Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Stori - beginnings and happy endings

Today, June 9th, was my daughter Paige's due date to be born. Although she did not actually get here till the 12th of June, I was in moderate labor starting from the 9th. I would suspect that most mothers are like me in the respect of traveling down memory lane with their children's' birth date. Before I had kids, I always thought birthdays were for the person having them. Boy was I wrong! Now I realize my kids' birthdays are special days where I get to relive every minute of that special miracle. A mother can look at the clock on the day (or night before) of a baby's birthday and think to herself, "It was now that I felt the first pain" or "Right now I knew today was the day" "Here's when my water broke" "This is when they laid my own true love on my chest to meet for the first time". All these small moments may seem irrelevant to others, but are so incredibly dear to me. With Colt and Sunni Sue, I get about a 24 hour period of this. Paigee gives me over 4 days of day dreaming. I had one day of happy thoughts with Colt, till he actually got here and threw me into 9 days of hell reliving our nightmare. But Paigee's arrival was for the most part a warm and fuzzy one. The 9th is when I called my parents and told them to get down to Texas NOW!! The 9th was the day the Doc sent me home to pack my things because it was only going to be hours before I was back to deliver her. Although all 3 of my babies were c-section deliveries, I do not feel like I missed out on the whole "real" labor part. I would have cherished having them natural, but nature had other plans for me. So today marks the start of my tender moments with Paigee week. She gets annoyed with me, but has no other choice then to just deal with my emotional over load.
I had a friend mention to me the other day that most of my animal stories on the blog are sad. She was happy to see it all turned out well with Moose coming home. I had to think about this for a minute. I guess the tragedies are just more memorable to me than the sunshiny moments. I know lots of folks that just have hit after hit of bad luck with animals. Since we very rarely experience hard knocks with our furry friends, it may just impact me more than others. So I thought I just might mention a couple success stories on this here old fat farm for my friend. Not all is dark and sad in my world, very little is in fact. So here we go......
This is the second time we have owned this particular horse. The first time was about three years ago. A man held a farm and livestock auction here locally. It has only happened twice and we were pretty deeply involved both times. We bought Rusty from a guy who owns a big trucking company here in town. He had traveled to Missouri and cleaned out the stock on a Quarter Horse ranch that the owner had passed away. Since the man's death, the ranch nor the animals were taken care of. My dad has a very good eye with animals with potential that other people don't always see. We bought Rusty that day with the horse being almost 300 lbs underweight, his feet were overgrown and deformed, and he was completely covered in mange (body lice). I got him home, fed him, bathed him, wormed and deloused him ( this taking several treatments and a lot of elbow grease and used motor oil!) Within a couple months, he was absolutely beautiful. A perfect example of what an athlete should look like. Although his medical issues were fixed, he still had a lot of personality...um....problems. He bit. He kicked. He would not allow you to touch his head. We had Rusty for a full year and that following May, due to my dad's knee problems, we sold him at the next year's auction. He was broke, he was well mannered, he was physically perfect. We sold him for over 3 times what we bought him for. Rusty and I hated each other.
2 years pass. Circumstances lend me looking for another horse to buy. We ran into the guy that bought him from us (who incidentally, we man we bought him from originally) and asked after Rusty. They man told us he had too many horses that weren't getting rode and he would sell him back to us at way below the cost we sold him for. Why not right? Rusty gets delivered back to us, 200 pounds again underweight. Completely dehydrated, feet are once again trashed. He does nothing but eat and drink for the first 2 weeks. If I would try to approach him while he was eating, he would strike out at me with teeth or hooves, a common behavior with horses that don't get enough food. With time and patience and food, and more time and still more patience, and almost 2 months later, Rusty has come into his own. He has come to trust me as a leader and enjoy me as a friend. When I could not catch him at first, he now seeks my attention and affection. He's kind and funny. My family jokes around about him being my big red dog. He follows me around the barn yard like a faithful pet. We do not tie him up when picketing the horses in the pasture, he would not dare leave Heidi who he is so fully bonded to, he can't stand being separated from her. He knickers me at when he sees me approach. He rubs his head on me when we are close enough to touch. He now follows verbal commands as well as Heidi and is really coming along with his riding training. He has gained most all his weight back and shines like a copper penny. He is more comfortable in his little shed than I have ever seen a horse attached to a place. He is home now. Even if he does not work out for the best as far as a saddle horse goes, I don't believe I could sell him for the simple fact that he is happy here. I know how to take care of him in a way he desperately needs and the poor guy needs a break. He is safe here. It's the least I can do for a fellow creature.
~Yellow hen~
The last time we travelled down to Dry Creek was to pick up Sister, my filly that died. While we were down there that day, we also got a new rooster for our flock since our old guy had finally lived out his life. While sacking up the rooster, the chicken guy brings out a hen. Asks if we wanted her for a butcher chicken since she was probably not going to live anyway. She had frostbitten her leg badly enough for the tissue to die and for everything from the knee down to fall off. Chickens are ruthless things. If they catch any sign of weakness in another chicken, they will attack and kill it, and sad to say, eat it if allowed. If a hen gets pecked and bleeds even the tiniest bit, the other hens will kill it if it's not removed and all signs of blood taken care of. So we take her not expecting her live out the night in the hen house. We were pleasantly surprised to find her alive the next morning, and the next, and the next! She may have been crippled but our hen house is set up a bit differently from her previous home in the way that she had places to hide from the rest of the hens here. Not only did this little yellow hen survive, but she thrives! She is able to get around just as good on her gimp foot as all the other chickens. She can hop, one legged, up on the roosts at night and is able to get all the way up into the nest boxes to lay her daily egg. These nest boxes are about 3 foot off the ground! She's a nice little hen, very reliable with her laying, and never aggressive. She'll have a home with us for the rest of her days as comfortable as we can make her.
Here at The Fat Farm, we open our arms to all those that aren't deemed acceptable to others. We accept the skinny, the crippled, the short, and the funny looking. Don't judge us, and we won't judge back.

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