The Fastest Dog

We received a painting from the Remarkable Beetle Lady a week or so ago. It’s of Buddy, the Best Dog, floating in space among his spirit animal, the tardigrade. Buddy was known to be the Fastest Dog as well as the Best Dog, and the tardigrades are also known for their meteor-like speed.

Buddy 1

Giles has some mighty big dog-shoes to fill, having to take over as Best Dog. Jon and I had a talk with Giles and showed him the dog-brother he never knew. Giles said he would try to be the Best Dog. He really does try, even though he still forgets sometimes what is and is not okay to chew on.

Buddy 2


When I got to foreign countries, nothing makes me happier than the weird candy with weird cartoon creatures on it that can’t be found in the US. This love extends to bizarre children’s shows. Oh, and Rajini, of course. It’s even better to watch the cartoons when you can’t understand a word they’re saying.

Dad’s in Slovakia right now. For Christmas he gave Jon and me a pile of Slovak candy, some with pictures of dead fish on them, some with anthropomorphic ping-pong paddles. He also gave me a weekly calendar featuring a Czech cartoon mole, who in Slovakia is called Krtko. Krtko appears to have many delightful misadventures, but this week’s picture is a little puzzling. Krtko is plucking icicles for some reason while a Eurasian red squirrel looks on. There’s also a dwarf snowman fellating disembodied appendages of his own species.

I’m not familiar with the language, and Bulgarian is certainly not the same as Slovak, but my labmate was at least able to suggest how I might pronounce the Slovak days of the week listed on the calendar, like “Svrtok.”


Amelia and Orko turn 1

I feel bad that we haven’t been paying as much attention to The Rats lately. It’s just that Giles is pretty demanding with attention and The Rats don’t really care for him. Orko bit him on the nose when he came close by to sniff her. Invaded her personal space, I’m sure.

But today was The Rats’ birthday. We didn’t forget. They are a year old! That’s positively middle-aged for rats. They may or may not be around for another birthday, so we had to make this one count. We lit a cake with candles and sang a legally-distinct Happy Birthday song.

Rat 1

What we didn’t predict was just how difficult it was to get two rats to pose tidily on either side of the cake, while holding still enough to avoid blurriness. We couldn’t pull it off, and gave up once Orko grabbed the cake greedily and hauled it across the couch to eat by herself.

Rat 2 Rat 3

The Dog was not invited to the birthday celebration.

Giles Corey Dog

Merry dogmas and happy new year. Our new dog is here. What to say about The Dog….well, he’s extremely happy to be here. And he loves us. He’s barely been with us for 24 hours but he loved us both within 5 minutes. And he wants to play Ball really bad but we’re not supposed to let him run around for two weeks while he recovers. I caved in and threw the ball a few times anyway. It was the happiest day of his life. I get the impression that every day is the happiest day of his life. He’s too excited and happy to hold still for a decent picture, so for now I’ll just have to leave you with his name. We called him Giles Corey. His last name is Dog. Giles Corey Dog. He already seems to know that that’s his name, seeing as we keep saying it over and over. We try not to call him The Dog, because Buddy ended up thinking that was his name and answered to it.

Jon came up with his name, but I liked it because Giles Corey was easily my favorite feature of the Salem Witch Museum, and because both Giles and I are named after interesting tombstones.

Giles Corey Mandy_Moon