Tuesday, September 27, 2005

That's Just WRONG.

Sola likes me. Sola really, really likes me. Now I'm sure you're thinking, "That's a great story. My dog really likes me too." I understand. I'm sure your dog follows you around, wants to be with you wherever you go, is affectionate, and protective. Sola does all of these things. And she does...well, more. What I'm trying to convey (despite my discomfort in doing so) is that Sola likes me the wrong way. The way rednecks like their sisters.

I can already picture some of you running for the phone to call the ASPCA. But take a look at that picture above. If I choose to lie down on the floor, the bed, the couch or even outside in the yard Sola will find me and immediately jump on me. Then the real fun begins. She flattens herself on top of me and begins the all-too-familiar makeout session. At first, her licks are quick, light, good natured. Then her eyes half close as her pace slows, becomes more deliberate. She licks the entire length of my face, slowly, her jaw shaking. She tries with all of her might to force my lips open (she succeeded on one occasion and nearly took out a tonsil. I haven't been right since.) Drool pours out of her, and she literally gets "hot and bothered", panting heavily like she's just been chased by the Yard Monster.

Mrs. Author finds this amusing, laughing as I am molested against my will. I struggle under Sola's weight trying to fight off the tongue slaps that seem to come from everywhere. Sola presses on, undeterred, her panting frantic, her dog food breath hot on my face.

It ends as suddenly as it began. Sola rolls off me and stumbles away, disinterested. Mrs. Author giggles and refers to Sola with a five letter word that rhymes with "floor." I wonder if I'd feel less cheap if someone would just hold me. Nigel cracks one eye and stares at me from the couch, clearly disturbed. Sola sprawls out on the kitchen floor tiles, cooling herself. She lights a cigarette...

The answer is no. I am not crazy. Nigel and Mrs. Author have witnessed this twisted ritual countless times. Time and again I stagger to the bathroom to clean myself, praying that one day a simple game of fetch will satiate Sola. I return to the living room ashamed, and act as though nothing has happened. Nigel guffaws with glee, spared.

It only gets worse. Last week I opened my computer bag at work and found this:

Chills ran down my spine. I kept this to myself - surely Mrs. Author would take offense at such blatant gestures. I shredded the letter and threw it away. I made the drive home in silence, radio off, brain churning. I walked directly to the junk drawer and flung it open...and gasped. Stuck to a pen in the front of the drawer - yellow dog hair. Sola watched me, a telling ink stain on her right forepaw. I quickly closed the drawer and tried to forget the day and all that had happened...

It was not long before another, even more disturbing event took place. I was in the living room, listening to smoky, sultry jazz music, the lights turned down. Nigel was (as always) passed out on the couch like a crystal meth junkie. Mrs. Author was taking a bath. I thought I heard the junk drawer rattle at one point, but attributed it to a heavy bass note in the song I was listening to. I reached over to pick up my drink...and screamed. Another note, crudely scratched on a piece of scrap paper, stared at me from the table:

I sprung from my chair terrified, turning the music down and the lights up. Nigel continued to slobber on himself, unaware. I snatched the letter from the table and immediately buried it in the bottom of the trash can. I turned and- there was Sola, standing behind me, panting, unmoving, a disturbing look on her face. I threw her a chewie to distract her, and opened the freezer, palms sweating, heart pounding. My hands shook as I worked an ice cube out of its tray and pressed it to my forehead. A few deep breaths later I convinced myself I had imagined it. I dried my forehead, and fell in to bed, exhausted. Sola jumped on the bed and slept beside me, between Mrs. Author and I.

A few days passed without incident. I was careful not to lie on my back in Sola's presence. Busy with work and writing, I actually forgot about the disturbing events that had transpired. I let my guard down. Then yesterday morning, I kissed Mrs. Author, scooped up my computer bag, said goodbye to Nigel & Sola, picked up my car keys...and froze. Hidden under my car keys was another note:

My breath escaped me in a series of coughs and hacks. I crumpled the letter and stuffed it in my pocket, dumbfounded. I walked outside and looked under Mrs. Author's SUV. No brake fluid. I went back in to the garage and placed all of my tools on shelves that I knew Sola could not reach. I started my car and slowly pulled out of the driveway. I cast a glance at the window and there was Sola, her gaze focused on me, unwavering. I goosed the accelerator and made haste, seeking refuge in the familiar duties of my job.

Mrs. Author called me to let me know she had arrived at work safely. I settled in to my desk chair, sipping coffee, reading e-mail. The phone rang, I answered, and my blood went cold. My brain just registered the fact that the number on caller ID was our home number as I heard slow, pronounced panting on the other end of the phone line...

Somebody please help me.

Nigel: No Means NO...
Sola: Does this fur make my butt look big?

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Greyhound Reunion; Williston, VT

Note: Many thanks to the Greyhound owners who allowed me to snap pics. I must admit, I'm terrible at remembering names. My brain is a bit cramped; had I remembered your dog's name, it's quite possible I'd have forgotten the way home. PLEASE leave a comment below, or e-mail me (look in my profile) your dog's name(s) and identify the pic for me. I'll post below the picture. Katie was remembered because she nearly took out Sola and I when we approached her blanket. Hey, the girl likes her blanket...that's quite alright.
Katie; Defender of the Blanket.

Attendees of today's Greyhound Rescue of Vermont annual reunion enjoyed wonderful fall weather and a great turnout. Nigel, Mrs. Author, Sola and I wound our way through the crowd and visited with as many dogs and humans as we could in the short time we had to attend. It was a great pleasure.

Interesting Greyhound fact: Greyhounds shake, rattle & roll. The cause: excitement for some, nervousness for others. Not all Greyhounds do it, but chances are yours does...

Now I don't want to say Greyhounds are high-strung. In fact, the inverse is true. See here: http://lifewithdogs.blogspot.com/2005/09/misconceptions.html
But throw a few dozen Greyhounds together and the excitement level gets the best of them. There were Greyhounds a shakin' everywhere. The ruckus of claws clickety-clacking on concrete sounded like typing contest. Greyhounds, both caffeinated (excitable) and decaf vibrated their way around the parking, never lifting their feet.

Sola: It looked like a gigantic air hockey table.

Author: Indeed it did. The USGS registered a low level, long term seismic event centered in Williston today. After further investigation, it was revealed that the Greyhound reunion was the culprit.

But it was their day, and they reveled in it. Tails swept the air, people mingled. Vendors displayed their wares. The doggy handshake occurred everywhere. Come to think of it, I've not seen such snout-to-posterior activity since I brown-nosed my way to a promotion in 1998.

Another interesting fact: Greyhounds have sensitive digestive systems. When overexcited this results in a case of "the vapors."

Sola: You could have warned me. The place smelled like someone was stirring up a big batch of hard boiled eggs and broccoli.

Nigel: Hey!

Author: It's true. There was some wind breakage. Seagulls fell from the sky, event tents wavered on their poles, traffic was rerouted. Mrs. Author's hairstlye collapsed. I chewed gum frantically, for fear that my teeth were turning brown.

Silliness aside, kudos to GRV for the great event, and to those who attended. It was fun for all, a true celebration. Sorry if we missed you, but there's always next year...

Sola: Bunch of skinny dogs. I swear I felt like Sally Struthers in one of those "Save the Children" commercials.

Nigel: Badonkadonk!

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Sola: Origins of.

Sola, just before the flood.

Note: None of the names of those mentioned in this story have been changed in order to protect their privacy.

Of late, I've received inquiries from readers regarding Sola's origins. Some of the details are not known to us, but I'll give it my best shot.

We learned in April of 2004 (by word of mouth) of a three month old yellow Labrador Retriever, sitting in a cage on a farm in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont. We don't like cages. I tracked down the owner by phone, requested directions from her, and Mrs. Author, Nigel and I made the two hour drive to the aforementioned farm. Our journey took us from interstate to two lane blacktop, eventually leading to a dirt road winding away from civilization, drawing us nearer to one of the most bizarre spectacles I've witnessed.

We wound our way up a steep dirt driveway, and upon cresting the hill found ourselves at what appeared to be a typical Vermont farm, perched atop a cold windswept mountain. Two lovely yellow Labs greeted us as we stepped out of our dusty SUV. They were rather amicable, approaching for a scratch, retreating to guide us toward the farmhouse...coming back again for another rub. We knocked on the door, and there she was.

No, not Sola. Bernice.

Bernice (the farmer's wife) met us at the door and invited us to come in. We wiped our shoes in the mudroom, hung our coats, and walked directly in to...the 1960's. Faux wood wall panels surrounded us, our feet cushioned by grass-green shag carpet. Gold flecked counter tops drew our attention to the kitchen. Gaudy, gold filigree framed flea market quality artwork in the living room screamed out for attention. This was full-on, no holds barred tacky of the sort that makes my mannequin wielding neighbor look like Martha Stewart.

Only two items betrayed the 60's decor theme. The first was a dusty computer perched on a hideous desk in the corner; the other: the terrific hairstyle Bernice was modeling. It was perfectly preserved from 1983, frosting included. And it was big. As we sat down to speak with her I was fairly sure I heard Culture Club music emanating from her hair. She lit the longest, thinnest cigarette I have ever seen, struggling to draw a drag from it. Wrinkles around her mouth suggested that she had planted a straw in the ground and spent the last ten years trying to suck her way to China.

Bernice told us her version of Sola's story. According to her, the lovely pair of Labs that greeted us upon our arrival were the parents of the puppy that she had "out back." This comforted us; our experience with them was very positive. They were good natured, bright-eyed, hardy farm stock Labs. According to Bernice, the pup she had was one of a litter of fifteen, and she'd been unsuccessful at finding a home for this last little one. We were also assured that the pup had spent much time in the house and was completely housebroken.

Sola: Total lie.

Author: Our interest piqued, we asked if we could have a visit with the little one. Bernice led us out back to a solitary pen containing one round, lonely little female Lab. We took her out, picked her up, cooed and caressed her. She snuggled in close, kissing Mrs. Author. It was evident that she was starved for attention, and did not want to leave the warmth of our arms to return to solitary confinement. She never had to: we were sold.

Back in the funhouse, we chatted with Bernice while she prepared all pertinent paperwork. I stood at the kitchen sink, staring out the window in an attempt to avoid coming down with a headache from the glare of Bernice's press-on nails. A Buffalo wandered by in the pasture. I mentioned this to Mrs. Author, who joined me for a look. Bernice explained that they had been raising "buffaloes" for a few years, and that they were quite tasty. She then had us review the papers for the puppy we were taking home.

The papers were unfamiliar to me, issued by the CKC, or Continental Kennel Club. I asked Bernice why she did not register her pups with the AKC. Major mistake. She turned three shades of purple and went on a ten minute rant about "them AKC people." It was explained to us that the AKC had issued a ten year suspension to Bernice (and her hair) for not reporting the deaths of puppies from the litters she bred. We understood that some puppies do not survive, but Bernice felt it necessary to tell us that some of the pups wandered in to the pasture and were kicked by the "buffaloes."

Mrs. Author and I exchanged glances, horrified. A quick visual scan of the walls confirmed my suspicions: no Harvard degree to be found. Instead, Elvis stared back at me from his velvet canvas, and even he had a look on his face that said "Get me the hell outa here bubba." We thanked Bernice, grabbed our paperwork and ran for the truck. The farmer waved to us as we peeled out of the driveway, pedal to the floor, Sola in Mrs. Author's arms.

We made the trip home in record time. Sola (we had decided on the name prior to meeting her) never showed any sign of distress at having to leave the farm or her parents behind. We found this odd, but assumed that she was tired. In retrospect, I think she was happy to escape Bernice, her hair, and the buffaloes.

Once inside we stripped off our winter clothes (April in Vermont is still winter) and let Sola explore the house, with Nigel close behind, observing her every move. And then the floodgates opened. In her first twenty-four hours with us Sola urinated in our house no less than twenty-three times, just shy of a one whiz per hour average. She did not miss the 24/24 mark for lack of effort, but was instead waylaid by a one hour nap.

Sola: I told you Bernice lied.

Author: We were very much aware of that, thank you very much. The next hours, days and weeks were spent swearing, screaming, and jumping up and down on bunched up paper towels in every room of the house. Nigel stayed on the couch, safe from the flood waters. Bags of trash surrounded us, overflowing with yellow paper towels and empty wrappers.

Did we lose it at times? Hell yes we did. There were days that I would have paid every dime I could scrounge out of the cars and couches to have someone haul Sola away. Truth be told, we came close one day. But Mrs. Author and I are not quitters when it comes to critters. Weeks and months passed, Sola slowly gained bladder control, Nigel eventually took off his life preserver. The sun came out, and the carpets dried. We stopped torturing our Bernice voodoo doll.

Would I change anything if I had a chance to go back in time? I would have loved to have snapped some pics of the funhouse, the hair, the buffaloes. But I would not give up Sola for the world. She flooded the house, ate furniture (more on that in another post), and chewed on Nigel relentlessly. She tested our patience beyond reason. She also brought Mrs. Author and I together as parents, eventually made peace with and befriended Nigel, and she stole my heart.

I wouldn't trade Sola for all of the tea in China, which may very well be lodged in Bernice's straw as I type this.

Sola: Could you give me another bath? I want to make sure you washed all of the tacky off me.
Nigel: It's gonna take more than soap and water...

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Ignorance Personified

I hate to post this. Perhaps you've seen it, perhaps not. If anything, it certainly reinforces the immediate need for contributions to animal advocacy and rescue efforts in Louisiana and surrounding areas.

Acts of merciless ignorance should never go unchecked.

This is both graphic and heartbreaking:


There is a current online petition that specifically addresses the issue:


While I'm not certain of the eventual efficacy of this petition, it's a ten second effort to put your name on the list. Please do.


**Update 9-21-05**

Excerpt from ASPCA.org

"On behalf of concerned citizens, ASPCA Public Information coordinator Luiza Grunebaum contacted the office of Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco to inquire about the dog shootings that took place in St. Bernard's Parish. According to a governor's aide, the shootings occurred under the orders of Sgt. Mike Minton, the sheriff, who "took this upon himself." Grunebaum was told the shootings have ceased, and Sgt. Minton faces disciplinary charges as a result of his directive."

Took it upon himself.

Another site mentioned possible animal cruelty charges, though I've not been able to verify that.

Looks like the cretins have had their party busted. Good riddance. Put your name on the petition anyway, as a matter of principle.


Saturday, September 17, 2005

Hurricane Katrina Animal Rescue Efforts

Please take the time to visit this site:


Read it all, take it in, and give.


Friday, September 16, 2005

Do you want to go for a RIDE!?

Dog Mobile

I hate to admit it, but I love four letter words. In that regard I’ve been a bad influence on Mrs. Author. Every day occurrences like stubbed toes, rain, or a trip to the mudstream cause eruptions of obscenities that make our home sound like a truckstop. The dogs seem no worse for the wear.

There is one four letter word in particular that can immediately cause a dog’s brain to short-circuit. Ride. It seems innocent enough. We humans may use it freely among ourselves with little or no cause for concern. But accidentally use that word in conversation around Nigel & Sola and the world as you know it will change before your eyes. Tables are overturned, claws rip at the carpeting, the cat flattens itself in a corner. Sola leaps with joy, easily rising to the level of my face. Nigel pops wheelies and screams like a schoolgirl who’s just discovered a snake in her lunchbox.

I firmly believe that when I speak the magic word, car keys in hand, I am transformed. The dogs suddenly see me as a gigantic peanut butter covered hotdog with squirrels running all over me juggling tennis balls. They cannot help but go completely and utterly bonkers.

To a dog, ride is the great word of promise. For Nigel & Sola it might mean a run in the dog park, a walk on Church Street, or maybe a trip to Al’s for a little scoop of ice cream. Walks along the shores of Lake Champlain soothe them. They are very much aware that the car is the key to all of these experiences.

Each and every weekend the word is spoken. We drive, walk, visit, experience. We eat together, crank music with the windows down, and Sola barks at each passing car with a canine occupant on board. New smells, new people, new dogs, new places abound. We take all of this in together, as a family. And we’re all better for it.

Nigel: I do not scream like a schoolgirl.
Sola: Who cares Nigel, help me catch those squirrels!
Cat: I hate that word…

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Mardi Gras, or something like it.

Sola Rules at Mardi Gras
Note: I should have posted this months ago, but time escapes me.
Interesting fact about Sola – she has eleven nipples. And each one tastes different.
Ok,I made that part up.
Not ten, twelve, or fourteen nipples. Eleven. I’ve looked everywhere and cannot find the stray. Once I felt a bump on her ear and became excited. It turned out to be a bug bite. So I have resigned myself to the odd number.
It’s sad to think that we might not see the real Mardi Gras again for quite some time. We do have our own lame/cute version of Mardi Gras in Vermont, however. In February, when full brain chill has set in, Burlington is deluged with residents of surrounding counties, each vying for a good spot to watch our Mardi Gras parade. To the outside world it’s probable that we look kooky. Thousands of us line the streets, frostbitten, senses dulled by the cold.
And then we go bonkers. A parade begins, and floats of differing shapes, colors and themes make their way up Church Street. Beads and candy fly from the floats at a furious pace. Eyes are poked out by Tootsie Rolls, beads adorn the trees, and the onlookers jump and scream for attention to have a trinket thrown their way. Sola and I assume the position.
The other frozen spectators gasp as I hoist Sola above my head. They watch dumbfounded as beads and candy rain down on her. It only makes sense. To the float pitchers Sola stands out, a beautiful blonde hovering above the crowd, with eleven cold-weather-stimulated pencil erasers pointing to the sky. She flashes with glee as bling and sweets bounce off us. Children surround us to catch our scraps.
And then it’s over.
I’ve never timed the parade, but I doubt that it lasts an hour. The streets empty as Sola, Mrs. Author and I struggle under the weight of our treasure. We are greeted with the angry stares of those carrying little. Laughter erupts among us, and we are certain that next year’s parade will bring us another victory.
Yes, Sola might be missing a nipple, but I love her just the same. She’s my Mardi Gras ringer. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to finish assembling my bead curtain…
Nigel: Odd number of nipples for an odd dog.
Sola: Knock it off Nigel. You want me.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005


Nigel Winds Up

Most folks know little about Greyhounds. And if I meet those folks when we’re out and about with Nigel, I inevitably hear the same question. “Do you have to walk your Greyhound eight miles a day?”, or “Do you have to let him run three times a day?” Nigel often pauses to study the inquisitor. And pauses…and pauses…

Anyone who lives with a Greyhound is laughing while reading this. Because we hold a great secret. Truth be told, we can’t help but tell the world that secret each time we have the opportunity to do so. But it takes time for news to travel, so I’ll share the secret with the uninitiated.
Greyhounds are the laziest breathing beings on the planet.
Give your brain a minute with that. Cast aside preconceived notions about the Tortise, the Snail, the Three Toed Sloth. Aside from top speed and a higher cuddle factor, the Greyhound places last.
Greyhounds like to sleep. They like to sleep more than anything. And they will sleep fourteen to eighteen hours a day if you don’t stop them. If you know Greyhounds, you know there is one place that is like a crackhouse for them: the couch. This is where Nigel passes most of his time - inanimate, to the extent that sometimes I’ll pause at the couch to take his pulse. There have been days when I considered dusting him off. Most days, Nigel moves with the speed and purpose of FEMA. On any given evening you’ll find him slouched over Mrs. Author on the couch, drooling like a drunk.

Facts about Nigel:
  1. If we spend a day away from home, and he’s on his feet too long, he’ll start looking for a couch.
  2. He loves the couch so much that Mrs. Author can vacuum him with attachments and he will not move. (Do that to Sola and she might actually explode.)
  3. If we spend a day in the city, I can pick him up (all seventy pounds of him) and sit down on a park bench with him in my lap. And he will sleep.
  4. He chases nothing.
  5. It is often the case that only two things might have the power to get him off the couch; treats, or the promise of a walk.
  6. He hates tacky Yard Monsters.
So most folks think Greyhounds are wild, strung-out Mexican Jumping Beans, and the opposite is true. They are incredibly easy to live with. They are usually calm, perceptive, and intuitive. They are gentle beyond explanation.
The other question I hear most is, “Are they smart?” This is an interesting question. Check the dog breed intelligence chart and they’re nowhere near the top. But Greyhounds were bred to do one thing and to do it well; chase the life out of anything small that moves quickly. Commands like sit, lie down, shake – these would be useless to the ancient Egyptians that bred them, or the owner of a racing dog. With patience, you might train a Greyhound to do some of these tricks, but you will be fully aware it is not terribly enthusiastic about “giving you five.”
So are they smart? Yes, I believe they are. See this previous post: http://lifewithdogs.blogspot.com/2004/05/great-porch-roof-incident.html
True, if you drop Nigel in a room full of well-trained Border Collies he’ll come off looking like George W. Bush at a Mensa meeting. That’s quite ok, we both know better. I’m just happy that he adheres to numbers 4 and 6 above. No shin splints for me…no rest for the Yard Monsters.

Nigel: Excuse me, but I’m certainly more intelligent than that George guy.
Sola: My tail is smarter than that George guy…

Monday, September 12, 2005

My Neighbor is a Dork

My neighbor is one hundred percent dork, and I have irrefutable proof. Want to see it?

I just don't get it.

Ain't she purty? Here is how it started...

*Ring* Ring*
Author: "Hello?"
Neighbor: "Dude, I made a really frivolous purchase today. You'll see it when you get home."
Author: "Ok."
Neighbor: "I have a date coming over later. Gotta run"

And see it we did. Propped up in the side yard for all to see. Basking in the sunlight of what would have been an otherwise beautiful summer day was a dinged up, flat-out creepy looking department store mannequin. I approached it and paused, my jaw agape. My neighbor walked over to join me. After some thirty seconds of silence passed, I looked at him and remarked, "So many things come to mind that I am speechless." He laughed. I went inside.

Mrs. Author was not amused. She believed that we were certain to make an appearance on Jerry Springer by default. I pondered the possibility. Curiosity got the best of me.
*Ring* Ring*
Neighbor: "Hello?'
Author: "Just one question. Why?"
Neighbor: "I had to buy it. It was on sale."
Author: "Ok. You're crazy. Bye."

It occurred to me that many bad deeds have been done in the name of "Sale." Every time I open my closet I run the risk of being crushed by a wall of Mrs. Author's sweaters, most of them acquired when they were "on sale." And where I live, there are certain neighborhoods to avoid when cheap beer is discounted.

The day passed without further incident. We avoided looking at the yard. The sun went down. Mr. Neighbor's date arrived. By the sounds of it, there was much merriment. The music was loud, the wine flowed freely. We went to sleep. Mr. Neighbor's date departed at 5 a.m.

I awoke refreshed, having temporarily forgotten the Yard Monster. Once the coffee maker was fired up I grabbed the leash (Sola runs free). We walked across the basketball court and I was suddenly jolted by a symphony of howls and screams. Nigel and Sola leaned forward, hackles in the upright position. And they let her have it. If there were an accurate bark translation device I think I would have heard "Son of a...", and "Your mother is..." or some such language. They wanted her gone, and they made no bones about it.

This pleased me for two reasons. First, Mr. Neighbor chose to plant his new girlfriend right next to the mudstream. Sola wasn't going near it. Second, I was pretty sure Mr. Neighbor had stayed up very late, and was due for a desert-mouth, pots and pans banging in your brain, all day toilet session hangover.

So I praised the dogs with each bark and howl. Nigel strained at the end of the leash, muscles taught, lips curled back in a snarl. He screamed with force. "Good boy, good boy.” I repeated, and he continued to make one hell of a ruckus. As did Sola, barking away, pacing, keeping her distance. I let this go on for what seemed like an eternity, but was probably three minutes.

We all returned to the house. I poured coffee.

Author: "Hello?"
Neighbor: "Well, I guess I deserve to be woken up this way."
Author: "Indeed you do."

All is well again. The Yard Monster no longer protects the yard from the dogs. Sola's blood pressure is down. Nigel's case of the trembles has subsided. Mrs. Author is over her fear of being mentioned on The Blue Collar Comedy Tour. And I am relaxed, assured that no matter what, Nigel and Sola will protect me whenever anything tacky tries to attack.

Nigel: Thank the Lord, the creepy cracker is gone.
Sola: Our neighbor is a dork.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

On a more serious note- EIC, Exercise Induced Collapse

We have discovered that Sola is afflicted with EIC - exercise induced collapse.

EIC is a condition that only affects Labrador Retrievers, and only a small percentage of them. I was fortunate to have studied this condition prior to the onset of EIC in Sola. If you have a Lab, please read this just in case: http://thelabradorclub.com/library/eicstudy.html
You should become familiar with the symptoms, because they often mimic seizure symptoms. It is my hope that you will never need to use the knowledge gained...

This is a completely manageable condition - but it means the end of playing fetch on dry land. Playing fetch in the water seems to be fine, and for that Sola is thankful, as are we. Yesterday Sola spent the majority of the day in our pond, and she is just fine. Nonetheless, she is my kid, so we'll be careful about intense exercise in the future.

I do not expect this to have any impact on her ability to provide me with funny/humiliating/ridiculous writing material for this blog. See the posts below and you'll probably agree.

Comments are welcome - click below any post to leave them. Careful though - too much praise for Sola will go to her head... :)