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I’m back — except not quite

In my last post (October 8!) I warned I might be offline for a while. That was true — and the “while” continues.

I’m checking in, but not yet ready to return to the heavy-duty, brain-pain, hopefully freedom-saving posting I was doing. The next week will be crowded with non-blogging work. Physical work. Sweaty work. Grubby work. Then after that, I shall (cross fingers) return with Actual Content.

Meanwhile, here are some pix from where I’ve been. And at the bottom … some dog news. And more than dog news.


Because sometimes you must have a little R&R



I hesitate to post this because she is still eight days away from officially being ours and I don’t want the fates to hear me talking.

Just shy of one year since Ava’s death, I am still unready to have another dog in my life, but life — which has its own ideas — is ready for a dog to have me.

Meet the young Australian cattle dog currently known to her smitten rescuers as Little Red:

Her name will no doubt change, as will our lives, as there is no such thing as an easy or low-energy juvenile heeler. But Furrydoc, who currently has charge of her (and who has no great love for cattle dogs) is among the smitten and persuaded me that she’s found the perfect once-in-a-lifetime dog for me. Given that Furrydoc has known me and all my dogs very well for 21 years, I listened.

But you may have noticed I said “our.” It’s not just me anymore. Your friendly neighborhood hermit is a hermit no more. (Or well, at least only a part-time hermit, but that’s another story.) A friend of two decades has recently become much more than a friend and Little Red will truly be ours.

And so we embark on two new adventures, here at what feels like the end of the world.


  1. Keith Perkins
    Keith Perkins October 27, 2021 11:26 am

    Two great new adventures. Congrats.

  2. Comrade X
    Comrade X October 27, 2021 12:01 pm

    Ours!!!! I noticed!!!! Great Great news!!! And I’s didn’t get an invite, not that I would have gone but I always look for an excuse to give presents to a friend when there is such happy news to celebrate!!

    Red (for now) looks like a talker, definitely a 2-fer of the best news I’ve heard in a long time.

    Thank you for sharing!

  3. Eldon Hines
    Eldon Hines October 27, 2021 12:02 pm

    It’s a dang good time to have a fellow human and a dog friend in one’s back pocket

  4. WolfSong
    WolfSong October 27, 2021 12:23 pm

    On the new pup…who looks absolutely adorable!
    And the other new adventure. 😉
    New adventures are a lovely bit of hope when the world around us is losing it’s mind.
    Good for you!

  5. Claire
    Claire October 27, 2021 12:23 pm

    Thank you, Keith, CA, and Wolfsong (long time no hear!). Yes, new adventures and happy ones, I’m glad to report, in these insane times.

    And Comrade X — I love you dearly. Never fear; you didn’t miss any occasion for gift giving. No government-approved and licensed relationship here. Just a long, slow-developing “arrangement,” spiced with love. (The trip wasn’t a honeymoon, but a few days off before attending a conference.)

    I’ve seen a video of Red doing tricks and vociferously expecting treats; definitely a talker! 🙂

    Whether “official” or not, I’m delighted to announce even a hint of good news in these parlous times.

  6. Granny
    Granny October 27, 2021 12:29 pm

    Goodness gracious! Dogs are better than most things in life. I have 2 and am thinking of a 3rd. LOL. Meanwhile, I got baby goats for grazing the pastures, but they aren’t quite big enough yet. And chickens and guineas, and then today I picked up a whole mess of baby chics from the post office. I’m growing my little farm. So, yes, how delightful everything sounds for you. Congratulations and hugs!

    The current “situation” is so awful, that everyone should take a break and enjoy the truly lovely things in life. I could almost close my eyes and forget all about TPTB and just *be*.

  7. Granny
    Granny October 27, 2021 12:46 pm

    Also wanted to say that after my last Shepherd passed away, I was inconsolable, bawled my head off, and swore I could never have another dog because it was so heartbreaking when I lost one. It took a couple of years before I could even think about it, and then I wanted more than one, so I got 2 puppies. I kind of hope my dogs outlive me, but that would be selfish.

  8. Joel
    Joel October 27, 2021 2:01 pm

    Mazel Tov!

  9. Claire
    Claire October 27, 2021 2:20 pm

    And thank you, Eldon Hines. (Your message was awaiting moderation and I missed it until just now.) I agree. Finding a great human and a good dog in the same year is hitting the big time.

  10. Claire
    Claire October 27, 2021 2:24 pm

    Yep, Granny. I know how dogs break our hearts. But then the next dog(s) remake our hearts all over again like no other four-legged critter can.

    And thanks, Joel. With Tobie new in your life (and growing big enough to take over your entire Lair), I know you know just what a blessing — and PITA — a pup can be. Me, I’m going to be very glad to have a loving fellow human managing Little Red alongside me.

  11. RC
    RC October 27, 2021 4:12 pm

    Wowsers! And congrats. Yeah, that “ours” sounded funny – I didn’t think you were talking about the cat there.

    End of the world? Maybe the end of the world as we know it. I can’t tell any more. And I don’t feel fine, Michael.

    Glad to hear you once again have a significant sweetie.

  12. free.and.true
    free.and.true October 27, 2021 5:33 pm

    Congrats on the many happy newses!

  13. E M Johnson
    E M Johnson October 27, 2021 9:18 pm

    congratulations on finding 2 new partners in crime.

  14. Val E. Forge
    Val E. Forge October 27, 2021 9:38 pm

    Claire- Best of luck to all three of you! Holy smoke and mirrors!

  15. Ron Johnson
    Ron Johnson October 27, 2021 11:02 pm

    Double pus good! It is important to have an ally when facing times like these, and someone to cocoon with for some normalcy and sanity.

    When my son turned 10, we adopted a rescue, Kojak (as in, “who loves you, baby?”). He was a spitz/heeler mix who loved to be busy…and oh what a joy to get him wound up and watch him exercise himself running like lightning, low to the ground, cutting back and forth chasing imaginary sheep or something. He lived for 13 wonderful years, and he’s still with us on our shelf.

  16. Jeff2
    Jeff2 October 28, 2021 4:16 am

    Awesome news. Life has ways of changing our minds. I now stay open to the fatc the some people come into my life to help me, whether they or I know it or not. It is the same with animals.

    When I was young lad, we had a Brittany Spaniel named Red. I loved that dog very much.

    Looks like a wonderful trip. Hope you have cleared some stress. I am looking forward to more posts, like I look forward to warm breezes on starry nights. Waiting patiently for the moonrise.



  17. stryderoftheuplands
    stryderoftheuplands October 28, 2021 5:46 am

    Good for you! In any times (they are a’changing) it’s good to keep hope alive and keep moving forward.

  18. Jolly
    Jolly October 28, 2021 6:01 am

    Congrats on things said and unsaid.

  19. Toirdhealbheach Beucail
    Toirdhealbheach Beucail October 28, 2021 6:31 am

    (Sigh. Entry, Take two, without fat fingers moving too quickly…)

    Apparently, Miss, you should have R&R more often.

    Little Red (or “The Dog To Be Named”) looks very lovely indeed – and if the little I know about Cattle Dogs is true, you will find her to be a delightful and loyal companion.

    And a multiplicity of congratulations on the “our”. It is always better to face things together, especially in this form of The End of All Things.

  20. Those People
    Those People October 28, 2021 10:17 am


  21. frosty1056
    frosty1056 October 28, 2021 11:02 am

    Congratulations! Its nice to see some happiness amongst the generally dreary news. Thank you for sharing.

  22. PolarBear
    PolarBear October 28, 2021 4:30 pm

    >Just shy of one year since Ava’s death, I am still unready to have another dog in my life

    Oh Claire, i am so sorry. I cannot even think of my dog’s eventual death without tearing up. My since hope is that a meteor comes down from space and takes us both at the same time.

  23. John Wilder
    John Wilder October 28, 2021 8:20 pm

    Wonderful. A life shared is the greatest blessing.

  24. Biba
    Biba October 29, 2021 6:42 am

    Much happiness…

  25. Claire
    Claire October 29, 2021 1:48 pm

    “I didn’t think you were talking about the cat there.” Heaven forbid. The cat (in her own estimation, of course) is far too superior to be included in “us” and “our” — unless of course it’s the imperial version.

    “finding 2 new partners in crime.” Does this mean that together we can now commit _nine_ felonies a day instead of Silverglate’s three?

    It is important to have an ally when facing times like these, and someone to cocoon with for some normalcy and sanity.” Oh man, that is THE TRUTH. Both having a staunch, loving ally and having someone to share a daily reality check in a world gone mad.

    “I now stay open to the fatc the some people come into my life to help me, whether they or I know it or not. It is the same with animals.” Your whole comment was beautiful, Jeff2, but that was the topper.

    “Congrats on things said and unsaid.” 🙂 You heard me loud and clear, Jolly.

    “Its nice to see some happiness amongst the generally dreary news. Thank you for sharing.”

    And thank you, all of you, for sharing this bit of bright light with me.

  26. E M Johnson
    E M Johnson October 29, 2021 3:42 pm

    Commit as many felonies as you wish my lady…just don’t get caught

  27. firstdouglas
    firstdouglas November 6, 2021 11:47 am

    Congratulations on such good news!

  28. In Alaska For Awhile
    In Alaska For Awhile November 10, 2021 11:00 pm

    Happy for you.


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