Sunday, August 31, 2008

Dogs and Other Distractions

I should have submitted this entry for Feline & Furball Friday, but I meant to do another one later in the week. Oh, well!

Pepper and Cayenne wait for the vet.

As millions of people over the past decade and a half have had occasion to remark, the Internet can easily suck up every minute of your spare time and more. That was true even in the old days of Usenet, Prodigy, CompuServe and then-nascent AOL, when the offerings consisted almost entirely of message boards and the beginnings of email. Since then, it's gotten much worse. One may eventually tire of writing three paragraphs a night about some tv show, to be read by the same people as last night's three paragraphs. But these days, there are many flavors of potentially addictive online activities. I personally can happily ignore most of them: gaming and cybersex, chat rooms and most kinds of downloads hold little attraction for me. But that still leaves blogging and photo sharing, Wikipedia and the toe-dipping edges of social networking and online political activism. Like everyone else, I can ignore the vast majority of the Internet because not all of it suits my particular interests, and because the firehose is simply too big for any single person to chug what it sprays. But that still leaves the trickle of stuff that is interesting enough to eat up an entire holiday weekend if I let it.

After my all-nighter with Picasa last night, I got two hours of sleep and then took the dogs to the vet, about which more below. Then I fussed with Picasa some more, went to bed for five hours, got dinner and went back online. Aside from the usual, I've written a blog post on the Obama website linking back here, made two of my Picasa collections of Outpost photos public as Picasa albums, and made a start on tagging hundreds (eventually thousands) of photos. Yeah, this is going to take a while. Even since starting this entry, I've been distracted for a couple hours, doing more tagging and deleting another 3 GB or more of dupe photos from the backup hard drive.

Restless dogs in motion

Can we leave now?

The veterinarian's appointment was just for Cayenne, so she could get the last of her booster shots. But Pepper was so excited when I put the leash on Cayenne, and so determined to get out the door, that it was easier to bring her along than to make her stay home.

This outing seemed much more fun back at the house.

In a way, though, it was just as well, because Pepper got more out of the trip than any of us bargained for. The vet wanted to put both dogs on heartworm prevention and pre-prevention testing, plus a flea and tick prevention formula. With the exam and the booster shot, this would all have come to over $200 for Cayenne alone. But by saying no to the flea and tick stuff ($96 per dog), I was able to get the heartworm thing done for both dogs. They didn't really examine Pepper, but they did measure her weight: 44 pounds, I think it was, something like ten pounds heavier than Cayenne.

Cayenne did not enjoy waiting around.

There was a lot of sitting around waiting at the vet's office, mostly in the exam room, resulting in a lot of doggie stress and fidgeting. But the vet was pleased with Cayenne's improved weight and skin, which had been flaky before. Pepper's was worse, and is also much better now.

And then tonight, Pepper made another contribution to the Monday Photo Shoot meme of destruction. But that's a photo for tomorrow night.


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