FIFTY-EIGHT - High five, Finnigan!

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I haven't written for over a week, but it isn't because anything horrendous has happened. Au contraire, my friends; so many good things have happened as of late.

For starters, the new llama barn is all done, and Snowflake, Desmond and Audrey are back home and seemingly impressed. Well, Desmond and Snowflake seem impressed; Audrey seems to be having a harder time adapting to her new space. I think maybe she is a creature of habit and enjoyed chewing on the side of the old rotted barn door-kind of like how little kids insist on sucking on disgusting crocheted baby blankets until they're three, (not that I ever did that, of course).

Anyway, I'm sure she'll settle in soon; the digs are pretty awesome even if you aren't a llama. Norm moved an old leather couch into a corner of the barn, too-a place where he can enjoy his late-night whiskey and cigar seshes (although I think his cigar days may be a thing of the past now). Misty said the couch thing was a bad idea, and that rats would find their way into the stuffing and make ratty little families, but Norm just said pffffft and said that rodents always got a bad rap.

There's more good news, though: Jocelyn and Mum are currently "having a little break" from each other, which means that they are probably not speaking to each other. Don't get me wrong; I'm not liking that my mom's relationship has hit the skids because she seems happier with Jocelyn than she ever did with Dad. The part that makes me delirious with joy is that Jocelyn has gone to Ontario with Jett to enrol him in a new school. A private one. One where you have to wear grey pants and a white polo shirt. Ontario! That may as well be another country altogether, because Toronto is, like, 4500 kilometres away. JOY AND RAPTURE! With any luck, I won't have to see Jett and his rippling biceps until summer vacay. Sure, I'm still getting some personal gratification from his whole skid mark debacle thing, but good-looking people are seldom remembered for the stupid stuff they did. It's a law of nature. And, just so you don't think I'm a self-centred ass hat, I'm not worried about Mom and Jocelyn. They are both strong-willed people; I imagine they have arguments surrounding their control issues on a pretty regular basis. It'll blow over. In the meantime, NO JETT!

Dad is almost back to his old self. His muscles have atrophied a bit, though, particularly his arms, and I think he might be a bit self-conscious about it because he's stopped rolling up his sleeves in the house, even when the woodstove is blasting. Misty doesn't care about Dad's bicep definition, but Dad, despite being old, is still a bit vain about such things.

But enough about llamas and ageing fathers and a certain douchbaggy, yet buff nemesis of mine. I'll get to the best news of all.

I am now the proud owner of...wait for it...FINN! He's truly mine. I still can't really believe it: I've never had a dog before, and I'm still in shock that I have one now.

It happened a few days ago. I was in the village with Ivy and Lincoln, and we were sharing a plate of nachos. Well, sharing wasn't precisely the right word, because Lincoln is a total guacamole hog. He used the chips as a shovel of sorts, and the guacamole was entirely gone after about two minutes. When I pointed out that he might want to consider leaving some for the rest of us, he told us that he was saving us from ourselves because avocados are quite high in cholesterol. What a putz.

Anyway, I was trying not to notice Daisy Archibald, (that witch who told me my life was going to be complete shit), reading oracle cards for Scarlet's mom in a back booth. It was virtually impossible, though, because she kept saying, "OH MY!" and would then flap her hands in the air, after which Scarlet's mom would start crying.

I was beginning to feel as though I should saunter over and tell Scarlet's mom that Daisy was a hack, but that's when Misty and Dad pulled up in the Morris outside the diner and honked the horn. It was quite embarrassing, not only because my Dad was waving at me from the passenger seat like a deranged mad man, but the Morris' horn is weak at best. I turned my head away and hoped they would all disappear.

But Ivy elbowed me hard in the ribs and said, LOOK! So, I did, and that's when I saw Finn. Dad was holding him up in his arms at the window, and kind of swinging him back and forth like a pendulum to try and catch my attention.

It worked; I was up, and out of the diner so fast I may have knocked the (now empty) dish of guacamole on the floor. Ivy and Lincoln followed, and a moment later, we were all stuffed into the Morris fighting over who got to hold Finn.

I'm still not sure how this all came to be, though Dad tells me that Norm made quite a good argument regarding the merits of boys having dogs during their formative years. I pointed out that I was fourteen, and that "the formative years" referred to the period of child development occurring between the ages of 0 - 8. Dad rolled his eyes and said, shut up Myles, and besides, you know what I mean. I didn't, but I shut up anyway because when you have a ten-week-old golden retriever puppy chewing on your jacket zipper and wagging its tail off as though you are the Second Coming of Christ, you aren't going to waste your time with semantics.

So, it's been the best week ever. Finn literally follows me wherever I go, even out to the llama barn, and Desmond has taken a real shine to him, which is weird because llamas and dogs don't usually make the best of friends.

Tonight, I found Norm out there in the barn on his couch, a glass of whisky in his hand, so I thanked him for whatever it was he said to Dad about my having a dog.

"I told him you'd grow up to be more of a soft cock than you already are if you didn't have a dog at some point," Norm said, not looking up from the ice cubes clinking around in his John Deere tractor mug. I wasn't sure if he was kidding or not, but because I am still in a state of puppy-induced euphoria, I didn't push him for an explanation. (Still...soft cock? Was he being literal or figurative, and do I really want to know the answer to that?)

I guess I'd better try and get some sleep because Finn usually needs to go out at some point during the silent watches of the night. Of course, Dad is adamant that I do all the dog ownership stuff, which includes poop-scooping, feeding, exercising, and midnight forays into the dark when nature calls. Not that I'm complaining; it's nice to care for something that doesn't give a fat rat's ass if I still have Star Wars sheets on my bed or talk to a stuffed raccoon. Speaking of Peterson, he and Finn have bonded big time. As I write this, the two of them are curled up together on a pile of my dirty laundry, Finn having dragged Peterson there by the collar of his leather jacket. Not gonna lie; it's pretty cute.

FYI, I have made an interesting observation about puppies and girlfriends. Puppies, I've deduced, contain aphrodisiac properties, particularly ridiculously cute golden retriever puppies, because there has been a significant increase in the amount of kissing Ivy and I have indulged in this week...kissing with actual tongue. (High five, Finnigan!)"

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