A Day in the Life with Contributions by Worf and Willow
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It's a Dog's Life....
really, it is.
If you study animal life long enough, you can determine the whys and wherefores of their behavior. This I have learned over a lifetime of owning cats and watching other people's cats and dogs, although I must admit that I have a lower opinion of the behavior of most other people's cats and dogs than I do of, say, my cats and Heidi's dogs. And it's not just because ours are so well-behaved. It's because yours are not.

On New Year's Eve, the behavior before, during, and after the Sucky Movie Not-Quite-Marathon (see below), was an exercise in futility. For the humans, of course.

Exhibit one: Worf and Willow in front of the fireplace, although shortly after I arrived, they were lying down near-comatose, and Worf was sulking because Heidi had walked Sparty and Willow numerous times during the day, and had only taken him for a run once. Lest you think I was exaggerating, Worf did not join us for the Sucky Movie Not-Quite-Marathon (I said see below), although it is entirely possible that he'd already heard about how bad "The Time Machine" was and didn't want to subject himself to such a lousy movie.

So Heidi, G., and I started to watch the movie, with a very skeptical Sorena in the room, who left shortly after the death of the Time Traveler's fiancée, frowning with displeasure until I put "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World" in the DVD player of my laptop and set it up for her to watch. (She's also furious with us for making her see "Star Trek: Nemesis", not because it was bad, but because of the violence and death and all-around scariness-to-nine-year-olds in the movie, which we did not warn her about. In our defense, we didn't think it would scare her, what with her having been a fan of the TV show since she was a toddler.) So there Heidi and I have the sofa all to ourselves and the laundry, which is more than room enough. Except after a while, Willow came into the room and tried to get on the sofa, which I didn't exactly discourage until she tried to get into my lap. Seventy five pounds of Rhodesian Ridgeback is about 75 pounds more than I ever want in my lap. I refused. She found a spot between Heidi and me, settled down to hope for popcorn, and not watch the movie (I think Worf told her that it was a really sucky one and her best bet was to hope for popcorn and ignore the film).

To review: The sofa is big enough for me, Willow, Heidi, and the laundry she was sorting. So we were still fine. (Well, except the movie still sucked.) But we were fine until the end of the movie, when Worf left his spot in front of the fireplace to see what was going on in the TV room. Hey, he said to himself, if Willow's up on the sofa, I'll get up there, too. "No," I said. "Get down. Worf, get off of me." Worf is bigger than Willow. Twenty-five pounds bigger, at least. He tried to sit on my lap. I tried to push him down on the floor. He tried to sit in my lap, not even noticing that I was using force against him. It was at that point I vacated the sofa. Worf wanted to lie down, but Willow wasn't moving from her spot, so he did this. (left) That's right, he sat on Willow. It wasn't enough to put his heavy ass on me, he figured he'd push her out of the way. There's still room for Heidi in this picture, and even a little laundry, but that won't last much longer. Because after he managed to claim part of the sofa, Heidi vacated as well, leading to this.

Notice that Worf's butt has slipped down somewhat, although he's still completely oblivous to sitting on Willow, who is also completely oblivious to being sat on by her brother. Now, I have been sat on by my brothers at various points in my life, most notably when we were either wrestling in play or fighting for real, and I must comment that it is not something to which one is normally oblivious, and it leads me-painfully-to believe that Willow may, in fact, be dumber than she looks. Especially since her brother weighs at the very least 25% more than she, and perhaps 35% more (G. insists that Willow is only 65 pounds, not 75, but since neither he nor Willow have been on a scale in quite some time, I'm a bit skeptical both that he is correct about Willow and that he has any judgment of how heavy something is, because man, have you seen yourself at the end of this holiday season?). But I digress.

There is yet another picture, but I hesitate to publish it, because there is an Aphorism Pillow involved, and I wasn't the one that put it there, although I am the one who feels nauseated by it whenever I see it (aphorisms have a really bad effect on me, especially if they're really bad aphorisms, and this one has fracking angels in it). Let me take a vote: How many of you out there want to see the fracking aphorism picture?

Good grief. I really hate my readers sometimes.

Fine. Don't tell me you can't read the pillow. Of course you can't read the pillow; pillows aren't books. And if you insist on making me, I will tell you that the words on the pillow say "Friends Are Angels In Disguise" and I think it also says "Merry Christmas" and no, I did not give it to Heidi and G. I gave them the chicken-on-the-pig's back salt-and-pepper shakers because I saw them at Wal-Mart on the night before Christmas Eve and they were too hideous not to share, and perhaps I should get a picture of them and share it with all of you. It is a fact of life that some things are too hideous not to share. All of you should also rent and watch the remake of "The Time Machine." Misery loves company. Anyway. To get back to the dogs. This picture is actually supposed to be between the first two, because G. made me take a picture with the pillow in it, and I didn't want to, but I got the feeling that they'd make me drive home after midnight on New Year's Eve instead of sleeping over if I didn't. So there, there's your stupid aphorism pillow picture, G., and don't be expecting anything nice for your birthday next week.

But we are not quite finished with the story, because what all of this sleeping in front of the fire and moving to the sofa and pushing humans off it and sleeping on the sofa led up to was this:

This is Worf. That is my sweatshirt in his mouth. That is also Worf's devilish expression. What he is actually doing in this photo, which was taken shortly after he snuck into my room and stole my sweatshirt, was tempting me to chase him. If I am foolish enough to leave out either my sneakers or an article of clothing or something that belongs to me and is of a size that a dog can get its mouth around, Worf will steal it, run up to me, stand out of arm's reach and wait for me to say, "Worf! Drop it!" Then he will turn and run away with my sweatshirt/sneaker/article of clothing and/or any other thing that he has stolen that he's not supposed to have in his mouth.

He really likes being chased. It's a favorite game of Ridgebacks, and you don't have to work too hard to get them to play it. However, I like my sweatshirts and sneakers and various other items without dog-tooth-shaped holes in them. So I generally relieve Worf of the article. (He used to steal Sorena's favorite soft dolls and stuffed animals, and Heidi and I would be sitting at the table chatting away when we'd suddenly hear a wail from Sorena: "Mo-om! Worf has my dolly!" and tears would flow until we chased the dog and relieved him of his stolen treasure. Which was all he wanted, anyway-to be chased.)

But to the behavior, so that I can make my point and end this lengthy post: You see, all the sleeping in front of the fireplace and then the auxiliary sleeping on the sofa wasn't just normal dogs-sleep-the-day away activity. It was the extra-special sleep, so that Worf could store up the energy to get me to chase him after midnight on New Year's Eve. Because it was just that important to him. And because it wouldn't be a visit if he didn't devil me at least once.

So I obliged him. What the hey, I spent New Year's Eve watching sucky movies and the Red Green Show's New Year's Eve special (hilarious). I didn't have a lot to drink, unlike some bloggers I could name. I didn't have any trouble running around after Worf. Once I got my sweatshirt away from him, that is.

This was graciously contributed by Meryl Yourish. You can read more of her work, and more about Worf (who is currently unwell, but we all hope for the best) at www.Yourish.com .

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