It’s a funny time, the week between Christmas and New Year’s — even for people like me who don’t really celebrate the holidays, except by drinking too much eggnog and gorging on cookies and fudge. It’s limbo, not quite out with the old nor in with the new. I always look forward to this as a quiet time to get some work done, but without strict deadlines — which I don’t have at the moment — I’m a bit at sea.
I’ve also been distracted by Frankie. He’s had a few hypoglycemic incidents during walks, which hadn’t happened before. It’s been cold, so he is probably using more energy trying to keep warm, even when he’s wearing a sweater. The fact is, he’s not getting any younger, and it’s hard for me to be in my usual state of denial about that when he’s not his normally stroppy self.
And then there’s this odd blast from an unknown past. I always knew that one of my great uncles, who was sent to a concentration camp from Vienna like most members of both parents’ families, had owned a butcher shop and that Sigmund Freud was one of his customers. But I never realized that Freud lived and practiced psychoanalysis right above that butcher shop — and that, in 2001, it had become part of the Freud Museum in Vienna, which I’ve never visited (see the second paragraph).
I can’t even begin to figure out what to do with this information; I’m waiting for the museum to get back to me after an initial introductory email and inquiry about whether my family archives are there along with Freud’s.
So forgive my spaciness at this year-end wrap up/housekeeping post.
The Book Club Regroups — and Reschedules
I know I’m not the only one who’s been distracted, and I realized January 5 might be a bit early for the next meeting of the book club. So I’ve shifted the date to Thursday January 12. That means it’s not too late to purchase signed copies of the paperback and the hardcover editions of Dog Walks Man at a discount, including shipping charges. To order these signed, discounted copies directly from the publisher, contact Amy Alexander at 203.458.4541 or e-mail Amy.Alexander at globepequot.com. Signed hardcovers are $20, signed paperbacks are $15, and prices include tax and shipping (I imagine if you want extra fast shipping you’ll have to pay more).
And of course there’s Kindle edition, but no signing will be involved: Dog Walks Man by John Zeaman.
Also that week…
To get you right into the swing of things for the New Year, don’t forget the Pet Blogger’s Challenge. Grab the badge to the right and proclaim, I’M A PET BLOGGER AND I’M PROUD (or conflicted, or depressed, or whatever you plan to write in answer to the questions that Amy of GoPetFriendly.com and I posed).
A couple of things that make me happy
On Jan. 20, 2012, the U.S. Postal Service celebrates the partnership between dogs and people with the Dogs at Work stamps:
Currently, some 10,000 guide dogs in the U.S. and Canada serve as an extra set of eyes for people who are blind. Therapy dogs, chosen for their friendly dispositions, bring comfort and joy to the elderly and the ill. Dogs that work with police and military personnel are trained to detect drugs, guns, and explosives. Search and rescue dogs speed up search efforts, increasing the odds of survival for disaster victims.
Wiener dog races
[hmmm: Wienerschnitzel originated in Vienna and my father’s brother was named Fritz. To get back to one source of distraction, is there something Freudian about my interest? Of course, sometimes a wiener dog is just a wiener dog.]
One thing that makes me nuts
I’ve saved the worst for last because if this makes you as crazy as it makes me, you never would have gotten further than this item. To wit: A shelter in Arizona killed an injured cat, not because of the extent of its injuries but because the owner — who credited the cat with helping him get past his addiction — didn’t have money to pay for treatment. Nor would the shelter take his mother’s credit card number over the phone in payment or wait until the next day when the owner could pay.
This doesn’t only make me crazy for the immediate situation, though it certainly is horrendous. I’m working on a series about the Shelter Pet Project, and have become even more aware than I had been about the importance of shelters doing their part to change their image. Bad publicity like this doesn’t only impact one cat and one person who loved her. It also sets back the cause of trying to get people to perceive shelters as welcoming places, as environments for finding wonderful pets.
Is it just me? Or does a story like this get you furious at the damage the thoughtlessness of one person in a position of power can do?