Let's not belabor the point: 2020 has been a pretty rotten year for everybody, all things considered. I fall in the category of people who shouldn't complain too much in that I'm still employed and to the best of my knowledge, the virus hasn't taken the life of anybody I know personally, but maaaaaaan...what a dumb year.
At my job I'm an hourly employee, and my income is typically determined by overtime opportunities. During non-virus time, I can count on a fair amount of OT to bolster the paycheck; with the virus, working from home, etc., those OT opportunities haven't existed until very recently. That hasn't really impacted me other than money I thought I'd have to get this rehab underway, it hasn't been there. As such, the project has gotten off to a slow start.
Then there's the mice infestation I wasn't entirely planning on. That's taken a crazy amount of time to rectify. And the yard, which will be a neverending project. And an umbilical hernia, which is more weird and gross than it is painful or dangerous. And a wonky knee, that nobody can figure out. And last week, while taking the dogs out to one of the local conservation areas, I was eaten alive by some sort of mutant chiggers, a fitting event for a chigger of a year.
But it hasn't been all bad, not by a long shot. And today, this little 50-something pound ball of energy and curiosity and athleticism and feistiness and stick-eating playfulness officially turned 1 year old.
Let's take a break from house talk for a minute, because not a whole lot of rehabbing has gotten accomplished these past few weeks (the upside of OT is bigger paychecks; the downside is having less free time), to talk about Freckles, who I adopted in December of 2019 and is the little sister Roscoe treats just like a little sister. They mix things up from time to time and Roscoe lets Freckles know - DAILY - that she is not, under any circumstances, to even sniff his food, but when we're out and about, if he thinks Freckles is in any kind of danger (legit or otherwise), he's all teeth and growls and big brothery.
So...December 17, 2019, that was Freckles' "gotcha day".
And, like, 2 days later, stuff got real. REAL real. When I got Freckles, Roscoe was 10-but-about-to-turn-11; it'd been a while since I lived through the craziness that comes with puppies.
For example, that first night, Freckles was so wiped out from the excitement of day #1 that she slept just fine in her kennel. When I tried to make that happen on the second night she wasn't havin' it. I know there's a school of thought that says you're just supposed to let the dog whine and cry and eventually they'll stop; there's also a school of thought - the one I follow - that says you have to pick and choose your battles, and I needed some sleep in the worst way. Night #2, Freckles slept in my bed.
She did that for a few more nights until deciding to commandeer Roscoe's bed - the first indication that this little girl was all alpha - where she slept every night until very recently deciding she wanted to sleep in my bed again. The difference between the early days and now is that now she jumps onto my bed, despite the mattress being many inches above her head.
For a few months, Freckles just sorta followed Roscoe around and did what Roscoe did.
From almost her first day at home with us Freckles was a fantastic eater, knew where to go potty, slept all the way through the night, and didn't seem to have any allergies. Between that - which was comparable to Roscoe's first few months with me aside from the potty thing, which wasn't really his fault - and how much Freckles seemed to mimic Roscoe, I figured Freckles was going to be, mostly, a smaller version of Roscoe.
And as is usually the case, I couldn't have been more incorrect.
Freckles is Freckles. She shares some habits and skills with Roscoe, but she's also got a bag of tricks that are all her own. She keeps things interesting, for sure, and while not being all that big, she is as fierce as the day is long.
Now she's officially got 1 full year of life under her belt...I hope she's enjoyed it.