I'm so sorry to hear that things at work are frustrating and (perhaps?) downright abusive. I am sending positive job-hunting thoughts your way. Of course, if I win the Powerball lottery, rest assured I'll move myself, my husband, and my knitting to Weymouth where neither you and Dave nor me and Ed need ever work at anything harder than knitting a lace pattern printed in Swahili. (I can dream, can't I?)
When you wrote that "the black dog" had been on your shoulders of late, what immediately sprang to mind was my Charka dog who is black, brown, tan, and white. I have had The Charka Dog in my lap lately. Never mind that she weighs 60+ lbs, she wants to be in my lap and reassured at nearly all times of the day. About the only thing I can figure is that she's having severe anxiety because, now that Ed is in classes full time, Ed is not around the house as much. At about 2 a.m. Saturday The Charka Dog had her paws on the bed and her cold, wet nose anywhere she could prod me. She was panting hard and fast. All she wanted was the climb into bed and be reassured that I was right there.
This morning at 2 a.m. she did the same thing, but I ignored her. When I did wake this a.m. it was to find her sleeping on the floor on my side of the bed. And then I saw that she'd left about a dozen "dog cookies" on the livingroom floor. (Bless my husband: He cleaned them up this time.) Usually paws-on-the-bed means an urgent need to go out, but I didn't believe her because the night/morning prior she didn't want to go out at all.
I am skivving (did I spell that correctly?) off church this morning. Besides the 2 a.m. dog call and the dog cookies on the livingroom floor, I managed to spill coffee all over the kitchen floor because I hadn't closed the little coffee-maker door (the basket with the coffee grounds slides out) which meant that the little spout didn't make a proper connection with the lid of the coffee urn. The anthem today is "Lord of all hopefullness." I don't feel much like singing, "Naught be all else to me save that Thou art." It would be a lie.
I'm going to my mom's today to try to cut out a dress to wear for my friend's wedding on November 7th. I hope that goes better.
Hugs and more joy to you,