weighs 57 pounds, which the vet says is fine for a dog like her.

One reason she didn't like going yesterday was because I have finally decided to put an end to her "helping" me drive. She is too big, and it's just dangerous because she is colorblind and can't tell the red lights from the green ones. I got a seatbelt harness from Petco, which is lined with fleece on the inside so it's nice and comfy. I strapped her in the back seat, and snapped this photo at a red light:

Um...Mom, I don't know how you expect me to navigate from back here....

Once we got to our exam room, she was Ms. Brave Explorer. The first stop in any new room is the trashcan, but she couldn't fit her gigantic head into it because it was under a counter top.

Before long, she remembered that all the vets and techs come in through a door on the opposite side of the room. She began sniffing them out and listening for footsteps.

Okay, don't worry...whatever comes through that door, I will protect you, ok? I am a vicious guard dog, and as such will fight to the death to protect my people, which includes you. Got it?

When Dr. Muse came into the room with her assistant, Bean was all smiles and wagging tails until they approached her. Then she jumped up on the bench where I was sitting and wedged all 57 pounds of herself between my body and the wall behind me, with only her head peeking out over my shoulder. At this point she started to cry like a little baby.

Great job protecting me Bean. Really. Just superb.

They eventually lured her out with treats and soft voices, and put her up on the exam table, where she proceeded to tuck her tail between her legs and lick the assistant's face during her entire exam. Afterwards, she pranced back out into the waiting room as if she had just beaten Dr. Muse in an arm wrestling match.

I guess she's got a reputation to protect.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

bath day!

"I got a bath today!!

...and so did all my beds and blankets. I hate getting baths, and I won't get into the tub willingly. Daddy has to catch me, pick me up, and put me in there. Then I just stand really still the whole time. But the funny thing is, I always feel better after I've had one. And I really like the taste of the shampoo."

Sunday, February 04, 2007

lazy saturday afternoon

I like word puzzles. A lot. My favorite place to do them is in bed. It seems so decadent to snuggle up in bed with a sharp pencil and a fresh puzzle. My bedside table is stacked with books of crossword puzzles and sudoku puzzles. On Friday night I went to Borders with our friend Christy (hi Christy!) and I got a big book of find-a-word puzzles from the bargain section for $3.99. Usually I don't find these kinds of puzzles challenging enough, but this one interested me because it doesn't actually tell you which words you are looking for. It gives a theme (in this case "bread") and tells you to find 23 bread-related words. I've been doing these puzzles pretty much non-stop since I got the book.

So on Saturday afternoon, it was no surprise to Bryan to come home and find me in bed with my puzzles, and Bean sleeping on her bed in the corner. He climbed in bed and started "helping me" solve it. It went like this: "Okay there's 'granary' at the top, so circle that one...and there's 'rye'...'crust' is at the bottom." When I pointed out that this was no fun for me because all I was doing was circling words he was finding, without having time to look for them myself, he took the book and the pen and retreated to the end of the bed saying "You're right, I can circle them myself. I don't need your help. Thanks for pointing that out!"

I patted him on the butt a few times and was saying something about how he's lucky he's such a cute jerk, when out of nowhere Bean flies up on the bed. She promptly snuggled in beside her favorite parent and began "helping" him with the puzzle.

At first we were shocked. We have been less than successful in other training goals, but one thing Bean knows for sure is that she has to wait to be invited onto the bed. The signal? We pat the bed twice. After a horrible moment of us thinking she was blatantly breaking rules she knows (and you know what comes next: dyeing her fur green, listening to loud obnoxious music, and breaking curfew), we realized that she had heard me pat Bryan on the bottom and assumed it was our signal. Since she had obeyed the rules, we let her stay.

I present to you, my family:

It was a nice moment for us.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Let it snow!

Yesterday we had the slightest dusting of snow. Which, down here, means that everything was shut down. So Bryan got to stay home and we watched movies and took naps all day. Bean has only seen snow once or twice before in her life, and was very concerned about the whole thing. When she woke up, I tapped on the glass in the window next to our bed, which is her signal to come check something out.

Here she is surveying the situation from inside.

After she looked out of every window in the house and confirmed that we were indeed surrounded on all sides by this stuff, she mustered up the courage to go outside and do a little reconnaissance mission.

As you can see, we were in no danger of being snowed in, but Bean did her best to shovel us out anyway by licking all the snow off the porch. When she finally came inside she was so cold and had shown such bravery that we just had to let her in bed with us to watch an episode of Family Guy.