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The dogs are at the vet today getting their teeth cleaned. My house feels very quiet.

The vet tech had to drag Bartleby away. I tried to help by walking him to the door, but then had to give him a shove with my foot to get him through the door. I’m belatedly hoping it didn’t look like a kick. It wasn’t — it was a very gentle push under his tail — and it’s probably pretty obvious from my dogs’ lap-dog levels of clinginess that I don’t mistreat them, but still. The tech then carried Zelda away and her desperate eyes over his shoulder as she tried to scramble to get back to me were heart-rending. I have to keep reminding myself of how happy she was after she recovered from the first time she had her teeth cleaned. That wasn’t exactly a “cleaning” — she had teeth extracted, too, — but I’d been thinking she was getting old and slow, and she reverted to puppyhood once her teeth were fixed. I know it’s worth doing. It’s still hard.

Our morning got really messed up, too. I went outside planning a ten minute walk before we had to leave, but my car was frosted over! So strange to see the patterns of ice on the windshield. I wound up using most of that ten minutes warming up the car and getting it drivable and so the poor dogs didn’t get much of a walk. Minimal walk, no breakfast, abandoned at the vet. Poor puppies.

Yesterday was a hard writing day. I wrote words, some of them good, but I felt this great resistance. I finally realized that I’d headed in the wrong direction. I liked what I had too much to want to change it, but I needed to change it because it was slowing the story down for no good reason. I have been ruthless with this book. So many good words wasted! It’s a terrible way to write a book and I really wonder whether it’s worth it. But I think I’ll go make myself a cup of coffee and get back to work and skip the stage of bogging myself down in a morass of self-doubt today.