What It Is: 11/24/08

What I’m reading: Finished that Ring Lardner book last week, and have been un-booked for a few days.

What I’m listening to: Distant Hum, by Stella Schindler. I went to grad school with her c. 1995, but lost track of her after a few years. I haven’t looked up her up because, well, I forgot her last name. I kept coming up with “Kowalski,” and I knew that wasn’t it. When I met some old friends in Atlanta last week, one of them asked about her. One of them mentioned her last name, so I looked her up when I got home and discovered that she has a music career. I downloaded both of her records via Amazon’s MP3 store, and really dug this one. So, um, awesome.

What I’m watching: Home for the Holidays, our annual Thanksgiving week tradition. And Rushmore, which I really should own a copy of.

What I’m drinking: G&T with Plymouth & Q Tonic. Drank too often during the conference last week, so I’ll take it easy this week. Funny thing about Q Tonic: I bought a 4-pack of it in Whole Foods for $6.49. Subsequently, I’ve found it in a pair of higher-end liquor stores for $7.75 and $7.99. This may be the first product that’s ever been priced cheaply at Whole Foods.

What Rufus is up to: Eating a chunk of his food-scoop’s plastic handle, because the idiotic dog-walker left it upstairs with him after feeding him while I was away. He was also up to vomiting up pieces of plastic for the next few days.

Where I’m going: I may head into the city or Princeton to visit friends at some point.

What I’m happy about: No biz-travel till March! No office till December! And meeting up with old friends during my trip last week! All happiness-inducing!

What I’m sad about: The biz with Rufus. People goof on me for being a micro-managing control freak, but in things are where they are for a reason. You move stuff out of place and things can go wrong. Leave something that smells like his food in reach of a dog who’s sitting around bored all day because his owner’s away, he’s gonna end up chewing on it. So I’m sad about the fact that I have to trust other human beings not to mess something up. But I’ve been sad about that for a few decades now. On the plus side, my associate editor is doing a great job of handling our Corporate Capabilities profiles for the big year-end issue.

What I’m pondering: Whether I’ll really get all of my to do list of house-stuff taken care of in the next few days.

5 Replies to “What It Is: 11/24/08”

  1. Poor Rufus! Hope he’s OK now…They’re always up for doing something stoopid, and no matter how careful you are (or how much you flagellate) stuff will happen that had never occurred to you…Like the time we found Ned gnawing on a half-decayed dead bird in the back yard (he wasn’t feeling too good for a couple of days after that). Or when he tried to eat some plastic liner that blew onto the ground during high winds. Or when we found out that he couldn’t digest the wheat in his dog food and got really sick. Or the time he found a tiny piece of onion on the kitchen floor, decided he didn’t like it, and vomited up his entire stomach contents….

    Eternal vigilance is greatt , but we’re also currently organising pet medical insurance (it can cost around $6,000 to have a bowel obstruction removed surgically) and we have the 24 hour emergency vet number on speed-dial.

  2. That doesn’t beat TODAY’S discovery. He left our bedroom to go sleep in his crate sometime in the night, then started off the day with a limp and wouldn’t go more than a few steps outside the yard.

    I of course concluded that it’s osteosarcoma and that I should have somehow diagnosed it weeks ago, despite having no veterinary background. By the evening walk, he was much better (but still dropping his shoulder and limping slightly during his trot).

  3. Dude, after what happened at our place last Christmas do you really want to start the arms race of who can blame themselves the most?
    If I’ve learned anything it’s the fact that we can’t control or forsee everything. All we can do is our best.
    Sounds like he had a case of pins and needles to me ;)

  4. True, true. He was just fine this morning, and is trotting around at his regular pace during his walks.

    I meant to ask you: were all the dogs involved in … that horrible episode … greyhounds, or was it a mix? I’m thinking of asking one of my grey-owning co-workers to take care of Rufus while we’re away for a few days around the holidays and, while they SHOULD be around most of the time, I’m wondering if I need one MORE thing to worry about.

  5. One was an Irish Wolfhound cross and one was a Blue Heeler cross. Even though greys are docile I don’t think the breed really comes into it, as I have heard of cases where greyhounds have gotten into fights. That being said, what happened to Toby was pretty rare. The main issues were the fact that there were all rescue dogs (so we had no idea about their behaviour track record was or how they had been treated in the past), they were all male, two of them ganged up on Toby because they knew each other (therefore they saw him as the intruder), and Toby and the Wolfhound cross had quite dominant personalities. All up it was a bad situation.
    During the subsequent flagellation-driven research I’ve ascertained a few things that reduce the risk:
    – Males and females tend to fight less than if you place them with a dog of the same gender
    – Is Rufus or the potential roomie dominant? That’s when you get problems
    – It would be good for him to stay somewhere that only has one dog to avoid
    pack behaviour
    – Ensure there is two of everything (beds, water bowls) so they don’t have to share if they don’t
    want to
    – Don’t leave toys, treats or bones lying around for them to fight over
    – Keep them separated when they’re being fed and take the bowls aways as soon as they’ve
    finished eating so they don’t get upset about real or imagined food theft
    – Greys can get a bit nippy when they run together (must be the competitive streak they keep
    from their racing days). Try to avoid situations where they can run unsupervised and muzzle
    them when they go for a run

    It’s all pretty much commonsense really. You can usually get a pretty good idea of how things are going to go by keeping an eye on their body language when you put them together.

    It was as scary as hell when Lizzie came to live with us, but we haven’t had any problems and they are both happy and enjoying each other’s company. Even though she’s smaller than him she’s definitely the boss, and Ned seems to be quite OK with that. I’m sure Rufus will have a whale of a time playing with his friend.

    We’ll be dealing with some anxiety when we go away for Christmas (my sister and her husband are coming up to look after them) but in the end you’ve just got to let go….or end up being a prisoner in your own dog-run home ;)

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