no birthday cake for Ramona
Friday, March 24 2017
I had a reasonably productive day in the remote workplace, culminating with the triumph of finally fixing a long-standing chunk of logic allowing multiple contacts in the donor database having identical email addresses.
I cut out of work a little before 6:00pm for Chongo's third birthday party. Gretchen and I (with, of course, both our dogs Ramona and neville) were the first to arrived at Chongo's house (near the corner of Clinton and St. James in Uptown Kingston). Gretchen had baked cupcakes for the occasion, though these were for humans, not dogs. Chongo (decked out in a bow tie) was very excited to greet Ramona and Neville when they arrived. But when other dogs began arriving, Ramona turned into the total bitch she can occasionally be. (Most of time she's wise, considerate, engaged, and cuddly, and I ask the rhetorical question, "Who's the best dog ever?" But I wouldn't be doing that this evening.) I could tell she wasn't on her best behavior because all the fur on her back was standing on end, giving a five-inch-wise dorsal stripe a different color than the rest of her pelt. She also growled whenever other dogs, particularly an adorable little (~15 pound) brown dog named Carmen got close. (Ramona has a lot less tolerance for other females than she does for males like Chongo.) Sometimes I'd catch Ramona growling and I'd snatch her aside and insist that she behave herself. Such talkings-to have worked in the past, but today she couldn't break out of her bad attitude. Eventually out in the back yard (still slushy with lingering snow) she found one of Chongo's rawhide bones and then attacked Chongo when he got too close. That altercation ended on its own without anyone being injured, and Gretchen put the rawhide up in a tree (Ramona certainly didn't deserve it). It wasn't long after coming back into the house that Ramona attacked little Carmen. She did so brazenly, right there among everybody, and viciously. Poor little Carmen was too small to defend herself and let out a miserable yelp and then kept yelping (seemingly at the injustice) well after we got Ramona off of her. It soon turned out that Ramona had inflicted a small (3/8 inch long tear) in the top of Carmen's head. Well, that was it, I dragged Ramona out to the car where she would spend the rest of the party. There would be no birthday dog cake for her. After a little antibiotic salve, Cameron had returned to her normal effusive self. Feeling guilty that my dog had injured her, I reached out to Carmen, who greeted me with gusto, climbing into my lap and licking my face with that long tongue she keeps in her pointy snout. Evidently she didn't feel I Ramona's mortal taint had rubbed off on me. In addition to Carmen, her human parents had also brought a tiny curly-haired special needs rescue dog who was mostly kept in the arms or on a leash. I don't know what of his senses were working correctly, but he tended to lash out with barking at the slightest disturbance, and with so many dogs doing s many things, such disturbances came frequently. For a time that little special needs dog kept attacking my socked foot. The dog didn't really have any teeth, so it felt like I was being attacked by some sort of flightless bird.
Then it came time to seat the dogs around the dining table to eat the cake. Hopefully they'd stay in their seats and continue politely eating, providing numerous photographic opportunities. As they had a year ago, the dogs were surprisingly cooperative. Neville (who had not been present last year) was among the least cooperative, preferring to eat his dogfood cake on the floor. Rebecca the Vegan (who we know through the vegan world but who knows Chongo's parents separately) asked Chongo's mom Chrissie what exactly goes into a birthday cake for dogs, and as she metioned peanut butter and what not, I chimed in "and a creamy nougat center of cat shit!" We all agreed that dogs would love that, though it wasn't the case, at least for this cake. This idea reminded Rebecca of a kind of halloween cake made to look exactly like a cat litter box in need of cleaning. It's served in a plastic tray with a cat litter scoop, the surface is a crumble made to look like cat litter, and there are fake cat turds on top made from melted tootsie rolls.
Other topics discussed during the dog birthday party included the movie Get Out and the personalities of the people in The Organization that I work for (whom Rebecca's boyfriend knows).
As we were leaving the party, Gretchen suggested we make a detour down to New Paltz to get spaghetti at the Plaza Diner (which still has the best spaghetti in the Hudson Valley). So that was what we did. Ramona was being a bit sheepish the whole time, though we did let her and Neville run around in the plaza parking lot before we dined.
Of course, the big news outside our little world was the failure of the Republicans to actually repeal and replace Obamacare, the thing they've been promising to do for the last seven years. Now that they control all the levers of power, though, they can't bring themselves to commit the collective political suicide that throwing 24 million people out of their health insurance would result in (barring a huge intervention from their Russian ally).
Chongo's birthday party, 2017. Neville in the foreground with Gretchen behind him. Chongo to the right with his human father Nick behind him. Carmen further to the right with her human mom standing behind her. Photo by Jeff E. Click to enlarge.
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