Most of this post will be non-horsey related. I decided that as I have gotten to know many of my fellow bloggers I am interested in major updates beyond the stated purpose of their blogs… And since that might be true for some of my readers, I decided to bit of sharing ’bout recent events before launching into my long list of topics in the draft folder was in order.
1. I bought a commuter car. It’s a weird purple/grey/silver ’97 Toyota Corolla. Same model year as the car I learned the drive in, but 4 years newer – and a LOT less miles. In 2002 I recieved my ’93 Corolla with 230K miles. I bought this one with 130K….as that ’93 Corolla is still going strong today under the youngest sister of the family, I’m confident “The Grape” will get me through school.
Buying a used car on a budget was eerily similar to buying a horse – you can spend a little on the car (horse) and pay some maintenance/repairs (training), or you can spend more on the car (horse) and have it come with current maintenance (training). In the end you spend the same. Over the phone, all the cars drive “great”, have no issues, tires are “good”, brakes were done “recently”. In person, the transmissions clunk, the radios are gone, the interior reeks of nicotine (and there are burn holes on the seat to prove it), and I’m not sure that the tires will make the 10 miles home. (if you aren’t following me…..all horses trailer, have gaits, get along well with other horses, have great feet, and are in the picture of health…..). As with most things bought on the cheap, buying the car was not without DRAMA…..but fortunately the drama has nothing to do with the mechanical soundness of the vehicle….
2. Tess had an adventure….to the emergency vet clinic. Yeah. I learned why vets don’t work on their own animals – when I saw my puppy and her front legs covered in dried blood from a (relatively minor) wound (the blood was mixing with the saliva so it just looked like there was a lot) I must admit I cried. Sobbed really. Between bouts of putting my head between my legs so I wouldn’t blackout. I know. Absolutely ridiculous. Matt spent 30 minutes holding a crying Melinda, who was holding a cuddly puppy, on the living room floor until it was decided that the regular vet could not be available on a Sunday night and we would have to drive 30 minutes to the after hours clinic.
Let’s back up and figure out how my stupidity led to the poor pitiful puppy that when hurt, apparently gets wonderfully snuggly, clingy and sweet. She’s been getting along with the other 2 dogs so well, that we started leaving her in the backyard, loose with them. Most of the time I’m home and even when they are burning off some energy outside for a couple of hours, there’s been zero issues. It’s been HOT here, and I feel better about her being able to move around outside and find cool spots, instead of being in the covered run on concrete and risk her getting too hot. So, if she’s been kenneled for most of the day because of whatever reason, and Matt and I have to go into town, we’ve been tossing her outside……
Well, obviously that wasn’t the smartest thing to do and eventually something DID happen. All that saliva/blood smeared on her forequarters and drooling out of her mouth was because one of the dogs bit through her lip (and damaged a tooth and the gum – but we didn’t know that yet, so we’ll come back to that). It was probably an accident. Her best friend, the golden retriever, and her play hard and play ALL THE TIME. So it’s very likely that in the course of wrestling around, he accidentally pierced her lip. The other possibility is Harley accidentally bit her – Tess is very submissive to Harley and rolls on her back and Harley will gently grab her muzzle, but maybe just once it was too rough? ANYWAYS. However it happened I came back to my sweet little puppy with her front legs covered in dried blood, an obvious wound on her muzzle and a huge blood clot in her mouth – but it was VERY difficult to see what was going on inside her mouth. Puncture wounds always look worse than they are….but she’s a puppy and it’s on her muzzle. I wasn’t taking any chances.
At the emergency clinic, they found a couple of puncture wounds and sent me home with some pain meds and clavimox.
A couple of days later I noticed a foul odor coming from her mouth. the puncture wounds had healed well enough she didn’t fight me looking in her mouth and I saw a greyish tooth in the back (last tooth on the upper jaw) that was obviously infected with discharge, and loose. The gum had some damage too that made it obvious that the tooth had come loose during the same injury as the puncture – and it fit what I had seen in the brief glances I had gotten of her mouth when the incident had happened. I got her into matt’s vet the next day (if you are keeping track, this was vet visit #2). They couldn’t decide whether it was an adult tooth or a baby tooth…..so the plan is 2 more weeks of Clavimox, and see if it falls out by itself. I think there’s a good possibility it will and it’s a baby tooth. The odor is MUCH better today and the tooth is even looser….so I’m crossing my fingers that she won’t need an extraction. The vets have all assured me that these injuries are really no big deal long term – good that I brought her in, but everything will be OK. The good thing is, except for that first night, she doesn’t seem to be in ANY pain, and no long lasting effects in personality or how she interacts with the other dogs……accidents do happen and while I take full responsibilty for allowing the situation to happen, sometimes it does feel like puppies are out to kill themselves….I recently watched her vomit up a rock….. *sigh*.
3. I’ve been camping…A LOT. Just got done with a trip with a fellow blogger. We hiked TEN miles with our dogs. And we were MOVIN’. When we took a wrong turn going home I was wishing that I had my Farley I could point towards home….instead of having to find the stupid turn I missed (endurance riders on foot without ribbons really are completely hopeless) all by myself. Based on recent camping experiences and hikes, I have a runnamoc update for you, and I have finally decided what I think of the Ariat Buzz Off shirt. In Tess’s 16 weeks of life, she’s been camping 3 times. An auspicious start for an endurance dog eh?
4. Farley is doing well. She’s fat (OK – she’s not really fat. More like the flesh I would like to have on her right before a 100), lazy (except when she’s galloping away from me), and remarkably unimpressed by her new accessory – the Kensington fly sheet. If only she knew how cute she was in it! She should be happy that I don’t make her look really stupid and add a neck thingy to it. The sheet is really working – as evidenced by the small welts on her neck and the perfectly glistening (and welt-free) coat underneath the sheet. I just can’t bring myself to hide my horse completely under sheets and wraps – she deserves to just be a horse – but the flies seem resistant to every fly spray known to man. She possesses a perfectly good mane that covers her entire neck on one side….so until she gives me that look that says “I cannot deal with this any more” her neck gets to be free. Full review on the Kensington later – but the bottom line is I’m thrilled about the product and so far has performed with vicious flies, 100+ degree days, and thunderstorms – and has passed every test with flying colors.
5. Pebble Beach – I’m going. The checks have been cashed and I am GOING to Pebble Beach. On a very nice Thoroughbred that belongs to my trainer. Tomorrow is my LAST lesson, and Pebble Beach is my LAST horse show for the foreseeable future. In some ways, I’m glad to see the lessons come to an end for a while. I have been working SO hard to perform at Pebble Beach at a level that was probably realistically a year away. I’m proud of myself. I’ve made leaps and bounds in my riding, but it’s taken a focus that I’m looking forward to applying somewhere else for a while. My riding and how I think about riding will never be the same – in a good way. I’ll continue to practice dressage on my horses, and learn as much as I can through written and visual resources, but realistically any serious lessons or training is at least 10 years in the future at this point. With that in mind, I’m focusing on getting as much as I can out of this last (for the moment) formal dressage experience, and enjoy the ambiance of being at such a historical show grounds.
Foot Note –
I could use some help from my readers if any of you have any ideas for the following:
Situation 1: This upcoming Thursday and Friday night I need to spend the night in the Pebble Beach area. I do not have many funds (see car point and emergency vet point above…), making traditional hotel accomodations not an option….If anyone has any ideas where I could stay (hostel, spare bedroom, campground etc), or even a place I could park overnight and stay in my vehicle, I would really appreciate it. Ideally I would like to be within 30 minutes of Pebble Beach.
Situation 2: I will be attending a civil war event in Duncan Mills the weekend of July 16 and 17th. Tess will be with me for reasons too complicated to explain here…I am looking for somewhere to board Tess in the Duncan Mills area (near Guerneville and Sepastopol, CA) the night of July 15 and 16th. If anyone has a recommendation of a boarding kennel or vet in this area, I would appreciate it.