I continue to work on making the apartment livable; though I had planned to tackle the study last, I plunged into it this afternoon, knowing that it's going to take multiple days (given that at least two of my boxes are labeled "Piles of Paper"; packing each one literally involved putting a small moving box up on end and stacking paper inside until it was full, and now these papers are going to have to get sorted into files). And I continue to be thankful that I don't have to be here around the clock while this work is ongoing.

The main reason my writing here continues to be sparse is that I'm caring for this furry beastie (who, in this picture, is watching out for his excellent parents to return--about ten minutes after their departure)

and his household is not Internetted.

This evening, he and I had our sixth stand-off in two days--that's one for each of his thrice-daily outings--over whether or not he would allow himself to be hooked into the harness he wears when he walks. So far, the score stands at 6-0, in favor of Dr. S, but he will protest tomorrow morning anyway. I know this dog. Today I have figured out that putting the leash in plain view and leaving the front door open (so that he can see how lovely it is outdoors and can thus have even more incentive to let himself be readied for strolling) speed things up. What's getting me out on top each time, though, is the fact that I have more patience than he does. Eventually he just lies down and gives in, which occasions its own sadness; a large dog's surrender rends the heart.

After I won the sixth standoff, we headed out into the late evening, our destination Dr. S's new house. My old house, formerly known as Dr. S's house, was a landmark on his walks. My excellent friends and I have been working since Sunday to retrain him, and so it is that he can lead us right to the door of the apartment. On Monday, we even brought one of his old beds here so that he could hang about with me while I work. But if this evening is any indication, that plan might be futile.

Because the apartment is about half-unpacked, there are still boxes and miscellaneous objects cluttering pathways and floorspaces. Add those obstacles to the considerable challenge of figuring out a whole world of new smells, and you end up with a dog who won't stop moving--who sniffs every crevice, every corner, every open box, every piece of furniture, every dot of styrofoam on the floor. I don't know what he's seeking, but I'm going to guess it has something to do with my flaming-sworded friend's dogs, who lived here with her during the summer writing course.

On the other hand, perhaps the dog just needs to be eased into this invitation a little more gradually. After all, he hasn't spent much time in Gambier homes not his own; for the most part, his daily round takes him from his home to the other officehouse to his home again.

Tonight's visit turned out to be a short one, and the dog seemed mighty relieved to be back on the road, heading homeward. He also seemed mighty perplexed at my prompt re-departure, but I'm nearly certain that when I rejoin him at his house, I'll find him striking a pose not unlike this one.