Two exciting events are unfolding around here that are (finally) unrelated to dogs in any way...
First, we have a new member of the household, a little baby chicken. I've always planned to have chickens someday, but things rarely go as planned around here, especially when we have a reputation in the neighborhood as "the people who rescue strange animals." None of our neighbors have forgotten the beautiful and hilarious Pekin ducks we used to have, and so when this new barnyard fowl somehow ended up in the neighbor's yard (we have two different chicken flocks that roam our neighborhood, which is a strange sight since we're in a well-established neighborhood), they happily handed it over to us, knowing we would know how to care for it.
So after some preparations, the chick is now settled into Dozer's old dog run, and it seems to be doing really well. It's scratched up, maybe from a cat or a car, which would explain why it was alone when it was found, but otherwise happy and healthy and perky. It loves Byrd and it even follows Dozer around; we can't help but remember our lively duck Fred when he was a little bitty baby. I wonder if this is a boy or a girl? We won't know until it starts to crow--or lay eggs!
We're going to get at least one, maybe two, more chickens as soon as is feasible. Those two will be planned and carefully picked; I've found a breeder of the type of chicken that I want, that lays the type of eggs that I want, so there won't be any Mystery surrounding them. Plus, the breeder has some chicks that are the same approximate age as our Mystery Chick, so they aren't like day olds, which require indoor care for quite a while.
I thought a chicken blog would be interesting so I can record pictures and events as the chick grows up... and we find out whether it's a boy or a girl, and what it will look like... so it's at http://achicken.wordpress.com
And that brings us to the next thing: our vacation! Yes, a real live vacation. Byrd and I haven't been on a vacation for... well, eight years or so, if you don't count our honeymoon (a two-day excursion to San Antonio, not much of a trip). We're going on a cruise in the Caribbean, which should be entertaining considering all the hurricanes down there right now. But we are leaving on next Sunday and won't be back for a week. I'm really looking forward to it!
Dozer is going to stay here at home, and my mom is going to move in and take care of him and the chicken while we're away. So this next week I've actually got to do a lot of work. Not just packing, but also shopping and cleaning and writing care instructions and labeling cabinets and light switches and so forth, so Mom will know where everything is. The bad thing is that while we are on the cruise, we probably won't have any cell phone reception and we definitely won't have Internet access, so once we're gone, we're really gone for the whole week.
Poor Dozer, this will be the first time we have both left the house for such an extended period of time. I'm so glad Mom will be here with him, but she is not a dog person at all, and Dozer really needs to have a confident leader to tell him what to do or else he just falls to pieces. I sure hope things go okay or else I might not have a dog sitter anymore for future vacations.
And as a side note, I did a really stupid thing considering I'm about to go on a cruise and I'll be wearing shorts and a swimsuit almost the whole time--I managed to get a nasty lye burn on both my knees! We just laid some concrete (for our fence--pictures and such to come at a later date), and I was helping to "finish" it by scrubbing it with water and a big stone thing. Well, after kneeling on the concrete for nearly an hour, I realized that the pain in my knees wasn't actually from kneeling on a hard surface--it was a burning feeling... and sure enough, when I pulled up my jeans (which were soaking wet and covered with concrete), my knees were red and blistered. Now I can only hope these oozing blisters will heal up in five days. :( Well, I guess the good thing is that it got me out of the rest of the job because I had to go shower straightaway!