Facebook is good for something: This morning it reminded me that I found my precious doggie Carlton a year ago today. Time really flies, doesn’t it? Some of you may know this story, but I’ll share it in Carlton’s honor.
I was really missing having a dog to hang out with when I was in Austin, and I wanted to help out a sad dog, so Mandi, Anita, and I started looking around for a small-ish dog who could go back and forth from Austin to the Hermits’ Rest with me.
My experience at Austin Pets Alive was really sad. The only dog that wasn’t a pit mix was scared to death of people.
We kept watching the Cameron dog pound for likely suspects, when three puppies came in. All three were friendly and sweet, but the white one with blue eyes looked to me like he’d stay smaller. I took him out for a walk, and he was SO friendly. Sandra at the pound (now known as A Touch of Love) was sure he’d be a small dog, and I was smitten by his cuddliness.
A couple of folks have asked how Fiona the mini-donkey is doing as she recovers from her two sore feet. Thank you for asking, and she brays her thanks, as well. It may be the cutest bray ever, by the way.
Oh, and I finally figured out how to upload my video of how badly she was limping last weekend.
Anyway, according to Dr. Mandi, she is on the mend. I can’t tell you how glad I am to have a neighbor who used to work on a large horse breeding ranch with so much experience in fixing up foot and leg issues. Mandi said that when she got to working on her, it just all came back to her, and something that might have taken her an hour years ago just took minutes.
I know Fiona appreciated that her doctoring didn’t take too long, though I think she views it as more “special time” with humans.
Mandi thinks the back hoof is just about healed, though she is going to put Betadyne on it one more time. As for the front foot, it’s improving, though Fiona is still limping a little. We still don’t know how she hurt it.
Yesterday, Mandi said that Spice and Apache protected Fiona when the neighbor puppy, Jess, who is a heeler and likes to chase things, tried to mess with her. Fiona managed to kick at her (a good sign), but after that, Spice was not letting that dog anywhere near, and Apache was doing his best angry stallion imitation, with ears pinned back and eyes ablaze (even though he isn’t a stallion).
It made me happy to see how much our tiny herd is bonded. At first the horses really didn’t like Fiona, but now I see them licking her and being sweet. Ahh.
Last week the farrier came, and Sara told us he found an abscess on Fiona the mini-donkey’s right rear hoof. He got as much out as he could, but it was large, and he said we’d need to clean it out and put Betadyne or something like that on her to help it heal.
Sara was able to treat her on Monday, and she said it would be okay to wait to treat her until I got back. Unfortunately, I could not get to her until Friday. At that time she was limping on her front foot as well as the back, and Sara and I cleaned out both of her hooves and medicated them. She was very good, so we were hopeful.
Sara went riding Saturday (yesterday) morning while I was at Earth Day, and said Fiona was still limping, but was easy to medicate.
I headed over to check on Fiona and feed the chickens mid-afternoon. It was going to be a quick visit, so I could go to the grocery store, but I was surprised to find Fiona lying down, and not with the horses. That’s not typical for her. Tyler, who’d been mowing, said she’d been down for over an hour.
So, I started making phone calls. I talked to Sara, who said to try to get her up. Then I called Mandi, because she knows way more about equine issues than I do. Bless her, she came over as fast as she could.
Fair warning: the reason I wrote nothing in any of my blogs yesterday is that even when I was resting I was doing stuff! Since I’m not at the computer yet, I’ll just summarize and write more later.
Friday was spent driving all over the county with Lee and Mandi looking for a good used car for her, and seeing if we could find a replacement for our huge diesel truck that we could actually use around Cameron.
We found that I like a Chevy Traverse and Lee likes Suburbans, which are still too giant for me. Unfortunately Lee couldn’t get the trade-in he wanted on the truck, so we walked away. But al least I realized that a smaller SUV was okay for me and at least some Chevy vehicles aren’t plasticky.
The drive was worth it, though, because the countryside on the back road to Rockdale was gorgeous.
I don’t cry much anymore. I used to cry multiple times a day, but I hadn’t in months, until yesterday. I thought the chickens were acting a bit off, and when I walked into the coop, I saw why.
There lay one of the older black hens, with our dear rooster, Buckbeak, lying at her side. I screamed, “Nooo!” as if that would fix things. It never does.
I was pretty stoic when all the other roosters and so many hens were attacked and killed over the winter. This one was different, since I Buckbeak was one of the oldest chickens in the flock, and I had known him since right after he hatched, around three years ago. He outlived all the other roosters, and was always there, protecting his “ladies.” Or trying to make more chickens with them. Ahem.
Because I don’t take my phone on trail rides (just Sara’s old emergency flip phone) I have no photos. So, enjoy these paintbrushes and cattle while I brag about our horses.
But wait! I have sad calves to share! These little darlings got weaned and wormed today. Much mooing is happening now. Sniff.
On to horses
Today we went on a much longer ride than usual, all the way to the far end of our property. To get there, we had many obstacles to face, and I’m happy to say both Apache and Spice were very brave. Continue reading “Leading Horses to Water”
I did so much over the weekend that I never got time to sit down, much less write about what I was doing!
A lot of my stuff was work-related, so I wrote about that over on the other blog. Much paint selecting, light fixture choosing, office rearranging and such. I’m actually quite surprised at how little my arms hurt after wrangling giant tables.
Luckily, there was also some time to check out what’s blooming and flying overhead. I think the black willow flowers are really pretty, like fuzzy caterpillars.
And all over town, as I was driving between projects, I enjoyed hearing the gurgling sounds of the black-bellied whistling ducks as they flew over.
I was not at all upset to need to take our helper, Kim, home, because I knew I’d get closer looks at the ducks. They really have day-glo beaks and feet! I love their visits, especially when I can spot them in trees.
The cedar waxwings are still around, too, and their little chirps often surrounded me. Kim had to be very patient when I took a bunch of pictures. I had to!
Saturday night we spent a bit of time with this fellow. He’d spent two weeks in the rye field across the road. He finally figured out there is a big gap in the fencing and took a stroll. After much discussion it was determined he didn’t belong to any neighbors and got taken to a sale barn where they’ll try to find his owner. You’d think someone would miss a Charolais bull this handsome.
My final weekend fun was getting the poor horses all sweaty. We went all over the ranch and did brave things. Fiona kept dawdling, so Sara and Spice kept herding her. Once we just waited in the cool shade of a wooded area. When Fiona finally made it, we looked down to see the grass higher than her belly. She looked like she was a toy in an Easter basket. Wish I’d had my phone!
Happy St. Patrick’s Day, the day when those of us with Irish ancestors (or Irish children or both) celebrate their heritage. This day always coincides with the part of the Texas spring when it’s so green that it almost hurts your eyes.
Each year I try to burn the spring green into my brain, to carry me through parched brown summers.
So, yesterday, when the late afternoon light was especially suited to enhancing the green of spring, I took many photos. Some were interesting. Others breathtaking. I hope you enjoy the Hermits’ Rest at its greenest.
The Hermits Creeklet with budding willows and dewberries.
Getting in touch with your emotional truth, by processing feelings to improve the human condition in the 21st century. Living out loud by my motto,"Triumphing over Trauma" 🌈
In light and in shadow, always with ❤