Jan 21, 2009


Today was one of Those Days. One of those days that starts out fairly good (for a Hump Day, I mean, when you have to go to work and haven't won the Publisher's Clearing House Prize) and where the hell was I going with that thought?

Today started out nice enough, then as it went on it went, as the Brits so aptly put it, "all pear-shaped."

I wish I could point to the problem so I could then point something large caliber at it and make said problem go 'way, but I can't. I'm hoping a nice long sleep (not the Big Sleep, just a Nice Long Sleep) will help me hit the big master Reset button in my skull.

Granted, tomorrow is already shaping up to be better because I shan't be at work for a while. Hopefully a LONG while. I'm taking Sally up to Natchitoches (say that properly and three times fast) to have her drag pipes installed, removing the massive weight of that chrome cannon she carries now as an exhaust. Well-designed, I'll say that right out, but still and all a giant and heavy chrome cannon. So I've got a nice leisurely hour ride north to look forward to, along a winding state road which parallels the Union Pacific rail line for quite a ways, so perhaps I'll get astoundingly lucky and see a train, too.

When I get there I'm going to stick around while they swap out exhaust mechanisms and get in some photography time. Let's all hope for nice weather, yes please? And maybe a train? Since the lines are RIGHT THERE by the shop? Then when all the bolts are torqued (what a nice word) to their proper OEM specifications and all the fingerprints wiped off I'll ride her back home (in what is supposed to be a high temp of 70) for another leisurely hour and I guess thence to work.

Work. Part of me wants to gripe, whine and rant. Most of me knows better. See, I can rant and gripe a little bit, but if I go too far it'll make me feel worse, and set me upon that slippery downward spiral that I've come to know and hate so much. I've already griped and whined today, so I know that much more will just push me down that slope. If you want to know one of the major reasons, just read the posts about three months back concerning inventory. Or just click the "work-related grief" label. As the t-shirts so aptly put it, Same Shit, Different Day.

I'm also let down with myself because when I get angry/depressed/aggravated I tend to curse, and using the language like this is a sign of a weak mind. If I can only phrase my disgust with a four-letter explicative then I need to be back in school learning my vocabulary words.

And damnit I just remembered I've not secured the chickens for the night nor gathered eggs. BLAST. But I digress. Be right back.

Jesse is part of it, too. You remember Jesse, right?

Jesse is the dog who got me into Borzoi some five or six years ago; a complete fluke, a coincidental, serendipitous meeting. Before then I'd no idea what a Borzoi was, much less what elegant, powerful, wonderful dogs they are. Rita (our breeder, owner of Aria Borzoi) has been trying for some time now to get us to adopt Jesse. He's retiring, you see. Retiring from hunting and from lure coursing and from the confirmation ring after ringing up a trophy-case full of awards, championships and merits. He's been fixed (having sired one beautiful litter) and he has spent the last month here with us while Belle has lived with Rita and Havoc (the Australian dual champion who barks with an accent and goes down the drain counter-clockwise.)

I know Rita a little bit by now. Rita doesn't do anything without a plan. She WANTS me to have him. She KNOWS I'll love and nurture him and give him the best life any dog could ask for. Rita isn't stupid--she loves that dog too but needs her space for the rest of her up-and-coming champions. Space is at a premium, and if a dog isn't producing any more it needs to move along and make way for one or more that will. Simple business, really, and Rita is in the business of Borzoi with both feet. So, Jesse needs a new home. She's hoping it's with me.

The original concern with Jesse, the reason I didn't just say "Sure!" months ago when the subject was first breached is that he's a REAL Borzoi. That is to say he's a hunting dog. He has confirmed kills on jack rabbits on sanctioned hunts, he's decimated the squirrel, 'possum, raccoon and small varmint population at his home kennel, and we have cats. Six of them. And a yard full of squirrels. You begin to see our concerns. He is a prey-driven dog, and we've a house-full of prey. I was terrified that he'd have at least one squirrel and my mother's free-roaming cat dead the first week he was here.

I couldn't have been more wrong, it turns out. Jesse is frighteningly well-trained. He responds at a word, minds his manners and at worst stuck his nose quite a ways under my bravest cat's tail for a big whiff. No biting. No chasing. Yes a little stalking but nothing a sharp word hasn't been able to stop. And no dead animals outside. None. Well, none that I've found.

He's also a cuddle bug.

Borzoi by nature are solitary critters. They don't crave human companionship the way most other dogs do. They're fine with the occasional treat, a walk, and a nice couch to lie on. Jesse CRAVES attention. I can't tell you how often I found myself standing in the yard resting after some exertion to find a foot of Borzoi nose inserted in my hand. Standing anywhere in the house when he's inside will result in a yard of very thin, very athletic dog leaning on your thighs. When I sit on the couch he will watch me with those wise, intelligent eyes, walk languidly over as if he were going elsewhere and then in one long sinuous movement, like a very furry dragon he's climbed up on the couch, rolled his bony self into a ball and planted his chin on my leg. Then he utters one of those deeeeep, contented sighs that only a dog with a ribcage that big can manage, and my heart melts more.

My concern is room. We've got plenty of acreage but not the capital for fencing, and a dog like Jesse cannot be left unfenced or we'll find him two weeks later in northern California. We're starting a kennel (two puppies now and a litter upwards of fourteen strong due in March if Belle's mating took) and right now our limited space has to be for dogs that will be producing for us, just like Rita, and Jesse now is, in essence, a yard dog. No more coursing, no more showing. He's being put out to pasture. I just wish I could afford to fence my pasture in FOR him. I love that wall-eyed, slab-sided three-feet-long and three-inches-wide dog.

So yes, that's been preying on my mind, too. A beautiful, titled, exquisite creature, my first love in the breed, and I've got the chance to own him. I have Rita's trust that I could and would give him a leisurely, easy life, and I simply can't afford to.

To add insult to injury, Jennifer Connelly didn't respond to my very cordial invite to stand in my luxuriously-appointed glass box and display my camera collection. *pained sigh*


Clowncar said...

I would think refitting Sally and the serendipitous appearance would clear that wonkiness right up.

My parents used to live in Nacogdoches. Natchitoches, Nacogdoches.

I think of swearing as punctuation. No different than a well-placed semi-colon.

Clowncar said...

serendipitous appearance of a train, I meant to say.

meno said...

That's hard, the thing with Jesse. As animal lovers, we take our pets needs seriously, so you can't just say "sure, i'll take him" without thinking it through.


Irrelephant said...

CC, I've heard the other "N city with the impossible spelling" mentioned a lot, and can say the word with the ease of long practice but spelling it? Gah. No thanks. I hear it's a pretty little town.

As for the refitting and the ride, yes, they helped IMMENSELY. The serendipitous appearance occurred while I was inside the dealership and unable to give chase since Sally had already been wheeled into the back for her procedure, but the ride to and fro helped immeasurably.

Plate of shrimp, meno. *wink* I was sitting in the yard playing with all four creatures (Jesse, Penny, Remy and Sheba) beating my brains for some reason, some excuse, some way to keep him. I think at this point if i could convince Rita to give us a dowry for him (say, 400' of 5' tall fence and perhaps 40 T posts) I think it'd work. Maybe I'll spring it on her when she comes down this weekend for the local dog show.

Bob said...

nack-a-dish, nack-a-dish, nack-a-dish. I hope you got some bbq shrimp at Mama's on Front Street. Gawd - some kinda good.

SEVERAL years ago I installed systems at a plant we opened in Coushatta (which is now closed) and I stayed at the Maison Louisiane B&B in Natchitoches. Very picturesque downtown.

Gordo said...

Wow. Dilemmas like Jesse are terrible. Do you have a timeline to decide or can you continue to self-flagellate for awhile? ;-)

Jean said...

I think your dowry request is a great idea!

Vulgar Wizard said...

Oh, Mama's on Front Street is CLOSED until Jan. 23rd, has been closed for two full weeks. All the tables and chairs are gone, all the bar stools are upside down on the bar, and all the floors (in all three restaurants) are SPOTLESS. I guess they were renovating and resurfacing?