Your leaking thatched hut during the restoration of a pre-Enlightenment state.


Hello, my name is Judas Gutenberg and this is my blaag (pronounced as you would the vomit noise "hyroop-bleuach").


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   emergency vet raccoon bite
Sunday, March 23 2014
Even before I was out of bed this morning, Gretchen was reacting in horror to some injuries she'd just discovered on Eleanor. We'd examined her after the altercation with the raccoon last night and hadn't seen anything, but in the full light of morning, the savage bite mark a couple inches above her right armpit was glaringly obvious. Though the punctures were much smaller and closer together than a bear bite had been, the trauma seemed to go deeper, as though the teeth and found their way into muscle tissue. Eleanor tried to bite Gretchen when she got too close to the injuries, who started freaking out a bit about it. Though the last time Eleanor had been injured by a bear, we hadn't sought medical attention, this time Gretchen was insistent that Eleanor go to the vet. It being Sunday, the only vet available was the emergency vet out near Office Depot. I would have taken care of the injury here at home, but if Gretchen wanted Eleanor to go to the vet, that's what I was going to do. Normally we would have gone together, but we had too much shit to do on this particular morning not to divvy up the tasks. Our friends Stacy and Keith from the City would be coming up at noon for a long leisurely lunch, so the house needed to be cleaned and foods needed to be prepared. And Ramona also expected her morning walk.
At the emergency vet, there was only one other patient, a cat and the middle-aged woman who'd brought her. I was a bit startled by a fat grey and white cat hanging out on one of the chairs in the waiting room. This was Diego, the official emergency vet mascot. He seemed intrigued by Eleanor and kept rolling around on his chair, looking at her with his upside-down head. Eleanor is always unhappy at any sort of veterinary office, and she mostly averted her eyes. I later learned that Diego only has three legs, having lost one after being run over by a car. Originally the plan was to euthanize him, but somehow he recovered and has been hobbling around the emergency vet ever since.
Eventually the woman and her cat settled up (her bill was only $150, which gave me hope that Eleanor's would not be exorbitant) and a beefy partially-bald guy showed up with his tiny designer Dachshund, who had perhaps injured himself trying to climb stairs on his tiny unnatural designer legs. Now the little guy couldn't urinate. "What happened to her?" the beefy guy asked, pointing at Eleanor. "She got attacked by a raccoon," I said. I then explained how the raccoon had probably come in through the pet door, perhaps having learned to do that at a house that only has cats. "Yeah, a dog wouldn't put up with that," said the guy. He then told Eleanor she was a good dog for trying to protect my house.
After the usual superficial exam, the vet took Eleanor into the back, shaved off her injuries, treated them with an antibiotic salve, and injected her with both an opiate pain killer and some sort of antibiotic. Because none of the punctures were very large, she felt it best not to stitch any of them closed. "It's best to let those drain," she said. The cost of this visit, which took no longer than an hour, was a little over $350. That's the way things go at the emergency vet.
Back at the house, Eleanor seemed reluctant to go anywhere near the house. She actually ran away from me when I went to put her on a leash, making me worry that she had developed a neurosis about either the house or the pet door. (I should mention that the raccoon was nowhere in evidence this morning and had evidently moved on to some place without dogs.) I turned my pursuit of Eleanor into a short walk down the Farm Road. When I turned around and headed back home, Eleanor followed me at a distance, and when, instead of going into the house, I went down to the greenhouse, she followed me down there and happily went inside. I left her on her little doggy bed there. It was little cold down there, but it was sunny and considerably warmer than the patch of snow she'd been sitting on earlier. About 20 minutes after I left the greenhouse, she came back to the house and came in through the pet door, so it seemed she hadn't developed any new crippling anxieties.

Gretchen and I had our Sunday morning coffee in the narrow half-hour timeslot before our lunch guests arrived. It was the first caffeine I'd drunk in something like 36 hours, though I was disappointed by the biochemical shrug my neurochemistry made when I took what should have been a desperately-craved first sip.
After Stacy and Keith arrived, we ate some nut cheeses they'd brought from the City with crackers and wine in front of the woodstove. Conversation was mostly about food and dogs, particularly Stacy & Keith's Pit Bull "Butters," who has a tendency not to play well with other dogs. They hadn't brought Butters this time, though I think he gets along okay with Ramona and Eleanor. (This was probably for the best, what with Eleanor being in such a poor emotional state after the raccoon attack. Things like that mess with her brain a lot more than do with, say, Ramona's. Eleanor spent most of the afternoon on the living room dog bed under her furry blanket, occasionally moaning, something Stacy said might have been more a consequence of the "disinhibitory" nature of the opiate she was on than actual pain.)
Our lunch consisted of an enormous light salad followed by that delicious pesto soup Gretchen made some months ago (though this time she made it without the gnocchi). We took a break after those two courses and took a walk up the Farm Road and back. Somewhat surprisingly, Eleanor decided to come along.
After we got back, Stacy prepared the main course, which was a spaghetti in a lime-flavored cream sauce that was heavy on the Daiya "cheese." I've been a vegan for so long now that the creaminess was actually somewhat disgusting to me, a bit too much like snot or egg. I never was much into creamy dishes even before I became a vegan, though if vegan scientists ever master provolone or Swiss cheese substitutes, I will be eager to try them.
Somewhat after the meal, Stacy told us about her job as an abortion provider, telling us in great detail how an early-term abortion is performed. She says she can perform an abortion in about a minute and typically does 30 such procedures each day at the clinic where she works. The simple procedure she described is much less involved than the dilation and curettage method that most of us think about when we imagine an abortion. Disturbingly, Stacy told us that relatively few doctors actually know how to perform the kind of abortions she performs because there are very few places that teach this method to medical students. The anti-choice movement has been so successful in demonizing abortion and stigmatizing anything related to it that medical schools have stopped including it in their courses. This does not mean, however, that demand for abortion is any less than it's ever been.
Stacy and Keith stayed until 5:00pm, and when they left, Stacy accidentally left her iPad on the island in our kitchen, where she'd been using it as a cookbook. [REDACTED]

Eleanor with her shaved raccoon bite today. Click to enlarge.

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