Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Sickness and dogs and stress, oh my!

We are sick as a family, finally, after a long, lovely 5+ month reprieve. Pequita has been sleeping poorly for 3 nights now, with much waking, thrashing and crying. She is easily settled, but the disturbances due to her discomfort have left us all a little bleary-eyed. She has all the signs of teething (profuse salivation, lots of chewing on fingers/toys/anything, digestive inconsistencies, inability to stay on the boob for a whole uninterrupted feeding. Really, its classic. Then she added bad sniffles over the weekend, and she's either REALLY teething or she's also got a cold. She sounds like a bulldog when she breathes. Me? I have a bad cold w/ aches, swollen glands and the crowning immuno-suppressed glory, a cold sore. I am at work, nonetheless. Whimper.

I assume that all of you are watching the Westminster Kennel Club dog show in NYC? It is one of the highlights of our year. We love the dogs. We are scoping out our Next Dog, which must be bred to kill vermin, to help earn its keep at the Homestead. "Next Dog" is a little game we play. We have 3 dogs already, and will not get another until we are down to one. There is much joy to be had in discussing the relative merits of future animals for us. I was greatly saddened when one of my least favorite dogs won the terrier class. With all the gorgeous beasts on parade, who in there right minds would select the Dandie Dinmont Terrier as a winner? I KNOW that it isn't a competition between dogs, rather a contest to have the best breed standards in any given breed. Still. The terrier judge has been knocked down many notches in my esteem. On the other hand, Homestead Mama and I have decided that the Staffordshire terrier is high on our list of Next Dogs. Look how lovely! And good with kids, gentle, smart, and great at agility. Perfect for us.

Speaking of dogs, Homestead Mama's father called last night, and from what I could gather, he seemed to be asking her when my due date was. I was touched that he was planning for this, and wondered if he wanted to come visit this arguably not-quite-his grandchild after it was born. I misunderstood. He and his wife are going on their annual trip to the midwest to visit his son-in-law for a month in May and he wants us to, once again, take care of his 3 little dogs for the duration (2 toy poodles and a chihuahua). While I am 8 months pregnant. Homestead Mama, to her credit, said that might not work out, since I may go into labor early and it will be hard to have the dogs then. He apparently had this all planned out - we keep the little dogs UNTIL I go into labor, and then Homestead Mama drops them off at the local kennel before we go to the hospital to deliver.


Homestead Mama ended the call a few minutes later & came into the living room and asked me what I thought. Having smartened up in the last 7 years of navigating the minefield that is father-daughter relations, I didn't say what I thought. Instead, I said that it might be a little hard on her having even more responsibility right around the time that I will be at my most uncomfortable, unhelpful and unable to even SEE little dogs under foot (let alone see my feet) so as not to step on them. I thought that month before I am due should be as simple and stress-free as possible, since we already have a lot on our plates and have plans to be stripping paint off furniture (her, not me) and cleaning, sorting and purging for the biggest yard sale ever to make room in our home for another wee child. She seemed to concur. I'm hoping this is the end of it.

BTW, dead vermin tally:
Rats: 1 down. Mice: 7 down.
The traps set with bacon are working great!

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