Thursday, July 21, 2005

ERRATA 7.21.2005

You know, they say that travel broadens the mind, I think its also true that merely talking to people who travel can broaden your mind as well, if perhaps to a lesser degree. Here are some interesting things I have learned this week.

--In France they use all different kinds of salad dressings, and the dressing we see at the local Safeway as "French Dressing" is merely some nasty american concoction, which as far as I know, no one has ever actually eaten.

--The Simpsons episode where Bart becomes a foreign exchange student in France does not, in fact, accurately represent living conditions in modern France. I am beginning to think that I might have to base my ethnocentric world-views on some other program!

--French Fries are not actually French in origin. In France they just called the "fried potatoes", in fact french fries were mistakely named that because they were invented in Paris, Texas, and a newspaper reporter mistook a reference to Paris, as one to the French city of the same name.

(thank you google, see link for more info.)

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

a hike to Bears Den in Western Loudoun 7.10.2005

Just a few photos from a hike to Bears Den in Western Loudoun County with PJ and a couple of English Language students from France. Juliet is staying with us, while Hugo, is staying next door. In the view you can see Signal Knob, the northern tip of the Massanutten ridge, on the left side of the photo.

Friday, July 15, 2005

TRILINGUAL 7-15-2005

I thought this was pretty funny, Kathleen had to take the kids to the doctor, so when I got home, our two English Language students, Barbara, who is from the Basque province of Spain, and Juliet, who lives near Paris in France, were watching the Simpsons. It was disc 1 season 1.

They were watching the Simpsons with audio dubbed in French, with Spanish subtitles. The funny part was, I started watching it with them, and I didn't need either the audio or the subtitles, since I have long ago used up valuable memory space by memorizing mostly all of the older Simpsons episodes.

Juliet didn't understand. She changed the language back to English, being polite. "No,its alright. Look!" Bart and Lisa were playing scrabble. "Bart's next word is KWIJIBU. K-W-I-J-I-B-U." Sure enough, the Bart played that work. We watched a few more episodes, and I real feel like I have accomplished some progress towards global unity, courtesy of a certain four fingered yellow disfunctional family.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

RIP Patra May 1995 - July 1 2005

I wanted to put one last post in about when I brought Patra in to the vet. This was pretty difficult for me, because she was such a good friend and we all loved her so much, and also because it came up so suddenly. I still unconsciously look over my shoulder when I back up my office chair to make sure that I don't run her over.

The vet was very understanding, he was a great guy. I got home from work and basically had to stare at the clock for an hour before it was time to bring Patra in. I got her to go in the backyard with me for a little while, but she couldn't really move around that much without paint so I didn't push it.

When I brought Patra in, I asked the vet if this was really the best thing for the dog. He showed me where the cancer was in her leg, and told me that her body was riddled with it; in her bones, and her stomach, and that was just what they knew about.

I asked him why we hadn't noticed any of this. He said that Labs are generally such stoic dogs that it is hard to tell when they are in any pain, He also told me that he had a six year old golden retriever that he lost the same way a few years before.

I rermember telling Anna about some of this, and she told me that next time she wants to get a dog that is not a Labrador. A dog that is not a Labrador will show pain and we will know when she is sick and when she needs to go to the doctor. This really broke my heart, hearing her say all this.

So I brought Patra into the vets office, and I had to carry her onto the table. I remember the syringe was filled with a blue liquid, it was very clear and dark. Patra exhaled twice. I asked the vet if that was the first show. I thought that they gave one shot to make her sleep and another to put her down, but he said that in general we as people tend to treat dogs more humanely than we treat ourselves.

I go to the vet today to pick up the ashes, which we are going to bury in our backyard somewhere. And now I am saying one last goodbye to an old friend.

I took this out in the yard a little while before I brought Patra in. Posted by Picasa

Friday, July 01, 2005

Patra needs to go the vet one last time 7.1.2005

Kathleen called me this morning, when I was almost at work. She had just finished a long conversation with the Vet. Basically, Patra's life has become so uncomfortable that the best choice is for her to be put down. I have to take her over tonight around 5:30PM.

As I work, as I sit hear, I keep looking at my watch. I wonder how she will react to being brought to the vet. If she will know. What thoughts a dogs mind can hold. How depressing this all is, I think to myself. She has been a good friend all these years and now it is time to say goodbye.

Patra's behavior reflects the pain she is in. She has been 'denning', or curling up in quiet dark places where no one will bother her. This is a sign that an animal is sick, and/or in pain. Her hind left leg is lame that she can barely stand on it. Part of the problem was that it was so hard to tell that she was sick. She never whimpered, or snapped, or whined, or had any visible symptoms at all until it was far to late to do anything about them.

Well, this will end her pain and bring her some peace and ultimately it is the best that can be done, I think to myself. I bring her to the Vet at 5:30PM tonight. Six hours and twelve minutes, I think, as I look at my watch again.