Stephanie Burgis
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She's back!
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Nika's home! Woohoo!!!!!

I missed her a ridiculous amount. Almost as bad (as bad? worse?) is the guilt. I hate leaving her at kennels! I picked her up this afternoon and had...well...seriously mixed feelings about what I saw. First of all, on Friday (when I dropped her off), the kennel assistant assured me that no, of course I didn't need to bring in her own food--that they would go out and buy Nika's normal brand of Iams themselves, as part of the deal, no later than the next morning. So guess what I saw when I walked in today, three afternoons later? A different kind of food--their basic, supermarket brand. Maybe this doesn't sound like a big issue (after all, it might be just as nice a dog food), but changing foods messes up dogs' digestive systems, which is why I originally offered to bring in her own food...and I really don't like the fact that they promised something and then didn't bother to do it. (Or even to let me know if they couldn't do it, for whatever reason.) Second of all, her water bowl was absolutely empty, and she was clearly dehydrated. So. It's a hot day; maybe she had just finished drinking the whole thing. But Nika's a small dog, it was a big bowl, and she never drinks a lot at a time. So what's paranoia and what's reasonable worry? I don't know. The worst part is that this is the second-nicest kennel we've found in Leeds, and the nicest is out of our access, now that we don't have a car anymore. So we will probably have to take her back again regardless of our worries (although I will definitely bring her food with her next time).

And apparently she went on a hunger strike (probably a combination of stress and the food change) and didn't eat for the three days. So, natch, all in all her stomach is pretty messed up. As it nearly always is when she goes to a kennel. Talk about Guilt Inducement! Ohhh, I wish I could afford live-in dogsitters! Maybe someday when Patrick and I are rich and famous... Sigh....

Oh well. Just so that this whole entry isn't a downer, I'll mention that I read a really fantastic YA book this weekend--Louis Sacher's Holes, which was funny and quirky and moving, and kind of Daniel Pinkwater-ish in a really good way. And today I spent a long time hesitating over Jonathan Franzen's The Corrections in the library, feeling really torn--on the one hand, it does look like a really fantastic book, but on the other hand, he has been so publicly obnoxious, with huge overtones of sexism and classism, in the big Oprah controversy. I know great writers can be jerks, but it's easier to know that hypothetically than to go by it in real life. So I ended up putting the book down, but not being sure about the decision. Has anyone read it? Any opinions?

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