Did you know that at this very moment I am listening to Minnesota Public Radio? I’m listening to what all MPR fans are listening to in the middle of their morning. I love online streaming - it makes the world very small. And I am sorry that everyone in Minnesota may be expecting a bit of snow... its a bit chilly here today too, about 70 degrees :) I’m sorry, that wasn’t very nice of me, was it?
So, we have a new member of our family. No, Jayson’s surgery did work... :) Actually, we have a dog. A boy dog. His name is Obi Wan (thank you to Sarah for the spelling correction - I thought it was Obe One). This is the first animal we’ve ever owned, so we are total fish out of water. Or better yet, in our case, a dog driving a bus. We have no idea what we are doing. Yesterday I tried to feed it leftover salad with an oil and vinegar dressing... he didn’t like it so much. (I am sure you’re surprised about that.) So, the reason we got a dog is because everyone here has one to keep unwanted people and animals off their property. It’s not my first choice, but Honeywell Security does not serve the local Ooty area yet. Like everything here, getting a dog is not an easy task. Yes, there are thousands of dogs roaming the streets, but those are not the “pet” dog that we were looking for. So, Saturday morning we headed down the mountain to the Animal Humane Center. We got lost on the way, which was just the beginning. We finally found the right way and found ourselves going down some serious switchbacks with lots of monkeys swinging here and there. As we went down, the temperature went up. By the time we got into the valley it was about 95 degrees and zero vegetation. Very unlike our home in Ooty. I find it amazing to have two very separate climates, only an hour apart. So we got to the driveway and saw not a driveway, but the movie set to Indiana Jones, The Raiders of the Lost Ark. The scene where they are are going through the canyon... yeah, that was us. You can only imagine what we were thinking because you all have seen our car/van/can. If we had a Hummer, we would have been having a good old time. But alas, we left our Hummer at home :) Anyway, Jayson grit his teeth, rolled up his sleeves and went for it. With a serious ditch-like canyon on one side and a wall of red clay on the other, we tore up the driveway, or I mean we tore up our car/van/can. Where was I? So finally we got to the Animal Humane Center and it really was amazing place. As far as passion, compassion and quality of work - they are doing great work. The kids were a bit overwhelmed. They were hungry and hot, so when they met about 25 dogs, it put them over the edge. Anyway, this story is getting a bit long. We meet Illona, a Finnish Veterinarian who lives there with her Indian husband and two kids. We saw horses, donkeys, geese, dogs, cows, goats - all rescued and in need of rehabilitation. We saw the dog Illona had for us - a sweet, low key puppy...still with all four of his legs. The kids were delighted. Ani spent the next two hours with Obi and even passed on the pony rides. She was in love. We left with our new puppy, had a peaceful ride home (after going back though the canyon) and prepared a salad...
Speaking of food for the dog, traditional dog food is quite expensive. So, now when I go to the market to buy my chickens, instead of telling them to throw away the head and innards, I will now tell him to pack them in a separate bag for the dog. When I get home, I’ll then add some rice and pressure cook the head and innards. Then walla, dog food.
It’s hard to know how to transition from that story. I do need to address the contest about what to name my weight loss class. Thank you to all for your suggestions. In all, via email or posts on the blog, we got about 20 ideas. Many of you thought a good name would be to rhyme Ooty and Booty. Now, I find that rhyme great fun and very applicable because most of us will be working on that particular area. But, here in Southern India, it is quite conservative and the word “booty,” believe it or not, is not in common circulation. Anyway, I do need to pass on those ideas. I did land on a name. Lost Kilos. They measure body weight in Kilos, not in Pounds. So, I thought that idea was simple and clear to what one of the goal of the class is. I do need to admit that the idea was from my Dad. Now, some of you might think that’s a bit of favoritism... it probably is. But I really do like the name.
I need to finish, but before I go, I need to give a shout out to my grandma. She had a birthday this week and her birthday present from the family was a computer. One of the main reasons for this particular present is so she can see her lovely granddaughter and great grandkids face-to-face over Skype. I applaud her and my family for the desire to learn the computer and internet, and for the gift of the computer. Thank you.