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February 03, 2004

Feeling a bit calmer

What an interesting week it has been already--but strangely, I feel up to the challenge! I feel fitter, happier...

The week began a bit strangely, early Monday morning. I was happily chewing up my dog blanket in the middle of the night, meticulously (I wouldn't call it obsessively) removing all that horrible stuffing.

When Short Dad woke up to go to the bathroom (he can go whenever he wants, why can't I?), he saw the stuffing and turned on the light so he could throw it away. This woke up Tall Dad, who was not happy to be roused in this manner (or, really, in any manner). They started talking loud, which scared me, so I jumped up on the bed. Then Tall Dad yelled at me to get down. This scared me more, so through no fault of my own I had a bladder control incident. On their duvet. Then they really got mad. It was an ugly moment in the Portersmith family, I'll tell you that much.

Tall Dad didn't talk to me much that morning--you could tell he was pissed off (probably the appropriate response to, you know, being pissed on). I felt bad and worried all day, but tried to avoid eating my blanket any more.

But when Tall Dad got home, he was all smiles. He came and gave me a belly rub, and a little piece of cheese (yum). Something fell out of the cheese, which he then put in my mouth and made me swallow (yuck) but then I got more cheese (yum).

A few hours later, I decided to go see what he was up to downstairs (there was some banging, which would normally frighten me but instead was making me curious). He had made the downstairs bathroom change color--cool! So I just sat on the sofa. Then I got a bellyrub! Yay!

Short Dad came home, and we all hung out. Tall Dad made more noise in the bathroom, and cussed some, but I didn't get freaked out (too much). It's very strange. I don't know why I feel better--maybe I should pee on the bed more often? Nah, probably not. I wonder if it was the cheese. I like cheese!

October 12, 2003

That's irony

Another walk with Short Dad today. Yayy! Let's spin round in circles three times by the door. "Sit!" "Sit!" "Down!" "SIT!!!". Hmm, maybe I'd better sit. Short dad puts the leash on. Oboy it's the long leash! Double yay!

I lead Short Dad on the usual route. Down past the blackberry bushes in the overgrown lot. Along the straight road with all the interesting staircases to explore. What's that down there? The park!?! Oboyoboyoboy. I'm real excited now.

But why is Short Dad stopping? He's looking at a lamp post, but it doesn't seem like he needs to go potty. No... he's looking at a sign stuck to the post. There's a picture on it. Hey, it looks like me! I wonder why it's stuck up there.

Short Dad is trying to take down the sign, but it looks like he's having trouble doing it with one hand. Lots of sticky tape all around the post. What's he doing now? He's taking the clipping thing and attaching it to his belt. Oh, I see! He's attaching the leash to the caribiner so he can use both hands to take down the sign. Looks like he's making progress now.

But I want to go in the park!! Maybe if I tug a bit he'll take notice ... whoa! Looks like the belt loop on Short Dad's pants is gonna break.

ARGHAGAGAHGH! What's this noise on the ground! Gotta run gotta run. Omigod! It's chasing me! And clattering! Oh, the clattering! I can't get away from it! Maybe if I run down this hill into the bushes I can escape... run run run run run run run

run run run run run ... it's still chasing me!!

run run


ACK!! I'm stuck! Stuck under a recycling bin! But at least the clattering has stopped. Maybe I'll just hide here for a while.


Is that Short Dad's voice? Hmm. I think I'll just stay right here thank you.


He's calling me again. Go away! Let me be neurotic in peace Short Dad!


Oh dear. A corgi is sniffing at me! What will I do? And look, the corgi's Mum is looking at me now! Go away! But look, she's untangling the leash. Maybe she has a soft bed I can lie on. I think she's taking me home.

Corgi's mum puts a bone in front of me. Is it mine? I don't think so. Corgi has come up and eaten it. Lucky I didn't touch it. Mustn't touch what isn't mine.

Corgi's mum looks at my collar. It's pretty and jangly isn't it? Now she's going to the telephone. "Hello ... is that animal control? ... Yes, I've found a dog ... I see a license number on his collar ... yes, I'll hold while you call." A couple of minutes later the phone rings. "Yes, I have him right here ... come over, I'll leave the light on." I wonder what that was all about?

Knock knock! Scary noise. What's that? Is that Short Dad's voice? Maybe if I peek around the corner! It is him... gotta hide. He's calling me! "Sit!" Sounds like the stern voice. I'd better sit. Oh look, it's the short leash. That means we're going to the Dog Park!! Yayyy!! I'm happy. Short Dad leads me out of the strange house and into the Big Truck. I love riding in the truck. I bet we're going to the park. Can't wait can't wait can't wait. Hey, why are we home already? Oh well, better run upstairs and into my bed.

I wonder why we didn't go to the dog park? Maybe it's because I ran away from Short Dad. Nahh, couldn't be. I've never done anything like that before, so how mad could he be? In any case I promise never to do it again.

October 08, 2003

My big adventure

First, I promise never to do it again.

So Short Dad took me on a great walk yesterday. We went all the way down to the market so he could get more half-and-half for Tall Dad's coffee. (He's nice like that, you know?) Since stores discriminate against dogs, I had to stay on my leash outside like I always do. No biggie, right?

I'm not sure what it was... a car just went by and it sounded like "whoo-whooooo" or something. Cars should not make that noise. Flipping out a bit, I did my patented "reverse-step collar-slip" and voila, my neck stopped jingling. It was so cool to be able to walk around without making noise. It was like I was in Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell or something.

Anyway, I was sneaking around when Short Dad came out of the store in a panic. (He looks really funny when he's alarmed.) I decided I wasn't ready to go home, so I went round the corner instead. Oh look, a squirrel!

Our new neighborhood is cool! Lots of houses, lots of dogs, lots of places to hide. I kind of lost track of time and didn't realize how worried the Dads Plural would be. Apparently really worried. But, on the flip side, I'm a celebrity! Sometime after dark, I saw this sign on a light pole and realized that I was, like, lost. Then I realized I didn't know where I was. I read the poster again. "Very shy... will not come if called, and will run if chased or startled." Wow. Am I that big a wuss? If so, should I really be out here alone?

So it was about this time that I thought, I'm hungry. The Dads are worried. Maybe I should go home. Where exactly is home?

It took me a lot of wandering around, but I got there about 2 in the morning. I was dog tired, and just wanted to crawl into my wicker bed (which I promise not to chew any more.) And wouldn't you know it, as I came up the front steps, the door opened and there was Short Dad, dressed only in a towel. I ran right up to the bedroom and started drinking my water. Tall Dad woke up and asked if he was dreaming, and then had me jump up on the bed, even though I was wet and stinky. They were talking about looking for me, and how our new friend Jamie helped. What a nice guy!

Those Dads must really love me, because they were so happy to see me they were crying. Short Dad put my collar back on my, so I'm all jingly again. You know, I like that sound! But Short Dad, does it have to be so tight?

August 29, 2003

OK, Now I'm really mad

Thanks Tall Dad. Now I really have a complex. And, this was taken at a party with BBQ pork ribs, and I didn't even get a lousy bone. Grrrrr.

August 27, 2003

Look at the baaaaby!

Oh, sure. His best friends in England have a baby and he's all smiles. OK, fine. So I run like a mad dog when you drop the leash. And I'm occasionally anti-social and maybe need some medication. But there are no pictures of anyone holding me like this! And of course, Tall Dad loves this picture. Apparently he likes babies. So do I--just not raw ones. (Just kidding there-- I have no idea what babies taste like, but if they taste like BBQ ribs I'm in big trouble.)

July 23, 2003

Making me legitimate

I had thought the best thing about the Dads' vacation in Maui was getting spoiled by Aunt Paulette. (That woman can give a belly-rub like nobody's business!) But no-- as you all know, the Dads are getting married.

As a dog, I have always found human politics a little confusing-- we find butt-sniffing and pack behavior so successful that we've never found the need for elections and political parties. Needless to say, I'm completely confused by the Christian Coalition and why they think the Dads shouldn't get married.

Luckily for us, there's Canada. Much like us dogs, the Canadians are humble, loyal, and above all socially tolerant. So while they should really be able to just get married here, and talk a lot about something called "tax benefits" they would get if they could, it's all going to work out fine. Canada also has something called a "favorable exchange rate," which based on context clues I'm guessing is almost as good as a Paulette belly-rub.

But the taller Dad had not taken the time to look up all the details of this-- I heard him twice unable to answer basic questions about what marriage in Canada entails. Well, Tall Dad, here's all the information: Getting Married in Canada. Apparently you two are going to have to decide if you want a civil or religious ceremony. I've also heard you talking a lot about where to have the wedding. I don't care about either of these things, as long as you have it somewhere they like dogs. Because this is a big day for me: I may still be a dog, and will always be a bit of runt, but soon nobody will be able to call me a bastard. And amen to that.

June 30, 2003

Hey, will somebody help me register?

It's not that I want to become a slave to marketing. I mean, being a dog, I will always have limited purchasing power anyway, and I am basically ok with that. Mainly because the Dads more than make up for it. I don't have to go out and work all day like they do, and then they come home and spoil me, lavishing me with cool fashions like that most excellent camo collar. But I'm not sure about their taste. I mean, you look around the house and there is a certain, shall we say, lack of thematic consistency in the decor.

So I'm fairly sure it's just a matter of time until they start buying me my own furniture. The taller Dad is always talking about how I'm going to be so spoiled, so I figure that means that sooner or later, they're going to come home with a nice canine fainting couch and a petbrella for those hot Seattle summer afternoons. I just want to make sure that they pick out good stuff, furniture that really expresses the inner Dozer Jesus Portersmith. So it any of you friends of the Dads would be so kind as to help me get on Ethan Allen's pet registry so I can pick out exactly which chintz I prefer (it certainly must compliment my gorgeous red hair) and the wood for my sleigh pet bed, I'd really appreciate it.

June 03, 2003

Lifting my leg for "Canine-one-one"

While I can't, you know, "surf the web" without opposable thumbs for that mouse thing that does not smell like a mouse at all, I can get things read to me. And when the taller Dad read me this Slate article about rescue dogs, I got a little irritated.

I am a rescue dog. The Dads got me from some nice women who run a resuce place up by Burlington; the women had taken me from a breeder in Eastern Washington who raises cattle dogs to be cattle dogs. In a snap judgment that I will work my whole doggy life to disprove, my sister Ayla and I were deemed to small to do the job. So it was either find someone who wanted a pair of farm reject pups, or kill us. (Frankly, I'm more of an urban pup at heart anyway-- I don't even like to walk on grass, much preferring the sidewalk.) The breeder also didn't do much to introduce us to people, which explains the fact that I really, really like to hang out in my crate. I'm shy, but getting better. Like Saturday, when the nice neighbors and the Dads and their friends (one of whom seems really down lately, maybe I can lick him and make him feel better) were hanging out in the back yard-- I liked being part of the pack.

So the guy who wrote this article has a bone to pick with people who rescue dogs, saying that claiming a dog was abused lets people get out of training us. This sounds like a bit of a reach, and maybe he should do a bit more research. Statements like this give me pause:

But many professional trainers and dog lovers have become wary. They often roll their eyes when people explain that their dogs have been abused, seeing that as an excuse for obnoxious or aggressive behavior and as a way to avoid the effort of training. Many also sense a need for some dog owners to see their pets as suffering victims, rather than animals.

A bit facile, don't you agree?

Take me, for instance. The Dads have a lot of work to do even before they can really train me-- I have to get less skittish before I master that whole "sit" thing. (And what the hell is "fetch" all about-- always with the ball!) And I'm sure you've all heard a bit about my unfortunate accident a couple of weeks ago... I just freaked out a little bit, had some gastroenterological issues, and really wanted to go out. I just didn't realize that Shorter Dad's patio was 50 feet up. So I can't fly-- this is the kind of thing you have to learn, but I emerged mostly unscathed and just can't help but think that it wouldn't have gone down that way if I didn't have some anxiety issues. I've never been abused, as far as I remember, but just because nobody beat me doesn't mean I don't need a little extra help. So I'm a special-needs puppy-- so bite me, Slate guy.

Neither of the dads strike me as the kind of guy with a doogie-messiah complex. (My middle name, FYI, is pronounced Hay-soos and has something to do with my birthday being Christmas.) They are busy guys with fulfilling lives-- they just happened to see me on (which the Slate guy treats as somehow nefarious, like a creepy injured-dog dating service) and decided that I looked like a good dog. And I am.

I am sure there is a grain of truth to the article. There are a lot of lonely people, people who need something to love that needs them back. But how churlish do you have to be to pick on people who choose to treat this condition by exercising compassion and care for animals in need? I'm really sorry Slate guy got tackled by an over-enthusiastic rescue dog, and yeah, the dog would probably be better off with a little training. I'm sure that person will come around-- some day a shoe will be missing and the next day they'll start obedience school.

May 07, 2003

My dads are nuts

I'm new here. Can I please just stay under the old stereo behind the ratty sofa in the corner of the living room? No, of course not. I have to paraded around town (to art store of all places, on my first afternoon off the farm), dragged out of various cozy corners to socialize, and "brought out of my shell." (Speaking of shells, did I mention I like to eat snails?)

But I get my revenge. Apparently I have big poop for a puppy, and I really despise having to do it while I'm on a leash. So Jay or David will spend an hour outside with me, idiotically babbling "go poddy! go poddy!" or something like that, but I manage to hold it until we get inside. Heh heh. And boy can I whiz!

Then there's the whole escape thing. David can run fast--but I've got twice as many legs and something to prove. I stopped, eventually. But now I'm busted and have this tetherball-type apparatus in back that keeps me in a 15-foot orbit around a giant corkscrew embedded in the ground. I will admit it is nicer than having my big dumb humans right there on those rare occasions when I do have to go in the back yard.

They're OK, I guess.