Yesterday was big doings around here – boxes arrived, visitors came by and I started a new project!
does anyone remember that show, V, about the visitors?
Sabrina from Knit Knit came by with her photographer (I’m such a spaz – I’ve forgotten her name and she was so lovely!) and we chatted and took some photos. I’d cleaned the house – but also wanted it to be cheerfully messy with yarn – a fine line to walk.
What wasn’t cheerful was the headless squirrel on our front porch. Apparently the kids didn’t feel it merited comment as they stepped over it to the bus (with the cat we have they’re practically farm kids now…) I saw it just moments before Sabrina showed up. Now THAT would have made a lovely photo for the book, huh? Ah, Spring is here…
During the interview the phone kept ringing and ringing – NON stop! Because I’m popular? No, it was all from the same number, trying to send me a fax. Remember that Seinfeld when Elaine kept getting the faxes? Well imagine it happening while someone’s trying to INTERVIEW you! I cleared up that mystery today when I discovered that a new person had started at my distributors and hadn’t gotten the heads up that I like to get my purchase orders via email, not fax. Life is a constant breaking in, eh?
Then a box – no TWO – of yarn arrived! How exciting is THAT? It won’t be quite so exciting in a few weeks when I’m under stacks of boxes of yarn, but now it’s a little like Christmas. And then the item arrived which will make some of you hate me.
The Bark Collar
I love my dog. If you know me, you KNOW I love my dog. I adore Atticus, and he’s just about the perfect pooch. But he’s become so BARKY that it makes us nuts. While visiting a friend I mentioned this and she showed me the bark collar her own dog had worn for a bit to train him not to bark. The idea is that the dog wears this box on his collar and when he barks loudly it zaps him with a little shock. I felt it (yes, I held the collar in my hand and BARKED at it until it zapped) and it’s not something I’d like to do every day. But it also wasn’t terrible – really, not awful (and I don’t have a fur coat).
So I put this thing on Atticus (who had been barking at some passing dogs, a car, the garbage men, a kid with a basketball, a bird, a piece of garbage and yet another dog) and he settled back into his perch by the window. When the next dog walked by he barked – then he shuddered, looked at me VERY confused, and came over and sat by me.
Another dog, another bark, more confused looks. I was just about to take the damned thing off because I was feeling so guilty, but then the acid test arrived…
The Mail Man
The mailman is the big thorn in Atticus’s side -he HATES him, he feels he’s trying to invade our home with all of this junk mail, and more than once we’ve found our Netflix disks waiting for us with teeth marks in them (Atticus’s, not the mail man).
So as the mailman approached, Atticus started his low growl, walked over and sniffed the door, looked at me, sat and watched the mail come in the slot, then went back to his perch (he “owns” one of the sofas, it’s his place to be) and settled back down. Magic.
And that was enough to make me praise the collar. Usually when the mail man comes, Atticus starts barking and sort of whips himself up into a frenzy, running up and down the stairs, barking, running, slipping, barking. Today he was aware of the mailman – probably MORE aware than he usually is – but not barking.
I took the collar off a bit after that and left if off for the rest of the day. This morning I left it off until he barked at a passing dog, then after about a half an hour (during which he didn’t bark) I took it off and he’s been pretty quiet all day.
I know I sound like a terrible person with this shock collar thing – and it’s someplace I REALLY didn’t want to go. But his barking’s been getting to the out of control stage. He seems to excite himself with his barking – like a kid who sobs so hard they can’t stop – and this seems (at least as of day 2) to make him stop and think, “Do I really need to bark now?”
So, for now, I’m slightly more productive because it’s slightly less noisy here. The Quark dilemma’s been fixed, but I have to redo those 6 months plus the other months. This will never end.