Thursday, March 29, 2018

Scout's Results

So Scout's blood work didn't come back normal. We see an equine vet on Saturday but as far as I can figure out with the help of the small animal vets I work with, the most likely answer is probably PSSM or some other muscle disorder. I sent off a DNA sample today to test for PSSM1. You'd think I'd have already done that years ago, but Bella was negative and Scout has always been so totally healthy that I didn't bother.

I kinda freaked out about it yesterday. Well, today too... I'm starting to try to tell myself that I know how to deal with this. I've done it before, semi-successfully, for years. I can handle it. I have to handle it. That I don't want to is completely irrelevant. Scout is my boyo, my big baby doofus. We're in this together, whatever it is and however hard it is.

I've already made changes to his diet. Hopefully he'll be feeling better soon.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

New Babies!

 I couldn't help myself. I went to the feed store and grudgingly went to look at the chicks with my daughter, and they had RUNNER DUCKS! I have wanted runner ducks for so long. So far, I've been able to tell myself no, but not this time.  Starting with the black one, clockwise, their names are Cricket, Sybil, and Shadow.  Sybil and Shadow will grow up to be blue (steel grey). They were straight run so we just have to hope at least two of them are girls.

I wanted a nap but I didn't want to stop cuddling ducklings, so I took them with me. :)
They can't be potty trained, unfortunately, so there are a lot of dirty towels already. (They have a brooder with shavings too but we hold them a lot.) They do sell duck diapers and the harnesses to keep them on, but these guys will definitely be outside ducks.

As I often do, I jumped in with both feet and will have to build and get ready for them after the fact. The old chicken coop is in ruins, but I think we can salvage the hen house and just build a new, safer enclosure (maybe right near the house so I can enjoy them more and keep them safe).

They are energetic little beasties! Right now they are sleeping, one on each shoulder and one on Liam, but before that they were playing ring around the rosie around my head and just generally being hard to keep together. Apparently I can't keep my ducks in a bundle, let alone a row.

Last weekend I took the dogs for a hike in the snow and mud. It was fun but they are still covered in burrs. I need to sit down and really work on them. Aren't they cute?

I'm still worried about Scout. I'm going to run some blood work on him. We'll see. Maybe I'm just being paranoid.

Sawyer is a good boy, as always. We just ride around the property.

 Juniper doesn't like it when we leave her but she hasn't broken through the electric fence again (and don't worry, that crappy broken wooden fence is enclosed in electric).

A view of Gold Hill in the distance, the mountain where we like to go play a lot, and where the dogs picked up all the burrs.

I had to share this pic of our lap dog. Boxers don't know they're too big to be lap dogs. I'm not sure if the American bulldog side of his lineage behaves like this as well. But I do know for sure this is a boxer thing. :)

Monday, March 05, 2018

Doing the Work

When we went to go for a walk yesterday Scout let John know that he hasn't been doing the work necessary to keep things going smoothly. He didn't want to be caught. Which sucks when you're walking around in crusty snow that keeps breaking through underfoot. 

So it fell to me to do the work. After I brought Sawyer in I went and caught Scout. I didn't chase him, I just stood there in an awkward spot where he had to crane his neck around to look at me. He was interested but still not making a move toward me so eventually I let him know I had treats. That worked. He's usually not hard for me to catch, but after failing to be caught by John he wasn't going to volunteer.

Scout looks terrible right now. No muscle and almost a hint of a rib. His holstein hips are really sticking out. I'm going to start paying better attention to him. Bella looks fine. It shouldn't be a deworming issue but I think I'll give him a different dewormer today and start him on Sawyer's high protein supplement (Nutrena Topline Balance).

I think Sawyer definitely hasn't been on a high-line before. The rope above him makes him nervous. This time it took him a long time to put his nose down and eat, even for his tasty pellets. Then when I asked him to walk under it to leave, it was a major leap of faith for him. He'll get the hang of it.

He was happy when his donkey came to visit.

Juniper got to stand tied to the trailer for a while before we went for a walk. She really, really needs to do that work! She squirrels around and leans on the halter and basically has a little passive aggressive fest. Nothing big like a horse might do, just not a happy camper.

We had a nice walk, a little shorter than the day before. I hurt my back walking in the crusty snow in the pasture. But aren't they just the cutest walking buddies?

Sunday, March 04, 2018

Sun Day!

Mostly the weather has been yucky, but we got lucky this weekend. Sunshine! 

These first pics are from a brief break in the clouds last weekend. It looks pretty but it was bitterly cold and breezy.

Just walking my ass in the snow:

Bella was being her beautiful, peaceful self.

Later I discovered that Juniper and Sawyer have reached a new point in their relationship. Mutual grooming. So sweet. Although I'm not sure how much benefit Sawyer gets when she grooms his blanket.

Yesterday I took both Juniper and Sawyer for a walk down the road. They did great. We had a couple cars pass us slowly and we met a new neighbor. He thought Juniper was a really big donkey. I guess she has gotten pretty big. They were both very well behaved and I think they enjoyed stretching their legs.

Afterward we practiced tying on the high-line. Juniper got tied to a tree branch just in case, since she's never done this before. And good thing too. She needs some patience training. She didn't throw a fit but she did move around a lot and test her boundaries.

My high line was a bit low. I need practice too. I don't think Sawyer has been tied on one. Or maybe he has. Either way, he did well.

Scout and Bella thought it was a nice outing. They don't get out much. (No pic of Bella.) His lead is too long here and the line is too low. I did fix both. Practice makes perfect.

A lot of my camping stress comes from horse management. After having Tonka die, although that wasn't a high-line accident, I don't really love horse camping. So more prep at home will hopefully help with that. I want to head for the hills for several days this summer and actually enjoy myself.

Today it looks like we'll have more good weather, so we'll do more of the same. Maybe a longer walk, and also a tai chi class later. I hope that may help my pain issues.

I couldn't resist posting this heart-shaped Blue:

Happy trails!