A Sailboat, Puppy and Hip

Most of us get to choose our lives. Some of us have been lucky enough to have had some wonderful choices. Some of us have had Sophie’s choices. But good or bad, sometimes what we choose all comes together at the same time.

It was late February with enough snow on the ground to last until next February. This fool calls me up and says, “I’m signing up for a week-long sailing course in July in the San Juan Islands; wanna take it with me?”

In the High Country, in February, anything about sailboats sounds good. So I signed up for the course and plunked down some money.

About that same time, Blue Eyes had an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon about her right hip. She used to be able to rip down anything on the mountain, but not any more. It was clear to both of us that she needed a new hip. The hip guy had on really nice custom shoes that probably cost more than my skis. He told her she wasn’t ready for a hip replacement and to come back in May for another exam. I figured that he was putting her off until he needed a new pair of custom shoes.

The following week, the breeder we had contacted in January said she would probably have puppies available in July.

You can see the perfect storm of choices coming, can’t you?

We talked about a weeklong sailing course, the arrival of a new pup and a hip operation all happening in a two-week period. Could we do it? Sure. Did I mention that I actually have a job and real work that needs to get done? Not that the work is of major importance to anyone but me, but the folks who pay me tend toward the grumpy side when the work doesn’t get done.

Yup, in May, the surgeon scheduled Blue Eyes for a new hip in late July and there it was. We couldn’t bail on the hip operation. But I could have bailed on the sailing course, and we could have postponed getting a pup until the next litter.


The sailing course was terrific. Seven days of sailing a 45-foot Jeanneau with an instructor who quickly figured out our skill levels and taught everything from basic engine maintenance, to navigation, to the man-overboard-drill, to landing a 45-foot boat without damaging anything.

Willy the pup arrived when I was gone. He’s a curly black Portuguese Water Dog with a patch of white on his front. I got back, hugged Blue Eyes, played with my new pup, and, two days later, took my best friend to get a new pair of shoes for the surgeon.

It’s mid-August and the storm has subsided. I am scheming to buy a sailboat or at least rent a bare boat out of St. Somewhere next winter. There is this pup, which wants to crawl up in my lap and maybe help me type this piece on the laptop. Lacking that, he’s happy to gnaw on my running shoes. And Blue Eyes is walking without a limp for the first time in a year.

Have I learned anything for all this? Yup — the work was still there when I finally got back to the office. The grumpiness went away in a couple days. Oh, and when I finally have to get a new left knee, there will be no new pup in the same month.

12 thoughts on “A Sailboat, Puppy and Hip”

  1. Love it Alan! Glad to hear “blue eyes” is limp free and if you are ever out of running shoes, bring Willy over to my house. He is a doll!

    1. Wat een "goeie foto"om je ongenoegen kenbaar te maken…helemaal duidelijk!Wel goed de tijd nemen hoor zoiets is toch niet niets en moet goed genezen. Kan me wel indenken dat je er de balen van hebt hoor!Wat een schitterend cadeautje voor de juf, wij hebben a.s. vrijdag ook juffendag ben benieuwd of er ook zulke crea moeders zijn? Leuke cadeautjes ook daar zal ze vast heel blij mee zijn.Fijne avond,Groetjes Maia

    2. Onnittelut uudesta tulokkaasta! Itselläni on Blendtec, joka painii heppojensa puolesta samassa kategoriassa Vita-Mixisi kanssa ja kovin olen ollut tyytyväinen. Melkein kaikki tulee nykyisin pyöräytettyä blenderin kautta. Auttaa todellakin ruuansulatusta!Jos halvempaan blenderiin tahtoo investoida, suosittelisin Krupsia.

    3. Wow! That's incredibly beautiful! In California the leaves are green then they turn brown then they fall off! I've never seen a tree like that in real life ever!

    4. Thanks so much for your comments, everyone!Kiki, how wonderful, congratulations! We started raw food when Paloma was ten months old. Before that we gave her fruits and vegetables steamed in a . At ten months, we started giving her green smoothies and my . Once she started solid foods, she's been eating pretty much everything we eat. She is the tester of most recipes for this blog :) If I knew about raw food earlier, I would've probably started her on it earlier. Congrats again!

    5. Yes I do. I hinted at that in the orange key paragraph that the referrer gets $25 as well.I’ve been pretty open that I do make money from this blog. However, I won’t promote something if I don’t think it’s a good product. In this case, we have the TFSA account and are very happy with it.

  2. Mr Stark’s rambeling observations needs some help with a conclusion.
    I would be happy to tell Mr Stark to conclude but,
    Mr Stark how about asking Willy, blue eyes and Jeanneau to make some observations on you. Their conclusions would certainly have more “bite”

  3. There’s no limp but there is this wonky twitch that I’m working very hard to get rid of. It can play havoc on the lower back.

  4. Glad to hear the moving parts are new, improved and working, and that the puppy isn’t gnawing on anything important. Best of all, it sounds like your relationship with blue eyes withstood the annual perfect storm…(whoops) was I supposed to reveal it happens annually, and usually involves boats, negotiations with her and rapidly moving water, and beverages?

  5. Those of us who have followed your writing for some time will ask when common sense will kick in. Recalling the saying about old dogs and new tricks, I’m guessing that won’t be any time soon. Plus, perfect planning never seems to result in interesting writing.

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