Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Caruso and My Brother

Here's a picture of Caruso (I didn't change the name of our doggie in The Finger Puppet) and my elder brother. In the background is the barbed wire fence with the thorn bushes. click on pic to enlarge. Another fun picture coming up soon :-)



See? There were always snakes in our wilderness compound...

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Painting and Writing

Murphy is recovering remarkably, we drove down to the middle-eastern restaurant nearby and picked up two vegetarian samplers. I prefer Whole Foods' deli but I can't leave Murphy alone in the car so it had to be one of these drive-thru places. My husband returns from Phoenix tonight and I have been scrambling to get the kitchen in order. I just discovered that the kitchen was the best place as a studio :-)

Finally, the painting I'm working on is showing signs of looking the way I had seen it in my mind -- wild colours, with bold and recognizable forms. Of India, of course, I think my soul is buried there, waaaah! Painting can be so darn frustrating sometimes. Writing too, but more so with painting because once I lay a stroke of colour, whatever was underneath is lost forever. There's no turning back, especially since I don't draw beforehand on the canvas. With writing, I can edit and edit and edit and still go back to the very first draft anytime I want to. I'll post pics of my current work when I have painted a few. My older paintings are at www.anujayanth.com

I'm most creative when my husband is not around. Oh no, he's not an ogre or anything like that, it's just that he has to have the radio on in every room, he's a news and information junkie and up and about and multi-tasking and always on the go. I am the very opposite. There's nothing that I enjoy more than doing nothing, nothing, nothing. Murphy and I make perfect companions because we sit out and watch the street. It's quite a bit different from what it's like in India, of course. We might see a car or two or a dog being walked, so we watch the clouds, we watch the trees, we watch the grass and ants and lizards and study the cracks on our driveway.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Weight training

It all began with Murphy's teeth which were really bad, he had a teeth cleaning in Jan but Murphy's mouth was still a bit sore and sensitive and he wasn't too thrilled about having his teeth brushed, especially those in the back. We decided to have yet another cleaning and this time -- since he was going to be under general anaesthesia anyway -- remove a few of the lipomas that seemed to be getting bigger. These can grow to the size of cantaloupes and although they're mostly benign, could be of great discomfort to the aging dog. Let's do it, I said to the vet. Three of the areas healed very well, but one of them developed a hemotoma, the swelling as big as a football. When the space where the mass was continued to fill up with fluid even after syringing the blood out, Dr Wiltshire suggested we put two drains. A few hours after the procedure Murphy climbed groggily into the back of the Acura, but upon reaching home just didn't have the energy to haul himself up. And he lay there like a rock. And I was reminded of Sirocco, how he had turned into rock, I began to panic...

What should I do?
Try to entice him with some treats the receptionist at Lakeside Animal Clinic said.
Cell phone in hand, I ran in to get some yummy treats. No, that didn't work. It was blistering hot in the car, should I keep driving around the block with the a/c on till he's ready to get up?

My neighbor, Ayanna, pulled into her driveway just then. What a godsend! She and I got Murphy up, but he collapsed in the area between the backseat and the front seat and got stuck there, his legs up in the air.

Anu, don't cry, Ayanna said, he'll be fine. It's really not as bad as it looks.

I steeled myself and wrapped my arms around Murphy's chest and dragged the 105 pound dog out. Once he was on the ground, he stood up and slowly walked into the house and once again collapsed on his bed. I knew, I knew, it was not as bad as it looked, I was prepared for all the dripping blood and the open incisions and yet I was just crumbling, the memory of Sirocco pulling me into August 2006, I had to keep telling myself, Anu, you have to be here, today, for Murphy, for Murphy, for Murphy and I snapped out of it and focused on making sure Murphy didn't try to bite the tubes sticking out of the incisions on his back. So glad Ayanna was with me.

I spread my yoga mat (finally found a use for it) on Murphy's mattress and then a sheet and some towels to soak the blood. Murphy's doing well now, I'm his 24-hour nurse, maid, cook :-)

And now to the vet, Dr Randy Wiltshire, he's absolutely wonderful. He checks on Murphy and it's reassuring to hear his voice on the phone, Murphy will be fine, he did great. Dr Wiltshire is super!

I'm going to start weight-training...Murphy's already nine, so I want to be able to lift at least part of him with ease if ever he's unable to move in his later years...