One thing that’s taken some of my time lately has been our pets. Now, I love animals, especially mine, so this isn’t really a problem. I got a new tank for my goldfish a couple weeks ago, and while that took some time to set up, it’s so much easier to clean than the old one–and the goldfish loves it.

Birthday girl is worn out!

Birthday girl is worn out!

Isis had a birthday, too–she’s now officially a terrible two. Well, not really too terrible, as long as we’re throwing the ball to her. For her birthday, a trip to Pet Supplies Plus was in order, where she picked out not one, but three new toys. Now I’m waiting for her to chew the squeaker out of them. After that, we went to the ice cream shop, even though it wasn’t Dogs Nite Out, and got her a doggie cup (and treats for DH and me, too).

But what’s taken more time is one of my gerbils.

It all started back in November, when my dad stopped by after visiting a rental property that was infested with fleas. He didn’t come into the house, but Isis was in the yard, and she brought them in. A trip to Wash Your Dog took care of her, and we thought, the fleas too.

Then I saw fleas in my gerbils’ tanks. I immediately cleaned the tanks, then brought them (and the turtle) to the dining room, and bombed their room. One of the gerbils was fine. But the other one, Spaz continued to scratch like crazy, because hey, freak out and get stressed is what he does, hence his name. A few days later, he’d scratched himself bloody.

So I took him to the vet, who found Spaz had mites (carried by fleas) and mange (carried by mites). He also had an ear infection, and had chewed the toenails off of one foot. Some gerbils do that when they’re stressed, but the problem with Spaz is, even after the mites and mange were cured, he kept going.

This is one ticked-off gerbil

This is one ticked-off gerbil

Now Spaz has no toes on one foot, though a month ago, it looked like he’d finally stopped.

Until I took him to the vet for a follow-up. Right after that, he started back into chewing, and this time, the vet went to what he said was the last resort, short of amputation: an Elizabethan collar.

As pitiful as Spaz was, the vet assistants and I couldn’t help laughing at his antics trying to dislodge the thing. It did its job in that he has not chewed his foot since then, even after he finally got the collar off about ten hours later (by doing somersaults!). Now to see if he continues to leave his foot alone.

What I’ve been reading: This vet is very good–he treats my turtle, too–but the wait times are way too long. Usually it’s an hour. Yesterday was two hours. I actually didn’t mind for once, because I had nowhere else I needed to be, and it was an excuse to read the really good book I’m working on right now. I’m not going to share about it just yet because I’m not finished, but I will next week. I know I’ll finish soon, because this is one of those I can’t wait to get back to–as in, it’s done a great job getting me to the treadmill, but it’s also one I have to fight the temptation to read, rather than do my own writing.

ROW80Logo175ROW80 Update: It took until yesterday, but I finally did get started on my revisions. Still not sure about the new scene I’m writing, but at least I’m having fun again. What I finally figured out: even though revision uses the critical part of the mind, I couldn’t get myself to focus on it at my Internet computer. Only when I went into the critter room and sat at my writing computer did the resistance fade. So I guess that computer is not just for new writing. I didn’t get as much done as I’d have liked, but I did get through one revised scene, plus part of a new one done. For this week, I’m going to shoot for finishing this new scene, and revising the next two.

What about you–what has kept you from reaching your goals lately (or what has tempted you)? Do you ever have to fight the urge to read, rather than write? Do you have pets? Please share in the comments–I’d love to hear from you!

Jennette Marie Powell writes stories about ordinary people in ordinary places, who do extraordinary things and learn that those ordinary places are anything but. In her Saturn Society novels, unwilling time travelers do what they must to make things right... and change more than they expect. You can find her books at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Kobo, iTunes, and more.

13 Responses to \

  1. The condo I’m renting out. We had some water damage related to the original construction, and repairs, almost completed, hit a snag. So now I’m faced with yet another expense and an inspection trip. The other thing is training for the Flying Pig. I have to realize that, until “the taper” (when runners ease up on training before a race like a half or whole marathon to reduce strain on the body), every other Sunday is a wash, and for about 2-3 weeks, weekday workouts will get progressively longer.

    Fortunately, Sunday mornings/afternoons and first thing in the morning are my primo writing times. Thank God for dictation.

  2. So sorry to hear about Spaz — I hope things improve. We have a dog and a cat. The dog recently had surgery for bladder stones and flipped out when the vet put a cone on him (so he wouldn’t scratch the stitches). He’s doing much better now, thank God.

    We also have a guppy. We had two but one passed away recently. We’re going to get another very soon.

    Awesome on starting your revisions! Sometimes, it’s the physical act of starting that’s so difficult. After that, it’s a lot easier in my experience. Good luck with getting more done.

  3. pets all okay at moment – just as well senior cat cost me a whole mint of anxiety and cash end of last year! nope at moment it is just painful wrists and end of winter fatigue but have managed some editing – hope all your pet problems are now over – fleas are the very devil sometimes to eradicate – been there have the tee shirt:) all the best this week:)

  4. Poor Spaz. Hope he’s doing better now. And Isis looks all comfy, doesn’t she?

    As for me, the only thing that kept me from writing was food poisoning. Ugh. I don’t recommend it. 🙂

  5. Sounds like your pets are keeping you busy! Good luck on the revising/rewriting. I often find that I need to take myself somewhere where there is absolutely no internet access, like a cafe, to get things done.

  6. My only pets are virtual pets . . . and the pets of friends. But I can sympathize with the worry and hope that Spaz keeps on NOT chewing his footsies. My DH is rather sick this week with back pain, so my writing schedule has been tossed to the side — until the end of this week when, thankfully, all that writing energy returned for revision AND a new project. Good for you on finding the ‘best’ place to write!

  7. Oh man, pets can be such stressful creatures to live with. We love them so much and we hate to see the suffering, but the expense sometimes is very painful for we humans. I hope the little gerbil continues to be happy with all of his toes because amputation does not sound fun.

    Take care and have a great week.

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

  8. That pic of your dog says it all! Haha. I definitely would like to have some sort of fur baby or animal, but hub isn’t ready. So for now we’re filling up the bird feeder in our backyard! 🙂

  9. TS, good luck with the marathon! And the issues with the rental property.

    Erin, thanks! So far Spaz has been leaving his foot alone. Here’s hoping it’ll continue!

    Alberta, thanks and hope you’re feeling better now.

    Stacy, Spaz has been doing better, thanks – and I hope you are, too!

    Beth, thanks – and hope your husband is better soon, if not already.

    Patricia, he’s already amputated his own toes, now we just want to save the rest of his foot! The vet’s main concern is infection. Thanks!

    Coleen, birds can be so fun to watch! I love the photos you share of them.

  10. At first I giggled about Spaz, but as I read on, I felt so bad for the little guy. What a mess! I hope that collar did the trick and broke him of the scratching. You definitely picked the right name for him. Glad you’re making progress with your WIP. I just finished a great book, The Sea Captain’s Wife. I started it as research for one of my WIPs, but it’s a novel that pulled me right in and I loved it! If only all the research was so compelling as this book was! I hope you and all the critters are doing well. Happy BD to Isis!

  11. “Spaz had mites (carried by fleas) and mange (carried by mites). He also had an ear infection, and had chewed the toenails off of one foot.” Good grief Jennette! And the cone of sham on a gerbil is priceless. He’s so cute. Well, so is Isis. I cannot believe she is 2. Where has the time gone. And hey, the fact that you cannot put the book down and write sounds promising. So read on my dear. Hope you have a wonderful week and good weather! Got to take that bike out again, right? 🙂

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