The expert bozos and the news-dispensing people are already saying that even if it stops raining we’re going to have excess-of-water troubles, including some increased flooding, for the next few weeks and possibly the next few months, because of saturation and groundwater levels and so on. And it hasn’t stopped raining. It rained yesterday. It rained today. It’s raining now.
According to the five-day it’s going to rain every day this week. It’s (maybe) going to rain less on Wednesday . . . but it’s still going to rain. ‘Sometimes heavy. Sometimes with thunder.’ Sometimes with three hellcritters linking arms/legs and bracing themselves against whatever is available* and thus preventing the hellgoddess from dragging any of them outdoors for a hurtle.**
It’s been sucky recently for other meteorologically inaugurated reasons. I didn’t make it to silent prayer Wednesday afternoon because the ME and the weather linked arms/legs and prevented me from dragging myself out the door and going anywhere.*** I cancelled going Street Pastoring on Friday, as I told you at the time. †
Saturday . . . I got to the monks’ a little early because I’d been worrying about water on the roads—one of the intersections not far from them is on the official list of closed roads, and I wouldn’t have said it was the lowest patch of country in the area—and then sailed (so to speak) through with minimal splashing. I noticed the monks were blacked out (also so to speak) more than usual—the abbey is often really dark when I turn up for Saturday night prayer†† but there’s usually a light shining somewhere. No light. As I walked down the path to the chapel the security light failed to come on. Power cut, I thought, but I kept going. They’re monks. Monks have been doing this for almost two thousand years. They’ve been doing it without electricity for most of that time. I assumed they’d break out the candles and get on with it. Maybe some of them would have blankets too, in the circumstances.
The door was locked. Nooooooo. Robin bursts into tears. It’s been a crummy week.
I’ve emailed Alfrick, but I have no idea when, or if, he’ll get it. I assume what’s happened is that they did have a power cut, but that they have no back-up for things like heat and cooking—they live on a frayed shoestring, so while I might have expected oil lamps, a camping stove and a substantial log pile for the fireplace(s), I’m not at all surprised at the lack of a generator—and most of them are, you know, old.††† The average temperature of their chapel is challenging enough. So I further assume they’ve evacuated themselves to somewhere that the central heating still works.‡ Or maybe I should say that has central heating. I just hope they don’t decide they like it and refuse to come back.
And then last night . . . I was going to go to church. I have three services I go to pretty faithfully every week, and I’d already missed two of them, due to circumstances beyond my control. I really had to get to church Sunday night because otherwise I’d’ve had no official public worship all week and would instantly become a heathen. And it shouldn’t be a problem; there was nothing too exciting going on with the weather. I mean, sure, it was raining, but the Pope is Catholic, isn’t he?
I need to leave at about 6:45 so at about 5:30 I stood up—from laptop on kitchen table at the mews—to perform evening hurtles.
And the lights went out.
We hung around, the way you do, waiting for them to come on again. I shut down and unplugged the laptop. Eventually Peter went off to have a nap and I took the first critter-shift out. It was only Peter’s end of town; I had power at the cottage. But the cottage is (still) full of stuff from Third House and my steep, narrow twisty stairs are not ideal for someone who had a stroke a few months ago and whose right leg still doesn’t work too well. Hellhounds and I hurtled back down to the mews, where the lights were still out. I took the second critter shift for her hurtle.
We returned. The lights were still out.
I didn’t go to church. We found a pub that (a) had power and (b) served dinner on a Sunday night. I dropped Peter off while I schlepped hellcritters, hellcritter dinner, laptop etc back to the cottage. I was very glad to see the glass of champagne Peter had ordered for me when I finally got back to the pub. And the food was really good: add that pub to our list for future reference. So I may be a heathen but I’m a well-fed heathen.
And Pav is definitely coming off heat. Yaaaaaaay.
* * *
* This is really easy at the cottage. Finding one’s way through is the hard one.
** I’m not cleaning any litterboxes.^ You’re going out. I admit that I’m a little disheartened that Pav the Thunderer, Pav the Riotous, dislikes rain as much as the hellhounds.
^ Cats are small. Maintaining litterboxes for a hundred and fifteen pounds of critter(s)? NO THANK YOU. Aside from where I would put this yacht+.
+ I seem to be preoccupied with watery things. I wonder why.
*** Also the village next door was under water and the way around is not only longer, it involves the kind of fast ‘A’ road I try to avoid when the ME is whacking me.
† The weather was plenty dire enough for me to be glad to be staying home, but not as dire as it might have been so I was enabled to feel horribly guilty for not going. But there was enough wind from an unfriendly direction that my eaves at the cottage started doing their banshee imitation, whereupon Darkness shot out of the hellhound crate and cowered trembling by the front door. Arrrrrrgh.
†† One of the minor pleasures of driving in in the dark is that while they’ve got a big official VISITORS WELCOME sign out by the road, there’s another small sign that just says WELCOME as you trundle down the little drive to the (unlit) car park—it’s like ‘just in case you thought we didn’t really mean it’—but if you’re coming in after dark your headlights pick it up and it’s like a smile from a friend.
††† Alfrick is nearly as old as I am.
‡ Have I mentioned that my central heating at the cottage crapped out about three weeks ago? Feh. But while my hateful bank is hanging onto my brought-over-from-America money for Bank Reasons that for some reason the government and judicial system let them get away with I can’t afford to hire someone to mend it. Fortunately I have an Aga, it’s a small house, and the weather is only really fierce in terms of precipifrellingtation, not temperature.^
^ Although being helped to dress by a hellterror, as I shiver by the Aga, is not ideal.
Morale is not high. I won’t say it’s at an all time low but it is not high. I am not, as you will have surmised, Street Pastoring tonight; I’ve been obsessively following Hampshire weather reports all day—those of you who follow me on Twitter will have seen a few RTs on the subject*—and when the wind started up mid-afternoon right on gindlefarbing schedule** I sighed a heavy sigh and emailed Fearless Leader that I was staying home tonight. I’m being a good responsible citizen, ratblast it, the cops keep tweeting ‘if you don’t HAVE to go anywhere STAY HOME.’*** I don’t even know if there was enough of a team left to go out; I know we’d lost more than just me.
I’m not quite sure what I have done today besides get wet to the skin† in the company of various (wet) hellcritters and feverishly look for more weather reports.††
And listen to the wind. I am not looking forward to the last hurtles of the evening.††† The rain is coming in sideways, in this wind, like spears, and I swear the points have been sharpened. May we at least continue to have electricity. And hot water. And an Aga to dry and re-dry and re-re-re-dry wet critter towels.
I hope we don’t lose any more trees.
* * *
* And anyone who hasn’t seen the photo of the Winchester Cathedral crypt ISN’T PAYING ATTENTION since it’s a big favourite with the media at the moment for a symbol of South England Under Water: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-hampshire-26186875 ^
^ Mind you, the cathedral was built on a marsh, so there’s a certain amount of hoisting by own petard going on, as it has gone on for the last thousand years. Very sturdy marsh, that one. And surprisingly forgiving of large piles of stone. Maybe it was less of a marsh in the eleventh century.+
But we in New Arcadia are NOT built on a marsh and we object to all this superfluous water cluttering up the place. There’s nowhere to put anything down. Like a dog, for example.
+ The cathedral was also a good deal smaller to begin with. They kept adding bits on.
** Why can’t the frelling meteorologists be wrong about something you’d LIKE them to be wrong about? How many times have you got caught in rain/sleet/hail/yeti invasion because the weather report was for clear and mild and since you wanted it to be clear and mild you were a little foolish? Arrrrrrgh.^
^ Of course over here it’s a major piece of cultural history that the meteorologists—and one TV presenter in particular—missed the Great Storm of 1987, worst in three centuries, and forecast a little wet weather and some wind. La la la la la. Hope everyone had their small dogs and children on short leads.
*** Alternating with a tweet saying PLEASE DON’T TAKE CLOSED ROAD SIGNS DOWN THEY’RE THERE FOR A REASON. Duh. Good grief. I will certainly go have a look down a closed footpath^ but in daylight at walking speed you can see before you get into any difficulties, and you also won’t stall out if water gets up your tailpipe. You may have to carry your short-legged companion through the swirly bits.^^ But take closed road signs down?! At very least, if you’re going to be a sovereign idiot, put the sign back after you’ve driven through it toward your fate.^^^
^ Although Pav and I had an epic hurtle this morning because we went down to the river and turned the other direction and it never occurred to me we’d be able to keep going. . . . I now have a pair of yellow All Stars that will take a week to dry out. At least I remembered the plastic bags over my socks today. Practise makes perfect.
^^ I do know that currents can be dangerous. Trust me, I’m timid.
^^^ Oh yes and when you have to ring up to be rescued be sure and mention that you drove through a closed road sign so they can put you at the bottom of their list.
† I have two raincoats and they’re both sheeting wet.
†† Well I’ve done some knitting. Got some lovely big fat gauge 100% merino wool on insanely cheap sale and then bought a set of 10 mm needles when I discovered that that is approximately the ONLY size I haven’t already got, 10 mm being the recommended needle size for this yarn, and I was already trying to decide whether I was going to make this pullover or that pullover out of it^ since I’d bought this book on sale a little while ago, as I settled down to make my swatch. I like making swatches. It doesn’t matter if something goes wrong, it’s just a swatch. Which is why my swatches never go wrong. I save going wrong for the pattern.
AND I DON’T LIKE THE FABRIC ON THESE NEEDLES. THEY’RE TOO BIG. THE FABRIC IS TOO OPEN AND LUMPY.
So now I get to start over with 9 mm and 8 mm and . . . just by the way . . . with finding a new pattern. There probably is a way to adapt a bigger gauge pattern to a smaller gauge—isn’t there?—but in the first place it would require MATHS and would be beyond me and in the second place . . . I’d run out of yarn. SIIIIIIIIIIGH.^^
^ I’m really good at starting projects.
^^ Furthermore I think I have to make a cardigan.+ I was just thinking this morning that my two woolly brown cardigans are the sand end of brown and I need a chestnut end of brown. This yarn happens to be chestnut.
+ Deep v neck. Less yarn. Three quarter sleeves! Less yarn! Cropped!
††† I have a cranky hellterror underfoot as I (try to) write this blog. She’s forgotten our epic hurtle early today and WANTS MORE ACTION. She couldn’t get back indoors fast enough however when I took her out for eliminatory functions and indoor action is limited.^
^ Especially since she’s still a little too interesting to hellhounds+ so I am forced to stimulate her brain by long down which tends to need fairly regular upkeep.++
+ Who still are not eating enough to keep one-third of a slow elderly hamster alive.
++ No, lie down. No. Lie down. No. Lie DOWN.#
# She actually is at the moment. Don’t anyone breathe loudly or make any sudden gestures.
In theory I’m supposed to be Street Pastoring tomorrow but . . . I doubt it. Increasing amounts of Hampshire are under water and we’re due to have not only more torrential rain tomorrow but possibly the worst gales yet. Even uni students, one hopes, will have the sense to stay home. They may not have a choice: most of the campus is a lake. I’ve already told Fearless Leader that if the driving looks iffy I’m not coming, and there have been various emails among the team about who can and can’t get out through the current floods; not everyone can; and it’ll be worse by tomorrow night.
Another of the big old trees—that used to be part of the fancy drive to the Big Pink Blot and are now a strip of parkland running beside the main road through New Arcadia—went over in the latest windstorm. That’s three this winter. It’s a longish strip but it’s not that long; the gaps show. There have been big branches down too, making more gaps, including in the old wall where they struck. But the ground the trees are standing in has become marsh. One of the short leg-stretch-and-a-pee hurtles from the mews is down one side of the trees, next to the old park wall, and back on the pedestrian pavement next to the road. We stay on the pavement lately; even Pav, the smallest and lightest of us, squelches; and some great hulking human like me, and with only two feet to spread the weight, forget it, I need a diving bell. Hellcritters are willing to venture onto the quaking bog in pursuit of smells; but they tend to prance back to me and the pavement shaking their feet and looking disgusted. I wouldn’t have expected a hellterror to care about mud and while the hellhounds with their longer legs have a more impressive prance, Pav’s message is the same: ugggh.
If it doesn’t dry out soonish—which it shows no sign of doing—the trees are going to rot where they stand, and then they’ll all come down. The civic daffodils are trying to come up—it rather amazes me they’ve got this far—but a lot of them are blind.
Hellhounds and I went down to look at the river today. The river path has been impassable for a while and we’d already stopped going there as often as we used to because I’d got very very tired of being mugged by off lead idiots. I mean their dogs. But your average off lead idiot doesn’t want to get his/her designer wellies dirty so I thought it was probably worth the risk, seeing how far we could go.
Well the ducks are sure happy. The bit of river we were splashing along beside isn’t running amok so we forded the feeder streams* and kept on. There are some houses on the river bottom, poor things**, and I don’t think the sandbags are going to save their fitted*** carpets.
And then hellhounds and I rounded a corner and came to the shores of The Sea. When Peter and I first moved to New Arcadia there was a stretch of the river path that was outrageously badly kept—for a town two of whose important constituents are wealthy retired Tories and businesses dependent on visitors—and EVENTUALLY the town council stopped whining and ordered enough hard core and blokes to shovel it that the path became quite serviceable, thank you very much.
Well. It’ll all be to do again when—when, I’m assuming, not if—The Sea retreats. I don’t know how deep it is but from my memory of what it used to look like . . . Pav, at least, would have to swim, and I think you’d need waders, not wellies.
We took the footbridge past one of the sandbagged houses† and looped around by the road. When we got back to the river we had a really exciting ford to cross, with the water crashing over the path, and Chaos wanted me to believe that it would carry him away†† but I heartlessly pointed out the stout fence preventing this happenstance and we gained the far side without incident††† and toiled back up the hill toward town. That roaring sound you hear . . . is the new New Arcadia Victoria Falls, another smoke that thunders. Golly. And standing on the far side of the river the spray still fogs up your glasses. It used to be a picturesque little local millrace.
I’d better get back to the cottage. We’re going to try to make a sprint for the farmer’s market tomorrow morning before Armageddon returns. Which means I should go to bed, you know, cough cough, early.
* * *
* To Chaos’ horror. I’M NOT CARRYING YOU. COME ON.
** We actually looked at one when it was up for sale some few years ago, before I bought Third House. Brrrr.
*** Wall to wall
† And were divebombed by a black cocker spaniel . . . a friendly black cocker spaniel, fortunately, and while it looked full-grown it was presenting as a puppy and couldn’t get enough of the hellhounds who were happy to return the compliment. Modified arrrgh. I thought it was going to follow us back onto the main road ARRRRRRGH whereupon in good conscience I’d’ve had to go back, knock on the door, and say something between clenched teeth to whatever off lead idiot answered, but it got timid at the end of its stretch of path. I looked back worriedly a lot though.
†† If you’d eat you’d weigh more and be harder to wash away.
††† When they dry out, my pink All Stars will probably be a lot cleaner. Choosing footgear for this kind of expedition is problematic. I can’t walk any distance in wellies—they’re perfect for clomping around gardening or mucking out stalls but not hurtling—and hiking boots have their uses in wet grass and ordinary mud but fording foaming rivers is not their thing and once they get soaked they stay soaked. All Stars are actually my footgear of choice for this, although I put plastic bags over my socks first when I remember. When I remember. I didn’t remember today.
I NEED A NIGHT OFF.*
So let’s have a LINKS NIGHT.
First: Peter’s EMMA TUPPER’S DIARY, one of my and many other people’s favourites of Peter’s, HAS BEEN REISSUED.
And here he talks a little about writing it:
Second: Lightspeed (e)magazine has reprinted HELLHOUND in their February issue:
You have to scroll down the left-hand column—it is there, I promise—and while of course all of you have already read it in FIRE—there’s a lot of other good stuff in Lightspeed’s virtual pages, and you might find the McKinley author spotlight amusing. You’ll recognise the voice from this blog. . . .
* * *
* Pav is definitely starting to come back out of pheromone hell and to revert to nice normal manic hellterror status—she brought me a toy this morning for the first time in about ten days—but the hellhounds don’t seem to notice. They still aren’t eating, there’s still way too much moaning and they still dash back from hurtles or into the mews to check that she’s still there. And having pranced through the door like Hackney ponies on the way to the carriage driving finals, once they’ve established that in fact she is still there they go all floppy and pathetic-swain-like and IT MAKES ME CRAZY.^
^ The superfluously bizarre thing is that they are all over me for their sofa time. I thought it at least possible that they would be so committed to guarding the hellterror’s crate against alien invasion+ that they wouldn’t want their sofa time with a mere [menopausal++] hellgoddess. But nooooo. They’re all over me like a cheap suit or Miss Havisham’s wedding veil.+++
+ See previous blog post. You cannot be too careful about these things.
I once bought a 16 yo gelding, not knowing he’d been gelded only 6 months before. After a lifetime as a breeding stallion. (These little secrets sellers keep…) He was quite aware of everything’s ovulation and/or heat. . . .
. . . .”Hi, glorious wonderful female person! Am I not beautiful? Am I not gloriously male? Would you not like a hug?” He was gentlemanly about it . . . But there were no mistaking the source of the interest. Fluttering nostrils, upraised lip, and all. That’s how I found out that he recognized (with a slight difference in the behavior) ovulation separately from menstruation.
If I’d paid attention one of mine# might have told me when I was ovulating since I never knew. One of the things this body had trouble with was the whole female-cycle thing, and I was on the Pill## for way too many years### but I love the idea of Rhythm Method by Stallion.
Do any other male domestic critters do this? Given that there aren’t that many stallions around to begin with a lot of women who’ve worked with them will mention this interesting aspect of the experience. But you don’t hear about it with dogs, for example, and there are LOTS and LOTS of entire male dogs cluttering up the landscape. I had already started menopause when I brought the hellhounds home as puppies and most of my dog life till then had been with girls.
I knew an entire male cat once—who was also a prodigiously, gloriously male creature—who was extra-snuggly when you were menstruating, but I didn’t see him often enough to be sure that this wasn’t him reacting to you being curled up in a little ball of misery, and I was on the Pill when I knew him, so he wouldn’t have had a chance to check me for ovulation.
# I never owned one of these glorious creatures; I just did things like muck out their stalls, hang out with them and—when I was lucky—ride them.
## which back in my fertile days kept you unpregnable by suppressing ovulation. Dunno if they may have figured out other tricky methods since.
### My experience of female-cycle specialists—most of them men—became the strong foundation of my profound loathing for the medical profession.
++ NOT MY FACE. GET OFFA MY FACE.
There may be hope. The whining is now broken rather than incessant and HELLHOUNDS ATE SOME OF THEIR DINNER. Chaos ate about two thirds of his and Darkness half, but I think that’s the FIRST eating Darkness has done voluntarily in about FIVE DAYS. Aaaaaaaaaaugh. ::Gibbergibbergibbergibber::
Diane in MN
It’s really really NOT EASY to have intact dogs and bitches in the same house,
APPARENTLY. Gaaaaaaah. The thing is, I have known people who do/have done it.* Unfortunately I don’t know any of them now, so I can’t ask.
even a big house*, so I truly sympathize with your situation. I hope young Pav is an early ovulator and stops broadcasting super pheromones sooner rather than later.
If I’m right that IT’S BEGINNING TO WEAR OFF—and there have only been sporadic outbreaks of moaning this evening—then she’s about dead on average, because this has been her second week. All century. All eon. I mean all this week.
I’ve never tested the theory that giving a bitch chlorophyll tablets masks or reduces her scent, but I do know that a drop of vanilla on the dog’s nose does not prevent him from knowing what’s up (it was a forlorn hope but worth trying). . . .
I have so many allergies myself I’m twitchy about experimenting on my hellcritters. Once this is OOOOOOOVER and I can maybe think about something again I’ll do some research and consult my vet(s). This last week has been bad for additional reasons** and ordinarily I’m pathologically anti-drug and anti-squashing-Mother-Nature-just-because-she’s-pissing-you-off—although I’d’ve tried the vanilla if you’d said it had worked—but the stress level was such that I was afraid if someone said here, try arsenic/strychnine/amatoxin/cyanide, I’d’ve said fine, great, what’s the dosage?
* I have a big house, and it didn’t help. They just called to each other LOUDER.
I’m still not convinced that Pav has known what’s going on. It has seemed to me that she wants to get at the hellhounds the way she always wants to get at the hellhounds—and she has been fabulously dog-resistant on hurtles.*** Which is not necessarily a bad thing. But all those morons out there with their off-lead male dogs? Yes. So I’ve had a few interesting occasions of clutching thirty pounds of snarling fury to my (muddy) chest while some four-legged Lothario tries to climb my leg.† Pav hasn’t been miserable this week the way she was the first, but rampaging hormones haven’t been doing her temper any good. Anyone would think she was having her period.
You will be able to guess why my boys were pretty regular visitors to the boarding kennel.
Sigh. I can’t board the hellhounds. In the first place I wouldn’t because of all their digestive issues, but in the second place I can’t because I don’t vaccinate them every year and the vast majority of boarding kennels require yearly vaccinations. A lot of traditional, middle-of-the-road vets are saying that yearly isn’t necessary, that three-yearly is plenty . . . but boarding kennels just roll over and Big Business wins again. There is a homeopathy-using kennels about an hour from here that doesn’t require yearly vaccinations that might be a possibility for Pav some day if neither Southdowner nor Olivia could have her and I needed to stow her somewhere for a bit . . . but that’s not going to solve the hellhounds’ guts and you can’t foist a hormonal bitch on a boarding kennels.
Mum and I once minded my aunt’s girl when she was in heat because our dog was neutered and the boys at my aunt’s weren’t. It was a special kind of hell.
I assume your dog was neutered in fact but not in, um, attitude? I know this happens with a lot of critters who are neutered late—people who geld a dog or a horse because it’s acting too male often find not much has changed except that they don’t have to worry about the possibility of offspring.
(The following year they tried to keep her at home… and that’s how I got my first chihuahua. Although they made the basic mistake of trying to throw a barbecue party instead of watching the dogs)
They had a FERTILE bitch LOOSE with DOGS AROUND?! That was . . . very unwise.
The flooding situation out this way isn’t much better. . . . The river paths in Windsor, and it’s been touch and go all week, were well under on Friday and the current river forecast is that the Thames will continue to rise until the middle of next week. . . .
Pretty much every town and village around here has a flood watch or a flood incident or is simply closed due to flooding. I’ve retweeted a few repressed-hysteria bulletins from the Hampshire County Council. They’ve got the ditch-dredgers and the sandbag-layers working twelve-hour shifts round the clock, poor, um, sods. Peter’s mews is low-lying enough that it will eventually be at risk at this rate; I’m on a hill and it’s half a flight of stairs to my front door. If I’m at risk then we’ve already lost London and Manhattan.
I would have thought excited mammalian hormones might have a generalised effect.
I wonder if there’s any sort of correlation with what you may (or may not) be picking up from Pav et al and what happens in new parents. Because when Schmoo was newborn, I knew somewhere in my brain that certain things smelled horrid (some of those being my fault: milk is lovely)
GRATUITOUSLY GRAPHIC REMARK WARNING: In my extremely limited experience of babies and babysitting one of the things I noticed is that 100% breast-fed babies’ crap was startlingly inoffensive. It wasn’t till they started eating something besides breast milk that diaper-changing became a trial.
but they never smelled horrid to me. So maybe there is a sort of… anxious scent that you’re living with these days. It could also just be the silted up stress of the past while, compounded and focused by the WEATHER we’ve been having.
Certainly my stress level is in the high gazillions AND THE WEATHER IS NOT HELPING.†† But the thing that suddenly occurred to me a day or two ago is that I’ve had more hot flushes/flashes in the last ten days or so than I’ve had in years. Which are totally hormonal. I don’t understand the mechanism because it doesn’t make any sense but the hot flush style I specialise in is putting out so much heat that when my super-heated clothing then touches my skin it feels like I’m being burned. I was glad to think this stage was over.
And the other thing . . . and I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned this on the blog before . . . stallions know when you’re menstruating. I’ve talked to enough other women about this that (a) I know I’m not making it up and (b) it’s not that I hung out with peculiar stallions. But they get very bright-eyed and interested. And the thoroughbred stallion I adored was the most colossal flirt. He’d make little humming noises and hug you with his long beautiful stallion’s neck during your time of the month.
Critters go to heaven too. I say so.
I’ve never quite understood the people who feel like they need to spend a lot of theological time proving that critters don’t go to heaven. Why??? If God is a good God who loves his children, why on earth (or heaven!) wouldn’t he make sure the animal friends they love could be with them?
Well, and if God created the lot then dogs/horses/cats/blowflies are his/her/its/their children too. But my childhood churches’ insistence that animals didn’t go to heaven because they didn’t have souls is one of the things that put me off Christianity early. I’d be glad to miss out on eternal tapeworms, cockroaches, blowflies and so on but I assume they get all shiny and appealing in heaven somehow too.
In vet school, one of my patients was a deerhound who presented for castration . . . he was a bad eater (at the time I wasn’t reading this blog so didn’t know it was a sighthound “thing”);
Deerhounds and Salukis are supposed to be the worst. BUT SID IS A GOOD EATER. Maybe it’s the winter she spent starving on the street. BUT SHE IS A GOOD EATER.
the owner was hoping that losing his testosterone would do what happens to normal dogs – castrated males tend to eat a bit more and tend to put on weight rather more easily than entire ones. . . . However, that owner makes you, Robin, look positively laid back on the subject of dog-not-eating.
The dog had the world’s most varied and unbalanced diet, involving various mostly raw meats, raw and cooked eggs, yoghurt, lard and salmon oil. You should have seen the bags of groceries she gave me for his two-night stay at the university hospital (which, btw, included the night-before-surgery-therefore-no-food night… she gave me enough food to feed a family of four for a week). She also forcefed him something like 8 times a day, and oddly enough, he never ate the free-fed kibble always available to him… I also wondered if part of the reason he didn’t eat on his own was because he was never hungry because he always had something in his stomach and who wants dry kibble when you could have raw hamburger shoved down your throat?
Was she expecting you to force-feed him? That’s over the line. And . . . she’s force-feeding him eight times a day with enough food for a family of four? And he was STILL THIN? There’s more wrong there than a bad attitude toward food. And yes, I’d begun to worry, this last week, that since the hellhounds are such bad eaters, they’d decide to stop eating entirely and leave it up to me. NOOOOOOOOOO. So since they ate dinner at all tonight I haven’t force-fed the rest even though this means that Darkness has had even less than the starvation rations he’s been getting poked into him. Although I keep thinking, as I prod the fabulously expensive kibble and the lovely roast chicken scraps and the raw liver that under normal circumstances is Darkness’ favourite thing far enough back in their mouths that when I clamp their jaws shut they have to swallow†††, that they can’t possibly taste any of it, I might as well be using cheap (cereal-free) unadulterated kibble. Yaaargh.
Have the bitch pants arrived?
YES. AND THEY MADE EVERYTHING WORSE. They are awful cute though. . . .
* * *
* Including Kes’ mum. Kes probably has some stories about this. Maybe they’ll come up.
** MY BANK IS DICKING ME OVER AGAIN. FOR THE SECOND TIME IN LESS THAN A YEAR. Speaking of things I have to do some research on BECAUSE I’M NOT DOING THIS AGAIN.
*** Although she let a (female) puppy take liberties. It fascinates me to see my puppy acting like a grown-up to eager clueless babies.
† The morons, of course, think that it’s MY fault for bringing A BITCH IN SEASON TO PUBLIC GROUND. Oh right, I’m going to keep her in a closet for three weeks because you can’t be bothered controlling your dog.
†† I know people have lost their homes, farms, livelihoods and there’s a lot of scary stuff for all of us thinking about the future. But I’m just FRELLING SICK OF HURTLING ON PAVEMENT because all the countryside is under water.
††† . . . probably