Thursday, July 15, 2010


I haven't had any time to work with the horses lately, but had a couple of cute things happen in my 2 minutes of running outside to feed them their meals three times a day. Gabbrielle has started laying down in the shade under the awning of the barn to keep cool in the fresh decomposed granite. I haven't seen her lay down to nap since she was a yearling. She looks so adorable, but every time I try to sneak outside with the camera, she stands up.

The other cute thing was that every once in a while I see this ground squirrel hop across the back pen, under the fence, through the paddock, through the chain-link into my neighbor's yard. I think it's living under the hood of one of their junk vehicles they keep permanently parked up against my chain-link fence. It looks like such a jovial little guy. Today the squirrel started hopping through the paddock right when Bombay was coming around the corner. I could see that the squirrel was going to pass right in front of my spookiest horse. I thought, "This should be interesting."

Bombay just lowered his head to acknowledge the squirrel as it passed in front of his hooves and he kept walking toward me without a single spook. I guess the squirrel frequents the paddock enough that the horses are familiar with it. This is good. More preparation for surprises on the trail. Now if only Bombay's wounds would heal enough so I can get those shipping boots on him and trailer him out to the trails. It's supposed to be 100 degrees this weekend. Not as bad as some of you have been reporting in your area, but still plenty hot.

I am reading your blogs. I just don't always leave comments -- mostly because I get interrupted every 30 seconds with one thing or another. Either my Internet connection cuts out or the phone rings or an instant message pops up or someone starts talking to me in person. I need to be cloned to handle all the communications. I think the reason why I'm loving trail riding alone so much is because it's the only time I can do my own thing without distractions.

My mother came to visit yesterday. I left work for two hours to sit on the patio of my favorite Mexican restaurant with her getting caught up on what's been going on in each other's lives. It was so nice to just sit there sipping a Corona Light in the shade of an umbrella with a nice breeze and a little sparrow landing on our table, trying to help itself to our tortilla chips.

My mother boards her Shelty with her vet when she visits me. The morning after she dropped the dog off, the vet called to inform her that her dog died. Though sad for my mother, I was also relieved, because if the dog died at home, my mother wouldn't have the strength to carry it to the vet or bury it herself. Her Shelty was the sister of my Shelty, Monty. Monty is on his last leg too. He stopped eating dry food weeks ago, so we started feeding him wet food, but then he stopped eating that too. Then we resorted to feeding him people food. I've discovered that if I stand over him, he will eat some wet food, but I can't just set the bowl on the floor and have him come running like he used to.

Both my dog and my mother's have rheumatoid arthritis with detached toes, in addition to a lot of fatty tumors and bad teeth. They didn't come from the healthiest gene pool. My Corgi has had a lot of health problems too. I find it ironic that the dogs we buy from breeders have way more health problems than the strays we pick up or the puppies we adopt from free litters that came about by accident. When I was a kid, none of our dogs were in and out of the vet clinic as often as our dogs of today are. What's up with that?


fernvalley01 said...

Hope Bombay heals up soon so he can demonstrate his bravery on the trail!
Sorry about your moms dog, even when it expected it is sad.

Katharine Swan said...

Pure bred dogs do tend to have more health problems because of their genetics... There is more uniformity in their genes (I am SO not using the right terms, but you know what I mean, right?). That's also why genetic problems such as hip dysplasia are so common. Mutts tend to be healthier because they don't have that.

I'm really sorry for your mom's loss. Although I totally see your point about it being good that the dog passed away while at the vet's, I think it also has to be hard on her that she wasn't there. Let her know I'm thinking of her.

Breathe said...

Strays benefit from an extremely diverse gene pool. purebred get inbred after a time, IMHO.

Still, sorry to hear that Monte is having a hard time. Is he in pain?

Fantastyk Voyager said...

Poor Monty! Yes, I know what you mean about purebreds. Sometimes, they shouldn't be bred because of known health problems but they're bred anyway. Mutts are usually healthier than purebreds.

Fantastyk Voyager said...

Sounds like Gabrielle has found a nice cool spot to sleep in.

Laura said...

Glad you had a bit of time with your Mom. Sorry to hear about her dog - but probably not a bad thing that he was already at the vet when he passed on.

It's hard when our pets get older...poor Monte - hope he hangs on for a bit...

fernvalley01 said...

The mutt thing is called Hybrid Vigour ,somthing to do with the fact that the crosses bring more strengths than weakensses to the gene pool whereas purebreds have a more limited set of genetics.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Personally I think pure bred dogs are mostly over-bred and the unhealthy ones, just because they look pretty, are not removed from the gene pool to only be neutered/spayed pets and, instead are just rebred over and over again.
We've always had issues with the pure-bred dogs we've had, but have had long lived, healthy mixed breed mutts.

Sorry about your Mom's dog, but the visit sounds wonderful, especially the relaxing meal and Corona on the patio.

What a good boy, Bombay! I bet Gabbrielle is adorable laying down. I hope you're able to sneak in a photo someday.