Monday, January 07, 2008

Piano in an Empty Room

Out the door early this morning to check on Bondi. At the quarantine station I walked down the path towards his row of pens. He's the first on the left, but in the morning he's usually been rotated into a smaller holding pen opposite while his quarters are hosed out. Through several layers of wire mesh I could see his Batman-head silhouette, ears slightly cocked as if he had detected me already. I waved my arms to and fro, and then the look, the cry of recognition. At the door, he was standing on his hindlegs with his giant forepaws on the wire, looking eye to eye with me. Inside, he paced around and around me until I readied his collar and leash for a walk down to the exercise yard.

He was pulling hard, theoretically an inconvenience, but in a sled dog, a good sign of vitality. In the yard, he was happy to play chasing and tug-of-war games, or to watch the German Shepherd in the next yard, an import from New Guinea with a 60day stay.

I missed talking to his keeper, but she called me later to say that she was concerned about him missing more meals, losing weight, diarrhoea. I knew stress played a part but there was a good chance that if his dry food contained soya then that would affect his stool. But playing around with his food this late in his stay was probably not going to be effective. On her advice I acquiesced to a veterinary visit, and got a call back later from the vet who ran through what she'd prescribed for symptomatic relief, and confirmed a likely diagnosis of Cushing's in respect of his hair loss. Bondi's current stress would be playing into his cortisone levels and further affecting his hair. We agreed that his current split daily dose should be amended to a single dose for more impact.

My piano arrived mid-afternoon, and I've bounced on and off it between moving furniture and mowing my little lawns.

It'll brighten my mood until Bondi comes home in 9 days. I may not be able to scratch his ears till then, but I can noodle around with most of the world's piano repertoire at will.

I've also had more time for reading; Ian McDonald's vision of mid-21st century India "River of Gods" took a long time to get through, but then I ripped through Stephen Hall's remarkably innovative and entertaining "Raw Shark Texts", and now I'm pleasuring myself with David Leavitt's "The Indian Clerk" which reimagines the lives of Cambridge mathematician G.H. Hardy and the brilliantly intuitive autodidact Srinivāsa Rāmānujan.


  1. A belated welcome back!

    We chatted every now and then via another well known website while you were OS. I hope Bondi is coping OK with his incarceration.

  2. Sounds like bit by bit, your Aussie life is starting to come together! :-)

  3. I'm always impressed when someone jumps on a piano and belts out a tune. I had five years of piano lessons growing up and I'm just hopeless at it.

    I hope the next 9 days go quickly for you and Bondi.

  4. Anonymous8:41 am

    It's not clear if you enjoyed River of Gods - I id, but I love with a passion his earlier Chaga and Kirinya...