bad dog hangover
Friday, April 26 2019
Gretchen would be driving down to Washington, DC today for that part of her ongoing book tour (promoting Visiting Days, her latest collection of poetry). So I brought both dogs (Ramona and Neville) into work with me this morning so they wouldn't have to deal with the sadness of Gretchen leaving.
Initially I thought I'd dodged a bullet with my drinking last night, and that vomitting was going to spare me much of a hangover. I had a mild headache, but that was it. But later in the morning I started having problems in my gut, mostly lingering pangs of acid reflux that occasionally rose to the level of genuine nausea. I thought maybe a long walk with the dogs in the field behind the building might help. So I headed down a steep forested bank to an odd half acre or so of grassy lowlands surrounded on three sides by forested banks (some of which had probably been built up to support now-absent railroad tracks). As always, the dogs quickly became interested in the varmint holes beneath a maple at the south edge of this grassy lowlands (the maple actually sits at the end of an apparently-artificial berm that reaches out into the lowlands from the south). The dogs were especially excited this time, and I heard what sounded like the squeal of an unknown varmint when the dogs disappeared for a moment on the far side of the berm. And then Neville appeared carrying the varmint in his mouth. It looked like a fat baby fox, though I suppose it could've been a coyote pup. In any case, Neville was definitely treating it like prey and was not extending to it the friendly benevolence with which he greets all other dogs. I managed to get the poor thing away from Neville and fend off Ramona and Neville when they tried to attack it a second and third time. Though the pup didn't appear injured, he wasn't moving with any coordination, suggesting Neville had inflicted neurological damage of some sort. Maybe he'd shaken it, broken its neck, or punctured its skull. Whatever had happened, I was feeling terribly guilty for having brought such brutality into someone's home. I put the pup into one of the burrows in the hopes that it was just in shock and that its problems were temporary and then carried Neville away. Ramona was now responding somewhat to commands, and I managed to get them away. But then they went running wild through the back of an adjacent business, perhaps on the hunt for one of the cats that I know live there. I was really regretting having brought the dogs to work today. This is not the sort of shit you want to be dealing with on a hangover. Not only that, but it was cold dreary day and drizzle was turning the parking lot into an archipelago of mud puddles.
By noon, I was feeling so ill that I thought about going home for the day. Somehow I soldiered on, managing to force down a Cliff Bar (provided by the office), the first thing I'd eaten since vomiting last night. By around 1:30pm I had enough of an appetite to eat the second half of that spaghetti from last Friday's office pizza ritual. (For whatever reason, there was no office pizza ritual today.)
Despite how I was feeling, I made some good progress debugging some issues with my increasingly-fancy Electron app. One problem turned out to not actually be a problem; nobody had bothered to show me the info I needed to compare against on a certain kind of PDF.
I should mention that Neville, though a great bookstore dog, isn't the best in the office environment. When people are moving slowly, browsing books, he doesn't care that they're strangers or what they're doing. But in our office, if someone moves suddenly and with purpose, which is how people do sometimes when marching up to someone else's desk, Neville will sometimes freak out. Today when one of the new guys (our only black employee) walked over to talk to Joe or one of the Daves, Neville barked and charged after him with such aggression that Alex characterized it as an attack. Neville also freaked out and chased after Victoria when a spider sent her fleeing across the room. (Victoria is skeeved-out by unexpected invertebrates, though even aggressive Nevilles don't much trouble her.)
Then, of course, there is Ramona. She's a great office dog until someone brings in their dog. Today the head honcho briefly brought in his dog Moxie on a leash, and while Neville loved it (and wanted to play), I held Ramona in my arms as she snarled in menace.
I got out of work at precisely 4:00pm and drove straight home. I drank an Ithaca Flower Power for part of the drive, and it quickly softened the hard edges of my hangover.
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