The dog sprinted out of the kitchen like a marine under fire: furtive, low to the ground and moving at high speed.

Unfortunately, she did this just as I rounded the corner and catapulted away from me as we collided. Skidding, she regained her balance, shot under the table, grabbed something in her mouth and galloped to her bed in the corner.

What the hell?

So when I give her a “peanut butter ball-y” (a Kong filled with PB) she knows she has to sit on her bed to receive it – so she runs over to the bed to wait. In this instance, Beloved offered her the ball.

Dog: Must get to bed! Must get to bed!

Beloved: Hey! I told you to sit! Come back!

Dog: Whuuuuut?

Beloved: Come and sit!

Dog: CRAP!! (Runs to fridge, slides in front of Beloved like the winning run in the World Series into home plate)

Beloved: Good girl. (Hands her Kong)

Dog: Must be on bed! MUST GET TO BED! (Except it was more like “Muss ge t bea” because her mouth was full of Kong. In her mind, she had to get to the bed to eat the contents and she was desperate to get there.)

She’s continuing to grow – she must be easing towards 60 lbs, but thankfully I can still pick her up. We went to REI to buy paddles for our kayaks Saturday, and I couldn’t see making her walk in the parking lot – it was like a blast furnace and I sure as hell wasn’t going barefoot.

She sits in the footwell of the front passenger seat (the guide dogs are expected to ride there, so she does), and she knows she’s not allowed on the seats.

Dog: I no want burned feet.

Me: You don’t have to. Look, I just need to get my arms under your pits and your back end.

Dog: Not getting out.

Me: No, no, it’s okay. Just…


Me: Can you just shift a bit so I can get my arms under you?


Me: Honey, look, just put your paws on the seat so I can get leverage to get you out.

Dog: Paws on seat?! I not a naughty dog!

Me: Gah! I know that! I just need to get under your remarkably long body. (I took her paws and put them on the seat as she resisted, but I got my arms under her so I could lift her with her legs hanging over the outside of my arms. Dang, she’s heavy.)

Dog: What you do…. Ohhhhh I no walk on ground okay (and she rested her head on my shoulder, it was seriously cute.) We made it over to the shade near the front door.

We found a couple of paddles and walked around the store. I don’t know WHAT it is about the rugs they have – I wonder if they’re made of wool, because Miss M BADLY wanted to snuffle them.

We repeated the action back to the car – Beloved went ahead to open up the car so I could stagger there. Someone commented about the weight of my load as I went – it’s hard to make small talk, though, when you’re carrying a very warm body in 100+ degree weather who wants to express how grateful she is (“stop licking!!”)

We’d hoped to get the dog into the idea of kayaking, but so far, she doesn’t even seem to understand the purpose of the doggy paddling pool. Little steps, right? First the paddling pool… next stop, Castaic Lake!

Dog, gazing at the 3’ diameter pool: That a big water bowl

Cat: It’s not a water bowl, ding dong, they want you to get in it.

Dog: Why I get in my water bowl?

Cat shakes her head. Beloved and I tried splashing around in it, and Miss M politely overlooked the fact we were standing in her water source.

Me: C’mon, it’s fun!

Dog: I no understand why you in my bowl

Me: No, look, look! (And I splashed her)

Dog shakes her body and continues to look confused.

Dog with head tilted to one side
Classic confused look.

Cat: I agree. It’s stupid to get in water like that.

Dog: I… just… why

Cat: It’s torture. The walking can opener forced me into toxic baths when I was a baby. I will never submit to that again.

Me: I had no choice. You had ringworm and dipping you in lime sulphur was our only way to cure it.

Cat, spitting: You dunked my head!

Me: I did not. I poured it over your head. And if we hadn’t treated you, they would’ve put you to sleep.

Dog: I like to sleep

Cat: Not like that. She means The Big Sleep.

Dog: I do big sleeps I stretch out on rug on my back

Cat, sighing: never mind.

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