Charlotte offleash at the cabin
Friday, October 20 2023
location: rural Hurley Township, Ulster County, NY
The plan today was for me to drive up to the cabin on my own, without the dogs. But Gretchen (with the dogs) would drive with me as far as Palenville so we could both visit Erica and Justin at their upstate compound. As we parked, Eric came out with a huge-headed pit bull on a leash and said not to let our dogs out yet. She then put that dog (whose name is Dino) in a separate building for the duration of our visit. The reason for this is that Dino is terrible with other dogs, and Erica wanted to see Neville and Charlotte.
It was just Erica there when we arrived; her husband and young son were off checking out thrift stores. While the dogs trotted around exploring, she told us about a recent amazing vacation she'd gone on in Columbia, where she'd had a chance to see the escaped drug cartel hippos and get completely lost and then using her primitive Spanish skills to get rescued. Erica's story of getting lost naturally led Gretchen to tell her story of getting lost. By this point, Neville had been busted pissing on the firewood. But Charlotte was being perfectly well-behaved and even seemingly joyful. Erica (who always adopts problematic critters) was sure that we needed to give her more time to acclimate. All of this had Gretchen thinking better thoughts about Charlotte. Maybe she would be a good dog for us after all.
When Justin and the kid arrived, they had an impressive thrift store haul that included a perfectly good acoustic guitar (with electric pickups!) and a snap-together gear system with rubber tires that could be used to make any number of mechanical marvels. While Justin, the kid, and I were trying to figure all that out (and Justin was showing me some amazing drone footage he'd shot in Kaaterskill Clove), Gretchen and Erica had a deep conversation about the ongoing crisis in Isræl. Erica's parents are actually Isræli, so she's more connected to the crisis than most Jews. And yet none of her friends (most of whom are liberal non-Jews) are understanding of her conflicted feelings.
By the time we left, Gretchen had decided Charlotte would do perfectly well at the cabin. So we ended up driving there in a convoy via the scenic route (that is, through Middleburgh). We couldn't simply stash one of our cars at Erica & Justin's place, because I'd used all the Bolt's spare room to transport a large bench, some nice pieces of bluestone, and an office chair to the cabin.
While Gretchen gave a Charlotte a good walk up the driveway and back, I went to check the live-capture mice traps in the basement. I'd been gone nearly two weeks and hoped nobody had stuck in one of those traps all that time. To my horror, I found one of the traps had indeed caught a mouse, who had apparently then died for lack of something (either water or food). The mouse had eaten all the peanut sbutter (or seeds) used to bait the trap and then chewed on the plastic of the plug at the end of the trap. After getting rid of the tiny corpse, I checked the other traps and found one or two had also been triggered but not caught anything. There were no further indication of chewing behind the hot water heater tank, suggesting the dead mouse was indeed the last of the summer infestation. I decided not to tell Gretchen about the mouse casualty.
This evening while I did some low-effort electrical tinkering in the basement, Gretchen made us a meal of buccatini with tempeh-cauliflower sauce.
By this point Charlotte seemed comfortable with the cabin and unlikely to run away, so we enabled the pet door (she'd actually managed to use the pet door back in Hurley at one point without spawning a new crisis, so we knew she was both familiar with pet doors and unlikely to pull the stunt she'd pulled Friday evening). Later Charlotte and Neville went outside to do whatever and then returned moments later, indicating she can be left completely offleash at the cabin.
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