Her friends keep calling me for news. I have no idea what I'm supposed to tell them, and I rather wish they would all just go away for a bit. I suppose it's better for them to be ringing me than tying up staff at the hospital, but still: I have no news and am getting a tad fed up with giving out the same spiel over and over, and failing to answer the same questions that I don't know the answers to. I tried simply letting it go to answerphone, but they are a persistent bunch. I'm half tempted to unplug the phone, but no doubt then they would come in person like a bunch of concerned but still annoying Sackville Bagginses, which would be far worse.
So, we now have Duke the ex-foster gigantolurcher (only for another week and a bit though), Smudge, Mum's JRTx collie, Flash her oldie whippety thing, and my own hounds in residence. And six cats, of course. Here are all five, plus Henning the cat (on the sofa). Smudge is the odd one out.
So far it's going reasonably well. Nobody except Smudge is inclined to chase the cats (even though Duke needed a fair bit of training to live with cats when he arrived here, the idea seems to have stuck in his large slow head, and he's been very good). Smudge is a bit scared of the cats, and therefore has a tendency to want to get in first, but that's OK as long as we keep an eye on her. I'm not entirely sure I'd want to leave them all together unsupervised, but it's manageable if we leave the dogs upstairs and the cats downstairs when we go out.
I hadn't realised how much easier it would make things that all the dogs already knew each other and all of them had been to the house before. They have all fitted in together quite smoothly with a minimum of grouching: definitely easier than bringing in a new foster dog. Walking them all together on lead can be a little like being a mobile maypole, but it is possible. It's a good thing that Mollydog and Az are so good offlead now, so on the whole I can let them walk on their own.
Smudge is also fairly good off lead, though she does have that terrier attitude and can be obstinate, so I am being a little more cautious with her until I feel she is used to living here. Duke is now mostly OK in any situation where you can take a little while to get him back to you - his inappropriate greeting problems have definitely improved, though I'm keeping him clear of dogs he doesn't know. Flash is very unreliable offlead and I don't trust him not to simply make a run for home - but fortunately he is little and old, so keeping him on a flexi lead a lot of the time is not really a problem.
Flash is terribly picky about food, and I know my mother has been feeding him all sorts of things just to keep him eating, like digestive biscuits and doggy chocolates and boiled chicken (nothing wrong with the boiled chicken, but it's not that nutritious). She's been giving him hideous multicoloured dogfood too, which I can understand as he is rather thin and it's worrying when he turns up his nose - but I don't think is ideal for his digestion or general health.
However, with some experimentation I have now discovered that he seems (so far at least!) to be happy to eat home made liver cake and Naturediet wet dog food, which is a much more balanced diet and better for his teeth.
One bit of good news: my laptop, which I killed with coffee when feeling stressed, thus making myself even MORE stressed, has come back to life now it has had three days to dry out. Hurray!
I'm not counting on it, and had already ordered a replacement and set up another machine to use in the interim, but still. There was one file that I didn't have a current backed up version of, so I was really kicking myself. It is my encrypted password file, of all things - so extremely annoying to lose even part of it. I have now safely retrieved the latest version and got that backed up to three places, so PHEW.