Friday, September 23, 2016

Another Kong Emergency

I’m lying in bed as I write this because, once again, Olga didn’t want to get up. She’s curled in the warm blanket by my feet. The dog dictates a disturbing amount of all our behavior.

Yesterday we came home from work and Olga, as usual, ran to get her Kong toy. (She always greets us with the toy in her mouth, as if we’ve arrived to play.) But she couldn’t find it, and neither could we. We looked under all the furniture, behind every door, out in the garden — nothing.

I can only figure that she carried it with her when the dog walker picked her up in the afternoon, and subsequently left it in the street, or she left it in the garden and another animal carried it off. (Could a fox even lift an XL Kong?)

We ordered three more, for emergency delivery today — because even though I vowed after the Heath Kong Thief Incident to always keep a spare on hand, we don’t have an extra. Fortunately, we do have tennis balls, and they’ll do in a pinch, though she destroys them within minutes.

To keep her amused yesterday, Dave plucked our one remaining hard, green apple off our apple tree and threw that for her. She chased it down and began eating it. Dave said, "Apple seeds aren't good for dogs, are they?" So we confiscated it, removed the seeds and gave it back to her, and darned if she didn't eat the whole thing.

In other news, after I wrote the other day about taking my noisy orange juice to English class in college, I got to thinking about my Freshman English instructor. I Googled her up (as we say in the American South). Turns out she died a few years ago — but she seems to have led an interesting life. I always liked her and still have a draft of the paper I wrote in her class, “Mrs. Moore: A Study of Character Development in ‘A Passage to India,’” with her notes in the margins.

Strange, the things we save. I kept it because I liked the book so much -- the paper itself was unremarkable. I don't remember what grade I got but it must have been OK.

I cleaned up some of the garden yesterday evening -- threw away our dying autumnal cosmos, including the white one I rescued back in June, and cut down the nigella and the foxglove. I'm leaving the ragwort for now, even though it's going to seed, because it still has lots of yellow flowers and I saw a hoverfly on it just the day before yesterday. As long as it's benefitting wildlife, it can stay!

(Photos: A mosaic of St. George and the Dragon by Giorgio Barsanti, in Clapham.)


  1. You are so caring, express delivery for Olga, I like that!

  2. You got an "OK" for your essay on "A Passage to India"? Hell that's way down the alphabet. I usually got A or B. I love the mosaic. Well-spotted sir.

  3. Autumn in Southern Calif brings hot dry dusty winds and really warm temperatures. The plants except for cactus and succulents have all left especially with the drought. We try to take a trip to visit Fall and experience seasons. I love your description of the garden changes.

  4. Olga is the boss of you. And Dave.
    And that is okay. My cats are the boss of me.
    That mosaic is beautiful!

  5. all dogs are the boss of their people. I wish I could get Minnie to fetch. well, she will 3 or 4 times in a row and then the next time you throw the toy, she runs after it and then returns without it as if to say I keep bringing it back and you keep throwing it away so fine.

  6. Funny how often we recall a teacher from the past, and one of the most important lessons I learned when I began teaching was the impact we have on our students - and often never realized.

  7. As I always say dogs train us! So we come home and immediately play with them because we feel guilty.

  8. Do they sell Kongs by the case? If so, it might be worth the investment. Love the mosaic!

  9. Has it ever been aa temptation to rename her Queen Kong?

  10. "Kong emergency" - LOL!

    Yes, our pets can run our lives without even breaking a sweat.

    A Cat Slave

  11. Kaki: Well, we have Amazon Prime, so I confess -- it's free. :)

    YP: I've been known to get Zs.

    Mary Ann: That's what Lake Arrowhead is for, right?

    Ms Moon: Yes, indeed, she is.

    Ellen: I love how Minnie is smart enough to see the absurdity of the game! Olga will fetch as long as we throw, but we always have to struggle to get the Kong away from her after she retrieves it.

    Marty: I know, it's true. I shudder to think what my kids will remember about me.

    Red: It's true. There is inevitable guilt.

    E: Ha! That might be a bit too many. Each one (barring theft or loss) lasts about eight months, and actually each consecutive Kong is lasting longer as Olga chews less fiercely than she used to.

    Catalyst: Now WHY didn't I think of that?! Sheesh. It certainly describes her!

    Jenny-O: THEY own US, don't they?!