Making adjustments

I’m still working like a fiend. So much so that I have not been able to get out and really enjoy my garden as I have in years past. I’m hoping I can catch up in June when I’ll finally be able to come up for air.

I did get my washing machine last Saturday. A fancy, schmancy energy efficient thing that’s whisper quiet as it goes about its work and promises to operate for about $11 a year. I’m not sure how I would measure that without a kilowatt meter and some sort of water heater meter hooked up to it, but it looks pretty impressive in print.

After a crazy work week, today was a whirlwhind of a day. First, I cycled off to the Lorna’s Laces Sale and Tour, an annual Windy City Knitting Guild event. I met up with Jamie and Chris there at around 8 AM, then went to wait at Beans n’ Bagels on Montrose until the actual event opening. [It was there we saw Rahm Emmanuel getting a couple cups of coffee and then leaving the store to get into a black SUV where it appeard his wife was awaiting him. We all waved at him as he left and he gave us a thumbs up back. He’s much smaller in person: both shorter and smaller in general than he looks on TV. And I didn’t hear him swear once. ;-)]

At the Lorna’s Laces sale, we all bought a smallish quantity of yarn (compared to what has happened in years past for some of us) and then proceeded on to Lillstreet Art Center for a special event. Chris was in her element, as she is an avid student of the wheel there, and she was excited to show Jamie and I her most recent pottery handiwork.

I was torn between checking out the excellent art of my friend, and the event: an urban farming celebration of chickens. One of my fellow urban chicken keepers – who is also an artist at Lillstreet — had arranged for this event that included a special menu at the resident cafe, a full display by Martha Boyd of Angelic Organics Learning Center, and a showing of the Mad City Chickens documentary.

It was an incredibly fun day, but I was ready to cycle home at about 2 PM when all was over. I rode against the wind all the way home, and so was exhausted and ready for a wee nap. I lay down with the newest Mary Russell book (thankfully acquired quite easily through the Chicago Public Library and thereby sparing me a few bucks in my budget), and was just getting into it when the dogs started getting rather riled and my mobile phone rang.

I picked up the phone — a call from Rachael — and looked out the back door to see that it was the arrival of my nephew and a friend on their bikes that was exciting the dogs so much. I put off Rachael for a bit, and visited with my nephew instead. The dogs were quite excited by the stimulus of these teen boys, and from there the real trouble started.

The boys were preparing to leave and were standing in the driveway with their bikes when the fight erupted. It seems that competing for attention became much too serious and the dogs began to fight. In earnest. Now, there have been a few skirmishes here and there since the big household upset of divorce and loss of a human presenance (Mark). But this was pretty serious.

I waded into the fight, picked Hannah up by her hind-quarters, and pulled her away from Sadie. True terrier that she is, Sadie launched herself at Hannah and the fighting resumed. Next, I grabbed Sadie by the hindquarters and then picked her up entirely. Hannah moved away, and I was able to get a close look at the damage Sadie had suffered.

It was disturbing: she had saliva all over her head and neck, and was starting to bleed from several wounds around her left eye. This was serious. After seeing my nephew and his friends safely away and putting Hannah in the house, I put Sadie in the car and headed off to the emergency vet.

Cubs traffic made it impossible to reach the one here in the city, but I was able to get to the one in Skokie within the hour. Luckily, Sadie’s eye is fine, but it was a close call. She has lacerations and bite wounds all around her eye and on the eyelid itself, so she will require oral antibiotics and an antibiotic salve in her eye for several days.

And per the vet’s instructions, I now have to send the dogs back to “boot camp.” The changes in the household have led to Hannah trying to move up in the pack hierarchy, to the detriment to Sadie. So instead, Hannah is leashed most of the time and I hold her back to be second to Sadie — the older, but smaller dog. Hannah must eat after Sadie, must go outside after Sadie, must only be allowed to get attention from me after Sadie.

I don’t mind, but it is a bit more work, for sure. It’s not easy being the alpha in a pack. But I do what I must. Oh, and that precious household budget is also quite reduced by a trip to the emergency vet. Again, I do what I must.

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