Saturday December 29 2007
Strangely enough, the dogs weren't barking, but the horses were on high alert. All pointed up canyon, all heads high and ears pricked sharply forward. A cougar perhaps??
I grabbed my binoculars and searched from the porch. I heard a shot up-canyon - oh, hunters. But that wasn't it; the horses did look that way also, but it was something else more to the east that had their complete attention.
Finally, through the trees, climbing the southeast ridge - 2 cowboys herding two late winter strays. Carol had seen the two cows up the canyon yesterday and called the local rancher. The cowboys had ridden out with a couple of cow dogs, found the cows, and were now heading down toward Oreana in tow of their probably hungry and thirsty strays.
I ran for the camera - first focused it on the horses who were still riveted on the western scene on the hillside, then on the procession.
Princess was most excited, running around then stopping to stare, her long neck stretched like a giraffe and eyes wide. Mac and Finneas watched with interest, but Diego, he knew what cows were. Not so excited by them after his close encounter a few weeks ago. Old hat to him now.
Saturday, December 29, 2007
Saturday December 29 2007
Posted by Merri at 10:22 PM
Thursday, December 27, 2007
Thursday December 27 2007
That's all it took for Dudley to escape from his new pen this morning when I put him in with Quickie.
It was, however, not his fault, it was the fault of the Skibunnies.
For three minutes he was sniffing, trotting, bucking, rolling, romping around his new, bigger, wood-railed pen (out of which he escaped twice the first 24 hours after he arrived a few months ago) now reinforced with an inner electric fence.
Minute four he turned on the turbos, making a sprint across the pen, something he hadn't been able to do for months in his smaller pen. Coming to the fence (about the same spot he'd broken through before), he put on the brakes. But he forgot to factor in the ice-and-physics calculations that affect the stopping time in two inches of snow when the Skibunnies slip skis on your feet when you're not looking. Or - maybe he did! You never know with Dudley. He always has the most innocent look in his eyes, even as he's trying to unlock his gate or bulldoze down a fence rail, and looking right at you while he's doing it!
He stopped moving, 4 legs outstretched in front of him, which on dirt would have skidded him to a stop; but his body, a big freight train (though now a hundred pounds lighter!!), kept glissading on top of the snow, as if he had skis on. He slid right through the electric tape and 2-rail fence, popping the rails off as if they were matchsticks, and spun a donut 180 - rather artfully, I might add - coming to a stop facing me, (with my mouth hanging open and his eyes really wide), with the electric fence tape wrapped around his head. He ducked his head, the tape came off, and - wheee! Off he wheeled on a good gallop that he hasn't had for several months in the big pasture.
I let him go have his fun - couldn't have caught him anyway for a while, and ran to put the other 2 rails back up to keep Quickie in the pen and grab the electric tape out of her way. Dudley had a great old time, running around all over the place, dashing by his smaller pen and tossing his head up at it in disdain, kicking up snowballs, and romping around when the other horses joined him. He then took to exploring everything he'd seen over his fence for months. I left him out there while I repaired the fence, because he didn't go directly to the hay pile.
Since he's lost so much weight - he has defined hipbones now! - I let him graze a while at the hay pile before catching him and bringing him back into his big pen with Quickie.
I'd chalked up this new record four-minute escape to an accident, but, come to think of it - maybe Dudley DID know what he was doing when he skied through the fence. The more escape stories I hear about Dudley from when he was younger, (and he's escaped 4 times in the last 2 months with me now), the more it makes me wonder. I wonder what tomorrow will bring from the equine Houdini?
Posted by Merri at 10:58 PM
December 26 2007
It's difficult to peel myself away from 'home' here in Idaho, because I worry about the horses when I leave, even though for this short trip they would be in the competent hands of neighbors who'd come feed and check on them twice a day. Finneas is recovering from a near-leg-ripping-off injury, and dieting Dudley is in the middle of dismantling and redecorating and escaping from his pen, not to mention the other 4 horses roaming around looking for barbed wire fences and GOK what else to get into. What might happen without me hovering over them!? And oh, the dogs! Their world comes to an end if they don't get out for their daily Walk - God forbid they'd go on their own romp in thousands of miles of acres to play in, without me. The dogs probably would not even leave the porch while I was gone!
But I'm glad I got talked into leaving Idaho 'home' for Christmas and going Home. Which is Seattle, though I've rarely spent much time there of late.
In Seattle I did the family holiday tradition things: had a great time with family (as did the Raven), had a glimpse of civilization (shopping at a mall 2 days before Christmas), ate the best Thai food in the US (Thai Tom, a little hole in the wall in the U-District), watched the Sound of Music, got a little Christmas Day snowstorm, and went to a concert with, and hung out with, my 4-time Grammy-winning friends, the Blind Boys of Alabama. Really, they are Grammy winners, and really, I am lucky to be their friends!
And what do you know, while I was gone from Idaho, life went on: more snow fell, Finneas' leg continued to heal, Dudley took a break from redecorating, nobody escaped or got hurt. The neighbors kept things running smoothly, so I didn't have to spend all that time worrying about the horses after all. With them getting their meals twice a day as usual, I wonder if they even noticed I was gone.
Posted by Merri at 9:42 AM
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Thursday December 20 2007
To all of you out there who were calling me Fat, Chunky Monkey, Buffalo, (DIEGO!), all I have to say is just look at me now!
I am slimming down so much M can now make out where I was hiding my hip bones! My neck crest is shrinking and I don't look like so much like a Percheron stallion or a big fuzzy triple marshmallow. And anyway, I was not Fat, I am just Big Boned. Well OK, I did have SOME extra padding all over.
It's been a lot of painful sacrifice, let me tell you. I am stuck in a pen, which is NOT something I would recommend for anybody. I only get fed twice a day because I am on a diet, which is something else I would not recommend. I have been so hungry at times I could explode. I get a lot of flexercise right before my two (measly) meals a day, because I get so hungry and mad and excited and impatient as soon as I see M coming, that I run around and back and forth in my pen and I buck and crowhop and leap and rear and spin and run some more! And since I have lost weight, I can jump pretty high now, without all that bulk to heft in the air. I also learned from my mama Quickie to throw my head in a big circle. It gives my crest a specialized workout, so it's trimming down, not to mention I look pretty handsome when I do it because it tosses my mane and forelock in the air which then falls carelessly over my eyes.
Diego had been coming up to my fence and calling me a Buffalo, and teasing me about him being able to eat at the hay bales all day and night. Well, I've noticed that his little belly is getting to be pretty big around while mine is shrinking! When I am Slim and Cute and I get let out of my pen I am going to chase that Diego down and sit on him! Even when I'm Slim and Cute I will still be bigger than him, but that's just because I am Big Boned.
Sometimes I have someone in the pen with me to keep me company, or, like now, Finneas is penned up next door because the big Dork got his leg caught in a fence while squealing with the ladies next door, and he has to heal for a while. So misery loves company.
But even with company I really get bored in my pen, especially after I finish my food and have nothing at all to eat. I have some toys - M gave me Diego's necklace, which I've pretty much flattened, and she gave me a cone to play with.
But my favorite toy is the pen itself. I am studying up on how to break out again. I've already escaped confinement 3 times. The first time I was in a bigger pen and I led Princess on an escape twice in the first 24 hours after I got here in November. Once I shoved open a gate, and the next time I just pushed a board off the fence by leaning on it, and we just hopped out. I got out of another gate in this smaller pen by shoving it open. M couldn't figure out how on earth I did it, she said it would have taken a bulldozer to get it open. Yea - a bulldozer or a Buffalo! Then there's one gate to my pen that M had to latch, then tie triple to make sure I won't get out. Well, I can stick my head through the gate, and I work on trying to get those knots out. I'll get them one of these days.
I've also started working on dismantling the wood rails on one side of the pen. I was pushing the upper rails off, and M would have to hammer and tie them back on. Well, now I pull the bottom poles off and eat them. I pulled two rails off today, and started shredding one to pieces and eating the splintered wood.
M wasn't too happy with that and so she brought me another cone to play with. I humored her and messed with it a while, but I was waiting for her to go somewhere else so I could go back to working on eating the fence down.
Sometimes I am sad because my diet is SO hard and I am SO bored, and I know M feels guilty, so sometimes I work it with the sensitive look, blinking my big brown eyes and looking soulfully sad. Sometimes she caves and give me a little more food. Sometimes she comes in and spends time with me, brushing me and giving me lots of hugs. She tells me I'm a Whole Lotta Horse to Love, and she calls me handsome Studley instead of Dudley. It almost makes being stuck in this pen on a diet worth it.
Posted by Merri at 10:17 AM
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
December 19 2007
No, it's not me, but today's history lesson looks back at someone who, a hundred years ago, was a day's endurance ride away from here.
The "Horse Queen of Idaho" was Kittie Wilkins, born in Oregon in 1857, lived in Oregon, Washington and California before coming to Owyhee County in her 20's. She was partners with her father and brothers in the ranching business, eventually taking over the horse business from her father. Theirs was one of the largest horse ranches in the world at the time, the Wilkins Horse Co, on a ranch near Mountain Home in the Bruneau Valley.
Kittie was known as an excellent horsewoman (this was sidesaddle back then, mind you), riding the range with her buckaroos, helping during the roundups, and breaking horses.
The horses they raised were a mix of Morgans, Hambletonians, "Black Hawks," French draft horses (including Percherons), and mustangs. They were sold all over the country, with Kittie eventually taking over all the sales. Every year she'd load up hundreds at a time onto freight trains with a few hands, and she'd conduct all the sales and even ride the horses for demonstration in her stylish riding clothes.
Her horses sold to farms and ranches and the US Cavalry; some ended up in Buffalo Bill's wild west shows.
Her opinions on horse slaughter: "The killing of horses for food, which has lately been introduced in this country and in some of the foreign countries, is an enterprise that I cannot too severely condemn. No lover of the most beautiful animal ever created will ever submit to having him killed and eaten. I would almost feel like a cannibal should I attempt it."
Kittie's father died in 1904, leaving the running of the ranch to Kittie and her mother. When kittie's ma died in 1917, Kittie was 60, and apparently lost interest in her horses and ranching, as the car came into being, and horses weren't worth much anymore. Herds of horses were shipped off for chicken feed and rustlers made off with many others.
The "Horse Queen of Idaho" died of a heart attack in 1936 at 79, her obituary reading, "famous Idaho stock grower who once had a herd of 4000 Broncs."
The vacancy for new Horse Queen is still open. I'd apply, but I'm having a hard time keeping up with just 6 horses, and none of them buck.
Posted by Merri at 9:45 AM
Saturday, December 15, 2007
Friday December 14 2007
The first time I rode in the snow was not by choice. I was 12 miles back in the Sierra Nevada backcountry with a Wilderness Ranger. We'd gone in on horseback leading one pack horse to pack up and winterize and close Piute cabin for the winter. We were a day late in our mission. An early storm hit the night before we left, and we woke up to over a foot of snow. Everything pristine, untouched, silent, beautiful, cold - the way a wilderness should be in the winter.
But the trail was gone. We'd have to cross rivers, ride on switchback steps, ride right past ponds, ankle-turning rocky draws, downed trees, ride on cliffs above a river - and we couldn't see the trail. Margaret had been out this way more than I had - I sure didn't know exactly how to get out of here - but everything was under snow, and everything looks different under snow. Who could tell where the trail went? We did have gear if we got lost, but we didn't want to think about that.
Didn't matter anyway. The horses knew exactly where to go. They'd been in and out of here to this cabin more than both of us humans put together, and most horses seem to have a compass in their heads, especially headed for home. When we got going, sometimes Margaret and I could distinguish just the very slightest indent in the snow where the trail was, if we looked very closely. But we didn't have to. The horses never put a foot wrong, no matter which way the trail twisted, or what they had to step over, and 4 hours later, we were at our trailer, a bit frozen, a bit sad to leave the quiet white magic wilderness, and very proud of our excellent horses.
Today's Owyhee ride with Carol was a pleasure ride in the snow. It was cold, sunny, crisp, dry, beautiful. The trails were obvious, the snow wasn't too deep, it was dry enough that it didn't ball up in the horses' feet, and it hadn't thawed-frozen enough to have treacherous ice underfoot. The horses seemed to somewhat enjoy the outing, though Mac had some mighty suspicions about some things, especially the snow-covered sage and rabbit brush.
Mac's not too sure about sagebrush and rabbit brush anyway, being from grassland South Dakota (not a bush in sight), but the snow really makes everything look different. White droopy blankets harboring multitudinous little gray skeleton fingers that might very well be parts of horse-eating creatures ready to leap out and grab a horse's feet. August had some misgivings himself of artistic wind-drifted snow across the trail.
Canyons and washes and hills and folds can be deceiving in the desert, and the snow really does drop a layer of disguise on everything. Heading back toward home, Carol and I thought we had ended up in a different wash than we wanted. Not until we crossed our tracks did we see we were indeed in the same wash.
The snow has stuck around for over a week now. If it stays like this all winter, I won't whimper too much.
Posted by Merri at 5:18 PM
Friday December 14 2007
After weeks of boredom without Jose, something finally happened!
There was this, this... little black Thing hanging out next door with Carol's mares this morning, making these real funny sounds, getting the mares all excited. It sure wasn't a horse or a dog, but kind of in between-size. Then this little black Thing gets through the fence into OUR pasture across the creek, and then this human was walking around out there, and then the dogs were running out there making a big commotion, and then M went out to join the human and dogs, and then the Thing headed up the other side of the creek, and right then a Cooper's hawk flew overhead, and Hoss the Raven was in a tree cawing, commenting on everything going on - well, I got all excited!
Mac was too! We ran around and around in the snow and kept our eyes glued on the little black moaning Thing as it moved through the snow and sagebrush. Mac was excited because he said it was a Cow, and he's a Cow Horse. Princess was slightly interested, but Quickie, she just kept eating at the hay bale.
M came out to where we were running around, and was standing there when this black moo-ing Cow Thing came back our way. M told me it was a Hamburger and to let him come up and eat with us because he was a lonely baby. No way Jose was I letting that thing eat anything with me! M wouldn't let the dogs chase it but I thought maybe the dogs had the better idea.
It made me nervous just looking at it. I mean - what the heck was this Cow Hamburger? Never seen anything like it. It was little but chunky, with a dewlap thingy that looked like fingers on his neck, and sideways flopping ears - and the noise that came out of that mouth! Lordy he let out the loudest bellerin' belly-achin' blasts!
Part of me wanted to go up and touch the Cow Thing - it was like a magnet, pulling me towards it; I'd creep closer, one hesitant step at a time, but when I'd get within 30 feet of it, the Hamburger would turn his head and his big ears would flop and his dewlap thingy under his neck would flap - AHH! I'd get spooked and jump away and run in more circles. I kept turning back to look and snort at it. I didn't know if it was going to chase me or jump up in the air or what.
Mac was excited too but in a different way. He'd run around with me some and then he'd stand there broadside to the cow, keeping his eye on it. He said he was Riding Herd, it used to be his job. Not me, I wasn't going to stand there with only one eye on it! I was keeping my two eyes focused right on it, except when I was running away from it!
Princess came up too to check out the Hamburger. She wasn't scared, but I got more scared when she got too close! I was snorting the OhMiGodLookOut alarm as loud as I could. What if it attacked her!? Quickie just kept eating at the hay bale and rolling her eyes at us. "It's a COW you guys!"
Then Mac and Princess went back to the hay bale to eat with Quickie, and me, well, I wasn't going to stay too close to that Hamburger by myself, so I hung with my horses, but I stayed on alert! And then the Hamburger went to a pile of straw near us and started eating from it - I couldn't believe it was eating our food!
Princess didn't like that either (although we really don't eat the straw), so she went and chased the Hamburger away. I had to go check out its tracks and sniff them, and sniff and taste where it had been eating. It smelled funny in the straw where the Hamburger stuck his nose and was slobbering, but the straw still tasted like straw - not so tasty. That must have been one hungry Hamburger.
Finally the novelty wore off, and it actually got rather annoying. That Hamburger would not stop bawling for its mother. It hurt my ears. I wonder why it left its mother in the first place and why it ended up here. Quickie said the cows come down from the mountains in September, so why this one was here now in the snow by himself, nobody could figure out.
Tomorrow some Cowboys are supposed to come rope and wrangle the Hamburger. Maybe that means they will take it home to its mother so it won't be all lonely and bellow anymore.
Posted by Merri at 8:43 AM
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Monday December 10 2007
The weather forecast on a certain website for this corner of Owyhee County in Idaho is a source of never-ending amusement for me. It will predict "60% chance of rain/snow" and it will be sunny, not a cloud in the sky. It will predict 80% chance of rain/snow" and it will be cloudy, but never rain in this little drainage - a little rain shadow of the Owyhee Mountains. It will predict "sunny" while it's raining. It will say "blustery" and it will be still as the eye of a hurricane. Only if it says 100% chance of rain/snow, might it really precipitate here. The biggest chuckle is how the forecast changes after the fact.
To really determine the weather, I just look out the window, at the mountains to the southwest, or the horses. The mountains will tell you everything. If there's a 'tablecloth' hanging over them, buckle things down because it's going to get windy. If I can't see the mountains at all, it will get wet here. If there's low clouds and the mountains are getting rain or snow, but I can see them, it probably won't do anything here. Or, the horses will tell me what it's going to do. If they are up close to the house, huddled together in a little dip behind some sagebrush, all facing the same direction, it's going to get wet and breezy. If the horses are in the open, broadsides to the sun in the mornings, it's cold but it's going to be sunny for a while.
This morning was overcast, "Sunny" was the internet forecast. I couldn't see the mountains. The horses were in the dip with butts to the northwest. It was definitely going to snow. It started snowing, hard. The forecast changed to "40% chance of snow." The snowstorm passed in an hour, and cleared to a bright sunny sky, the white mountains appeared and the horses went back to eating at the hay bales. The forecast subsequently changed back to "Sunny" for the next few days.
The current forecast? I say: sunny and cold and beautiful the next few days: low teens at night, 20's during the day. And if I'm lucky, the snow will melt slowly and 'dry-ly' - so my two penned horses (the Chubby Boy and the Model Patient - leg is finally looking better) won't be drowning in mud.
The internet forecast agrees with me.
Posted by Merri at 2:22 PM
Saturday, December 8, 2007
Saturday December 8 2007
There's a different kind of silence at night when it's snowing. Everything is quiet, but it's like a padded quiet. That's what it sounded like or didn't sound like last night, and I woke up to 4"+ of snow on the ground! And still the same muffled quiet as the flakes kept floating down.
The horses are soaked, but now it's only Mac shivering (still) and Fat Dudley (!). Dudley has actually lost at least 50 pounds in the last month or two (!), so I guess he doesn't have that extra insulating layer on! I gave him plenty of hay, and took Mac out to give him a bucket of oats.
Now that the rain and blowing wet snow has stopped, Diego appears to be not bothered by the snow. He's walking on high heels - the snow balls up in his shoes, and white booties are covering his hooves as if he stepped into white sneakers. He's checking out things buried in snow - the mounting block, a buried cone, he's removing spots of snow from the fence rails, and he's managed to get a little pile of snow on one of his ears. He is still not happy though - stands off by himself at times. I know he'd be having such fun with Jose, who'd be kicking snowballs at everybody.
The wet does wreak havoc on Finneas' leg wound. The bandage gets soaked, and it slips down his leg, so the medicated pad no longer covers the wound, but wet cotton dressing does. When that happens he walks like it hurts, and when I then change the bandage and clean the wound, he shakes like an earthquake because it must hurt. He's not shivering from the cold, because as soon as I finish the bandaging, the shaking quits. It's not healing as well as it should be - not drying up, so having a wet bandage is definitely not helping.
Took the dogs out hiking this morning in the falling snow, up to the relay tower to try and see why our internet isn't working. Normally I march right up the hills, but this morning I was plowing through 4-6 inches of snow, sometimes a foot of it up on the ridge where the wind piled it up. Quincy and I were huffing and puffing, trudging through the snow, while Austin ran zig zags in front of us and Girlie leaped like a gazelle over the snow-covered sagebrush in big circles around us. Again that blanketed stillness all around, and everything so white that your eyes play tricks on you, the white close horizon blending into the thick white low clouds that covered everything.
Had to take another walk in the late afternoon when the heavy clouds lifted to reveal the lower part of the Owyhee mountains, dumped on for 2 days now with snow. Parts of the creek were covered in ice and snow, some places were free of ice. Two ravens rawked in the snow-covered tree branches, and a Cooper's hawk watched us from the creek. The horses dozed together, blending with the beauty of the snow-covered evening, silent and still.
Posted by Merri at 9:35 PM
Friday December 7 2007
Could it get any worse here without Jose? Yes, it could, and it did.
It started raining last night and it turned into snow today, and it just won't stop!
Being all wet was bad enough; M said I looked like a wet chicken. I didn't know exactly how to take that. Am I still cute if I look like a drowned bird?
The 4 of us horse creatures spent some time under the roof of the barn out of the rain, but when we got hungry we went to our hay bales in the rain. We were wet anyway, so it didn't really matter. Dudley in the Fat Pen and Finny in the Nurse Pen are just stuck in the rain with no roof. However, they are both insulated enough (especially that Buffalo Dudley) that they don't get as cold. Quickie and Princess have thick coats, so they don't mind being wet so much. I don't have a real thick fuzzy coat, and Mac is worse than me, so we feel the cold more. Mac is from Nebraska, where he says they have wicked cold snowstorms and windstorms, don't you think he'd know to grow a thicker winter coat than what he's got?
If the 16 hours of rain wasn't enough, then it started snowing and the wind blowing in the afternoon. Princess and Quickie were just grazing like it was another sunny Owyhee day, but Mac was hunched over with his butt to the wind. Me - I didn't like it. I didn't know what to do!
M came out to take pictures, and I let her know my opinion of being wet and cold with the wind blowing your tail between your legs. Snowflakes stung my eyeballs and the cold wind goosed my wet flanks. I was quite annoyed! Plus the ground is all wet and gushy-muddy and slick. I trotted off to chase the dog, bolted and slipped around the paddock, tossed my head up in the air, pinned my ears at the drops running off my forelock into my face; I charged up to M and tried to crawl into her coat with her, and when I wouldn't fit, I nipped at her. I wanted her to make the cold snow stop!
I know if Jose was here we'd be having all kinds of fun with the snowflakes, but Jose is not here. I bet he is in the sunshine in Arizona, and I'm wet and cold and lonely here. It's just not fair.
Posted by Merri at 1:18 PM
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
Wednesday December 5 2007
A neighbor down the creek has a number of dogs, 3 of them big and white and fast.
Fortunately, they are friendly. But sometimes a little too friendly. Anytime you pass by or near their house, they come out to bark a greeting. If you're driving, a couple of the big ones will race you down the dirt road a mile or two - picture a big white polar bear loping effortlessly beside you. I've gotten up to over 30 mph, and one dog was still happily bounding beside me. I'd goose the gas pedal to see how fast the dog would go, and the dog would goose his gas pedal to see how fast I would go.
When you walk by on foot or ride by on horses, they come out to follow you, sometimes for a ways. They don't really bother the horses, and you could say it's good training, getting horses used to dogs following behind and running around them. We tell the dogs sternly to go home, and they wag their tails, smile, and follow us. Most of the time you hear them coming. But sometimes they spring up over a hill, and sometimes they lay in wait for you to return.
That happened today: and one of us came off. As we went out on the ride, the polar bears barked from far away and ran across the sagebrush valley and up the hill to greet us. They followed us a ways along the trail before dropping back. They apparently waited there for us to return. (Had we known, we would have taken NoDog Trail back). We saw the one dog waiting innocently for us just on top of a hill behind a sagebrush. I don't know if the first horse saw him or not, but the dog bounded up from his perch - and when this one dog bounds, he's like a gazelle. The horse gave a big spook, the rider couldn't stay on. The other 2 big polar bears came up to see what all the commotion was all about; the other 2 horses panicked but kept their riders; the loose horse ran off a ways before he stopped. The rider was able to fetch the horse, and all the while, the 3 polar bears sat watching on top of the hill, like, "What's going on? What are you guys doing? Come on, let's continue down the trail!"
Nobody hurt, we remounted, and continued on the trail. Two of the polar bears followed behind my horse, who was last. Mac wasn't spooking from the dogs, but he didn't enjoy being tailed and kicked when they got too close. I think we'll be sticking to NoDog Trail from now on - just don't need the scare.
And this reminded me of a Cujo Encounter I had a few years ago in Ridgecrest. Five us were out riding in the mountain foothills. Out of nowhere, a pitbull came tearing at us, snarling, growling, barking, in attack mode. The horses remained remarkably calm despite, especially Holly, even though the dog was lunging at her back feet. Holly was being polite, she didn't want to kick the dog, and instead sort of danced with her back feet and tried to keep pivoting away from the fangs.
The five us were yelling at the dog, the dog was in a barking snarling delirium, going for the kill. Jackie said "Maybe I better get off," and we yelled "NO!" for fear the dog would attack her. The horses were now getting anxious, some spinning to face the dog, Holly still trying to dance politely out of the way; we were trying to stay in our saddles and yelling at the dog trying to call it off, when suddenly a truck drove up and a guy jumped out.
"PEBBLES!" He screamed. (Pebbles? How about Cujo??!!) The dog was now insane, frothing at the mouth, diving in at Holly's back legs, frenzied barking, mind gone; the man was screaming at his dog, we were screaming at the man to get his dog. The man leaped at his dog, the dog evaded him and lunged at a horse. The barking and lunging and screaming went on until the guy once again launched his body at his dog and grabbed her by the collar. He could barely hold onto her, Pebbles having lost her mind and still barking frenziedly and diving toward us. He wrestled the struggling rabid dog away and into his truck, and we kept yelling after the guy, "You'd better get rid of that F*$%ING DOG before she kills somebody!"
I wonder if he did, or if she has by now.
Posted by Merri at 7:27 PM
Wednesday December 5 2007
it has been heartwrenchingly hard for me to enjoy life after hearing how the snake wire attacked you. I am so thankful that M is taking such good care of you as I would, knowing she is not quite as convinced as I am that you are such a noble steed.
ONe would only have to mount you by swinging their leg up on you bareback, and then proceed to claw and pull at your mane taking clumps out along the way, jabbing heels into your side as you finally reach the destination of sitting firmly on your back, and all the while your ears stay forward during that painfully awkward moment when I am not quite on and not quite off. you don't even laugh. But M will never try this with you as she said she cannot even jump a few inches, and i can jump at least six so I can get on top of your back with out a saddle and ride you around!!
Anyways I am in the Solomon Islands and still thinking of you and I just read how you are a model patient! Good boy, and i am so glad M is giving you lots of treaties. Don't give her too many kisses or i will get jealous!
Also just want to let you know i saved your website on the computer over here where I am staying. You heal up and be a good Finneas cause we have some 50's to do,
Posted by Merri at 1:33 PM
Sunday, December 2, 2007
Sunday December 2 2007
I am not particularly enjoying my confinement, nor do I quite understand it. So what if I have a big bandage on my back leg? I feel fine. And I look pretty macho and tough with it, and I am tough, after surviving my Big Accident and giving M a heart attack and all. As CEO of the herd, I don't see why I can't be out running with them and commanding them with a bandage on.
Meanwhile, my mare Quickie also cut her leg so she's temporarily in the Fat Pen with Dudley next door, which is nice, but that means Mac is running around with Diego and my other mare Princess, so I'm a little jealous. At least they got banned from running all the way up the canyon, and they don't wander so far away for so long, but I'm still not out there with them. If they hadn't run off and left me the other day while I was out riding, I wouldn't have gotten myself into trouble with the neighbor herd across the fence and I wouldn't be in this predicament!
Mac is getting a bit cheeky, flaunting his freedom with my Other Woman Princess, and I've noticed he's being somewhat obnoxious as a riding horse (not like me, oh no, I would never be like that!). I need to be out there to take him down a notch or two!
But M said I will be stuck in here for weeks! That prospect is rather unbelievable, and daunting.
So, since I'm stuck in this little pen for a while, I've decided to milk it for all it's worth.
If it's cold and I shiver, I manage to look miserable, so I get a blanket put on me (and extra hay, if I can look REALLY wretched). It is fine artistry to master looking wretched and yet masculine at the same time, but I am perfecting that skill.
I gaze longingly out of my pen to elicit sympathy, and I paw at my door, begging to be let out. M almost caves. But she won't let me out, so then I beg for a carrot, and manage to look cute doing it. I always get one.
I get my poop piles picked out of my pen twice a day (sometimes I even help M by holding the rake), and I get the straw pile that M put in there for me fluffed up.
At first, I was getting syringed in my mouth twice a day (TWO syringes, twice a day!), and I did NOT like it. I threw little tantrums, making it very difficult for M to do, and so I made her compromise with me. In the morning, she has to give me my medicines mixed with a bucket of oats, with sliced up carrots and apples (sliced in small bites), AND with a big dollop of molasses. Sometimes I turn my nose up at it, so she has to mix MORE molasses in it! It really doesn't taste that bad, I just want more molasses. In the afternoon, when I get my leg bandage changed, I allow her to give me the two oral syringes of medicine, but 1) they have to be mixed with applesauce, AND molasses, and 2) I get a bucket of oats afterwards.
She then works on my leg while I'm chowing down. At first I'm a little nervous because I think it's going to hurt, and it reminds me of being caught in the wire, and I start shaking - although that doesn't stop me from keeping my head in the bucket and hoovering up the oats. The only thing that really hurts is when she pulls the pad right off the big cut because it sticks to it a little bit. After that, I stop shaking and just keep on eating, because it doesn't hurt that much any more. I get many layers of wraps over my owie, and every day I get a different color, so I look pretty hot and manly. (M makes sure I don't wear pink.)
Now, a lot of people have sent their sympathies and get well wishes to me. Connie, the rider who (naturally) fell in love with me a month ago, writes and calls to check on me. In lieu of Connie not being here, I give M kisses, like Connie taught me. It makes M feel sorry for me, so then I get a carrot, dipped in molasses.
Frank, this famous Northwest endurance horse, told M to give me some peppermints from him. M went out and bought me a whole bucket of candy canes, but I didn't like them. So, instead, from Frank, I get a carrot (dipped in molasses) after every re-bandaging session.
So, if you're stuck in a sorry situation, my theory is, become a Model Patient. This means, if you can't run with 'em, exploit your sorry situation for all the sympathy and treaties you can get.
Posted by Merri at 1:04 PM