When the monarchy crumbles, write a self help guide

March 2, 2011

This is me, Princess Hyacinth, on my 10th birthday.

Guest post by Hyacinth Bean

My name is Princess Hyacinth.  I am a royal Pekingnese descendant.  I was one of six offspring to King Aldrich and Queen Adalgisa.  By a strange twist of fate of which my understanding is very limited, I was adopted by Jenny Bean. . . . Sometimes I wonder if I was kidnapped.

I only weighed 6 1/2 pounds when I came to live with Jenny.At the time I was 10 weeks old and a mere 6.5 pounds.  But that was more than 10 years ago, and I am a gourmand.  These days I’m a generous 22 pounds. 

The early years with Jenny were great.  She let me sleep on the bed with her, she bought me rhinestone collars and squeaky toys, she took me everywhere in her convertible, and she fed me yummy leftovers and sometimes even ice cream.  She had two flaws—she was a Nazi about housetraining and hygiene.  I got two baths a month, one at Maison Bean and the other at the puppy parlor. 

That's me in Jenny's convertible.After Jenny went to work, I would go to sleep on my leather ottoman.  Around mid-morning, Fred, our mail carrier, would drop a doggie cookie along with the mail through the door slot.  On the weekends we would sleep in and take naps together.  And sometimes when Jenny left her wine on an end table, I would jump up on the couch and slug a little of it.  Life was grand.

Then one day when I was four years old, everything changed.  Fred was assigned to a new route. Papa showed up on our doorstep with Rooster and Little Man in tow. The monarchy was beginning to crumble.

Rooster is a psychotic rat terrier with one brain cell—it’s dogs like Rooster that give us pedigrees a bad name.  Little Man, a scruffy Hines 57 with bad teeth and halitosis, lived with us for a year until his mom won him back in a custody battle. 

I liked Little Man.  He was smart enough to realize that I am the alpha.  Rooster, on the other hand, was too dimwitted to understand the pecking order, and so once every few weeks, I had to disabuse him of his delusional status.  I rather enjoyed myself on these occasions.

Post interruption:   Rooster just tried to slink by with my chew bone.  When I caught up with him, he was trying to dig up the throw rug so that he could bury the bone under it.  What a numbskull.  Somehow he managed to get the bone under the rug, and we both stood there at an impasse trying to outwait the other.  Unfortunately, I fell asleep and the bone and the damn sorry excuse for a canine were gone when I woke up. 

That’s okay.  I’m going to get his ball and hide it under Jenny’s bed.  We don’t allow him in the bitch boudoir.

Jenny started acting funny pretty soon after Papa and the leg lifters moved in.  She started shooting up hormones in the bathroom, and she suffered bizarre mood swings.  Then she started growing an alien.  She became enormous.  And then one day she left for three days and when she came back, we went to live with Mimi and Alien 1 for six weeks.  The monarchy had crumbled.

Alien 1 shrieked and shrieked.  None of us got any sleep.  It was a nightmare. 

I had been upstaged. 

As the little alien grew and grew (it had multiple chins), my status shrank and shrunk.   And when I thought things couldn’t get worse, Jenny started growing another alien. 

For a little while, I hung my head in shame for her and for me, but then I picked myself back up because that’s what dogs of breeding do.  I looked at the bright side.  Food was abundant.  The little aliens were giving it away.  Once I even found a tub of brownies under the bed.  And whenever anything is amiss these days, I’m no longer the culprit—it’s always Alien 2. 

And I’ll let you in on a little secret—it’s fun having Rooster around to toy with.  Bless his heart.  He’s so simple, and I have a good time yanking his chain.

It’s not the life I dreamed of, but I’m a glass half-full kind of dog, and I’m making the most of it.  Being a bitch is helpful.  It’s something I’m an expert at, and so I’ve begun writing a self-help guide to being a bitch, and my parting gift to you is an excerpt from my manuscript.

Princess Hyacinth’s rules for being a bitch

  1. Never ever rush anywhere.  You’ll appear too eager.  Linger.  If your mistress is in the kitchen calling your name, take a nap in the living room on the way to the kitchen.  (If there’s food involved, all bets are off.)
  2. If your mistress decides to take you to obedience school, be a model dog.  Go to the classes.  Excel.  Be the valedictorian of your class.  When there’s homework to be done, do it and do it well.  It will shorten the duration of your misery.  As soon as the class is over and life has returned to normal, revert back to your bitchy habits.  Life is too busy to stress good behavior 24/7.
  3. If the idiot dog who has just taken up residence in your house so much as looks at your food, let him have it.  This is not acceptable behavior.
  4. If one of the little aliens leaves his blanket on the floor, drag it around the house.  Lay on it.   Roll around on it.  Stake your territory.  The same thing goes for the favorite teddy bear.  Shake it like it’s a dead rabbit.
  5. If you want anything—water, a breath of fresh air, dinner—bark your head off.  Keep barking.  They will do your bidding just to shut you up.  (Unless they’re dead drunk and then all bets are off.)
  6. Whenever the doorbell rings, raise hell.  It will enhance your reputation and it will ring less often.
  7. If a little alien pulls your tail and there are witnesses, yelp as though he’s hurt you.  That’s the sympathy card.  Play it.  But if there are no witnesses, scare the little monster.  Growl like a pit bull and bar your teeth.  He’ll think twice about pulling your tail again.
  8. If someone nudges you while you’re sleeping, fake a bad dream in which you’re being persecuted.  And then bite the nudger’s big toe—hard but don’t break the skin.  He/she will think that you were mistaking him/her for the UPS man and will think twice about nudging you again.

Note from Jenny:  Papa has another long comment that will be published as a post on Friday.  (There’s not much he doesn’t have a lengthy opinion on.)

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Irene March 2, 2011 at 6:53 am

I think a reality tv show is in store here.

JDaniel4's Mom March 2, 2011 at 2:36 pm

I so don’t want to run into her in dark alley at night.

papa March 2, 2011 at 3:57 pm

Rooster and I can’t wait to reply on Friday.

JDaniel4’s Mom, dark alley no problem. Just throw down some grub and stay out of the way. That beach can eat.


portia March 2, 2011 at 7:44 pm

hyacinth, girl, you are a true queen!! you can lick the expensive lotion off my legs anytime!!

Alexandra March 2, 2011 at 9:42 pm

Wow, what a creative idea for a post.

This is something fun and different, I’m glad I stopped over.

Very, very cool.

Jenn March 3, 2011 at 11:38 am

Irene: Wanna be Hyacinth’s agent?!

JDaniel4’s mom: Don’t worry–Hyacinth likes sleep to much to wander dark alleys at night.

Portia: You’re a stitch! Come drink wine with me!

Alexandra: Thank you! We think you’re cool Beans too!!!

Jenn March 3, 2011 at 11:40 am

WTH?! I was logged in. Posted my comment and got a message: “Your comment is awaiting moderation.”

the mama bird diaries March 3, 2011 at 12:36 pm

I love that she is a half glass full kind of dog. Brilliant.

Pamela March 4, 2011 at 9:46 am

“bitch boudoir” — I like it. 🙂

portia March 4, 2011 at 8:41 pm

i have to say, i like you , Rooster; and i think you are under-appreciated as a watchdog and general family member.

Kris March 13, 2011 at 12:56 am

Ok, the puppy picture on the blue flowered sofa?

I am dying from the cute.

Good lord.

LILLIANNA March 17, 2011 at 10:55 am

OK..I AM LAUGHING MY ARSE OFF! You Beans sure know how to get a laugh out of even an unemployed, semi depressed (depending on the day), bi-polorish…middle aged woman, who is close to foreclosure on her home.. eating top raman (like I was back in college) semi-nurotic, who is on the verge of alcoholism, but would never admit it! (though it’s only the cheap wine now)…

Loving the stories! And of course it helps since I have actually been to Maison Bean..and actually have seen this chaos in action! Keep it up Jenny Bean! When you are famous and invited onto “Chelsey Lately”..I can say I knew you when! xxoooooooo Lillianna

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