Wednesday, September 30, 2009

A Public Service Announcement

Having spent 42 of the last 48 hours worrying about and hunting for two runaway dogs, I have a few pieces of advice for those who keep canine companions:

1) Get each dog a collar and a rabies vaccination. Then hang the vaccination tag on the collar. The number on that tag can help identify your pet if it gets lost.

2) Go to a nearby Pet Smart store, look in some of the pet goods catalogues, or search on line for a way to make ID tags for all your animals. Put the animal's name, your name and a phone number on the tag, then put the tag on the collar. This can apply to horses, donkeys, zebras and alpacas, as well. Or pet cows, for that matter. A leather halter with an ID tag can be invaluable during storm situations, when fences get broken and spooked animals escape.

3) Support your local Humane Society and Animal Shelters. My dogs wandered five miles up the road, farther than I would have believed possible. I came home from putting flyers in mailboxes this morning to find a message saying the nice woman who lived up there had secured them for me to pick up. The way she got my name and number...I had filed a report with Animal Control. Blessings on Mrs. Murchison and the guys at the Animal Shelter, who were kind when I called and kept my information right at the front of their list!

I'll be putting electric wire around my back yard to keep the dogs from digging out underneath the mesh we put up to keep them in. I just couldn't get it done before Fanny took off on an adventure and forgot how to get back. I'm thrilled I don't have to drive around looking for dog corpses on the side of the road anymore. Just not the way to spend a beautiful autumn day.

All the best,


Wednesday, September 23, 2009


Wow...April 27th was a long time ago. Not exactly posting every day, am I?

Well, the new school year has started, and I always love the chance to start again.

We've had some interesting moments on the farm this summer. One of them occurred when Suzette turned up lame on an August Saturday afternoon. The injury turned out to be yet another dreaded term for horse people: a bowed tendon. Dreadful because the horse requires stall rest and limited activity for months, and won't be fully back to work at the same level for at least a year.

So Princess Suzette has been confined to a 12 by 14 foot stall for almost six weeks now. The time has come to start walking her around, under control so she doesn't reinjure the leg. With a high energy horse like the Princess, control is never guaranteed.

But we'd been doing okay, she and I, walking around the paddock. Until last Sunday, when an open gate and an approaching tractor gave her too much to think about. She simply couldn't process all the options.

I don't recall exactly what happened. My neighbor says I went up into the air as I was falling backwards. I seem to remember being socked in the face with the nose of a horse. I know I have a sore shoulder and a big bruise on my foot.

Obviously, Suzette freaked out and decided to vacate the premises. I'm told she trotted across the paddock to stand with TBone. Her leg seems to be fine.

I don't remember standing up, or anything much at all for about 5 minutes. My husband says I didn't lose consciousness. But when he asked me the know, I really couldn't say.

Is there a moral to this story?

Never take any moment of your life for granted, with or without a horse.