Poor Kes. She’s trying so hard to be _normal_… and the world just isn’t cooperating.
Snork. Yes. We can all relate to that, right? Although most of us have to settle for the small spiders and stepping in gum, rather than the dragons. Or the mysteriously-appearing solid-fuel stoves. Has anyone tried to buy a big multi-oven multi-use solid-fuel stove lately? Those frellers cost. Kes couldn’t afford it. And even if Sally or Hayley manages to twist another one out of the landlord, it won’t be nearly as fine as Caedmon.
Darn you and this growing addiction to cliffhangers!!!!
Mwa hahahahahaha. I am channelling my inner Charles Dickens. Actually I hope I am not channelling my inner Charles Dickens, Mr Dickens was a tick. But I am certainly discovering the joys of torturing a live audience.
I love KES – but I also love what I imagine is your evil grin to yourself as you post yet another cliff-hanger to torment us.
Fair makes my face hurt, it does. Another joy I would never have discovered if I hadn’t started the blog.
Corellia wrote on Sat, 20 October 2012 05:04
How did he get the name of Mr Melmoth? Did I miss something?
This was one of my first questions, as well. Fortunately, Google is our friend:
This fascinates me. Someone my age with any pretensions to gothic or the history of genre or of fantasy or of horror would know MELMOTH like they’d know DRACULA and FRANKENSTEIN . . . and THE MONK and THE CASTLE OF OTRANTO and THE MYSTERIES OF UDOLFO and probably several more that have fallen out of my crumbly middle-aged brain for the moment. All you Jane Austen fans? She was making fun in NORTHANGER ABBEY of the early flowering of this ridiculous but riveting genre—MELMOTH itself is slightly too late and DRACULA is a lot too late—DRACULA is High Victorian—but she’d’ve known the rest. Not knowing MELMOTH forty years ago among those of us who had Tolkien memorised and had read all of Eddison and all of GORMENGHAST would be like not having heard of Edgar Allan Poe . . . or HP Lovecraft. How the world changes. Mind you, I won’t say all of us had read every word of all of them. Ahem. MELMOTH is pretty lurid going.
. . . cliffhangers don’t really bother me. Clearly I have unnatural reserves of patience in this area.
I think it helps . . . it’s not like the TV-season-ending cliffhangers. Or books. I think having to wait about a week for the library copy of The Return of the King, after staying up until never-mind-how-much-too-late-on-a-school night devouring The Two Towers, has rather scarred me for those.
Feh. I had to wait a year and a half to read all three volumes of LOTR. That was while my military father was stationed in Japan, and my best friend’s brother, back in college in the States and among that famous wave of American college students who first broke LOTR out of the box, was sending it to her one volume at a time for birthday, Christmas, birthday. Speaking of scarring experiences. Sorry you long-time blog readers, you get that story about once a year. . . . BUT IT WAS VERY SCARRING.
Oddly, those don’t bother me overmuch either. Even the ending of Pegasus only bothered me for about ten minutes (my first thought was that I had a faulty copy that was missing the last chapter) and once the future existence of the rest of the story was confirmed I was/am happy to be patient. See, unnatural reserves of patience!
No one would accuse me of having unnatural reserves of patience in any area (You! Hellterror! Shut up and go to sleep or DIIIIIIIIIIIIEEEEEEEEEE!) but cliffhangers don’t bother me much either. It’s the way your brain’s wired. Or unwired.
Woohoo! 50th episode. Congratulations and Happy Golden Kesiversay!
Yes, thank you. I noticed that flying past too and thought, hmm. I wonder if I should do something silly for the 60th in honour of, you know, me? And if so, what?
. . . I read Robin’s blog as a feed in my Live Journal, and have been following “Kes” from the start. Today, I realized a sad delinquency on my part–I haven’t commented as to how much I enjoy it. . . .
You’re welcome. It’s more frelling work than I set out to have it be—but then even as I set out thinking that I wasn’t going to let it get to be a lot of work, I was also thinking, yeah, right, like PEGASUS is an AIR ELEMENTALS short story—but I’m also enjoying it. Especially the torturing-the-live-audience, discovering-the-delights-of-cliffhangers part. Not so much the I HAVEN’T GOT A CLUE WHAT HAPPENS NEXT part. Well, I do have clues. But there’s an awful lot I don’t know. Eeep.
“You’ve caught the Phantom,” said Bridget.
*wonders who, exactly, caught whom*
Indeed. Dog leads have two ends.
Bridget sounds like such good people, aside from being the Mistress of Tea. Like you know that she’s bringing blankets (and am I the only one who can think of restaurants that have a stock of blankets for people who INSIST on sitting outside even when it is inadvisable?) because Eatsmobile food is better enjoyed from the right side of hypothermia. I bet her nephew runs the local microbrewery or something.
Someone somewhere mentioned patio heaters. WE ARE MUCH TOO GREEN FOR PATIO HEATERS. And yes, I imagine an enormous pile of tatty blankets by the door: any good local café in an area with seasons should be obliged by town charter to supply these. And there must be a microbrewery around somewhere—this is totally microbrewery topography. And someone Kes has already met is surely related to the owner.
. . . landing on your feet is disorienting in a way that’s easy to forget. I think Kes is managing amazingly well, given that she arrived in town, what, two days ago?
Especially for those of us who assume we’re going to get everything wrong. I’m on my FEET? How did THAT happen? And yes. Two days ago. Arrrrgh. I started KES the middle of April. Seven months and less than forty-eight hours later . . . I never was good at time. . . .
Noooooo…..! I don’t want to hate you. Really I don’t. . . .
“Callie,” said Jim, still quietly. “The Phantom is chipped. Will you take this and see what you can find out?”
I nearly burst into tears.
So did I.
You can’t do this to us, Robin. You can’t make us wait for days and days for the chip information. You just can’t.
Yes I can, yes I can, yes I caaaaaaaaan. And it’s worse than that. THE ENDING OF THE NEXT EP IS JUST AS APPALLING. IF NOT MORE SO. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.
[primal scream of NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!]
Robin, you are evil. Evil.
Thank you. I do try. As a hellgoddess I have certain standards I feel I must live up to. I admit that 12/9/12 has confused the issue somewhat, but I’m sure I’ll work it out.
Oh, I like wibble! Wibble is good!
This is getting so heavy. It has this awful feeling to it, like real life intruding on a dream. (Come to think of it, Cold Valley is suspiciously perfect. What if Kes has been in a coma this whole time and her subconscious MADE IT ALL UP???)
No, I’m the one making it all up. (I hope the Story Council is keeping an eye on us however. See above about not knowing what’s happening next. Eeep.) And Kes has at least one real pain in the patootie neighbour, and the fellow who runs the old-books store is a . . . character. Not to mention Mr Melmoth. And the mysterious works by the lakeshore.
Gonna have to add another ‘NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!’ to the list…
Thank you, thank you. I am something of a connoisseur of screams, being an experienced practitioner of same, and I appreciate the effort a good scream takes.
mintcitykitty wrote on Sat, 10 November 2012 07:32
I think Sid will be micro-chipped to Kes.
This was exactly my thought when I read that last bit. They’ve come so far already, even in so short a time, that it can’t be otherwise. And besides, a Silent Wonder Dog should be capable of altering the data on her microchip.
. . . if I was Kes, I would hope anyone other than me would own her, even if it was the frightening Mr. Melmoth-who-may-or-may-not-be-a-hallucination. Had she been mine and neglected for several months, I would feel beyond terrible. It would be devastating.
Yes. I’m with White_roses here. It would be too appalling for poor Kes to find out that Sid has been her responsibility while she was busy flapdoodling around over a mere divorce. I acknowledge that a SWD might be able to alter the data on her microchip, but then to save Kes’ feelings she’d have to be able to tell her and I’m not sure how even I would get this across successfully. Fortunately I don’t have to. Those eps are already written. Have I said Mwa hahahahahaha in the last hundred words or so? No?
Puppies are. The other reason besides that they’re cute that you don’t KILL THEM* is because they make you laugh.** Sometimes the ridiculousness is situational. The hobgoblin and I were out today*** walking† in town so she could meet more people and I clocked that there was a craft fair on in the village hall. Excellent. Cheap Christmas presents. So after she’d had her meagre permitted ten minutes of walking/lurching/hurtling I picked her up and we went to the craft fair.
Where she met even more people. One of them said, what is she?, and I said, English bull terrier†† and he said, I thought that’s what she looked like, but she’s so small. Yes! I said eagerly. SMALL! She’s a MINI! She’s going to STAY SMALL EVEN WHEN SHE GROWS UP! —So clearly I had to buy something at this stall because such perspicacity inevitably must produce artful craft to a very high standard. I had come out without my wallet but I usually have a note or two tucked somewhere about my person . . . the ‘tucked’ part not being an issue except when you’re carrying a puppy. I didn’t want to put her down; she’d get trodden on, and even if she didn’t, she wouldn’t enjoy being ankle-high in a dark forest of giants. So after I’d found several Christmas presents I had to start fishing for cash, shifting Pavlova from arm to arm—it’s a pity she’s going to be too big for this performance soon, because we’ve got the drill down now that I can clamp her between one arm and my side and still have both hands (relatively) free—till the bloke who’d asked what she was said he’d hold her if that was okay with her/me. So I passed her over to her transcendent delight—I am QUEEN! And I WELCOME NEW SLAVES!!—and got my emergency††† money out at which point he had to pass her back because his wife wanted him to check her addition. Then I gave her to him again while I dealt with my change. . . .
It’s all socialisation. It’s all good.
I know that I could just google “hucklebutting” (fantastic name, by the way)—but are there any chances of us getting a video? That would just make my day.
Well this is slightly more probable than it was when you posted this, because I’ve finally found the plug-in thing to recharge the battery on my little video camera.‡ And I’ll have a go. But I don’t think it’s likely to be nearly as funny on video as it is in real life, judging from the hucklebutting videos already out there. The silliness of it doesn’t really come over, it just looks like some dog running around and, so? Part of this is that since most of it is taken from above, human being standing or sitting and aiming down at hucklebutting bullie, you don’t catch the true effect of the preliminary dropping down, so it’s almost more of a high-speed scuttle than a run. But if you get down to bullie level yourself to capture this you will be hucklebutted, which could be painful and will probably not result in high-quality footage. But I’ll give it a try.
It is a great verb, isn’t it? I hope whoever invented it is proud of themselves.
* * *
* I was thinking how much they’re like humans.^ The dog books all tell you to swap puppies’ toys around so they don’t get bored looking at the same ones and having all of them equally available, they’ll get jaded.^^ And if you can afford it you might want to produce an absolutely new toy at intervals.^^^ That’s just like us.^^^^ I have ENOUGH books, yarn and opera recordings. NOOOOOOOO. NEVER ENOUGH. I want the new and the shiny! Just like a three-month-old puppy!
^ Humans as opposed to people because of course dogs+ are people
+ and [insert your sort of critter here]
^^ Precocious things, puppies, already able to generate jadedness at three months.+
+ Some mum of humans is going to say that human pup—I mean babies are just the same. I think there are probably fewer puppies that have to be talked out of taking their favourite toy, the one that used to be a large orange and black plush tiger and now looks like a bag of mouldy oatmeal with mysterious lumpy appendages, to their first day of school.# I admit that I know a lot more about dog babies than I do about human babies.
# And I have never heard of a dog taking a favourite babyhood toy/bag of mouldy oatmeal secretly in the bottom of a suitcase to college.&
& Yes. But Algernon was in pretty good shape.
^^^ Different textures of towels and dustcloths with knots tied in the middle work surprisingly well. I’ve yet to have a puppy demand Tiffany.
^^^^ I’m assuming there are no ascetics reading this blog.+
+ If there are . . . oh dear.
** Most dogs grow out of this to a greater or lesser degree.^ Bull terriers get funnier.
^ Darkness, mostly. Poor thing has the responsibilities of the world on his shoulders. Chaos, not much. As witness the last photo from the other night.
*** After the hellhounds and I had the most tremendous riot over a piece of golden autumnal countryside WITH NO ONE ELSE ON IT except a few rabbits. Which fortunately the hellhounds did not see.
† Well walking is possibly an exaggeration. We proceed in a series of lurches. At this age I mainly want her liking going for ‘walks’ and learning to accept the lead without really noticing that’s what’s happening. This makes for uneven progress.
†† In my continuing quest to help metamorphose the bull terrier’s reputation from savage killer to friendly goofball, I have found that mysteriously the addition of ‘English’ in front of ‘bull terrier’ seems to mean that fewer people back away from you slowly, looking frantically around for a tree to climb. I wouldn’t put it past a bull terrier to learn to climb a tree, but I don’t tell the backers-away this.
††† There are emergencies and emergencies. I also bought some pink buttons for future knitting projects. It is good to be prepared.
‡ I know Pooka has video capability but life is too complicated, not to mention that iPhone video is usually pretty dire. In theory I know how to make the videocam talk to other tech. In theory.
Pavlova and I had an interesting encounter in the churchyard this morning, with two women and three dogs. I’m not messing around with dogs I don’t know, and I picked Pavlova up (to her considerable ire). The woman with the two spaniels, who I’ve seen before, said half in alarm and half in accusation, Where are the whippets? At home! I said, and she relaxed. What do they think of this one? she said. Not a lot, I said. One of them will put up with her bouncing on him and the other one runs away.* But by now both women were falling under the spell of Pavlova’s manifest adorableness. Both said they’d never seen a baby bullie before. I said hastily (I’m getting kind of used to saying this hastily) she’s a MINI! She’s not ever going to get really big! And so we discussed relative sizes for a while, and I said she’d probably weigh about the same as a hellhound**, but she would be short and square. They said, what’s a bull terrier like, after five whippets/hellhounds in a row? Hungry, I said. She is hungry all the time. It makes a change. But really . . . she’s like a puppy. She’s more like a puppy than she’s like some strange unique bull terrier thing, although I’m still kind of worrying that the strange unique bull terrier thing will emerge later. The one thing I knew I was worrying about was bite inhibition, and even at nine weeks when I got her she already had bull terrier jaws. But screaming and picking her up seems to be working really well.
The woman with two spaniels stared at me as if I’d grown a second head and it was making rude faces at her. Bite inhibition? she said cautiously.
Yes, I said. All puppies bite. It’s how you teach them not to bite too hard. Don’t you know about this? —One of her spaniels was only half grown.
She shook her head.
Ah um, I said. Well, puppies bite each other, and when the sibling they’re biting cries, the biter backs off. So you’re kind of pretending to be another puppy. Picking her up—which her breeder suggested—reinforces that something has happened, since bullies tend to be a bit stubborn and single-minded.***
And it works? said the woman with the half-grown spaniel.
Yes, I said.† It’s not a perfect system [fortunately I was wearing long sleeves] but it does work.
We went our separate ways (Pavlova instantly shot off after those fascinating other dogs, and it took several bits of kibble to get her pointed in the right direction again) but there’s something that I haven’t seen mentioned in any of the puppy books I’ve read. This didn’t happen with the hellhounds, probably because they had each other, and furthermore they have never been great munchers of anything.†† But Pavlova would rather bite me than any of her toys††† and I can see her backing off so she can bite me. In something stubborn, single-minded, prone to the Mad Scampers and twelve weeks old, this seems to me a high level of getting-it-ness.‡
* * *
* I am aware this is not an unusual reaction. Lots of grown dogs don’t like puppies because they scuttle^ around so in a manic and unpredictable manner. I understand this. It’s my attitude toward spiders.
^ All puppies—and some grown up dogs—have a frenzied-dash setting. It’s not as conspicuous in sighthounds because they’re built to move at extreme speed and pretty much can’t make an ungraceful gesture. Hazel, the smallest of the previous generation of whippets, used to swap ends while running at top speed, which was a hoot—but it was still beautiful. Bull terriers have a kind of special take on the frenzied dash which is called hucklebutting. Southdowner and Olivia say they all do it, it’s just a question of CONTAINMENT. There are a lot of videos on YouTube of hucklebutting and bullies generally . . . most of it fairly scary, or maybe I’m just clicking on the wrong clips. Bullies are lovely dogs, given decent genes and a decent upbringing. It’s not necessary to risk death and the loss of all your worldly goods because you’ve got a hucklebutting bullie. Anyway. Pavlova has always dashed around because she’s a puppy, but this last week she’s starting to do proper hucklebutts. You can see one coming on: she gets a light in her eye and drops down a level, which is something that none of the videos show properly because they’re taken from human height or at least from above, and she then streaks across the floor—since she only goes out on lead she hasn’t had the chance to try it outside yet—in forty directions at once, belly just about brushing the floor, zigzagging as if she’s dodging sniper bullets. It’s hilarious.
At the mews the hellhounds are in an open bed—at the cottage downstairs they sleep in their crate, and I can close the door against puppy attack—which I wall off with my knapsack and canvas briefcase to prevent her from getting at them+—but if she plunges past, which she is more likely to at the mews because there’s more open floor space, Darkness moans.++
+ And which, just by the way, is only going to work a week or so longer because she’s getting LARGE ENOUGH TO CLIMB OVER.
++ I thought I was being clever by sending hellhounds upstairs to their favourite bed in my office at the cottage while I strove with the hellterror in the kitchen. Nope. Hellhounds muster on the stairs, peering through the banisters . . . and both moan.
Chaos, who is still trying, will stand there—and occasionally lie—while Pavlova climbs all over him at blur speed, as witnessed in those photos a few days ago, but emits quite a complex moan when he Doesn’t Think He Can Bear It A Moment Longer. Whereupon I remove her.
** I’m telling myself that her feet aren’t very big. So she’s not going to get enormous.^
^ Of course bullie feet are pretty small, proportionately. . . .
*** But so do sighthounds. Not so different really.
† I didn’t think of it at the time, but I don’t know how it’s going to work on a half-grown dog who hasn’t been biting his siblings in several months.
†† She says feelingly
††† Note: sigh. Although I think it’s also a relationship thing. Puppies interact by biting. And again I say: siiiiiigh. Couldn’t we have domesticated something to be our fireside companions 40,000 years ago that interacted by tail wagging or bringing flowers and chocolates or something?
‡ It’s still not a perfect system. I’m glad it’s cold enough to wear long sleeves.
Yes. I took her bell ringing last night.
It was at South Desuetude whose access stair only looks feasible from a puppy-hauling point of view to someone who regularly rings at the abbey. Southdowner*, whose silly idea taking her ringing was in the first place, suggested that I take her out of the crate and carry her up separately. I want to believe I would have thought of this myself** but I didn’t have to. I’m not sure I literally could get the crate around that spiral with a puppy in it. When she grows too heavy to carry under one arm (soon) I’ll have to make two trips.*** Glaciation—Colin’s band swap between the two (ahem) towers—is a nice roomy ground floor ring however.†
We played Pass the Puppy while the pre-ring gossip went on†† and then for the first touch Colin let me sit out with a puppy in my lap. Pavlova didn’t so much as flinch when six bells pulled off, although she did try to bury her ears under my arm. And she curled up in her crate for the rest of the evening with every indication of nonchalance.
Today Fiona came down to examine the new addition and I said YAAAAAY and thrust a puppy in a bag††† at her and all five of us went for a (slow) hurtle, which involved a lot of Chaos! NO! as he kept bouncing off Fiona to investigate the contents of the bag. This afternoon, however, I hung Pavlova round my own neck and Fiona and I had a hellhound-free stroll‡ around Mauncester as today’s chapter in Expose the Puppy to More Stuff.
And tomorrow . . . I’m sure I’ll think of something.
* Olivia, for some inexplicable reason, does not ring.
** But I am very short of sleep. It took hellhounds an hour and a half to eat^ their supper Sunday night, and last night . . . she barked. I’m telling myself that a lot of puppies go through this phase.
^ One of my big stress points is the likelihood that Presence of Puppy would put hellhounds off their food. Yes.+ We’re still just about holding our own but . . . SSSSTTTRRRREEEEEESSSSSSSSSS. We also had a loooong puppy-free sofa this afternoon in the interests of hellhound reassurance and knitting. Pavlova is really cutting in to my knitting time.
+ Is the Pope Catholic.
*** Unfortunately she’ll probably outgrow this crate before she’s old and sober enough to lie down and stay there. There are dogs that accompany their bell ringing humans to bell ringing. But I’ve never heard of a bull terrier.
Although this Will Do Anything for Food is SO EXCITING. There are obviously glimmers going on in that puppy brain that peeing and crapping produce delightful rewards and I think she’s beginning to suspect that bum on floor = cheese if she hears ‘sit’.^
^ Southdowner and Olivia have told me six hundred million times that bullies are tough to train: what an ordinary dog needs fifteen or twenty repetitions to catch on to, a bullie needs fifteen or twenty hundred. Piffle. It took Chaos four years to learn to lift his feet to have his harness put on. At least you can get a bullie’s attention because they’re INTERESTED in that piece of cheese in your hand. Of course then you have to convince them that they have to do something before they get the cheese. We’re working on this.
† So she can keep coming to Glaciation in her next crate.
†† I was extremely amused that one of the blokes whom I would not expect to be soppy about puppies . . . was soppy about this puppy. Although he declined to carry her downstairs after practise. Hey, it’s downstairs. Never mind. Although I got frelling STUCK at the bottom when the frelling crate managed to wedge itself fast. ARRRRGH. My extremely well-handled and well-socialised puppy, however, just dangled from my other arm in a blithe and carefree way while I wrestled with the beastly thing.
††† I still haven’t made it to the vet’s to find out how soon she can get her final jabs, so I can take her for hurtles. I think it’s a fortnight. Pleeeeeeez that it’s only a fortnight. I had hellhounds indoors for AN ENTIRE MONTH and I was conspicuously more crazy at the end of this stint than I had been before. And no, I have never recovered. Beware of People Who Have Raised Lots of Puppies.^
^ Kittens are just as big a time sink but I believe they’re less labour-intensive.
‡ I think Fiona might have considered it more of a hurtle. Her legs are a good deal shorter than mine. And I’m used to hellhounds.
THIS TIME TOMORROW I WILL BE ALONE WITH A PUPPY. And two seriously unthrilled hellhounds* and a husband who has gone to bed. I didn’t sleep at all last night because every time I began to drift off I was mobbed by gigantic hellterrors** with antlers and talons like an eagle’s and whole rows of fangs and little red glittering eyes.*** I think possibly I have an attitude problem. AAAAAAAAAAAAAH. Why didn’t I stick to that delinquent-gorilla-fostering programme? Why did I think I wanted a bull terrier puppy?
To my utter lack of surprise, I have not managed to finish this editorial tweak of SHADOWS so I will have the interesting experience of trying to work with a puppy in my lap since I’m going to try this Holding Strategy which is supposed to produce Calm Laid Back dogs, even when they were bullies to begin with.† It will be even more interesting when I print the whole ms out and try to read hard copy . . . with a puppy in my lap. . . .
Did I say AAAAAAAAAAUGH? Let me say it again. AAAAAAAAAAAUGH.††
* * *
*Who are presently crashed out in their standard post-dinner-struggle manner. I am ravaged by guilt. They don’t realise The World Changes tomorrow.^ Guys! Wake up! This is your last evening! Er . . . let me rephrase that . . . last evening when there’s only four of us.^^ You should be awake! Having precision nostalgia and glaring at me! You don’t realise how exquisite our time on the sofa was tonight!^^^
^ Although I think Darkness has suspicions that something is not going to hellhound plan. Chaos looks at the travelling crate that has been riding in the back of the car with them all week and thinks, well, whatever, humans are weird. Darkness looks at it and thinks whaaaaaaaat is this about. It’s the same with the new crate in the sitting room at the mews. Chaos thinks eh, it’s a thing, isn’t it time for another walk so I can mug my brother some more? Darkness thinks, hmmmmmmmm, what is she up to? Today I draped a blanket over the crate so it’ll be more secure and den-like for a puppy who weighs about one-tenth of a hellhound,# and fluffed up one of the polyester throws I use as hellhound bedding inside the crate, and Chaos opened one eye and closed it again and Darkness sat up and stared.##
^^ Unless you count frelling computers, rosebushes, my piano and/or Wolfgang.
^^^ Have I mentioned the difficulties of knitting with a hellhound in your lap? You do hear about people’s hands and wrists starting to hurt if they knit too much, or to a really tiny gauge, or a frelling frelling frelling pattern, or a hard unyielding yarn, but you don’t hear so much about eye- and shoulder-strain from knitting holding your needles over your head. If I forget and bits start trailing across Resident Hellhound+, RH tends to kick violently. Stitches can be lost this way, never mind the bruises. And I still haven’t figured out a successful plan for handling something that gets larger than a leg warmer, like the back or front of a sweater. Have I mentioned that I’ve started another sweater? No, I haven’t finished the first one. I haven’t quite finished knitting the second sleeve . . . and I don’t want to face finding out that the bits don’t fit together. I especially don’t want to find this out on a week when other things are happening. Like your family is increasing by one hairy four-legged incontinent member.
+ Usually Chaos. Darkness customarily lies tactfully along my leg or (excellent as the weather gets colder) across my feet.
# Although not for long. Although I’ve had several people tell me soothingly that the biggest puppy in the litter does not necessarily grow up to be the biggest dog . . . We’re channelling little and delicate here, okay?
## Also there was serious language when I found out what a total pain in the rear the catches on the new crate are. Maybe I should have bought the one that cost three times as much. For a couple of plastic latches? Faugh. I’ll buy clamps at the builders’.
** I don’t even like terriers. But bullies (and Staffies^) are sui generis really.
^ And anything else some outraged terrier owner wants to write in and tell me I don’t know squiff about. Maybe. I don’t like most terriers. But then I don’t like most people. I don’t like most books. I don’t like most things.
*** Not in a good way. For you Hellhound readers.
† HAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Um. I wonder if it works in reverse? Will a puppy in the lap calm me down?
†† Olivia and I have been texting each other all evening.
O: Don’t panic. It’s going to 2b fun!
Me: She’s not as big as Yeti [standard bull grandmother, Southdowner's foundation bitch] yet, right?
O: curled up on my lap atm, she is size of Yeti’s head
Me: Yeti has v big head
O: u r impossibull!
Me: I’m abt to b impossibull, 2morro. She’s even cuter than fortnight ago, right?
O: She is adorabull.
Me: . . . text as u leave 2morro?
O: Yes will text you when I set off, that’s a generous 2 hours 4 u 2 run around cottage like headless hen.
Me: THANK U SO MUCH. Is my girl 1st to go?
O: She’s first, having last snuggle on lap, *sniff*. She is sweetie. Only today person who had them 4 day said she was calmest. . . . U believe me, right?????
Me: OF COURSE. WOULD U LIE?
O: Good, be reassured, be very reassured.
Me: Resistance is futile, right?
O: Absolutely. You need wodges of kitchen roll & scads of newspapers—that & ur sanity r all u need to hang onto.
Me: Sanity? Um . . . I think it’s too late.
O: W bullie prob a good thing.
Me: I thot that was why u decided to let me hv 1.
O: Yes u hv sufficient insanity 2 qualify 4 bullie ownership. . . .
. . . . And on that positive note, you will forgive me if I go to bed early, not that I’m going to sleep or anything. . . .