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Used to run a stable and live on a farm, now I am back into banking for awhile. Still have horses and love animals.  

Monday, December 30, 2013

Hay is for horses

Just when all seems to be going smoothly, a bounce in the road. I picked up a round bale a week ago, Mr. R. sold his 1st cuttings and saved us 2nd cuttings, it's all orchard grass and it had been in the barn for awhile so I thought okay this will be okay.

First, I forgot that the hay was bulkier and weighted more and the bale would be wider. Sure enough, we let the bale sit in the truck a couple of days while the ponies polished off what was left of the previous bale and then we took the truck behind their little barn and went to push it off. I should have taken the tale gait off but didn't, not realizing the bale would get stuck. Of course we pushed the bale and it got wedged and it was lot heavier so good luck trying to tip it off. It got dark and I decided to just let it sit and start on it in the morning, I broke two wooden ax handles trying to use them for leverage.

Moving out here I don't know anyone to call for an extra couple of arms to help push which is all we needed. I didn't have my big tractor to pull heavy things either. So, I prayed that night and said it is up to you Lord to get that bale out. Next day Kylie and I went out and climbed in the back of the truck and pushed to try and tip the bale so it would roll out. A mighty push and we got it started and we kept going till it tipped and rolled out, I don't know why it wouldn't budge the night before. Of course I thanked God for the help.

I left the twine on the bale so that the Ponies couldn't gorge themselves on it, they had to pull the hay loose and it slowed them down. Saturday was ridiculously warm and by today it was freezing again. This morning I went out to let the Ponies out and our Shetland was not feeling well and refused to eat. I know very well what a sick horse looks like and symptoms of possible colic etc.

I walked him, gave him a mineral block, let him try to get at some grass under the snow but all though he showed interest he just didn't feel like eating. Like children if you let it go a horse will be sick and then be really sick by night time. I called the vet and had them come out. The first time I've had to call a vet in well about 16 years other than shots. Anyway, Pony had a temp but good gut sounds, had pooped and was drinking water.

The vet gave him a shot of antibiotics and some banamene  and within the hour he was eating again. It's funny because instead of the vet saying keep him in his stall she said let him out as usual and move around. I let him out and he went out and started eating some of the leftover hay from the previous bale and then started eating some of the new hay, I could see him from the window so I kept an eye on him.

I brought the ponies in at sundown and just checked them, I offered hay and pony ate but not a lot of poop in the stall. I will check him again late tonight and make sure he's okay. It sounds gross the poop thing but what goes in must come out or it can be big trouble since horses can't throw up when their stomach is off, next thing you know it's compaction.

I love the ponies so and you know the two of them are so close, I never thought about what would happen to one if something would happen to either of them. That would be true devastation since the other two horses are boarded right now. I pray for the day they can all be together again.  

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Thankful and letting go of the past

It was tough getting into the Christmas spirit this year, a few things probably contributed to that, working full time, having a teenager instead of a little one around, the commercialism of the whole thing played a role and maybe even the weather.

Yesterday it seemed a little better with straightening up the house, I got off work early, and my brother was on his way down. The evening was really nice, Kylie and Uncle Gregg made cookies and she showed him what her friends got her for Christmas and they had a good visit. Uncle Gregg is very important to us, he's been with us through the good and bad, he's been so good to Kylie and is my best friend. I have to mention too that when he walks through the door the dogs all but tackle him, they love company but Uncle Gregg is special and they love him.

I didn't buy many gifts this year but what I did I wrapped last night and as is customary every Christmas the dogs watch me wrap their presents which amount to four stuffed toys with squeakers. Normally when I had a bag with a dog toy in it someone would snatch it out of my hand and dig the toy out but they know that when the wrapping paper comes out they have to wait.

I put a piece of wrapping paper around each toy and carried them out and put them under the tree, they watch me patiently but they don't touch the toys. I leave them under the tree all night and they will remain untouched. Only when Kylie reaches for her first present will the dogs go to the tree excited and wait till I say okay before they take one of the toys. True to form, Daniel within a couple of minutes will have at least three of the toys in his mouth. Daniel is a true retriever and the other dogs love the toys but they let him steal them for awhile and eventually Daniel will get tired and pick one and fall asleep with it.

Dusti old dog, is taking the winter pretty hard this year, I figure he's 13 now and he is pretty exhausted most of the time. I spend special time with him now, I make sure he is close to me at bedtime and keep his hips covered because I know they are stiff and the cold most likely makes it worse. I give him a good run down every night when he lets me. Of course I wonder if this will be the last Christmas with Dusti but you never know, I guess we'll take it one day at a time.

I had wood delivered this week and went and got a round bale for the little ones this week. The house stays warm without using the propane and the ponies are doing very well. Cody and Aubrey are doing fine.

I've had time to think about the past, I've heard things through the rumor mill and it always makes me think of the past. Now that we are clear of things and I've had time to do some grieving and thinking, I'm happier, it is good that somethings are in the past and it's better to look forward to the future. God has been awful good to us, when I hear things which I won't go into detail, I begin to realize that He has protected us from many things that at the time we didn't know.

I am feeling better about my life and I am ready to start thinking about taking better care of myself. I am not so good at taking care of myself, it's a mom thing and I didn't feel like I had much value for other reasons but I want to live and I want to be happy, it's time to start living my life like I care about myself some.

I need to start posting pictures again and do a better job blogging, hopefully come springtime there will be lots of things to blog about, there are always plenty of animal activities to take pictures of around here.   

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Lokie, my parrot

Lokie is a Piounus, that is they type of parrot he is, they are very laid back and quiet unlike more active and big personality parrots. I found him about 4 years ago with a woman who bred different kinds of parrots but somehow inherited Lokie and didn't have a female to mate him with in order to make money. She was afraid of him and he hadn't been out of his cage in a couple of years. I walked in and looked at him then I asked if I could open the cage door, she said fine but looked terrified. Lokie didn't come out because he didn't know what to do really but he took a couple of steps in my direction, I praised him and he would do it again, we kind of connected on the spot.

I packed up Lokie's cage with him in it and put it in the back of my SUV and home we went. When we got him in the house I opened the cage door and sat there and watched him from the couch, he didn't come out which of course it was a new environment, he still responded to my voice though.

Several days passed before Lokie came out of his cage to investigate, he really stunk at climbing, he tripped  a lot because all he had to climb on in his cage was just a rope perch, nothing else to challenge him.

It turned out that after Lokie got to moving around we noticed that when displayed his wings that he had at some point had his wing broke, he can't fly more than a glide and he won't step up. If you even say the words he attacks you or anything he can very aggressively.

Fast forward, Lokie is a very good climber, he has things he can climb and get places if he wants. Lokie will not step up, he will allow you to cup your hands and pick him up sometimes but that is it, no matter what you do to reward him, nothing doing. I respect that because I know he has suffered cruelty and trauma, sometimes you can work through things like that and sometimes you can't. Lokie was forced that is the issue so I have always with few exceptions let him make a choice and respected it.

Lokie loves to be scratched and talked to and he will call to me with a whistle, he will take food from my hand and he has even tried new foods, his choices were very limited with food as well. He comes to his name and if I tap a perch he will immediately come down and sit there letting me pet him but that is it, no step ups no rides to the couch for snuggling, nada.

That was until last night, Nana my Cockatoo had a little night fright and randomly screamed and flapped her wings, this happens occasionally with parrots, I checked her she was okay, looked over at Lockie's cage he was okay, turned the light off and suddenly a flurry of wings and Lockie on the floor in front of me standing and waiting to be scooped up in my hands. I know this because usually he scurries back to his cage and climbs up it's legs and back to the top.

I picked him up, he did not attempt to go to my shoulder as he normally would when I pick him up, he stayed on my chest, weird I thought. I took him down to the couch with me, typically he would get on my shoulder or the back of the couch, he didn't, again not the usual. He wattled over my chest and stood right in front of my face with a very serious expression on his face, yes parrots have expressions you just need to know how to look for them, they are very subtle.

Lokie stayed put right in my face and enjoyed cuddling and scratching for a long time. Finally he started moving to the right side of my chest and started looking towards the direction to get back to his cage. It was a cue he was ready to go back, I went to stand up and he finally hopped up on the back of the couch, he perched there for awhile and then I got up and walked to the end of the couch, I knew he wanted to back but I wasn't going to just grab him and take him, I called him over and he wattled to me and stood there, I bent over him and put my arms in a circle around him, he of his own choosing grabbed my sweatshirt with his beak and climbed aboard. I put my hand over him very loosely and walked towards his cage. Lokie sat quietly attached to my sweatshirt for the ride.

When we got to his cage, I leaned over to the rope perch, he waited a moment and very casually latched onto it and that completed his trip back to his cage. In the past he would have tried flying to it when we got close and he would have been in a hurry. Lokie made a lot of choices last night, after several years and without me forcing, coercing or bribing.

This morning I did my usual thing, I give everyone a piece of avicake for breakfast. I gave Nana her cake and the bunnies get a little piece each and I broke off a piece to give to Lokie who was on top of his cage. I held it out and he walked over to my hand lowered his head and bumped my hand with the top of his head, a cue for me to pet him. Lokie loves food as all parrots do but he clearly wanted to be touched first. I was so surprised, and humbled. Lokie chose love, my love,

I pet Lokie and then I watched him scurry down to his dish and eat his piece of very highly prized food. It was a very special moment for me, I don't know why Lokie decided now was the time to up our relationship, he is cared for, pet fed and all but it seems he wanted a closer relationship. He made a choice which is so important, on many levels, trust, healing all of those things.