Saturday, October 23, 2004

Routine and Puppies

I am getting back into my routine after the disruptive shortening of days. I resent it that it is too dark in the mornings now to walk outside before time to go to work. But eventually, I get over fighting with myself and with nature’s forward plunge, and I go back to the Nordictrak indoors along with therapy light. Maybe I should just mark the calendar that once the annual meeting is past, it is time to declare the winter schedule in operation.

After a few stressful weeks with the annual meeting and visitors and changing bosses, I have also reverted to my usual healthy diet. How funny it is that I sometimes only know I am stressed by what I am eating. I never eat fried foods. I never eat ice cream. When I start eating unhealthy things, it is a sign that I must be stressed, so I can go and look for the cause. Or I can just consciously revert to my preferred routine and watch stress fall away. Cool.

Routine, huh? How do puppies fit into routine? If there is anything the opposite of routine, it is puppies. I knew it was risky to go to the Animal League for a Chamber of Commerce mixer. There are dogs there. Cats, too, but we are not allowed to have cats. Max thinks cats are snacks.
I’m in that vulnerable place where I know my dogs are getting old. Toby is nine and Max is eleven. I like having three dogs, and I know that once you have four dogs, you suddenly have way too many. So soon, maybe, it will be time for a new dog. But I’m not quite ready. I recognize this state of mind from the times when my dogs have found me. It is the state of mind that attracts dogs.

But all they really wanted was someone to foster Nell. The shelter is a tough place to be pregnant. So here Miss Nell is, with her head on my foot, and she seems very grateful to be out of the shelter’s noise. The boys don’t mind her, except when she steals their bones. We will work out a new routine for eating separately, exercise, and sleeping spots that incorporate the inevitability of puppies.

P wants to know if I am raising them for meat. No, P. They all go back to the shelter for new homes, Mother Nell included. She is a nice dog—sweet and pretty. She looks like a black flat coat retriever, with one white paw. I suppose she might grow on me, but she has that retriever neediness, not the quiet reserve punctuated by occasional goofiness that German shepherd owners are accustomed to. T is simply appalled. She had trouble even giving the shelter a reference for me, concerned as she was about my sanity.

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