Saturday, August 15, 2009

The Working Class

How do people do it—hold full-time jobs in fluorescent-lit rooms using crappy computers and drinking crappy coffee? How do they do it and maintain their senses of humor let alone their will to live? I have been dragging my carcass to an "office" every day for two weeks now, and I can barely summon the energy to sit upright on the evenings and weekends. Still, at dog park time, I am roused by the sounds of the clicky toenails jingling tags of dogs who ARE READY TO GO TO DOG PARK, and I must get up and serve those who wait.

This work thing has really cut into my enthusiasm for Dog Park. I spend more than eight hours a day filtering out necessary work-related chatter from all the other extraneous human noise created by 20 people stuffed into a room with bad acoustics and terrible lighting. As a result, I have no patience with the normal Dog Park exchanges. I have nothing to say about what's going on in the news because I don't listen anymore. I have no plans for the weekend except to do laundry and cook and get ready for next week. I don't know who the new people are or what their dogs' names are because I just can't take in any information that doesn't help me do my job. 

So on Wednesday, when a mob of young people showed up at Dog Park and set up kleig lights and cameras and musical equipment in the middle of the field next to the south parking lot, I was more annoyed than intrigued. Those stupid people can go anywhere to do their cutely creative musical thing, I thought. They do not need to come to Park and mess up my routine. People kept asking, "Who are they? What's their deal? What are they doing?", but I had no idea and, frankly, I did not care. Normally, I'd have been all over them, taking photographic evidence for the blog, expressing my opinion. Instead, I sat stupefied in the dust on the berm and watched the other Parkers swarm like ants in a flooded ant hill. Now I remember why I gave up working like a normal person. When I do, too much of live just passes me by. 


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Happy Tails to You . . . Until We Meet Again

Hi, everyone. Here's the latest on Ladybird, the sweet dog my friends in Oklahoma found this summer and were seeking a home for here in Austin. Here's what Colleen reported in an e-mail on Sunday: 

"Last night, Ladybird apparently slept with 2 children on the bed of the woman on 38th St. Everyone seems to be settling in nicely, although the dog didn't react well to little boy's plastic gun. A gun-shy bird dog might explain a lot about why she arrived at my house. The bottom line is: you have a very powerful blog." 

Perhaps, but I think the credit needs to go to the good folks at Dog Park, who know how to network and can suss out those poor souls in need of a dog. That's a happy ending. Even better, Ladybird lives not far from Dog Park. Perhaps we'll see her there sometime. 

Another update, for those not on the listserve. The young, male dog that Tony's Sarah found in San Marcos has had a soft landing in Houston. Sarah found the little guy wandering in a park. His owner, known to folks in the area, made no attempt to reclaim him. Sarah took him to friends who volunteer at a shelter, but Cal fit right into their household. Good job, Sarah! Good luck, Cal! Sniff! Pass me a kleenex, please. I've got something in my eye. 


Monday, August 10, 2009

Happy Birthday, Gracie

Here's a shout-out to our pal, Gracie, who turns the big 5 today. Gracie and her Mama and older sister, Lydia, found Muzzy and Muzzy's brother, Bob, as wee puppies in Oklahoma. Muzzy's name comes from a cartoon that was one of Gracie's favorites when she was much younger and smaller. Now she is all grown up and ready to start kindergarten in a few weeks. 

Have a lovely birthday, Grace! With love, from your friends in Texas—Zia, Roma, and Muzzy

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Long Time, No Post

Thanks to all who have inquired about my first full week of full-time work. The job is going well, but it is exhausting. By the time I get home, my brain feels like it has been forced through a juicer. The girls are a little confused, and Roma does not like the substitute dog walker. She takes a perverse pleasure in messing with her mind. When I get home, I find plaintive little notes about how Roma doesn't like her and won't come back inside the house after walks. Thanks for not going easy into that dark night, Roma. The regular walker comes back from her vacation tomorrow. 

Out of guilt and in anticipation of a real pay check, I bought Muzzy a pile of toys—chew bones and fresh fetching balls. She, of course, gives the walker no trouble at all, but I do pay a price. While getting ready for bed at night (earlier than usual, of course), I hear her pacing in the hallway with a ball, which makes a thokthokthok sound when she drops it and it bounces on the tiles. Out of desperation, I go outside at 11 at night in my 'jamas and throw the ball until she is exhausted and I get devoured by mosquitoes. The things we do for our dogs. 

The only downtime the dogs still allow me is that hour between dinner and Dog Park. On Friday, I was flipping through the latest copy of the New Yorker, lacking even the brain power to decode the cartoons, when I found a poem by the current U.S. poet laureate, Kay Ryan. It's about dogs and it's short. I was able not only to understand it but to enjoy it. I hope you do, too. 

Fool's Errands
A thing
cannot be
enough times:
this is the 
rule of dogs
for whom there 
are no fool's 
errands. To 
loop out and 
come back is 
good all alone.
It's gravy to 
carry a ball 
or a bone.