the neighbor's chickens
The neighbor’s chickens

I’m very fond of the neighbor’s chickens. They are less fond of me, perhaps because I come accompanied by a dog? Not that Z bothers them at all. The one time they came almost close to a confrontation, everyone backed away hurriedly. Some of those chickens are just as big as she is and Zelda is not the kind of dog who wants to chase things that might chase her back. Squirrels, yes. Chickens, no.

But the chickens do flee every time I try to take pictures of them. It’s making me think about getting a new camera. The one that I have is a basic point-and-shoot, but it’s slow and it makes noise with every photo taken. It makes it hard to catch the chickens when they’re being cute. Or even when they’re running away.

Cameras, though… wow. It’s like learning another language. I’m not sure I’m up for the level of vocabulary necessary to understand what I’m looking at. I’m also not sure it’s worth the expense: the above picture is not any of the attempts I made with the camera, but the quick shot I grabbed with my phone as the chickens ran away.

I’m really not convinced that one in front is a chicken, either, which is part of why I’ve been trying to take pictures of them. No insult intended to it — who am I to judge the shape of a chicken? — but it’s such an odd shape that I feel like it ought to be something else, something living with the chickens. Maybe someday I will see the neighbor and ask.

Had a lovely dinner with my writing friends this week and some good writing time with one of them afterwards. We tried to write for an hour and I got nowhere, but at 9:50, I said, “All right, ten more minutes, must write some words,” and in that ten minutes, wrote the only good words I’ve written all week. Writing sprints are so useful.

Zelda had a crazy out-of-the-box treatment at the vet’s last week — one of those, “well, it won’t hurt and maybe it will help,” things involving radio waves. Since then, we have gone on three real walks, the kind we used to do before August. She has eaten her food every day. She has played with her toys. She even ate some kibble last night. Kibble! The vet’s office called today and asked how she was doing and I said, “Great.” The tech said, “Normal, then?” And I said, “No, not normal, great. She’s eating, she’s exercising, she’s playing, she’s fantastic. That’s not normal, that’s great.” The tech laughed uncertainly and I therefore knew that she was not the same tech who gave Z her crazy, New Age, non-research-supported treatment, and spent twenty minutes discussing the travails of canine dementia with me, but I’m totally sold. Z turns 14 this week — in fact, she turns 14 tomorrow! — but she is acting 10 at most. I like that.