Sunday, July 25, 2021


This is not the post I wanted to write, but it’s probably the one I need to write, right now.

First, let’s start with something more pleasant; that way if you don’t want to deal with the unpleasantness, it will be easier to walk away, and I won’t judge.

Anyway, here’s the Pinto Icelandic I bought last week:

The first store had two, but I didn’t like either one; the second store only had this one, and he was… actually pretty nice! Usually when there’s only one model left out of a shipment, that means there’s something wrong with it, but I couldn’t find anything amiss with him.

While I am fortunate that I have a lot of store to choose Breyers from, I also have to compete with an almost equally large number of collectors in the area. In other words, the numerical advantage is often lost, and whatever I find is as much a matter of luck as anything else. 

My tastes are also pretty eclectic, so even if what I want is not present, I usually find something worthwhile. As anybody who has wandered the halls of the Clarion with me has discovered.

Iceland has been a source of fascination for me for several years – I have a couple translations of the Icelandic Eddas in my to-be-read pile, still unopened – but my attempts to learn a little bit of Icelandic (or even fake an accent of it) have failed, so I I’m going to call him “Spotty Iceberg” just because it’s close enough and it could pass as an actual show name, if I ever get a chance to live show again.

I don’t even have any space for him at the moment, though. The house and the office are a mess, and right now I am also a mess, and this makes as good a segue as any to the unpleasant part. 

When I saw that the comments for my second BreyerFest post entered the double digits, I suspected that things had taken a turn for the worse, and they had. 

I will not dress this up in pretty or clever words, or make this weakness of mine a strength (or whatever such nonsense those self-help books are trying to peddle). 

Yes, I am jealous. I have always been jealous person. I acknowledge that it is my greatest failing. I am very much my Grandmother Julia’s grandchild: she was a woman who had exceedingly good taste and who could grow a rose bush from a popsicle stick, but a woman so consumed by jealousy of her children – and particularly her talented middle child, my mother – that she damaged them all emotionally, and profoundly. 

Nature? Nurture? A little bit of both? Does not matter. I am jealous person, and I hate myself for it. 

For a second year in a row I found myself alone in my basement, and this year I had to watch other people having a good time in the company of other model horse people. While I did get to “participate” in BreyerFest this year, my part was done several months ago, in the solitude of my basement and in the small hours of the day. Nobody in my real-life circle of friends, family and coworkers knew what I was talking about when I was discussing my challenges or frustrations with it. Or particularly cared. 

(My boss did, a little, but I barely see her because of my current schedule.)

I live 11.5 hours away and I knew it was never going to happen anyway; I haven’t been to the factory since 1992, when the sample room was little more than a walk-in closet. Whether it will ever happen again is a mystery to me; all I know is that it will not be soon. 

I suppose this is also a good a time as any to reveal another reason why I have not been so good at controlling my emotions lately. As some of you may know, I revealed on Model Horse Blab on Saturday that Vita has been unwell.

That word, in itself, is a kindness: she’s been losing the ability to walk, and it’s very likely that she has Degenerative Myelopathy. They can only confirm it with an autopsy, but she has all the symptoms and it’s something that’s been documented with Wirehaired Fox Terriers. 

It’s been progressing very rapidly over the course of the past couple of months, and while she’s not in any pain, it makes me so sad to see her struggle. She’s always been so independent, and she gets mad when we try to help her up the stairs or into bed. 

And I cry because there’s nothing I can do to help her. Alone in the basement, at night, with only plastic horses to keep me company.  

Sorry to get so heavy there. Something lighter and happier next time, I promise. 


Miaow Minx said...

I'm so sorry about Vita — I spent March-July last year caring for one of my cats through the same sort of disease, so I have a good idea what you're dealing with. I was able to give Belle a little more independent mobility using a simple 'walker' I made from pvc pipes by following instructions on YouTube; you might have some luck with this as well, so here's the guys behind the two designs I merged: (he's happy to respond to email requests for sizing/etc. assistance) (used this for the simple 'sling' design)

Hopefully that will give you & Vita a little more high-quality time together than you'd have otherwise. :-(

Rodney's Saga said...

Virtual hug.

Holly Harris said...

Andrea, I'm so sorry to hear about Vita. I'm having a similar experience with my fifteen year old Italian Greyhound, but for him it's just old age that's causing his body to fail. Even though it's sad to watch him go downhill, he's lived a very full and happy life.

I too read the comment you refer to; the meanness. was so uncalled for. Don't let the bitches get you down; the rest of us are here for your knowledge, insights and experience and we appreciate what you do. Thanks for taking the time to share on this blog.

Corky said...

So very sorry to hear about Vita! Watching over one of our fur-children in a situation like that is one of the worst things we can go through. Please be gentle with yourself.

Please also know that there are tons of people love and appreciate your work here. The loudest ones are the negative ones, and they're in the minority.

Carrie said...

Oh, so many empathetic hugs for you both! Struggling through their struggle, in a differently painful way. And Vita was so sweet when I met her last year (even if it was because she was disturbed by the neighbor's noise! I know that's not her usual MO). Now I'm twice as regretful I didn't work harder at getting life out of the way to perhaps visit for BF again. Did you know I had a throbbing migraine nearly the whole time last year? No idea what triggered it but you had to be able to tell. XD Hopefully poor company was better than none. May you both find a bit of peace in every day; before the weather turns we should make the effort to meet up somewhere & chuck Stablemates & stories at each other.

OFonlyMe said...

If you lived close to me you would have been at my house with me and my friend having fuzzy navels, big pickles and a ton of fun! Take things one day at a time and give lots of love to Vita.

Anonymous said...

Some people just delight in taking offense at comments that have nothing to do with them. You're a good person, Andrea, and better than the trolls.

I am so sorry for your little Vita. :( I wish for many more happy days for both of you.

Suzanne said...

There's a lot of nutjobs out there who seem to thrive on their own jerkiness. I'll never understand it...I'd have to say they are the ones suffering from jealousy. Shoot, I haven't even seen these comments, what do I know? :^D I myself am "recovering" from a particularly unsatisfactory experience on Facebook. (The sort of idiotic, pointless, inflammatory thing that FB has itself cultivated and thrives on.)

I'm so sorry to hear about Vita. It is the worst thing to go through when you feel isolated. It sounds like Vita is very brave about the changes she's going through.

Salem said...

I value this blog not only for Andrea's expertise, but because I can't deal with any more social media drama. I was sad to see the comments posted by people who obviously don't have to read the personal blog of an individual if they don't agree with it.

As for jealousy, I am also jealous of others who get to live out my hopeless dream of exploring the archives. I watched the video of this avidly, and was disappointed to only see brief glimpses of the archives themselves. I wish they would take extensive photos or at least post a slow walk-through video. I had no idea how extensive they are, so my mind is blown. I would certainly pay for an in-person visit, assuming that I could somehow get there.

Thank you Andrea, for all your contributions to the hobby.

Janie Bradshaw said...

I just want to say how very sorry I am about Vita. I am wishing you all the best.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for all you do for the hobby and hoping you and Vita can enjoy her remaining time here on this old earth. HUGS!