I don’t think my agility instructor was happy that I canceled our lesson tomorrow.  I can’t blame her – we have not trained regularly in weeks now.  Make that months.  I should probably just suspend all training from January through the end of April from here on in.  My life just gets too ridiculously busy this time of year.  Take today – I have been marking exams since I got up this morning.  At the rate I’m going, I have 57 hours of work left to do.  The deadline is tomorrow.  At best I can push this one more day.  Does this mean I have to work through the next two nights?  That’s physically impossible for me.  Not only can I simply not do that sort of thing anymore, but it would leave me very ill.  I used to push myself like this all the time and now my body rebels violently when I even put a toe in that direction.  Every night for the last two weeks I’ve felt like I’ve been getting sick – sore throat, swollen glands, deep, deep fatigue.  By morning I’m better, so I push through another 10-14 hour day, only to feel sick again.

I was really hoping to have Thursday off – my first official day off in about 3 months.  But now it looks like I’ll be working.  Friday I leave town until next Wednesday, then back for one day (to attend a conference) then I’m off again until June 03rd.  When am I going to get my garden in?  This is insane.  Growing food should be a priority in my life, but unfortunately earning an income takes priority.  And that’s what I’m trying to do right now.  The reason I’ve been having to work so much for the last three months is that I will have absolutely no work at all for the next four.  I have managed to put aside enough to make it through the drought this summer, which I’m very proud of.  But it has come at a price.  My body is failing and my dogs are going nuts.  And I won’t be growing any food for the first part of the summer at least.

Fortunately I joined a fabulous CSA, which produces organic veggies in incredibly fertile soil tilled by draft horses instead of machinery.  So food at least as good (and likely better) than what I can grow here, especially on this rather beaten up soil.  But I still wish I was starting seedlings and getting a summer garden on it’s way.  My efforts instead will be focused on a fall-winter garden.

The dogs are being super good sports about all of this, but I am going to take them out right now and play some ball and have them do a little agility.  Kess has been in a crate since noon.  She is behaving as if she is in standing heat, flirting outrageously with Ross and flagging for him.  And he’s all too happy to comply.  I like that they’re actually getting along and that she’s initiating interaction with him rather than acting like a terrified rabbit whenever he looks at her.  But I also don’t want any hanky panky going on.  Usually the girls only behave like this for the 3-5 days that they are in standing heat, so I don’t know why she’s started so soon.  Perhaps I’ve miscounted the days (unlikely) or perhaps the dose of Belladonna I gave her is bringing this out.  That is entirely possible as Bell is a rabies remedy, and rabies has a lot of excess sexual behaviour in it.  Whatever it is, it’s quite annoying and I’ll be unimpressed if it lasts for the next two weeks!

Kess also showed a bit of aggression towards Hannah this morning, which I immediately put a stop to.  She’s never done this before either.  Kess was clearly challenging Hannah, shadowing her and giving her the serious ‘eye’ from about 3 inches away.  Not cool.  That’s when she got tossed in her crate.  I have no patience for this kind of behaviour, especially because bitches can be really nasty to each other.  Fortunately Hannah didn’t respond other than putting her hackles up a little.  Good girl – she’s clearly my pack leader and does not get defensive if one of the other dogs tries to push her.  I’ve never had a problem before with the girls being in heat, and again I think there’s just something really wonky going on with Kess’s hormones right now, likely because of the Bell.  Hopefully this is an aggravation and an expulsion of this kind of behaviour and in the future she’ll go back to her usual sweet self.  But she is also coming up on two, and some dogs become more aggressive at this age.  I attribute this to the “booster” vaccines they receive at 18 months (which Kess did not receive) and I didn’t notice any change in Hannah or Mira at this age, but I could be wrong.  Time will tell.

Right now I’m off to work in the garden and play with the dogs for a bit, then back to my mountain of grading.  I’m already feeling better so clearly I needed a break from reading.  Now I need a break from this desk!