I won't actually end with car theft--that will go somewhere in the middle. Nope, I am going to save linguistic grief and butt fondling for last. And though I initially meant to put everything in one post, the dogs have filled their own so they get to go first.
I am stressed. I have said it before, I am saying it now, and I will say it again ad nauseum. Stress is usually caused by an internal perception of being behind on one or many things. The current list includes (in no particular order):
1) All the winter and now all the spring yard work
2) Garage organization (made possible by the building of a shed which hasn't even been commissioned yet...)
3) Creation of an emergency supplies closet (which requires dispersal of all the computer and other electronic paraphernalia currently living in the closet designated as the emergency supplies closet, after which all the emergency supplies Dave bought a few months ago can be moved from their place on the dining room floor)
4) My current work load in the glass studio... see Glass Incarnate for more on that
5) Financial concerns (there is absolutely no need for this one, but that doesn't stop me from anxting about it).
6) My performace as a mother (I don't spend enough time with my child, I don't bathe her and cut her toenails and fingernails enough... you see where I am going with this)
7) The state of the dogs (they haven't been brushed or groomed since September)
Ok, my neuroses are out there. The first one I attacked was the dogs--not literally. I called our vet to get an appointment with the groomer. They don't have a groomer right now.
Side note: why can't personal grooming providers in Decatur for people and pets keep staff?!? Both salons I have gone to here do not seem to be able to keep a manicurist on staff so I have not been able to have a pedicure here in three years, and now the dogs can't get their nails clipped either!
So I called PetSmart. I was honest. I asked if they had ever groomed deerhounds before. The chipper young lady on the phone said no, but they welcome all kinds of dogs. I said they are gi-normous. I said they haven't been brushed since September. I said they have heavy undercoats. She said bring them in at 5:00 and they would be done by 9:00, they needed 3-4 hours. I said OK!
And I fought my way through rush-hour traffic with two squirming, squiggling dogs in the back of the minivan and got there at 5:00. We were turned away. There was nothing they could do for them, they were in too bad shape.
Another side note: I was so distraught and disgruntled that I went home and left my purse on the counter. I discovered the loss the next day and gave the manager an earful when I went back and picked it up about both the unseemly lack of ambition on the part of their groomers and on the dearth of initiative in the managerial staff for not calling me to let me know they had my purse in their safe. He apologized profusely and I left without having to tell him that we would never patronize them again.
When I got home from PetSmart with the somewhat subdued (see next side note) deerhounds I was determined to brush them out so I could take them somewhere and have them bathed. Pheeuuww! I remembered Bridget's post from awhile ago where she said something to the effect of, what couldn't you do with an hour a day, and I resolved to start spending an hour a day on the things causing me stress--starting with brushing out the dogs. An hour and a half got me 2/3 of the way through Jester and left enough dog hair on the deck to either knit another dog or line every bird nest in Dekalb county.
Final side note: PetSmart may SAY they welcome well behaved dogs in their store, but they lie. If they did, they would not wax their floors to such a high sheen that people in rubber-soled shoes have a problem slipping on them. Poor Jester never had a chance. He does not even like to walk on our hardwood floors and when he got into PetSmart and Seraph galloped towards the groomer pulling us both along with her... Do you have a mental image? Have you seen Bambi? Remember the winter scene where he and Thumper slide across the pond? Right before telling me they could not groom my dogs the staff had to find a big rubber matt to put down for Jester to use to stand up on. He could not get any purchase on the floor.)
Seraph got an hour the next night which got me half way through here--she is more tender and I have to go slower so even though she is smaller, she takes more time. Smaller is also relative as she is still 33" tall at the shoulder and weighs 93 pounds.