Saturday, August 8, 2015

Has My Head Exploded Yet?

I have about a three task limit when it comes to how many items on my To Do List that I can remember to do without having to consult the list again, and my memory has been seriously challenged lately.  Sunrise and sunset are major crunch times for me.  It has always been difficult for me to manage the dogs' meal times with two finicky eaters and one diabetic dog that will swoop in and be more than happy to wolf down the other two dogs' food in the blink of an eye.  When she does that, her normal insulin dose isn't enough, and half the time I don't even know that she ate three times the amount of food she should have consumed, because I was distracted.  Then I get to deal with the side effects.

If I feed Midge in a different room from the other dogs and close the door, the other two dogs won't eat, but will just scratch at the door, so the obvious solution just creates other problems.  I've got to remember to supervise the dogs while they eat, remember to give Midge her insulin, and remember to take the dogs out to do their business both before and after breakfast.

If I think, "I just took them outside.  They don't need to go out again," I'll end up scrubbing stains out of the carpet.  If I think, "I can take them out just once after they eat," the dogs literally can't eat because their bladders and bowels are bursting and they'll leave their food to go crouch in a corner.  This morning I was cleaning up poopsidents right after I woke up, and right after to I came inside after feeding the horses, and then my husband came out to inform me that he found another one that I missed.

Then with the horses, I have to remember to lock them in their stalls, feed both hay and grain, check their water troughs, put on their fly masks, spray them with fly spray, and remember to let them out of their stalls when they are done eating.  I always forget something and then all hell breaks loose.  That's my normal morning.  Add in four new medications for Scrappy, more Epsom salt soaks for Rock, excessive humidity and heat, thunderstorms and a raging headache, and I am beyond overwhelmed.

Yes, Rock went lame on his other front hoof.  He has just been switching back and forth between limping on each of those feet.  I'm thinking of trying out another new farrier, because my horses have never had so many hoof abscesses as they have since I started using this one guy.  He leaves their soles lumpy and cracked instead of smooth, which makes for a great breeding ground for bacteria.  And the timing of these episodes is always terrible.  I've already got my hands full medicating two dogs.

My sunset chores are even worse, because I have to get everything done before it gets dark outside, and for some reason, the dogs feel the urge to urinate and defecate half a dozen times right around dinner time.  As a result, I rarely have the time to fix dinner for us humans.  Either my husband fixes it or I just have a quick snack or I don't eat anything and wind up eating a midnight snack because I'm so hungry that I can't sleep.

There is usually something on TV right at 7:00 PM (sunset) that I like to watch, so at every commercial break, I run down to the barn to shovel a little more manure or remove fly masks or whatever needs to be done.  Last night I was so exhausted that I could hear Midge barking repeatedly, but I could not wake up.  I'm guessing she needed to go outside, but I was paralyzed.

The thunderstorms have really thrown a wrench in our routine, because we took the dogs out constantly, but before they could get down to business, lightning would strike nearby and thunder would roar, and they'd drag us back inside the house without relieving themselves.  You can only put up with that for so long before you just tell the dogs to go potty indoors, because if you have to put on your shoes and roll up that garage door one more time, someone is going to have to put you in a straight jacket.

I think I've set a record in the number of anti-anxiety pills I have had to give Midge this past week.  You can tell when they start wearing off, because she runs around like a chicken with her head cut off, and I keep slipping in puddles of her saliva on the tile floors.

It's really too hot to be having Scrappy wear the Thundershirt in order to keep him from licking and chewing his tumor, so I keep feeling sorry for him and taking it off, but he immediately goes for the tumor and I have to put it right back on him.  He sweats so profusely under it, but I really hate using those head cones.  The dogs can't get comfortable in them.  They're okay for a couple of days, but we have to keep Scrappy from making himself bleed for at least a month and a half.  I wish, if this had to happen, that it could have at least happened when it was cool out.  We've already got a $500 a month electric bill, and we have to turn on more fans and keep the air conditioners running all day so that the dog doesn't die in his shirt.

Well, I've got to go.  Midge just woke up and is shaking her collar at me.  That's what she does when she needs to go outside.

Okay, I'm back from being eaten alive by fire ants, which brings me to another unsolvable problem I'm dealing with now.  No matter how much poison we spray and pour, we cannot get rid of these ants.  I don't know why, but they always crawl up my legs and bite me repeatedly.  They come out at night when I can't see them.  That's another reason why I'd rather just clean poopsidents off the carpet than to have to keep taking the dogs outside fifty-thousand times a night.  People don't get up to pee and poo all night long, so why the heck do my dogs have to?

Anyway, despite waking up and demanding that I take her outside, Midge refused to do anything once it got her out there.  She just kept trying to drag me back into the house.  I refused to go in until she did something, so she finally peed after I said, "Go pee pee, Midge" two dozen times.  This is the type of bull crap I have to deal with from one minute to the next.  Look, dog, either you have to go or you don't, but it can't be both.

Ouch!  I just got attacked by another fire ant that must have hitched a ride into the house on the outside of my pants.

All of the animals desperately need to be bathed and groomed.  The winds have tangled the horses' manes and tails, the horses have all rolled in the mud, and the dogs have dandruff and are shedding all over the place.  In this extreme heat, I can only stand being out in the sun long enough to bathe half a horse, so I just spray them with the hose every once in a while.  That doesn't do anything to help those yellow and brown trails that should be white, especially since the horses just roll in the dirt as soon as I spray them down, but...

We were going to have company over this weekend, but my gut feelings were telling me to push it back a week.  All I had on my calendar were the building of the new tack room and a dental appointment, but I knew that was too much and those two appointments would figure out some way to collide.  Sure enough, the builders had barely just got here and I had to leave for my appointment.  That's why I normally don't schedule two things on the same day.  One could be at 7:00 AM and the other at 7:00 PM, and somehow, some way, those two appointments will creep toward each other until they have a head-on collision.  I didn't have any logical reason to postpone having company over, but I'm glad I did, because I can barely keep up with all the dogs' and horses' needs right now.  I haven't even had the time to do the grocery shopping.

I'm hungry.

And I'm just not myself when I'm hungry (like the commercials say).

Simple things that I do all the time like trying to coil a hose turn into major fiascoes when I'm overwhelmed...

and hungry.  But I'm tired too.  I think I'll go to sleep, if the dogs will let me.

Nope.  Scrappy just woke up and shook his collar at me.  It looks like I'm going to be up all night.

Oh yeah, and it only took me six hours to find thirty seconds to take some pain pills for my headache today.  If I'm patient, I eventually get around to taking care of myself.


Nuzzling Muzzles said...

This morning I had to chose between giving Rock his pain medication because it took him ten minutes to limp from the center of the paddock to his stall for breakfast, or somehow get the swarm of fire ants off of Bombay's legs. Of course, the swarm moved over to my legs as soon as I started spray them off my horse's legs. I emptied three and a half cans of ant spray. I'm going to the store to get more granules as well as spray... and food for me to eat today.

Cheryl Ann said...

Nuzz, I ordered a bag of diatomaceous earth from Amazon and I've been putting it on the fire ants here at home. It won't harm the birds, cats, or dog. In fact, I got it for the horses as an alternative to commercial wormers (it also kills worms), and I've been giving it to the 2 feral cats outside (now not so feral!). It takes about a day to kill the ants, but it does work, even if you have to give it to them a couple of times. I just pour it on their ant hill and they take it inside, injest it, and POP! They explode! Ha, ha. I hate those ants! I, too, have bites ALL OVER! We even had ANTS in our bed, so I washed the sheets and hung them outside in the sun! THey smelled so fresh! Now I have to find the source of the ants in the bedroom! OYE VEI!

ellie k said...

It would be great if your dogs would paper train so you could just put papers down in the utility room and they could go when ever. They are probably too set in there ways to change. Sorry things are so busy. This week we start doctor appointments to start chemo or radiation, they will go over the pet scan and decide what route to take.

Mrs Shoes said...

I had a thought about the dogs too...
I once had a friend in Singapore (megatropolis) who lived (as many do) 26 stories up in a highrise building & a block away from the nearest green space. On their patio he built a 2-tier tray & put artificial turf in the top tray ahead of getting their new puppy. They house trained their puppy on the turf because of course puppies can't wait too long when they have to go. They go to the park for exercise, but otherwise all pottying is in the tray (because who in the heck would get up, dress, & travel so far for a puppy pee).
Line the bottom tray with newspaper & just throw it out when wet, poop just picks up off the turf as usual but, if the turf gets sticky, you can just hose it off).
Perhaps you could try something like this in your garage (if you have space) & maybe even install a doggie door so they can let themselves out to do their business. You'd have to keep the garage door down, but I think you do that anyways.

Just a thought that might work for you & cut down some of your workload.

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

I would love to have a designated potty spot indoors. We have turf on a tray, but have never succeeded in training the dogs to use it. I'd have to get a professional in to kick start the process and train me. All the obvious techniques just never worked with my dogs. They actually don't like the feel of the artificial turf. We've prepped it with urine and poo, and that didn't help. I might have better luck with newspapers. I've just got to get my life to slow down enough for me to concentrate on a training program. Every time I start a training project with the horses or dogs, something comes out of left field to suck up all of my time and I'm lucky if I get two days in on the project before having to abandon it and go back to what we know.

I'd rather have a space in the house than the garage, because rattlesnakes and poisonous toads and lizards and black widows and rats and mice and whatnot get into our garage all the time. I'll look into all of this. August is the worst month for poopsidents because of all the thunderstorms, but the rest of the year, things aren't too bad.

I'll also look into the diatomaceous earth for the fire ants. Thanks.

achieve1dream said...

I hope the diatomaceous earth worked because I've heard those ants can be hard to get rid of!

Have you tried building a sand box or dirt box in the garage for the dogs? Whatever surface they are used to using outside. I know you would still have to clean it and take them out because of the critters getting in the garage but you wouldn't have to keep opening the garage and going all the way outside. You wouldn't be in the direct sun or rain either. Just a thought.

It sounds like there's just way too much for one person to do. I hope things have settled down by now.