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A Doggie Test of Wills and Some Pictures

>> Monday, January 9, 2012

It's disturbingly un-January-like around here these days.  Being a non-winter person, I confess I am loving sunny, 40+ degree days and lack of snow.  There's a part of me that worries though, about what this weather means about climate change, and what it means for increased flea and tick problems, and whether it means we'll still have snow on the ground in July.  I mean, we have to pay for this somehow, right?

Anyway, enough winter philosophizing.  An update:

Our Christmas flew by in a positively mad whirlwind of activity, and then my husband left town to spend some time with his family in South Carolina, leaving me home with our zoo all by myself for the better part of a week.

The 5 cats are not a problem.  They kind of do their own thing.  Although at the moment we have discovered we've got a carpet pee-er, and I'm not entirely sure which cat to blame, or which cat to take to the vet.  And when I'm the only human around I sometimes wish I could clone myself so that one of me could get some sleep while the other spends much of each night snuggling with each needy cat in turn. But aside from those minor factors, and the occasional hairball, the cats aren't much bother.

The dogs are a lot more work.  For the most part, Phoebe and I get along just fine.  She's a good girl, and has largely outgrown the worst of her puppy misbehaviors (although she did eat a pen on the rug one evening, leaving a puddle of black ink on the cream carpet and grinning up at me with blue-black teeth). On the whole, though, she behaves.  She does what I ask her to with enthusiasm.

Simon and I, however, should never be left home together for an extended period of time without supervision.  We seriously get on each other's nerves.

This happens every time Seth leaves town for a few days.  Simon starts off being his usual stubborn self, but day by day, his response times get slower and slower when I tell him to do something.  I can stand at the top of the stairs and tell him to come, and he'll sit at the bottom of the stairs and look at me.  Then scratch his left ear.  Then nibble on his right front paw.  Then look at me.  I'll tell him to come again, sounding more exasperated.  Then he'll look at me.  And scratch his right ear.  And still sit there.

By the end of Seth's time away, I was starting to worry my neighbors must think I'd lost my mind.  I was all-out bellowing at Simon daily. He got into the garbage, he pooped on the rugs, and he refused to do anything I asked him to do.  He even took to refusing bribes of treats.  Then the day before Seth was due to come home, he escaped the leash, refused to come when I called him, and when I finally recaptured him and tried to bring him back home he tripped me, then pulled so hard on the leash that he was pulling me face-first down the icy sidewalk.  I didn't know whether to scream "Simon!  I'm going to kill you!"  or just give up and say "Hyah!  Mush!" and make him drag me home.

The little $#!*

When Seth finally walked in the back door, I believe I said something to the effect of "Hi honey.  Glad you're home.  They're yours."


It's funny how very much Simon is Seth's dog and Phoebe is mine.

Anyway, all this winter sunshine is conducive to some lazy sunny winter day photography.  I found the pups snoozing in the sun on the spare bed, and took advantage of their cuteness.  If you've seen much of my photography, you know I love to play with sunshine and shadow.  I suppose it's no coincidence I took far more photos of Phoebe than of Simon.  I think I'm still holding a grudge against him.

This pic of Phoebe cracks me up.  Something about her in it reminds me of Zuul, from Ghostbusters.  I expected her to say "I am the gatekeeper":

But then she looks at me like this, and reminds me more of a bat:

Simon, drooping:

Bat and droops:

Simon looking his most handsome:

This is akin to the look I get when she knows she's in trouble:

I simply love this last one.  She looks so contemplative:


swamp4me January 10, 2012 at 7:54 PM  

I love the second picture. She has her head cocked so she can hear what the bird is whispering in her ear :)
Ah, needy cats...we, too, have a carpet pee-er. I know which one it is but she has no UTI or other health problem to use as an excuse. She's just mental and lets the smallest cat psych her out on a regular basis. I love her, but sometimes I want to strangle her!!

Ellen Rathbone January 11, 2012 at 1:48 PM  

Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful pooch portraits!

2 Tramps January 18, 2012 at 6:42 PM  

Basset hound stubborn?? Oh, yes! We had two over the span of 27 years - 12 and 15 when they left us. We switched to a Lab this time - and our Chucky is every bit as stubborn as those hounds. I understand about the issues when you are left home with the dogs - I have the same problem here - I really had to chuckle at what you went through.

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