We’re dog-sitting this weekend.
I realize that’s not earth-shattering news. It does make our daily lives a bit different, though. It’s been a few years since our last dog died. We didn’t want any pets for a while, to give us a chance to replace the carpet and live with a fur-free house for a while. We miss our funny companions, but the freedom’s been nice.
I admit I like the walks. We have a dog door to our backyard, and our dogs always used it. This made it easy to skip walks, although we still tried to take them on one at least once a day. But you know how it is. You get busy or lazy and the walk just doesn’t happen. When we were both working, walks tended to be a weekend treat.
I haven’t given our guests access to the dog door. For one thing, despite our pre-sitting inspection and repair of the fence, the little tykes still managed to get out of the yard the one time I left them out there alone. And anyway, I like the idea of taking them for walks. We need the exercise.
Our weekend house guests are of the small variety – a fluffy white dog (I can never remember the breed) named Leo, and a… dachshund-mumbly-something named Stewie. Leo is bright and cheerful. Stewie is…
… well, my husband called him Jekyll and Hyde. That about sums it up.
Most of the time, Stewie is normal. Likes to sit on your lap, likes to be petted. Then there are the times when he’s not… normal.
There’s never a warning. There will suddenly be before us a vicious, snarling, barking, snapping whirlwind. He never actually attacks. He never actually bites. But I don’t mind telling you it sends my heart racing. If I’m alone with him, it takes an hour for my nerves to settle.
The best thing to do is to go away and just leave him alone. He doesn’t follow us – he’ll stay in his own space. Once we’re no longer near him, he quiets down. That doesn’t mean Dr. Jekyll is back, though. It takes a while before it’s safe to go back.
If circumstances are good for it, I want to try a couple of things the next time this happens. One is to get out his leash and see if he’d like to go for a walk. The other is to offer him a treat. There’s got to be something that will pull him out of the psychosis and restore normality.
They are here through Sunday night. Life won’t quite return to normal at that point, because on Monday, carpenters descend upon us to replace and repair some of the trim outside. Our house is aging, and dry rot has taken hold.
Also on Monday, I start another childbirth series. So I will have to start organizing my time a bit more carefully.
In writing news, I have Bridgebuilders out to beta readers. I’m finishing up my paranormal romance, Worlds Apart, and working on critique comments on the first draft. I’m also trying to get Moon Over Donamorgh to an editor, with the idea of self-publishing it later this year. It’s something I’m considering, anyway.
Oh, and I’m creating style sheets for my novels. This is going to be a long-term job, but already it’s paying off for Bridgebuilder. It’s helping me see connections that I ignored before. Also, Bridgebuilder has several “gadgets,” that I sort of skimmed over as I was writing the book. The style sheet is forcing me to give the gadgets names, and to describe them in detail. Size, shape, function, color, etc. I wasn’t very consistent about these things, but it’s important. The style sheet is a good way to clean it all up, and add coherence to the story.
So you can see I’m staying out of trouble. Plus, today is food gathering day, and a gym day. Yep. No time for trouble.