Sunday, April 26, 2015

Peaceful Days

We’ve officially managed to do a decent job of grooming the herd.  They don’t look like wooly beasts anymore thanks to lots of currying, brushing and the shedding blade. Our Vet was here Friday and they all got some of their Spring shots.  The dentist will be here Monday.  I’ve started cleaning the barn from top to bottom.  Cob webbing is not one of my favorite things. You’d be amazed at how much dust builds up in the loft, and on walls, corners and ceiling fans in a barn over the winter.   When I was done I looked like one of the horses after a good roll in the dirt.

Gunnar (the pup) is doing very well after his surgery.  He met up with our resident fox last night that was in the small pasture on the side.  There was a lot of barking and they simply stared at each other for a while.  Once we investigated the barking and found out what all the commotion was about, Gunnar was told it was okay and how brave he was.  Then he went and found his “lambie” for extra protection and everything settled down.

Here are a few pictures of some of the grooming victims:
Blue - "Oh no, just how many brushes do you have in that box!"

Glad that's over with.

Sami - Is this the cutest little guy ever?
He sure is the sweetest.

Nate - " I'll put my ears up when I start enjoying myself"

O'Grady - " I seem to have this pouffy dandelion forelock thing going on"
But just as handsome as ever
Donnie - "Umm, I could use another treat, that was exhausting"
Dusty - "I'm not sure this is the fashion statement I want to make for the Spring"
Just look at that face, I'd say she's pretty mad at me right about now.
Hi, it's me Gunnar! Don't know why I'm on a leash, I wasn't digging again...really.
"C'mon Maggie, lets play with my new rubber chicken toy"
" I'm a lady, I don't play with rubber chickens.  He's such a little pest"
Looking this sad ought to get someone to play with me.
Milo - The original Grumpy Cat who hates both dogs and is never done hissing and growling at them.

Quote for Today

Animals are such agreeable friends - they ask no questions, they pass no criticisms.
 George Elliot

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Update on Gunnar (the pup)


Dec. 3o, 2014 (First day Gunnar was found in the road)

January 4, 2015

Shortly after my daughter found Gunnar abandoned on the road in late December she noticed that he wasn’t quite right health–wise.  He was only about 6 weeks old and had been out on his own in the cold and snow in the woods for a few weeks. I honestly don’t know how he survived. After a few trips to her veterinarian’s office he was diagnosed with:

Portosystemic (Liver) Shunts in Dogs
Portosystemic shunts (PSS), also known as liver shunts or portosystemic vascular anomalies, are anatomical defects where one or more veins let blood bypass a dog’s liver. These veins are remnants of embryonic blood vessels that are supposed to regress shortly after a puppy is born. What causes portosystemic shunts is unknown. They may be caused by some insult to fetuses inside the womb. There almost certainly is a strong genetic component. As the abnormal veins shunt blood around the liver, substances that normally would be filtered, metabolized or modified by the liver stay in circulation. Many of these, especially ammonia, are harmful - especially to nervous system tissue. Affected dogs usually develop symptoms by 1 year of age. The signs of PSSs are nonspecific and episodic. They include lethargy, weakness, disorientation, drooling, vocalization, vision disturbances, pacing, stunted growth, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, appetite changes, changes in urination, itchy skin, tremors, seizures and collapse.

If you’re interested in more information on this condition click on the link below:

Needless to say my daughter was very concerned, as we all were, to see if we could help the little guy lead a normal life.  I’ve never heard of this condition in dogs but now we are all becoming experts. 

Gunnar is the friendliest, sweetest dog I’ve ever met.  Everyone who meets him falls in love with him on the spot.  People actually come over and ask to pet him all the time.  My daughter is lucky she can bring him to work with her.  He’s made friends with everyone there from the UPS guy, the mailman, the people who work in the building, and even random people in the parking lot that he meets on his potty runs. Gunnar loves to explore outside, meet new people and dogs, and play with his many toys.  His Lambie is still his favorite though.

Needless to say, we all wanted to do the best we could for him. His regular vet referred him to a specialist at Cornell where he was given a CT scan.  It turned out he had the more difficult kind of shunt to operate on.  Gunnar's is inside his liver instead of on the outside.  The vet there referred Gunnar to his mentor who has pioneered a new procedure for the kind of shunt he has.  So he was scheduled for an appointment with that specialist in a month or so.  In the meantime, Gunnar was being treated with medication and a special diet while we waited for him to get a little bigger and put some weight on. 

The day came for his consultation with the new specialist in Manhattan. When he arrived they examined him and decided he was ready for his operation the next day.  There is a 95% chance of success with this surgery.  The doctor seemed confident that he would do well.  The operation is done laproscopically (if that's the right word?) and they go in through the jugular vein in his neck.  It’s less invasive than the other surgery he might have had if the vein was outside the liver. For that surgery they would have had to open him up and recovery time would be about a month or more. During the operation they put in a stent and 14 coils--he did great.  We had to wait to see if he would have any complications after the procedure, as seizures and hepatic hypertension are major concerns.  The day prior to surgery they gave him anti-seizure medication. 

He stayed in the ICU unit for a day.  Apparently, they let him walk around and he kept going over to the packages of food and bringing them to everyone who worked there. Sort of a “how about it guys, I’m hungry!”

Afterwards, when everything appeared ok, he went into the general ward and got ready to come home.  I’m happy to report that he’s doing fine and there was really no down time for him. (As far as he was concerned.)  He’s playing and just being super cute.

The vet did say that when he’s full grown he might need another operation to put in more coils.  It all depends on whether the shunt begins to leak as he continues to grow. Fingers crossed.  We will deal with that if and when the time comes. But for now we get to be friends with a very sweet lovable pup who is one of the happiest dogs I’ve ever met.
Here's Gunnar a few weeks before his operation. (Both pictures)
 No gloves are safe since he was allowed to play with one of my daughter's!
( I have no current pictures of Gunnar -  I blame this on my daughter who is terrible about taking pictures!)

Quote for Today
“Happiness is a warm puppy.” – Charles M. Schulz

Monday, April 6, 2015

It's Spring!

Even though we had a little snow flurry yesterday for Easter this picture tells me it's definitely the beginning of Spring.  Longer days are welcome.  Now if it would just warm up a bit that would complete the whole "Spring has arrived" scenario.

"Um, excuse me, I think you missed some spots!"

" That's better "

And there's plenty more where that came from.
 Not looking forward to this job.
  NEXT! Step right up...
Quote for Today 
 Grooming: the process by which the dirt on the horse is transferred to the groom.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Happy Birthday Mr. Blue

I hope this video works, I've been having trouble with it.

It’s that time of year again when we get to wish Blue “Happy Birthday.”  He is now eighteen years old.  We’ve had this wonderful horse since he was an amusing four year old. 

I don’t think there is much more I can say about Blue that I haven’t already said. Blue has a special place in my heart and always will. He is one of those extraordinary horses that will bring a smile to your heart when you are around him.  He has a personality that is so unique it would be an understatement to say he is quite a character.
I would also add that he is more affectionate to his humans than he is to his herd members. He’s always been a bit of a loner and seems to relate to people more than other horses. Maybe its because humans may be harboring treats. You never know when a carrot or apple will appear! So after a full day of searching for that elusive blade of perfect grass he’s more than willing to suffer through hugs and ear rubs.

Quote for Today
The love for a horse is just as complicated as the love for another human being...If you never love a horse, you will never understand.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Things Are Looking Up

Yesterday we had a bit of a warm up in the weather department, got to the mid 40's.  It's sad when that feels like a heat wave.  The clocks were set to an hour ahead. I love that it is staying lighter longer.  Can Spring be far behind? I took some pictures because there's not much else to do right now around the farm. Gunnar is growing, he's now four months old and forty pounds.  He's got a very curious personality, which does get him into trouble sometimes. But he's smart and is learning quickly where to go and what to do around the horses.
" Hi guys, wanna play"

"Will you be my friend"
"Now where did that little pest go"

"I'll just have to show him who's boss, the hissing and growling oughta do it"

Donnie and Sami watching Gunnar's antics and not impressed much

"He's okay Sami he's just a baby and he's kinda cute"

"Wonder what happens if I just grab this thing and pull"

"Ha, ha, got your glove"

" You better give that back little guy"

"NEVER!" They have to catch me first!"
Quote for Today
Saving one dog will not change the world,
but surely for that one dog, the world will change forever. 

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The Woes of Winter


  As everyone knows it’s been a hellish winter with ridiculously low temps and lots of snowfall.  Haven’t been able to do anything with the horses except groom occasionally. I think they spend their days trying to keep warm by eating as much hay as possible. We've got a hay delivery on the way so we don't run out and they can keep munching to their hearts content. They are so bored I feel sorry for them.

It’s been so frigid that four out of six automatic waterers in the barn froze along with the water in the tack room.  So the bucket brigade from the house to the barn was in full force for a while.  The lines did un-freeze for a day but then refroze again the next day.  We were lucky that we were able to get the tack room sink pipes thawed so it’s much easier to fill the buckets at night. The puzzling part of the waterers is that the heaters are still working. So in our infinite wisdom of “all things concerning plumbing” we’ve decided that the pipes in the ground must have frozen in the extreme cold. 

Since there is no way to control the weather I’m of the opinion that we just go with the flow and keep hoping for an early Spring.  It’s got to get here sooner or later.

Here are some pictures of life around here lately:
These three cardinals show up everyday for some seed and suet
It can be lonely and cold waiting for a turn at the food in a snowstorm
 "I'm looking at you. You looking at me?"
Gunnar taking a nap. Yes, he's cute...if you like cute!
I don't know what animal made these footprints outside the back door...and I don't want to meet it either!

 Quotes for Today:

February is merely as long as is needed to pass the time until March.
J.R. Stockton