Dog Days of Summer

Warning, this is a media heavy post…

 

We’re in the middle of a heat wave on the east coast and what better way to to cool off than with swimming and baths?

This is mostly true and 4 of my 5 outdoor or indoor/outdoor animals have appreciated my efforts to help keep them cool. The dogs have spent most of their outdoor time in the pool (we joke we have the pool for them).

And on Sunday I braved the scalding sun and 95* temps to give the big kids baths.

Batty was mostly tolerant.

 

I mean, he’d have appreciated the bath MORE had I not washed his face (face washing = no grazing ) but whatever.

He was gross. I need to wash his tail but that’s another days project. FYI the Rambo SPACE ALIEN MASK still has stayed on. BEST. FLY. MASK. EVER.

While Batty was drying off, Marble took a brief dip in the pool (better the pool than my water trough… her pool when the real pool is off limits…)

I’m pretty sure I skipped giving Subi an actual shampoo bath last year…

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Terrible mother that I am. But he was very appreciative. I skipped washing his face because was being perfect and I didn’t want to stress him.

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Kindest old man in all the land

I could tell his stifle was bothering him based on how he was standing. But, he ran around a bit before and after his bath so… Ugh. Going to keep watching and chat with the vet later. Might be time to try something beyond MSM, but he’s so damn picky… one wrong thing and he’s off his feed 100%. But he’s fat and happy and looking good for a muscle-less retiree.

 

Then there’s this little punk ass.

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Don’t let this face fool you…

Don’t let his face fool you.

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So. Much. Anger. Anger Eating is a sport…

Jiminy does NOT like water.

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Focus on the ears.

Jiminy HATES water.

Jiminy thinks water = DEATH.

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So much anger!

Baths are my way of slowly trying to murder him.

We both made it out alive, but post bath? It was necessary to wipe ALL WATER from his body.

I could have kept him grazing until he dried, but I was hot, lazy, hot, annoyed with him, hot, and didn’t feel like getting his grazing muzzle because he’s fat and didn’t need that much more grass (I let him graze until I was dead). So into the paddock he went.

Let the drama ensue.

Unfortunately, Subi had to join in, though thankfully only for a brief canter and twist.

Jiminy is a punk ass child who had a “mild” temper tantrum. Water is deadly dontcha know?

 

Defeated.

I haven’t written in a while. It’s just been a long winter with good and with bad and with vets. Since we all love a good vet bill or 2…

In a minor update of the vet bill related stuff, sometime around Christmas, Subi stopped eating on me. Well, minor correction, he stopped eating grain. This isn’t all that abnormal, especially since he hasn’t loved the grain he’s been on. To make a long story short, last winter, I switched him from Purina Senior Active to Progressive Senior Sweet after the Purina formula changed and Mr. Picky stopped eating it. He loved the Progressive and ate regular meals, licking his bucket clean. Then, 5 bags in, my feed store stopped carrying it. Said feed store also served as the area distributor so all other area feed stores that also carried it, stopped. They also couldn’t special order it. So, I contacted Progressive and found a dealer about 90 miles away and bought from him, 8 bags at a time. But paying cash and driving really far took it’s toll and I stopped around November. So, instead, we tried various feeds. He doesn’t like Triple Crown Senior (too much beet pulp), didn’t like Pennfield. He sort of ate the Safe Choice Senior so we stuck with that. Then he didn’t. He didn’t like Buckeye either. Then he just stopped eating grain.

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Thanks to the lovely workers at my other feed store, I tried the Purina Omalene 500 which he actually eats, semi enthusiastically. Thankfully we only went through 5 different 50 lbs varieties that he wouldn’t eat before settling on the 500. I don’t like sweet feed, but honestly, the best feed in the world means nothing if my horse won’t eat it.

But, during all this drama, I decided to schedule a vet appointment and get Subi’s teeth done and blood pulled, just in case. After a couple reschedules later, the vet finally came out and floated his teeth, which weren’t actually bad at all. He had some swelling around his lower incisors, but that was pretty much it. Vet liked his condition, approved his feed even though she doesn’t like Purina, and we held off blood. She did warn me that they picky thoroughbreds out there tend to get pickier as they get older. Great, just what I need…

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Then, later that month, my Marble dog was diagnosed with happy tail. Several vet visits, wrappings, $$$, 2 cones, and a blizzard later, her tail went necrotic and we had to amputate part of her tail. She’s a chocolate pointer now that her lab tail is missing. She doesn’t care and she’s happy and healthy. Though she was never actually unhappy. And unlike Subi, she never missed a meal.

Then there is my idiot Batthorse with whom I am currently not speaking. He had a great winter and a fun blizzard ride, and emerged from winter fat and happy. Then spring came early and I found myself dreaming of field trips and trail rides.

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This past week, after spending some time driving the trailer and all that, I started Remedial Trailer Loading 101 with Idiot horse. After some initial work, I got confident Batt would pass with flying colors. He was loading without issues. So I made plans to haul out on Saturday for a fun day at Marsh Creek after I finished teaching. Which is way he decided to scare himself to death on Saturday morning (after a minor scare Friday that he seemed fine after) and refuse to load. At all. Ever. I finally gave up Saturday and tried again yesterday and he was even worse. Shut down right from the start. When he shuts down, you can’t get anywhere with him. At this point, I’ll give idiot horse a couple weeks off and see what I’ve got but I think I need professional assistance.

Which is why, after Saturday morning, I decided to immediate reach out to a local trainer know to be great teaching loading. Trainer is happy to work with us and asked that I drop  him off. Which would be fine. Except I can’t get the damn horse on the trailer! If I could get him on, I wouldn’t be in need of assistance. A few others said the same thing. So now I’m left with a trailer, a horse who won’t load, and several miles between me and the trainers who can assist. At this point, I really just need to send him to someone, but I can’t load him and I’m pretty sure that won’t change. So what do I do?

I am so completely defeated. I don’t know that I’ve ever felt this way. Ever. I’ve had frustrations, things haven’t worked, I’ve had fears, but not defeated like this. I am so completely frustrated I can’t  even explain it. We’re also hitting idiot horse’s annual colic season… AHH. So frustrated.

And because I can’t not post a picture of Jiminy…