Wednesday, October 08, 2008
We've been in Tunis for almost two months, and it feels like home. We've developed a routine, and the house looks pretty put together. I have turned my patio into a nascent Greek taverna, with lots of flowering bushes and a nice place to sit and relax.
Life most Muslim countries, the architecture is Islamic. High walls and inward looking design give the women privacy, and it's MacDuff's whole world. Since we arrived, he has patrolled the garden and the patio, wandered around the house, but he has not gone beyond our walls, except for one brief break for freedom which didn't last long.
The weather here is gorgeous right now, and so I decided to take MacDuff for a walk. I've been worried about stray dogs, but my neighborhood has a lot of foreigners living in it, and they tend to adopt the strays, making it safer. MacDuff quivered with excitement when he realized that freedom (on a leash, but still) was his. We sniffed and peed our way up the hill to the sea and then to a fabulous little bakery I recently discovered. A dog challenged MacDuff, but he was too busy hiking himself up on tippytoe to squirt his calling card to even care.
Westies are rare in this part of the world, and the little guy drew his share of admiring glances as we toddled along. We passed an old man and his two sheep, and the man called out a pleasant greeting. Not wishing to be rude, I stopped to talk. MacDuff was extremely well behaved, calmly, slowly walking up to "meet" one of the sheep. Although she seemed to be curious about him initially, she soon grew skittish and backed up. I started to reel MacDuff in when she went on the attack, charging him. MacDuff dashed back and then behind me as fast as four inch legs can go, both putting me right in the irate sheep's pathway and tangling up my legs at the same time. Luckily, the man leaped forward and grabbed her horns! You know what? Sheep are surprisingly large and mean looking up close and angry!
The whole time, the old man smiled at me and called out apologies!
MacDuff was so shaken up that he freaked when we saw a miserable little street cat, and it was just time to go home. Now the little guy is sacked out on the sofa, no doubt dreaming about his big adventure!
Monday, February 11, 2008
I don't know what is the matter with me. I know I need to exercise. I know I don't even mind it that much when I'm doing it. I know I feel better for doing it, and yet I have to beat myself into going to the gym. Oh, and by "go to the gym," I mean get in the lift and go down to the ground floor!
I had a pleasant surprise today and got to come home early. Did I work out early and get it done? Noooo. I packed my gym bag HOURS before I finally went downstairs. Pathetic.
But go down I did. And considering my recent surgery, it was actually a pretty energetic workout. I worked out for close to two hours, doing both cardio and weight work. The endorphins kicked in early on, and I felt great by the end of it.
The concierges bake cookies every evening. As I come out of the gym, I often turn into Jerry from the Tom & Jerry cartoons, floating on the wafting scent of fresh baked, still warm cookies. (Cookies, not cheese, but you get the idea.) One evening, I was eyeing up the cookies but decided I needed milk to really enjoy them. Cesar, the concierge that evening, actually kept them in the back room until I returned from the convenience store with milk, so that they would not be scarfed down by other residents before I returned!
Cesar was on duty again this evening, as I left the gym, feeling both pride and a sense of accomplishment. Why do I struggle to do what I know I need to do, especially when there is a possibility of a cookie afterwards? One would think I'd be desperate to get down there and get cracking! Walking through the lobby on my way to the lift, I scooped up a chocolate chip cookie and called out to Cesar, "I love you!"
He grinned, and we were both happy.
Sunday, December 23, 2007
Kadusha died last night. I still can't quite grasp it. I found her in the Animal Market, a sort of take away zoo in Dushanbe, Tajikistan. She was a tiny, starving puppy, and the man was going to drown her because no one wanted a female dog. She was crying her heart out; she was so young that her eyes were still blue.
Impulsively, I bought her for $2.70. Kadusha joined my westie MacDuff, and we traveled the world. Four months ago, we moved from London to Arlington, Virginia. Kadusha struggled with the adjustment and developed some problems -- nothing that seemed too serious.
It all went wrong after lunch yesterday. By 6 p.m. we were in the vet's office. Kadusha was such a fighter. The vet marveled at the dosage it took it finally put her to sleep. I held her and reminded her of all the amazing adventures we had together as she gazed at me with those beautiful whisky-colored eyes.
I know it's going to be a long time before I'm over her. MacDuff keeps checking her crate and looking around the house for her. Odd things suddenly make me think of her and I cry.
I love the Christmas season, but this year is tough.
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