The reaction to my last post was far more than I expected. Three people shared it on Facebook, which I found very kind of them. As a result, that post received 165 page views--compared to a high of 37 for the next most-viewed page. Wow. I expect traffic to be back to normal now, but I am grateful that so many people--strangers, most of them--found my experience worthy of a look.
But life has moved on. Two "big" events this week--Rosie went to the doctor, and Miss Chef left the restaurant.
As any frequent (or even occasional) visitor knows, Rosie is a nearly perfect dog. Besides being beautiful and loving to have her silky-soft coat stroked, she's easily trained, follows me with adoring eyes, and gets my butt off the couch more often than not. Well, okay, she does spend half the year blowing her coat like a fur tornado. And she has developed counter-surfing to a high art while we're at work. And maybe she did kill a duck once, and try to eat a helpless kitten. But she makes me laugh every single day, and everyone who knows her loves her. Even the kitten didn't hold attempted murder against her.
|Can you hear the purring?|
However, over the past year or so, Rosie's developed some toileting issues. At first, it was diarrhea caused by the backfiring of her counter-surfing adventures. She always went in the same spot, and I eventually knew if she got into something, to prepare a towel-covered garbage bag the next day--which she graciously used like the good dog she is. Those events were infrequent, and predictable.
But recently, she's been wetting in the house. It started after our week-long staycation in June, and my subsequent return to a two-night a week teaching schedule. I assumed her own schedule had been thrown out of whack, but after three weeks--and her beginning to avoid the towel, dammit!--I became a bit concerned. On top of that, she seemed thin, though her recently-begun shedding may have had something to do with that. On the other hand, her energy level has been great, and in every other way she's been perfectly normal.
I pondered whether I should take her in to the vet, and after a conversation with a friend who'd lost a dog early to cancer, I decided better safe than sorry. So I dropped Rosie off Wednesday morning at the vet's, which is conveniently just down the street from work.
The only conclusive diagnosis they could make is that she's definitely got a urinary tract infection. So now she's on a two-week course of doggie antibiotics. I will bring her back in after that's done, so they can re-check her and see if that clears up the chemical imbalances in her urine. Fortunately, Rosie has no qualms about visiting the vet, and three different people there--including the vet--told me "Oh, we love having her! She's so cute." Apparently she sits at the front of her cage, watching all the action--and undoubtedly wagging her tail whenever someone comes near. (That's how she caught me, after all!)
In the meantime, we're upping her meal portions, so as far as Rosie's concerned, that's a happy ending.
On to Miss Chef's happy ending. Long-time readers will be astounded to realize that as of today, she is officially down to a single job. That's fewer than I have! She was struggling the last couple of days, recognizing in herself the symptoms of Short-Timer's Disease. I myself was a bit disappointed that her last nights at the restaurant would occur while Chef Adam was out of town, meaning no small celebration, pranks, whatever, to mark the end of an era. Our other favorite restaurant is coincidentally losing their own sous-chef, and they took the opportunity to have a special farewell dinner (at $75 a pop--Miss Chef said, "I like Josh just fine, but not that much.") On the other hand, Miss Chef got to preside over a slow 20-cover night, and wasn't even given the authority to send any of the four servers home.
I could tell from home that her last night seemed to be crawling by for her. Soon after she arrived at work, she texted me, "8 and 1/2 hours to go." She texted me again right before service started, and again at 7:45: "Only 3 to go." I had already planned on going over for a late-ish dinner, but thought I'd better warn her, in case she was starting to wrap up. She hates when late tables come in and she has to unwrap food and re-warm sauces.
I didn't arrive until after 9:00, so it's a good thing I let her know I was coming! When I walked in, there was one table on the patio, but the dining room lights were up, and the servers were walking around with their shirts untucked. There were 45 minutes to go, but it had been a slow night and everyone was ready to leave as soon as possible. I hadn't seen them for a while, so there were hugs all around before I sat at a table near the back and waited for my dinner to come through the pass.
When I'd texted Miss Chef that I was coming to dinner, she offered to do a series of special appetizers, but I had my taste buds set on the standard roast chicken dish that hasn't changed in her five years in the kitchen. And I'm glad I did, because it was more delicious than ever. It came with baby roasted potatoes and French-style haricots verts, but the sauce is what makes it special--just stock with lots and lots of butter, simmered and reduced. Wholly satisfying.
One of Miss Chef's earlier texts had been to tell me she was planning on going out for drinks with some of the servers after service. As it turned out one of them hadn't even known Miss Chef was leaving, much less that it was her last night! So after my wonderful meal, there were just four of us who walked two doors down the street to the Ale House. After an amaretto sour, and a round of buttery nipples (butterscotch schnapps & Bailey's), I quickly realized that there was a good chance Miss Chef might not be in a state to drive herself home. So I switched to water, and watched as Tony bought Miss Chef dirty martini after dirty martini. There was music, conversation, a chat with the bar owner--a drunk hippie celebrating his 62nd birthday--and a cheerful fortuneteller in the corner. It was after midnight when we left, and we ended up leaving Miss Chef's car parked behind the restaurant, while I was requested to make a stop at Taco Bell on the way home.
Not very glamorous, but I didn't pay for dinner or a single drink, and neither did Miss Chef. And she didn't even get a headache today. So, not so bad, even if nobody paid $75 for the pleasure of her company. She's worth more than that, anyway. :)