Happy year that is pretty much like all the other recent years so they’re just blending together in a cesspool of crapola and irritation. How’s that for starting things off with cheer? I feel the need for an emoticon that means “meh.”
But first – a New year’s family photo!
Woulda been a beautiful day to take all kinds of photos in this beautiful location, but apparently the entire lower mainland felt the same way and the place was freakin’ packed! I’ve never seen so many people there – we kept abruptly about-facing and going in different directions to avoid them, because not everyone appreciates all of my dogs running full tilt of them in a spasmodic tidal wave of greetings. (Hell, I don’t even appreciate it, but have no idea how to make them stop immediately rushing and loving everyone they see.) Eventually I threw up my hands (figuratively, not literally) and marched all the dogs back to the van and left.
The more perceptive among you will notice that this photo is short one funny little face. THIS funny little face.
That’s because 2018 wasn’t only determined to merely be shitty, but to be shitty to THE BITTER END. And because 2018 keeps its promises, the day after Boxing Day I got out of my new, more comfortable bed (because SantaParents got me a memory foam mattress topper that makes the Is-This-F*cking-Thing-Made-Of-Plywood-Or-Something-?-? rv mattress bearable to sleep on), and let all the dogs out into the yard. They tend to exit the “house” (aka tin can) the same way they approach people they see in public – en masse and as quickly and chaotically as possible. So I don’t know what happened next except that I heard screaming and screaming and I threw myself outside to find Winter hollering his head off and trying to run away from himself, but he couldn’t, because his back legs weren’t working (although his poop generator was, because he was shooting out poop like a canon). I picked him up, poop and all, and ran for the phone to call the vet.
Within literal minutes he could walk again, albeit sorta sketchily, and with a brand new swagger in his hieney that had nothing to do with confidence. My vet couldn’t fit him in, but another nearby(ish – nothing is actually “near” me) vet could, so I bundled us into my van and headed out. Which is when Act II started – stepped on the gas and the van would rev like crazy, but no acceleration. The gas pedal was nothing but dirty art on the floor of my vehicle. I lead a really angry parade of cars down the road at 40kmh to a gas station, where I coasted into a parking spot and gently laid my head against the steering wheel and wished really hard I could go back in time to, say, before birth, and choose a completely different life, one in which dogs and cars both work like they’re supposed to.
Anyway, a friend came and picked me up and took us to the vet, where it was determined that something happened to Winter but we don’t know what, but I was to go home and put him in a crate and leave him there for a week with some anti-inflammatories. BCAA towed my van to same-friend’s mechanic boyfriend’s shop where it was determined ($300 later) that the transmission in it was GOING BYE BYE (A-F*CKING-GAIN) and I should get rid of the piece of crap asap. He got it running again, but suggested I sell it, trade it in or set it on fire as soon as humanely possible because the transmission was going to fail at any moment.
So my parents came to the rescue and we traded in the van for a slightly newer van two days later. Just in time too, because my last finance payment on that thing WAS YESTERDAY. Thank goodness I can literally go no time at all without a vehicle payment – that would really have messed with 2018’s plans to screw with me. PHEW.
Tonight, I zipped out to the store to get a snack and my check engine light came on in the “new” van. Excellent. I didn’t have the van mechanically inspected before I bought it because a) time was of the super-duper essence and b) I spent all my money on Winter and the previous van. Seems 2019 has spoken with 2018 and has Big Plans for me.
I am tired of seeing New Year’s memes about “365 new opportunities” and “looking forward not back” and other drivel, because quite frankly this last year has sucked balls and I really don’t anticipate anything changing just because 2018 changed its name to 2019. I hate living in this tin can, I hate living in a parking lot, I hate the mudpit that is my “yard,” I hate never having enough money, I hate that my dog is gimpy, I hate that my Piper dog died (though I’m glad she did it before she had to move into this stupid tin can in a parking lot) and I’m just plain old grouchy about everything. GROUCHY GROUCHY GROUCHY.
Also it’s impossible to find a comfortable position in my chair to make this blog, because Fae insists on laying behind me and I’m thinking of hurling her like a football into one of the many lake-sized puddles waiting outside for unsuspecting sneakers to sink into. She is both uncomfortable and SASSY. This is her giving Dexter shit for not dropping the ball so the Food Lady’s magic blue throwing stick can make it go again.
Worst part is she usually gets her own way too.
We cut a “gate” into the fence that separates Us from The Buffalo the other day … ostensibly so that the poor mud-logged poultry can free range in some grass and plants (another thing I hate about living here is their poultry pen, which is disgusting. Also their poultry house, which broke in the windstorm. I also hate windstorms. And wind), but also so that the dogs and I have somewhere to play. The gravelmud yard is not enough, and when I throw the ball, 7 times out of 10 it ends up bouncing through the livestock fencing and Maisie dives through after it and ends up out there anyway. There are no buffalo out there in the winter months, so we’re taking advantage of the space.
There’s a fenced off leash area for the agility building and we use that sometimes, because it does provide for some nice photo ops.
But 4/9 dogs can get under the gate (I’ll let you guess which ones), so we can only use the play yard when nobody is using the building, which feels like is NEVER. We won’t talk about the never ending barking that is the soundtrack to my home life and we really won’t talk about parking on trial days. *grumble*
So the field at least has some potential for nice photos ops too, when it’s not peeing rain (which is all it seems to do these days … and my tin can is leaking somewhere as a result. Also awesome).
There’s still some tall grass, until the chickens get ahold of it anyway, and that makes for some pretty photos too.
Also some silly ones.
Winter is still wobbly on his hind legs, but he’s been going squirrely in the crate – yesterday he ate a goodly portion of his bankie, and when I took him to the vet for a recheck, he had gained a whole lb from all that confinement and snacking (not on blankets, just FYI – like actual snackies to keep him occupied) so today I let him come out with us so he could desquirrelify his acorn sized brain a bit. We still aren’t sure what happened – the vet said “spinal nerve damage from a traumatic injury” (like maybe leaping off the porch without using the stairs like a normal dog?) but the good news is he is no longer in pain when his back is touched. He’s just wobbly. And it’s not like I’m in a position to get him an MRI to make a definitive diagnosis. I figure if he’s not in pain any more, we’ll work our way back up to full exercise over time.
The tall grasses, lovely as they are, comprise only a small portion of a very tempting, full-of-bunnies area for my bad dogs to run amuck though! It’s worse than herding cats – I am constantly losing a goodly portion of them to the siren song of HUNTING. Like, here’s Addy mid-bunny-chase. You can tell by her ears, which only ever reach for the heavens when she’s trying to channel lightning (speed) so she can be fast enough to catch the wabbits.
I guess its a good opportunity to work on her recall, as well as practice dog-running-straight-at-me shots.
Here’s Peetie. She’s still really, really annoying.
Here’s Dexter. He’s still really, really deaf.
He got to play some agility at our club Christmas Party / practice and he was SO HAPPY. I should really take advantage of the stupid building full of equipment I live next door to and play with my dogs some more. But honestly, I lack the motivation and the energy. Probably because I hate everything.
When Wootie’s not doing this:
He’s doing this. Because possible rats.
You can see a little bit in the back there that his Flamboyance(tm) is working hard to make a comeback, though it still has a long way to go.
In the meantime, TWooie’s Flambe(tm) is doing a pretty reasonable job as a stand-in.
Fae Fae doesn’t find the new field access very exciting because she fits through the livestock fencing quite easily and goes out there all the time anyway.
This is still here too. Can’t seem to get rid of it. She’s basically a big, hairy (and barky!) tick. With blackberry stems stuck in her tongue.
My only real “new year’s” resolution is to blog more frequently than I did last year. First I have to find out how to be in a better mood though, because I know y’all don’t want to read about my being grouchy all year long. I figure my first step is to find a real job, because I will probably be less grouchy if I’m not worried about money all the damn time. And I need money to improve/increase my equipment … I have been saving for a portable strobe for what feels like forever, and every time I have some extra money together, something comes along that needs it and I’m back to square one. Believe me, I know most/everyone has this same issue, on either bigger or smaller scales, and I know wanting a portable strobe is a first world problem. I also know that I have great friends and I’m not living in my van and THERE ARE ALL KINDS OF THINGS I KNOW and don’t need to be reminded of. I’m still grouchy about it. So baby steps / one thing at a time / etc. BLAH BLAH BLAH.
I guess my first goal is to figure out how to be more like Woo and less like TWoo in this photo.
I’m so sorry about everything that has happened to you and your babies. I wish there was something I could say that would make it all go away and be better. Sometimes, it does seem that the “universe” is bearing down on us and there is no end to our bad luck but it will get better. I know that I’m not the only one pulling for you. I’m sending you and your fur family prayers and good thoughts!
Susan Robinson says
Your pictures are, as always, stunning! Thanks for sharing them with us! I am sending you good juju for the new year! Susan
Ugh. So sorry that life is taking a dump on you right now. I have neither sage advice nor trite inspirational drivel for you, but do hope that things turn around for you soon. You deserve better.
Your photos are awesome as usual. How on earth did you get the 5th one, with four puppers jumping over the log AT THE SAME TIME!?!? That is just amazing.
The Food Lady says
“How on earth did you get the 5th one, with four puppers jumping over the log AT THE SAME TIME!?!? That is just amazing.”
I set them up in sit-stays behind the log, got into position with my camera, and released them! :)
Peggy Lycett says
2019 *has* to get better soon. I hope Winter makes a full recovery. Your writing and photos are always enjoyable – even if it is sharing the hard times, which is REAL. I love reading your blog and admiring your pups and how you manage to raise them all.
It is probably no comfort to remember all the hard times you have survived but you are a survivor and will survive this. Definitely be like Woo – a model for us all! I love that boy.
Wishing you the best and thanking you for for your blog and its wonderful pictures.
And I was also wondering how you got that awesome synchronized pic too :)