Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Meet Bruiser

Meet Bruiser, my in-laws new dog, a two-year-old Standard Beagle who was added to the family while I was in Longview this summer.

These two pics (above and below) were taken this afternoon shortly after Ed and I returned from a run to the library and grocery store which included a stop at Subway where we'd eaten lunch and I had taken one bite out of the second half of my twelve incher and said I was full and wrapped it back up.

I had brought in the library books and Ed brought in the groceries and my sandwich. After depositing the books on the bed I went to the kitchen to put away my healthy snacks. As I crossed the kitchen I stepped on a Subway napkin, picked it up and put it in the garbage and came back around the table to the sacks only to step on something that slid under my foot. It was the wrapping paper for my sandwich which was nowhere to be found. Only a stray leaf or two of spinach on the floor.

I went to ask Ed where he'd put my sandwich and he said on the table with the sacks. I shook my head. Its not there. I found its wrapper on the floor.

And he was the one who lectured me on the drive home Sunday and several time since about the way things have to be now we have Bruiser in the family. Like: no food in his reach can be left unattended; hook the bedroom door when you leave the room as it won't latch and Bruiser can push it open possibly start a fight with Merlin and definitely eat his cat food which makes him sick; keep Merlin locked in the room like before with Sweetie because of the doggie door, which had been closed up since Sweetie died last August but was now open again.

So a few minutes before I took these pictures, Bruiser had gobbled my six inch Fiery Turkey Jalapeno Melt. With extra Jalapenos.

A few hours later I decided it was time Merlin and Bruiser had a monitored encounter as it was past time that Merlin was allowed excursions out of the room again. He'd been given free reign of the front of the house after Sweetie passed and once the weather permitted this spring he had daily leashed visits to the front porch that lasted from 30 minutes to 3 hours or longer depending on his contentment.

So I brought him out but had Ed set up a short leash for him attached to the heavy bench on the far side of the driveway from the porch where Bruiser was leashed.

At first Bruiser lunged and barked and whined and whimpered and slobbered at a Merlin just out of reach and Merlin cringed and fluffed his fur big but did not his. I was sure it was all going to be OK as earlier today Merlin had got out of the room as I entered and he and Bruiser encountered each other in the hallway and touched noses. Merlin had raised one paw about half an inch off the floor and Bruiser had yelped and turned and ran. We're guessing he'd been slapped by a cat at some point.

Out in the driveway tonight Merlin soon figured out that Bruiser could not reach him and began to lower his hackles and I felt safe enough to move away and start taking pictures. My FIL was still standing at the ready to grab Bruiser's leash if need be.

But it wasn't long before he felt confident enough to go back up on the porch. And I felt confident enough to settle in the blue chair to the left there.

It wasn't long before Merlin settled by my right elbow either studiously ignoring Bruiser or finding the kids and dogs and cars going by more interesting.

But Bruiser watched Merlin obsessively for a bit. At first with the characteristic Beagle pose with nose pointed and body still as stone. I missed that shot but got this one after he lay down on the far side of the driveway, still eying Merlin.

But soon he too turned his head away.

But only for a few seconds. He had to peek.

And so did Merlin though both carefully pretended not to.

Bruiser went in the house with my in-laws about half an hour later but Merlin and I sat outside for over an hour. First across the driveway there and then after Bruiser went in we moved up onto the porch. I read fifty pages in Lori Lansen's The Wife's Tale, one of my new library books, while Merlin explored all the new smells on the porch to his heart's content.

Today my first haul from the library after six or seven weeks away included seven novels and six DVD. I have said here recently that I felt a fiction binge coming on and I am going to honor it. Since yesterday evening I read both of Alice Hoffman's Green Angel and Green Witch. One of the books I checked out today was her Here on Earth. I thought I had read it when it was an Oprah Book Club selection but I did not recognize anything from the inside cover so I checked it out. I may discover it's a re-read once I get into it but that's OK it would have been over a decade. I'm quite the same person as I was then. I just need a Alice Hoffman binge after re-reading Green Angel last night and reading Green Witch this morning and Here on Earth was the only one on the Phoenix shelf. I'll have to send for the others.

I'll leave a more detailed list of my library loot in a later post as I'm eager to get back to The Wife's Tale. Besides it is off topic for this post.

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