Pats

One of my favorite things about this dog is how he seems wholly to believe that, at any moment, I might need to pat his head. Like, I throw my hand over the side of the bed in my sleep and I wake up to the dog putting his head against it.

Today, on our walk, he got tangled in his leash and I was trying to get him untangled, which was thwarted by him turning so that I could get in some head pats, you know, if I needed to.

I had a dream last night that I heard some rustling coming from near the dog food and I went to investigate and discovered that “they” had transplanted Sonnyboy’s brain into a dachshund and I was so happy because now he was a size I could manage. So, we were happy together and we went for walks and one day he got tangled up in his leash and I went to untangle him and he was helpful and cooperative and not a wiggly silly mess.

And I realized that I had been scammed. Of course they couldn’t put Sonnyboy’s brain in another dog. Someone had just stolen my dog and given me this better dog, who I suddenly didn’t like as well.

In other news, I bought myself a ball winder and I spent way too much of last evening winding yarn into balls just to see. It is pretty awesome.

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Never Have I Been So Happy about Poop

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I have half of my horizontal joins done! It tickles me–in a prickly way–to know I’m going to finish this afghan next week. It makes me feel like, if only I had timed it better, I could have finished it by Saturday. But I did not. And I will not. I will just be frustratingly close.

I’ve revised my feelings about the gray. I now like that it’s dark because it lets that middle part look like it’s glowing.

My favorite thing about this afghan, though, is that the motifs end up all being a little crooked. If you look carefully, you can see that many of them twist to the right. But even just the act of joining them is starting to pull them square. Washing and drying it should straighten everything out nicely. But I like watching the movement, subtle though it is, now.

I’m also accumulating things to start on my dye project. When I walk the dog, I’ve been planning what I want to try to dye and in what order. With Kool-aid dyeing, you can do enough yarn for an afghan in a day. But I’ve now done enough research to know that this will be much different. That I’ll probably get a skein a weekend done.

So, some things–like tea and turmeric–can wait. But other things that are only available now must be done now. I must be ready. So, things I think I can start with include day lilies, dock (if I’ve properly identified the thing in my yard), and Queen Anne’s Lace.

I’ve got my eye on the poke berries and I’m just waiting for them to ripen. And I’m watching the privet for the same. But I think, if necessary, I can harvest berries and freeze them. Flowers and leaves, I think, need the shortest time between harvesting and putting in the dye pot. So, I need to do those first.

I’m excited, though.

As for the dog, Christ, you do not want to have to take a two-hour emergency trip to the vet with him if you don’t have to. Not that he was bad. But it was just worse, or as bad, as I’d been letting myself think it was.

The conclusion is that we think he ate something Sunday or Monday that made him sick to his stomach. He then got diarrhea, which made him more nauseous, which gave him more diarrhea, in a terrible feed-back loop.

So, he’s taking a pill to control his nausea, a pill to repair and soothe the lining of his GI track (tract? I’ve never thought about that before. I don’t know which it is.), and a pill to help his poop coagulate. And he has to eat this special bland food, wet and dry. They want me to give him seven scoops of dry food and a can of wet food a day.

He has never, in his whole life with me, eaten seven scoops of dry food a day. He is barely interested most days in eating three. And with an upset gut?

But he’ll eat the wet food.

And, y’all, the cat loves the wet food. The bland as fuck food for the dog. She bullied him out of his bowl yesterday. This morning, I had to give her a tiny bit on a spoon to lure her away from doing it again. She prefers it over her own wet food, which is the dog’s favorite thing.

This tiny eight pound cat bullying a sick 110 lb dog out of his bland as fuck food.

Will wonders never cease?

Joining

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The join I’m using is just a simple single crochet, but through both loops, so that, unless you know what to look for, it’s hard to tell where the squares start and stop. It’ll be more obvious on the middle squares, but I think it’ll still be nice.

I’m just waiting for it to get closer to the time the vet opens so I can run the dog up there.

And I heard again from the FBI about the Looby bombing. They destroyed a bunch of relevant files in 1977, which… is not what they told me in the first letter, where they destroyed a bunch of files in 1996, but lo and behold, some files made their way to the National Archives, where I can request them. Mysteriously.

Well, maybe not that mysteriously.

In unrelated news, no, seriously, completely unrelated. cough cough. wink wink. Jim Cooper has my vote for as long as he wants it.

Trying to Work Some Miracles

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It’s not going to be done in time. Trying to cram an 8 week project into four was ambitious and, maybe, if I’d done nothing but work and crochet, I could have finished it, but what’s life without friends and dog walks and goofing around? It’s just going to take me another week to get it joined and bordered. I’m making my peace with it now.

I was worried it was going to be overly pink, because I used a ton of pink yarn because I had it left over from the peacock afghan. But I feel like it doesn’t at all look overwhelming here. I do wish I’d used a lighter gray for the background, but lesson learned. This is still nice.

Sonnyboy is having a terrible bout of diarrhea, which, ugh. I came home last night to a bunch, but he seemed okay otherwise. His appetite was fine so I fed him like normal.

But then, every hour or so, he wanted to go out.

Then I had to go to bed.

And I woke up at 4 in the morning to a noise that sounds funny when you’re a kid, but strikes terror when you’re an adult. I threw the dog back outside. I cleaned up a little. I went back to bed.

When we walked, he was definitely feeling like he had to poop, but everything had already cleared his system, so nothing but noises came of it.

When we got home, I grabbed my purse and went to Kroger. I came back with a shit-ton of paper towels, canned pumpkin, Pepto, and hot dogs. The dog has now had two big scoops of pumpkin and a mega dose of Pepto. He’s now sleeping more soundly than he has in a day.

Meanwhile, my boss’s bosses are coming to the office to spend the morning, so… so… I hope this works to clog the dog up, because I can’t be home with him.

I’m also pissed because the first bout came complete with corn–a lot of corn–and I have’t had anything with corn in it. And aside from the faint odor of poop, my house also smells kind of spicy, which, again, is not something I have eaten at home lately.

And yet, I can’t for the life of me figure out where he’d have picked up something spicy and corn-filled. It sounds yummy, but still! Please don’t feed my dog, neighbors.

Anyway, please keep your fingers crossed for my household today.

My Boy

At least the dog is still happy. He still barrels out into the grass and throws himself down into a massive wiggle. He still wants to tear open every bag along the road to see if it might contain something he wants to eat.

I have to travel with him, soon, and I’m anxious about it. It’s so hot. And everything I read online is so dire. You can’t leave pets in the car for even a second or they will die, but I’m going to have to pee.

When I was little, we took our dog to California in the summer, through the desert, and he did fine. And I know we went and ate inside McDonalds while he waited in the car.

But now, if you can’t travel with another person who can wait in the running car with the air conditioning on with your pet, you must not travel or you hate animals.

I have to bring this dog with me, though, and I love him. So where’s the good advice for people like me?

My plan right now is to bring towels to hang in the windows while I’m inside somewhere, so that there’s something to block the sun. To leave early to try to be there before the heat of the day. To have plenty for him to drink. And to wet him down when we stop.

But, hey, if you have July car travel with dog advice that is different than “never go anywhere alone or you hate your dog,” I’d like to hear what’s worked for you.

Animal Planet

My big work event came off well. I’m really pleased with it. Everyone had food and drinks and the author was perfect.

Then, when I got home, the white cat was in the yard. Did I tell you I think he’s deaf? I know that’s pretty common in white cats and I’ve noticed his ears don’t move like you’d expect them to. He let me get pretty close to him, but then the dog ruined it by running up. Oh, which is the other reason I think he’s deaf. The dog barking and barking and barking didn’t freak him out in the least, but the dog running up ran him off.

Still, I’m glad new kitty has a friend. They like to sit out in the yard staring at each other. Whatever works.

And then this morning, Sonnyboy and I met another dog on our walk and Sonnyboy was a complete doofus. He barked. He lunged. He tangled me and him all up in the leash. It was a disaster.

But we ran into the dog and his woman on our way back and Sonnyboy was totally cool and fine and wonderful and I was so proud of him. We also walked clear down to the school and climbed the big hill, so he didn’t have as much energy for nonsense, but still.

Dog v. Baby

My smallest nephew–a baby–and my smallest niece–four years old (which, she informs me, is “not a big girl yet.”) came over yesterday.

Whew, my niece hates the dog. She was in hysterical tears about him and no matter how much we reassured her, she cried the whole time she was in the house.

Fortunately, I have a big outside she can play in.

All the crying got the dog worked up and upset though, so he was shedding and panting and just… I don’t think Sonnyboy has ever met anyone terrified of him before. He didn’t know what to do.

The baby, on the other hand, thought the dog was great. He rubbed his feet all over the dog. He put his foot in the dog’s ear. He put his foot in the dog’s eye. He put his foot in the dog’s mouth. He tried to put the dog’s nose in his mouth. I tried to make the dog understand that he could go anywhere else in the house, but he seemed to love it.

Ha ha ha. Lord. In real life, don’t let your baby put his foot in a dog’s mouth. Even writing it, it seems very stupid. But it’s not like it was some kind of “put your head in the lion’s mouth” trick. The baby was sitting on my lap, kicking around, and the dog came over and seemed not to notice the barrage of baby feet. Or seemed to enjoy it.

But then! Then he snuck out and took off and I finally found him four doors down, attempting to enter the home of three girls and their mom.

Like he’d had his fill of my family and was ready to try out a family with less kicking and crying.

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Can This Dog Count to Five?

Long-time readers of this blog will need a moment, I’m sure, to collect themselves after laughing that this is even a question.

But when it’s too muddy to do our normal walk, we’ve taken to just doing laps up and down the driveway. It’s not perfect, but it gives Sonnyboy a chance to poop.

Today, I said, “Let’s do five.” Meaning, five times up and down the driveway.

And without complaint, he did five times. And then went in the house.

Like he had fucking counted the laps.

I am 100% sure this cannot be. And I am also 100% sure the only explanation for it is that he knew we’d done five laps.

I don’t know how to test this, though.

But clearly, what I mistook for stupidity was this dog’s genius eccentricity. Or something.

Ha.

The Times and a Kong and an Afghan and a Cat

Here’s the Times article. “Nashville historian.” Lord. That is awesome and makes me laugh. I don’t know shit about Nashville. Everything I learn is a known fact on a mountain of unknown facts. Well, to me, anyway. But I’ll take it.

Nashville historian.

In unrelated news, a couple of Sonnyboy’s friends bought him a Kong and I remembered to bring it home yesterday. I put treats in it and put it on his bed and he was so disappointed. He just sniffed at it and sighed dejectedly and then laid down next to it.

I felt so terrible! Who doesn’t like toys?

But finally, he figured out that he could get the treats out of the Kong if he just moved the Kong around. BUT he then just dragged his bed with the Kong on top of it around.

Finally, when I was getting ready for bed, I heard him in the other room finally getting it.

This morning I put more treats in there and he carried it around the house to show me multiple times, so I think he likes it.

But man, I so understand his initial reaction. “Oh no! Something new and unknown?! I hate new and unknown things.” Same, dog. Same.

I just have one square left on this afghan. I had a reason for putting off the borders of all the squares until the end but I can’t remember what it was, but I’m going to trust I had some good reason and keep with it. And I am going to have so many ends to tuck. I weep for the amount of ends I have to tuck.

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The Vet

We met and tried to play with a day old lamb. We barked at everything. Something happened in the back room that caused everyone to laugh, but I didn’t see what it was. And then he wrapped me in the leash and jumped through the railing and he thought that was great fun.

And then I had to go get my oil changed and when I got home, he’d pooped and thrown up all over.

So, what I thought had been an awesome, low-stress trip to the vet had apparently not been. But once he got that all out of his system, he napped and now he seems to be fine.

I really love that I get to take him to a vet where they all love him.

Also, I wrote a lot on the bombing book. Book. Manuscript. Whatever. It feels really good to be writing again. And reading. I was reading through this book yesterday and I literally was like “what’s this feeling?” and it was enjoyment. Pleasure.

Which is not a feeling reading has given me since the election.

But here’s the thing that brings me peace about writing. Even if no one wants to publish it, I can give it to the library and a better historian than me can find it and find it useful.

Hiccups

There’s a lot going on in my work life that I’m stressed about, but feel would be not cool to talk about, though it bums me out because the whole point of a blog is to complain about things you don’t quite know how to deal with.

But meanwhile, last night, the dog had the hiccups. Like, big, unpleasant ones. And so he began to do this huff. Not a traditional pant, but like breathing out really really strongly, like huh, huh, huh, huh. And he did this for about thirty seconds and his hiccups stopped.

Now, you hiccup because your diaphragm is spasming. Basically, it’s like a bad cramp in any other muscle. Part of the muscle is contracting while the rest of the muscle isn’t. So, in order to get rid of hiccups, you have to get your diaphragm back to normal. Most of the time, it passes, like any cramp.

But, there are tricks. The tricks that involve swallowing a large amount of something are trying to get the muscles around your diaphragm to work in unison for a common goal–getting the thing down into your stomach–which will hopefully pull your diaphragm out of spasm.

And breathing into a paper bag can work because it fills your lungs with more carbon dioxide, which is supposed to force your diaphragm to relax.

But I have to tell you, now I really, really want to try the dog’s method. Because it seems like it combines both strategies. By doing some really powerful exhales very close together, you’re obviously limiting the amount of oxygen that can get into your lungs. Plus, the very powerful exhales are forcing all your chest muscles into the same job, which hopefully gets your diaphragm on board.

It seems like it might work. I mean, it did for him. But it seems like it might for a person as well.

The Dog Just Asked for Cat Food?

Okay, listen, for me to tell you this story, you’re going to have to accept some things that may be upsetting to pet lovers. In the morning, I give the cats wet cat food. I put some on a plate for the new kitty (who, no, at this point is not new) on the counter near her food bowl and leave a little for Old Grouchy Pants in the can, which I set on the floor, near the tipped over bag of cat food, because Old Grouchy Pants prefers not to get off the floor unless it involves getting on the couch.

They eat their wet cat food while I walk the dog and, when we get back, he eats whatever’s left in the can on the floor. And, sometimes, if he thinks I’m not looking, he stands on his hind legs and eats whatever’s left on the plate. But often that goes sliding around the counter and he can’t get to it.

Also, when the dog wants something, he leaps near it. So, like, if he wants to go for a walk, he goes to the back door and leaps up and down. Or if he wants to go for a car ride, he goes to the car door and leaps up and down. Or if he wants to come inside, he leaps up and down at the door.

That seems pretty straight-forward–the thing that usually happens here, I want it to happen again, so I will do my leaps.

But today he was jumping up and down kind of in the middle of the kitchen, looking at me expectantly, and I had no idea what he thought should happen there. He had his breakfast. He had a well-licked can of cat food by his feet.

Folks. Folks. He then picked up the empty can of cat food and brought it over by the counter and leaped with the can in his mouth. And, indeed, the new kitty had left a pile of wet cat food on her plate (no cat seemed to care for that flavor). Which, yes, I think put on the floor for him because I am not a monster.

But what the fuck?! Maybe it’s just the same as other leaps, but it doesn’t feel like it. It feels like we’ve taken a step forward. Like, he understood that I wasn’t saying “no, you can’t have that,” but that I literally didn’t know what “that” was and so he did the logical thing of showing me what he wanted.

Is this dog ever not going to surprise me?

In unrelated news, I’ve started to join this afghan together.

I picked a continuous join that echoes the lacy parts of the motif that I love. Both because I love that lacy part and because I’m not convinced the hexagons are really the same size and it felt like I was going to get a lot of pulling and buckling that might have made me unhappy. I didn’t want to work this much on something that was, up until this point, so pleasing, to be unhappy with the end result. This gives each hexagon a little room to be not exactly the same size as its neighbors.

It’s small, too, which kind of annoys me. I want an afghan that, when I’m sitting on the couch, will cover me from shoulder to feet. Ideally, I want an afghan that, when I’m sick, I can wrap around me like a coccoon of warmth and healing. I don’t know about this size.

But in general, I love it and am very, very happy with how it is going.

Bishop Durick and Other Thoughts

I finally found a Catholic historian who told me that the only bad rumors about Bishop Durick were that he drank too much at the end of his life.

So, I feel uncaveated in saying that I admire Bishop Durick and he’s one of my personal Nashville heroes. Durick, for those of you who don’t know, was one of the white progressive religious leaders King criticized in his letter from Birmingham jail.

And rather than being a defensive asshole about it, Durick let King’s words sink in and then he motherfucking threw his full support behind the Civil Rights movement.

He changed his mind! He heard the criticism and, when it stung, he took it to heart. And then he threw in with the people he had wronged.

I just admire the shit out of that.

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My white yarn came yesterday, so I spent my evening making a sample of the two motifs with white in them. I love how stark the white looks.

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This is the most complicated motif of the whole afghan and I keep wondering if I’ve done it right. I may find when I go to make the others that I’ve misread the directions on this one somehow. Or it may just be that, until it’s sewn in with the other ones and pulls into shape, it may look funny. But I do like how it looks like a weird Lovecraftian flower on a bed of flames.

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And then look at this one (but please ignore all the dog hair)! Look at those cool lacy petals! I am so madly in love with this.

It was too wet to walk this morning, so the dog and I just did laps in the driveway again. In order to try to keep it less boring for him, I dug out an old retractable leash. I know every argument against them and agree. You should not use them any place you actually need to keep your dog from being a bonehead.

But in the driveway, I don’t need him to stay by my side. I just need him to not run off and sit on a neighbor or go inside after he’s pooped. I don’t need to control him. I just need to keep him walking with me.

And, y’all, I am willing to bet 10000000 dollars that, to the extent he was leash trained, he was leash trained on a retractable leash. He completely got it. He knew how long he had until the leash was maxed out. He went fair but not too far. He was a GOOD BOY!!!!!

Which, you know, is wonderful. I like finding things he’s familiar with from his old life.

But man, why would you leash train a dog that size on a retractable leash? He can yank a regular leash out of my hands from a standstill. If he had the length of the retractable leash to get up to speed? He’d snap that thing no problem.

Still, for days when we’re just specifically walking the driveway? I’m glad to have it.

Heels, Toes

 

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I’m just enjoying the shit out of the variety of different motifs in this afghan. But I started in the middle of the pattern and after doing one of the next ones, I realize that the pattern writer had helpfully designed the motifs to teach you some skills and then become more complex, so I am going back to the beginning with the mostly black hexagons.

I have noticed an interesting thing I don’t know how to explain. A while ago I saw this video where a dude demonstrated how medieval white people walked before the wide-spread adoption of hard-soled shoes.  So, rather than putting your heel down first and then rolling forward onto your toes, they put the ball of their foot down first and then the heel. It’s kind of how you walk when you’re stumbling through the house in the dark, trying not to step on a Lego. Feel with your toe, find no Lego, put your whole foot down.

It’s a weird gate, but sometimes I try it out. And here’s a thing that blows my mind and I can’t explain it and I wish I understood it: If I’m walking the dog through mud and I walk normally, I sink into the mud. If I walk ball first, I don’t.

But it makes no sense! I weigh the same. It’s the same feet on the same body. All week, except for the day it was just too muddy to walk and we did the driveway, I’ve been testing it, because it makes no goddamn sense. And every time, same thing. Heel first, sink down. Toe first, no sinking. How is this possible?!

Witchcraft, I assume. Or physics, but really, aren’t they the same thing?

The Dog Had an Adventure. I Did Not.

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This is the field out behind my house. I’ve never been in it before, because there’s a wire fence all the way around it and scrub in the fence. But the dog has not been walked in two days because of the rain and he saw six deer come out of this field, so fuck me.

Off he went, into the field, leash dragging behind him.

Which meant I had to get through the scrub and over a wire fence (which is partially on the ground, I think thanks to the deer) and through so much mud. So very much mud. And I went and stood on the highest point in the field and yelled for the dog.

I yelled so loud and so long the neighbor’s dog chimed in. And who should finally come strolling up after a million years? This jerk.

And then I’m faced with how to get home with this doofus misbehaving dog, over a wire fence. Basically, I held it as low as I could get it and then tapped him on the butt until he got the idea he should jump.

He’s now exhausted and just happy as a clam, because he was made to be a farm dog who traipses off across fields after deer and leaps over fences and has adventures.

And, you know, I was pissed. But seeing him so happy and so in his element and, in fact, happy to see that I had shown up in the field to explore with him, I couldn’t stay mad.

But also, I’m glad I’m the type of reader I am because I knew, before taking off into a field I’ve never been in before, that I was going to need to be able to find the spot where the fence was down again. And I can’t tell you how nice it was to see this view once I’d found the stupid dog. Bet Peter, Susan, Lucy, and Edmund wish they’d left a bright orange coat at the back of the wardrobe.

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Showing off

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I just like this so much.

This morning, the dog lied to me. He made like there was a squirrel he needed to chase, so I dropped his leash so he wouldn’t yank my arm off. But really he just wanted to run through everyone’s back yards while I got mad.

One of my neighbors was working on his car, down on the ground, under the car, and the dog plopped himself down on top of my neighbor. I repeat. This asshole saw someone on the ground and put himself physically on top of that dude. 120 lbs of surprise dog on a dude.

I had to take a break from writing this post after that paragraph because I’m so fucking mortified even just remembering it.

The guy thought it was hilarious. Thank god.

The Best Joke

The dog wears a chest harness when we’re out walking, but a choke collar otherwise. I forget why we switched to this configuration, but it works for us.

Anyway, this morning when I went to put the collar on him, he put his head up and then at the last minute, tucked his chin. Then he put his head back up, wide grin, tail wagging and when I moved in again, chin tuck.

“Are you teasing me?” I asked. He slipped his face through the collar.

Sometimes, you laugh with someone and you feel a familiar closeness. But when I laugh with the dog, I experience a kind of intimacy that comes across so much distance. We have so few ways of really understanding each other. We map our own experiences onto the other. I anthropomorphize him. I’m sure he canidopomorphizes me.

But sometimes the maps align. We aren’t compassionately almost understanding each other by ascribing the motivations we understand to each other.

We are sharing a thing. A joke.

It feels like a miracle. This utterly foreign being and I are sharing a joke.

How are we so lucky as to have dogs?

This World is Not My Home

My dad has a new knee. He’s already up and walking on it and doing all his exercises. I always thought the biggest challenge was going to be getting him to take it easy and not overdo it.

I felt bad for leaving my mom up there and relieved to get home. Eight hours in the car with a big dog is a lot.

But he loved the Midwestern snow with no ice. He would go out in my parents’ back yard for twenty or thirty minutes at a time. He’d try to convince you to go out there with him. I did and it was glorious. I think we actually played. I kicked snow at him, he zoomed around, and then leaped at me pretending to bite my hand. He even got down in play posture before he would zoom off.

But he and I were both very stiff from that much time in the car. I’m jealous that he’s going to be able to spend all day sleeping while I’m at work.

The cats both looked surprised to see us when we got home, like they had just come to accept that they owned the house now, with the exception of random spot-checks from the Butcher.

My parents have a fake daughter. She calls them “mom” and “dad” and they introduce her as their daughter. They gave her an afghan I made and told her it was from me. I hadn’t met her before. I hadn’t really realized the extent of the weirdness.

I kept waiting to get a scammy vibe from it, but if she’s trying to con them, she’s going about it very, very slowly. Or all she wants is for someone to occasionally buy her lunch, so the con has worked? I don’t know.

I think she was a little jealous of me and I was of her. But I can’t have the kind of relationship they want to have with someone because it would crush me, so, I guess, as long as it’s just weird and not exploitative, whatever. Everyone’s happy.

I still don’t like it. But it’s not my business.

I wish they lived closer, though not next door.

Endured

This seems like it’s just going to be the kind of week that has to be gotten through, not enjoyed. But, in spite of that, it was already the earliest part of dawn when the dog and I walked this morning, instead of being pitch black.

It’s been so long since it was light when we headed out that I didn’t immediately recognize what was happening. I was like, “is there a fire?”

Yes, a fiery sun.

Deer are Big Up Close

This morning, when we got back from our walk, there was a deer in the back yard. Sonnyboy took off after it. It tried to just go to the other side of the yard and stand real still, but the dog was having none of it and chased the deer through three back yards and then–surprise–came back when I called him!

All that time we spent chasing bunnies and then coming back paid off!

But that deer came right by me! And it was so big. I mean, obviously, they’re big. But there’s a difference between seeing one across the field from you or even in front of your car and having one bound by you, not ten feet away.

I briefly fretted over whether it was cruel to let the dog chase the deer, but then I decided a. he’s never going to catch it; b. it’s not good to have the deer so close to the house because coyotes will follow. So, it’s probably good to give it the opportunity to rethink whether coming into the near backyard is a good idea.

The dog was all smiles afterward. And it made me happy to see him so happy.

Ghost Dog

So, my yard is a normal width, but it’s very deep. In my mind, my back yard is divided into three-ish sections. The actual back yard, which goes to the back of the shed, the way back yard, which goes from the shed to the creek, and then the way, way back yard which goes from the creek to the pasture/field.

This morning, it was very dark when I walked the dog and as soon as he got out of range of the garage light, I lost sight of him. But I could hear him for a little bit at the neighbor’s. I stood there for a bit, waiting for him to decide there wasn’t anything good to eat in the yard, and then I called for him. He didn’t come. I got frustrated and started walking toward where I was sure the dog was. He then came running up from behind me, seemingly confused about where I was going.

So, we head together into the way back yard and he leaps over the tree, which is still there, yes, god, no no one has showed up to cut it up yet, but hopefully soon. And I follow him over and then he goes across the creek to sniff some smells and to poop.

Now, here’s the thing. It’s fall, so it’s very loud in my yard. Even if you can’t see someone, you can hear them because everything crunches. So, the dog is crunching around in the way back yard and I can hear him coming closer to me so I’m telling him what a good boy he is and asking him if he’s ready to go for a walk and I hear him come right up to the bridge, but as dark as it is, I can see the other side of the bridge and there’s no dog there. Not one I can see anyway.

And just as I’m standing there wondering if I can truly be seeing nothing or if maybe I, I don’t know, imagined hearing the rustling of the leaves and underbrush, Sonnyboy comes walking the exact same way, making the exact same noise, except, since I see him, it’s clear that I should have seen the first dog as soon as I heard him.

And, also, if there was another animal out there, it was close enough to Sonnyboy that he would have chased it.

I don’t think it’s Sadie, both because I feel very certain she is genuinely gone, for reasons that are mostly boring and woo to go into, and because she would have come across the bridge to see me. She loved me.

But I know there are at least two other dogs buried in the way back yard–Tip and Smokey. And I wonder if one of them heard me talking about a good boy and was like “Hey, I’m a good boy. That must be me!” but then was like “Oh, you’re not someone I know” when he got to the bridge?

I’m going to rationalize this into being something ordinary. I know me. I know how I work.

But I’m telling it to you as it happened to me. It wasn’t at all scary. It was just weird.

The Stairs

Yesterday the elevator was being serviced, so I used the stairs. I did not have a panic attack. I did not need anyone to hold my hand.

I can’t really describe to you how it makes me feel, to have lost the ability to do something and then, maybe (I’m going to take the stairs again today) regained it.

Also, because his collar is too big for him, the dog slipped off his tether last night. Moments later, I found him at the back door. And it made me so happy. Because I really want him to understand that, if something happens, he should come back here.

I ordered some new yarn for an upcoming afghan and the place I ordered it from had to send me part of the order from their UK warehouse. It arrived before the US part, so I went to talk to Angela at the Whites Creek Post Office about it and she had my yarn! The package had been damaged so she made me take pictures and then open it to see if anything was missing.

It contained three extra skeins of yarn. So… that was weird and nice. Oh, my package tore open and someone stuffed more yarn into it?

I’m loving this pattern I’m learning for the baby blanket so much, I have pretty much decided that I’m going to just use it for the big blanket, too. I mean, why go to the trouble of learning how to use two different hooks on the same square if you don’t do it at least twice?

Dog Weather

This is apparently perfect dog weather. Sonnyboy bounded around the yard, played in the creek, sniffed secret sniffs, chased a shadow, came when he was called, and leaped twice over a giant log. Now he’s napping like a champ.

I’ve been doing my October thing. I was worried with the medication that I wouldn’t be able to. I mean, I feel like this year has been a slow rewiring of my brain in ways I’m not sure about yet. I don’t know how my creativity’s going to play out.

So, it’s going, but it’s going differently. It feels more abstract. The lessons are harder to put into words. It’s just different.

But I’m different, so I think it’s okay.

Purple Afghan

I love how it turned out.

I also love that it looks almost as nice on the back as it does on the front. Trust me, too, when I tell you that, in real life, it has a really lovely “old sweater” comfy vibe.

Yesterday, the animals met the baby. It then took the orange cat some time, but this morning, as I was getting dressed, he came into my room, meowed loudly so I would look at him, and then he peed right by my closet. On purpose.

So, I fucking guess he figured out what happened to the Butcher and why.

But before that, he seemed mildly curious about the baby, so it wasn’t a total disaster.

But this dog. Oh, this dog. First of all, when you come to my house, normally, you have to be greeted by one million loud barks and jumps and maybe you even need a dog on your lap.

But the second he saw the baby, he went quiet. He still greeted everyone and leaned on everyone who sat on the couch, but he didn’t bark. He sniffed the baby so gently and then licked his hand. And then, later, on, licked his head. And he didn’t bug my sister-in-law while she held the baby.

And when I held the baby so the baby could reach over and pet him, the baby drooled on him and that was fine. I’m not 100% sure if he, at two months old, can really grab things on purpose yet but he sure likes finding new things in his hands from time to time.

I think Sonnyboy really got that this was a puppy. Or as close as we weird things can come to making a puppy. And, in typical Sonnyboy fashion, he was open to it. Okay, there’s a baby now. Let’s fix its hair and not make a lot of noise and give it some room.

I said this on Twitter, but I mean it all the time. I think Sonnyboy is a great dog and I am so glad to know him. But from the start, he should have been a family dog. I know he doesn’t feel cheated. I know he’s delighted to have a home and a couch to sleep on and a wide group of people who love him. And also, for some reason, lots of chicken biscuits to eat on our walks (seriously, people. If you’re not going to eat all your chicken, don’t buy it.). He’s happy to be out of whatever stupid situation caused him to need to be rescued. But he would have been a great family dog.

And who ever left him tied to a tree in rural Smith County cheated him out of that. And I don’t think I’ll ever forgive that. This is a dog who should have been raised up from puppydom with a child. And he might not know he’s been cheated, but I see it.

IMG_3017

Dramatic Running

I don’t know why, but for some reason the new kitty–who, good lord, by this point isn’t remotely new, but the nickname has stuck–has started running dramatically through the house. Not zoomies. But just, when she needs to get somewhere, rather than walking, she runs.

It cracks me up because it’s just so weird.

The other night, I heard a lone coyote singing very close by. I think it must be more common than I realize, because the dog slept through it. Last night he barked at my across-the-street neighbors for, as usual, getting out of their car. I’m just saying–he normally barks at anything.

I continue to fret about the orange cat. He continues a slow decline marked by periods of forgetting he’s in decline where he tries to get the dog to play with him. I just don’t want him to suffer, but cats are so grouchy, how do you know when they’re physically suffering and when they’re just overburdened by the ennui of constantly dealing with fools?