lilithsaintcrow: (Default)
( Jan. 30th, 2012 02:02 pm)

I made it through the weekend.

I had to get a new litterbox for the Remaining Cat, and get rid of the old ones. I got her the veritable Cadillac of litter receptacles, and you should have heard her yowling with delight. “YOU GUYS!” she would crow to the Absent Cats. “YOU GUYS, COME LOOK AT THIS! IT’S NEW AND SHINY AND SMELLS WEIRD!”

The fact that she received no answer perturbed her, so she went looking for Sweet Tuxedo and Cranky Duck Cat. She checked all their hiding spots, and I was hard-put not to dissolve in a wave of tears.

Oh, who am I kidding? I cried. She was always getting them and bringing them out to show them new stuff. I also cried when I found a lone hairball under my bed. *sigh*

The trouble was, this fancy-dancy litterbox had a door, and the silly Remaining Cat–oh, let’s call her Mad Tortie–has not grasped that you must go through the door to reach the Stuff What Catches The Sewage. (She’s very sweet, and very stoic, and very loving, but not high in the brains department.) I honestly didn’t think she’d have this much of a problem…

…until I woke up and found out she had used the bigger planters in the sunroom as her bidets, so to speak. So it was time to clean the sunroom, again, and I took the damn door off the Cadillac Litterbox. She jumped immediately in and started flinging litter with such abandon it almost hit Miss B in the nose–did I mention Miss B has a distressing fondness for Kitty Roca? Screw the cat kibble, she says. Give me the already-digested!

So I had to haul the Aussie away and put her on the other side of the glass door, her nose pressed against it like Little Orphan Annie’s. “YOU ARE DOING THINGS IN THERE WITHOUT MEEEEEEE,” she moaned, as I swept up litter and cursed under my breath. “THEY MUST BE FUUUUUN THIIIIIIINGS. WITHOUT MEEEEEEEEE.”

The sunroom is clean(ish), and Mad Tortie has stopped calling for the Absent Cats to come see the new doins, though she regularly checks all their hiding places in the house. Several of my plants are much the worse for wear. Miss B has been nervously checking around to see if the Absent Cats are perhaps hiding somewhere she can heeeeerd them out of, trotting behind Mad Tortie on her daily rounds. It would be hilarious if it didn’t break my heart to see them searching for Sweet Tuxedo and Cranky Duck.

Anyway, things are slowly returning to normal. Or as normal as it gets, around here. The sunroom’s looking mighty bare, and Mad Tortie spotted a feral rabbit out the window earlier today…

…but that’s another blog post.

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lilithsaintcrow: (Default)
( Jan. 9th, 2012 11:12 am)

Hear that? The gargling sound? That’s the sound of one of the worst weekends in recent history swirling down the drain. I am not sad to see it go, either. This morning’s run was a pounding away of stress, frustration, anger, sadness, you name it. It was only four miles, but both Miss B and I were much calmer at the end of it. Funny thing–I was told Aussies get very attached to their owners, but I didn’t realize until this weekend just how attached Miss B is. She was up with me all night Saturday, corralling and helping me handle another very sick animal, and every once in a while she would give me a low, soft, consolatory woof! and a sideways glance, clearly saying “I’m right with you, Mum. Just tell me what to do next.” All damn night, and she was up with me all day Sunday dealing with fallout and cleanup. When things had finally settled down and I patted the bed last night, telling her she had earned (again) the privilege of sleeping on the Big Soft, she settled down and groaned a little, flipped an ear, and was out like a light. And this morning, she was antsy because I was needing to work some of the stress off, so we hit the pavement and went for it.

I can’t talk about the rest of the weekend, because dealing with other people’s thoughtless cruelty just works me up into a ball of frustration. A lot of why I write what I do is to understand. But no matter how much I can paint a picture of it, I just don’t get it. It doesn’t make sense to me. The frustration of my own incomprehension is very large. I keep aiming to have some sort of compassion for assholes, but it’s very difficult when I simply don’t get it. Suffice to say the animal is in good hands and resting comfortably, and everyone here is very glad of it.

Anyway, it’s Monday, and the dread beast of Revisions is nigh. I finished the proofs for Iron Wyrm and am now hard at work on revising Bandit King. I’ve hit the point where I have fully realized that my editor, bless her hard little heart, is right about pretty much everything, and my ego, while staggering under the blow, has accepted it and moved on. I have to go back and tweak what work I did manage to get done through the hustle and bustle of the weekend, for I suspect I was too agonized to think clearly.

So, yeah. Any work I did in the past two days is suspect. I might as well have just lit it on fire, for all the good it’s going to do the manuscript in the end. Which is a big pile of argh, but it’s something fixable, something I can do, and something I understand the process behind.

I suppose I’ll take what I can get.

See you around…

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Why do these things always end up with me barefoot and screaming? It must be Fate or some shit. I have to tell you, though, it’s been so long I think I don’t remember what happened next.

HAHA JUST KIDDING. It’s burned into my tiny monkey brain like the sight of Sean Connery in Zardoz. Anyway. When last we saw Neo, the cats, and my champion herding Aussie, they were all in my sunroom. Neo had expressed his thankfulness for me saving his psychotic squirrel ass by screaming and invading my house, and the cats had taken a vote and decided that they were going to chase the little furry demon. To be fair, Tuxedo!Kitty wanted revenge for being kicked in the head, and Lemur!Cat just wanted to chase something small and snackable without a window in the way. Cranky Old Duck Cat just wanted to be sure nobody was going to eat his share of the kibble. And then, Miss B had gotten loose, and every circuit inside her doggy skull just fused together when she saw an opportunity to heeeeeerd something.

Let’s halt the action here for a second, just press the pause button, as it were, and see what everyone is doing.

Read the rest of this entry »

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“SHIT!” I screamed, as I skidded around the corner into my kitchen from the garage. “NO NO NO! NOOOOO!”

The squirrel wasn’t listening. The dog, attached to the couch, was barking hysterically.

When we last saw Neo, he had voiced his battlecry and flung himself into my unprotected house. This was a fine way for the goddamn rodent to repay me for not leaving him in the road to die. Gratitude may be a virtue, but I really am beginning to think it’s one this little asshole doesn’t possess.

Several thoughts flash through one’s head when one has inadvertently let a demonic tree-rat into one’s house. Let me see if I can list them in some kind of coherent order.

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lilithsaintcrow: (Default)
( Sep. 27th, 2011 09:59 am)

The combatants lay on the road under a curtain of rain. Lightning flashed again. The water coming from the sky was blood-warm, each quarter-sized drop sending up a puff of dust where it hit the tired, dry ground, a sheen of dust and oil soon floating on a thin scrim of rain.

When we left off, Jerkass Redtruck had decided cowardice was the better part of valor and peeled away from the scene of the crime. Miss B was still crashing around and barking hysterically, apparently having worked off her concussion. My M*A*S*H T-shirt was soon sticking to me, and my bare feet were soaked by the time I reached the road at the bottom of my driveway. I was still clutching the Sekrit Weapon, and my hair was starting to drip in my face. Holding my breath, I approached the two sodden lumps of fur.

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So there I was, in my driveway, waving a golf club and staring in openmouthed wonder.

When last we saw Squirrel!Neo, he had streaked between the fence and the garage after his little, um, psychotic break and the melee that followed. Behind him capered Steerpike!Squirrel, whose dastardly plan’s culmination had exceeded his wildest hopes. Miss B was shaking off her concussion, the jays were screaming, and the rest of the squirrels had taken refuge in my neighbor’s tall pine trees among the mourning doves, who immediately started gossiping softly about this turn of events. Worse than old ladies at a back fence, those doves. ANYWAY.

The day was still hot and sticky. Faraway thunder rumbled. Dark, stacked clouds were massing, but not nearly quickly enough. It was the kind of afternoon where people get drunk and angry, where it shades into an evening of more of the same and a night full of screams and punches.

In other words, it was showdown weather.

I managed to run through the house without tripping on anything, hit myself on the shins with my Sekrit Weapon, cleared the pet gate with a leap I am still proud of, whacked myself on the shins again, ran into my front door, twisted the knob, ran into it again (this was not my finest moment), finally figured out how to work my own goddamn door, piled out onto my front walk, and skidded to a stop, my jaw dropping.

Apparently I’d missed something while I was clocking myself on the head with my own front door; Neo had put two and two together and come up with Steerpike.

“YOU!” Squirrel!Neo bellowed. He’d lost a chunk of fur over his right shoulder, and blood striped his muzzle. But his crooked tail was high. “TRAITOR! THIEF! MONGREL! IMMA BEAT YO ASS!”

Steerpike!Squirrel grinned, panting. “BRING IT, OLD MAN. THERE’S A NEW KING IN TOWN.”

Well, those were fightin’ words. The duelists closed in a flurry of teeth and claws, and I was wondering if they both had rabies. I also had figured out I was barefoot, since I’d just been standing watching Miss B do her business. I also realized I was brandishing the Sekrit Weapon, and lowered the golf club somewhat sheepishly. I would have liked to wade in and give Steerpike a solid thump to his little rodent skull, but the chance of hitting Neo was too great. Plus, they were rolling all over my driveway.

Neo: THAT SOUND
Steerpike: “HAHAHAHA, YOU CAN’T CATCH ME, YOU CAN’T–” Bam. “DIDN’T HURT! YOU’RE TOO WEAK!”
Neo: THAT SOUND
Steerpike: “AND I’M GONNA LIKE BEING BETTINA’S SQUIRRELMAN, YOU KNOW.” Whap. Thud. Tearing noise.
Neo: Dead silence.

The sudden quiet was eerie. Steerpike’s only hope was his agility, and he kept dancing out of reach, darting in to smack or claw at Neo, who was like a damaged engine–terrible, but slow. Barking and crashing from the house behind me; Miss B had gotten over her head trauma, I guess, and found her way inside. I should have been hoping the pet gate would still be a deterrent. I should have been thinking about going back to close the front door, which was no doubt letting in a bunch of sticky air and nasty bugs. I should have been going to get the hose to separate the combatants–hey, it works for dogs, right?

Instead, I just stood, and stared, my shins throbbing. The incipient thunderstorm had just crept in front of the sun, eerie yellowgreen stormlight filling every crack and crevice with odd shadows. Steerpike twisted, meaning to hop away. I don’t know what he had planned, but it failed, because Neo jerk-twisted…and caught him.

In fact, Neo hit him so hard I heard the crunch at the top of the driveway, and they rolled out into the road.

In the distance, under a mutter of thunder, an engine growled.

…to be continued

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How was your weekend? I rearranged my dining room and went to a bouldering clinic at the Circuit. Incidentally, if you ever get a chance to take a clinic with Alex Johnson, do. She’s utterly delightful.

I’ve been putting off telling you what happened next in the Kingdom of Backyard, haven’t I. Well, that won’t make it any better. *sigh*

So. When last you saw Squirrel!Neo, he was being peppered with pinecones and various other materials. (I did not know squirrels could fling poo like monkeys. Well, lesson learned, but I’m not telling THAT story. I have some pride. Anyway.)

First, King Neo got mad. Then…he got paranoid.

You see, the bombardment only happened when he was alone, and only in the backyard. When the posse was with him, Neo was safe…but he was also nervous. Paranoia made him mean.

You can’t keep your position as King of the Backyard for very long if you start randomly screaming “BITCHIKNOWKUNGFU!” and jumping on whoever happens to be closest to you at the time. I mean, you can for a while–but that sort of behavior leads to rebellion sooner or later. (This is the reason dictatorships inevitably crumble. Trufax.)

And what, you may ask, was lean and reddish Steerpike!Squirrel doing all this time? Well, he was dancing attendance on Neo whenever the posse was around, and getting as close to the king as possible. Which meant he got jumped more often than not. Oddly, he didn’t seem to mind. In fact, he seemed almost to provoke the king into a rage, by dancing about and chittering, full of high spirits and cheer.

Neo, doughty warrior that he was, lasted about a week.

A bright afternoon came, one of the hot ones we had months ago. The air was so wet it felt like breathing through a towel. The weather would whipsaw back and forth, one day raining, the next steam-jungle-hot enough to drive you to drink, and then make you sorry you’d taken down anything but water. It was wet and miserable, and even Miss B, the most cheerful dog on earth, had her snappish moments. Getting her to go outside to pee was a chore. “ARE YOU KIDDING?” she would mutter, looking sidelong at me. “HAVE YOU BEEN OUT THERE? IT’S DISGUSTING, AND I’M WEARING A FUR COAT.”

And my muttered reply, “So help me, I am not having you pee on the rug. COME ON.”

So out we went. I leaned against the house, watching as Miss B slunk about in the shade, searching for The Perfect Spot. Now, I want you to remember that she’s lurking. Don’t forget that.

Juliet!Jay and Romeo!Jay were in the pussywillow tree, canoodling softly. Mourning doves were in the neighbor’s pines, exchanging comments on the weather and the old-man-pee smell of simmering juniper. Miss B slid around the corner of the house, seeking more shade.

And forth from the back corner, where the Headless Squirrel lay interred, came the posse, snapping their fingers. Neo was at their head, and he had relaxed slightly. Steerpike was capering alongside, and Neo kept giving him sidelong little glances.

Suspicious glances.

I wished I knew squirrelese. “That’s right,” I breathed. “Suspect him. Oh, suspect him.”

Steerpike kept capering. They moved out into the middle of the yard, tails twitching and noses lifted. I daresay there was even some sauntering going on. Steerpike, getting no reaction from Neo, turned his attention to a squirrel girl–oh, let’s call her Bettina–and they gamboled rather acrobatically. Bettina!Squirrel used to be Neo’s girl, but she had taken to avoiding him and hanging at the back of the posse. I didn’t blame her. He’d jumped her once, and only Steerpike’s intervention had avoided Severe Unpleasantness.

Because no matter how badly Neo’s being gaslighted, I won’t have squirrel domestic violence in my yard. That’s why the Sekrit Weapon was near the sunroom door. Remember that, too.

So, the stage was set. I was a little uneasy, and I was watching Steerpike. Who was unconcerned, smiling and handsome, rolling in the sun with Bettina!Squirrel.

And then. Yes, you knew there had to be an “and then.”

We heard him before we saw him. Mercutio!Jay coasted in, tail fluttering, in fine feathered form, landing on the ground near a bank of lemon balm. “ON TOP OF OLD SMOOOOOOKEY, ALL COVERED WITH BIRDSEED–HEY EVERYONE! WHAT’S–AUUUGHT! JESUS CHRIST!”

It was the final straw. Neo’s nerves snapped. There was only a gray blur, silent and deadly.

Mercutio went into the bank of lemon balm, screeching bloody murder. Feathers flew. “FIRE! MURDER! THIEVES! SMOOOOOG!”

Juliet!Jay hopped down, peering curiously into the green bank. I opened my mouth to protest, but she was already yelling. “WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU–ULP!”

Neo barreled out of the bank and hit her dead center.

And Romeo!Jay…well, he’d had enough, at that point. Nobody messes with Juliet while he’s around. A streak of blue-feathered brilliance screaming “BAAAAANZZZZAAAAAAI!” smashed into Neo, who was giving as good as he got. Rarely has there been such a display of kung-fu prowess in the Kingdom of Backyard.

You have to realize, this happened all within a few seconds. I was still inhaling to warn Julie when Miss B–remember her?–burst around the corner of the house, drawn by the ruckus. Every circuit in her little doggy brain fused. “HEEEEEEEERD IT!” she bellowed, and bolted across the yard.

All at once: Mercutio: “JESUS CHRIST!” Juliet: “AUGH!” Romeo: “JUUUUUULIE!” Neo was making THAT SOUND. Again. He was holding off three jays at once, including a maddened Romeo who didn’t give a shit about kung fu, he was going to get his hammer and beat some ass.

Now, I am possessed of no sense at all. Instead of going to get my Sekrit Weapon, I took off barefoot across the yard, my own “OH FOR CHRISSAKE CUT IT OUT–” drowned in the hubbub. The combatants, at that precise moment, noticed the impending canine tornado.

“HEEEEEERD IT!” Miss B bellowed again, and the yard exploded.

You know how in cartoons there will be a stampede, dust flying and the camera shaking, and Bugs Bunny in the middle with his shoulders hunched, his ears flapping a little bit as everyone pours past him? Yeah. That was me. Squirrels at my ankles, the jays suddenly remembering they could fly, and Miss B streaking by so fast the wind of her passing hit my shins. Neo, cut off from the juniper hedge, crazed and screaming, bolted for the gate on the far side of the garage. Steerpike lolloped afterward, high-pitched terrifying laughter bursting out of him and adding to the chaos, Bettina and the others had nipped through the fence for the safety of the neighbor’s pine trees, where the mourning doves were watching with bated breath and a great deal of interest.

Neo nipped between the gate and the garage wall. Steerpike ducked after him, still grinning. Miss B dug in, but was going too fast. She hit the gate with a yelp and a crash, backed up shaking her head, and turned in a circle a couple times, yapping with sheer joy and frustrated herding instinct.

Feathers drifted down. My ribs heaved even though I was standing still. I heard a deathly screech from the front yard.

This is not going to end well, I thought.

I ran for the back door, wrenched it open, scooped up my Sekrit Weapon, and booked through my house for the front door, leaving Miss B to sort herself out.

You see, like Romeo!Jay, I’d had bloody well enough.

…to be continued.

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lilithsaintcrow: (Default)
( Jun. 21st, 2011 09:02 am)

Three miles on the track with Miss B. this morning. There were a couple other dogs, so of course she went mad. She wants to be friendly sooooo badly, but her manners are atrocious. We’re working on it.

Also, my darling 40-pound dog tried to kill me this morning. The track is at the local middle school, and they were testing and repairing the sprinklers for summer. When some of the sprinklers turned on near us, she headed for the safest place around–right between my feet. While I was running. I didn’t break anything, but it was damn close. I haven’t made an amazing leap like that since…well, ballet, really, or my last barfight. Of course, since the leash is wrapped around my waist, she came with me. it was an interesting fifteen seconds or so.

Also in the Cat and Dog Follies this morning: Tuxedo Kitty is in another bolt-and-bounce phase, which means Miss B. views him as a magical food-producing machine she can’t get too close to, but must watch carefully in case the jackpot occurs.The kibble isn’t even chewed when he horks it up–just moistened a bit. Miss B. thinks this is a glorious snack. Tuxedo Kitty goes right back to the bowl after every hork. It’s a Circle of Life I just don’t need to be involved in. Though I have found that catnip spray will disrupt Tuxedo Kitty from staggering back to the bowl.

You read that right. I got my cat high to stop his binge-and-purge. Hey, whatever works.

Also, I found out that Miss B. will never starve. Not as long as the squirrels keep burying peanuts in the backyard. It’s like she’s a peanut-hunting machine. The squirrels are less amused than I am.

Time to load up on choco donettes and head back into the wilds of the copyedits. Submerging in 3…2…1…

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lilithsaintcrow: (Default)
( Apr. 6th, 2011 09:29 am)

Got the end of a kidnap attempt, a messy bloody death, a visit to Wilde the Sorcerer, and the tracing of a shipment of Prussian capacitors to write. This morning was interval training and a multiple-mile walk with Miss B. I think I tired her out. The only drawback is that I can’t nap like she does.

But I have a story to tell you first. Yes, Miss B met Neo the other day. As luck would have it, this was the first Squirrel-and-B interaction I had the pleasure of witnessing, and it just had to be the Terminator ninja death squirrel.

Picture this, a cloudy day, Miss B snoot-deep in backyard grass, Yours Truly leaning against the sunroom wall watching, yawning and holding an afternoon cuppa. It’s a tranquil scene.

From the clouds of blossoms on the plum tree, Neo sallied forth, crooked tail held high. Nobody had informed him of the Glorious Advent.

“Oh, Christ on a cracker NO–” I began. The last thing I wanted was my dog kicked in the head. That would get things off on the wrong foot. Plus, Tuxedo Kitty was never the same after his head trauma. I started forward, tea sloshing, Miss B turned to see what I was looking at…

..and froze, ears perked so far they almost started from her head, one paw lifted, barely even breathing.

How Neo missed an exponentially-bigger animal covered in russet fur staring at him as her haunches slowly sank in preparation, I’ll never know. He sauntered away from the tree, chittering a little as he encountered a small pile of grass clippings. Maybe he thought it was a fine place to bury a spring nut or two. Maybe he was so used to the calm in the back yard he literally didn’t notice. Maybe he was simply overconfident.

The preparation only took a few seconds, but it was long stretched-out nightmare time for me. You know those dreams where you’re running, but everything’s made of lead and you just can’t move fast enough? Yeah. Like that.

Still deadly silent, Miss B bolted.

“Watch out!” I yelled, hot tea slopping in my cup. “HE KICKS PEOPLE IN THE HEAD!”

Now, I was prepared for a short sharp flurry and a howling Miss B. She’s up on her rabies shots, though–it had been less than a week since her last jab.

I fully admit I underestimated my dog.

“HEEEEERD IT!” she bellowed in midstride, and was across the yard in an eyeblink.

“WHAT TH–EEEEEEEEE!” Neo started Making That Sound again. He bolted for the plum tree, but Miss B cut him off.

I watched my new mini Aussie herd the Terminator death ninja squirrel across my hard, harrying and nipping, turning on a dime, anticipating, and generally treating him like a flock of sheep. Now, squirrels are generally very nimble little critters, and Neo doubly so. But Miss B had her nose down, and she cut him off every. Single. Time. Grass flew. Neo stopped making That Noise. I suppose he thought he was running for his life and needed the oxygen. Back and forth they went–Miss B got him turned around near the fence, he feinted, she took the bait, he reversed–but so did she, with sweet natural grace, nipping at his crooked tail for good measure.

I stood there, mouth ajar, tea pouring out of my dangling cup. It was actually the boiling-hot tea splashing through my pants that restored me to some kind of sanity. “B—-!” I used her full name and my You Are My Child voice. She skidded to a stop, head up, eying me.

Neo darted for the shelter of the plum tree. Miss B quivered with anticipation. “No,” I said, “let the fuzzy little bastard rest. You’ve had your fun.”

She chuffed and trotted back to me, head high, her hindquarters wriggling with delight. “I HERDED IT! IT WAS A QUICK LITTLE BASTARD TOO! DID YOU SEE ME HERD IT? IS THAT MY NEW JOB?”

“Just be careful,” I told her, snorting for breath through the laughter. “That’s no ordinary squirrel. Plus he’s probably going to bring backup.”

Blossom-laden branches shook violently. Squirrel!Neo was invisible, but I could certainly hear him. “WHAT THE…WHAT WAS THAT? WHAT IS THAT? THE MONKEY’S TALKING TO IT! THERE’S SOMETHING IN THE YARD! FIRE! FLOOD! ANARCHY! IT NEARLY GOT ME!”

That did me in. I leaned against the house and fair wheezed with laughter. My stomach hurt and I had to blow my nose by the time I was done. Miss B, of course, kept one eye on me and one eye on the plum tree, waiting for Round Two.

This is gonna be good.

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lilithsaintcrow: (Default)
( Apr. 4th, 2011 09:29 am)

My morning started with a banana and a three-mile run at the low end of my pre-injury pace. This was made easier by the fact that I have finally kicked the flu’s ass and sent it howling. Which meant I could breathe, always a plus.

Then it was time to wash the dried blood out of my hair. Now, starting a Monday morning with dry claret spattering one is de rigeur for my characters, not so much for me (anymore), so this may require a little explanation.

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It’s Fish of April! Here’s the obligatory prank. There, now we’ve gotten that out of the way.

It’s a Friday and I’m flying low, so…under the cut, the long-awaited picture of Miss B, plus a squirreltastic treat. (ETA: Plus, the Evil League of Evil Writers totally made me cry this morning.)

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lilithsaintcrow: (Default)
( Mar. 30th, 2011 07:48 am)

Well, Miss B.’s first night went about as well as could be expected. She was spayed and uprooted yesterday, so it took her a while to settle in, and there was some Intestinal Distress. That was to be expected, and was prepared for, but I suspect neither of us got much sleep. She’s still not wanting a lot of food, though she’ll take the treat that gets stuffed inside the little rubber chew toy.

I am happy to report that even under such stress as this, Miss B. is a sweet, loving, kind, and very smart dog. She doesn’t nip or bark; she gets excited and jumps a bit but quits immediately when given a firm “no.” She adores the kids, is cautious of the cats–I noticed in her initial paperwork that she came from a home with both cats and little ones, which was a factor in my agreeing to take her.

So. There will be a writing post up later today, but for now…I am sitting here, typing, with a calm dog next to my chair. It just does not get any better than this.

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Today is the day! Miss B., our rescued, red tricolor miniature Australian shepherd, comes home late this afternoon. She will be kind of groggy, since she’ll be fresh from a spaying–and let me tell you, I am already angry at her former owners, who let her get to be three years old without spaying her. (It really is best. ANYWAY.) Everything is prepared–a nice canvas crate for her to retreat to, a couple of doggie beds in rooms we’ll spend a lot of time in, fresh bowls (one for water, one for food, one for the dishwasher) and food and treats, toys, a spare leash and two spare collars, bags for waste removal, toenail clippers and brush–when I went to the pet store yesterday, the clerk insisted on helping carry my purchases to the car. I guess it was a bit overwhelming.

Miss B. comes from the Humane Society for Southwest Washington, an excellent organization. They’ve been just wonderful! Funny story: my regular climbing partner volunteers there on a weekly basis, and after climbing yesterday I went to go see Miss B. and let her know I hadn’t forgotten about her. My climbing partner showed up during the visit too, and we had a nice chat. And then there was a tap at the window, and I look up–and there’s my across-the-street neighbors; they are contemplating a play partner for their current hound. Small, small world. Miss B. gave me an arch look, like “Do you know EVERYONE here, human?” Then she went back to giving kisses and being a guard dog.

I got a chance to get to know her a little better during my visit. She’s extraordinarily smart and inquisitive, very agile, and a very loving dog just aching for a job and a family. As soon as we got it settled I was the alpha she immediately started looking for things to do to help me. She adores giving kisses, loves leaning up against me or resting her head on my knee, and is very interested in what’s happening around the perimeter of her territory. Plus, she’s so adorable it just short-circuits me.

I will try to keep the updates to a minimum, since spamming the airwaves with “OMG NEW DOGGIE SQUEE” gets old after a while. And please understand if I don’t post many pictures. We are going to be very busy, but I’ll at least try to get a couple shots up.

Last night I went to a climbing clinic over at PRG with my bouldering partner. It was fierce. We both had a great time, and I am sore this morning. Dropped knees, high steps, flagging, severe overhangs…we did it all. My bouldering partner’s a very Zen climber–she’s methodical, and is grace personified on the wall. Me? I just throw myself at it and hope something sticks. I climb like the Tasmanian Devil dances. *wry grin* Sheer enthusiasm sometimes makes up for a lack of technique.

Anyway, today I have last-minute errands to run and checks to make sure the house is prepared for the Glorious Advent. The cats are all excited too–they know something is happening, and the two older ones are all, “WE HAVE SEEN THIS SORT OF THING BEFORE” while glaring at the youngest, who is mystified and kind of oblivious. (Miss B.’s former home had felines, so that’s good.) The kitties have several places to go to escape, should they need it, and the introductions are well-planned. I expect our oldest, crankiest cat to simply perch on something high up and announce his displeasure; our middle cat (sweet little tuxedo kitty, our lover, who got kicked in the head by Squirrel!Neo) will be upset until he figures out Miss B. is WARM and FURRY and NEEDS LOVE, at which point they will become bestest friends; and our youngest cat will hide under my daughter’s bed, like he does every day. He’s the kitty who will have the most difficult time adjusting, I think, because he only likes my daughter. She’s his human, and he is not interested in anything or anyone else unless it’s the food bowl. In any case, we’ll work through problems as they arise. It should be hilarious.

Since Miss B. is a herding dog, I expect her to try to herd the cats. Fun times will be had by all. Also, for those of you asking, I do not know how she responds to squirrels. I did try to explain to her yesterday about Squirrel!Neo (“He’s got a crooked tail, and he’s magic. Plus he knows kung fu. I AM NOT KIDDING.”) but she just gave me another arch look. “REALLY, HUMAN,” she seemed to comment, “I CAN HANDLE A RODENT OR TWO. THEY HAVE THOSE IN AUSTRALIA. BIG ONES. THAT KICK YOU IN THE HEAD.”

Oh, Lord. This is going to be fun…

Posted from A Fire of Reason. You can also comment there.

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