Alive Or Dead?

There is this little game I like to play with Barnaby MacDuff. It is called "Alive Or Dead?"

Basically you see Barnaby lying on the floor and you have to guess whether he is alive or dead.

Sometimes it is harder to tell than you'd think!

Barnaby gets terribly carsick and so when the boys and I made the seventeen hour drive from San Jose to Moscow I was armed with plenty of Benadryl. You know how Benadryl somehow quiets the neurons that are in charge of thinking clearly about things? Those neurons also apparently control the inner ear, and in Barnaby's case, drool. You give Barnaby a half a Benadryl and suddenly his nose is pressed up against his crate door, drool oozing slowly to the floor. You can see in his eyes that he is on some crazy acid trip through space. He gets a taste for the metallic and sloppily licks the metal crate door and pushes his teeth through the grates like a deranged mental patient. It's hysterical. This dog of mine is ridiculously lovely.

Things were going swimmingly and I was starting to feel really pretty smug about life and my abilities to tend to living things when I realized I hadn't heard a stitch from Barney the whole Sac to Grants Pass leg of the trip. So one minute I was driving along passing semis and making good time and the next minute I became worried that Barnaby was passed out dead in his crate, belly up, his tongue lolling out of his head, one eye open and one eye shut.

He looked for all intents and purposes, dead as a doornail.

"Baaaarney!" I called to him.


"BAAAAARNEY" I said a little more urgently, but still sweetly and filled with love and sugary fairy sounds.

Then I smacked the top of his crate for good measure.

Still nothing.

Curious, I twisted my arm around and stuck a few fingers in between the metal of his crate door to see if he was breathing. My fingers found his nose and I counted to ten.


Suddenly, there in the blue mountain range, I was a driver with a dead dog in the back seat. I wondered how it happened! I wondered if I'd finish the drive to Moscow or just stay in Grants Pass forever to grieve my dog? I wondered if I'd be able to make it to Grants Pass at all, and how was I going to tell The Holbs! And then I was pulling over to the side of the road going "Oh no oh no oh no" because seriously!

My car was heavy with luggage and shoes and bikes and computers and sewing machines and all those things you need to survive away from home, and swerving to the side of the road was no easy feat. Finally stopped, I took a deep breath and turned around. There was Barnaby, sleepily licking his crate door and drooling massive puddles of drool down his beard looking at me like "huuuuhhh???"

So, Alive. That time.

Sometimes it is harder to tell than you'd think.

Barney, sigh.


  1. I can't get over the cuteness.
    I just can't.

  2. I think I would have had a minor melt-down if I thought I had a dead dog in the car. Glad you were able to pull over safely! :)

  3. Your puppies are too cute for words!

  4. Aaagh! Girl, people kept telling me to give the kiddos Benadryl on our road trip from Texas to Utah (24 hours of driving and kids fighting Hell). We never did and now I think I wont ever!

    Glad the baby dog is okay. Like you, I dont think I would have been!

  5. OMG that little pup is just as cute as a newborn baby sleeping on his shoulder!

    Cute buttons, too. How do I decide which to take????

  6. oh my, you make me laugh! seriously, the best part of waking it is not folgers in my cup {that would be against the W.O.W. donchaknow?} it's getting my fill of NTFR!

  7. Kristi, I was jittery for a solid hour afterwards, it was more than a minor meltdown! How do you do you people with kids do it, I swear!!!

  8. For three months (more?) I've been trying to convince myself WE DON'T WANT ANOTHER DOG.

    Your puppy-picture-filled post did ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to help me with this argument.

    Just so you know.


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