I didn’t sleep very well last night because I’m not breathing very well. I was just moaning to a friend that this is the drawback to prescribing for yourself: this isn’t the first time I’ve dodged the flu bullet with homeopathy only to go down instead with a garden-variety head cold which replaces my brains with wet cotton wool and renders me incapable of prescribing myself out of that. Homeopathy isn’t magic, more’s the pity, although it acts like it sometimes, and if a germ really has your name on it you’ll probably get it regardless. But homeopathy can alleviate the symptoms and get you through the freller sooner and at a less severe level of yuck. But only if someone who doesn’t have soggy cotton wool for brains is available to prescribe for you.
I did manage to hear the alarm and was even out of my dressing gown and into structural daytime clothing by the time Atlas arrived, looking like the John Deere with chains big enough to raise Tower Bridge’s drawbridge, here to haul me out of the mire.
So . . . my old refrigerator died a while ago. Hey, it’s winter, the shelf outside the kitchen window will do for now*, most of the cooking and fresh-food storage happens at the mews, and I have a little cash flow problem. But the kitchen-window shelf routine gets old, and my frelling publisher has to pay me some day, so I went on line and looked for a refrigerator. And the one with five stars and customer reviews so fulsome as to be nearly erotic and an eco-friendly green rating so high they include a free naiad with every purchase, was on sale. So I ordered one.
We will pass over the whole dorking-around-for-delivery debacle as this is not the centre of this story. Suffice that it arrived. Let it settle three or four hours before you turn it on, said the delivery person, thus establishing it in my mind that it was supposed to turn on. Perhaps I should have been more suspicious at the speed with which the delivery person and his partner fled out the door.**
As recorded last night, I savaged it out of its box myself, managed to figure out which end was up, and started peeling the astonishingly thick, ugly, logo-emblazoned and adherent inner packaging off the thing, beginning with the gouge out of the back, to check that it hadn’t been damaged in transit. The problem was that said thick, ugly logo-emblazoned and adherent inner packaging did not, indeed, wish to be peeled.
At this point I got a little hysterical and rang Atlas.
Who today confirmed the awful truth: that this cardboard, tin-foil and spray-on plastic gunk are actually part of the refrigerator. They are not meant to be peeled off. They are meant to be covered over. You’re supposed to trot down to your kitchen appliance accessory warehouse and choose panels to complement your décor. It’s supposed to slide under your counter to be a part of your integrated unit display.
I had another look at the description on the web site. There is a photo which is clearly not of the refrigerator sitting in my kitchen: the one in the photo is too tall and too thin. It’s also got a white enamel front, and the text does tell you that your refrigerator will not have white enamel frontage, that if that’s what you want you have to buy it separately. Oh, frell this, I said/thought: it’s a door, right? It’s going to be covered with kitchen magnets anyway. I don’t care. The box is still green, five stars, and on sale.
Nowhere does the web site description say that the rest of the refrigerator is going to be covered in spray-on plastic gunk and topped up with logo-emblazoned, tin-foil-backed cardboard—and apparently missing various other small civilised niceties—like Arnie by the end of THE TERMINATOR—because no one is ever going to see them. Or see them not being there. Nor is there any hint that ‘under counter’ refrigerators have moved on from twenty years ago, from small self-contained objects complete in themselves which could also slide under a counter to form an integrated unit display.
The thing is a good brand and I bought it from a good store. I’m reasonably sure that if I had a meltdown they’d take it away and refund my money and I could start over. I don’t want to. Life is short—and my new refrigerator is still green, five stars, on sale and comes with an excellent warranty. I’m going to finish ripping off the ghastly logo surface, Atlas is going to make me a nice wooden top for it, and I’m going to investigate contact paper. With roses on it.***
* * *
* And burglars peering through the barbed wire stretched across The Hole and wondering if it’s worth climbing through may see the little row of glass jars and think, Crumbs! They haven’t even got a refrigerator! Let’s go somewhere else!
** At least they didn’t demand a Health and Safety release form about lifting the thing over the puppy gate. I was preparing to say that Atlas and I, both of us over sixty and I’m a girl, had managed to lift the old one out, but I didn’t have to.
*** All the drama—I’ll have to catch you up on The Wall some other evening—meant that I was late meeting Tabitha and Joy for a cup of chamomile tea and a CHOCOLATE biscuit. I went roaring down to the mews in Wolfgang because Joy lives near the mews and I could leave the hellcritters with Peter and . . . there was a large delivery van parked for maximum inconvenience in front of the final archway into the mews courtyard. First I couldn’t find the beggar and when I did he looked at me vaguely and said, oh, I’ll just be a minute. They carefully screen delivery-person applicants for strong passive-aggressive tendencies, right? There was one awfully nice delivery man we knew from the old house and he’s still around and still delivering, but for another company. The big famous one must have fired him for not being passive-aggressive enough.
I am very short of sleep.
Last night as I was pulling myself together (later than planned, of course) to take myself and the domestic fauna back to the cottage* I noticed that Darkness was licking his lips a lot. This is not a good sign. But I hadn’t seen him swallow anything suspicious before I got there to take it AWAY from him and I wasn’t expecting trouble.
While I was ferrying paraphernalia from kitchen to front door, he threw up—extensively—all over the mat. GREAT. WONDERFUL. I’M SO GLAD I HAVE DOGS.**
I cleaned up, describing aloud all the other things I could be doing with my life if I didn’t have HELLCRITTERS. Then I let hellhounds out. They have a pee and then jump in Wolfgang. We have our final after-midnight hurtle at the cottage after I’ve hauled all the kit indoors again.
Last night Darkness headed for the courtyard gate . . . and kept going. It’s Bloody Silly o’clock in the morning, right? I can’t just yell at him under all Peter’s neighbours’ bedroom windows. So I sprinted after him, stage-whispering violently. He stopped, looked at me . . . and kept going.
I eventually got hold of him, dragged him reluctantly back to Wolfgang, let go . . . and the frelling mutt took off for the gate again. This time, when he let me catch him again, I didn’t let go. I hauled him back through the front door, fetched his and Chaos’ leads, and hooked him up.*** Then we all took off through the gate. We got to the main road . . .
Geysering ensued. I will spare you the graphic details.
I had, after cleaning up the first eruption indoors, given him his first dose of homeopathic Ars Alb, the classic dietary-indiscretion remedy. Darkness will have eaten the end of someone’s tossed-into-the-hedgerow sandwich† or equivalent, which ARRRRRRGH happens now and again. Depending on how severe the expulsions are, I will keep giving him Ars Alb till I can see him stop worrying. He must feel pretty grisly, but he’s also a clean dog and doesn’t like making messes.††
I was up very late, poking Ars Alb into Darkness. Who eventually relaxed. Whereupon we all went to bed.††† Finally.
This morning Darkness, predictably, had what I call colic, which is cacophonous internal rumblings, and which mean in effect that he’s not going to eat and nothing on this earth is going to make him eat. Aaaaaand if he doesn’t eat, by the end of the first day his coat will already be staring and his ribs sticking out and he won’t eat tomorrow either, and . . . Missing even one meal with these guys is an emergency because their digestion is so crazy.
I pulled out the homeopathic Lycopodium. And started poking that into him, waiting to hear the roaring begin to subside. Which it did, eventually. Whereupon he ate lunch—and dinner—and his ribs are rather more prominent than they should be as a result of missing (or losing, depending on how you want to look at it) two meals, probably only I the paranoid and accountable hellgoddess would notice, and he’s bright and shiny-eyed and, I hope, fine.
Homeopathy works. I don’t proselytise for it because I haven’t figured out a good way to do so, a way that I’m happy with. Although most of my friends could tell you I’m a bit of a bore on the subject, and I’m always encouraging people to buy a homeopathic first-aid kit and learn to use it, homeopathy is a very big, complicated subject, and it starts getting big and complicated fast right after ‘Arnica for bruises’. It’s a fascinating study but it can take over your life, and unless you’re very lucky you will have to do it mostly on your own—even if you go to school (I did), even if you keep going to seminars (I still do, although not many lately), still, when you’re away from specific homeopathy-related gatherings, you’re probably winging it the best you can. If you and your friends, family and critters are lucky in your good health, and you only ever have to deal with bruises and strains and the occasional head cold, you’ll have the slack to work out what pattern of remedies works for which person—because homeopathy is all about choosing an individual remedy for an individual person‡, and six people with eczema or hay fever or flu will need six, or twelve, or eighteen different remedies. In a society accustomed to ‘take two aspirin and call me in the morning’ the individual thing makes it look like it doesn’t work. It does work. But finding and prescribing the right remedy at the right time . . . is very often an epic ratbag.
Homeopathy isn’t for everyone. But it is worthy of respect. From everyone.
I have been f*cked over by the medical establishment so many times and in so many ways I admit I’m not entirely sane on the subject. And therefore my hair-trigger about morons taking pot shots at homeopathy is even hairier than my tendency to go nuclear about things generally. I stay alive by avoiding as much of the controversy as I can. ‡‡ But I do belong to a homeopathic mailing list ‡‡‡ and I am aware of the so-called science-based skeptics waving their jousting sticks at us.
So here’s a link to a letter a scientifically-trained homeopath wrote in response to . . . one of those morons. He knows how to argue. He also knows how to call a moron a moron.
* * *
* Which is like moving house . . . every night.
** It is a ratbag when you have promised God to moderate your language at least somewhat AND IT’S BLOODY SILLY O’CLOCK IN THE MORNING SO YOU CAN’T EVEN SHOUT.
*** Pavlova wasn’t happy either. This is not how late nights are supposed to be organised. She’s a member of the team! And they’re leaving her behind!^ Woe! Woe!
^ And the hellgoddess doesn’t even seem disposed to leave a little food to comfort the exile!
† If I ever catch anyone doing this, I will Kill. Them. It also attracts rats, you know? How many ways can you be stupid?
†† He’d like making them even less if he had to clean them up.
††† This morning they couldn’t WAAAAIT to get out of their crate, and I thought oh, pond scum and warthogs, I stopped the Ars Alb too soon after all and there are horrors in that crate. But there weren’t. But the wind was in the north-west, which makes the eaves yodel like banshees, and apparently up off the end of what human ears can hear the hellhounds are being traumatised by goblin bards. So they spent what remained of this morning (and some of the early afternoon) pressed against the dog-gate by the front door and waiting for the world to end.
‡ Or critter. But it’s illegal in the UK to treat any animal but those that belong to you unless you’re a licensed vet.
‡‡ Also I can’t debate/discuss/deliberate to save my life. I’m like, look, read up on it and make your own mind up, okay? Do your homework and leave me alone. I have a lot of reading to do myself.
‡‡‡ Most of them professional. But a lot of us lay homeopaths are lay homeopaths because we can’t find a professional to treat us. You need a bit of an individual fit with your homeopath too.
Originally I was going to the opera last night. Siiiiiiiiiiigh. Of all the Met Live operas this season—most of which I have thus far missed for one reason or another—this is the one I most wanted to see. MARIA STUARDA is not my favourite opera by a long shot, nor even my favourite Donizetti opera* but I love Joyce DiDonato and I totally wanted to see and hear her sing the flimflam out of Mary Queen of Scots . . . as seen/heard through the eyes/ears of a nineteenth-century Italian who for dramatic purposes wanted Mary and Elizabeth I to meet, and so, by golly, they do.
Then about a fortnight ago Tabitha invited me to a dinner-and-live-jazz evening at her church. She takes an interest because she’s been praying for me for years** and is now visibly restraining herself from assigning me 1,000,000 books to have read and annotated by next week. I did look at my diary . . . but I wrote the Met Live dates down in last year’s diary, last spring when I ordered the tickets . . . and better than halfway through January I still haven’t got them in this year’s diary. I did hesitate, not because there was any shadow in my mind that there might be something else happening that night that I hadn’t written into this year’s diary, but because social mobs are not my thing, and while I usually like it live, jazz is not my thing either, and the dinner was almost certainly going to be stuff I can’t eat.
But this finding a community is a ratbag, since I’ve been anti-community all my life, and I haven’t given Tabitha’s church a fair trial because of location/scheduling problems, and it is one of the churches with a rep for good energy. So I stifled a sigh and said Thank you. At least if I went with Tabitha I’d have someone to sit with. . . .
Then it SNOWED.*** I wouldn’t have got to the opera anyway.
I rang Tabitha to say I WAS NOT DRIVING IN THIS† . . . but I assumed the jazz and dinner would be cancelled: even if most of the attendees are walking distance the band had to get here from elsewhere, and elsewhere was also having gruesome weather, and this is England. We don’t do serious weather here. —No, no, said Tabitha, it’s still on. And, going into carrying-all-before-her mode, which is Tabitha’s natural state, she said, I’ll see if I can find you a ride.
She found me a ride. Then follows a Comedy of Technological Errors when nobody’s fancy mobile phone picked up anyone else’s message. There were a lot of very-carefully-low-key last-minute landline phone calls wanting to know if anyone had answered anyone else and if so what did they say—?††
When we got there††† I quailed. This is the church I’ve told you about that still looks old from the outside, but inside it’s had its insides ripped out so, for example, they could take all the service chairs out and replace them with tables and turn the space into a giant candle-lit restaurant. Eeeeep. If I’d come in my own car I might have spun on my heel and fled. There were nearly 300 people there, all of them talking.
I don’t think the evening furthered my development as a Christian much but . . . it was less ghastly than I was expecting as I trembled on the threshold. And the looks on the faces of the other people at the table when, under pressure, I admitted that I wrote fantasy fiction for a living, was worth some discomfort. The accountant sitting next to me claimed he’s going to find one of my books and read it.‡
This morning the puppy crapped promptly. So I went and rang New Arcadia’s bells.‡‡
* * *
* In spite of having CDs of The Three Donizetti Queens by Beverly Sills
** Come on, God, get the lead out. This one needs you
*** It’s snowing again. I didn’t make it to Aloysius’ church tonight. Whimper. That one’s well ahead in the community search but I wish they sang hymns instead of soggy drivel.
† I’ve told you this a million times, right? Of ordinary activities, driving a car presses on the ME the worst, because of that constant hyper-vigilance you need behind the wheel. You don’t even notice you’re doing it, if you haven’t got something like ME gnawing at you, although lots of people find driving tiring. And sure, when I lived in Maine, I drove in snow. I didn’t have a lot of choice. But I also had four-wheel drive and I didn’t have ME.
†† This included Tabitha. Carrying it all before her doesn’t work with technology.
††† There was the bloke driving and his daughter and son in law, Grandma staying home with the kiddies. The daughter was wearing high heels and a frilly frock and was in danger of death by hypothermia or massive breakage caused by sudden violent contact with frozen ground. I was wearing two cotton turtlenecks, two woolly jumpers, a wool shawl and a coat—and fur-lined boots over heavy cotton tights and a long thick skirt. She admitted she was being silly but, she said, she doesn’t go out much, and she wanted to wear what she wanted to wear. I get this. She’s also young and pretty and has two kiddies under five. Her dad dropped us at the church but we all walked out to the car after, and her husband had her by one elbow and I had her by the other, and we STAYED UPRIGHT when her feet went out from under her. . . .
‡ I’m thinking he may have to take a course first. Fantasy 101. The final exam will consist of twenty multiple choice questions which will include such material as, A dragon is: (a) a flame-throwing, princess-kidnapping, treasure-hoarding scaly reptile of generous proportions (b) a large nearly extinct mutant telepathic marsupial that mostly hangs out in caves in a few wildlife parks (c) an immoral but difficult to trace tax evasion much loved by greedy creeps, especially bankers and shareholder boards; plus a choice of essay. LOTR vs RINGWORLD: would women rather be objectified and marginalised by JRR Tolkien or Larry Niven? Discuss. Edgar Rice Burroughs and H Rider Haggard: are series that go on and on and on AND ON AND ON AND ON always a mistake? Discuss.
‡‡ Well, this weather, I’m going to get desperate for a bell fix.
Today was not shaping up well. I went to bed LATE last night partly because I felt so dying-liver-fluke-ish that I couldn’t pull myself together to go to bed, involving, as it does, a house move and two final hurtles. Also, it was raining, and hellhounds are hard work in the rain.
I got out of bed LATE* and [omits gruesome details of a delicate nature indicating that there was a germ involved in yesterday’s oatmeal-brained listlessness and that possibly it is not lingering in the vicinity] was still feeling about one-third alive when I had to assemble four-legged companions in the back of Wolfgang, pick up Peter, and go to our monthly tune-up with Tabitha.
Peter goes first while I hurtle.** Peter has a nap while Tabitha bulldozes me, and I get us all home again hastily before I finish turning into cold peanut-butter noodles.*** It was going to be a near thing today when I was already feeling fairly limp and peanut-buttery.
It was not going to be a good night for bell ringing. I hadn’t wanted to book Tabitha on a Wednesday anyway, but between my ridiculous list of extracurriculars and Peter’s occasional evening playing bridge our choices are limited. It was going to be an even worse evening for bell ringing or anything else after I dropped a half-full box of my favourite olives on the floor and Chaos decided he wasn’t in the MOOD for food† ARRRRRRRRGH.
Scary Man decided he had enough variables in the first touch of Grandsire Triples and did not invite me to ring, I had to watch Gemma ringing a touch of Stedman Triples†† . . . and then as I was standing behind Gemma eavesdropping on the post mortem, Scary Man flipped the rope at me and said, And now Robin is going to treble bob, CAMBRIDGE MAJOR, FILL IN.
Well, I’ve been worrying about this, of course. It has happened before that I did something right first time and then went to pieces for months, like starting over from scratch only worse because you had done it right first time, WHAT HAPPENED? I don’t know what happens, but there is a funny kink in my learning curve, and this happens more than it doesn’t. So I grabbed the rope before it grabbed me††† and . . .
Rang it. Yes. Rang it. Now, I could still go horribly wrong and lose it and have to start over. But the thing that is really exciting is the sense that I’m FINALLY catching on to the MULTIPLY-BLASTED SEVEN-EIGHT BELL RHYTHM, I who am seriously rhythm-challenged. At the beginning of the second lead when I was down front again, I was too fast, and almost missed the bell I was dodging with. But I figured it out and got back on my line. Scary Man came and whispered in my shell-like that I needed to slow up on the lead just a bit, and it was like YESSSSS! I KNOW WHAT YOU’RE TELLING ME!!!! rather than, huh?, which is what far too much of most of this last year of struggling with Grandsire Triples in that tower has been. And while last week the rest of the Cambridge band had been nice and solid, tonight we had people going wrong and I still kept my line.
There is hope for me as a bell ringer. Really. Please remind me of this the next time I decide to take up bowling.
* * *
* How UNUSUAL^
^ Had an email from Aloysius today about the Silent Prayer group. They’re moving it to 8:30 Saturday morning—from 8—to make it a little easier. Whimper. I’m resisting writing back, make it 9, and I’ll come.
** Chaos had a crap immediately in front of one of those mysterious locked city-authority boxes that may have to do with electricity or water or some other mod con, and then again may contain gremlins, sharks’ teeth and black chicken feathers, none of us ordinary folk will ever know. But on this particular box was pasted one of those pick up after your dog posters that are among my (many) rant subjects. Has anyone ever picked up dog crap because they read a poster that tells them they’re supposed to? Does anyone not know they’re supposed to pick up any dog crap deposited on pavements and footpaths and people’s front gardens (and CHURCHYARDS)? Are they going to read the poster and think, oh, my, yes, of course, my mind was wandering, I will pick it up at once? I don’t care if the poster warns them about the fine and tells them that furthermore if they don’t pick up after their dog(s) their children will marry unsuitable partners, their garden will be eaten by slugs and their boss will tell the same interminable bad jokes till murder is their only recourse.^ The only excuse for these thrice-blasted posters is if there is a bin in the vicinity. Nobody who isn’t inured to carrying around a pocket or a hand full of (plastic-wrapped) dog crap is going to take a blind bit of notice of a poster telling them to pick up after their dog if it’s going to be miles before they can get rid of it. I guess the posters go up when the city council can’t afford more bins . . . but they could afford one or two more if they stopped wasting money on posters.
^ That’s why there are locked metal boxes full of specially-trained gremlins all over town.
*** Speaking of recipes. There are zillions of peanut-butter noodle recipes out there but most of them are All Wrong.
† While Pavlova flings herself at the front of her crate, shouting, I CAN MAKE IT ALL GO AWAY! HAVE I MENTIONED IN THE LAST THREE SECONDS THAT I’M STAAAAAAAARVING?
†† And yes, she needed her minder, but she rang it.
††† Bell ropes are heavy hawser-y things, and you treat them respectfully aside from the several hundredweight or more of metal on their other ends.
The other kind of dog days: the COLD dog days, where you lie around in a stupor of semi-congealed blood and frost-bitten brain cells rather than crushed to your hammock by sultriness and the weight of your chiffon Mother Hubbard. It was seriously below zero last night, but the temperature creaked up enough* this afternoon for it to start raining, and the hellcritters and I were at the mews and all our rain kit was at the cottage arrrrrgh. And the temperature is re-plunging even now, and at about the time hellcritters and I want to go home all horizontal surfaces between there and here will be sporting a jazzy veneer of smooth tranquil ice. Maybe I’ll try to go home early tonight. . . .
But dog days should concern dogs. Hellhounds and I had three classic encounters today. The first was with the little old lady with the King Charles spaniel, who screams if it gets too close to the hellhounds. The little old lady screams, that is. First time this happened it totally freaked me out but we’ve got mostly used to each other and it hasn’t been bad in a while. She even smiles (the little old lady, not the spaniel). From a safe distance. But I’m pretty sure I can guess what’s going on: she’s lived in her house and walked her dog all her life and she’s not going to give it up without a struggle, even if she’s getting tottery and one good yank from an excited King Charles spaniel could have her over. My original thought was that if she can’t keep her blasted dog under control she shouldn’t be out there with it . . . but as my sixtieth birthday recedes on the horizon behind me my view of the infirmities of age is evolving. When I’m 103 I’ll be out there with leads looped around my Zimmer frame. I may have moved on to Yorkies and Italian greyhounds by then.
Second encounter**. You know you get tired of knowing what’s going to happen. We came around a curve in the path and there, still at a little distance, was one of the big black thug-type Labradors, the kind with a head like a Volkswagen camper van or a small lorry, and it was in classic dog-thug stance. I promptly got hellhounds on short leads and dragged them onto an alternate path that there happened to be one of at that point—this bloody dog was emerging from the end of a long narrow fenced piece of footpath . . . and do I have to bother telling you it was off lead? Hellhounds and I were moving briskly (but not too briskly) at an angle away from where dog-thug was trying out its range of Mean SOB postures . . . and eventually—EVENTUALLY—some irresponsible twit of a woman strolled into view, casually took in the scene and called her dog. Who ignored her. Of course. It made to turn off the path it was on and come after us. The twit grew loud and angry. The dog continued to ignore her.*** At which point the twit’s voice changed and she shouted gaily at us, Oh he’s friendly! One of these days I’m to shout back, Oh I’m not!
We got away—because we had that alternative path to walk down as if we’d meant to all along and couldn’t care less that Conan the Labrador was flexing his muscles from the other side of the hedgerow. I was still shaking with fury and adrenaline when we SAW ANOTHER DOG . . . also off lead, and we were by now onto that narrow fenced stretch, with nowhere to get away. But while this is not something I’d ever rely on, I also knew at first glance—as I’d known that the Lab was trouble—that this dog was not. It saw us, but it wasn’t fussed, and it also kept checking back with its person—which is something I always look for† but hadn’t identified as such till Southdowner pointed it out—it’s one of the ways you know instantly if a dog’s under any kind of control or not. If it’s obviously in a relationship with its person, you’re probably not about to die. If it obviously isn’t. . . .
This one actually went on heel—still off lead—when we got closer. I hoicked my sagging jaw back where it belonged to enable me to exchange pleasantries about the blasted weather with the bloke. I wish well-trained dogs weren’t the exception rather than the rule. SIIIIIIGH. In another couple of months Pavlova will be old enough to do the short form of the river walk—which means starting to meet up with the local canine thug population. She’ll probably still be small enough for me to pick up†† at that point. But she won’t stay that small. And mutant or no, she is a bull terrier. And my hellhounds, nonconfrontational non-hierarchical friendly sighthounds that they are, apparently permanently hate the half-dozen or so dogs that finally pushed them too far.
* * *
* I can’t quite bring myself to say ‘warmed’
** After I had to carry Chaos across the minor lake caused by the riverbank breaking at one of the low places in the path. Darkness waded stoically through. Not Chaos. Chaos is delicate. Darkness leaps twenty feet in the air straight up, shrieking, if the puppy gets anywhere near him, but he can cope with hostile terrain.
*** Of course.
† I have a gigantic advantage as a dilatory dog trainer—that I work from home, and hellcritters are under my feet all the time. I met another woman who wanted to talk to me about whippets and whippet crosses because she’s looking for a puppy and as I know there aren’t a lot of sighthounds in this area, barring adopted ex-racing greyhounds. She wanted to know where I let them run, and I told her, and she said, Do they catch rabbits? And I said yes. And she said, And do they come back to you? Sighthounds being a trifle notorious for not. And I said . . . yes. Well, they do. But it’s not because I’m such a fabulous trainer: it’s because they’re used to having me as a fixed and constant reference point. When they’re off lead, they check to see where I am—and I don’t push this. Mostly they’re on lead, which is safer all round.
We’ll see if this system works with hellterrors. I’m not counting on it.
†† I can carry Chaos across a lake, after all.
††† The rest of the day mostly sucked pond scum too. And I went off to choir practise tonight hysterically convinced that there would be crap in Pav’s crate by the time I got back, since she had declined to have her late afternoon/early evening crap before I went.
There was no crap in the crate. And my high A was still there. So I guess it hasn’t been that awful a day.