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This Day in My History


George Washington's
Rules of Civility
and Decent Behaviour

66th:   Be not forward but friendly and courteous, be the first to salute, hear, and answer; & be not pensive when it's time to converse.


Yesterday's Entries

2000:  Look to the Rainbow
2001:
 Sing Australia
2002:  A Kick in the Butt, A Shot in the Arm
2003:  Snowballs


CURRENTLY READING

Trace by Patricia Cornwell
Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott


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SHEILA's BLOG

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I can read your palm.   (especially if you have liver biscotti in it!)

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"The Green Monster", "Sheila's Tongue"


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THE PSYCHIC DOG

30 October 2004

It's terrible living with a psychic dog.   If Sheila could talk, I could make a fortune putting her in a turban and setting her up in a tent outside the house and letting her tell people their future.

There is no fooling this dog.  If I only think about going out--for whatever reason, she knows it instantly.

Earlier this week, I did some transcription for Dr. G, whose regular transcriptionist was sick.  I had told him I would deliver it for him.  It was one of those mucky post-rain days when the park was going to be slush, so I wasn't going to take Sheila out.  But I didn't want to get her all turned on by going through the "going out routine," which consists of getting dressed and especially putting on shoes.  Once the shoes come out, she is just a whirling dervish, so excited about going out.

I'm such a wimp that I don't even want to disappoint the dog.

But I figured I'd just wait and quietly sneak out while she was upstairs sleeping on the bed, which she usually does every afternoon.

Wouldn't you know that the damn dog spent the entire day in her crate bed downstairs?  This was the very first time that she has used that bed for more than half an hour or so.  Every time I left my office, her head would pop up and she'd watch me like a hawk.

Ultimately I waited until Walt got home and then snuck out and went down to the office after dark, when Sheila wouldn't expect to go out anyway (besides, that way I didn't have to worry about bumping into Dr. G accidentally anyway).

I frequently get dressed downstairs and as soon as Sheila sees me step into long pants, she starts getting  excited.  Lately I've been trying to trick her by  going into the guest bathroom to dress.  Now as soon as she sees me head for the bathroom, she starts getting excited.  (Good thing I have great bladder control and this doesn't happen frequently throughout the day!)

It has been said that Snoopy can "hear a knife going through cake."

Earlier this week, Shelly, who was back from her marriage caravan trip across the United States and the trip she and Ellen took at the end of it, called to say she was home and would come over to bring my laptop computer back.

Sheila and I are still trying to work out this "guest" business.   We have so few guests in the house, that it's difficult to get her trained to be calm when guests arrive.  I decided I would fill my pocket with liver biscotti, her favorite treat, and while Shelly was sitting here, I would just dole out the biscotti one piece at a time, over the length of the visit, and keep her distracted for as long as possible.

Sheila was upstairs on the bed that afternoon (because she knew that I wasn't going out, of course).  The biscotti was on top of the refrigerator.   I quietly took the bag down, opened it up and took out a small handful of biscotti to put in my pocket.  I could hardly hear the sound of my reaching into the bag, but from upstairs I hear the "thump" of Sheila jumping off the bed and within seconds she was in the kitchen, tail wagging, big smile on her face.

"Treats?  You're giving me treats?"

I can't figure out how she knew.  The only logical conclusion is that she is psychic.

She reminds me of my mother.  My mother had psychic powers too.   I still  remember the day she and I were arguing over my math homework.   I was in grammar school at the time.  Maybe I was 10. 

Anyway, I got so frustrated with her that I excused myself, went into the kitchen, where she couldn't see me and stuck my tongue out at her.  Then I composed myself and returned to the bedroom.

"Did you enjoy sticking your tongue out at me?" she asked.

To this day I don't know how she knew--and, of course, she has no memory of the event at all.  She says that probably I was doing that a lot and it was a lucky guess on her part, but I was convinced she had magic powers.

I made a lunch date this week with a couple of friends.  One of them was going to pick me up at 2 p.m..  I had been spending the day cleaning house.   Sheila was eyeing me suspiciously, but when I looked at the clock and realized that Marsha would  be here in about an hour, Sheila was instantly up on her feet bouncing around, watching me closely, because she was convinced she was going out.

I was only thinking about it!

I tell you, the dog is psychic!

With her in that mood, the problem, then, became:  how to put on my shoes without driving her mad.  I didn't want to be the bad guy, disappointing her because she wasn't going out. (If I'm this reluctant to disappoint the dog, would you call that "pussy-whipped"?  or maybe "Poochie whipped"?)

I did the only logical thing.  Time for the big guns. I got out the vacuum cleaner.  She never acts afraid of the vacuum cleaner, but as soon as she sees it come out of the closet, she casually decides that there's something pressing in the back yard that she can't possibly leave unattended for another minute.  So out came the vacuum cleaner, and out the dog door went Sheila.

I turned the vacuum cleaner on, and left it running while I went and got my shoes and put them on.  She never noticed when she came back in.

I'm the human, dammit, and I'm determined that I can outsmart a dog, even a psychic one!


Post Script:  Sometimes having a psychic dog isn't all it's cracked up to be.  Walt went to the opera the other night and at 5 in the morning, I woke up with Sheila pacing back and forth, on the bed, off the bed, driving me nuts.   She's never done that before.  The light was still on in the stairwell and I started thinking that something had happened to him.  I couldn't get back to sleep, so I finally got up and, of course, the car was in the carport and everything was fine.   Damn dog.  If you're going to be psychic, at least be consistent!

PHOTO OF THE DAY

RugMess.jpg (33170 bytes)

Please tell me why I bother vacuuming!  I just got it done
and then she found a stick she wanted to tear up.
Sigh.


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