Ah, Liz your wish is my command. Above, a picture of Finny J. in her element from earlier this summer. It’s a little blurry, but still one of my faves. Currently, she is sprawled in the doorway, patiently awaiting her walk.
I once again find myself having to apologize for the infrequent posts. sigh. I have sat down several times this past week, intending to update, but something always seems to intervene… a phonecall, someone at the door, some client emergency, or household thang that demands my presence. I’ve intentionally been spending more of my free time away from my computer, doing stuff like yoga or gardening, or elbow deep in my art. All of which is a good thing and which will eventually pay off here in terms of arty good posts, but in the meantime, I must plead for patience! This week looks to be busy again too, especially at the beginning, but I hope to post again before the end of the week. stay tuned!
We’ve entered the dog days of summer. We lucked out this year and July was not as hot and humid as it normally is, but it looks like it’s going to catch up with us this week. Fortunately, Finny J. and I have our sumer cooling rituals down pat. Primarily, this involves me hosing her down in the back yard with the mist setting prior to our early morning walk, spraying until she’s a dazzle of diamond droplets, beaded brightly, and the hosing her down good and proper when we return. We try to stick to the shady areas and I tote along a giant thermos of water too, but she rarely drinks it while we’re out there. [ Insert the old "you can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make him drink" proverb here. ] I wish it would rain… we could use a really good soak around here. Everything is parched and brittle and straw-like after weeks and weeks of minimal moisture and all Finny’s swimming holes have dried up. The ground is hard and cracked in spots and leaves are starting to yellow and drop, exhausted, from the trees.
Finny J. giving me a not so subtle reminder that lunch is late. again. o, the horror.
My dog is a champion nudger. A premier poker. usually, these pokes are directed at my butt, her velvety black proboscis directed through the space between my chair seat and my chair back. If I don’t respond immediately, she will purposely bump my elbow, knocking my hand away from the mouse. If I happen to swivel toward her as I did here and don’t get up right away, she gives me a swift jab in the solar plexus and then dances out of reach, smiling and wagging her arse in that I’m-too-adorable-to-get-mad-at doe-eyed puppy way she’s mastered completely.
Lately she’s been nudging me to tuck her in for her after lunch nap. I have to go and smooth the bedspread for her, call her up and sit beside her, stroking her ears or her belly for a few minutes before I can go back to work in my studio across the hall or else the prodding begins. Nudge, nudge, POKE. nudge, dance, prance, wag. nudge nudge. wag. prance. poke.
I suppose this is one of those things I shouldn’t let her do. But she’s just sooooooo cute! And relentless.
oh man. we got dumped on but good on wednesday… over 50 centimeters. Being snowed in was sort of lovely at first… it was a sweet slow valentine of a day. I was overcome by the warm nesting feeling of being snowed in and having Johnny Commuter home all day, unexpectedly, was kinda delightful . In the afternoon, the sun came out and the light slanting into the house was all vanilla infused, warm and golden. like something you pour atop pancakes. I ignored my staggering workload and we just sort of lolled around.
But now, the plows have long since been thru the streets and snow is piled over my head around the neighborhood yards, making everyone look like they spent all week building fortresses. Part of me wants to go out and tunnel thru the ones in our yard like I did when I was a kid, carving out little niches to store emergency snowballs to fire at the other neighborhood kids, hunkered down in their own forts. And the rest of me just wishes it to be gone already.
sigh. As a December baby, I sort of feel this burdensome obligation to love winter, but the thing is… I don’t. Had this dump of snow come before Christmas like it was suppose to, I would have embraced it. I would have done that mad cavorting thing, made snow angels and snow critters aplenty. But by the end of January? I have had it up to here with winter and I’m all battle weary and worn. I think I suffer moderately from S.A.D (Seasonal Affective Disorder) and though this year hasn’t been that bad in the grand scheme of things, I’m feeling it big time this month. **
But worry not… I will waddle on and come out the other side. Need to soon start weening myself off all things carbilicious though… I’ve been packing away the chocolate and the muffins and the everything yum in an effort to stave off the winter blues and while my clothes still fit, they’re beginning to have that tight, fresh from the dryer feeling. I’ve implemented a new coping strategy… firing myself up with relentlessly upbeat, sorta embarrassing, super cheesy anthems like (and I’m so not kidding) Baby Elephant Walk by Henry Mancini, The Banana Boat Song by Harry Belafonte and Soul Bossa Nova by Quincy Jones and His Orchestra. Yeah… I know! Scary!
Please, please… I beg you! Please share your favorite coping strategies. I need all the ammunition I can get!
** Despite the photo above, Finny J. does not share my loathing of the winterness. She thinks it’s all fun and frolic, though I must say the minute the temperature plunges below zero, she becomes the most ravenous of creatures, scarfing down everything in sight and behaving like she hasn’t been fed in months. She’s packed on five pounds in the last month… eekkk. We’re both gonna have to start South Beaching it again like pronto.
I know, I know! That promise about more frequent posts was kinda short-lived. whoops. There have actually been a few golden autumn days round here (and many not golden autumn days too) that I’ve been trying to capitalize on muchly. And there’s been some shopping… for ever so fetching coats with toggle buttons. Oh, how I loves me the toggle buttons!!! And some work. And some painting. And some… I dunno. Stuff!!! Time seems to be escaping me these days. I haven’t even carved a single pumpkin this year and I usually carve at least 3! I don’t know if it’s the cold, rainy fall we’ve been having or what, but my brain seems inclined to skip over Halloween this year for whatever reason. I’ve already jumped two months ahead and am thinking Christmas thoughts. So much to do before Christmas!!!
Regardless, I hope your Halloween is ghoulish fun and that many an adorable trick-or-treater alights upon your doorstep and brightens your evening!
P.S. Just so you know… Fester flails no more. But I didn’t have anything to do with it. He just upped and shuffled off this mortal coil all of his own accord, leaving my karma undented. Relief!
sigh. Okay, all that self-discovery jazz I was spouting earlier? hmmm… well….. haven’t quite gotten there yet. Nope. Self-discovery and fun have been postponed due to work, work and yay! more work, plus some major home renovations which currently have my entire household in an ungodly state of disorganization. But do not despair… all will be put to right soon. Patience, my pretties, patience!!!
We have finally finally resumed some sense of normalacy in the doggity department round here. This week, we were able to resume our regular every day walks in the park. They are very leisurely strolls, sticking mainly to the flat paths and trails, they are less than half the length of the pre-injury wolf walks, but they are doing the trick. I am no longer constantly treated to the winsome, pleading visage up above.. the “Come out and PLAY with me, puhhhhleaaase!” expressions. The fixed gloomy puppy expression that so clearly communicates”Why are you being so cruel to me?!”
It’s been a long haul and we have to go easy, but I think we’ve rounded the bend and are well on the trail to complete recovery. There’s been some muscle loss in the broken leg as you can see in the photo above. Her left leg is clearly skinnier than her right. Some of that is because it was shaved and the fur is just coming back, but much of it was because the cast imobilized her leg long enough that the muscles atrophied a bit. But every day, she gets stronger and stronger. And now we’re working on shedding some of the extra poundage we gained with all the inactivity. And by we, I mean both of us. I packed on a few myself, although not as much as I had feared. Five pounds. I can lose that easy peasy and my clothes, though a bit more snug, still fit. O. I know. I could have kept up the walks without her, but it just seemed like the worst kind of betrayal. It just felt wrong.
I didn’t really appreciate how much I missed our walks until we resumed them this week. Day in, day out, for over six years no matter what the weather me and my furry shadow have walked for at least an hour, sometimes two and very occasionally three. That’s a whole pile of walking. Then suddenly, eight weeks of none of that. At. All. Today, I finally felt the iron fist clenched tightly around my sternum release it’s grip and my whole world righted itself again. I felt more peaceful, more content, more relaxed than I have in weeks. Simple, green hued, pollen dusted, tongue lolling, unfettered joy. Cliched though it may be, a picture speaks a thousand words (and three pictures speak volumes more!) Can I just say that I love this furry black beastie with my whole heart?! ‘Cuz I do. She brings so much to my little world, more than I can begin to return, more than I ever thought possible.
So… a quickity story as we enter Week Four of Dog With Broken Leg. To keep the Finnister entertained, we have been giving the wolf one frozen Kong a day (plain yogurt with a teaspoon of peanut butter mixed in for flavour-flavour and a few bits of her regular doggie kibble) and plus one meaty beef bone a day.
The bones are a lifesaver, even though they occupy an inordinate amount of space in our freezer (we’ve taken to buying a week’s worth at a time). They keep her occupied and happily snacking for at least an hour, sometimes two. But after that? She’s so OVER that particular bone. DONE. So into her wicker toy basket by the front door it goes with all the abandoned tennis balls which are one-chew deals as well.
This morning, I was laying on the floor fluffing Finny’s ears when Johnny Quipsalot walked by with three weeks of discarded cow femurs stacked up like firewood in his arms .
“Getting rid of the bones, huh?” I cannily observed as Finny and I followed his progress into the kitchen to the garbage bag.
“Yeah, they were starting to wig me out, all stacked up like that,” he said. “I was starting to feel like Pol Pot.”
Okay, not exactly an Easter story…. In other news: we have leaves! little tiny leaves, but leaves nonetheless. In my yard! On my trees! And six sunny daffodils all open and beaming. And an influx of very large, very fearless robins. And some wicked cabin fever to boot. And Finny J’s bandaging is no longer teal… as of yesterday it is Prince-ly purple. I’m thinking of decorating it for Easter Sunday. Polkadots. Festive, festive polkadots. (wow, I forgot how fun it was to say polkadots. I’ve got to try to incorporate that into my daily vocabulary. Polkadots aplenty!!)
Also, I am having a VERY GOOD hair day if I do say so myself. The excitment is practically overwhelming.
oh. my. gawd. Having a dog with a broken leg is HARD. Tomorrow marks two weeks of Dog With Broken Leg. Only four more to go.
I really suck at this tough love thing. I know it’s for her own good… the lack of walks, the lack of stick throwing, the withholding of nibblies, the reduced portion sizes (so she doesn’t gain weight due to her inactivity, weight that would put stress on her bones), the constant hissing at her to stop licking her the top of her leg where the cast is rubbing and irritating her little shaved pit. I know this, I know it has to be done… but still I feel like the worst furry baby mommy in the world. I have actually written on my drawing table “Am So A Good Mommy!!!” and I look at it like twelve times a day to remind myself that lots of furry baby mommies would not voluntarily confine their entire existence to one floor of their homes just so the broken fur baby would not have to be alone or have to wear the cone of humiliation for hours upon hours (the cone is to prevent her from licking her irritated arm pit and also to keep her from chewing off her cast). Lots of fur parents would just toss the broken baby in a crate until they were all healed and continue on with their merry lives full of shopping and e-mailing and bathing and freedom and stuff. Lots of fur parents would completely ignore the accusatory sighs and the eyes of liquid gloom and not spend hours filling and freezing Kongs for the enjoyment of those making the accusatory sighs and the eyes of liquid gloom. lots of fur parents wouldn’t let real human fur-less babies enslave them this way.
And man, if she were a dog in the wild? Why, they’d just eat her, that’s what. Without a second thought. Grr, grrr, pounce and gulp. No remorse. No guilt. Just yum, yum, yum.
Dear God, the guilt! THE GUILT! My bad mommy guilt has actually taken on human form. We are now a family of four… Me, Johnny Gone-Most-The-Day, Finny J., and my Quasimodo shaped clump of guilt.
Argh. Save me!!!
Seriously. I don’t know if I’m gonna make it thru another four more weeks of this.
But fear not, Finny J. will be just fine.
well… there’s been a reason for the lack of updatey-ness. Last Thursday, Finny J. broke her leg. Yup. Of course, we didn’t realize it was actually broken until the next day when we took her in to get x-rayed and stuff. And they wound up putting her in a splint that goes from the tips of her toes to her shoulder. Of course, all that didn’t prevent her from leaping around like a gazelle and attempting to engage everyone and everything in her path in play…
I’ll know more tommorrow when we take her in for a re-check, but it looks like 6 to 8 weeks of total inactivity for the wolf. woe. We’ve relocated our bedroom to the living room (took the mattress off the frame and set it up downstairs) so we’ve got this hotel chic thing going on downstairs. May seem like drastic measures to some, but these are the things you do for love. Finn sleeps with us on our bed, but there was no way Johnny Muscles could carry 70 lb. of woeful furriness up and down every night without risking injury to one of them and no way I can begin to lift Finny on my own, and I wouldn’t be able to sleep anyway with her downstairs all lonesome and injured and we have to watch to make sure she doesn’t chew off her cast.
So… we’re camping out in the living room. I also moved my drawing table downstairs and that’s all good… but I didn’t want to go thru the hassle of moving my entire computer system downstairs. This is why I just haven’t been around much. Finny sits at the bottom of the stairs and cries (pitiful injured doggie whimpers that magical turn to joyful wiggles and grunts when I come back down) if I’m up here too long (she’s used to following me everywhere) and that just breaks my heart. I mean, when you’re faced with an injured lovepuppy who wants nothing more than to spend every moment of the day in your company, well… you kinda cave in to her every whim. Or at least that’s what i do. This is why I will never take on one of those dog breeds you have to show who’s boss… you know, like a rottweiler or a husky or a doberman or a pit bull or any of those breeds that have any guard dog potential whatsoever. Because I’m a marshmallow and my leadership skills suck. And Johnny Malleable is no better. Fortunately, Flat-Coated Retrievers don’t take too much advantage of that… I mean, they don’t take that as a sign that they can you know, like EAT you or anything. Just twist you around their little paws and worm more goodies out of you.
So, I’ve been limiting my computer time to evenings only and then just for bizness. And you know what? turns out that that’s not such a bad thing for me right now. I’m much more productive and it’s a refreshing change of pace. I realize now I let myself become totally enslaved to this machine and that’s not a good thing. Balance, people. It’s not easy to achieve. Sometimes it takes things like broken woofie legs to make you reevaluate the way you are doing things.
So, we’re working out a new routine and we’re all in adjustment mode, but I think it’ll all work out.
just have to get the wolf mended completely and we’ll be all good!
P.S. man, this picture makes me too sad. I was going to apologize for the quality and promise better ones, but now I’m thinking I might have to post more photos of her pre-injury ‘cuz I just can’t take it. How mournful is that look?!!
And to everyone I owe e-mail, I’m sorry! I really will reply soon!!