Thursday, January 10, 2013

Good News, Everyone!

This has been a good week.  The dog issue is resolved, my chores are nearly done, I'm looking forward to two D&D style games this weekend.  Also, from what I can tell, the baby is developing well.  I can feel her kicking and moving a lot more, and I'm pretty healthy.  I found out from a recent blood test that I'm not anemic and that my blood levels were fairly normal.  (Though, wish me luck since I'll be having a blood sugar test in February that will give me more details about that...)

It turns out that I didn't have to use animal control to resolve the issue with the dogs.  (Thank goodness, because they were useless anyway.)  I walked around my neighborhood, keeping my eyes open and found out that the dogs in question weren't wild.  They're owned by someone in the neighborhood.  I knocked on the door and had a friendly conversation with them.

Apparently the cat they killed was one of the stray cats that the family was feeding.  They didn't want the cat to be killed and were surprised that their dogs were the culprits, saying that generally speaking they get along with other animals.  They suspect that the dogs might've gotten carried away chasing the cat out of the yard.  They've never attacked a person and were rescue dogs from Pets Incorporated.  One of them was abused, but they're adjusting to living in a normal home nicely.  Even though I was concerned that they were approaching me, their intent was more than likely friendly.  The blood on the muzzles, however, gave them a more sinister appearance that day...

Anyway, the family is thinking of having the male pit bull fixed to make him less aggressive and they're going to try harder to keep them in the fence.  When other dogs in the neighborhood come and run along the fence, it riles their dogs up and they charge the fence, slipping under it.  We've often been irritated that the other neighborhood dogs can't seem to stay in their own yards, so this is just another problem caused by that issue.

Long story short, the dogs aren't wild, they don't have to be put down, and hopefully this won't happen again.  I do feel a little bad about initially calling animal control on the neighbor's dogs, but they weren't wearing collars and were attacking another animal, so it was only logical for me to think they were wild.  If I do see the dogs in my yard or in the neighborhood I've been told to please let the owners know, and I will.  All's well that ends well.

As for writing, I haven't had much time.  I've been running errands and going to doctor's appointments lately. I only have a few more months and I'll be having a baby, so my mind hasn't really been on it.  I've written some more notes for the changeling story, but I'm a little stuck on the idea for the third book of the "Blood Rain" trilogy.  I'm also struggling through the plot summary for the changeling story because I've hit a small road block trying to figure out where to go next.  Still, I'll be writing again soon.  My hopes are to start up again next week.

I've picked out a theme for the baby's room.  Joel and I will be shopping around this weekend to register for a baby shower.  It's going to have the theme "jungle animals," and we're going to paint the room a cheerful color of light yellow.  We also think that the baby's first name will be "Evangeline" and the middle name will be "Melissa."  Even though there are a lot of syllables in our last name, we think that if we call her "Eva" for short it should balance out nicely.

Other than that, there's really nothing new to report.  I'll let you know if I can get some of my writing work started.  In the meantime, while I'm a little bit writer's blocked, I'm working on an idea for an RPG.  I'm thinking of running a PDQ system game based off of the film and television series "How to Train Your Dragon."  I think it could be different and a lot of fun.  Still, we'll wait and see.  After all, I have a lot of games coming up.  I at least am going to flesh out the world and I can keep it ready for if and when I do decide to run it.

Well, that's all for now.  Keep reading and writing.  I'm serious, pick up "Cold Days" or start reading the "Dresden Files" series if you haven't already.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Wild Dogs

I guess it's been awhile since I've written anything on this blog, so I won't skip over one of the more interesting stories that has happened to be lately, even though it's a sad story and it makes me a little sad to write it.  Once again, I found myself at the wrong place at the wrong time (or maybe, in this case, the right place at the right time...we'll have to see).

A few days ago when I was heading home from errands, I witnessed something horrific that I've been trying to get out of my mind.  While I was about to drive by, three wild dogs were killing one of the neighbors cats in their yard. The neighbors weren't home, so I knew I had to try to do something.  I stopped the car and tried to help, but I think the cat was already dead when I got there.

I got out of the car and screamed at the dogs, waved my arms, ran towards them, and did everything I could think of to get them to run--they didn't run away, in fact, they just sort of looked at me.  One was a pit bull and one of the others was a pit bull mix.  The two bulls started to approach me.  They didn't get close enough to touch, but it was clear by their body language that they weren't going to let me separate them from their kill.  When I realized I was in danger (and, thus, my baby was in danger as well), I got back in the car and drove up the road to my house.

There was a man and his little boy walking in the direction.  Thankfully, I was able to get them to turn around so that the boy wouldn't see the bloody mess and so that the dogs wouldn't try to hurt them for interfering like they nearly did to me.

I immediately called animal control, but as usual, they've been totally worthless.  They said they would send a patrol later in the day or the next day and asked me if I could do something to catch one of them.  Apparently, they don't "catch dogs" anymore, so they'll just leave it to the horrified, scared, pregnant lady that saw the attack.  (Incidentally, they didn't send the patrol, so I have to call them again on Monday.)  I drove back down to see if they had finally left the cat alone, but all of them gone when I got back and there was no sign of the cat.  I'm fairly certain that they dragged it away to eat it.

Let me set the record straight, I like dogs very much.  I also really like cats.  And, I really don't like the thought of any animal getting put down, but there is such a thing as being socially responsible.  I've seen them around for months now.  I was hoping that I could just leave them alone.  Still, I've recently heard that this isn't the only cat they've nearly killed and they aren't friendly towards any other animals.  One of my neighbors' dogs has also gone missing recently, and I suspect the incident might be related.  Because of the large amount of pets that have been mauled or killed by these dogs, as far as I'm concerned they're officially wild, feral animals and they no longer have my sympathy.  I can't ignore this problem any longer.

The point is, they were desperate enough to be hunting their own food and they aren't afraid of people.  It makes me wonder how long it'll be before they attack a person or a child.  Thankfully, all of my animals are indoor animals, but I don't feel safe walking around my neighborhood anymore.  This isn't the first time that those dogs have scared me into walking back to my house.  There are lots of children and pets in this neighborhood and I don't want anymore of them to get hurt.

So far they're in a pack of three, but something needs to be done before their pack gets bigger and they get even bolder.  I've decided to call animal control again.  If they won't help, I'll try the police, if they won't help, I'll try the news.  I might ask animal control to give me three large cages in the hopes of trapping the dogs, but I'm making this my business to fix this problem before I have my baby.  I don't want some kid to be traumatized by losing a much loved pet, or for anyone to get hurt.  I don't want to go to the news, but I really need animal control to do their job, because this isn't a problem I can fix by myself.  I'll keep you posted.  Hopefully, I won't have to do this again and in the long run I'll be saving more animals by putting down these three.

Happy New Year

I hope that everyone had a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.  Things have been very busy for me.  I spend a good amount of time with my family and some quality time with my husband.  In terms of actual work, I've mostly just been writing notes for my changeling urban fantasy novel, but I haven't been working very hard on writing at all.  I'm taking a little break until I feel up for more writing again.  Even though the holidays are over, I've got a lot on my mind.

Usually around this time I write about New Year resolutions.  Still, oddly this time I don't really have any.  I've noticed that I usually end up breaking my resolutions, so I didn't really see the point.  Still, there are a few things I'm in the process of doing and things that I plan to do this year.  I'm calling them "goals" rather than resolutions, and most of them HAVE to be done.  Therefore, they will get done and that's that.  

Currently, we're cleaning out the office to make it into the baby's room.  The baby is due on April 25th, so I will have to have the room ready by then.  I will be having the baby this year (no resolution about that...).  I'll try to lose the baby weight after I have the baby, but I don't know how much strenuous exercise I'll be able to do.  I think that depends on how complicated the birth is and how long it takes me to recover from it.  Still, thus far I haven't gained too much, so that's at least something, and as far as I know, the baby is healthy.  We've pretty much decided on the name "Evangeline" ("Eva" for short), and "Melissa" is definitely going to be the middle name.  We might change our mind on the first name closer to time, but we're pretty sure Evangeline is the name we'll finally choose.  

The theme of the room will be "jungle animals" mostly, but if I have the time I might still make a Chronicles of Narnia mural on the wall.  I'm thinking that's an ambitious goal, though, especially since the room isn't even cleaned out yet.  I'd like to have the walls repainted in a light yellow color.  That's something I think we'll definitely do.  We know that the baby is a girl now, but pastel pink is a bit much.  We just want a cheerful color that will make the room seem a little brighter, so yellow sounded good to both of us.

I'm basically taking everything at a day by day basis this year.  I would like to finish my profile for to see if I can make a little extra money sometime before the baby is born.  I would also like to get started on that changeling story and possibly get the notes nearly finished for the third book of the "Blood Rain" trilogy.  Still, I also need to register for a baby shower, find a way to catch some dangerous wild dogs in the neighborhood (they've been killing off other pets and aren't afraid of people...kind of a long story), get the house ready for the baby, and possibly read some baby books.  If the writing has to wait, it can wait.  Family always comes first and I'm getting ready to add a new member to this family.  I need to be as ready as I can be and be sure that my neighborhood is as safe as possible.

Speaking of writing, I got "Cold Days" the latest novel of the Dresden Files for Christmas and am currently reading it.  If you like the Dresden Files, you'll like this book.  I'm only a hundred pages into it, but I already know it will be good.  

I also went to see "Les Miserables."  It was very good.  Some people are disappointed because they don't like movie adaptations of musicals.  I thought the acting was good, the singing was great, and it managed to move me emotionally.  I would suggest that if you like Les Miserables or musicals in general you go and see the movie while it's in theaters.  I intend to buy it when it comes out.    

Other than that, that's about everything that's new.  I'm hoping to play in a Pathfinder game, a D&D game, and a Dresden Files game soon.  (I might have less time coming up, so I'm trying to game as much as I can right now, but I'm hoping to stay in a few of them.  They're on weekends, so Joel will be here to help me with the baby.)  I've been putting a lot of thought into my characters, and that's a good exercise in coming up with story ideas and keeping a keen edge on my imagination.