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This could be the start of a beautiful friendship…

25 May

Sunday, May 24th

We arrived in Brownsburg (just west of Indianapolis) at about 7 pm today, after driving 13 hours from Fargo. We stopped in Madison last night and stayed at a hotel so that we wouldn’t have to drive through unfamiliar territory in the dark. I’m really glad we did, too, because I finally got to see the Star Trek movie. I really enjoyed the film, but I agree with Ian that the action sequences were filmed too close and cutaway too often. Why bother choreographing a fight scene if you are just going to point the camera up the actors’ noses anyway? But still, I appreciated that they managed to use the original Star Trek mythology to create an alternate story line, which allows them to continue making movies with these familiar characters without having to address the storylines of previous films. I thought the casting was brilliant. There was enough of a similarity to the original actors that it was believable, but enough of a difference that the personality changes didn’t throw me off. I barely recognized Winona Ryder, though. The voice was obviously hers, but she hardly looked like herself.

Once we arrived at my temporary home and got all of my things brought upstairs to my room, Sarah told me that she just got a call from the local emergency clinic — someone had surrendered a sick iguana, so she was going to pick it up. She asked Ian and me if we wanted to come along; the answer to this question was, of course, “YES!”  How cool- the very first day I’m here and I already get to help with something! Before we went to pick up the iguana, she drove by the clinic so that I would know how to get there. When we arrived at the clinic, we found a baby owl in a cage on the front porch. It was absolutely adorable. We didn’t bring it with us, though, because someone from one of the wildlife rescue places was already going to come and get it. Too bad. Once we got back to the house with the iguana, we set up a cage for it in the living room.

Sarah and Gabe’s house is overflowing with animals – it’s really amazing! The only furniture in the living room is an 8-foot long folding table, which is supporting four guinea pig cages. There is also a moderately sized enclosure containing two rabbits, a cage with a ferret, the world’s coolest cat playroom, a large enclosure for an iguana (who unfortunately passed away recently), and assorted other animals which Sarah informed me are all rescue pets who are being fostered at her home temporarily. In the kitchen is a fish tank and two small reptile terrariums (these two are patients of the clinic who are staying at Sarah’s house until Tuesday because there is no one at the clinic to take care of them over the holiday weekend). Sarah also told me that she has been caring for a baby raccoon and a bunch of baby opossums that were brought to the clinic just before the weekend, and again since there was no one to care for them at the clinic, she brought them home. Upstairs, they have a Quaker parrot (just like Jack except not grumpy or mean), two guinea pigs, two rats and handful of mice, and a bedroom that contains a large fluffy rabbit and a bunch of gerbils. They also have two cats, a schnauser, and a cocker spaniel. I think Ian finally sees that our two dogs and two cats are really not all that much after all. 🙂

The schnauzer, Jaq, really likes to play fetch with his chewies. Yesterday he had a rawhide donut that he kept to bringing us to throw for him. Today it is some kind of a chewbone. He has me throw it three or four times, then chews on it for a minute or two, then asks me to throw it again. If I don’t throw it right away after he drops it in front of me, he will push it towards me a little with his nose until I finally pick it up. It’s hilarious. Every once in a while he will stop playing fetch and lie down next to me. It’s not the same as a hug from Selby, but it will have to do for now.

Monday, May 25th

The clinic was not open today, because of the holiday. This morning I dropped Ian off at the train station before coming back to the house to take a nap. I did pretty well I think; I only cried while I was walking to the van, and then a little bit once I got home. I think the nap helped to clear most of the sad away. Later in the morning I went with Sarah to pick up some dishes she had found on craigslist, which was a nice distraction. We also stopped at the grocery store and got provisions for the week – I am determined not to eat out as often as I usually do. It would be good if I could get it down to only one or two times a week, but I’m not sure how attainable a goal that is for me. Baby steps, Kari. I’ve got my favorite cereal, a carton of soy milk, some cheese (which I shouldn’t have but will anyway because it makes me happy), some smoked salmon, salad and dressing, lunch meat and bread, pickles, tomatoes, grapes, and a few snacks of a slightly healthier variety than I usually eat. Oh yeah, and a the biggest bag of Storck Chocolate Reisen I’ve ever seen, because when a girl is hundreds of miles from friends and family, she needs to have chocolate available at all times. I also picked up a few of those Hormel “Compleat” meals for days when I don’t even feel like making a sandwich. I really hope this works!

Raina called me at around 4 o’clock, so we met at a chinesey fast food restaurant to catch up and stuff. She has been busy this week – I am so jealous of some of the things she is getting to do! She monitored two baboons under anesthesia, helped give fluids to assorted reptiles, fed some dolphins, CBCs and fecals galore (they already trust her to do these on her own), and so many other things I am not even going to list them all because I’m afraid my first week will sound boring in comparison. If my first week is half as cool as hers, then I’ll be happy. Sarah said tomorrow we have an ultrasound scheduled, and there is a house call scheduled for Friday. She said house calls are usually either pot-bellied pigs or big cats. I am crossing my fingers that I will get to go along on the house call on Friday. Boy it’s hard to type with your fingers crossed.

That’s all for today – I am going to get to be early because I definitely don’t want to oversleep tomorrow!!

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