Friday, February 28, 2020

Leap Day

Tomorrow is Leap Day and I plan to spend it resting on my butt and knitting.  

For transparency's sake, let me be up front about today's post.  I'm writing it on Tuesday night.  And it's already been a looooong week.  I am SO looking forward to that extra day and I really, really, really hope I can spend it on my butt, knitting.  My plan is that the most difficult task I will have is choosing a pompom for my Lofoten hat.
Lofoten hat knit with Wool of the Andes

I don't have a coordinating store-bought pompom in my stash so I'll need to make one.  Should it be all yellow?  All gray?  Or a yellow/gray combo?  I'm thinking all gray.  What do you think?
even floats!

I'm so pleased with the way this hat turned out.  It was my practice project for learning to hold two yarns in one hand and well, it couldn't have been easier.  Look how awesome my floats worked out!  I have never in my entire knitting life been happy with my floats, much less been proud enough to show them off.  Anyway, I plan to knit many more Lofotens in the future.  Specially since I've finally learned how to spell Lofoten.

As for that loooong week I've been having....  We've all been having it actually.  

First, there's been the dog drama.  We live in a super rural area and we are the only house on a dead end road that edges the swamps of the Chickahominy River.  Hunters frequently ride up and down our road looking for their lost hunting dogs.  And sadly, hunters seem to love to abandon their unwanted hunting dogs on our road at the end of hunting season.  This year was no exception.

Since the first week or so of February, we'd frequently seen three hound dogs running together.  On Valentine's day, Animal Control set up a trap beside our property and caught one of them late at night.  We hadn't called to complain about the dogs running loose, but I did call to complain about the trapped dog's howling.  He was loud!  And my phone call set off a chain of events.

The next day, a Saturday, the one remaining loose dog showed up at our doorstep and never left.  He was so sweet!   He was terrified of us, but he was also hungry, lonely and needed a place to rest.  We fed him and gave him an old blanket to lay on.  I let Animal Control know he was here and that we were taking care of him until they opened back up for business on Monday. 

Sometime between my call to Animal Control on Saturday and their arrival on Monday, I fell head over heels in love with the dog.  We named him Andy.  Animal Control was happy for us to keep him. They provided us with a giant bag of food and a large box of treats and they called it a trail basis so that we didn't get jacked up for not having a rabies certificate and for allowing the dog to continue running loose.

Over the next week, we worked to gain Andy's trust.  We were jubilant when he finally took food from our hand even though he still wouldn't let us touch him.  Andy was an excellent walking companion.  He heeled, even without a leash or collar.  We all loved him and my mother-in-law particularly liked going for walks with him.

But Andy wasn't perfect.  He liked to bark, or bray, as hound dogs do.  He knew zero commands and no matter how many times we used his name, he didn't recognize it.  He also liked to chase dark colored cars.  Then one day, he became obsessed with running out into traffic on a nearby busy road.  A very busy, 55 mph road.  And the next day, during one of their walks, he lead my mother-in-law out into that busy, 55 mph road.  It was terrifying.  While my brain had known we couldn't keep him, my heart was set on loving him until the end of time.  But that moment of looking out and realizing they were both out in the road....  Well, I knew at that moment Andy couldn't be ours.  

On Sunday evening I made the dreaded call to Animal Control to say that we couldn't take care of him any longer and they agreed to come pick him up on Monday.  About ten minutes before Animal Control arrived, Andy allowed me to touch him for the first time.  I scratched his chin, then his ears, then the top of his head and he flopped himself over and presented me with his belly to rub.  And then Animal Control showed up and took him away.  It was horrible.  Horrible!  But at the same time, I know he wasn't the dog for us.  The timing just wasn't right.  He needed much more attention than we are able to provide at this time, not to mention a Huge fenced in area to run around in which we do not have.  

Animal Control assured me that Charles City's pound is a no-kill shelter and that they would take good care of Andy.  They'd give him his shots and some training and turn him into a much more adoptable dog.  I sure hope they are right.  I have tears in my eyes just typing this but I also know that all my interactions with Animal Control were pleasant, and there were many interactions! In fact, I spoke with Officers Wiggins and Miller so much I feel like they need to be added to the top of my Christmas card list.  They were both so kind and helpful. They seemed to love and respect the animals and were nothing like the wicked people you see portrayed in the movies.  They even put Andy's toys in his kennel before driving off.

I miss Andy desperately!

And if the dog ordeal wasn't enough drama for the week, my daughter is having her wisdom teeth surgically removed on Thursday.  Not just pulled, but surgically removed.  Surgically removed with real anesthesia, not just laughing gas and novocaine.  And it's a bit concerning.  The roots have wrapped around a nerve and there's a chance she may end up with some permanent numbness in her face.  Not droopy, like she's had a stroke, just numb.  Sarah is handling it well but I'm a nervous wreck.  And, since I imagine I'll be the hovering mamma bear on Thursday and Friday, I figured I'd go ahead and type this post tonight.

And so, I plan to spend Saturday, Leap Day, sitting on my butt knitting.  What will you do with your extra day?


  1. Aw, sweet Andy is so lucky he had you looking out for him! It sounds like your animal control folks are good people, and I'm sure he will find a good home.

    I hope your daughter's wisdom teeth removal went well!

  2. Oh, what a story! How awful of people to do that to dogs. My dad had the same experience. He rescued a dog that looked just like Andy after my mom died for company from our very rural shelter which is full of hunting type dogs but it was too much for him to handle too. Hunting type dogs are hard to control especially if you didn't raise them. They are too full of instincts. I had a Brittany Spaniel once that I couldn't keep in the yard. He didn't end well. The vet said NEVER get a hunting dog in an urban area. I never did again. From then on it was herders or lap dogs.
    Love the hat! I can't wait to see it with a pompom.

  3. Andy is a beautiful dog and you did everything you could to keep him. I cried as I read your story. I can hear through your words how much you fell in love with him. I hope he finds a wonderful forever home.
    Reading this on Friday, the tooth extracrtion should be over with. I hope all went well. I and all three of our children had the same type of wisdom teeth surgery. The roots were wrapped around a nerve on two teeth in my case too and all was well. I'm praying it was successful for your daughter too.
    I hope you have a wonderful weekend making a pompom!

  4. Oh gosh! I'm so sorry things did not work out with Andy. You gave it your best though. How heartbreaking. glad to hear that your animal control folks are kind hearted. Hope your daughter is feeling ok today. it's tough having those teeth out.

  5. What an emotional week! I hope Andy finds people as good as you are and I also hope the tooth extraction goes smoothly for your daughter.

  6. whoa what a week. Andy while sweet is not the dog for you at this moment of your life! You have a big big heart. I will be praying for your daughter.

  7. Oh my goodness. As hard as it is, you probably made the right decision about the dog. Seems as if you have enough on your plate. I hope your daughter's surgery goes well. I guess I haven't thought of tomorrow as an extra day but it is. If I know what's good for me, I'll get some groceries. About the pompom, gray seems quite a good choice.

  8. Oh I am so sorry your heart was broken. I have had to give a dog back to a shelter when he had spent 5 months with us! I had worked and worked with him, and he was darling. BUT he was starting to chase and attack our dear deaf cat Radar. The attacks were getting worse. It was as if each attack fed into his brain to do it again. It was a reward for some strange reason. I felt sick for 3 weeks afterward until iKnew that he was adopted. He was given back yet again. Finally, the next home was right for him. he had great energy , cuteness but a high prey drive. I understand < I think, how you feel. Please take the weekend or longer to heal. Your daughter will bounce right back with shakes and ice cream. YOU need to know you made the very best decision for the dog and your family. And someone , of course, could have been killed avoiding the dog in the street. Bless you. You tried to help a dog that was trained to hunt and run .......and you gave him some amazing loving days

  9. Oh Jeannie that all sounds so harrowing; I am so sorry. I hope the oral surgery recovery is going well.

  10. Okay the happy part first ..............yes, GREY POM POM.

    Now the tougher stuff ---- you did the right thing for Andy. Animals need to fit their families and Andy needs that fenced yard. It sounds like animal control will work to find the perfect fit. You were an animal angel to take care of him AND find him a safe place to be. (You know SOME people would have just turned him back out on his own.)

    Best wishes to your daughter. I'm sure by now she is feeling much better. Hope all went well.

  11. Oh, isn't that sad that people just abandon their dogs. I could tell by your posts on Instagram that you've fallen head over heels for Andy, he certainly looks like a beautiful boy, but sometimes the timing just isn't right. Animals, especially dogs, are a huge commitment and it wouldn't be fair on either of you to take him at the moment. I'm sure the shelter will find a loving home for him. I hope everything went well on Thursday and that your daughter is recovering well.

  12. This is just so sad on so many levels. How can hunters just abandoned dogs? And poor Andy, and poor you falling in love with him yet not being able to keep him. I hope he finds a wonderful home after he has been trained and I hope your heart heals from missing him. Good luck to your daughter with her wisdom teeth.