If you didn't know, horses are very hierarchical creatures. My Angus is herd leader, end of story, no challenges here, he leads them to grazing areas and leads them back every night. They all follow.
Which leaves four wannabe leaders to bicker amongst themselves: Blue, Chief, Jack and Titan, all perceive themselves as Angus's second in command. In displays of power, they sometimes pick on the two horses at the bottom of the totem pole: Oreo and Cody.
Guess who my two sweathearts are: Oreo and Cody. These deep bite marks were the end of the line for me.
That's it, Cody and Oreo need their own sanctuary away from the mob of four.
If you build it they will come.
Roscoe stops by to assess the situation.
Posts set in concrete and fence completed by dusk.
The horses get shuffled around. The Super Seniors (Roscoe and Henry) move into the middle pasture, Oreo and Cody, and Angus' herd bookending them in opposing pastures. Peace should reign eternal.
Or not. Sunday morning brings the result of feral dogs chasing the horses before dawn. Three horses injured. Titan's requiring an emergency visit from Dr. Brown. Dr. Carattini was already on scene.
I ply my craft at bandaging up Cody.
Chief's cut isn't as bad. The focus is on Titan.
6" long laceration, sewn up with three layers of sutures.
The expert seamstress at work.
Nice hem job!!!
My personal touch: a protective cover for the wound. I spread the word in the neighborhood and get a report back that it was a pack of four dogs, now a pack of three thanks to the alerted farmer down the road. I go out looking for them too, just in case I can make it a pack of zero. No luck, but the hike helps me vent my rage. Meanwhile, I count my blessings. A volunteer comes in to fix all the broken fences. And then it dawns on me that things may have been much worse if the horses hadn't been switched pastures last week.
32 year old Henry with his heart murmur and half blind 22 year old Roscoe should've been in the front pasture... where Cody was chased. It wouldn't have been pretty. Can't put into words how much I love these two little old men, but I'm grateful they were spared. 💜
Last Sunday, I felt a little bump on Peter's rump. By Monday morning it seemed slightly bigger, by Tuesday, it was definitely worrisome.
Good thing he was already headed to Auburn Vet School for his regular physiotherapy. Our good friend, Liz, fast tracked him through to get it checked out. The attending vet called to say she suspected mesenchymal sarcoma. We here in the Smith family don't mess about when the word Cancer is casually dropped. I didn't want to wait two weeks until the first oncology opening, I wanted it out now, even if I had to perform home surgery myself! Luckily for Peter, that proved unnecessary. Dr. Brown swooped in to the rescue.
By Thursday afternoon, Peter, who has struggled for two years to lose weight, had lost his pound of flesh.
Nasty booger was sent off to pathology for testing.
17 staples later, Fat Boy was recovering nicely with our own Dr. Carattini watching over him. We are surrounded by love, no other way to put it!
At home, Peter is a splendid patient. Maybe it's because he's too fat to reach his incision site, maybe it's because he's smarter than the average bear, but he hasn't pulled a single staple. Peter's +12 years of age have given him wisdom. I love senior dogs, even when geriatric problems creep up, such as:
I've learned the hard way not to assume these are pieces of bark Micah has foraged from outdoors. Sometimes, Peter gets the poopies at night. He's worth all the extra laundry.
Starting Jan 2020 in business school, aiming to pass my CPA test within 2 years. Always looking for fun or painful ways to challenge myself. I fully expect this one to be in the latter category, but eventually rewarding, eventually.
At least I have my faithful study buddies, always at my feet!
So, in the midst of euthanizing Tommy, an emergency trip to the vet school with horse and losing the only other full time employee for 2 months due to injury, the bastard Murphy and his Laws has been piling it high and deep around here. Bring it on, Sunshine! I will outlast you. So, Chief decided to start colicking Thursday night.
By Friday morning, we knew we were in trouble. We worked with him all day, our Dr. Brown came out twice. Administered a vat of mineral oil via nasal tube, leaving the farm the last time at midnight.
Brock and I kept at him, nursing him, walking him, taking him for trailer rides, until:
The holy grail: poop. After 30 hours without a bowel movement. Horses can't go without 6-8 poops a day, they are beautiful to look at, but on the inside they are a frail network of wonky intestines.
More trailer rides and more doodoo. I buried an ox this week, no frigging way I was burying a horse too. In the mayhem of all this I managed to pick up a companion for Daphne the day after Tommy died.
A client of Dr. B's offered me her pet goat, to keep Daphne from going off feed from grief.
A loaner goat.
The new guy is called Bumble. He's a hoot.
Super personality, Daphne could learn a thing or two...
He's a people person! He's not so sure about the surly bovine pasture mate.
Finally, Daphne accepts his company and all will be right in the world for the next two weeks.
Just a minor detail that Peter cannot go unsupervised in the front yard anymore.
He earned the reputation of Goat Slayer at the Vet School for his berserk display of aggression towards a fellow patient: a pygmy goat.
Seems Bumble is on his menu. Just one more thing to contend with... Not to mention the ridiculous +100'F heat indices we've had and will continue to have through next week. Makes one prone to homicide.
My personal method of conveyance: my 9 seater golf cart, the Executive Cruiser, has been playing games with me. It starts one day and then goes on strike the next. One day, I was tinkering with it for 15 minutes and only realized later that a baby rattlesnake had been underfoot the entire time.
Never moved, just sat there and watched me.
I watched it get escorted away.
My least favorite mode of transport: bicycles let me down this week too. One of my mountain bikes has a blown tire and the one I use every day to exercise the dogs blew a tire going down the trails. Guess which two dogs got way out of their 1/2 mile collar range before I could page them back. I can't run yet, but I can do a mean limping trot. I finally got within range of Dax's collar and he lead Micah back to me. I thought I was going to have a f&%#ing heart attack. Losing both my boys in one day, oh hell no.
I ordered a Garmin GPS 2 dog tracker.
Not being a millenial, it may take me 2 months to figure out to to turn it on!