educating Bentley

Today we took Bentley to his first session of puppy class.  We picked a place called Riverdog in Issaquah, mostly because I see their business cards everywhere, and it was recommended to me by a man I met down at the lake. 

Things I like about puppy class:

  • It gives Bentley something to do for another hour during the day, which means he’s all tuckered out when we get home.
  • Joel and I get to take Bentley together.
  • All the dogs in the class are around Bentley’s size, meaning he can play without worrying about some ginormous boxer making a run at him.
  • There is a Beagle in the class named Snoopy, and his little face makes me want to steal him away.  His owners are awfully nice, too.
  • There are at lease three little dust mops and a rescue Puggle that I look forward to getting to know.

Things I do not love about puppy class:

  • My hands smell like hot dogs when we’re done.
  • Puppy class teacher is a little quirky…but I wonder if all puppy class teachers are that way?
  • I’m now a little insecure about the training I’ve already done.

Also making me insecure?  After almost 2 weeks of no accidents, Bentley peed twice in the kitchen yesterday.  I thought it might be some teenage acting out thing, but turns out something had him spooked.  I took him out after night had fallen, and we wandered over by my parked car.  Immediately Bentley froze, stared into the darkness, and darted back to the house yelping.  I figured he was being silly, thinking back to the boat incident, but as he crept silently back to my side I realized I also heard something in the darkness.  Two eyes flashed from about the height of, oh, I don’t know, a coyote, and I too darted back to the house yelping.  All accidents on the kitchen floor were excused, and Joel took the dogs out for the rest of the night.

random internet humor

I’ve seen this on a few websites and facebook profiles lately, so know immediately that this did not come from my clever brain…but gosh, it made me laugh out loud (LOL, I’m told) a few times.  Enjoy.

Random Thoughts from People Age 25-35

★ I wish Google Maps had an “Avoid Ghetto” routing option.

★ More often than not, when someone is telling me a story all I can think about is that I can’t wait for them to finish so that I can tell my own story that’s not only better, but also more directly involves me.

★ Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you’re wrong.

★ I don’t understand the purpose of the line, “I don’t need to drink to have fun.” Great, no one does. But why start a fire with flint and sticks when they’ve invented the lighter?

★ Have you ever been walking down the street and realized that you’re going in the complete opposite direction of where you are supposed to be going? But instead of just turning a 180 and walking back in the direction from which you came, you have to first do something like check your watch or phone or make a grand arm gesture and mutter to yourself to ensure that no one in the surrounding area thinks you’re crazy by randomly switching directions on the sidewalk.

★ That’s enough, Nickelback.

★ I totally take back all those times I didn’t want to nap when I was younger.

★ Is it just me, or are 80% of the people in the “people you may know” feature on Facebook people that I do know, but I deliberately choose not to be friends with?

★ Do you remember when you were a kid, playing Nintendo and it wouldn’t work? You take the cartridge out, blow in it and that would magically fix the problem. Every kid in America did that, but how did we all know how to fix the problem? There was no internet or message boards or FAQ’s. We just figured it out. Today’s kids are soft.

★ There is a great need for sarcasm font.

★ Sometimes, I’ll watch a movie that I watched when I was younger and suddenly realize I had no idea what the f was going on when I first saw it.

★ I think everyone has a movie that they love so much, it actually becomes stressful to watch it with other people. I’ll end up wasting 90 minutes shiftily glancing around to confirm that everyone’s laughing at the right parts, then making sure I laugh just a little bit harder (and a millisecond earlier) to prove that I’m still the only one who really, really gets it

★ How the hell are you supposed to fold a fitted sheet?

★ I would rather try to carry 10 plastic grocery bags in each hand than take 2 trips to bring my groceries in.

★ I think part of a best friend’s job should be to immediately clear your computer history if you die.

★ The only time I look forward to a red light is when I’m trying to finish a text.

★ A recent study has shown that playing beer pong contributes to the spread of mono and the flu. Yeah, if you suck at it.

★ LOL has gone from meaning, “laugh out loud” to “I have nothing else to say”.

★ I have a hard time deciphering the fine line between boredom and hunger.

★ Answering the same letter three times or more in a row on a Scantron test is absolutely petrifying.

★ Whenever someone says “I’m not book smart, but I’m street smart”, all I hear is “I’m not real smart, but I’m imaginary smart”.

★ How many times is it appropriate to say “What?” before you just nod and smile because you still didn’t hear what they said?

★ I love the sense of camaraderie when an entire line of cars teams up to prevent a dick from cutting in at the front. Stay strong, brothers!

★ Every time I have to spell a word over the phone using ‘as in’ examples, I will undoubtedly draw a blank and sound like a complete idiot. Today I had to spell my boss’s last name to an attorney and said “Yes that’s G as in… (10 second lapse)… ummm… Goonies.”

★ What would happen if I hired two private investigators to follow each other?

★ While driving yesterday I saw a banana peel in the road and instinctively swerved to avoid it… thanks Mario Kart.

★ MapQuest really needs to start their directions on #5. Pretty sure I know how to get out of my neighborhood.

★ Obituaries would be a lot more interesting if they told you how the person died.

★ I find it hard to believe there are actually people who get in the shower first and THEN turn on the water.

★ Shirts get dirty. Underwear gets dirty. Pants? Pants never get dirty, and you can wear them forever.

★ I would like to officially coin the phrase ‘catching the swine flu’ to be used as a way to make fun of a friend for hooking up with an overweight woman. Example: “Dave caught the swine flu last night.

★ I can’t remember the last time I wasn’t at least kind of tired.

★ Bad decisions make good stories.

★ Whenever I’m Facebook stalking someone and I find out that their profile is public I feel like a kid on Christmas morning who just got the Red Ryder BB gun that I always wanted. 546 pictures? Don’t mind if I do!

★ Is it just me or do high school girls get sluttier & sluttier every year?

★ If Carmen San Diego and Waldo ever got together, their offspring would probably just be completely invisible.

★ Why is it that during an ice-breaker, when the whole room has to go around and say their name and where they are from, I get so incredibly nervous? Like I know my name, I know where I’m from, this shouldn’t be a problem…

★ You never know when it will strike, but there comes a moment at work when you’ve made up your mind that you just aren’t doing anything productive for the rest of the day.

★ Can we all just agree to ignore whatever comes after DVDs? I don’t want to have to restart my collection.

★ There’s no worse feeling than that millisecond you’re sure you are going to die after leaning your chair back a little too far.

★ I’m always slightly terrified when I exit out of Word and it asks me if I want to save any changes to my ten page research paper that I swear I did not make any changes to.

★ “Do not machine wash or tumble dry” means I will never wash this ever.

★ I hate being the one with the remote in a room full of people watching TV. There’s so much pressure. ‘I love this show, but will they judge me if I keep it on? I bet everyone is wishing we weren’t watching this. It’s only a matter of time before they all get up and leave the room. Will we still be friends after this?’

★ I hate when I just miss a call by the last ring (Hello? Hello? Dammit!), but when I immediately call back, it rings nine times and goes to voicemail. What’d you do after I didn’t answer? Drop the phone and run away?

★ I hate leaving my house confident and looking good and then not seeing anyone of importance the entire day. What a waste.

★ When I meet a new girl, I’m terrified of mentioning something she hasn’t already told me but that I have learned from some light internet stalking.

★ I like all of the music in my iTunes, except when it’s on shuffle, then I like about one in every fifteen songs in my iTunes.

★ Why is a school zone 20 mph? That seems like the optimal cruising speed for pedophiles..

★ As a driver I hate pedestrians, and as a pedestrian I hate drivers, but no matter what the mode of transportation, I always hate cyclists.

★ Sometimes I’ll look down at my watch 3 consecutive times and still not know what time it is.

★ It should probably be called Unplanned Parenthood.

★ I keep some people’s phone numbers in my phone just so I know not to answer when they call.

★ Even if I knew your social security number, I wouldn’t know what do to with it.

★ Even under ideal conditions people have trouble locating their car keys in a pocket, hitting the G-spot, and Pinning the Tail on the Donkey – but I’d bet my ass everyone can find and push the Snooze button from 3 feet away, in about 1.7 seconds, eyes closed, first time every time…

★ My 4-year old son asked me in the car the other day “Dad what would happen if you ran over a ninja?” How the hell do I respond to that?

★ It really pisses me off when I want to read a story on CNN.com and the link takes me to a video instead of text.

★ I wonder if cops ever get pissed off at the fact that everyone they drive behind obeys the speed limit.

★ I think the freezer deserves a light as well.

★ I disagree with Kay Jewelers. I would bet on any given Friday or Saturday night more kisses begin with Miller Lites than Kay.

glad that’s over

This morning I had a fleeting desire to find employment, so I checked the SPU web page once again.  A whole new slew of jobs has been posted…well, maybe “slew” is an exaggeration.  It’s probably more of a small parcel of jobs, two of which I feel qualified and/or would consider applying for.  I read the discriptions, thinking about how I might phrase a cover letter and repackage my resume to make me sound fabulous.

And then I snapped out of it.

I don’t want a job.  I want a year to sit around and do not much of anything.  I want the break that so many of my peers took after high school, college, or grad school.  I just bought a new monthly planner to replace my weekly one, and have started to revive my social life.  I bake and read and go to the gym.  And after five years of living with college students, talking them through eating disorders, roommate conflicts, family issues and mental health concerns including but not limited to suicidal thoughts and actions, I deserve a break, right?

Right.

visitors

This morning at 10am I could be found, as usual, sitting on the couch with Bentley snuggled beside me.  Usually I would be watching The View or some other such nonsense, but I decided it’s important to have goals, so currently I’m trying to beat all the time trials on Mario Kart Wii. 

Just as I was about to start the GCN Waluigi Stadium race, I heard what sounded like a car driving mysteriously close to our house.  I say mysteriously because I could not imagine any reason that a person would be coming up our driveway.  I didn’t have any workmen scheduled, and I still don’t know anyone in the neighborhood.  I assumed that the car was in the “driveway to nothing” on the empty property next to our house.  (Honestly, the guy built a driveway that just stops at the top of the hill.  It’s great for sledding.)

I tried to ignore it, but Bentley heard it too, and I knew it would only be a matter of time before Nikki went into full guard-dog-attack mode.  The car doors opened and shut, and Bentley jumped from my lap to investigate what he was certain were visitors bringing him treats.  There was a knock on the kitchen door.  Nikki sprinted from the back bedroom, barking madly, and Bentley started jumping up and down. 

There were two ladies at the door holding what seemed to be Bibles.  My first thought was that they’d come from the church we’d visited on Sunday, but I distinctly remember not giving them our address so this very thing wouldn’t happen.  “Down, Nikki,” I said, and then realized I shouldn’t be trying so hard.  I opened the top half of the kitchen door, enough to keep Nikki inside but also enough so they could see that she wasn’t pleased.

“Oh, how cute!” the two women said as Nikki tried to throw her body over the half-door.  Bentley continued to hop up and down, waiting for the treats that were sure to come and trying to get in on the action.  Cute?!  I thought, since when is a hungry, rabid polar bear cute?!   They had obviously encountered this before, because they rolled on as if the deep, angry barks and high-pitched yips were birds chirpping in the forest.

“We were just wondering if we could share some good news with you today,” said the woman nearest the door.  My initial reaction was to say, “I know the good news!” and invite them in to chat and make friends.  I quickly shook that thought.  Chances were they were either Jehovah’s Witness, or possibly Mormans, and either way it wouldn’t be as much a nice chat about our mutual faith as an argument about what I saw as their skewing of scripture.

“Oh, I’m sorry, not today,” I apologized.  I had Nikki by the collar, but that wouldn’t last long.  She had both front paws over the half-door, and Bentley was nearly on top of her.

“Oh, of course.  You must be home sick today, right?”  I looked down at my attire.  My robe hung off of one shoulder, revealing a Pepperdine t-shirt that I’d cut the neck and sleeves out of, 80s-style, to wear to bed.  House shoes peeked out from my extra-long black sweatpants.

“Yeah, that’s it,” I murmured as I kneed Nikki in the back to keep her from going over the door.  Home sick for the last three months, and probably the next 12.

“We’ll come back another day!”  Great!

The ladies retreated down the stairs and back to their car.  Bentley stopped his pogo act and cocked his head at the door, confused as to why these visitors had left without telling him how adorable he was.  He continued to watch the door for several minutes before giving up, or probably forgetting why he was looking in the first place.  Nikki roamed the house for the next five minutes, emitting a low growl so that any other “evangelists” circling our property would be warned. 

I watched their little red car make it’s way to the next house on our little cul-de-sac.  I know for a fact that no one was home, and sure enough they slowly turned and headed down the street.  The dogs resumed their napping, and I resumed my “sick leave”.

Benito

At some point this weekend I thought I had done enough interesting stuff that I’d have something to blog about, but now, for the life of me, I can’t remember what I did.  If you were part of my weekend and I’m spacing on our visit, I apologize.

Yesterday I went to my first training class for Seattle Humane Society volunteers.  Since my current job entails hours of hanging out with two dogs in my house, and because I am an extreme extrovert, I decided it might be wise to figure out a way to add a little more people interaction to my routine.  Bentley and Nikki are bound to get tired of my incessant chatter eventually.

I was a little late to the training (to which all those who know me well say, naturally).  The class was in a large open gym that had soft rubber floors.  The room was used for dog training, and the floors help them not to slip, as opposed to our kitchen floor, which promotes sliding, and also humorous puppy moments. 

(Sidenote: I’m having some lunch while I type, and I’m munching on the bottom of a bag of tortilla chips.  I just remembered that we had these on our road trip this summer, and occasionally gave some to Bentley.  He’s currently attempting to climb up my leg to get to the bag, and has succeeded in licking all the crumbs off my sleeve.  Darling.)

The class was a full one.  About 30 of us introduced ourselves and talked about our pets, and why we wanted to volunteer.  Several people were there because they hoped to use their dogs to do hospital visits, and many wanted solely to work with the cats.

(Sidenote: Bentley has now managed to jump onto my lap, and is licking what I assume is leftover salt from my fingers while I type.  Delightful?)

After an initial introduction to the Humane Society and what they do, we took a tour of the facility.  In addition to the gym, we visited the food donation warehouse, the kennel area, and the adoption building.  I’d been scouring the Humane Society available pet page for days, and I found myself getting excited when I saw the dogs that I’d fallen in love with.  Like this guy:

This is Papio, a 10-year-old Jack Russell Terrier mix.  Yesterday I spotted him meeting a potential new owner in one of the adoption pens.  There were lots of belly rubs involved.

There was another guy that I wanted to talk about, but unfortunately I can’t share a picture yet.  His name is Benito, and he’s a young Boxer.  I emailed Joel a week or so ago and suggested Bentley might need a playmate, but it was a no go.  I couldn’t find him yesterday in the kennel area, and the volunteer coordinators weren’t sure where he was when I inquired.  Finally, as I was getting ready to leave, I stopped to inquire about boarding for Bentley and Nikki over Christmas.  There was Benito, all by his lonesome, in the boarding kennels.  He was on bite quarantine, and had to be seperated from the rest of the dogs.

I’m pretty sure we were meant to be together.

I fell in love about 14 times yesterday, and am now considering adopting all the dogs currently available.  I was so smitten, I almost took home a cat.  That’s how much magic the Humane Society holds.

I’m sure there will be many more stories to come.  I requested to work in the dog kennel area, and they asked if I’d be interested in doing special events, like their mobile adoptions.  I explained my current employment situation, and told them I’d do whatever they wanted me to.  I’m assuming this will involve shoveling dog poop, but that’s no different from what I do at home, so I don’t mind at all.

playtime

Bentley and Nikki have finally started to get along in the past few weeks.  Nikki is kind of like a grumpy old grandma at times, and for the most part we get the impression that she is kind of doing Bentley a favor by not devouring him.  Lately, though, she’s gone so far as to actually engage with him.  Some of the games they play:

  • Tag: Nikki and Bentley chase each other around the living room.  Bentley is a little smaller, and thus a little more mobile, but Nikki’s girth makes her a worthy opponent.  This usually lasts about two minutes before Nikki lays down, at which point Bentley makes at least ten more rounds around the house at full speed before realizing she’s no longer playing.
  • Bandit: Nikki takes one of Bentley’s toys, usually one of his chew sticks.  He finally notices, sits down about three feet away, and starts to howl, Beagle style.  After a few of these, he jumps up and starts doing full body howls that shake his frame to the point that he bounces.  Finally, he finds either Joel or I to let us know that Nikki has unjustly stolen his treat.  It typically takes us awhile to figure out what he’s doing, and when we take the toy away Nikki always looks at us like we’ve betrayed her.
  • Chomp chomp: Bentley seems to enjoy putting his head in Nikki’s mouth.  And his entire head does fit in her mouth.  It usually starts with Bentley jumping up and putting both paws on her face.  I’m not sure why she puts up with it.  She hasn’t “chomped” yet, but I think it’s only a matter of time.

nikki and bentley

my little chick magnet

Puppies are the world’s best icebreaker.

Today I had to run to the vet as part of Bentley’s ongoing minor medical issues.  I was just going to pick up some medicine, but I decided to take him with me.  He was tied up in the back of the Land Rover, loving his little road trip, and kept peeking up through the rear windows.  I was sitting in line, waiting to get coffee at my favorite local drive-through espresso stand, and a lady working on some landscaping waved her arms at me to roll down the window. 

“I just wanted to tell you your puppy is really cute!”  As if on cue, Bentley started to say hello, and tried in vain to jump over the seats to meet his new fan.

“Thanks!” I replied, and we chatted about dogs for a few minutes before she went back to work.

Later, at the vet, I made small talk with the administrative assistant while she was looking up my information.  She was telling me that a recent trip to the dog show combined with a little too much alcohol had resulted in her heading home with a new Corgi puppy in tow.  I laughed heartily.  I mentioned we were thinking of getting an Old English Sheepdog puppy so Bentley would have someone to play with, because Nikki will play for about five minutes before trying to eat him.  She perked up, and asked if I’d be interested in getting the two puppies together to play.  I told her I would love to, and held back my excitement at the realization that I was potentially, possibly, hopefully about to make my first local “friend”, or at the very least “acquaintance”.  I found myself wondering all the way home how soon was too soon to call, and trying to picture where we might meet and what we could talk about.

I sound rather desperate, don’t I?

So to Bentley, huge props.  He might be my new travel buddy, because really, who can resist this face?

bentley 01