Saturday, March 29, 2008

Well it's Official!

Matt can't live without me:-) and he popped the question today! Really I can't live without him, I'm the needy one ;-) We had finished cleaning stalls and went to see Lester and give him carrots in the red barn pasture and I turned around and Matt was on one knee and asked if I would marry him. Course I said yes.... It's poyfect (perfect), just what I wanted. A ring where the rocks are flat against the band so as not to hurt myself or anyone else with it :-) I can be a flailer at times...

These pics cracked me up, this was before the proposal and Matt was just taking random pics...

Less and I having a moment...

Then Less realizes the camera is there and looks all pissy! LOL

Friday, March 28, 2008

Lester want a cookie??

Sterman turns 17 today. I snuck him an early b-day treat on Weds- we had a meeting at work that supplied us with giant cookies and I snagged Less one. He LOVES chocolate chip cookies, my favorite too!

Happy birfday Lester! I'm so glad you're still here to celebrate another one!

On an annoying note...Less pulled off his right front shoe yesterday while we were virtually doing nothing! He's been really stiff lately and tripping in the kind end again so I was taking it pretty easy on him and doing a lot of walking and just straight way trotting. Well our second trot set he ripped it cleanly off. My farrier is hours away and he's only had his new shoes 2 1/2 weeks! Major bummer...

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Chocolate Moose~would be 30 years old today

So I started this post on March 17th because Moose was born on that date in 1978, but I wanted to tell her whole story and so it took me a while longer. She died March 26th, 1997.

Chocolate Moose aka Bell's Knowledge was my first horse I got when I was 11. Family went to an auction one Saturday in 1988? (we lived in California at the time) and Daddy bought 2 horses:-) (Raspilla was the other horse) I think he enjoyed the bidding wars...
We had our trainer with us and she did have an "eye" for horses. Moose was 10 years old and 17 hands tall and had a very kind eye. Even though she was unkept and dirty my trainer saw right threw that. She had been a broodmare (records show she had 1 foal, a filly, Newbury Port. ) other than that we have no idea what her previous life was like. I do remember the man that brought her to auction wore hideous red plaid pants. And there was this little white horse that screamed for Moose when we took her out of the stall to jog her, the little white horse was heart broken. Moose had that effect on horses though, they would get so attached. We did hunter/ jumper stuff and she did it well. She was the type of horse that if you were falling off or off balance she would slow down and stop~ trying to save you. And when I did hit the ground she usually just stood over me like, "how'd that happen". Gosh she was perfect too bad I was a temperamental child back then who couldn't "see it":-(
We moved to Georgia in 1993 and brought both horses with us. Shortly after, Jennifer gave Raspilla to our vet's wife at the time (due to lameness reasons), Reesa Frank. They had a big pasture with a lake and some other horses. Sounded perfect and it was for about 2-4 years? I can't remember the timeline exactly.
Moose sustained a hock injury in her stall one day while I was at work. Assuming it was broken, though stupidly I didn't have it xrayed, (ETA: my sis remembered that we did x-ray it and found a hairline fracture )we kept her stalled for 3 months. The first vet that looked at her said it could be an infection, I thought he was crazy as she wouldn't move on it. He was terrible, as he pulled out hoof testers when it was obvious that it was her hock that was bothering her. It was over 13 years ago, but I still remember thinking - this guy doesn't know anything?
After her leg healed everyone told me it was time to part with her because she'd become arthritic.
Gosh how did I ever have the strength to let her go? or was it weakness? I fell to the peer pressure that I had to find her a new home and find another horse if I wanted to ride and show. Damnit I would have been happy just tool'n around with her- we went on some big adventures together! She was an AWESOME trail horse when it was just the two of us or there were no cows around:-) I can remember riding along side the road and running along side school buses! I wanted to retire her, but my parent's backyard just didn't seem like the place and if I were to get another horse, there just wouldn't be room. Plus I always pictured horse retirement = 'd huge grassy field, lakes and turn out 24 x7 ...I've changed my mind on that now. It's not about the property, but the love and attention and CARE that = 's a good retirement.
So I gave her to my farrier's daughter first, but Moose was too much horse for her, can't remember how long he kept her, but I did get to visit her a couple of times. Then we gave her to Reesa Frank, remember she took Raspilla a couple of years earlier... Perfect huh? WRONG.
Moose and Raspilla lived out there a total of 2 years together. Jennifer and I both horse sat a couple of times and visited them lots of times. So all is well, right- got a new horse, Lester, Jen had a new horse too and we were both taking lessons and starting to show.
Then I just happened to run into Reesa Frank at a store in the winter of 1996...and naturally I asked how Moose was. "Oh I don't have her anymore" she replied. My heart stopped as she continued to talk and tried to assure me she was OK. She had donated Moose to the Murphy Harp Center- a home for abused kids and sold Raspilla- I don't remember what happened to the other 2 horses she had. Now what I can't understand is why didn't the bitch Reesa call us and tell us she didn't want the horses anymore? That still pisses me off to this day! ...I got the phone number from Reesa to call the MHC and check up on Moose. I gave them a call and told them that Moose was my first horse and I just wanted to come visit her. At first they didn't want me to I guess because they didn't want me around the kids, but I finally convinced them and arranged a date and time to come see her. Again I don't remember the exact timeline... so me with my fantastic ability to take the LONG WAY of directions set out to go visit her. I think it took me about 2 hours to get to her when really I think it could have been less than an hour's drive. The MHC is in Cedartown on a lot of acreage and had lots of horses and kind of an old timey barn. I arrived to find Moose too skinny and her feet just in awful shape. She was always a "hard" keeper, but she was never in this condition with me. I did the only sensible thing I could think of and that was to "volunteer" my time and money and provide the care that Moose needed. They could keep her there and I would just be like a sponsor. They thought that sounded great.
So with my new plan in mind I get my new school schedule (I was in college at the time) and call them up about a week or so later to set up a schedule with them. So I make the call and I get "Oh, we don't want her anymore, she has too many problems, we're always having to have the vet out for her". IMMEDIATELY without hesitation I tell her that I will take her back. She didn't think I was serious, but I convinced her and she told me about the paperwork that would need to be signed and all. I hang up the phone just gut wrenched. Though I said I would take her back something in me knew it wasn't going to happen. I moped around the house for a couple of weeks waiting on paper work to arrive that never came. My spring break was coming up and I wanted to spend it rehabbing Moose so I called up MHC and told them that I never got the papers and to fax them to me now and I would take them to Reesa Frank to have them singed and then I will bring the papers with me when we came to get Moose the following day. They agreed, papers were faxed, I got them signed. Again I'm just overcome with a "knowing" sadness yet I don't don't what it is exactly. My mom asked what was wrong and I said "I don't know, I just feel like she's going to die before I get her back".
Even though I "knew" something I still had to go through the motions of the day and picking her up. Jen and I set out with the horse trailer and followed my horrible directions, that's when I learned there was a shorter way there. When we got about 15 minutes away for the center I called to give them a heads up and I get a long pause... " she didn't come to the barn this morning to eat and we have someone looking for her now".
I hang up the phone and No Doubt's song, Don't Speak comes on the radio...
Verse 1 You and me We used to be together Every day together always Verse 2 I really feel I'm losing my best friend I can't believe This could be the end Verse 3 It looks as though you're letting go And it it's real, Well I don't want to know Chorus Don't speak I know just what you're saying So please stop explaining Don't tell me 'cause it hurts Don't speak I know what you're thinking I don't need your reasons Don't tell me 'cause it hurts
To this day I still think of that day when I hear that song. :-( and I still think about Moose daily.
Jen and I arrive and I get out of the truck to some woman saying "you can't take her home today, she's hurt her leg". She said the vet was on his way, and I say that I want to have her put down. Without seeing her that is what I say I want. The lady points me in the direction that Moose is in and I climb up a hill and look down and there she is standing all alone and she nickers for me which brings me to instant tears. Same scenario as before when she injured her hock. Same swelling, same heat same reluctance to move anywhere. I mutter the words if I knew it was going to be your last day I would have brought you a carrot so Jen set off to find a store to do just that. I get some alone time with Moose and it felt like she was already gone as weird as that sounds. I apologize for EVERYTHING and just hug her and cry into her neck.
The vet arrives and wants to begin his examination, I tell him also that I would like for her to be put to rest. I BEG them to put her down, there is no reason to put her through the pain of an exam. The exam begins and the jack ass vet goes right for her injured leg, no soothing words or warning touches, just grabs her leg which of course she tries her best to hobble away from him. Jen and I are screaming and crying to PLEASE just put her down, there is no need to put her through any of this. The head of the MHC comes out in his suit and tie in the middle of this pasture and threw his rank around and tells me that before she can be put down that there has to be an exam and good cause to do so because of the tax write off B.S. They acted as if I had no authority over her and man did they make me feel powerless to help her. The exam continues and Moose tries to get away from the uncaring vet and she falls over in the process, moaning and groaning as he continued with the exam :-( When Jen and I had another outburst of tears and pleading after she fell the head of the center told some chick to "take the girls to the barn" (meaning us) and Jen stood our ground and said "No, we are staying." I stayed at her head and tried to soothe her as best I could and finally - I don't even know or cared what the vet diagnosed - she was put down. I was just disgusted with the swarm of people surrounding her claiming to have known her and crying over her they had no idea what this horse meant to me.
Not a day goes by that I do not regret 2 decisions. First that I ever gave her away in the first place (to what? further a riding career that never was?! - don't get me wrong, I love Lester, but he and I aren't doing anything that Moose and I couldn't have done, Less and I never made it past 1st level) and 2nd that I had her put down that day. I guess the words "you can't take her home today" struck me too hard and if I couldn't take her home and care for her like she needed to be then I wasn't going to leave her in their hands another day. But I do wish I had given her another chance. At least long enough to show her how loved she was and that I had not forgotten her. I still have dreams well I guess somewhat nightmares where I almost get her to SummerWind farm to retire her, but then I remember I had her put down.
There's not a day that goes by that I don't think about you Moose...forever in my heart and forever on my mind.
Raspilla, though sold numerous times ended up with a pretty good home... I posted about her last summer...

Monday, March 24, 2008

My Spooky Arrived

My memory glass pendent with Spooky's ashes arrived on Saturday. It's gorgeous and VERY special to me so unique just like Spooky was. There were many colors to chose from, but I loved the "eternal purple".
Matt and I have agreed on what to do with Spooky's remaining ashes, she will be laid to rest at the farm, her second home.
Closure is setting in. My pendent has arrived, I have finally finished her portrait for the memoriam site (yes, I'm that anal and changed it even more)- it's finally "her" in my eyes and the words for the memoriam site are coming to me as well.
The Memory Glass service was so fast, professional and made the whole process so easy. I have to admit I didn't know what to expect as far as the kit and having to collect the ashes- but that's because I didn't read the ordering process page :-p I highly recommend them.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Got a light...bulb that is?

Limo had one on Sunday :-o and I don't mean a bright idea either- cuz it obviously wasn't! She came trotting out of the barn with <---that kind of light bulb in her MOUTH! I saw that she was holding something and I asked her what she had and she spit it out. The GREAT thing about Limo is that when she has an item of questionable nature she brings it into view almost to ask for approval. She's "asked" about a glove a horse brush and a hoofpick before and I of course told her those were no no items, but I thank her for bringing it to my attention. Now if it's a stick or a dog toy- stuffy or ball or whatever she doesn't feel the need to "ask" me. But man that could have ended so badly with the whole light bulb 8-o gosh what if she had chomped down?! Ugg, I don't want to think about it. I also am giving her the Medal of Honor because if *she* could reach it then any dog on the farm could! ;-)
Limo had freedom for a day and she loved it and was a perfect angel, no messes and nothing was chewed up. But we are babysitting a friend's greyhound for a bit and so back in the crate she had to go...poor Lim Lim. But she was NOT a gracious host and so back to the crate she went. I tried to be smart about the introduction this time. Gigi and Limo had met before, but she'd never been to our house. In usual greyhound form Gigi come in and felt pretty at home. She whined a bit here and there, but I think that's just her. We took the two girls for a walk, side by side and they ignored each other. Then let them in the backyard and they ate some poop together :-x ewwww This is why Limo gets "air kisses", I never know what she's going to put in her mouth!
So then we walked into the house together, both on lead and I fed Limo cheese as Gigi walked about the house checking things out. I think I need to spread the cheese out a bit more, she gobbled it all up in a matter of a minute or so, trying to take a finger along some of the time.
I did correct her some of the time, but not by throwing her on her side and making her submit, I just pulled her tail down or turned her away and made her face me. Then the pizza came so I put her in the crate and she growled and snarled the first 5 or 6 times Gigi came up to us on the couch and then it would turn into a pitiful whine. By the time she was let out to go potty she was so happy to be out that she paid little attention to Gigi. She slept in her crate and she wasn't happy about it. But this is good for her.

Monday, March 17, 2008

There's nothin like the "pitter patter" sound of dogs on pergo...

Jetta FINALLY played with Lim Lim... <---the video is too big to load here so it's on photobucket.

Jetta was adopted on Saturday. Bitter sweet for Matt I think, but I am OK with it. I'm not ready to "love" another grey yet. Matt said if Jetta had been our 3rd or 4th foster that we would have kept him, I told him we couldn't "fail" our first foster...

I think Limo is OK with it... Today is a big day for Lim as we left her "out" of her crate today! I'm about to go home and check on her and the house!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Treat this...

Well last night was our first night with our new "treating" tactics. She loved this and her eyes about bulged out of her head and didn't notice Jetta until he tried to get one of her treats (he slipped out of Matt's grasp), but "it" never got out of control. It was never anger because of jealously it was, "Don't you dare try and eat my treat". Matt loved on Jetta and gave him a couple of treats while I tossed treats to the beast. I think for this to work it will have to be limited time and I'll have to be away from Matt and Jetta. The rest of the time she'll have to be in her crate. I realize now it wasn't good for me to be sitting on the couch while I threw her treats. hmmm guess we are all learning. It's odd to me that the dynamics are so different in the afternoons though. There seems to be no anger or jealousy when we first come home and let the dogs out and I think it's because Jetta is excitable and panting- in her eyes he's more of a threat and she's timid so she just puts on her happy face and tail and body- "What big teeth you have said lil Lim Lim"...and then I say, "My what big bat ears you have Limo"...

Pony man really needs a haircut.
As promised I hopped on the pony man last night and he was a good boy. Strong, stiff and quick, but good- he didn't spook at anything:-) . We only walked and trotted. My back was just as stiff as his and the canter would have sent my back into spasms. I couldn't keep up with his trot he was throwing my butt out of the saddle. We did some terrible turns on the haunches and pretended we were doing reining spins:-) oh wait, I think they were forehand spins, I can't remember.
Limo does two things now that Spooky used to do- she comes into the center with me sometimes when I lunge and lays down right in the middle of where Less and I are working (riding). Strange kinda, but I think Lim misses her "wondering" partner as we all do.
p.s I'm so glad the spell checker is working on blogger again:-)

Thursday, March 13, 2008

My head itches daddy...

Awww, my two mens:-) What is cuter than daddy being used as an eye boogie remover station?
I hopped on the Pony man (Lester) Monday and felt like we would be very strong contenders in a lead line or walk trot class. Lose rein, mane holding, nice jog with straight up posting and letting the pony wonder...He was a good boy as he has been for quite awhile now.
Pony Man got some new sha- oooz (shoes) on Tuesday so he got his Icon injection to help with his stiff joints and of course earned another smiley from his farrier Ronnie!
Yesterday he was in a new pasture and he still came up to the gate and nickered, sweet sweet pony man. I lunged him for 4.5 minutes, that's about all I could chase out of him. Kidding, he's actually a very good boy on the lunge and even though I am one of those VERY annoying constant clickers and kissers he listens to my voice commands very well. He gave me a nice jog then I hopped and jumped at him a bit and he BOLTED I wasn't expecting it, but as always (usually) he bolts within the realm of his lungeline. Then came a beautiful springy trot and canter, he looked gooooooooood. I will be hopping on that pony today he and I both are getting a bit chubby :-x

Sweet Dreams....NOT

I've been having nightmares every night. Not reoccurring, they are all different. A few of them that I can remember and actually "explain" : Lester's foot fell off in one, another I was trying to escape from a slaughterhouse with the help of two people that were only setting me up to be caught and last night I woke up, well Matt woke me up because I was screaming "I'm going to F-ing kill you" (poor Jetta)- my sleeping habits have unnerved many a dog before:-/ But what else is there to say when a giant spider is clinging to your back? and at least I stayed in bed sometimes I jump out of bed screaming obscenities...and doing odd things o:-)
Spooky used to ALWAYS sleep with me when I first got her, but she too started to prefer the floor :-x In the last year every once in a while she would sleep in the bed with me and Matt would graciously take the couch without being asked. I would wake up the next morning and ask where he slept and he would say "Well Spooky was still in the bed with you and I wasn't about to make her move!" I think it's something she knew I wanted and liked and knew our time together was getting shorter. I loved it when I would turn over and sleep on my stomach and could feel her head or one of her long legs on my lower back- such comfort to me.

Oddly enough we had an OK night with Miss Limings (Limo) . I took the dogs to the farm with the dog handler (Matt) again so they were both pretty tired. Jen (big sis) is trying to help us with our raging beast, the fear protector. She really is a GOOD girl though. She waits to be told when she can eat. You put the food bowl down in front of her and she will look at her food and then look up at you "asking" if it's OK to eat yet. The word is OK and sometimes you have to tell her twice and the water faucet has to be off too- she won't believe you if it's not...She can be off lead in the front yard and be told to ignore cats, neighbors, cars and other dogs. She walks nicely on a leash and will sit on command though it takes a lil time cuz she has to swing out those hind legs.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

My dog ate my flossing tool...

True story. Limo ate my first flossing tool, completely mangled it and I caught the replacement one in her mouth. I've been meaning to throw that one in the dish washer and keep forgetting! Lim Lim doesn't chew on *our* stuff as bad as you would think, it's just occasionally so it's not enough for me to really clean house and keep everything in it's place:-) - I had to go to the dentist today and they laughed at my excuse of why I hadn't been flossing...

She's spending LOTS of time on a leash or in the crate these days. She's not happy about having "house" guests. Outside she is perfectly fine and loves the company, inside during the mornings and evenings she is raging beast. The thing I find funny is in the afternoons when Jetta is HYPER and jumping around and sometimes bumping into her and he's trying to jump on me she's just wagging her tail and happy as can be- I really think she is fearful of him in this state. But if Jetta comes up for loveings and things are mellow and Limo see's that she is snarling in an instant. I don't know what to do sometimes I mean I can discipline and correct them all day long if need be, I have no problem with that, BUT Limo does not stop. I would have taken video of her last night, but I think that would have inferred with Matt's "dog whispering" and Matt would have snapped at me :-) The thing is that during our *correcting* she will not stop. I am not kidding when I tell you she enters into a whole new zone and "she" is no longer with us. Matt laughs at me because when I have the leash and Limo is about to go into her redzone I will try to keep her "with me" with distractions kinda like not wanting an injured person to go to the light! It's bizarre behavior. Once she has entered this redzone you have to literally snap her out of it before you can even attempt to get anywhere. Her eyes go red, her body goes rigid and when you can snap her out of it she immediately licks and chews and her eyes soften and her body loosens up. Last night just by muting the TV snapped her out of it. Course she started right back up again. Any tips? Let'em rip.

This pic cracks me up:-D doesn't it look like Jetta just mowed down Limo on his way to the door? Ha, don't worry he didn't, she's about to roll over or something.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Cutest Pony Ever!

I wish he had been farther away because he really does come running in:-) and if you listen carefully you can hear his nickers.... awwww such cuteness. I didn't notice the grass on his tongue till I played back the video. He's my wittle pon-ney! Pony is so much more fun to say than horse.

I think Less is suffering a bit from allergies...his sweet little eyes have looked a bit puffy to me and he had a runny nose on Weds. So no riding this week so far. And with the outlook on the weather,40's being the HIGH for tomorrow I doubt I'll chose to hop on then either:-)

OK, I got footage of him running in too :-) nothing says cute like a running, nickering pony!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Memory Glass ~ Spooky

So I got my Memory Glass kit the other day and had Matt gather up some of Spooky's ashes last night and have sent away for my Memory Glass Pendent. The kit got here fast and came with a little scoop, pill bottle, return mailing supplies and detailed instructions on how to proceed. I didn't really know what to expect, but this was easy to do. Now it just needs to be taken to the post office and sent as registered mail and in about 2-4 weeks I should receive a beautiful pendent with some of Spooky's ashes inter mixed through the glass.
I didn't like the idea of wearing urn type jewelry carrying some of her ashes, it just didn't' appeal to me. And I couldn't afford the $3500 diamond I wanted made from her ashes from Life Gem. I really hate rich people ( like Paris Hilton, Nicole Richie and any other spoiled brats born into money and are just a nuisance to society) who don't have to think about money and can decide to do things based on the fact they want it and not can they afford it- it's not fair! So the Memory Glass pendent was a great alternative for me.
There she is in the little flowery tin canister on the mantle with sympathy cards and 2 or her collars around a vase that has petals from flowers we received. The orange collar with the writing from what looks like white out was her track and kennel collar. And the black flowery collar was her fancy outing collar. I don't have her "everyday" collar as it was cremated along with her. Oh and BTW Dogwood never called me back - I had wanted to talk to the tech and vet that were there that day personally and the office lady said she would have them call me. Well from talking to the crematory place and thinking back on the events I finally came to my own conclusion that she was indeed cremated with the collar.
Like I said in an earlier post I had gotten a call from Altoona Animal Hospital checking up on Spooky last week and I had to tell them she had passed on. Well I got a card the other day from them with a hand written message that they had made a donation in Spooky's name to the local animal shelter - like we had been a life long client of theirs and we had only had the one appointment. I found it incredibly nice of them and very unexpected!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Grumble, grumble, grumble...

Where did that giant (Jetta) come from? I thought I was the only dog... (insert cussing)...

I'll admit though I miss the big black dog even though I would snarl at her too... she would just ignore my snarls, is that just a greyhound thing? Why doesn't anyone take me seriously? She did let me share the bench seat with her in the car though...

so I guess that was niiiice of her.

At least she would play with me... and I like'd it rough...
Tug-o-war was one of our favorite games, she usually won though :-<
We all miss you Spooky.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Next top pony model...

Lester has made a few Coweta editorial appearances over the years and this is his most recent. Since he was the only clean horse at the barn on the day of the shoot he got to be in the shot for the vet's ad. Could he look anymore like a short, stocky cow horse with a big head and arab nostrils?? And the sad part is that *this* really was one of the better shots...

I know I call him the Pony Man now, but jeeze does he really have to look like one?!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

OH my aching back...

I forgot to say -WHACK right in the nose was my first encounter with Jetta. You would think I would have been smarter not to lean down a happy greyhound I didn't know, but I wanted him to smell Lim's bottom and so when I was trying to position her, WHACK right in the nose by a muzzled nose. My eyes teared up, but no blood...course that wasn't his fault, just my stupidity.
I feel like I've been riding horses all day, but really I've just been leading one around :-0 Hah, Jetta is one strong boy! I rode Lester yesterday and just walked cuz I could feel a tightness in my back and hip and then BAM my back was wrecked, funny thing is what finally did it was me trying to "relax" my back and seat. I hopped off Less and could barely walk, he just looked at me and hopped I might have some sugar from him. Matt untacked him for me and of course helped with the rest of the horse chores...

OK, did I mention I'm worried about Matt failing his first foster???

Saturday, March 1, 2008

It's Jetta the big male greyhound...

Well Jetta the 80lb male is the one of the three that didn't want to eat Limo. The two girls just kept licking their chops and lungeing at her. Lil Lim was a star though, VERY well behaved with the 3 greys we tried and she finally wagged her tail with Jetta so we have him in our care now. Course now that he's with us Limo has commenced snarling again. Snarly magee is what Matt and I call her...
Oh I know I'm not supposed to change the name, but Jetta is a girl's name! So I think it should be Jedi... Matt is liking him a little too well ;-) but he just keeps saying "I want him to have a good time while he's here"...uh huh.
Ready for a coinky dink? This guy and Spooky have the same father, Grey's Statesman, man he must really get around! but geeze, how likely would it really be to get one that was the father of Spooky. He also drinks like her, lap lap lap= all over the floor... He's very soft and just a big lug. Travels great in the car, goes right to sleep really.