For Mrs. Shirley Wiley
Last Saturday I suddenly found myself flat on my back on our gravel driveway. The events leading up to this are all too familiar to my fellow deerhound owners—sometimes even walking with bent knees doesn’t work if you don’t see it coming—“it” in this instance being an 85 pound seven month old deerhound puppy who has absolutely no sense of personal space. At least not MY personal space. He came around the corner of the garage at a hard gallop, his six month old borzoi “brother” in hot pursuit. And quite literally knocked me off my feet. As I gazed up at the sky, I thought to myself, “What the HELL was I thinking?” When I went to shower Saturday night, I caught a glimpse of a bruise the size of Texas on my derriere.
When good old Magic died a year ago in January, I was down to only three dogs. Practically “dogless”—at least for me. The girls, Queen and Quicksilver, were aging themselves and little Yoda has never really caused any trouble. There was a time when my household contained (well, contained is hardly the right word, but you know what I mean) three kids, eight horses, five Scottish deerhounds, a toy dog, two cats and a couple of guinea pigs. I drew the line at birds. They required far too much attention. My friends say I thrive on chaos. But that has been true only at home. Work has always been a quiet haven, a place of order and even relaxation. It’s all relative.
People have been wondering where I’ve been, and why I haven’t been writing. The reason is two-fold and can be summed up by two names: Pibb and Cole. Pibb is the six month old borzoi–his “fancy” show name is Russian and unpronounceable. Cole is the seven month old Scottish deerhound, registered as Jaraluv Unforgettable. They are very busy boys, and even under constant supervision the casualty count is rising—a favorite antique trunk…the inlaid veneered Italian cabinet, the coffee table books, the lawn, the television remote control, and various and sundry shredded dog beds. And judging from past experience, they’ve only just begun.
When I was a senior in high school, I had an English teacher, Mrs. Wiley, who changed my life by teaching me how to paint a picture with words. When I started this blog, I decided after much deliberation–because I love photographs and photography–that it would be words only and no pictures—that I would force myself to be descriptive enough so that my readers wouldn’t need the photographs to accompany the stories. So picture this: two nights ago I left the kitchen/family room area to go to the study to find a calculator so I could run some numbers. I was gone maybe 20 seconds when I heard a loud THUMP! I ran back into the kitchen to discover the source of the noise—Pibb, standing on his hind legs, had shredded a 4 pound FROZEN and wrapped package of hamburger meat meant for a lasagna. Whole Foods free range grass fed expensive hamburger meat. The sound came when he inadvertently pushed the now gnawed and bloody meat into the sink from the countertop. The lasagna never happened.
Years of experience tell me that this too shall pass. I am working with an excellent trainer. Someday people will admire my elegant and well behaved hounds as we walk across the Plaza. Children will stop to pet them and I daresay they will both have a few titles to add to their names. In the meantime, I’m going back to work where it’s quiet and the patients are well behaved and none of them knock me down or steal my dinner. You’ll be hearing from me more often now!