Thursday, March 31

Pruning Day

Pruning day (for roses) is usually the Big Event of the early spring season, but it got buried under work and dogsitting and misjudged dosages this year and is only half completed. This formerly would have been unthinkable, as everything else would have moved down the schedule until pruning was finished, but maybe I'm becoming more casual about roses the more I know about 'em. That, or the indolence thing.

I don't have many roses. Seven hybrid teas or multifloras, three climbers, five miniatures. I like to act like it's a huge spread of prize winners, but the truth is I do work like a maniac on roses, but it's because on the best ground I could provide them they get maybe 6.5 hours of sun at peak and it takes every advantage I can give 'em just to have what would amount to a mediocre season for someone with full sun. Because of the low light my roses have had every disease and insect infestation in the books, excepting anything fatal. I feed them every week, two gallons per plant of one thing or another on an arcane schedule. They seem marginally healthier for it than when they just got once-a-month rose food. I, on the other hand, am being consumed with increasing rapidity.

Which brings me to the dog. He's stupid. People involved with large purebred dogs can probably explain to me whether intelligence has been bred out of them as a matter of choice or it's just the inevitability of genetic law. He's a retriever, probably a cruiserweight. I can still hold my own with him left handed with one of those tug-of-war toys, but I'm slipping. He's entered a not-sleek-but-solid middle age just as I'm exiting one, which got me started figuring in dog years to see if I needed to start training. And the thing about dog years is they're factored wrong. Dogs live about ten years. Humans, about seventy. Ergo, each year for a dog is ten human years. Only, dogs, like every other mammal lives only half as long a humans. Measured by total respirations or heartbeats or something I don't quite remember, a mouse and an elephant, wildebeest and wombat, all live exactly the same span. And Homo sapiens live twice that. So it's actually 3.5 years of human time, and that dog's got several years of fight left in him. Better find where the weights got to after the last yard sale.

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