Monday, October 7, 2013

Guard Dog and Happy Horses

Another dog story... I had taken Midge out to do her business multiple times, but she was still running around looking nervously at me.  I had to get something done other than taking the dogs outside, so I figured I'd just clean up the mess on the carpet later if she really needed to go.  Most of the time she insists that she has to go to the bathroom, and then when I get her outside, she doesn't do anything.  I was in the middle of doing laundry and a few other tasks when it hit me that I hadn't seen Midge in a while.  My dogs usually stick to me like glue.

I walked into the living area to find that the wind had blown our backdoor open.  I slumped in defeat, figuring Midge was gone and I would never find her.  I shut the door and turned around to go find my socks and shoes to begin the search for her, only to find her sitting on the couch.  She had been guarding the open door so that no one and nothing could get into the house.  In fact, I would bet that the reason why she was pacing  and nervously looking at me was because she was trying to tell me that something was wrong.

I was so impressed with her decision to guard the house over running outside and throwing a party, like most dogs would do upon finding an open door, that I praised and petted her profusely.  Every once in a while one of my pets does something that totally surprises me, and this was one of those times.

Midge took a spill over the edge of the couch and injured her hip, so I'm taking her in to see the vet soon.  She excitedly jumped up on the seat of the couch, then all the way up to the back of the couch, but her momentum kept going and she fell off the other side.  She's due for another bottle of insulin, and I know the vet wants to check her blood sugar levels, so we can kill two birds with one appointment.

I rode Rock on the trails again this morning.  I was expecting P.S., but she was either running late or not coming, so I decided to ride out and see how Rock did without a buddy.  P.S. drove up just while I was mounting, so I told her I would wait for her to get Gabbrielle tacked up.  I spent the waiting period working on teaching Rock the difference between him grazing by his choice, and him grazing because I, the rider, gave him permission to eat.

I love how Rock has no qualms with just standing around doing nothing.  If I tried that on one of my Arabs, they'd be dancing or circling the whole time.  The energy levels are so different between the two breeds.  If you like to go go go, get an Arab.  If you like to mosey, get a Quarter Horse.  I've got the best of both worlds.  Of course, that's a generalization.  There are lazy Arabs and hyper QHs.  You just have to shop for the temperament you want in addition to conformation, athletic ability, experience in your sport, etc.

The neighbor in the house behind me had a construction crew over working on that deck he's been building over the past year and a half.  All the horses were okay with the noises, because they were consistent.  The hammering and sawing  all stayed around the same decibel level, so there were no surprise or shocking sounds.  Another neighbor at the end of the street has been having construction workers coming in every morning to build a cattle setup, I believe, so we have to watch out for all those trucks coming up and down the street in addition to the three trash trucks that grace our presence every Monday and Thursday morning.

Getting the horses up the driveway, across the street, and up the trail head was a struggle again.  We had to do a lot of hard riding with P.S. circling Gabbrielle and me pumping and kicking and whipping Rock to get him to move at all.  It feels like I'm trying to roll a boulder uphill when he balks repeatedly like that.  I might have to start carrying a riding crop, even though my horse trainer hates those things.  But once we got going on the trails, both horses were fine.  They were on cruise control.  Gabbrielle had a little spook at an anthill, but not much drama beyond that.

We crossed path with a beautiful buckskin QH and a gorgeous chestnut QH.  The buckskin was built just like the type of horse I was shopping for when we found Rock.  Rock is not as stout as I would have liked, but because he had the temperament we needed, I overlooked that.  However, now that I've ridden that wide-backed draft horse, I realize that the thinner horses save on thigh and groin muscle pain.  Gabbrielle arched her neck when we passed the two strange horses, and Rock just gave them a nod.  He really knows how to behave on the trails.  The other two horses were polite too.  Had I been riding Bombay, he would have put on his airs and strut his stuff to show off.  Then he'd be hyper the rest of the ride.

Oh, there I go again comparing my kids.  That's a no no.  Sorry for the lack of pictures.  I need to get a second horn bag for Rock's saddle so that I can carry a camera.  I did try to stop him to check the time on my mobile phone, but despite waiting patiently for Gabbrielle to get dressed for the outing, he wasn't very good about standing at the crossroads toward home, so I couldn't even get a picture with my mobile phone.  We'll work on that.


Nuzzling Muzzles said...

$700 and 4 new prescriptions later (on top of the 2 she's already got), x-rays show that Midge has a torn anterior CCL. I was really looking forward to having a better fall season since last fall sucked so severely, but it looks like I'm going to spend the next several months in medical care hell between me and the dog. Why do illnesses and injuries always have to wait until the nicest weather to happen? I had nothing on my plate all summer, nor could I ride the horses because of the heat, so I wouldn't have minded spending the summer in doctors' offices and labs, but no, this had to all happen the second horseback riding season came into bloom.

Mary said...

Poor little Midge, that's a lot of prescriptions to keep track of. But good dog for not running out the door!