Thursday, September 9, 2010

Don't let them bite.

Master of Disguise strikes again. Fully recovered from his malaise, Tertius reorganizes the furniture at one end of the family room, arranging a table, tipped-over chairs, imported kitchen stools, cushions, and a stray exercise mat into a symmetrical pattern, which leads the eye toward the dog's food and water bowls, now elevated on the fluffy pad from her traveling crate. The drum kit from our Guitar Hero set sits to the side, adorned with a large saucepan for extra volume. He shows a remarkable sense of feng shui and zen principles. He announces that it's a special resort for Leila.

Moments later, he turns up wearing the helmet from a police costume, his mother's leather boots, and the dog's bright red winter jacket as a kind of tunic and announces that he's Leila's special "SWAT protector and bodyguard." A shame that the beast seems a little underwhelmed by this sudden attention.

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Picture by Kathleen MacDonald
The traveling crate was used once only, when four-month-old Leila had been in our care for only three days before we had to drive her to Virginia for Thanksgiving. Since then, we've discovered she loves car travel so much that she's quite content to sit quietly in an assigned seat for hours -- with a doggy seat belt, of course -- either napping or keeping an eye on the world going by her window.

For short jaunts (and I've been shuttling solo around Rye a lot recently) she travels beside me in the front passenger seat, only occasionally sliding off with a resentful expression if I have to brake too sharply. But when I first slip her into the car, she immediately takes up a position on the driver's seat, staring stoically forward, and she won't move to the sidekick seat until I get in and shift her over. I have no explanation for this behavior other than suggesting that dogs have a sense of humor, and she's teasing me. Bitch.

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NPR's "Fresh Air" is the latest lump of the media to tackle the nation's ever- expanding epidemic of bedbugs. Terry Gross's guest was an academic expert on bedbugs, roaches, fleas, etc. who rejoiced in the title of "Professor of Urban Entomology."


  1. Ah, for the days when, "Good night, sleep tight, don't let the bedbugs bite" was just a rhyme parents said smilingly to offspring, not a serious admonition.

  2. I always thought that "Don't let the bedbugs bite" line was the perfect title for a horror movie.