Saturday, August 27, 2011

Remember that time we drove with poop in the car?

Bea took a while to get used to our hotel, and I don't blame her. Our room is small and musty and smells like it may have been a smoking room in the past. You can never really get the smell of a smoke out of curtains. It's a similar problem for motel rooms that used to have dead hookers in them. I'm assuming.

The double beds are twins and a half at best, and the decor was clearly chosen by someone who loves both Christmas and 1987. All that and the room is somehow $120 per night - way too much for the Discomfort Inn. But how do we complain? It's one of the few pet friendly hotels in Binghamton and every hotel within a few hours of the hurricane zone is packed. I would have loved to stay in a king bed at the Sheraton, but not as much as I love my dog. And I didn't just write that because Bea is reading this over my shoulder.

Sara is still recovering from her surgery and isn't comfortable unless she sleeps in a forest of pillows, so I was left with the half a twin side of the double. I woke up early despite my luxurious two feet of lumpy bed. Also Bea paced a decent amount overnight, but thankfully most of the sound was muted by the hooker-bloodstain-soaked carpet. I'm assuming.

The great thing about this part of the country (or any part outside of a major city) is the space. The grass behind the hotel is larger than any park in our neighborhood. I'm sure that Bea would enjoy living up here - for the 6 weeks out of the year that the weather is nice.

After a surprisingly decent continental breakfast, we took Bea to a local groomer. It was $22 for a full grooming, much better than our usual $48. Plus the place offers a 10% discount for rescues. What a wonderful way to give back to the community while simultaneously reminding people who buy their dogs that they are selfish assholes.

The groomer gave Bea a red handkerchief - much less wussy than the pink atrocity our groomer usually uses. Even better, the groomer's neighborhood was having a street fair. A Binghamton street fair is very different than a New York City street fair. In New York City, street fairs have funnel cake, hipster t-shirts, and unique jewelry. In Binghamton, a street fair has plus sized paisley blouses and used novels by Robert Ludlum. It was still fun to walk around and watch all the old ladies fawn over Bea and her snazzy handkerchief. It's a wonderful thing to have a 6 year-old dog that still looks like a puppy. Bea has all of the cuteness of a puppy without the hyperactivity. Though this eternal baby-ness is cute in a dog, I imagine it would be creepy in a human.

There was a moment in the car that Bea wasn't quite as cute. You know how humans sometimes fart and it doesn't smell? Yeah, that doesn't happen with dogs. Bea's farts are disgusting, and she ripped one in the car. I think it was on purpose - she loves when I put the windows down and I hadn't yet - but believe me, the windows went down QUICKLY. If you're ever stuck with a driver that refuses to lower the windows, fart. It's a solid strategy.

After we got the smell out of our noses enough to enjoy a delicious lunch of spiedies (if you are ever in Binghamton, oh my god, get a spiedie), we went to a pretty rural park to let Bea roam off leash. It was a rare experience for a city dog, and it was an incredibly pleasant day. That all changed when, as they say, shit happened.

We had no idea what was coming.

Maybe it was the long ride to an unfamiliar place. More likely it was the gas station hot dog. Whatever the reason, Bea created something orange, liquid, and unholy. I'm guessing most people would have left it there to fertilize the park. Being the city dog owners that we are, we scooped the poop, tied up the bag, and looked for a garbage can. In a park full of signs cautioning against litter, they might want to add a freaking garbage can.

It would have been okay to just leave the poop - but once you bag it, you can no longer blame it on a wild animal. The park had no garbage cans, and neither did the next 5 miles of road. 5 miles. We drove for 10 minutes with the windows down until we finally found a dumpster. It was so bad that we were wishing for the bygone days of Bea's smelly car fart. At first we tried to hold the poop bag out the open window but fearing the thin plastic not withstand the stretch of 50mph, we brought the bag back in - and even considered a strangers mailbox. Hey, in a hurricane, there are casualties.

Sara and I have both said we can still smell traces of the foul stench in the car. It's probably just sense memory because of just how awful it was. Next time you need to cover up the scent of a dead hooker in your hotel room, I've got a recommendation.

Bea ate a hot dog in Pennsylvania and was thrilled

See subject line for details.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Bea Peed on New Jersey

This is the first mobile blog - being written at 75mph down I80 as we run away from the hurricane. Don't worry - I may be driving but Sara is the one typing. [Hi!]

I was supposed to have shows in New York tonight, Hoboken tomorrow, and New Haven Sunday. Several thousand dollars of cancellations later, we were told we live in an evacuation zone. While deciding if we should get the hell out of Dodge, or just go two blocks down out of the evacuation zone (where Jacob and Jenna had graciously invited us for a weekend of Bea vs. Leah goodness), I was offered a gig in Alfred, NY. Alfred is so far inland, it might not even rain this weekend.

Ever since we adopted Bea, I've had a fantasy of taking her on the road with me as a mascot. This weekend proved the perfect opportunity. We needed to leave New York anyway, so we decided to make a weekend out of it, beat the traffic, and leave tonight.

As far as we know, Bea has only been to Puerto Rico and New York City (which is pretty much the same thing). The route from NYC to Alfred involves cutting through New Jersey. So we stopped at a rest stop and gave Bea her first out of state experience. As so many Real Housewives and Jersey Shore cast members have done in the past, Bea promptly peed on New Jersey. She may have been marking - but there are so many smells here, she wouldn't begin to know which one to cover up. And as we once again hurdle through the garden state, Bea is comfortable in the back of my once spotless Corolla.

I've begun road trips more than a thousand times over the last 8 years. This is the first one where I had to pack for someone else. Okay, where Sara had to pack. But I still had to consider. The college was nice enough to let me choose my own hotel, so we found one that was dog friendly. We took Bea's crate, and Sara packed a bag with food, treats, food bowls, bones, and toys. When they say a dog is a gateway to a baby, this is what they mean.

We didn't bring all of Bea's toys, just Hank Poseidon and Columbia Jones. The dastardly Starfish Incognito stayed back at the apartment, distracted by the presence of a wily Poops McGee. If the hurricane ends up smashing all of our windows, we will not mourn the loss of the evil Starfish Incognito. He deserves whatever he gets. Incidentally, Columbia Jones could use a vacation after Bea dumped him in her water bowl. His hair dried spiky, and now he kind of looks like a monkey. We're convinced Starfish Incognito was behind the whole thing.

In reality Bea is laying down in her bed in the backseat in the position we call "The Bagel." She seems happy to take a drive on a nice night. And even happier to know there are only 23 miles left of New Jersey. Between The Real Housewives and Jersey Shore, this state doesn't need one more bitch.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Bea Learns Paw!

Since we've had her, we've been trying to teach Bea "paw" and she just doesn't get it. We've tried treats, affection, even hot dog - and still nothing. And then the other day, bam - Bea just got it. I imagine it was like watching a child's first words, only cuter.

Bea has since realized that we LOVE when she does paw - so now she tries it whenever she wants something. Which may be the most adorable thing ever, to just see an already cute dog pawing at the air in hopes that there will be a treat that follows.

See for yourself.

High five!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Hank Poseidon and Columbia Jones

I told you before about Bea's toy Hank Poseidon, squirrel detective. Well, now he's got an entourage.

One of the toys that came with Bea was an odd looking starman made of a similar fleece to the inside of her bed. So when we put it in her bed, it basically disappears. That quickly became named Starfish Incognito.

Yesterday, we went to breakfast with my friend Stephanie, who also went to Columbia. She reads the blog, and was sweet enough to get us two presents. They're both lions (our mascot) - one is a squeaky big headed lion puppy thing, and the other is a poop bag dispenser where the poop bags come out of the lion's butt. We named the squeaky toy "Columbia Jones" and decided he is Hank Poseidon's young ward. Together, they must fight their eternal nemesis, Starfish Incognito, who does things like try to poison the city's water supply, and make Bea's farts smell disgusting. Meanwhile, the poop bag dispenser is Columbia Jones' body double, created by Hank to keep his young ward safe.

Hey, if Bea's not going to play with her toys, at least we will.

Hank Poseidon and Columbia Jones have once again defeated their evil nemesis, Starfish Incognito - with the use of their decoy, Poops McGee.

Actually, Bea played with Columbia Jones a little yesterday. We're hoping it's a sign of things to come.

Your first assignment is to be eaten.

Saturday, August 20, 2011


It's kind of disgusting to clean up after your dog. Even with the "bag inside out around your hand" move, you can still smell it (and I always feel like the smell somehow gets through the bag on to my hand).

It's especially disgusting when your dog basically pees out of its butt. And that's what Bea's been up to lately. Yes, this blog is gross. So is living through it.

A few days ago, Bea had one of those special doggy cupcakes, and she also had a steak bone. Those were the only two deviations from her normal diet, so we're assuming the irregularity is caused by one of them. I guess it could also be due to stress or maybe Bea's sick - but whatever is causing it, the last few days have been one "oh no" after another. When she makes poop soup in the grass, we can try to grab a clump and move on. But when it's on dirt or concrete, there's nothing we can do but pray for rain.

Last night, we finally looked up cures for doggy diarrhea. First, there's many websites devoted to the subject which is both helpful and creepy. Second, if you just google "diarrhea" the third suggestion that comes up is "diarrhea for dogs," which shows we are not alone.

Some of the websites suggested Pepto Bismol, and we're happy to report it worked. Or it's coincidence - either way, Bea was fine this morning, and back to her regular poops.

Oh, and she'd been limping for the last day or so, and now she's stopped. We've had days where whatever is happening in our stomach ruins everything. But it's never made me limp before.

So yeah - no more doggie cupcakes.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Bea Arthur and All Her Penises

I am SURE that the actual content of this blog is going to disappoint some people while perusing some disgusting google results.

Like all bloggers eventually say, I'm sorry I haven't written in a while. Sara had some surgery - and while she's recovering and pretty much okay, things have been busy on my side of the world. The good news is that Bea has been a fantastic therapy dog. Both because she just lays there and does nothing for most of the day, and because Bea is hilariously strange. Between writhing around on the floor waiting for a belly rub and constant yawning, it's pretty easy to crack a smile while watching Bea.

The funniest thing we've discovered is that she loves penises. Not human penises - she's not one of THOSE dogs. Bull penises. Her favorite thing is a bully stick which, as it turns out, is made of bull penis.

"Oh, baby. That's the stuff."

That's right. Some entrepreneur saw a bull penis and thought, "If I dried this and braided it, dogs would go nuts." Hey, whoever was looking at a bull penis and thinking about profit must have used the word "nuts."

They were right - Bea goes through 5 a week, and they cost at least $2 each. So we're spending $500 a year on Bea Arthur's addiction to penis.

You heard me right, Google.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Bea and Leah (Or Be-ah)

For weeks, Sara has been telling me about Bea playing with her dog friend Leah. I've seen glimpses of it. But last night was amazing.

We went over to get some ice cream at our new favorite ice cream place that is destined to make everyone in our neighborhood fat. It's downstairs from our friends Jacob and Jenna, so we went up after, and all went to the roof to let the dogs play.

And oh man did they play. Those two ran around like they were possessed. Well, Leah always runs around like that. But Bea was possessed.

At one point, Bea ran into a wall and kept going. And after a while of Bea chasing Leah, Bea actually started having Leah chase her. Bea, by the way, is FAST. If there was a doggie olympics, and Bea ever ran when we wanted her to, she would totally win a bronze. I mean, she's not THAT fast. But she's fast.

Either way, it was wonderful to see her playing like that, especially after the nonsense that happened at the dog park. Maybe we'll take the two of them to the dog park and see if Leah can introduce Bea to her friends so she's no longer the at risk youth. Or maybe I've been watching too much Friday Night Lights.

Friday, August 5, 2011

A Scuffle in the Dog Park

Bea has been getting better and better with other dogs. I already told you about how she'd been playing with some. And she rarely bares her teeth anymore, even when other dogs rudely sniff her face before the politer butt pleasantries.

Bea "playing" with another dog.

But today, she had an incident. We took her to the dog park, and a walker had 5 dogs running around. One of them was Thompsen, a dog Sara used to help walk, and one Bea knows pretty well. But even when Thompsen sniffed Bea's butt like old friends, Bea froze and showed her teeth.

Perhaps it was being the new girl in an established pack, or perhaps she just woke up grumpy - but Bea was pissed. So when a much bigger dog went straight for Bea's face, Bea let the fangs out so he'd back down. But when the other pooch fanged right back, Bea escalated and actually drew blood.

The cut on the other dog's face wasn't bad, and the walker was very understanding (no word on how the owner felt). Of the walker, both dogs, and us, Sara and I were clearly the most rattled by the incident. But now we're not as confident in Bea's ability to socialize as we were yesterday.

Maybe the big dog reminded her of a previous shelter nemesis. Or maybe the big dog's growl insulted Bea's stylish matching pants suit. Whatever it was, we hope it was an isolated incident and not a harbinger of what's to come.

One thing I realized is that part of why the walker was cavalier is because Bea is a cute, small dog. If that happened and Bea was the bigger of the two, she might be seen as a bully - especially if she were a pit bull.

We're glad that Bea is okay, and that the other dog seems to be, too. And if I ever do get a pitbull, this reminds me just how careful I have to be. Even the sweetest dogs can have tempers.

"Sorry guys. Schoolyard stuff."

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

We've Become Those Kind of People

We never intended on being the kind of people who dress up their dog. But I have to admit, it's hilarious.

Bea HATES the rain. Hates it like Dorothy Zpornak hates Rose Nylund's St. Olaf stories. So we decided we'd buy her a rain coat. No big deal - a bit silly, but a way for her to walk in the rain and still be protected. We live in NYC after all - sometimes it rains for weeks at a time here.

When it was pouring, we put her in the rain coat and immediately realized how stupid it was. Hilarious to see a sweet dog's face staring up at us as if to say, "why would you do this to me?" but stupid nonetheless.

"Maybe the shelter wasn't so bad..."

We tried to walk her in it, and it didn't work very well. She was falling all over the place, and it barely even kept her dry. At one point, she accidentally put her foot through the neck hole and tumbled to the ground. Meanwhile the design was ridiculous, as the leg straps couldn't be put on without making her walk like she just rode a bull for the first time.

It is the last we will ever dress her up, unless there's some sort of great reason like Halloween or a sexy dog firemen calendar shoot. But at least we have pictures.

This is one step away from a doggie snuggie.

We're sorry Bea. We still love you. Hopefully, you still love us, too.