Today, I finished reading Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen. HATE might be a bit strong, dp, to describe my reaction. Annoyed (the Harlequin perfect ending), bored (the cliche "romance"), saddened (to think about the reality for animals and people in circuses and zoos, even today), reluctant (to confront the inevitable helplessness of old age) and appreciative/curious (about the research) were all responses to the book. I'm still wondering if there are any documented court or at least police records dealing with the crime of red-lighting, and also about the phenomena of jake-leg. 100,000 cases? Was anyone ever prosecuted over this? Also, although I know it's not cool, I have always been one to seek personal information about writers (and composers) when trying to understand their work. Sara Gruen has several rescued animals at home, including a horse. And, she was inspired by photographs; that is somehow endearing. So, my response to her book is guiltily negative because although it contains some pretty bad writing, I think I would like her, and she did start some wheels turning.
I did another thing today - a first. I clipped all of Black Jack's nails. I did a few back in the summer, but was so nervous, I had to stop after three or four. This time, I hung in and completed the job. The day I picked her up, Tanya, the foster mom, did them. It was horrible. Black Jack fought her and struggled and cried, and Tanya pulled her little legs so hard, I wanted to beg her to stop before they came right out of the sockets. The next time they were done, I took her to a nearby vet. It was again a struggle, and at least four of her nails bled - a lot. In the summer, when I did a few, I took only the tiniest bit off, and gave her a treat for each one completed. I figured out that the trick was to hold the nail very firmly so that there was no twisting when I clipped. I was thrilled that she stayed calm, sitting on my lap, and didn't cry once. Still, my stomach was in such knots, as I said, I couldn't finish. Today, one nail bled a very tiny bit - actually one teeny-tiny drop, and thankfully, she didn't seem to notice. As you can see, it wasn't a very neat job. Suggestions for a brand of clippers, or place to purchase them, would be great. But overall, I'm happy, because Black Jack didn't appear to be at all traumatized. She's sitting on Bill's lap here, so that I can photograph her dear little paws (sorry for the mushy prose, but can't help myself:) Strange that they still appear long - I'm wondering if that's a Chihuahua thing.Here she is, loving the attention.
Oh, and I couldn't resist asking Bill to take this picture of me before I went out today. Just for dp - I figure if my book review didn't lose your respect, this may quite possibly do it:) You'll be relieved to know, though, that the shine on the sleeve is an artifact of the light coming in the window.
My next book, if anyone is curious, will be Bel Canto by Ann Patchett. Nobody recommended it - I just liked the title.