Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Taking the Bad with the Good

Sorry no post last week. It was one hell of a week. I've posted before about how I'm pretty superstitious, and last week only confirmed one of my many irrational fears - that bad things happen in threes.

The Bad
1. Monday
Sophie, my sweet little 16 month old Rotti/Cattle Dog mix, has had a funny lump on her forehead for a couple of weeks. We had it checked out when it popped up, but a return trip to the vet confirmed that it was pretty suspicious looking - more tumor-like than lump-like. Surgery was scheduled for the following week.

2. Tuesday
One of my mother-in-law's Shelties was diagnosed with lung cancer. He will not have long. MIL is totally freaked and upset. Her dogs are her life, especially since she lost her husband two years ago. She is 86 years old and has some health problems of her own. Chef and I really fear for her state of mind/will to live if she loses the little guy.

3. Thursday
Skylar got out of his stall overnight. He's always been a bit of an escape artist, but we are very careful to keep the aisle door to his stall double latched. On occasion, he has let himself out the back door into the pasture, but Wednesday night the little booger outdid himself. Apparently, he opened the back door, went around to Dusty's back door, opened it, let Dusty out into the pasture, then let himself out Dusty's front door and was basically free. Dusty, bless him, stayed put in the pasture, but Skylar gorged himself on some alfalfa in the aisle and the ultra rich grass around the barn. He also had no access to water for many hours. When V got there Thursday morning not only was he showing signs of colic, but laminitis as well.

The vet was called and got there quickly. They started him on IV fluids (he was really dehydrated) and a DMSO drip. He perked up later, and passed some poo, but still acting ouchy on the front feet. We bedded him up, iced his feet, and hoped for the best.

Friday morning he colicked again, and off to the emergency clinic he went. Vets there confirmed that he may have partial blockage and set to watching him. They continued to ice his feet, and initial X-rays showed no rotation. I know that does not mean much; it's really too early to tell if any damage was done. We are truly blessed to have such a great clinic just 40 minutes away.

Anyway, I wanted to wait until I had some good news again before posted anything about this horrible week. Unfortunately, there is not much good to say about the Sheltie; he will most likely be put down later on this week (he's already having some difficulty breathing). We will just have to take it one day at a time with MIL.

Sophie came through surgery just fine and is home annoying her big brother Burton (our 3 year old Shepherd/Husky mix) and the cat. She's been drinking and peeing a lot, but the vet says that is probably an after effect of the anesthesia and should clear up in a day or so. We should have the biopsy results next week, so I am crossing my fingers until then.

Skylar is home - stall bound, bedded up to his knees, and on limited hay and no grain, but home. Vet will be out Friday to do more X-rays, and time will tell if we caught it in time.

The Good
Sunday night I just really needed to get to my happy place. It was a lovely evening and I jumped on Legs bareback for a twilight ride by the river. A cool breeze kept the bugs at bay, the whippoorwills called softly in the distance, and while the sun was setting the bats began their nightly dance overhead. As we wandered aimlessly I was reminded just why we go through everything we do for our four-legged family members.

Despite all the downs, the ups are always worth it.


  1. Ugh, I'm sorry for all the bad things! Horses can be so, so dumb when it comes to eating. Dumb dumb dumb.

    Does your MIL have other shelties, or is the one with cancer the only one? Having another one around may lessen the pain for her a bit.

  2. Thanks Jenn. MIL has two Shelties - brother and sister. The male is the one with the cancer. She is really more attached to him. It will be hard, but I agree at least she will still have the other one.

  3. Hearing a whippoorwill will surely bring you better luck. Think of the beautiful evening and let it heal all the torment of the past week. Wish I could make things better for you.

    If the consequences had not been so dreadful, Skylar's escape story might bring a smile. Some horses are just to clever for their own good. Hope he is on the mend. *Sigh*

  4. Pony girl: Sorry to here about all the drama in your life. Life is so very tough sometimes, yet the brief encounter with beloved animals, wildlife and gods wonderous nature landscape can soothe, heal and fill us, Thankfully. Hey I had a coouple terrific escape artist. Just seem to breed them, anyway we adapted the stall latches to be able to put a safety snap on there doors...easy for people but hard for horses. That confused them enough and kept them in. They only went out(or in) when I wanted them there. Here is a link so you can see what I'm talking about That should keep everyone in all the time if you adapt there door latches, front and back of course. Marleanis Haynes

  5. Hi Marleanis - thanks so much for the suggestion. The day after the Great Escape, Chef actually spent the better part of his day off replacing all of the locks with something very similar. So far so good! you just don't always know something is a problem until it is! Those old locks have been just fine for 10+ years and were in good working order. Some horses are just natural escape artists...