What The Farm?!

If you read my blog posts last summer and fall, you’ll know about Rosa’s unfortunate condition, her sensitivity to green grass and the laminitis (inflamed feet) that result. Being “allergic” to your favourite food has got to be the crappiest of crappy deals going, but maybe some of you know about this if you’ve, for example, got a wheat sensitivity and just love cinnamon buns. Rosa’s not allergic to grass, per se, but she is sensitive to the sugars it contains, kind of like a diabetic.

You’ll also know from last year’s posts that Rosa spent three months in a dry pen, separated from the rest of the herd while her system settled and her feet stopped hurting. It was a long haul for her and all we could offer was our condolences across the fence.

Rosa in last summer’s private, dry pen.

This year, Rosa’s starting the season off in a smaller space, a paddock area with a long L-shaped track off the west side, to keep her moving without the excess grass. The goal: keep her weight down and her feet happy. Great idea, right? I thought so too until I found out who was going to be her track-mate. Me! I admit to not being the most svelte horse on the planet, but the fat pen!? (Sorry, Rosa. I know you don’t like it called that.)

Our new digs with track running off to the west.

I’ve been here at Almosta Ranch since 2004, seventeen years, and in those years I have always shared accommodations with Nevada, and he has always been my leader and mentor. I thought I wanted to be boss and have sometimes challenged Nevada’s authority, but I take it all back. I don’t want to be the leader! There’s too much pressure and responsibility!

Constant companions.

Our second night of separation, a storm was rolling in, and I wanted to be where I always am in bad weather, tucked into the south shelter right next to Nevada. But I couldn’t get there. I ran the quarter mile to the end of our track only to find the track didn’t loop around the pasture like it did last year but dead ended. I ran even faster on the way back, calling as I went. And do you know what my humans did? They stood and watched and might have even laughed a little. Why it was funny to watch me not get what I wanted and express myself accordingly is beyond my comprehension. (In their defense, they also gave me a treat, which did help to settle my rattled pony nerves.)

Where I want to be in bad weather.

It’s been four days and I’ve settled into the new digs somewhat, although I’m still enormously put out that Gidget gets yard-grazing privileges alongside Nevada. I’ve been here longer than her and am higher up in the herd. That should be me out there! But there I go getting all entitled and indignant again.

Yard grazing privileges two years ago.

On the plus side, Rosa and I are good buddies and grazing companions, and Nevada will be just across the fence. And .. I hear there’s to be an unending supply of hay served in nets to supplement the meagre grass rations. And … I’m pretty sure soft-hearted T will have me out for a little graze whenever we spend some saddle time. And … there’s my svelteness, which should be at an all-time high this summer.

I will adapt.

I will put on my big-boy halter.

Just Another Day on the Prairie

Back in 2011, when Logan and I started the Chico’s & Logan’s Great Adventures blog, we were just setting out on a five-month trip with our peeps, travelling by truck and fifth wheel trailer. It was all so exciting. Keep in mind I was just two with a fairly narrow life experience to that point. That trip opened my eyes to what a big and wondrous place is the world.

From enormous sand dunes to rolling blue water that went farther than my eye could see. From palm trees to giant cactuses. From the noise and lights of Las Vegas to the quiet, starlit nights in the Arizona desert. It was a journey of contrasts, new experiences, and adventures. We never lacked for stories or fun photographs to share.

Maybe it’s because I’m getting older and sleep more these days, or it could be the pandemic that’s kept us home a lot and other people away, but life is just not feeling very blog-worthy lately. How is an old dog living on a farm in Alberta the stuff of exciting stories?

T tells me not to worry, that all writers go through periods of low inspiration, that I still have stories to tell. I sure hope so, because I’ve so enjoyed my life as a blogger, sharing my adventures with all of you. And I hope that it doesn’t come down to sleeping, eating, barking, walking, and pooping! Although, now that I consider this list, I think I’ve blogged about all of those things. :o)

The planned adventure to celebrate a big anniversary I mentioned in my blog post two weeks ago didn’t happen. So, when last Fur-iday came along and I was still just hanging out at home, I couldn’t muster up the energy to blog about anything. Why no anniversary adventure you might ask? Well, it snowed. In fact, April generally seemed to want to be winter this year, which is usually March’s gig.

I tried to get Storm to write something this week, but he’s spending all his time seeking out blades of green grass. The horses are a little crazy for the stuff at this point in the season after eating dehydrated food all winter. But he did send along this photo, since he promised a coat update when he blogged back in March and he’s committed to an update from the field next Fur-iday.

Storm’s end-of-April look. Tune in next month …

From what I hear, I’m not alone in my current lack of general enthusiasm. Between the pandemic and the weather, many are feeling weighed down. But I am ever optimistic that spring is here to stay, that the next adventure planned for just over a week from now will go ahead, and that very soon things will turn a corner on this pandemic. We all just need to hang in there a little longer.

In the meanwhile, on this Fur-iday morning on the last day of April, I think I’ll take a nap in that sunbeam over there.

The Jab

I took my humans in for their shots yesterday morning, something called AstraZeneca. I assumed it was for rabies or distemper, the usual stuff, but apparently it’s for the coronavirus—the one that’s been causing chaos this past year—which is good news. They seem pretty pleased about the situation, talking about it being the first step back to a normal life.

Sometimes I don’t feel so hot after I get my every-three-years jab, and I know the horses had a rough go last summer following the West Nile vaccine. I even had a small seizure episode when I was younger and, the next shot after that, spent the day at the clinic for monitoring. It hasn’t happened since. So I’m keeping a close eye on my two humans, making sure they’re okay. So far, so good, mostly just feeling a little tired.

Staying close last night around the fire.

The vaccine I get is for rabies. Even though the odds of my coming into contact with a rabid animal are very low, I’m required to have a current rabies vaccine to cross the border into the United States every winter. T likes to vaccinate me as little as possible since my seizure episode, so she was a bit miffed she had me done in the fall of 2018 in preparation for that winter’s trip south and we haven’t travelled a winter since. Who’d have guessed we’d be home three years running?

Looks like I’ll need a fresh jab before we head south this year, but that’s okay, I seem to be handling it just fine in my more mature years. The funny thing is, in five trips, the border agents have only once asked to see my vaccination certificate. I guess I have an honest face.

Cuddle time after my last vaccine. They worry.

Well, it’s supposed to be a beautiful day so I’m headed outdoors to help T with chores. I do love to help around the farm (aka sniff around the pasture while T picks up manure). The peeps are celebrating a big anniversary next week and I hear talk of an adventure. So, if you don’t hear from me next Fur-iday, imagine me lying in the sun somewhere in one of Alberta’s beautiful provincial parks.

It’ll look something like this . . .