Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Before and After

Now you know what they mean by a hound's tooth. Even the little dachshund has them. But this is the first time we ever got before and after color photographs! Look at those clean and shining pearly whites in the lower photo.

The dogs are home now and both are a little the worse for wear. The dog with the tooth cleaning is wearing a soft head-dress and the one with the tumor has a hard plastic one, so she can't tear at the wound. Both are kind of depressed, but the tooth thing seems much worse. They each have two full sheets of instruction for care. They are obviously slowed down, but S. who is very empathetic, seems to be suffering the most.

Looking about, the vet also found a segment of tapeworm, which will require poisoning after they recover from these surgeries. And so it goes.

I feel very fortunate to have such a good veterinarian and to be able to put this on my charge card without having to give up food, or even Christmas. And, of course, it reminds me of the children, animals and grownups all over the world who don't have any hope of essential care, good food or adequate shelter, to say nothing of education. These inequities seem almost insuperable.

Tonight I managed to get 3/4 of the way through Irish Journal, the book by Henirich Boll, I quoted from last night. It's a wonderful book and very different from the book I had imagined. I had thought it would be a walking tour, like the ones Coleridge took, alone or with the Wordsworths, or the walks of Patrick Leigh Fermor. Instead it is a family journey with his wife and children. They came from the continent by boat and travel around Ireland by train in the 1950s. In such a short book, he has managed to touch on all sorts of minor and major issues and paint word-portraits of people, landscapes and events that are wonderful! At the time, most of the young people in Ireland emigrated to other places. Ireland also exported vast numbers of Catholic priests and nuns to parishes all over the world.

Let me see if I can suggest how interesting and well-done this book is. Firstly, it is a long time ago, yet in a time that I remember in a part of the world that I never knew. Secondly, the author has a sensible, empathetic charm. He is not afraid to wander into a sort of word-fugue about the condition of the country, the land, Germany, or people in general. He seems very much like the kind of person you would like to have known and to have had long discussions with. Tomorrow I hope to be able to choose a favorite passage to share with you, dear reader!

And poetry news about Sappho! I don't how long this link will work, and plan to print it for myself. In recently discovered fragments is a new poem by Sappho, and here are translated versions by several poets.

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