Tuesday, September 24, 2019

we got a fourth puppy, a small white girl puppy who one day, if she lives, will be quite large. she is having a rough patch these first few days and may not make it, i hate to say. today she's stopped drinking water and my wife is hoping to have her hospitalized at the vet. It's quite an emergency, i can tell, but i'm helpless to do anything about it. i'm too young for a puppy.

it was my wife's idea to do this for my son, who himself is flailing in this world and needs some direction, an anchor to cling to. his older brother got a puppy at this age, oreo, so oreo is watching on as this little white one struggles for her life. but it would take some time to see if this puppy would "take," meaning that, to a self-centered boy of fourteen, he is too young for a puppy too. he doesn't know what to do, and barely knows how to love it.

escapism to me is googling my ancestors, which in many cases is googling my own name only putting dates near it. this i do almost every chance i get, since i need a lot of escape regularly. today four kids went off to school; they get monday off so that makes a bigger deal out of tuesday, the end of a long three-day weekend. i'm glad to say they are functional; even the fourteen-year-old had taken a shower; the girls had socks and had brushed their hair; everyone had what they needed to take with them. the problem was that oreo got into a skunk last night. he apparently bolted over a broken screen, fell down the steps, and lit into the skunk, which of course let him have it. for skunks, you mix hydrogen peroxide, blue dawn soap, and baking soda, and give him a bath, so we did that last night on the cool porch at about ten. the issue, this morning, was that last time oreo got skunked, some of it got onto towels and hands and clothes, and every kid ended up smelling like skunk in the morning. we have only one car for four kids and a driver, and, if the skunk gets spread around, that's big trouble.

but he was more careful this time, being somewhat of a veteran now, and they were all able to get into the same car.

back on the ancestor front, there is no end of surprises. it's like you compile all this information, and you stare at it for a while, and a lot of it appears to be repeated over and over, but nonetheless possibly not true. some families are nailed down tight, and others are just kind of out there, like ours. there were only so many people in boston, and for a town of about 30,000 one can guess that certain names keep coming back around. so i end up absorbed in these diaries of the early seventeen hundreds, when the colony was still young, and the old puritans, like cotton mather, were beginning to lose their grip. what i find is a lot of shotgun marriages. people marry in december and have their first child in january. and i'm wondering, isn't there some social embarrassment here? they clearly aren't willing to simply have the baby, and forget the marriage. you would think that would be one of the options, and that would make our task more difficult, but apparently that isn't one of the options.

back to the puppy. i can't help thinking about her. the kennel cough just kind of took over her tiny body, and she's like one big cough. she couldn't take this mountain fall cool weather, and, she was too little, the cough took over. it's an open question whether modern medicine will take, and bring her back. i'm praying hard for her to come back to puppiness, and be the playful little thing she was when we got her.


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