socks and bones

What do socks have to do with bones? Nothing really, except my morning was taken up by thoughts on socks and bones.

A dehydrated lamb shank bone costs between AU$6-9 at the shop. I bought a pack of two lamb shanks on special at Coles yesterday, just $6.90. After deboning, I baked the flesh for myself, and popped the two bones with some meat still on, into the dehydrator. I had it on high for about 4 hours. Lucy had one today. Looks like she had fun! (Never leave your dog alone with a bone, and always remove the sharp bits that fall away. Lucy is a good girl and ever so gentle, she allows me to remove the shards and bits while she is still busy chewing. Most other dogs would be upset and growl, or even bite when thus interrupted. I also remove the last part when I see that Lucy has had enough and the bone is chewed through to a size that she can easily choke on if allowed to continue.)

Living on a tight budget is not easy, but I like the challenge. And I still have enough to give away to others who are less fortunate. While out shopping yesterday, I picked up two packs of cheap socks at Kmart. One for me, and one for the sweet old lady I met at the churchyard by the soup kitchen. I went there this morning, and she was there! Lucy was happy to see her, and I think the feeling was mutual. I gave her the pack of 3 white socks. I noticed her clothes were all well coordinated the first time we met, she had an old beat up sable coloured long coat on, with old tattered beige socks, red sandals, and an old worn grey knitted scarf. Her handbag was also red, the same colour as her sandals. Today, we spoke for a brief moment before the doors of the soup kitchen opened. I noticed her very posh and educated accent. She asked me what I was doing here in Sydney, and I told her I am a Ph.D scholar in Fine Arts. Her eyes brightened up and she became very excited. She told me she was a performing artist, and she so wanted to go back into the arts again. Then she launched into a ramble about how awful Sydney can be to people who are down and out, and grumbled that Australians don’t speak good English and have nasty accents! It was quite funny, really, but I didn’t dare chuckle. She was very serious. She also told me she was well educated but had met with hard times. I didn’t manage to hear her entire story, but I have no doubt she has a long and interesting one to tell. The soup kitchen threw open its doors and everyone surged inside. It was time to say goodbye. I told her we should have tea sometime. The thing about encounters with homeless people is that they come and go. The very first friend Lucy made who she adored has now disappeared, we haven’t seen him for almost half a year. The other friend we used to meet every morning at the reservoir garden doesn’t go there anymore and he is no longer a frequent visitor at the soup kitchen either. The last I heard, he was applying for assisted housing in Manly. I hope he found a decent, permanent place to stay. We still bump into the greyhound racing enthusiast who thinks Lucy is a mighty fine dog he’d love to have trained and raced! Erm… nope, no way! My baby is done with that life forever!

Regardless, Lucy likes him anyway, and she doesn’t care much about whatever views he holds, even though mummy disagrees with those connections with the racing industry. Lucy is truly wonderful. Through interactions with Lucy’s homeless friends, I am brought face to face with the harsher side of life. I realise that connections can be transient, and I just need to seize the moment and live inside the here and now. I am glad I bought the lady those socks. They are not expensive ones, but they were what I could afford in that moment, and I knew I shouldn’t wait until I could afford better, because the moment may pass very quickly and I shall miss it. Who knows how many more times I will meet this lovely old lady? Carpe diem!

Lucy is an amazing girl. And she has brought an amazing dimension to my little microcosmic existence. She deserves all the effort I make to keep her well and happy. I hope the lamb shank bone went down well. I will be watching her today for signs of tummy upset. She is my Princess.

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