Nature photography, political rants, and Martyman laughs from the ten-time award-winning author of "Cool Creatures, Hot Planet," "Endangered Edens," and the "Time Is Irreverent" series.

The princess and her pillows

Marty’s photo of the day #3518: Dogs are all about routines, and Nellie only needs to observe something twice before declaring it a routine. One of her favorite routines happens at bedtime. My wife, Deb, always precedes me into bed by a few minutes, taking her pillow, stacking my three pillows to the side, and snuggling under the covers with a book. Nellie’s routine is then to hurry into bed and claim my pillows. When I enter the bedroom, she gives me a look that says, “You wouldn’t take these pillows away from poor little me—a stray who once had to survive for weeks eating nothing but insects and mushrooms.” Or, if that doesn’t work, her next look says, “I’m a princess now, and I need these pillows to get my beauty sleep.”

Eventually, I’m able to convince Nellie to allow me the privilege of laying my head on a corner of a pillow, and we all read until falling asleep. Well, maybe not Nellie. Why would she need to read, when she can already make humans submit to routines and spoil her like there’s no tomorrow?

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