Roll of 28, Day Eight: Break in rain

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20150208: Break in rain

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Roll of 28, Day Four: Stinking up the workspace

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20150204: Stinking up the Workspace

Spent most of my day at this desk, so today’s shot isn’t particularly exciting. At lunchtime, I was sitting there hunched over a pot of soup, clicking through a series of photos which featured people hunched over meals while staring at screens. In saunters Bowdu from the backyard, settling down right at my feet. It took barely a second to notice he’d brought in some godawful stink, and was just smugly waiting with that shit-eating grin (quite literally!) for my acknowledgement of his olfactory discovery.

Way to interrupt my internet reveries and spoil my appetite, Doobs.

A few weeks ago, the Bows were recognized out and about town, by a reader who had stumbled across this blog.

Also, something seems to have changed in Facebook page algorithms. Despite the fact that I haven’t posted here since September 2014, there’s been a spike in activity on the FB page, suddenly pushing us past the 400 “likes” threshold within the last couple weeks.

I feel compelled to thank and acknowledge our visitors old and new, and to account for our absence from blogging.

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Hi everyone. How have you been?

There have been a number of significant changes on our end. The HoTB is now the House of Two Bows, Two Birds, and Two Belles. For the past year, we’ve been adjusting to new domestic dynamics which include an aviary of King Pigeons in the backyard belonging to my new housemate whose vegan diet inspires curiosity, hungry eyes, and previously unseen mooching habits from the well-fed canine duo.

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Indeed, the Bows remain as present and underfoot as ever, my canine constants in the midst of a year of upheavals. I’ve had to channel my energy elsewhere in the last few months, though I think back often to this space and the enduring lessons of blogging.

I’ve long considered this less a dog blog and more a personal blog — one that happened to have my dogs at its center from the very start. And they are still central, even as my center of gravity has expanded to contain so much more lately.

Bowdu hit a landmark age in January 2015. He is now ten years old, with arthritic hips and a bum knee to officially mark his passage into seniorhood. The diagnosis was made back in September 2014 with an expensive round of X-Rays under sedation. With glucosamine supplements, a carefully moderated diet, and a regimen of gentle walks, he remains active, hale, sanguine.

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… If I may take the liberty of speaking on his behalf. After all, hour for hour, I have spent more time with him in this last decade than any other single sentient creature. For the sake of survival, you learn to speak each other’s language, even across species. My mind boggles sometimes when reflecting on how we’ve changed and aged together, how different he was as a puppy, and how precious he remains now.

Bowpi is presumed to be ten years old this year, too. Half of those years were spent in the HoTB. Though we share less depth of experience, she, too, is a model for how to age with grace.

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There’s a lot of life to these dogs yet, and so I must prioritize my time off screen for now. However, I intend to reappear every day in February for the Roll of 28, during which I take and post one picture a day, taken on that day, for the entire month of February. It’s a pretty significant ritual of reflection for me, something I’ve done since 2007. Though my physical address remains the same, sometimes it feels like the HoTB has been hurtling through a whole other cosmic dimension. Photo documentation is one of many ways in which I force myself to marvel at the distances traveled; sometimes you don’t really know how far you’ve come until you’ve really had a chance to look back.

The Cost of things: August 2014

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Incredibly busy lately. I have about two posts in me for September, and this is one, already way later than usual.

Pseudo snuggles

This is my fourth year of tracking pet finances at the House of Two Bows. This is an ongoing effort to get a practical sense of what it costs to keep two 20 ~ 30 pound adult dogs in an area of the US with relatively high costs of living. Previous posts in this series can be found under the category of finances.

The Cost of (Pet) Things for August 2014:

  • Food: $211 [previous month, $30]
  • Treats: $49 [previous, $31]
  • Grooming: $16 [previous, $5]
  • Vet & Medical: -$35 [previous, $411]
  • Accessories and misc: $50 [previous, $0]
  • TOTAL: $291 [running average for 2014: ~$200/month]

Crazy high food total included a 15 lb. bag of Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream, one more 4 lb box of Honest Kitchen Embark, and an unanticipated, large order from Creston Valley Meats. I decided to buy another two large boxes of ground turkey, as well as an order of lamb bones. It may be a while before my schedule frees up so I can make their delivery times, so I decided to restock while I could. I did not anticipate over 20 pounds of lamb bones in my order, which I’ve been trying to disperse generously amongst my dog friends. Apparently, I need to know more raw feeders, because an extra freezer is really not in my budget. Yet it was hard to pass up lamb bones at 55 cents a pound!

I loaded up on buy 3 get 1 treats at the local Pet Food Express, and dehydrated a whole bunch more chicken hearts, in order to appease the Bows when I left them with a housesitter back in August. I went overboard, so plenty of treats remain.

In grooming, I finally got my act together to order a bulk box of poop bags from Amazon. 700 poop bags for $16, with Prime shipping? Can’t really argue with that deal.

Bowdu’s major veterinary appointment was postponed for this month, September. It already happened, and I’ll have more to say about that later. What I did receive last month was my $35 Elanco rebate, slightly more than what is normally offered as a “loyalty rewards” customer. I honestly was not expecting to receive the check so efficiently. I was even notified by e-mail when the check was on its way — overall resulting in my most positive experience yet with the company that manufactures Comfortis/Trifexis.

Finally, I tacked on a somewhat arbitrary $50 fee to Miscellaneous, which includes a rare expense category for the House of Two Bows: boarding and pet care by an outside helper. The only reason I could go to Denmark was because I roped a dog-savvy friend into watching the house and the Bows, all in exchange for a free place to stay and unlimited access to all food and drink in the house. I did lug back some Danish beer as payment, so that and some miscellaneous extras are included in the $50.

Under normal circumstances, in-home pet sitting would cost way, way more — like $50 for each night, let alone seven. All the more reason that friendships with dog-friends must be carefully cultivated, with the expectation that we’re always paying it forward, and that the winning personalities of your canine charges will help balance out the karmic scales.

Good to be back, lapdog edition