Saturday, September 30, 2017

Dax is Back!

Guess who's back?

Much to Garrett's dismay.

Pete has missed him.

The buddies have been reunited.

Exciting reunion with Dax's favorite human too.
After 5 days at the vet school and a week and training school, Dax came home with a new trick up his sleeve: humping.

If he's not assaulting Garrett's blankie, Pete gets mauled.
What he didn't come home with was a single gained ounce of weight.  Something didn't look right about him, so I weighed him twice.  In two weeks, my puppy hadn't gained an ounce.  

That's it.  No more boarding for this kid.  
Mama's boy from now on, (one mad, mean grizzly mama).

Absence makes the heart grow fonder and fiercer. 

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Poor Old Tommy

Thursday 4:30 PM, I'm back in bed where I should've been all day.  But I wasn't.

Tommy has been getting the best care in the barn, but his infected back foot wasn't improved much when I came to check on him in the morning.  

Both his attending veterinarians said to bring him back to the vet school.  Loading Tommy used to be a breeze when I'd take the team fun places.  Past few years, every trailer ride ends him up at the vet school and he's over it.  Today was particularly exciting because he chased Flynn down the barn aisle.  You need excitement in your life, come hang out with Farm Team for a day.

I drove much slower than usual and we all made it to the vet school safe and sound.  He's to undergo an antibiotic regiment that will keep him at the bovine Hilton until Monday.  
I'm not ignorant to restrictions during my recovery, but I'll be darned if I don't find solutions to problems.
As I curl up in bed with my dogs and a bottle of kale juice that a friend brought to me, I see this:


Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Walk in the Park

Tip of the hat to the kind and humorous staff at East Alabama Medical Center. My pre-op nurse was a former horse trainer at the plantation where Dax began his days. Small world!
The night shift staff are some funny people. I had a TV in my room, but I preferred my entertainers who were in to see me every hour.  Laughter is the best medicine. I managed to give back a little too. My night shift nurse bellowed laughing when he busted me  brushing my teeth with baby shampoo and a face cloth.  FYI, they have toothbrushes behind the desk. 
My surgeon made her rounds at the crack of dawn. She burst in on me in the bathroom when I was bathing. When caught in such a compromising position with other people behind her looking at me, all you can do is go with the flow.  My surgeon is originally from the Bronx, sugar coating isn't part of her personality. She told me that if I disobeyed her discharge instructions, I'd blow all my internal stitches and find my guts on the floor. And that she wouldn't be as nice to me is she saw me again in the OR. Yes ma'am!! My day nurse was standing behind her laughing. I got the last laugh when I got him to help me put my underwear and socks on. Reminded us both of playing Twister.
Huge thanks to my homies: Allen and Flynn. 
To Allen for spending a long boring day at the hospital, where I ended up in recovery for 3 hours instead of 45 minutes. For Flynn, who's taking care of all the animals and is currently managing two ailing babes in the barn.

I arrived home mid morning Tuesday and settled in with my Garrett and Peter.

Awesome companions. 
I set myself up with everything I need in my bedroom. 

My abode for the next week.
I declined the prescription for narcotic pain relievers. Opting for only Motrin. I have genealogy research to do this week and want my mind to be clear. 

Makes for a more real post-op experience, that's for sure. 

As I'm encouraged to walk, I can stroll around when the pain is too distracting.  Walk in the park...

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Dear John Letter

Dear Aunt Rose, 

     I can no longer continue our relationship, I'm leaving you forever.  During our 45 year relationship, I have accommodated you in all your tempestuousness. Mostly you ruined one week out of three, yet sometimes you never bothered to even call after a four month absence. 
  Duty made me endure you because we were family, but when you started demanding premium space and crushing our other relatives, I had to draw the line.  What you have done to our little family is inexcusable.  It will require much time, money and patience to right what you have wronged.  
  This breakup will be painful and permanent.  I should've kicked you to the curb years ago.
  Did you really think you'd get away with suffocating Uncle Kidney Ken's blood supply and letting  him wither away to nothing?  Did you?
  You have been the most useless uterus ever, I wish I'd never met you.

  Most sincerely,

         The most tolerant woman who hopes it hurts when you incinerate on Monday.

Ode to my Ford

To the 2001 F-350 who has been so gracious as to ferry me and a host of critters all across the country, who's taken me back and forth to Canada, 
        THANK YOU!

You've never let me down and we always get our cargo home safely. To another 185,000 miles together.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

The Imp Was Home

Thursday, the imp returned home with a clean bill of health.

Pete had a wardrobe malfunction he got so excited.
The day I went to collect Dax, Tommy was admitted to the large animal clinic.

My glorious day off, painting my ox barn, enjoying the peace and quiet, it screeched to a halt when I realized Tommy was hobbling around worse than his usual arthritic shuffle.

His whole joint was inflamed and I could smell the infection. Houston we have a problem.

I soaked his foot and wrapped it in a custom protective boot (Gucci eat your heart out).
Alas, his vet wasn't impressed from the photos-- she claimed my efforts were in vain, he needed quick veterinary intervention.  FINE!  I lost one 10 year old boy this year, I'm not losing my 10 year old Tommy.  Ox ambulance coming through, get outta my way.
Is it wise to work 16 hour days the week before my own surgery?  Of course not, the plan was to gear down and ease into this week.  An antifreeze poisoning and rotting foot were nowhere on my agenda.  Murphy, you SOB, bring it on, Sunshine.  I'll probably be coming out of anesthesia on Monday throwing punches. 
My lawn still had its mowing, by flashlight, eat that Murphy.

Dax, on his first day back home from the hospital, squeezed through a gap in a gate and went on a solo walkabout Friday morning.  I searched for him frantically and discovered him 20 minutes later down on a trail.  Murphy, I will find you and kill you.

Silver lining:  it made my decision to send him to boarding school for a week that much easier to accept.  Yup, he's going to reform school.  Head Master Stewart Harvard will train him for the next week.

Muha, muhaha.
Tommy was released on the third day after his procedure.  I have loved that boy since he was 2 days old.  Anyone caught saying dumb ox around me is in for a knuckle sandwich.  He has a heart of gold.

Saturday morning, Dakota endeavored to build him a new home for recuperation.  He can't get his bad foot wet, or it will surely become reinfected.

A big stall and a small loafing area. 
Showing his gratitude by settling right in.

Don't know about the company you work for, but I bet your perk package doesn't include emergency ox housing.  No?  Keep your complimentary gym membership, season football tickets and premium parking.  These are the benefits I seek.
Tommy is irreplaceable.  

Murphy and his Law are off seeking easier prey.  And don't you come back, you scoundrel.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

64 Hour Party

While Dax is at Auburn University for three days, I will say a little prayer for the staff.  As there's a national shortage of the drug used to bond with the ethylene glycol before it can cause kidney damage, the vets are going old school: grain alcohol.  Yes, my puppy will be drunk for the next two days.  Knowing him, he's ringing up quite the bar tab.  The attending vet came back stating he was 'willful', I told her sugar coating wasn't necessary, he's a heathen, end of story.
Garrett and I will enjoy the tranquility of being Dax-less.

No longer under siege!

Party on Garth!

Look, I left a book on my coffee table and it was still there 10 minutes later.

I added a snack and drink to the table and neither vanished. What a concept.
I even got to sit on the johnny this morning without my pyjama bottoms being wrestled away from me.  

Pete is back in mourning, he misses the little turd, so I suppose when they call for me to pick him up on Thursday, I'll have to go.  I might actually be missing him by then. 

Monday, September 18, 2017

Monday, Monday

9 PM Monday night finds Dax and I at the Auburn University Emergency Clinic. 
Before jumping to the finale, let me tell of how a promising day unraveled.
The day began with Allen clearing limbs, fallen during the storm, from the Farmhouse shrub beds...a day's worth, easy.
Flynn had both welders going building and repairing equipment.

And I was heading out to paint pasture fences.

My morning was punctuated with frustration aimed at the usually dependable small generator that was powering the equipment.
After an hour of trying to coax it to run 5 minutes without stalling, I gave up and we went to get mine.  My Honda is amazing, but weighs a couple hundred pounds.  

At least we were back in business!

And taking no prisoners.  33 gallons of black oil based paint in 7 hours. 

In order not to fight getting my hazmat suit off, I avoiding hydrating responsibly. Thinking as soon as I finished,I could go home and drink a gallon of water. Maybe eat something. Or not. Dax can foil any plans.
He was keeping me company as I was cleaning the paint machine and loading it up with Graco Armor, the recommended storage fluid. Dax's leash caught the bottle, some spilled and he lapped it up before I could stop him. I read the label, curious as to why he'd want to drink it to begin with. Ethylene alcohol. Antifreeze.  Oh dear God.
Quick call to our Dr Brown and she hastened me the vet school tout de suite.

You've never seen anyone wash her face and arms with mineral spirits so fast.
So here I sit at the vet school, pondering if I can play switcheroo with the money I'm supposed to be giving the hospital on Monday for my surgery.

Done. I'll figure it out tomorrow. He is insured because he's obviously inherited Cole's suicidal streak.
They want to keep him 36 hours for treatment. If it were Cole, I'd be sleeping in my car in the parking lot.  Not. I'm going back home tonight, eventually. 
Life, what a ride.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

My Kind of Sunday

Blessings on this Sunday:

Dax lost two teeth.  Now he and Peter are fighting with the same handicaps!
I can't wait for the new front teefs to grow in.

Then he'll look like a proper Alabama hound dog.
More good fortune on a mere little Sunday:

Our resident mechanic came in to run all the equipment through the shop for the weekly tuneups and blade changing that had been omitted this week due to Irma.  Now, we're ready for Monday.  
Sundays are my day to put the pedal to the metal and wrap up jobs. Like building an escape ramp out of our spare horse grave.  (Yes, I like to be prepared for the worst and no, after digging two graves for two large draft horses by hand, I ain't doing that again either).

Now, we don't have to worry about a creature being marooned in a ten foot hole.
We'd gotten more than half a large tree cleared from a driveway.

 And I found a second life for all the log slices.

I hauled to the woods where an old minnow hatchery and well have been found.

I had plans to resurrect the old tin roof over the well, but it will have to wait until winter when the resident cottonmouth has vamoosed.

To reach the spot, the trail I cut crosses a fragile wetland area.  Problem solved:

Up and down a hill umpteen times carrying 50 lb logs, I call that a good day at the gym.

Now, these are my kind of trails!!!  And this was my kind of day.