splintered pack, finally reunited

(scroll down two or three screens if you’re just here for the greyhound and knitting pics!)  November has been kind of a crappy month for us.  The big fella has been away 11 nights and 14 days (so far) this month.  He’s done a lot of traveling, we had company here for a few nights, so a lot of disruption to our routine.  {Side note – if I really like you, it’s not a disruption.  If it’s a duty visit, it is!}  Even before we got the dog(s), we (he and I) didn’t like to be apart for very long.  Since Sabrina and Apollo have joined the pack, we dislike separation even more, especially Princess Sabrina (aka Drama Queen).

This past weekend my good friend Monica came to stay.  We ate, we watched tv and we knit.  We even went yarn shopping at our local pitiful excuse of a yarn shop (and I had better luck at Zellers for some hat yarn).  That was somewhat overshadowed on Saturday afternoon when we got home by a really weird thing happening with Sabrina.  Remember I’ve been fretting over Apollo’s limp and shoulder problems, and then this.  We had taken the dogs with us in the car while we were out; when we returned, I took them out in the yard to run around and do their business.  As soon as we came back in, Sabrina started drooling incessantly, licking her chops and nose and looking like she had something stuck in her mouth.  I watched her for a while and then realized it was not my imagination as she was drooling buckets and her muzzle was soaked, especially on the left side.  I phoned the big fella (he was outside of Montreal) and discussed what I should do.  My first instinct was to call the vet’s emergency number, but part of me was saying that was silly – she was just drooling.  I know that one of the signs of bloat (gastric torsion, to which greyhounds and other deep-chested breeds can be prone) is excessive drooling, but she didn’t exhibit any other symptoms of that.  The big fella agreed that I should be worried and encouraged me to call the vet.

After a consultation with the vet, ruling out any toxic things introduced to her surroundings, he instructed me to see if she’d eat/drink normally (if she were getting bloaty she wouldn’t be able to keep it down); check – she gobbled down some chicken meat and her kibble as usual, had a good drink.  I couldn’t think of anything that could have caused this … but the more I observed her, the more it made me think she’d either eaten something bad in the yard (although I couldn’t think of what it could have been) or inhaled something and it was stuck in her nose or throat.  Although if it were stuck in her throat, she’d have had trouble eating.  That day was quite warm, so the snow was melting in the yard and grass, leaves, twigs, etc. were being bared by the poopers’ running amok.  As the evening wore on, she was drooling less, but not completely normal.  She drooled somewhat through the night and intermittently in the morning, but she wasn’t looking like she was trying to dislodge something with her tongue, so I guess that was improvement.  I was still incredibly worried.  I thought maybe she’d had some sort of a stroke, but we took the dogs out for a walk Saturday night and she was her usual (spazzy) self.

Through several phone calls back and forth with the big fella I felt a bit more reassured, but still my natural inclination was worry, worry, worry.  By the time Monica left mid-afternoon Sunday, I was cautiously optimistic that Sabrina was returning to normal.  I’d been so worried, I’d even forgotten to fret about Apollo’s shoulder!

The big fella’s plane landed in Saskatoon at 3:30 and he got home a little after 5.  I was so relieved to have him back I got a little teary eyed (yes, I actually cried.  Pathetic, I know.)  Sabrina was beside herself that her daddy was home and ~~miraculously~~ seemed completely normal from that point on.  Damn dogs.  It was pretty funny this morning when she got out of bed and came down the hallway; she saw me, then must have forgotten that the big fella was home, because when she spied him, she practically turned herself inside out running down the hall to him.  Awwww!

all is well in her world
all is well in her world

So enough with that dog drama.  She seems fine now, Apollo’s limp seems greatly reduced, even though I have a lot of trouble preventing him from running in the back yard.  He does know what “stop” means, so I try to catch him before he gets too wound up.

Hmm, what have I done since my last post.  Well, Thursday night I did, in fact, go to my European Pastry and Torte class.  I ditched French class Wed night because I didn’t want to be out two nights in a row.  (See above, pack splintering and home bodying.)  The registration form said it went from 7 to 9, but we weren’t finished until 10:30.  It was somewhat rewarding because I got to bring home this:

traditional Bavarian-style Black Forest Cake
traditional Bavarian-style Black Forest Cake

The chef had four or five styles of cakes baked off, he showed us in teams of two how to assemble and decorate each cake.  So I had this entire cake to myself!  The cake is very different from a so-called “Black Forest Cake” that you would get at your grocery bakery.  The base and top are actually a Japonnaise made with egg whites and ground hazelnuts.  It’s rock hard, but once the cake is assembled and the moisture seeps into the Japonnaise, it’s quite chewy and soft.  There is a middle chocolate layer of a fairly dense cake, lots of whipped cream, kirsch-soaked Bing cherries (NOT cherry pie filling!), chocolate curls, etc.  I had a hard time keeping on task while holding that 10-lb bar of Callebaut dark chocolate to make the chocolate curls.  Yummmmmmm.  The second part of the class is this Thursday, and we will actually do the baking, etc. and bring home the cake to finish.

well worth the effort
well worth the effort

We indulged in cake throughout the weekend.  It was amazing light, not too rich, and very, very tasty.

There has been some knitting:

do these socks make my belly look big?
"do these socks make my belly look big?"

Mens Regia 6-ply Ribbed Socks
Men's Regia 6-ply Ribbed Socks

These took me four days, once I’d stopped messing around trying to find a stitch pattern that would show up on the charcoal yarn.  They’re very nice, plainly ribbed socks.

stitch detail
stitch detail

Once I finished those, I cast on again for another pair of socks, some more No Purl Monkeys.  I’ve done the cuffs on both socks, but set them aside to knock out a simple ribbed hat for the big fella to wear with his business clothes, once it gets to be -40° and his Bailey hat won’t keep his ears warm:

a perfect fit?
a perfect fit?

I was winging it for how long to make it before the crown decreases.  I used the That Chocolate’s Gone Straight to your Ribs pattern, but I substituted Bernat Cashmere Blend (aran weight) for the DK/sport weight the pattern called for. I used 4 mm needles and a 90 stitch cast on.  The colours are coal and earth.  I used less than one 60 g skein of the main colour, coal, and a few yards of the earth (brown) for the stripes.  I wanted the hat to be more like a skull cap/beanie than a toque – I think it would look too casual if the brim was folded over.  Rav link here. The big fella will wear it a few times and if he thinks it should be a bit longer, I’ll rip back the crown and add another inch.  But I’m really happy with how it turned out!  The cashmere blend yarn is very nice.  I do laugh, though, at those Bernat “Natural Blends” yarns.  The actual cashmere content in this yarn is …. 5%.  Bwah ha ha!  The rest is 65% acrylic and 30% nylon.  But it’s very soft, nice for a hat.  And, as they say on “Are You Being Served”, it will ride down with wear.

Well, I think that’s everything … dogs, socks, cake, hats, dogs … yep!  Now that I’m caught up here, I’ll have to get going on some things around the house, the ever-present laundry, etc. etc.

He matches the bedding!
He matches the bedding!

Apollo snuck in on Monica’s bed and had a little nap.  He hoped with his collar and his fur he’d blend right in and I wouldn’t notice he was on the bed without a fleece on top …


5 thoughts on “splintered pack, finally reunited”

  1. Eeek! Sabrina! OMG! That’s so scary! Gah what these baby dogs can put us through! So glad she’s feeling better and that my baby Apollo is better too! Big Fella’s home! All is right in the world!

  2. Since I’m from California, I immediately thought she got stung by a bee. And then I remembered the snow…no bees, right? 2 of my dogs and 1 of my cats love chasing bees and have painful reminders of their successes in catching said bees.

    Glad she is back to “normal” and that it did not affect Apollo as well.

  3. That is so mysterious! Some sort of salivary gland malfunction maybe? Could she have just missed her Dad?

    When Picabou had bloat (with gastric torsion) she got it about 1/2 hour after eating. She was vomiting foam, her sides were heaving, she was wimpering and trying to hide in a corner of the yard. It was unmistakably an emergency. If it ever did happen, you would know.

  4. Hi Terri – haven’t been here in a long time and am just catching up.

    Sorry to hear about Sabrina – but I’m glad she’s better.

    The Schwarzwaelder Kirschtorte (Black Forest Cherry Cake) looks and sounds like the real thing! Wish I could have had a piece – it’s one of my favorites. Maybe I’ll try to make one for Christmas. Do you have a recipe?

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