Friday, March 28, 2008

Bean Goes Multimedia!

I got an awesome new camera for my birthday on Monday (thanks Mom and Dad!) and decided to play around with it after Bean and I got back from the vet on Wednesday. It has the ability to take short (1 min) videos, and thought "Finally! I get to show Bean in action!" So I taped the destruction of the fleece toy I gave Bean in reward for not killing any cats in the waiting room.

I taped it in three parts. Unfortunately, the last part (which is the most thrilling) is kind of blurry. I tried to get fancy and mess with the settings without actually reading the manual first. Oh well. There will be many more toys for Bean to destroy I am sure!

So without further ado, I present to you:

Bean vs. Squeaky Toy - Part I

Bean vs. Squeaky Toy - Part II

Bean vs. Squeaky Toy - Part III

Notice in that last clip that she is able to remove the stuffing and the squeaker in less than 60 seconds. Now that is impressive!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Close Call in the Cat Room

Yesterday we went to the vet for some routine blood work. Our vet, like many others, has separate waiting rooms for dogs and cats. In the dog waiting room, there is a selection of toys for sale. The proceeds go towards the clinic's Stray Fund. We always buy Bean a toy on the way out to reward her for being a good girl at the vet.

Well, yesterday, I stayed in the waiting room while they took her back (it was just a quick lab visit). I had already picked out a toy for her (a pink fleece squeaky horse, more on that later) and stashed it in my purse. I don't like to give it to her until we get home, because she tends to make a mess with her toys. Well, there I was, thumbing through the latest issue of Dog Fancy, when the door from the lab bursts open and Bean comes tearing out of it, dragging her leash along, and followed closely by a vet tech. She had gotten free from the tech on their journey back to the waiting room. And her destination?

The cat area.

Oh yes. Bean decided that instead of the usual plush toy, this time she wanted a living, breathing chew toy to take home. One that meows instead of squeaks. She was caught before she could make it there, and no cats were harmed during this ordeal, although there was some hissing and back-arching. When they brought her to me, I wasn't sure if she still deserved a toy. Should I reward this behavior?

OK. I know how that looked. But let me just say... the cats started it.

I ended up giving her the toy once we got home. How can I resist that face? Besides, she looks sorry, doesn't she? Man, I am a pushover.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Profile shot

Here is a nice shot of Bean in my back yard scanning for squirrels. She is lovely in profile, isn't she? As you can see, there is a huge old tree in the middle of the yard. There must be hundreds of squirrels that live in that tree. And every one of them has tormented Bean at one time or another. Their newest trick is to climb out to the end of a branch and fall. That's right. They just fall to the ground with a loud thud! and then tear off for the tree trunk as fast as they can.

Uhhh. Where'd he go? Where'd he go!!! Let me at 'em!!!

As you can imagine, this drives Bean absolutely insane. By the time she focuses on one of them, it is already too close to the tree for her to get it, and in the meantime, the next one has jumped. It's pretty much the craziest thing I've ever seen squirrels do. Kind of like a real-life version of Whac-A-Mole. Either they have a death wish, or they are confident in the knowledge that Bean is the Worst. Hunter. Ever.

She doesn't so much as glance at me during this, even when I open the gate. Like this past weekend, when I needed to go inside and grab a sweater. Nothing. I did not even exist to her. But when I came back? It was a whole different story.

Hi mom!! I missed you!!! Don't ever leave me again, OK?

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Dog Years

I saw this posted on dooce yesterday, and just had to post it here. It is so funny, and so well done. I also kind of teared up at the end. It is surprisingly moving.

I give it 4 paws up, which is the equivalent of "2 thumbs up" in human, because you only use two of your paws correctly. Just one more reason why I pity you poor, confused creatures. But that is a topic for another day. You'll laugh. You'll cry. Just watch it.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


Both Bryan and I have desks in the office, each of which are in front of a window. That way we can stare out the window, which greatly enhances our ability to procrastinate. The downside of this is that Bean can't see out of these windows like she can in the others in the house - by standing up and putting her paws on the windowsill. Her solution is to just stand up and put her paws on our desks instead. Occasionally, she will do this while one of us is working, and it looks like we are discussing some very important project. The other day she did this with Bryan.

See, if you move this sentence here into the conclusion, I think it makes the whole piece flow much better, don't you?

It can be very distracting when you are trying to study or grade papers and there is this gigantic dog head in your peripheral vision like that. But we love her anyway!

In other news, it seems that we have found a new house, and will be moving in August. There are 2 windows in the office at the new house as well, so Bean will be able to continue to "help" us with our work.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Objects in Mirror are Closer Than They Appear

We spent some time this weekend driving around town with Bean. Mostly, we were all enjoying the lovely weather. We were also looking at houses, as we are considering a move. Since Bean will be spending more time in any house we take than we will, we thought it best to bring her along so she could give us her opinion.

See, this one is big enough, but there aren't many trees around here. That will seriously impede my squirrel-hunting. Also I'm not sure I like the widows. They are too high for me to see out of. I like the porch, though. Is this a Cape Cod or a Bungalow?

I kept getting distracted by this scene in the rear-view mirror on my side of the car:

Is that Christy's car? That looks like Christy's car. Where is she anyway? I miss her.

And when I tried to talk to Bryan about what we were seeing, I turned my head to face this:

If you take this next left you can cut across town without having to take the freeway.

This whole process could take awhile....

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Gizmo has been found!

Thanks to the help of volunteers and the media, Gizmo has been found and reunited with her foster family! All the dog-nappers in this town had better pay attention. This is just not acceptable. Congratulations Gizmo!!

Monday, March 03, 2008

Another stolen dog!

I can hardly believe it, but another dog has been stolen in Durham. Her name is Gizmo and she is a 12 year old Pekingese female. More info and pictures at Animal Protection Society of Durham. The weird thing is that Gizmo was stolen from her foster home. That's right, she was up for adoption! If anyone wanted her that badly they could have adopted her for the $120 fee. Ugh! Humans!!

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Bean't first fashion accessory.

We went out of town this past weekend to visit Bryan's parents in Virginia. Bean stayed at the Doggie Spa and Daycare. This was her first time staying there and we were very impressed. When we picked her up, she was so happy! She clearly had a good time. Earlier today she got a bath with the works (nail trim, ear cleaning, teeth cleaning, and anal gland maintenance...don't click on that link unless you really want to know). After her bath, they dressed her in this shamrock bandanna, in honor of St. Patrick's Day. Bean has never worn a bandanna before. Doesn't she look so pretty?

Give me the cheese, I want the cheese, give me the cheese, I want the cheese, give me the cheese...

To get her to sit for this picture, Bryan stood off to the right and held up pieces of string cheese, which she got after each shot. I was able to take like twenty shots! I can never get her to sit still for that long by myself. Bryan may just have to become my official photographer's assistant!