Voices of Muse

Emma’s Eye View on the Year 2023

Dear Friends of Muse,

Happy New Year. I can cross at least one thing off my New Year’s resolutions: writing to my “fan club” more often. I’m not Taylor Swift (yet) but

you’d be surprised how many people open my mail. Some of them even reply!

December and January were tough months.  Finally, my favorite pastime (hunting small mammals that invade the vineyard) caught up with me. Apparently. At least that’s what Dr. Parnell, my infectious disease veterinarian in Charlottesville surmises. I’ll spare you the details (not pretty) but shortly before Christmas I got very sick! Dr. Rachel Truban and her team did all they could for me but then decided I needed a more sophisticated ultrasound diagnostic exam than their equipment could provide. So, Dr. Rachel got on the phone, pronto, calling all her connections in Leesburg, Manassas and Blacksburg to find somebody who could find out what was wrong with moi—over New Year’s weekend! Veterinary Specialists in Charlottesville luckily had a spot, if we could get there in two hours! My ambulance driver (Sally) tore down I 81 and I 64 and pulled into the hospital with 10 minutes to spare. I was comatose on the back seat with one of those silly cones around my neck so I wouldn’t pull the catheter out of my paw. I had my extra bag of sucrose solution with me that hadn’t been used the two days before at Shenandoah Animal Hospital. It kept me alive I guess because I hadn’t eaten or drunk since the day before Christmas Eve. Anyway, long story short they did extensive testing and located the problem as my liver which was either failing or compromised by a bacterial infection. Sally called Robert with the news and he came rushing down from DC. I was so happy to see him even though it was only a short visit. I stayed in the hospital and Robert and Sally got a hotel room close by. Dr. Parnell told them she’d see them in the morning to make some decisions about what was next.  I thought I might be accused of sampling too much wine since it was my liver that wasn’t functioning (sort of an occupational hazard if you know what I mean!). But Dr. Parnell said most likely cause was my killing (and sampling) a bit of some wild animal that was diseased and I got it. Just like COVID, it’s hard sometimes to recall just who you have been in contact with when you get sick! I’m guessing mine was a groundhog! I always have hated those creatures, and they know it too, so I think one gave me the bug on its way out the door! Mon Dieu. What is the world coming to?

Please don’t call me poodle legs!

Anyhoo (as they say in the Valley) I’ve been on these antibiotics for six weeks now and I’m almost cured. My liver tests were normal this week (who knew what bilrubin was?)  I’m grateful for all the efforts made to save my sorry ass and have to say that the collateral benefits have been super: gourmet food on demand. Hot dogs, hamburgers, steak, chicken, you name it and Sally gives it to me just so I’ll cooperate when it’s time for a pill. Pas mal. The downside is that Robert insists on calling me “poodle legs” because they shaved both my front paws in the middle so they could insert various needles. I feel it is not dignified for a dog my age, but I just ignore him and refuse to respond to that name.

Meanwhile, things move along here at Muse. The vineyard is getting pruned as it always does at this time of year. The new winery extension is coming along, and we hope by summer to have barrel tastings in the new space which looks like it will be gorgeous. We’re going back to in-person tastings at a new bar beginning February 1. And in February we will also have Valentine’s Dinners, a special wine and chocolate pairing class, Galantine’s Day and other exciting events you’ll want to join us for. Wine Club members will be able to pick up their new Trios: Clio, Cabernet Franc and Thalia (back after a lengthy absence). Virginia Governor’s Cup Gold Medalists will be announced, and we hope to be on the list!

When you come to visit, I’ll be sure to greet you. I’m staying away from critters for a bit. But if you call me poodle legs I won’t respond.

Warm regards,