Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Puppyfest: little dog number four

Yeah, I know. The situation is getting slightly ridiculous. Every time we go for a walk it seems that we come home with another dog. There is a disconcerting trend in this city to dump unwanted female puppies,
and we just happen to always walk by the little crying and shivering bundle of fur and uncoordinated legs when it is at its most pitiful. I don't know whether I should harden my heart or stop going for walks... This could be the long sought-after proof that exercise is dangerous. But I really can't just ignore them! They are too cute and helpless, and now we have four dogs.

Bonny was foundling number one, and she has turned out to be a real pearler of a dog. In contrast to the other two abandonees, she wasn't feeling sorry for herself, she was out exploring when we found her, and it was definitely her choice to come home with us. Since then she has ruled the roost, and at the tender age of five months is now the matron of the house. Negrita ("little blackie") was foundling number two, and causes so much trouble within the ranks that she now lives in seclusion in front of the house, instead of with the other dogs in the
yard. She is a loyal little soul, who follows me to work, and waits for me (no matter how many hours I might stay) and then walks me home. I have decided to dub her Dora The Explorer, as she is intrepid when it comes to following me everywhere, and investigating everything in our path. Then there is Socks, who we found yesterday. She is a cute
wee thing of about two months, entirely black with four white feet (hence the original name). I am trying to find a home for the two little girls, but no one wants females. I am seriously thinking about calling the radio to complain about the irresponsible people who have puppies and then dump them. Speying a female dog is FREE if you go via the council, so there is no excuse for dumping puppies. The only thing stopping me is the need for tact and diplomacy when telling the local populace that they are all idiots and wankers, and my Spanish is more rudimentary than that. I tend to 'thou' people when I should 'you' them, and vice versa. And last but not least there is Aquilito ("little Achilles") - the son of the famous German Shepherd Aquiles, of Neuquen fame - who is the only dog we actually sought out. He cries a lot, and bites people ankles, but we have high hopes for him based on the
greatness of his progenitor. He has such a dopey look on his face though, it is hard to take him seriously. Ah, bless their wee whiskery noses and cute puppy tushies.

I took a break from my animal shelter of a house (all we need is a couple of cats and a goat to be classified a charity...) and spent last Friday in a town called Bariloche, in the neighbouring province of Rio Negro, attending a seminar aimed at teachers of English. The course content was, um, random. I had high hopes that were at times
left wanting, but came away with copious notes that I will surely never read again and a really cute book bag that reads: I will not yell in class, I will not throw things in class, I will not get mad and hit people in class, I will not have a temper tantrum in class, and will always be good because I am the teacher, I am the teacher, I

am the teacher... That, and the wonderful scenery are my best memories of the trip. The city is situated on the shores of a great big lake, surrounded by mountains, and reminiscent of Queenstown, NZ. It is very touristy, and expensive, and famous for adventure sports. The streets are narrow and hilly, the architecture reminds me of resort towns and the skiiing and snowboarding is apparently amazing, though I have to earn a bit more before I can vouch for that personally. I can however vouch for 2 for 1 happy hour at a brewery called Antres, where the beer was very nice and the peanuts were free. Highly recommended.

In other news, I am five days (count 'em, FIVE) away from turning 30, and I am having a crisis. By 30, surely you are meant to have a house, a car and a good job? Money in the bank, holidays in Fiji (or in my case, maybe the Caribbean, what with it being closer and all), and possibly even ankle-biters of the human kind? All I have is dogs. I feel like I have lived my life on the go, and never stopped long enough in any one place to build anything. Joel is the same (well, at least I have the marriage box checked), neither of us have roots anywhere. 30! Irrevocably, irreversibly, undeniably grown-up. Aaarrgh! This is where you all say 'no, no, you don't look a day over 25', and 'life begins at 30!' (paradoxical advice I know, but hey, you're the one giving it, and I am in no position to think rationally anyway). But yeah, having a 30 crisis, in a foreign country far far away from family and friends... *sniff*

Well, going to wake Benjamin up from his nap, or he won't sleep tonight. I have hit upon the perfect way to wake him without tantrums - put his portable DVD player next to his head and press play. After a groggy 'huh, who? what movie?' he is awake and happy as the proverbial Larry. A few minutes later he is amenable to putting clothes on and
doing his homework. Genius.

Y'all come back now, y'hear?