Thursday, March 15, 2012

Second Childhood

This morning the dogs were sitting together on the bed while I was getting myself together. When I turned around and looked at them--saw them with "fresh eyes," as it were--I had a sudden and distressing realization.

When I was a little girl, we had two dogs. One was a cocker spaniel-poodle mix named Saucy. She had curly black fur, and was a bit wild.

No, this isn't her. This is Brewster, a dog with black, curly fur who is a bit wild.

The other dog we had when I was kid was a Shetland sheepdog named Lady. Lady's fur was straight and brown down her back with a white collar, ruff, and feet. She liked to have a good time, but she was more restrained than Saucy.  

Not Lady, either. This is Bertie Sue, a dog with sheltie-like markings who enjoys a good game of Chase, but thinks Brewster overdoes it with the barking.

The moment I had this realization, I called my mother. Her only comfort was, "Well, Lady and Saucy were bigger." Can anyone recommend a good therapist?

Saturday, March 10, 2012

I'm So Busy I Don't Even Have Time to Write This!

I had lunch with my sister this week, and even though I've been so busy I barely have time for basic chores, I couldn't remember what any of it was so I could tell her about it. (OK, I just don't want to do chores. It's almost the same thing as not having time for them.)

So I've been trying to remember what it is I've been up to for the last few weeks. I know about 70% of it had to do with these two:

The Equal Opportunity Neighborhood Watch (i.e., evil boogeymen had better look out--and so should neighbors walking around in their own driveways and minding their own business)

The family bonding could not possibly be going any better. We've had a few snippy moments, but nothing at all concerning. In fact, I'm completely charmed by the gentle, restrained growling from both dogs that is so different than the all-out "I'm gonna rip your face off!" snarling that I'm used to when Brewster faces a stranger. The puppy gate came down on their third day together--because they took it down. When I tried to leave the next day with the gate in place, I sat in my car in the garage with the car door closed and motor running, and I could still hear howls of such heartrending sadness that I couldn't stand it. The gates came down for good. They've both done an excellent job of setting their limits and then forgiving each other when they're crossed. They don't love each other yet, but they are becoming friends. Bert has a bad habit of shoving Brewster out of the way when she wants something he has, and Brew has a bad habit of trying to hump Bert that seems to be fading as he gets used to her presence and as Bertie gets further and further past her recent pregnancy and spay. Families just have to overcome these little character flaws.

We have taken walks, we have worked on "Sit," and Bertie is trying really hard to teach Brewster how to play "Chase." Brew is usually a pretty quick learner, but "Chase" seems completely beyond him. I have faith, though. Bertie is persistent and Brewster is curious, so sooner or later, he'll figure it out.

In between all the doggy goodness, I'm working on two copyediting projects and keeping up with the Southwestern faculty orientation class. That class is no joke, but worth every minute. When I realized how much effort that class was going to require, I was indignant. After all, I've been teaching on and off for about seven years, now. But sometime during the first week, I remembered that I like being a student. And there is a lot of new software to learn, so despite the imposition, I'm glad they're actually taking the time to show us this material in depth. Every other teaching job I've ever had has basically consisted of being handed a room number and class meeting time. These folks actually want to help me do a good job. What a novel concept.

And of course there has been knitting. But it's all gift knitting and none of has been seen by the recipients yet, so I can't post that yet. And I've decided that this year, I'm going to keep up with the The Morning News Tournament of Books. I might as well, since it doesn't seem like KU's going to make it very far in their tournament. Instead of NCAA tournament socks, I can knit book tournament socks. So far I've added The Tiger's Wife and State of Wonder to my reading list. That's as soon as I get Bleak House out of the way. So I'm going to go get on that.

I'll leave you with one last shot of Miss Alberta Sue, who is turning out to be annoyingly camera shy, but does occasionally oblige with the perfect pose:

Look out, World. Bert has her eye on you.