Archive for the 'Photo essay' Category

Happy birthday to Henry

July 8th, 2007

A photo essay

(It was yesterday, actually, but Henry can’t tell.)

Here’s the picture that will go in the Needlenose News:

Henry’s birthday, posed

But here, loyal website readers, you will get a behind-the-scenes look at the making of Henry’s birthday party. It all started with the cake — two layers of rice crackers, frosted with peanut butter. The dogs were intrigued. So intrigued that it turned out to be difficult to maneuver them into position for the photo.

posing Henry

While I tried to position Henry, Philip eyed the cake.

Philip eyes cake

We tried a variety of takes to get a good shot. They had various flaws, such as the time Matt forgot his party hat.

first pose

We kept trying until the dogs had had enough.

the dogs are tired of posing

We then moved the party outside, to avoid peanut butter on the rug. Philip laid down first and was rewarded with the opportunity to lick the candles.

Philip licks candles

Henry took somewhat longer to catch on. I will confess to becoming somewhat exasperated.

exasperated Kim

Once he settled down, however, it was time to split the cake. Each dog got a layer.

cutting cake

Which they each enjoyed immensely.

Henry enjoys cake

Every. . . last. . . bit.

last drop

Farewell, old sofa

June 30th, 2007

A photo essay

When we moved in, Auntie Jeanne kindly gave us some furnishings. We took a sofa and a rug with us from San Francisco. As the sofa was white, we carefully covered every bit up.

new sofa

Over time, we grew a little careless about keeping every bit covered, as long as most of it was.

Philip, upside down on sofa

And that worked. Until Henry came along.

Henry shreds sofa

Henry started on the back cushions. We kept them as long as we could. When the original upholstery gave out, we put the stuffing in pillowcases. To no avail. After making several meals of the back cushions, he started on the seat cushions.


He thought ripping out the stuffing and using it as a plaything was great fun.


We disagreed, but there’s no arguing with a walnut-sized brain. And so finally, the back cushions were shredded beyond repair, so we took them away. Henry then transferred his obsession on the seat cushions, until they, too, were very pathetic.

Henry on sofa

The cushion covers are gone. Large chunks are gone from the foam. The “sofa” has been rendered so uncomfortable, the dogs rarely sit on it any more. And the new sofa will be delivered on Monday. So, today, we gathered up the sofa innards scattered about the house and got ready to ceremonially dispose of the remains. Henry sat on the sofa once more, for old time’s sake.

final sofa

As much of the sofa bits as can fit are currently in the trash. The rest, bagged up, sit in the garage, and we’ll dispose of them in weekly installments. The sofa frame, cushionless, sits outside awaiting the next city dump date. (The dogs will probably use it in the meantime. Even without cushions, it’s softer than concrete.)

Auntie Jeanne — thank you.

And we’re sorry.

** Addendum, 7/7: The sofa is, indeed, still in use.

Philip on old sofa

Henry’s very fond of water

June 15th, 2007

A photo essay

Matt and I went to Toys ‘R Us to purchase a wading pool for Henry, who, as I may have mentioned before, is very fond of water. As we discussed the various size options available (“Is that big enough for them?”), a matronly-looking woman with a child in a shopping cart beamed approvingly at us. I don’t think she realized we were discussing dogs, not kids.

We brought the pool home and started filling. Henry was very interested. At first, he only drank.

Henry investigates

“It’s not a big water bowl!” I scolded him. So then he tested out the water.

first toe

Finding it suitable, he proceeded.

almost there

After the requisite number of turns (roughly 8,354,632), he settled down. First, he went into his sphinx pose.


Finding insufficient space, he converted.


And then, about fifteen seconds later. . .


. . . he got out. Ingrate.

Missing something?

August 23rd, 2006

A photo essay

I’m sitting with Philip on the sofa when he suddenly perks up and looks at the door. It’s about noon, so I assume he’s heard the mail carrier. To head off a storm of frantic barking, I go outside to intercept the mail. (This keeps the carrier off our porch, which keeps Philip happy.) In the mail, I find this:


It’s a letter from my parents. Why, I wonder, are my parents writing to me a mere two days before I’m expected in Fresno for the reception? So I open it.


There’s a document (more on this later) appended with a Post-It. The Post-It says:


From what I can see, somewhere in the long, long trek between Sacramento and Fresno, the postal service managed to lose approximately half of my parent’s copy of the Needlenose News. Of course, because it was folded, the loss ends up being about a fourth off the top and a fourth off the bottom. Since fully two stories are still readable in their entirety, I’m not sure what my parents are so incensed about. Judge for yourself below:


Conveniently, just below this there’s a post about the new online Needlenose News archives. This allows you to see what the cover is supposed to look like. Also, for scale, remember: What my parents received fit into a standard legal-sized envelope for mailing (back) to me.

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