Her Royal Highness the Crown Regent of Fussypants

Life with Bettina as a member of our family has been, er, interesting. I did not initially realize when I brought her through the door, I had brought home royalty. Make no mistake-Bettina knew darn well she was royalty even if I had not yet been acclimated to that fact. Not only did she know she was royalty, she insisted, from the very first second of her arrival, upon being treated in a manner which suited her station.

Bettina greyhound with her usual look
Mumma wanted to introduce her to her new crate. A crate which had served the previous occupant very well. However, she didn’t find it particularly to her liking and thus, refused to cross the threshold. She dug her formidable nails into the carpet and leaned back like a mule. I pushed from the rear but to no avail. I might get the front half in but she would use the crate as leverage and maneuver her way out again. Or I would remove one foot from the door frame and place it in the crate, only to have another foot that was inside the crate find its way back out again. It was a knock-down, drag-out, free-for-all but I am happy to say that mumma won that one. It would be my first and my last. Once I succeeded in getting HRH Fussypants inside and the door shut, she fixed me with a hair eyeball. A look with which I am ever more familiar.

Once I started letting her stay outside of the crate, she felt her bed was too lumpy, too small, too uncomfortable and too bourgeois. Why sleep on the floor when there is this lovely queen sized bed, raised up nicely where she could survey her domain. Why, it even had the word queen in it, so clearly it was meant to be for Bettina. She started by simply hopping up there with me at the end of the day. After a major kerfuffle, which ended with Bettina off the bed and me half off the bed, she figured out that, like all good deposed rulers everywhere, she was going to have to retake the high ground by stealth. She would come into the bedroom each night and settle herself in one of the two dog beds. She would make loud sighing and groaning noises to assure me that she had no thoughts of sleeping anywhere else. Soon, ever so quietly, I would hear her get up and not long after a pair of amber eyes and a little black snout would peer at me over the edge of the bed. She stared at me intently as if gauging whether she could take me or not. If I told her no, she would come to the other side of the bed and peer over the edge weighing her chances from that side. Many times she determined her chances were pretty good and soon I would have a black fur ball dropping from out of the sky. Hard.

Bettina greyhound on her bed
We’d wrestle and eventually I would succeed in dumping her over the side of the bed. Usually I was worse for wear. Once again she changed up her strategy. She would wait with great sighs and groans on her bed until I finished reading and turned out the lights. It wouldn’t be long before I sensed a presence on one side or the other of the bed. Sometimes I would reach my hand out into the darkness to find it full of velvet fur. Sometimes she would wait until I had dropped off to sleep and then wake me from a dead sleep by cannon-balling onto my stomach. For any of you who have not had the joy of being awakened from a deep sleep by an unexpected attacker, I don’t believe I could accurately describe the experience for you.

It wasn’t too long into her stay that Fussypants began training me to be a good lady in waiting to her royal eminence. At various points through the day she would begin shrieking at me in her high-pitched greyhound voice. When I would look in her direction, she rolled on her side and delicately lifted her uppermost rear leg, exposing her belly. If I didn’t immediately grasp her meaning, she would shriek at me louder and lift her leg again. If I still didn’t get it, she would begin raising her voice more and more. This would go on until she could contain her frustration no longer and begin barking at me. She would not be appeased until I was on the ground by her bed rubbing her belly. If I stopped rubbing her belly before she was satisfied, she would spring up and grab my hand with her mouth, bossing me with her insistent shrieks into rubbing her belly some more.

HRH Fussypants also felt that any food within her reach should be hers. She would quickly finish her meal and then stand over Blue’s right shoulder, staring at him while he tried, usually unsuccessfully, to eat his dinner at a more leisurely pace. The poor giant coward would eventually give up his ground and Bettina would take whatever was left. In the end, mumma had to step in and form a human barrier between Blue and the looming Bettina. Like a cow that has been cut from the herd by the horse and rider, she would attempt to get by me to reach Blue. First by veering right and then switching quickly to her left. If mumma stuck with her for each feint, she would go around the coffee table and try to pass me by using the coffee table as screen. Some days she would attempt to go right through me and I would have to walk her backwards pushing her with my legs while she leaned into me hoping to overpower me.

Once HRH Fussypants learned that she was a royal in exile where the sleeping arrangements were concerned, she determined to have the best of the two dog beds in the bedroom. She would stand over Blue, and stare at him until his nerve failed him and he ran out of the bedroom. For a while he would move to the “lesser” bed and sleep there. It wasn’t long before HRH Fussypants implemented her next edict which was that both beds were hers and Blue was not allowed in the bedroom. No amount of coaxing from mumma could convince Blue to sleep in one of those dog beds in the bedroom. He would retire early and sleep in there until Bettina and I came in to bed and he would automatically jump up like his britches were on fire and run to the living room where I heard him plop down with a big groan in his crate, or, on the big bed in the living room.

Bettina greyhound at Maine Greyhound Placement Service Open House
Bettina continued her reign of benign terror at her Grammy’s house. Since HRH Fussypants would not suffer being quiet, mumma could not take her on work trips to stay in hotels. So she would spend these weeks with Grammy. In preparation for her first visit, mumma bought her the cutest soft sided crate. It was pink with blue polka dot trim. But apparently not regal enough because her first time in the crate she ripped her way out of it to greet Grammy at the door when she came home. I suppose I should have known, her highness had warned me that she did not do crates on the first day she took control of her new kingdom.

Fussypants also claimed the back yard as her own. As soon as spring came and the grass began poking up, she would head to the back yard and begin grazing. Mumma would holler at her to stop. She would give me a haughty stare and return to grazing. If mumma came off the steps, she’d run to the far end of the yard and return to grazing. When mumma mowed the grass to fix the issue, she would go out and snuffle along in the piles of clippings until she found one that smelled good to her and she would gulp down a giant clump of grass clippings. She would stand chewing for a while, as though she had a cud. If I attempted to dissuade her she would pretend she didn’t hear me. No mortal tells HRH Crown Regent of Fussypants what to do.

As I type this now, she is laying with me on the couch. She has started at one end, and moved her way down towards me and has herded me to the other end where she is stretched out along the rest of the couch. A paw will occasionally plunk itself down on the keyboard, typing a string of nonsense characters. I move the paw and a hind leg plunks down on the keyboard, kicking at me. I move the hind leg and she grabs my hand with her mouth and I must pause to rub her belly. And yes, she has made mumma understand that the couch is hers to use at will. At least the kingdom of Fussypants is not a bad place to be a subject in. Long live the Queen.


  1. Ha ha ha! I have three princesses here, and they let me know every day that they rule the kingdom!

  2. Haha..she has got personality alright! Poor Blue...


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