Sounds like Life

CaptureSounds like life to me it ain’t no fantasy
It’s just a common case of everyday reality
Man I know it’s tough but you gotta suck it up
To hear you talk you’re caught up in some tragedy
It sounds like life to me

Sounds like life to me plain old destiny
Yeah the only thing for certain is uncertainty
You gotta hold on tight just enjoy the ride


Get used to all this unpredictability
Sounds like life

Darryl Worley

Wise woods for me as I get banged around the pin ball crazily careening through the machine bouncing off the flippers,  a marble gone crazy.  

My beautiful new from Kentucky, Foxhound suffered an accident Monday leaving her paralyzed. By Friday with none of drugs giving her relief, Lauren and I stood by her as we put her to sleep. So, what was the point of bringing that beautiful dog with such a dear soul to me for a month to tear our hearts out as she passed?  I don’t get it. 

In the meantime pregnant and due to deliver Fargo just keeps holding on to the baby one more day. I have chosen to sleep out on the concrete by her stall. This is bucket list stuff and I dearly want to be there when the baby comes.  So far just rain and back aches have come from my all night camping trips at the barn.   

 

Fargo is 331 days pregnant. Full time is approximately 340 +/-  

  Last night as the storms moved on and the moon showed up in the sky I took about 200 pictures. Not sleeping. Pretty bored. No baby. All the other horses laid down at least for a while but Fargo just kept munching hay. Good times. 

  To make the week more chaotic my horse Nova colicked badly with a serious impaction in her gut. We were lucky after a rough 36 hours or so to see Nova was going to make it.     Feather super “drunk” so could get some good x-rays. 

Then Feather went to the top of the prayer list as X-ray showed a serious mass in her facial bones. Some top Texas surgeons were betting on a real bad end to Feather’s life but continued diagnostics have us thinking we might be looking at a completely different, and treatable problem. Fingers crossed. 

 

Finally our boarder Kendrick caught this great shot of Feather, Nova and Betty Sue on the beach in my back pasture catching some rays. I love it!  
I will keep sleeping again with my mare on the off chance I catch her giving birth. I am off to Oklahoma Monday for a few days so no doubt that is when the baby will come. I guess that’s life.  

Sounds like life to me plain old destiny

Yeah the only thing for certain is uncertainty

You gotta hold on tight just enjoy the ride

Get used to all this unpredictability

Sounds like life

Easter Baby!

mom and baThe last time we talked, I told you all that I hoped there would be a new baby foal for us and that you all would have a happy Easter.  Well, I don’t know about you but that wish definitely worked for us!

Of course, I slept through Lynn’s call as I had not moved my phone off silent yet as Lynn was convinced that she had a few more days until TeeDee would have her first baby.  Lynn had a busy veterinarian day and was fighting insomnia as she dimly watched tv. She heard a yell that could only come from a delivering momma and raced out to find not only had TeeDee delivered but the that the baby had never even hit the ground.  Apparently she landed on her feet and took off from there.  There was not a  speck of dirt on the baby as Lynn inspected her.

Instead, the foal was already trotting and cantering around the pasture.  TeeDee was experiencing that “I am a brand new mom and have no idea what to do” panic.  Momma was racing around whinnying and trying to absorb that this little (okay-not that little) object had just emerged from her uterus.

By the time Lauren and I got about six hours later, things had calmed down.  Baby was napping and momma was on the watch for those nasty gelding interlopers that kept looking at her baby over the fence. She was typically protective for a first time mom but not overly mean.  Lauren and I helped Lynn get the first baby exam done.  Names were flying around on Facebook commemorating the Easter nature of her birth.  I did not expect Lynn to go with a “Bunny”, “Lily” or “Hoppy”.

Lauren did her first baby holding as Lynn took vitals, ran the IgG, weighed and measured the leggy, big shouldered filly.  I entertained TeeDee while the baby got some more time being imprinted by Lynn.

The foal was a shade over 9 hands and about 105 pounds.  She is solid brown with no white on her, an exact duplicate of her momma.  Flagmount’s grey may well be hidden under the brown coat although I don’t see the tell-tale grey around her eyes.  She was quite the little charmer, yawning, smiling and primping for the camera.  She has an interesting swirl on her forehead that one of my friends described as looking like a Cinnabon.  I remember reading about one Grand Prix rider that only buys horses for the Grand Prix that have at least two swirls on their forehead.  This little should be super jumper with her giant swirl.

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Look at that swirl and those shoulders!

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I swear she was smiling at us!

My Easter day was untraditional as I played with the baby and did chores at home.  I ran over to Ally’s long enough to drop off some Easter baskets and pick up a “to-go” Easter dinner.

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Tuesday was get the new dog from the airport day.  I headed to Bush Intercontinental Airport to pick up a dog from Kentucky.  Lady, a seven year old, AKC Grand Champion was coming to live out her years with my family.  It is unclear at this point if she will stay with Lauren and I or head to Denver to be with Amber’s family.  Amber had taken a quiz to find the best dog for her and the answer was…an American Foxhound.  Sort of a giant Beagle with a calmer approach to life.

me and

Out of the crate at the airport, Lady’s nose worked overtime to categorize all the new smells.

Although it took two hours to get home in rush hour traffic, Lady just curled up and slept.  She must have smelled funny, though, as all my dogs were growling at the newcomer including my Kona.  But quickly, everyone settled into the pack like no change had been made.  Lady has never been around kids, per se, so part of this time in Texas is to see if she is sweet and kind.

ken and

Lady and Kendyll made quick friends and happily enjoyed their first day

I have had some apprehension with Lady, like would she see a squirrel and take off to never come back, but she has come when called, respected the fenceline well.  I don’t know if this will be a Colorado or Texas dog, but she is a really special “Lady” and I am glad my friends from Kentucky trusted us with their girl.

Capture

Bigger than I anticipated, Lady is taller than the poodles or the Doberman.

 

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Clearly settling in well, she and her Doberman sister are happy campers!

Happy spring and thanks for riding along!

 

Little triumphs

 Busy, busy times for me and the family right now. I am on several big projects at my real job and traveling a lot. I landed to a windy 18 degrees on Monday which is about 60 degrees colder than I like.

But I am ever so grateful at this stage of my career to be doing something I love. It is a little triumph to go forth each day excited about the projects I am doing and   people with whom I work.
Lauren is headed off to Wellington, Florida this week to spend some time with friend Catie at the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF). WEF is a 12 week international competition where your favorite Olympic hero might be shopping in the grocery store with you (Hello Ian Miller!) or show up at the local restaurant (McClain Ward,  table for two?).

What an amazing opportunity!  Another triumph for the kid from Wharton who just wants to ride.

And speaking of horse triumphs, my mare Nova should be back to sound after some vet magic from Dr. Criner.

Actually this will be more than a little triumph. I had continued to work my girl and things just weren’t right. A few X-rays told us she had been hurting and now she can be pain free. I am so excited to have this special girl back working just when I should be getting cleared to ride.

Additionally in little triumph category it has been several weeks since poodle  Maui Jim has eaten or destroyed anything important. Last night Lauren and I were on the phone (I was still out of town) when I heard a horrible crash and the sound of broken glass.

We have a free-standing staircase in our living room. For months now we have talked about getting my old headboard out to the garage but it hasn’t moved from its position on the wall opposite the stairs.

Last night as we visited on the phone, Maui came racing through the living room making a galloping turn around the stairs and catching the head board with his foot on the way by. What I heard was the sound of the queen sized headboard smashing into the back of the stairs with enough force to knock the shelf displaying all Lauren’s Zone Final pictures cascading to the ground.

I guess the triumph here is at least he didn’t eat another FitBit or my glasses. Lauren hauled him off to his kennel to think about what he had done.

Rising two year-old Betty Sue has hit 1000 pounds and grown out of her second halter. She got a brand new halter with her name on it!  Little triumphs!

Finally, as a rider in any discipline as you get better and more educated about your equestrian sport you tend to trade in equipment for more technical, better made models.  Lauren has definitely gone down this path starting with a synthetic Wintec saddle, moving to some low cost but name brand models on to higher priced models. Yesterday after selling her saddle of three years she received her dream saddle.


We tested it out tonight to see if it would allow Feather’s wide shoulders enough freedom when they jump. And it did-well, that’s actually in the category of a big triumph!

Thanks for riding along my friends. Stay safe and warm!

Seriously, Cindy?

Found on the Houston streets, this little one was starved and so much more.

Found on the Houston streets, this little one was starved and so much more.

You have to admire my restraint.  This posting that this little dachshund was found in Houston shortly after the storms went up on Renee’s Facebook and I left it alone.  But I kept thinking about my almost 13-year-old dachshund, Lula and how her health was fading.  I love Lula as much as anything.  I bought her for Ally as a bribe to break-up with her high school boyfriend.  Lula started with us in Sugar Land, moved to Wharton, and now is the queen (or king, she is having some Bruce/Caitlyn Jenner moments growing new sex organs, but I digress) of the farm.

I did not message Renee for at least a week about the dog.  At that point they knew there was not a microchip and no one had called about the “found dog” posters.  I told her I would be interested in taking the dog if it needed a home.

Renee said she would be asking for potential adopters soon but knew I had asked first.    We agreed I would pick up the dog on my way to the dentist Thursday.  I could leave the dog at the vet while I had my root canal (how fun!) but I made it clear if the dog had heartworms (and she certainly looked like a candidate) I could not take on that financial risk.

When I got there to pick her up, Renee showed me that the dog had a mass in her jaw the size of a jawbreaker (this is a tiny dog-so big for her) and that her eyes were filmy and blue toned.  Now I was thinking, oh, boy she is going to need surgery to remove the mass, she is partially blind, and probably needs to be spayed.  Her coat did not look very good either and she was so thin.

Of course, all the way to the vet, she snuggled with me.  I stopped to get a drink at McDonald’s and she growled and barked from her position on my lap at the men walking by my car.  I started to love her right then!  I had asked one of my generous boarders who loves dachshunds if she might be able to help with some of the expenses and she had said yes.  I was busy driving and hatching a plan to go to the vet office manager and see if I could do a payment plan on the surgery.  I still was on a “no-go” regarding the heartworms, though.

My mind tripped back and forth over alternatives as the dentist attacked my teeth.  I really wanted to keep this little girl.  In fact, I had already come up with a name.  You know how I have this thing for naming my animals after my dead friends and relatives.  Well, here we go again.  Both of my grandfather’s names were Samuel and my dear friend Dee, just passed away.  TA DA-I was going to welcome Sammi Dee to the family if I could afford to get her out of the vet’s office.

I got back to vet just as the heart worm test came back NEGATIVE!  So I was on a little bit of a high as the doc examined little Sammi Dee’s eyes and mouth.  In the category of too crazy to be true, as the vet opened the little mouth, she said she thought she saw something lodged in there.

The piece of bone that had been lodged for quite some time in the dog's mouth.

The piece of bone that had been lodged for quite some time in the dog’s mouth. It sure did not smell good.

She took some forceps and gently removed a small bone from the dog’s mouth where it had been lodged for weeks (at least).  It was a bit like I imagine the lion felt when the object was removed from his paw.  The relief was palatable on the dog’s face as she licked around her sore mouth.

Onto the eyes where the vet said there had been a prior injury and/or burning of the eye.  But after examination, she told me there was scar tissue but no problems with Sammi Dee’s vision.  I was ready to high-five her about this point.

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In the end, we determined the dog was probably five or six, healthy, except as noted.  She was spayed.  I left the vet’s having paid for the exam, the heart worm test, some antibiotics to heal her mouth and rabies vaccine. I will her the other needed vaccinations.   Pretty good deal I would say.

It got better as I got home and in true dachshund fashion, immediately told the Doberman and poodles what her position was in the hierarchy (second Queen) and started learning her way around the farm.

She slept easily with all the dogs last night, on my bed, next to my pillow.  She even gave a mighty what-for to the mean cat Levi and set him in his place.  I think I did something good here, both for me and for her.

So no admonishing me for getting another dog.  Sometimes things are just meant to be.  As they are with Sammi Dee!

Thanks for riding along!

 

It’s raining, we’re laughing along

The clouds moving across the sky with rain on their heels.  Lots of green grass envelopes the farm.

The clouds moving across the sky with rain on their heels. Lots of green grass envelopes the farm.

Regardless of a gloomy seven-day rain forecast Lauren and I have been smiling a lot around Six Meadow Farm.  I think there are several factors.

  1. Fortunately while the rain poured down, in fact  it did so several times, our arena and the pastures have absorbed it right in and left things pretty manageable.

    The arena soaked after the first deluge of rain

    The arena soaked after the first deluge of rain

  2. On Friday we went and picked up Kona’s almost five month old half-brother.  In keeping with our Hawaiian trend and that of naming them in honor of our departed relatives, we welcomed Maui Jim. IMG_0177
  3. This Poodle is Lauren’s and it will sleep in her room with her two cats.  It is a little like my first apartment in Lawrence, KS where I had two cats and cocker spaniel.  I am staying out of the training and letting them bond.  A puppy is always a good time even if he was more black (mud) than white after his arrival at the farm.  Not the best weekend for introducing the white dog.
  4. Since the dog is Lauren’s she choose to be home this weekend which is a rare thing.  We enjoyed our Saturday evening with Laine and Isabel playing with the dogs and grooming the horses.We watched a little TV while the dogs caught up from their busy day. Levi, the cat, was clearly awake and alert as we took pictures of the sleeping dogs.
    Greatest shot ever, Lauren!

    Greatest shot ever, Lauren!

     

  5. The mare, Fargo, had her OB/GYN exam in preparation for breeding. This is a huge bucket list item for me (not for the horse to have the exam but to have my own foals at my own farm).  I will spare you pictures of the exam.
  6. Lauren and I got a lot of projects done between rain showers.  We re-matted stalls, spread new shavings and planted new spring flowers. Two ponies are moving out this week and my horse is headed in, so we will move the group around a bit to adjust.
  7. Our boarder, Jo Ann got back from an epic trip to Africa.  However, she came home sick and exhausted.  We finally saw her on Saturday and heard some amazing tales of a distant land.  (I don’t want to go any time soon but was glad she had the opportunity.)
  8. Both horse Kinny and pony Molly got in some arena work yesterday afternoon.  Lauren and I decided we better get some horses worked as well.  I rode Mickey and she took Feather.  We got in about 30 minutes prior to the next onslaught of rain.

    Feather headed down the still moist but quite rideable rail.

    Feather headed down the still moist but quite rideable rail.

  9. My new mare was supposed to be in from Georgia last night but the truck had mechanical problems.  She is due in around 10 pm this evening and I cannot wait!  Expect a few dozen pictures of the new mare soon!
  10. It was just nice to have a quiet weekend without a show or lessons.  Lauren and I got have a ‘weekend off’ and enjoyed it a lot.

Thanks for riding along and being part of our journey!

Quiet, wet weekend

Kona hanging out in the damp arena with Quest.

Kona hanging out in the damp arena with Quest.

The plan was for Dev to ride new Canadian Warmblood, Quest, on Sunday morning.  His owner’s plan was to wear down the young horse so Dev did not die on his first ride.  So off to the arena the beautiful black gelding went.  He ran and played accompanied by the black poodle.  The skies may have been dreary and grey but the boys were stunning.  My vet had commented that when this horse trots he moves so beautifully that it made the tiny hairs on the back of her neck stand on end.  Must be a pretty cosmic experience.  I have not seen him go under saddle yet but just his big flowing trot around the arena was something amazing.

Checking out the jumps.

Checking out the jumps.

I lunged the mighty Quest and he got away from me the first go around.  Which lead to some excited galloping around the arena with lunge rope and poodle in tow.  All Mia could say (as she sat quietly on Snowboy) was “I wish I had my camera, I wish I had my camera!”  I think there is just something amazing about a solid black horse-it is the dreams from our youth with all the Black Stallion books and Black Beauty.  And this horse of Jo Ann’s is stunning.  Any of you looking for a great eventing or dressage mount, this guy is for sale!

Betty Sue wanting to come in out of rain and wet.

Betty Sue wanting to come in out of rain and wet.

After the Quest events, my friend Gaylyn came with her new mare Annie.  I had seen her when she had first bought her and she has grown and developed into a lovely young sorrel mare.  Gaylyn, Libby and I rode our three Quarter horses in the cool afternoon. It was a very nice time full of talk and camaraderie.   Soon enough the rain and cold hit us in earnest and we ran for the barn.

It rained all night Saturday.  Lessons were cancelled. Lauren was out-of-town and I was on my own cleaning for company that will be coming this next weekend and enjoying the new tv that Luke, Ally and Lauren had arranged to have set up in my bedroom.  I have not had a tv in my bedroom for at least 15 years.  But with my surgery coming soon, it sure will be nice to be able to watch a movie or some mindless show while the hours pass.

My favorite part of the cold, wet weekend?  I took all the dogs out to the barn with me to play while I cleaned the now 12 stalls we have occupied.  I sent my horses and Cody out in the drizzling rain but left the rest of boarders in the dry, warm barn.  I have been cleaning stalls for years.  But just recently have we escalated to 12 stalls of horses. Twelve is a lot!! Like seriously, I am too old for this.  When it rains, everyone stays in all night and day (and poops and poops!).  Saturday morning’s chores wore me out.  Sunday I was starting with aching bones and tired shoulders.  But I wasn’t in any hurry.  I did not have a thing I needed to accomplish or a place I needed to go.  I actually hoped the big gate on the driveway would stay closed all day.

I worked my way through the boarder barn (called the Blue barn as all the geldings are housed here) and but was really dragging by the time I hit stall number ten in the Pink barn.  It was raining.  It was cool.

I took Feather’s stable blanket and laid it out on the dry concrete in front of her stall. I simply laid down on the concrete and rested my back.  As I did, Lula the dachshund, laid down on my stomach, Muffy, the spaniel fit herself around my head.  The Doberman and poodle took up guard along each side of me while the Corgi and wild border collie lay at my feet.  It was a perfect time.  There is no where else I wanted to be.  My regret was that I could not figure any way to get a picture of my special friends joining me in rest.  I watched the rain fall.  I listened to the wind.  I ran my hands over my trusting dogs.  My back felt better.  My attitude improved.

I had a great weekend in the wet, damp weather.  I couldn’t have asked for more.

Ups, downs and all arounds

Special Occasion GES (Betty Sue) was site champion at her inspection this week!

Special Occasion GES (Betty Sue) was site champion at her inspection this week!

I purchased Betty Sue, a warmblood pinto, from a breeder in Colorado based solely on her Facebook picture (and recommendations from friends about the integrity of the breeder). Things I do like this, spontaneously, with poor impulse control, tend to not always work out for me. I still don’t have the almost six month old filly home, but she rocked the RPSI inspections in front of German judges this week to earn the award of Top Filly for the Site. Something I liked about the way she moved and her conformation clearly was appreciated by the judges as well. Awesome! I am still waiting for some pictures of her trotting or cantering at the inspection.

I am thrilled with this honor and owe a big thank you to breeder, Stephanie Wendorf from Golden Edge Sporthorses, who had the foresight to breed Special Edition GES (their junior home raised GOV stallion by Sempatico x Art Deco) to Silhouette GES (one of their home raised beauties by Sagar x Blonder Hans x Rainbow). Betty Sue should be headed to Texas in a couple of weeks. We already have some horse shows planned for her.

Last night I got home and did not get my usual reception in the garage by the dogs. Their garage pen is connected to the fenced back yard and usually the dogs come barking and scrambling to see me. Only Kona, the poodle, was looking at me expectantly from the pen. As I walked around to the yard, I saw Kena (our Doberman) laying on top of Sneaky. Sneaky was bleeding profusely.

Our neighbor’s dog, recently given to us as he fought with and was beat up by the neighbor’s other dog all the time, was standing off to the side. Lauren and I rushed the Corgi off to the vet. After examination, Sneaky showed multiple serious lacerations, one that exposed the trachea, tore the muscles and provide an open look at the anatomy of a dog’s neck. She had deep puncture wounds and was in shock. The vet told us Sneaky had hair and blood in her mouth so she had put up a fight. We left her to go into surgery for repairs.

Sneaky with hundreds of stitches and four drains after being attacked.

Sneaky with hundreds of stitches and four drains after being attacked.

Once at home, I examined the short coated Doberman thoroughly. There were no signs of any bites on her. The neighbor’s dog is an intact male with long hair. And I cannot catch him. I did not see bites on him but they would be covered by his coat. I think Kena probably ganged up on Sneaky as well as the new dog but when things got serious, she laid down on Sneaky to protect her. I could be wrong, but my animals have been living a peaceful coexistence for over seven years (at least Sneaky, Lula and Kena) and I don’t see it would have suddenly changed. I am terrified that this new dog who also chases the horses and goes after my cats with deadly intent will hurt someone again.

I have made the decision that this dog will go off immediately to my friend in the country where there is a lot of room to roam and no other dogs or cats to bother. I know I may have trouble with Kena now but will have to work out how to handle that.

Sneaky came home last night after surgery with many stitches and drains. She is not having a good day today but hopefully will be on the upswing tomorrow.

Lauren with Alex and Isabel getting ready to jump her first course in over two months.

Lauren with Alex and Isabel getting ready to jump her first course in over two months.

Lauren and I both saw orthopedic surgeons on Monday. Lauren’s surgeon was not happy with her lack of mobility and feeling in her two fingers (the pinkie and ring fingers). Although she continues in occupational therapy she is not making headway to get the nerve damage caused in her fall to reverse itself. The doctor told her she had a two in ten chance of regaining the nerves and use of those fingers. He gave her six more weeks and if no improvement, then it will be off to the neurosurgeon who will implant a transmitter device to mechanically activate the finger and the hands. Sounds pretty dreadful but at least there is a solution.

I am getting my solution as well. I was born with hip defects and lived all my life with restrictions and hip pain. I had my left hip replaced in 2004. I will have my right hip replaced the first week of December. My right leg is almost an inch and a half shorter than the left and the doctor will try to make them equal. It will be a tough road back but I have done it before and I will do it again.

Up, down and all around-we applaud the good, battle the bad and embrace the inevitable for better. It is the best we can do. Please keep us in your prayers and thanks for riding along!