Time to Go!

We dogs thought our departure for the south was scheduled for December 15 so I’ve been pretty relaxed about getting ready. Plenty of time. But the past couple of days there have been signs around the house and the farm that our departure is imminent. Horse sitters and house sitters coming by for their instructions, final visits with friends, boxes and bins appearing in every room.

12-chico-packed-gands

Farewell dinner with G and S.

With this terrific weather we’ve been having, the snow has all melted, we’ve been out walking in the fields to the west, and I thought the peeps might want to stick around for awhile.  But, not so much. I think they’re seeing it as a good weather window to get south, before the snow and cold returns. I heard T say that the roads are clear all the way to Arizona!

12-chico-packed-weather

Winter is taking a break.

Yesterday afternoon was the biggest sign yet, Sid got hitched to the truck and pulled closer to the house. Yikes!

So, last night, I quickly packed everything crucial.

12-chico-packed-food

Priorities packed.

It’s Friday now and we don’t seem to be going anywhere just yet so I think there’s time to pull out my take-along list from last year. I was so much more organized. I guess that’s what happens when the date gets moved up by a week.

Anyway, best get to it. When T and Nollind are on a roll, things happen quickly, especially when the weather is cooperating. Talk to you from the road!

12-chico-packed-fullmoon

Full moon on the prairie.

Advertisements

Logan’s Run

Some of you might remember from a previous blog post that I was named after the 70s Sci-Fi classic, Logan’s Run. It was a favourite of Teresa’s, back in the day, and when I pulled a horizon-job on them my first day off-leash, I earned the name Logan.

Fast forward thirteen years to a walk in the field this past Sunday. Chico caught the scent of coyote, I picked it up, and we were in “the cone”, zig-zagging back and forth. Teresa caught up to us but only had one leash and Chico had the misfortune of being closer to her than I was. He soon found himself attached to the end of a retractable cable.

As the cone narrowed, I started to run south, baying as I followed the scent. It was exhilarating. I was that young dog again, heading for the horizon, hot on the trail of my prey. A quarter mile … a half mile … a … whew … the horizon was a lot farther than I remembered.

11-logan-heart-running

My usual jogging pace.

Teresa and Chico were still well behind me but starting to gain ground, Teresa on her phone calling for backup. They wouldn’t take me alive! Okay, a bit dramatic. I pretended to lose the scent so that I could slow down and circle back, trotting a back and forth pattern in the field. And then they were on me, they’d caught up, and Nollind was on his way in the Kubota with a second leash.

11-logan-heart-drink

A “drink” along the trail.

The rest of the walk was on-leash and much more sedate but I’d had my moment to shine. At least, that was, until I was back at the house and had slept a couple of hours. I woke up feeling like I was drowning. My heart condition causes fluid to build up in my lungs when I exercise. I have medication that manages it under normal circumstances, but it wasn’t designed for half-mile gallops across the prairie.

 

I coughed. I retched. I felt terrible. And then I ate grass, gulped it really, as much as I could sink my teeth into at this time of year. It helped but, as you might imagine, it presented a whole new set of problems the next day since we dogs don’t have the stomach enzymes to digest grass. Those long strands don’t change much between entering and exiting.

11-chico-heart

If only Teresa had caught a photo of me during instead of after the run.

 

 

But anyway, enough poop talk. I recovered. It took an extra dose of my diuretic, some anti-inflammatories, and a rest day, but I don’t think I’m any worse for wear as a result of my unsanctioned run. And, I’ll do it again in a heartbeat (no pun intended) should the incentive and opportunity arise.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Guest Blog: Storm!

Howdy! My name is Storm. I know this is generally a dog blog but, I might as well tell you right up front, I’m not a dog, I’m a horse. Chico and Logan have been promising me a guest spot for months and, at last, I get my chance. I’m also on the To All the Steeds I’ve Loved Before list for T’s blog, but she’s only on Echo and I’m at least a couple of horses after that.

11-storm-withT

Happy to be one of the steeds she’s loved.

 

So, a little bit about me for starters, I guess. I mentioned I’m a horse. Well, technically, I’m not. I’m actually a pony. The dividing line between horses and ponies is 14.2 hands in height (a hand is four inches for those who might not be familiar with the units used to measure equines). I’m 14.1 (that’s 14 hands plus one inch). If I’m overdue for a hoof trim and you count my thick winter coat, I can probably squeak out that extra inch but, in the world of horses, I am not a horse.

11-storm-nicehorse

The saddle makes me look taller. Right?

 

I’m 15 years old and have lived here at the van Bryce farm for going on 14 years now, since I was just a year and half old. The story of how I came to be here is kinda cool, if you like feel-good-happy-ending animal stories. I was apparently born in August of 2002 but I don’t remember much about my foalhood. My earliest memory is being at the Innisfail Auction in April of my two-year-old year. I was standing in a pen before the auction started and a few people came by to look at me, but not very many. I was kind of small and had that half-shedded-out-spring-scruffy thing going on, so I probably wasn’t what most people were looking for.

11-storm--babystorm

Me in April 2004

 

And then I had the misfortune of being first horse through the ring. Who bids on hip #1? Everyone is sitting on their hands waiting to see what the prices are like before they bid … except for the meat buyers. They’re not too fussy.  For them it’s all about price per pound. So that’s who bid on me, and bought me, for $180. Of course, I didn’t know one buyer from another at the time. What I did know is that the man who bought me from the auction ring wasn’t the one loading me into a trailer at the end of the day. Here’s the story as it was written for part of an article T did for an equine magazine.

11-storm--herd2

My new herd. Nevada (behind me) and I are still best buds.

 

The man had never been to an auction before and was feeling a bit anxious about the process. He and his wife had come looking for a couple of young “project horses” to add to their herd of old reliables. The first horse in the ring was a little bay roan colt (me!). The man was tempted to place a bid but this was the first horse through (what did I tell you?). It seemed a bit rash. Before he could think too long, the horse was sold, and he recognized a local meat horse buyer. “I should have bid on that roan horse,” he commented to his wife, “I think I should have bid on that horse.” He fretted for the next five or six lots, kicking himself for not bidding on the roan (me!). Suddenly, he was standing, “I’ll be right back.” His wife watched him as he worked his way through the crowd to the dealer who had bought the roan (me!). There was a short exchange of words, a handshake, and he made his way back to his seat, a smile on his face.

In that moment, my fate was changed, all for a $20 bill.

11-storm--funnyface

I think it was my smile they couldn’t resist.

 

Well, I hope to have the chance to tell you more stories from my view of the farm. One of the challenges is that I have to dictate while one of the dogs types (hoof + keyboard = disaster), which means I can’t just pop in whenever I want. I have to be invited.

I hear they’re headed south soon so it’ll likely be spring until you hear from me again, unless I can get my stories sent down to the desert somehow. If you’re thinking I’m upset because I don’t get to go along, not at all. You see, I’m The Accountant around here, and I like things to be the same, the same, the same. But more about that next time.

11-storm--snowy

I don’t mind the snow at all.