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Until one has loved an animal, part of their soul remains unawakened.

Ride with your heart and soul ~ your horse can feel it


Sunday, June 28, 2009

Cows and Counts

Let's start with the counts. In just under 8 hours we should have the results of the TB test. At this point the doctors and nurses aren't really thinking its TB but have done the test to be sure. They are thinking the 'thing' on his lung in the x-ray is most likely an abscess or major infection of some sort.
Today he was looking much better... his blood sugar is coming down. Its hovering between 10 and a high 14, still not 'normal' by any means but MUCH better than the 25 it was when he was admitted!
I visited him for just over an hour this morning before I went to sorting. I wanted to stay with him but he insisted I go so I could get some fresh air, take my mind off things and figure out a name for that darn horse (for now to be referred to as LBH - little black horse). Oh and so I'd have something to talk about (am I that boring!? lol)

Sorting was fun. I brought both horses just in case LBH wasn't working too well. Applejack ended up staying tied to the trailer all day :)
LBH hasn't sorted before but he started to catch on. He just isn't too patient standing guard at the gate, he'd rather get in there and chase the cows. Not that he was an absolute super star at that but he definitely wants to please his rider and once he figures something out he gets pretty game. One of my teammates was Conner. His regular horse was hurt so he was riding an Arab mare that his family owns (Conner is about 14-15ish). His little brother used the mare last year but she has basically just sat out in the pasture since then. Also Conner is a better rider and more competitive. So when his horse wouldn't stand up to the cows and we got DQ'd we asked for a little extra time in the pen and Conner said "Do you mind just throwing some cows at me?"
Well!!! Once LBH figured out that we were staying in with the cows and cutting and chasing them to the gate he was on fire! That little sucker has some moves, I can see him being really fun after getting some experience :)
A neat thing happened. While we were waiting for one of our turns one of the old 'cowboys' rode up. Here's the basic conversation -
OC: Nice horse there.
ME: Thanks, he's not doing too bad.
OC: He for sale? How much do you want?
ME: (laugh) Well I've only had him a week so no he's not for sale.
OC: Well when you decide to sell him keep me in mind!
Its always flattering when someone likes your horse enough to buy him so I thought it was kinda neat. He even came up to me later and asked if whoever I bought LBH from had more like him.

After sorting wrapped up and we got the horses back home I washed up real quick and went back to the hospital. My mom was visiting Pie, which made him really happy. While I was there my father-in-law called me and told me to come pick something up at the restaurant. (our restaurant is about 4 blocks from this hospital) I quickly went and came back, with a bunch of pizzas for all the ER staff. I told them they were from Pie & his dad. Needless to say they were all pretty happy.
Mom left shortly after I came back. I told Pie the stories from sorting and that LBH still doesn't have a name. lol I was there for about 3 or 4 hours. He was looking really good, very animated, good colour, great spirits. Suddenly he started coughing. And coughing. And bringing up really gross phlegm.
He got depressed by that, he felt like he was back at square one. The nurse and I were reassuring him that it was a good thing. That he was getting all that junk out of his system.
He coughed for about an hour before they finally gave him something that got it under control. Coughing out that stuff is good but he needed a rest.
I took that time to come home, let the dogs out and feed them, shower and eat. I'm going back to the hospital for a bit in a few minutes.

Fingers crossed that tomorrow the TB test is still negative. Then Pie can be moved out of the isolation room in the ER and we don't have to don the gown/mask/gloves combo to visit him!! He's looking forward to a real room and a TV, poor guy isn't a reader and is getting very bored.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Loooong day

So today it happened. Pie was admitted to the hospital.
We went to the doctor this afternoon, Pie is still showing most of the same signs as before but he is having more shortness of breath and his heart pounds when he does almost anything.
The doctor said (basically) That's it! Enough messing around, go to the hospital where they can do more tests and monitor you.
So we did. We got there around 2:30 this afternoon. Waited about an hour to (start) being seen. When I left at almost midnight he still didn't have a room. But he is admitted.
From the sounds of it he'll be there til at least Monday.
His blood sugar is very high and being treated with insulin, he'll probably be on that from now on instead of his pills.
But, for the time, of more concern is the cough/breathing difficulty etc.
There is 'something' on his lung in the x-ray. Until more definitive tests can be done they are not certain what it is.
Terms like bacterial infection, fungal infection, tuberculosis, auto immune disease, cancer, etc are all being tossed out.
I have to confess, I'm scared you guys. Please keep us in your thoughts.

And because I have to try to keep a sense of humour... I thought I'd share a prime example of sleazy with y'all:
I stopped at work to fill our family in on what's going on (besides the numerous phone calls and text messages from throughout the day). On my way out one of the bar regulars corners me in the lobby to 'say hi'.
He asked why I looked so sad and I told him Pie is still sick and was admitted to the hospital.
He says he should come home with me to make sure I get tucked into bed ok.
I assured him I was fine, tried to laugh like it was a joke.
He offered again, and again. All the while calling Pie his 'good friend'.
Yuck!
Oh, and this whole conversation took place with him looking NOT at my eyes... creep.

ps - that new horse is still nameless :o

Monday, June 22, 2009

heh heh

This may not seem funny if you're not a barrel racer or haven't been around many barrel racers. However if you are a b.r. I'm pretty sure this will give you a chuckle (it was heard at today's jackpot):

Did you hear they've decided to cremate barrel racers from now on?

Really, why?!

Because the ground is never good enough.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Went to see a man about a horse...

So Thursday I was able to go out to Mr Tim's and check out those horses he had told me about on the phone. He told me he was pretty sure the mare wasn't for me, that I'd prefer the gelding. And I was bad, I was about 15 minutes from home when I realized my camera (with charged battery!!) was on the kitchen counter, so sorry no pics of horse shopping day. :(
When I got there the gelding was saddled up in the corral. He was small but fairly sturdy, about 15HH was my guess. I very much doubted he was any bigger than that. Nice looking but other than being black not too much that would turn your head. Not ugly, just a little scruffy. Maybe he'd be nicer looking in shape?
So Mr Tim tells me what he knows of this horse and hops on and puts him through his paces a bit. Purebred Quarter Horse gelding, but no papers. (not a big deal with a gelding for me, I don't see bred shows in my future lol) The former owner showed him open and 4H but has moved on to bigger and better things, she wants to pursue reining in a big way so has bought a big money reining horse. But this guy is b-r-o-k-e . He's done a bit of almost everything and has a ton of money spent on him with reining training. But not that 'rush rush get a young horse ready for futurity' type of training. MT took him and sorted cow calf pairs, once he caught on to what was wanted MT says he really got into it.
While MT is telling me all this he's walk/trot/loping on a loose rein. Nice stops, turns on forehand, spins. I should mention that the sand flies were really bad and the horses in the adjoining corrals/pasture were running, bucking, tossing heads, basically flipping out and this guy just stood there flicking his tail with the occasional small head toss.
I get on, everything is feeling good. MT brings out the Appy mare. Nice but there's just something about her that doesn't feel 'right'. So we ride over to the arena. MT on the mare, me on the gelding (which is in itself pretty funny because MT is NOT a mare fan and I am)
I ride around some more, take a tour through the barrels. OK so he's not going to be a rodeo or 1D horse. I'm looking for something to jackpot on (and 2D would be fine with me for now), team sort, trail ride and most importantly to get my confidence back on.
I've been watching MT ride the mare and I'm still just not into her, so when he asks if I want to try her I say:
"No, I think we should check how my saddle fits this guy and then put them up, go in the house and do some paperwork."

That's right, I bought a gelding! :o

Mr Tim had to show me more though, he took the saddle & pad off, took the bridle off and just had a leather rein around the horse's neck. Rode him around the corral, spins, stops, turn on forehand... everything he had done with a saddle. And THEN he dropped the rein and did it all with nothing on! I'll admit I doubt I'll ever try that but it was nice to see! lol
Mr Tim even threw in his vaccinations and did it right there, nice to know the new boy is good with needles. And yeah, so good that MT walked away to get the halter and shots and he stood there waiting.
Oh, and my saddle fit him nicely so I don't have to mess around with that. lol

I made arrangements with Mr Tim to pick him up if I got the all clear from Kimfer's dad (where I board) That evening I talked to Mr & Mrs F (Kimfer's parents) and got the OK to bring him home. We decided to put him in the pasture behind the barn, its basically a sacrifice area but has enough grass to tide him over for a few days while everyone gets acquainted over the fences. I texted Kimfer to see if she would have some time between her shifts at the dairy to go pick up my new horse. I called Mr Tim to let him know I'd be there around 1 or 2 to get him.
When we got there Mr Tim and one of his buddies were in the arena getting in some roping practice before the weekend. They took a break to load up my new pony. As MT is leading him to the trailer I was telling Kimfer about all of MT's demonstrations the day before. When I mentioned that the new guy is a bit small but that just makes him easier to get on bareback MT hopped right on. lol
Pretty nice, one second leading the next second on... I don't think I'll ever master that! He proceeded to do some of his demo for Kimfer and then rode right over to the open trailer door. For a second I thought he was going to ride right into the trailer. Thank goodness he didn't. He hopped off and we talked for a moment more and then we loaded the new boy. (yes he loaded and unloaded nicely)
When we put him out at home we were wondering how the other horses would react. Surprisingly Ty and Rainy (the bullies) did very little. Ty seems kinda intrigued by this miniature version of his buddy Rainy (both are solid blacks) Ty & Rainy are in the pasture to the left of the barn and have access to the waterer and barn shelter through a pen.
Applejack, Cessa, Baron & Isis are pastured on the right of the barn with access to the barn & shelter on their side and the waterer. Isis seems to have claimed the new boy for her own.

But of course we had to get some pics of the new boy on his arrival to his home! They aren't the best, his black colour looks kinda weird in these pics, he looks much blacker in real life:



Now I'm sure some of you have noticed I haven't said his name. Well... truth be told its because he is not keeping it.
I am trying to think of a new one for him, because seriously now, does this look like the face of a "Bubba" to you?!?
Maaaaybe I could see Bubba on a big ole' sorrel rope horse. But not on this little black guy! lol
So, any suggestions?

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Where we are now

So it turns out that Pie had pneumonia. (has pneumonia??) That combined with his uncontrolled blood sugar led to major problems.
He is on his second course of anti-biotics. We've also updated his diabetes pills (metformin & glyburide sp?) and his doses of the diabetes pills.
It turns out that for some reason he had stopped taking them for awhile. When he finally started again the pills were quite old and probably not working so great.
Combine that with a BIG appetite, not monitoring his sugar and stress from work, then adding in chronic infections (ie pneumonia) and you have very bad blood sugar.
We've had a long talk about various things, including portion control. Pie usually ate pretty 'healthy' foods but not in proper amounts especially for a diabetic. He is trying harder to eat more balanced portions and smaller meals instead of a couple big meals.
He is also taking his pills and checking his blood, but I do need to check in and remind him.

In other news... Mr Tim called with a couple horses for me to see so if the weather co-operates I'm heading out to his place tomorrow or Friday before work to do some test riding! :)
No other horsey news, I still haven't had time to ride my own (and yes I'm feeling pretty guilty!)
Oh, there is one bit of very bad horse news... thank goodness its not my own. There was a jackpot last night and I'm VERY glad I didn't get to go. One of the first girls to make a run had her horse die. It just collapsed at 3rd barrel. Not sure what was the cause, there are (of course) a few theories about what it may have been. Most of the girls pulled out of the jackpot, and I have to say I don't blame them even though the horse dieing had nothing to do with the jackpot (ie ground, weather, etc).
So my big condolences go out to K. That must've been horrible, I feel so bad for her she is a very nice girl and really takes good care of her horses.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Waiting

Pie had a doctor's appointment today. Not just some random doc at a walk-in/minor emergency clinic. But an actual, honest to goodness appointment.
Sure, his dad tells him he needs an appointment he goes. I tell him and he fights it. Go figure.
Well this time I tagged along, right into the room. No sitting in the waiting room for me. I wanted to hear first hand what the doc had to say (Pie is not the best at passing along what he's been told) and to ask any questions of my own, and to also give any info that Pie didn't think of.
Incidentally Pie is looking for a family doctor of his own. The last one was a pill pusher and didn't really pay attention to the patient.
ie Pie would go in with cold like symptoms and without checking him out at all - no looking at the throat or listening to the chest - wham out came the prescription pad.
This new doctor took the time to listen to our questions, even the silly ones (such as those to do with swallowing or inhaling pet hair) and to the history, as we see it, of what's been happening.
He also took the time to answer the questions, and not dismissively. He also took what is going on with Pie seriously, didn't dismiss it as just a cold or a recent bout of something or other. He noted that its an on-going problem that is steadily getting worse.
I was so impressed that I'm thinking of leaving my doc and going to him. Which for me is pretty huge, I've always had female doctors. But lately mine has had that dismissive attitude. I know she's busy but really sometimes I feel like a number!
Back to Pie, the doctor ordered a whole bunch of blood tests, both to do with Pie's diabetes and this 'condition', as well as urine tests. He may get x-rays yet but the ones a week and a half ago were clear.
So far the theory we're working with is that Pie has a major infection and his diabetes is making things worse. This may be one long, resistant infection that has had dormant periods and then flares up again.
The pet hair swallowing/inhaling was dismissed (hah!).
Allergies are quite far down the 'possibles' list but still there. Just above allergies is Hantavirus, which was something that I brought up.
I've been trying to figure out what changes we've had in the last 2-3 years (approx. how long this has been going on). Then I realized, our home is on a neighbourhood on the outskirts of the city. Or at least it was. A few years ago they started developing the fields across the freeway from us. And ever since then we've had a major mouse problem in our garage (which is NOT attached to the house thank goodness!)
When I explained this to the doc he said that Hantavirus is not common in our area, especially in the city. When I explained these are not regular city house mice, but wild deer mice he thought it was worth considering.
But for now here we sit, waiting.
I've been trying to act like its no big deal, but I'm starting to get worn out and today I pretty much cracked. I was talking to my sis-in-law and just couldn't help it, I cried. To be honest I've cried a lot today. I just hope all this waiting pays off for a change.

Okay anyone who's stuck with me this long... I really REALLY want to thank all my blog friends for their support. You guys are awesome and I am so appreciative of your support, encouragement and prayers. Please keep the prayers for Pie's health coming!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Help!!

I am reaching out to my blog friends, especially those with any medical knowledge, for a rather strange question.
If you've read the post below you'll know that Pie is sick, again. He tends to get these chronic 'colds', for lack of a better word, that involve very harsh coughing, phlegm and trouble breathing (he's usually given some kind of inhaler).
Here is where my question comes in - other than being allergies, is it possible this is caused by the dogs and cats? (we have 2 of each and they live in the house) My father-in-law is very 'old country' and anti-pet. He insists that Pie gets sick because of the dogs and cats. That he (Pie) must have breathed in the pet hair.
Is this even possible?!? And if so then why the heck don't I get sick as often, or as bad, as Pie? After all I'm home a LOT more than he is.
It just doesn't make sense to me. I don't have a super clean house, yes there are dust bunnies and pet hair to be found. But really? Allergies I get, but this theory... help!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Odds'n'Ends

Just a kinda hodge-podge to catch up on stuff.

First off all Pie is sick. He's been phlegmy and coughing. Poor guy, when he gets this way it hits him hard and takes forever for him to get over (I think its because he's diabetic but that's just a guess) This time its been particularly rough. He hurt muscles in his back due to his coughing, the doctor gave him pain killers and muscle relaxers. He also gave him an antibiotic, for a lung infection? (sorry, bad wife I'm not too certain. Pie isn't the best at remembering the details and passing them along)

Then he started to complain about intense pain in his ribs. I told him that he probably just bruised his ribs from coughing. Or maybe cracked them. He was like "just?!" until I reminded him that I've done the same in the past, and I held myself back from reminding him that he didn't seem to think it was too big a deal then. lol But he went to the doctor and yup, bruised ribs.

Funny how men are such babies about their pain but expect us to suck it up. Now don't get the wrong impression, he's not mean or heartless. I think he just didn't realize quite HOW painful it is until he got to experience it himself. And not to sound heartless myself but I was getting quite tired of hearing all day, every day about HOW sick he is. Finally I just told him that he needs to stop concentrating so much on being sick and to think to himself that he's getting better. He needs to put out some positive energy and thoughts about being well.

Of course between shuttling Pie back and forth to the doctor, work and my Greek class all my riding plans keep getting shoved to the back burner. :( Well today (Sunday)I was going to ride come hell or high water. (sorry Mrs Mom!)

I did manage to ride but, yippy skippy, I'm still recovering from my own bout of illness. To keep it short and sweet, and sorry but kinda gross -- don't read this if you don't want to read about gross -- Thursday I felt off all day. (heh heh, isn't that a horse person for you 'felt off' lol) and by Thursday night I was puking. Which is not normal for me. It started before I went to bed but continued throughout the night. I would wake up from a deep sleep wondering what had woken me and then realize and bolt for the bathroom. Every time I sicked up it was very violent and harsh, enough so that my throat got raw and I started to spit up blood too. My whole body ached from the strain of it. My eyes were all bloodshot and they had turned green (my eye colour tends to change) so my eyes were all bright red and green (too bad it wasn't Christmas time.) And Saturday I actually noticed small bruises on my eyelids from the force of it. :o

But moving right along... today Kimfer and I worked the horses on the barrels. We took the time to actually mark out a pattern and set up the timers (which we only have because Kimfer is one of the provincial directors for our district) The times weren't spectacular but Applejack was consistent and I discovered the most amazing thing, if I actually RIDE the whole time it goes sooo much better! lol
And, BECG can relate to this, having a good ground person can make such a difference. Kimfer pointed out that I look down a LOT, mostly when I'm actually going around the barrel as opposed to the running between and home. I should know better, its a nasty old habit I had on Cessa. And although it did effect my times on her it really effects both the time and how well Applejack turns his barrels. So my mental soundtrack now plays "Look UP and ahead Lisa!!" as I run the pattern.

The ponies got turned out on pasture Friday evening and seem very very happy to be there. I've noticed Cessa has started to fill out a bit over the last week or two, having Rainy and Ty separated makes for a happier herd. Her bite marks are healing and her coat is nice and shiny, the old gal was kinda scrawny and scruffy this spring but now is lookin' pretty good. :)

And I guess I have to address my lack of pics lately. I've umm, well... misplaced my battery charger. I'm REALLY hoping Miss Klepto Kitty (aka Lola) stole it and hid it under the bed. Seeing as tomorrow is supposed to be rainy and its my day off I'm going to clean up and (hopefully) find it!

And in answer to Steph's question, Holly's horse's name is "Two by Two" but I'm not exactly sure how its spelled. I think how I usually see it on entries is "Two X 2" He can be a bit hot sometimes and the normal joke is to smack him with a 2x4. (but Ace and Holly aren't 'those' kind of horse people to do such a thing.)

The horse search is still on. Funny how when you're NOT looking everyone approaches you and tells you they've got THE perfect horse for you. But not so much when you're actually looking. Hmm.

And the acreage search is still on, but I'll leave that for another day because its extremely frustrating and I'm very P.O.'d with the realtor.
So instead of talking about that and getting all cranky I'll leave you with an amusing thought I had last weekend while brushing a VERY dirty Applejack:
You know your Appy is REALLY dirty when you realize that spot of mud you've been trying to brush off IS a SPOT. NOT mud. A spot. lol

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Oh My Gosh!

Team sorting on Sunday was soooo much fun. And not just because I won some money.
Yup, you heard right, Applejackers and I placed 2nd in the jackpot after the regular sorting! :O

Kimfer's uncle couldn't make it because of 'family commitments' so just the two of us girls went. And for the first time Kimfer and I got drawn on a team together. My other two teams were with Susan and Kathy. All my teams got cattle sorted in the first half.
Unfortunately Kimfer noticed Baron wasn't quite working right during her 2nd team so I lent her Applejack for her 3rd team. Lending her my horse wasn't a big deal but we were kinda stuck after lunch when we rode together. Until Holly came to the rescue and lent Kimfer Two X 2 (her horse). Wendy noticed Kimfer had put Baron away and lent her a Paint mare (sorry no name) that she'd brought along so Kimfer was covered for the rest of the day.
Kimfer and I had a clear round the 2nd go, as did Susan and I (I think) but Kathy and I had an oops - got a little too risky and trash got through.

Because there weren't a ton of people this week things went very quickly so Bev & Doug announced that there would be a $5 jackpot for anyone interested. Pretty much everyone joined so it paid to two places. Kathy and I were drawn on a team, Kimfer was with Ace and Holly and Wendy were together (I don't remember who was on the other teams).
This jackpot was in two go's. There were four teams that got all 10 sorted in the time limit, with only 10 seconds separating 1st from 4th! Kathy & I were not one of those teams, we had a tricky cow that really slowed us down and I think we had 6 sorted before we ran out of time.
We ran second last so during the 2nd go I was really watching, and I noticed that a lot of those teams that had all 10 cows ended up disqualified. I was starting to think that maaaybe we had a chance.
When we went in for our 2nd go we had one or two sorted and working on the next one. Can't remember exactly what happened but we were starting to play a little risky when I heard a voice in the judges stand say "You guys have to be safe!" followed by a "ssshhh!!!"
That really got my wheels turning and I was pretty sure I had been right, we were in it!
We still went for it but not quite as risky, and ended up with 8 cattle sorted (the 9th one was halfway through the gate when the whistle blew).
The last team ended up disqualified.
After a few minutes the results were announced, Holly & Wendy had won (not surprised, they sorted all 10 both go's) and Kathy & I were second!!