Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Phantom Menace

One final piece of sad news: about a week before David and I left for Tasmania the Red Menace died an unexpected death while travelling southbound on the I5 .  The weather was bad and we were in a hurry to see some friends in Seattle.  When the traffic ahead came screeching to a halt we played along, but the driver behind us wasn’t paying attention – he plowed into us and, in turn, plowed us into the car in front of us to make a Red Menace sandwich. 

It wasn’t immediately obvious that the Red Menace was a write-off, but it was clear to us that we couldn’t leave Tess at Farcical Farm without a utility vehicle.  We rented a car (spent the rest of the weekend having fun in Seattle) and bought a grey 2001 Tacoma 4X4 three days later.  When ICBC finally gave the Red Menace the nix we rescued the canopy, our WALL-E mascot and the Nazi teapot* and transferred them to this new, pale shadow. 


Some six months later we still haven’t agreed on a name for this newcomer.  To be honest, my heart’s not really in it yet.  I’ve been driving it a lot over the past week so I feel like we’re beginning to develop more of a rapport, but there have been no waves of inspiration.  We’ll let you know when something settles.

*Several years ago one of David’s students gave him a decoration for the rear view mirror featuring (1) a jade teapot and (2) a jade swastika.  The latter is an ancient symbol for peace, which was inverted and demonized forever by the Nazi party.  We call this ornament the Nazi teapot simply because it sounds ludicrous.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Titanic Sadness

The other piece of news that FFF readers need to be up-to-date on the status of Farcical Farm isn’t nearly as cheerful as that about the addition of Fizz.  Two weeks ago Tess came home to find Titan lethargic and in obvious pain.  It was three days before David and I were scheduled to leave Australia, and my last day of work at the Menzies Research Institute.  Tess called around 1:00pm our time (8:00pm PDT) to see what we could suggest.  My friend Cheryl’s dog Zack died of bloat not long after I met her, so I knew the symptoms all too well.  We asked Tess to rush Titan to the emergency after-hours vet about an hour away, and he was going into shock by the time they arrived.  X-rays showed that the situation was dire, and the vet felt it was likely that they would have to euthanize him on the table if we opted for surgery.  We made the hard decision to simply euthanize him, given scenario 1 (euthanasia during surgery, at a cost $3500) versus scenario 2 (surviving surgery to face a long and uncertain convalescence, at a cost of $3500+).  Farcical Farm is much quieter (both figuratively and literally) without him.

Kudos to Tess for her professional handling of this poorly-timed stinker of a situation.  Chances are that Titan was destined bloat sooner or later (huge male dog with quirky eating habits and an anxious temperament), but three days before we got home?  That’s just adding insult to injury.  The Ty guy was truly a great dog, and he is sorely missed by all of us FF.




Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Getting Fizzical

We're home. There are so many stories to tell, but no clear place to start. Perhaps the news of most interest to FFF readers is that I currently see three horses out of our bedroom window: Tonka, Justin and Fizz. The latter is a 24-year-old mystery mare, formerly owned by Tess. When she came up for sale a few months back Tess wanted to ensure her safety, but couldn't afford a second horse without dangerously stretching her wallet. I offered to buy Fizz and to keep her as a denizen of Farcical Farm until such time that Tess wants to buy her from me, but I already hope that day never comes. She is a love, and you'll be hearing lots about her over the coming posts. Without further ado...