It's the IAD(dulles) hat, by cafemama, a pattern I've knit before. An easy mix of knits and purls, to which I added a silly braided tassel for emphasis. One lovely, squishy, heartbreakingly beautiful skein of Malabrigo Twist, in the BEST colorway ever, "Tender." A mix of bloody reds, clay and soft, sage greens. So unexpected that I had to buy it last summer, because I'd never seen such a juxtaposition, before, or so I thought. Later, recalling my utter surprise, my first return spring in VA, in 2001, that new tree buds weren't "spring green," but grey, red, purple, brown...and the mountains aren't really green in March and April, but instead, this dappled golden mix of bud-colors flecked with green. So maybe a "tender" color. I dunno.
My heart is tender this morning, Valentine's Day, to be spent alone, with dogs and work all day. Huge sorrow, for a friend who prepares to say goodbye to an adored new dog, a pup who has been diagnosed with an unusual orthopedic condition that would require a $2,000 operation, plus dysplasia in both hips. This would maybe be do-able, as he's young, but he's also displaying unpredictable temperament problems, resource guarding...she is a dog trainer, and works a lot with therapy dogs, and needs a working partner. They have not been able to successfully address the resource guarding issue, and it seems to be increasing. She phoned his breeder, who won't take him back. I know that she is utterly wretched, right now, laid low by this blow, which comes on the heels of losing her beloved older dog to hip issues last year.
What happens to the "perfect storm" of a dog? In Cricket's case, learning management tools, relentless obedience training, and the judicious use of a crate helped me to keep a dog who has, on occasion, bitten people, attacked other dogs, and is fearful and anxious, due to breeding, lack of early socialization, and traumatic experience as a puppy. But Cricket doesn't resource guard. He has not shown aggression to me, and I can introduce him to people, through the use of toys and treats. Once you're in with Cricket, you're in. But I can feel some of my friend's heartache. I support her decision to euthanize, as the breeder won't take him back (another rant for another day) and she feels he can't be successfully rehomed. I know she will release him humanely and with love, and that this was not an easy decision to make. My love goes with her, this day. My own dogs' breeder would have taken Crick back (I signed a contract saying if I couldn't keep him, she was to be the first rehoming choice), had I desired to rehome him, but of course, that was never a consideration. Cricket, the birthday boy, is here to stay, a boon companion.
On to another tender thing, and a happier one. My hellebores bloomed this week - a true Lenten rose! Tender in hue, and a glad thing, since I planted them 2 years ago, and considered moving them, as they've done little up to this point. Finally, flowers! They seem to be spreading, as well.
Happy St. Valentine's Day to all my readers. To my wolves, pagans, and partiers, a festive and fertile (however you may interpret it) Lupercalia! May we be blessed with tender hearts, no matter how much trouble they give us.