Categories
Finances Fur-Babies Little Bits of Stupid Real Life

A Sad, Sad Story with an Almost Happy Ending…

On Guard
On Guard
Taken August 9, 2008 with Canon PowerShot A550

I’ll be using a lot less of my little stepper machine in future, I think…

Since I bought the Prissy-Van, “Walking-About” has declined to “walking across the street”. Ky and I (who has yet again been re-named – she is “The Evil Hypnotist”, and you’re about to find out why) both worried this would happen.

And that our bums would suffer for it.

Which they have. Mine started to get flabby, so I bought one of those little stepper things that look like bike pedals. I will attest that they work wonders on flabby bums.

Ky’s bum got big. Er. BiggER. Not big (She’s bigger than me, now. She may read this. I may suffer.). Thankfully, the little stepper-thing works wonders on big. er. bums, too.

Finding time to go on Walk-About disappeared about the same time the snow flew for the first time last fall. We were going to get snowshoes, just like the last five winters, but, just like the last five winters, winter came and went, but we are still snowshoeless. The stepper made us feel a lot less guilty.

But…

We will be walking again. And again… and again… and again… because…

We now own that dog you see up there at the top.

Again.

The Lily-Dawg was ours for her first couple of years, until we moved into a squinchy little apartment that was not dog-conducive. Ky could see Lily whenever she wanted to, though, so she didn’t really get the chance to miss “owning” a dog.

Two days ago, when she went over to visit Lily, there was no Lily there. The cat was gone, too. They both just up and ran off. Together, apparently.

Yesterday afternoon, after I worked the first of several night-shifts and just got to sleep, the phone woke me up. It was Ky’s dad, calling to tell us that he had discovered Lily’s whereabouts.

She was at the pound. Of course.

It would cost $160 to bail her out.

Plus a fine because she hadn’t got her yearly registration.

Plus a fine because she’d wandered off possibly-rabid to spread infection throughout the neighbourhood. No, Sir and Madame, telling people that “the dog is friendly” does not protect her from rabies.

I knew damned well, too, that they wouldn’t let me take that dog out of there without proof of ownership, fines paid or not, and my name is not Terry Becker, is it? No, it is not. I would have to take him with me to pick Lily up.

Except…

He couldn’t come with me when we wanted to go, and Ky was in full “THEY’RE GOING TO DESTROY MY DOG!!!” mode.

So she and I went by ourselves, hoping that her freaky ability to talk anybody into (or out of) almost anything might spring the dog. And between Ky’s freaky ability and my $160, the dog was sprung. See…? “Evil Hypnotist”.

Although the Dog-Jailers didn’t want to give up the dog to anyone other than the registered owner, my child suggested that since he hadn’t registered Lily this year, he possibly hadn’t done so ever. Could they go back to the 2001 records to find the registered owner of the imprisoned? Please…? Pretty, pretty please…? Yep, they could. Turns out…

*I* own the dog. Which means *I* own eight years of fines. So said the lady at the pound with a wicked grin, just before telling me that they don’t generally pile fines on top of each other like that. And just after that, she told me that they would waive the non-registration fine altogether and just give me a warning. And if I could find a vet willing to spay a ten-year-old dog within 30 days, she would be happy to give me back $90. Again… “Evil Hypnotist”.

I called around… I can kiss my $90 goodbye.

Ky is painfully aware that we may not be able to keep her dog. We have no room. We have travel plans. I have my Big Dream Fund to continue funding. DOG was not part of my agenda.

We’re going to give it a month and then see where we’re at. If money/space/dog-hair concerns get to be too much, Ky will attempt to find a new owner for her Beloved Lily-Dawg. One that doesn’t let her out the door for the neighbours to call the dog-catcher on to come out and “pick up a stray off my lawn”.

So it seems that my lucrative days of Ends-Meeting-and-Even-Over-Lapping will temporarily come to a halt until I find out how much this animal is going to cost me in food, shots, fees, vet visits, and allergy meds. The meds are for the allergic kid. I thought cat hair was bad. Holy shit.

Anybody out there want a dog? Please…? Pretty, pretty please…?

Random Song-for-the-Day: “World of Two” – Cake

[signoff]

Categories
The Landlady

For Mushy – I Think We’re Wearing Her Down…

Joycie, Rex, and Ruby – 1928

Hey, a picture is a picture, right? Ruby dug this out especially for me to post here. That’s her on the right, sitting behind her brother Rex, on their tricycle – doesn’t she look like a little devil? And I’ll bet Rex dropped Joycie on her head off that trike about 30 seconds after the shutter clicked. Not that he did drop her on her head – just that he probably did. Just sayin’.

Rex is the brother of Blackberry Summer fame. Ruby hadn’t told me much about Rex up to this point, so when she presented me with this photo, saying, “There. I wonder what that Mushy fella will say to that?”, I asked her about him.

Rex was about 18 months older than Ruby. She was about three in this photo, so he’d have been a little over…. five maybe? He had asthma and it plagued him all his life. When he was eight, it almost killed him because of a Scarlet Fever vaccination.

They didn’t have a doctor in Northland, so every year or so, one would come in by train and stay a few days, checking up on people and taking care of any emergencies that might crop up while he was there. The rest of the time, Northlanders most likely were doctored up by midwives, veterinarians, and God Himself.

On the last day of an annual visit, if there were any school kids of the right age, the doctor would innoculate them all one after another, just before he jumped back on the train out of there. The kids would all be lined up, and with the midwife assisting, the doctor would stick them all, assembly-line fashion, no questions asked, no names taken. Prick, prick, prick, prick, pack up and go home.

Rex had asthma, but the doctor didn’t know that, and he didn’t bother to ask. If he had bothered, he’d never have given him the shot. Five minutes after the doctor left for the station house (which, ironically, was where Rex’s dad was, being the section foreman, after all), Rex went into convulsions. The quick-thinking midwife scooped him up and ran for the station house, where the train was just pulling in, and Rex’s dad watched the doctor save his boy in the nick of time.

When I asked Ruby what the doctor did to save him, she said she hadn’t a clue, just that it had been close. She also laid dollars to donuts that the doctor never gave another shot without asking a kid’s history first.

Rex survived, though, and grew up to work for his dad on the railroad, which kept him employed until World War II. He tried to sign on, of course, but his asthma did that idea in. He ended up working as a time-keeper for a chain-gang of POWs for the duration of the war, at a camp further up the ACR.

The POWs he was in charge of were mostly Italians. The were a friendly bunch, and the Canadian government treated them very well. They may have been called a “chain-gang”, but not a one of them wore a chain. Where would they go if they ran? Into the Northern bush to starve or freeze to death? No, they weren’t that stupid. Better off where they were, where they were housed and fed fairly comfortably, considering, and each and every one of them worked hard, Rex said.

In the evenings, some of them built tiny little ships, with masts and sails that were squished magically through the necks of whiskey bottles and glued down. The masts, sails all furled up, would be stuck to the ship with rubber cement, and laid flat on the decks with little strings attached to the tops of them. The tiny dab of rubber cement stayed flexible long enough that when the whole works went through the bottle neck, the strings could be pulled gently and the masts would stand up straight and the sails would unfurl. Rex said it was a great thing to watch. By the end of the war, he owned three ships in bottles, and had them ’til he died.

A lot of those POWs applied to stay in Canada when the war was over. We must have been pretty decent people back then, I guess. Who would choose to stay here otherwise, and freeze for six to eight months of the year?

Random Song for the Day: “Belgium or Peru” – Cuff the Duke