Saturday, April 20, 2013

Olga Wins the Match

Yesterday surely must rank among the most riveting news days of the last ten years. I could not stay away from the web as the story unfolded: the gun battle, the dead suspect, the identification of the brothers, and now the survivor's capture. I am so glad they got him alive. The father seems convinced that his sons were framed. Hopefully the fact that one of them is still here to say otherwise will help dispel that belief. (Depending on what he does say, of course.)

I am eager to hear an explanation. Then again, what could possibly explain all this in any adequate way? Why would a pair of Chechens target the United States, the country that gave them homes as refugees, gave them an education (including a college scholarship), provided space for them to develop friendships, families, jobs? Even if they had extremist religious convictions, how could they justify killing their neighbors -- innocent children, for God's sake?

Needless to say, Doris Lessing did not get read at all yesterday.

By the way, thanks to those of you who left comments about "The Golden Notebook." I'm happy to hear that others also found it difficult. At least I'm not alone in that. I will press on for the time being, but I'll keep you posted on whether or not I eventually throw in the towel.

Olga and I had quite the adventure yesterday. I walked with her to Latimer Road, and there we came upon about six middle-school-aged boys playing with a battered old football. Olga went crazy watching the ball, and I struggled to keep her under control on her leash -- at one point even carrying her -- until we'd walked past them. Problem is, they followed us. They were apparently amused by my crazy dog. After wrestling with Olga for a few hundred feet I asked them to please hang back until I could walk away with her.

Well, one of them decided to kick the ball directly to us, whereupon Olga grabbed it and would not let go. I pulled and pulled and couldn't get it out of her mouth. The boys told me to twist the ball, and I said it would be ruined but did so anyway. She eventually let go and I threw it back to them, slightly deflated. As we walked away, they kicked it toward us again. At this point I got angry, and I let Olga grab it. As far as I was concerned, it was hers. I expected the boys to protest or run up behind me and knife me in the back, but they did nothing. In retrospect I think they meant to give it to her; I think she'd punctured it anyway.

Olga carried that ball all the way home, shaking it every once in a while to make sure it was dead. And believe me, it was.

Am I a terrible person for allowing my dog to steal a toy from children? Probably.

Meanwhile I am wrestling with a different conundrum. I've learned of a full-time job opportunity that sounds appealing. If I apply and get it, Dave and I will both be away from home for nine hours a day. Where does that leave Olga? Even with a hired dog walker, that seems tough for a dog. I'm not sure what to do. I'm leaning toward applying, because I can't let my dog dictate the course of my life, but at the same time, I need to keep in mind what's fair for her.

(Photos: Top, town houses in Holland Park; middle, Olga with her newly captured ball; bottom, graffiti on Portobello Road, apparently including an old cassette tape.)


Ms. Moon said...

Two bulldogs I had once chased a car and punctured the tires of it. I am not kidding you.
Interesting on the job prospect. Keep us informed.

Linda Sue said...

And that reason, the dog reason, is why I freelance and do jobs on my own time.It is not as easy as it once was when Dexter was younger- He has become more tied to comfort than adventure but can not tolerate being away from his pack (me). He is such a sweet little dog and has only given us his best, I owe him...Olga may like doggie daycare better, she seems more social, but Dexter had separation anxiety so I never could leave him. You really set yourself up when you adopt!
Tried to read the golden notebook at university for a class- I read cliff notes instead just to fake my way through.
Good luck with your job finding. How is it that you and Dave can work there and not be sneaky about it?

e said...

Is what you would earn at the new job worth giving up time for your photography and your dog? Is the job something about which you are passionate or excited?
Good luck with your decision.

Elizabeth said...

That Olga is a hoot -- and I'm so glad that you named her "Olga" because as we get to know her through your blog, she becomes more and more an "Olga."

Nancy said...

Oh, Olga! You crack me up. (Tell her that for me).

And now that I've seen that top photo, I want some gingerbread cookies.

37paddington said...

Oh Olga, how you make me laugh.

And Steve, I feel such kinship with you here, the journalist in you was activated yesterday, I can tell. I couldn't stay away from the news either, and not just because my daughter was in Boston visiting a friend. I too want to know all the reasons why, but you're right, the reasons when we get them never satisfy. how could they, i suppose. I too am glad they took the suspect alive, though i understand he is in very poor shape.

Also, the boys coming up behind you and knifing you in the back. Well. I can see you have as active an imagination as I do! Haha. They probably meant to give the ball to Olga, and you are most certainly not a terrible person.

Finally, the job. I have a friend who would say you don't have a decision to make yet, because you have not yet even applied. So apply. If they offer you the job, then you decide. Would Olga be okay in doggie day care? And could you work from home one or two days a week at this new job?

Good luck with all of it, friend!

37paddington said...

and that photo of Olga with the ball is a classic!

Anonymous said...

Great 'Olga story'...big-smile worthy for sure. Re. the 'job situation'...this is why I've never had a dog (I know, poor me). BUT, for about 6 weeks my son moved back home bringing with him 2 beagles. Since my son went to work super early and returned super late, I had to walk them in the AM & PM. The horrible thing was them tearing apart the house while I was gone. Blinds got shredded, curtains torn, carpeting stained...big separation anxiety issues. After 3 days I decided to crate them and I hated it. In the beginning I cried on the way to the office. I was actually glad to see them go back home where they would be happy. I have to work so the pet thing is not an option. Hopefully you have more freedom of choice BUT that does not make the decision any easier. I usually solve problems like this with a list of pros and cons. Can't wait to hear your decision...good luck!