Monthly Archives: February 2011

Feeling Poorly

What’s got Terri down?  PGD (Pretty Good Dog) is not feeling any too clever right now. A few days ago she yelped when I picked her up and seemed lethargic and in pain. No fever, no vomiting… but off to the vet we went.  I was actually suspicious that she might have eaten a chicken bone or something else picked up illicitly on a walk, and that it was causing internal distress. But as there was no fever or signs of infection, internal bleeding, etc., I was not sure.

Turns out that my poor baby has a bulging disc!  Whether it is completely herniated or just a bit swollen is hard to tell, but anyone who has had a disc problem (hands up, everyone) knows how bloody painful it can be.  So the poor girl is on doggy anti-inflamatories (which, BTW, are designed to be extra tasty to dogs, so she gobbles it with no urging).  She is also supposed to rest, keep warm, and not do any jumping or rough playing.

Well, try to explain to your dog that she can’t play with her friends. This morning Terri was clearly feeling better, so as soon as I let her off her leash on the walking path, she tried to leap up onto the rocks as she usually does. YELP! The disc had other ideas!  PGD stood and quivered for a moment, then slowly picked her way back down to the path, where she pressed herself against my leg and trembled. For the rest of the walk, she avoided running and jumping, and climbed the stairs like an old lady.  Poor dear. Right now she is snuggled up in a fleece blanket, feeling quite sorry for herself.

Cheese, Chocolate, and Watches

…and let’s not forget the cows, mountains, and Swiss Army Knives!  Yes, it is beautiful Switzerland.  Point your camera randomly in any direction and get lovely views:
Lucerne, view from bridge

I was in Lucerne (or Luzern, if you prefer the local spelling) for a two-day in-house workshop for a new client.

This wasn’t my first time to Switzerland; I’ve attended conferences in Zürich, so I was not entirely unprepared for the quiet and contemplative Swiss approach. Despite their insistence that they are quite different from the Germans, they share a seriousness and a love of order and regulation. I definitely had to work pretty hard to get much more than a smile and a chuckle, but it was worth it. The group of writers were very nice and they took the training seriously, participating in all the work and discussions, and gave me great evaluations.

When I work, I usually fly in the day before, pray that I’ll get a good night’s sleep, do my training, and fly out again. At best, I get part of a day to see the sights. This time was no different, but at least I lucked out with beautiful weather.

Maybe I’m just the tiniest bit Swiss myself…

I wear black. A lot. With a bit of red as a spot color. So do the Swiss.

I love farmers’ markets, and so do the Swiss:

I think colorful root vegetables are interesting (as long as I don’t have to eat them)…

I have discovered the joys of raclette, which is basically a plate slowly-congealing melted cheese next to a pile of potatoes. Mmmm, raclette!

I like places were people love their pets. I saw a lot of nice doggies and one of the fanciest, most expensive pet stores I’ve ever seen in my life. One small dog coat was 395 Swiss Francs, which is way more than I’ve ever spent for a garment for myself! Sheesh.  The local critters clearly feel very safe; for example, the massive swans are completely fearless.  The Swiss seem to enjoy feeding the swans, but then again, that may be to prepare them for market day… 

I enjoyed the cool weather, and was excited about being able to stand on some snow. Ironically, on Saturday it hit about 9 in Lucerne during the day, and it was 9 in Karmiel when I got home! What felt lovely and mild in Switzerland feels darn cold here!  Besides, in Karmiel we don’t get a chance to put snow chains on our shoes:

I love all things tiny and compact, and was impressed by this church, which was slightly larger than a typical toll booth:

Here are a few more pictures…