We are finally home for a weekend with no planned extra-curricular activities! Whoo. . . and, of course, hoo! I finished a Christmas hat this morning. Other than the 2009 cards, the holiday is almost completed.
It has earflaps that fold up and tie when not in use, but they’re easy to get down should an ear-chilling breeze kick in unexpectedly.
I also helped A3 do the finishing on a little purse she’s been working on. She used her own handspun yarn and learned how to double crochet to make this.
Last night (Friday) I was delighted to discover that the Humane Society field trip planned by A3’s Brownie troop meant that a representative and her dog were coming to the school instead of us driving there. Not having to make the 45 minute drive each way shaved several hours off of the grand finale of week-long marathon of kid activities. For some reason I’d misunderstood the notes from the troop leaders and thought that we were all driving there. Here are the girls (A3 is in the middle, wearing the green shirt without her Brownie vest on) posing with a delightful doggy, named Cooper.
Cooper is 10 years old and he visits schools, nursing homes, etc. for a living. He was so gentle and well-behaved that I wasn’t even afraid of him. I hate to admit it, but I’m always nervous around dogs… especially big ones. One bark or show of teeth from them and I’ve officially got the shit scared out of me. This particular lecture was about canine safety. The speaker was excellent and she taught us tips for surviving dog attacks, hints for how to recognize a potentially aggressive dog and she taught the girls the safest ways to approach animals and until the girls were able to demonstrate all of the steps correctly they weren’t allowed to pet Cooper. Seeing the big, lovable pooch there waiting to be petted was very motivational and the girls were all able to remember every step in order. They were: 1. ask their own adult first (because the owner is a stranger, of course) 2. ask the owner, 3. make sure the dog wasn’t eating, sleeping, toileting or showing signs of aggression, 4. keeping their faces back, slowly extend a soft “Paw” shaped hand for inspection and finally, 5. ONLY using a flat palm, pet the dog on the neck or back. Apparently head pets can be misconstrued as aggression and individual fingers can tickle, causing the dog to nip the itch. Most dog owners probably know all of this, but much of it was news to me (other than the asking permission).
She also taught them to silently drop and cover their vital parts should an aggressive dog approach them. This one in particular is hard because everyone’s first instinct is to run and/or scream. The speaker also told us how to get a dog to let go of someone who it’s biting. Basically, what you do is tightly grab ahold of its tail or a back leg and pull like there’s no tomorrow. When you do this the dog will open its mouth and turn around to defend itself. That’s all great for the person being released, but then you’re stuck holding the tail or leg until help can arrive. I think we’ll just stick to cats. If they attack you can pull them off and perform a simple drop kick.
Speaking of cats, the standoff between Bonny and Roxanna continues. The tables have turned slightly and now Bonny is out in the open and Roxanna is lurking. They go back and forth in the power struggle… and here all this time I thought testosterone was to blame for territorial, aggressive behavior. If I didn’t know better I’d swear these cats have penises.
We did get some Valentine’s Day decorations up. They look cheerful against the gray skies and blighted plants.
If the rains hold off again tomorrow then plans are to start cleaning up in the garden area. The idea of spending another summer without a garden is out of the question. Zucchini do NOT grow well in pots and the overgrown weed patch was a source of angst and depression I don’t wish to revisit. In the meantime, it’s wonderful to have the whole family home at once. Hope everyone enjoys their weekend.