Wednesday, April 14, 2010

In Which My Matter Duplication Ray Is Almost Perfected

I ought to be blogging either about National Library Week (at least mentioning the National Public Radio interview I did with Euan Kerr) or about the events coming up later this week in Indianapolis, Chicago and Stillwater.

But instead, the important thing that I am currently feeling guilty for not blogging is Pearl. So I am going to tell you about Pearl.

Pearl is a bitch.

Pearl is most definitely not my bitch.

Pearl is, like Cabal, a White German Shepherd. She belongs to my assistant Lorraine's friend and riding partner Melissa. Melissa's moved recently, and won't have a place for Pearl for a few months, and is no longer comfortable with Pearl being where she was (her living conditions without Melissa were less than optimum). Lorraine asked whether I'd mind Pearl coming here for a bit, and I told her I didn't...

She's a really sweet, er, lady dog.

In theory, she's meant to be in the dog-run outside. Probably when I go on the road, she and Cabal will be there at night together.

In practice, while I'm here, she's inside with me and Cabal. He's not entirely sure what to make of this: he likes the company, likes having a friend, but she mucks up the pack order when we go for walks, and she's always hungry, so he can't idly nibble some food when I put it out for him, wander off, come back, nosh a little more, and continue until he's eventually eaten it all, because whenever he tries nibbling and sauntering away she enthusiastically eats all of his food.

I've never had to take care of two dogs before.

So far what I've learned about taking care of two dogs is this:

They are astonishingly hard to photograph. See that photo at the top? It took dozens of failed pictures in which neither of the dogs were facing the same way at the same time. Mostly I couldn't even get them into the same picture.

Pearl, in the red collar is looking at us in both of these pictures. She's a little thinner-faced, pointier than Cabal: vulpine rather than lupine. And her tail is curlier than Cabal's, although you'll have to take my word for it.

This morning there was a slow, rumbly thunderstorm. One of the White German Shepherds in my bedroom was extremely scared and needed to be very close to me along with a great deal of reassurance that the world was not actually ending. And one of them wasn't bothered.

And that's Pearl.