Wednesday, July 09, 2008


Last week we spent three days at Farm Sanctuary near Watkins Glen, New York. It is one of the most peaceful and beautiful places I have ever visited, and Trey and I and OUR DOG had a stellar time. The whole Finger Lakes region is as if lifted from a children's picture book about -- well, farms -- with its rolling hills and crisp skies blue as chickory-flowers.

Farm Sanctuary has only three cabins. In the morning the dog (who I shall refer to as "Sir Specialness") would wake us up very early and one of us would take him for a walk in the dewy morning, where he would snap his jaws at tiny moths fluttering around the daisies and red clover and vetch. We could see the cows on the other side of the field and hear the commotion of the chickens, ducks and geese. The first morning we were dying for breakfast, as we'd been up since 5:30-is and breakfast started at 8:00. The best thing about breakfast is that everything was vegan. It is a great feeling to wake up in a strange place and know that you can eat EVERYTHING there, which is why I ate an entire cherry turnover (and I seriously could give a rat's underpants if I ever ate sugar again, give me a salt lick!) in about 30 seconds. A huge woodchuck was grazing out on the lawn and at long last Trey got to see one, as every time we go anywhere outside the city I see Mr. Woodchuck and Trey does not.

After breakfast we got a tour of the farm and to meet the animals who wanted to come meet us. A cow named Maya licked my hand and it was shocking to feel how raspy her tongue was. I petted a sleepy pig named Sprinkles. I have no trouble believing why cannibals supposedly referred to human meat as long pig as touching a pig's flank feels a lot like touching one's fat grandmother. And if you ever get the chance to look a pig in the eyes, as I did, it's uncanny.

I had what felt like the best birthday to date in that it didn't even need to feel like my birthday -- it was just happy and clean and nice. We took Sir Specialness on a two hour hike through the Watkins Glen State Park, we ate chinese food near the little gazebo in town where The Hepcats were slated to play. For dinner we drove to Ithaca which is an adorable town. The whole day was infused with a bubbly peaceful happiness, which crystallized in the moment when, driving along Route 23 in the late late afternoon, we saw a blindingly white creature crossing the road, so bride-white and ambling that my first insane thought was holy shit a polar bear? when we slowed to a crawl to pull up alongside the albino doe, who met our gaze before springing lazily away into the woods. It felt as if we had seen a unicorn.

And the dog -- oh my god, the dog! I am so besotted with him, he is so good and kind and goofy and trusting and funny and I love him so very much! It has been one month since we took him in and it has been a real sea change, and I should have blogged about it while it was happening but getting up every morning at 5:45 to put on one's slobber-covered dog pants from H&M makes one really sleepy at work. And how quickly you become one of the "dog people!" Swapping rescue stories, recognizing people, avoiding other people, etc. And how I could care less that the house is covered in hair (Sir Specialness sheds like a moose -- I swept the floor Sunday and the amount of hair pre-dustpanned was, I kid you not, the size of a large pizza) and I love the sweet puppy smell of his ears and even when for whatever reason his dog penis is showing I feel a weirdly maternal pride that he's got a really big one instead of, well, vomiting, which is the effect that every other dog dick has had on me since birth. When he smiles and dog laughs it is as if the sun shone an arrow right into my heart. It may sound crazy to some, but Trey and I agreed that the feeling of rightness about choosing Sir Specialness and his choosing us felt just as monumental and right as when we chose each other. Lately ours has been a very happy home.


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