Friday, February 4, 2011

A Cold, Wet, Busy Day

Good evening all.  Yes, once again, I know what the schedule looks like tomorrow. So, I'm trying to get ahead by doing the blog now.

As I told you earlier, we were expecting a cold rainy day on the farm and we were not disappointed.  I don't think it got above 40 degrees today and with rain...BRRRR...chilly!  I absolutely love my flannel lined Carhartts and muck boots in this kind of weather!  Dad's old light weight cashmere sweater under a nylon popover sure is nice, too!  Thanks, Dad!

Ruthie, Coffee, Killer and I were ready to go Doc's office as soon as everyone was fed this morning.  We decided to do our loading up dance in the barn since it was raining so hard. The barn is 120 ft long by 40 ft wide, so there's plenty of room for the choreographed chaos!  First, the dogs have to put on their harnesses so they can be seat belted in.  Since they only leave the farm once a year to go to the vet, they always know something's up when those harnesses come out!  We can get one harnessed just fine, but whoever's second is a little more wary.  No matter, they are very well behaved dogs and it gets done easily.

First into the F-150 is Killer.  He gets to sit in the middle.  Buckle him up, well today we had to dry him off first, then buckle up.  Then, in goes Ruthie.  Pee pad on Ruthie's lap in case Coffee has an accident, dog towel on top to keep Ruthie as dry as possible, up goes a wet Coffee into her lap.  Here's the funny move: the seat belt gets run through Coffee's harness as it's designed to do, and then into the buckle thus buckling Ruthie and Coffee together in the same seat belt.  Getting Coffee to hold still for this and Killer not to intervene too much is the really funny part of this "dance." Squirm, squirm, squirm, Killer move your nose, Coffee hold still.  That's kind'a how it goes.

It's a good thing Ruthie really loves them because today they not only smelled like dogs who like to investigate horse poop, but they smelled like wet dogs who investigate horse poop.  Pew-wee!  And, with the cold rain, we couldn't roll down the windows in the truck on the long trip to give our noses a little relief from the aroma.  Nice scent guys, really, nice.  Thanks.  It's puppy love at it's finest.

All is fine all the way to Doc's office.  Everyone behaves for their annual exam and shots--well, Coffee took some exception to her shots but quickly pulled it back together.  We get Sinatra from what turns out to be having four teeth pulled plus his ultrasound, pay out, and go through the load-up dance all over again in the parking lot in the rain, except this time we added Sinatra and his carrier to the mix.

The carrier is larger than I anticipated and Ruthie was a sport about sitting so cramped with it under her feet.  Sinatra was not a sport and growled, yowled, and generally made his displeasure known all the way home.  Sorry Sinatra, First Class next time, buddy, I promise.  "Dogs on the seat and me under feet!  The injustice of it all!  And, damn, they smell really funky! Remind me never to get close to them again. Harrumph" he said.

Dash back to the farm. I do payroll. We're just ready to get on with lunch when I notice Killer looks different.  Killer suddenly looks really different.  Killer has a budding balloon head!  Oh, no, negative vaccine reaction.  In my 20+ years of having animals of my own, I've never had one get a negative reaction but have been told enough to know what it looks like.

So, call Doc's office to say we're on the way.  Load-up just me and Killer, yes harness and all-- we don't need to get killed in an accident and risk anaphalactic shock--and head across the universe to Doc's office at 75-80 mph.  I hoped all the way I didn't get stopped for speeding because the patrolman would just have to come with me and ticket me there.  I wasn't stopping longer than to show him Killer's ever expanding face.  But, Killer's guardian angel must have been holding all of the authorities at bay because no one was the wiser.

By the time we arrived, Killer's eyes were swollen shut.  As soon as we crossed the threshold of the office, Killer was quickly rushed back to the treatment area while I tried to seem calm, cool, and collected in the lobby.  First of all, I'm curious and I like to learn about animal health, so I'm usually right in there looking over my vet's shoulder.  Second, since my brother had severe allergies as a child, we were all schooled in anaphalactic shock and carried emergency epi-pens.  Anaphalactic shock causes the airway to swell shut at a pretty rapid rate and thus can cause death.  So, you see why I was merely pretending to be calm.

Soon enough, one of the staff came out to tell me Killer had been injected and was doing fine.  His throat was not swelling. Whew! Relief.  Ok, now real calm sets in.  Doc came out a little later and explained it was the "good kind of negative reaction" because only Killer's face was swelling.  Ok, good again.  What happens with vaccines next year? I don't know yet.  I was just happy this was handled.

Ok, load back up in the truck and drive back across the universe to the farm again, but run through a drive-thru for a sandwich.  Killer is so worn out from the drama, he doesn't even bother to sniff my sandwich.  What a good boy, balloon head and all!  At least I can see his eyes now.

Geez, it makes me tired just to tell you all about the drama.  Needless to say, while I was waiting for Killer to be treated, I called and canceled one lesson and Cowgirl Pinkie's mom called me and canceled the other.  I knew I'd be too wiped-out even for indoor barn lessons when the drama was over.  It's ok, though, both kids are coming in tomorrow anyway.  We'll play with the horses when they are dry.  The lesson horses are inside tonight doing their part drying off to be ready for tomorrow.

The rest of our day was fortunately uneventful.  I introduced all of the dogs to Phil and no one took a bite of him.  Phil, Dod, and Rose worked on some projects in the barn that needed doing and all was right with the world for a few hours.  (Ruthie was done for the day just before the Killer Turns Balloon Head Event started, so she missed that one.) There was no whining. There was no drama. It was a good afternoon.

Now, all is quiet but still cold and wet on the farm tonight.  Killer is still a little swollen around the muzzle and jowls which Doc assures me will be gone by morning.  No one made fun of him, not even Coffee who was afraid she was next.  She said, "Well, now you understand why I took exception to him giving me shots!  Look what happened to Killer!"  Oh, Coffee, you're ok and Killer's ok, too.  Spot looked Killer over and said,"Well, your face looks kind'a like Angelina Jolie's lips, little buddy. But, at least your look will fade overnight.  I think her lips are stuck that way."  All three dogs are now curled up in my study in front of the heater/fake flaming stove.  Killer is even snoring.  All is right in his world and mine now.

As to what happened yesterday...someone who read the blog asked me if my gas pack/furnace/sexism issue got solved.  Kind'a but not really.  Looks like there'll be a Part Two.  Bart handled it though and it was a more respectful service guy, so there was not as much testosterone in the room as I'd anticipated.  I didn't need my HAZMAT suit to protect me from the testosterone fumes.  Good ol' Bart defusing that potential bomb--gotta love him, at least I do!  Thanks for asking my faithful readers.

It's time for a glass of wine and soon a hot shower and an early bedtime.  Tomorrow is full of wonderful lesson kids with Cowgirl Slim, Dod, and Phil on deck to help.  It should be a good day...if it ever stops raining!  Good night. Sleep tight.  May your dreams be filled with healthy farm animals and a barn that doesn't need painting.  Thank you for reading.

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