Wednesday, September 30, 2015


Supposedly, we only have one more day of triple-digit temperatures and things should get more reasonable from then on out.  I'm not holding my breath, though.   Apparently, one of the hardest things to get right is a weather forecast in Arizona.  It's no fun having hot flashes in such extreme heat.

The other thing about the heat is that I can't hold a thought for more than a few seconds.  My brain turns to mush.  I can't even remember what I was going to post about.

I've been trying to map out the plot for my current novel before writing another word, but before I can get very far, something interrupts and I'm off doing something else.  I did put some time in fleshing out my characters today, but still need to research my settings and work out the specifics and order of the plot.  When you have the milestones set up in advance, you are less likely to get writer's block.

I'm trying to bring music back into my life by listening to Amazon Prime Music, but I was rather put off this morning when my phone dinged and I found a message from Amazon reminding me that I left off listening to some song, and did I want to finish listening to it.  It disturbs me that so much of our lives is being monitored electronically.  Pretty soon we are going to have computers that interrupt us to say, "It has been six hours since your last bowel movement.  Do you need to use the bathroom?"

God knows I need reminders for everything, but I could do without the interruptions, especially since it is all the interruptions that cause me to be forgetful.

I did manage to find a more powerful flashlight to shine at the trail head at night.  Nobody is supposed to be on that land after dusk, and if they are, they are either lost or up to no good.  The flashlight comes with a seizure-inducing mode that flashes a bright light super fast and blinds attackers, whether they be men or mountain lions.

I've been spending the majority of my time killing poisonous spiders lately.  We never really had much of a spider problem before now.  It's amazing how the wildlife goes in cycles.  I haven't seen a scorpion in at least a year, but the spiders are everywhere.  Of course, the first time I attempted to access my hide a key contraption for my tack room, I stuck my hand in a spider web that wasn't there the night before.  I've gotten into the habit of taking spider spray with me down to the barn at night, because there is usually a black widow spinning a web on a gate somewhere.

I desperately need the temperatures to cool down, but I'm also well aware that nicer weather brings out the pests -- both wild and human.  And they cause new problems for me, and those problems wind up monopolizing all of my time.

Stewie has developed a behavior problem that just keeps getting worse by the week.  At first, he wouldn't eat when the other dogs were eating, so we let him have separate meal times, even though it took up more of our time to feed dogs in six intervals throughout each day.  We tried separating him from the other dogs, but he'd just sit at the door that separated him from the other dogs and refuse to eat.

Then he wouldn't eat out of his bowl, so we thought it might have a strange smell, and we bought him a new bowl, but he still wouldn't eat out of that.  So, we sprinkled dog food on the floor and let him eat off the floor, but the other dogs would get to it before him, and he wouldn't eat off the floor unless the other dogs were nearby.  Can you say "pain in the butt"?

Then he wouldn't eat off the floor, so I poured some dry dog food on the couch, and he ate if off there for a while... until the other dogs discovered what was going on and jumped up on the couch to inhale it before him.  So, I had to start hand feeding him and keeping the other dogs at bay.  He eats like a bird, taking a minute or two to chew each little morsel, so I can easily spend half an hour hand feeding him.

I don't know where he will take it from here, but I've learned that waiting for him to get hungry enough to eat no matter what the circumstances are does not work.  This dog will starve himself to death.  We've tried changing dog foods, and he has made it clear that he doesn't like any dog food.  We may end up just having to feed him people food to keep him alive.  Unfortunately, that creates other behavior problems.  I feel like I just can't win with these dogs.  I own some of the most neurotic dogs on earth.  I don't remember my mother having these types of problems (refusing to eat, storm phobias, etc.) with any of the dogs she raised when I was a kid.  Are dogs just evolving into a more complicated species?  Or are my dogs just mirroring some neuroses that I exhibit on a subconscious level?

Don't answer that.

I attempted to treat all the horses' hooves for thrush again, but one thing after another kept getting in the way.  First, I started gathering my stuff to go down to the barn, and the dogs stopped me, insisting that they had to go outside.  Once in their poop yard, Midge flopped on her side and panted, Stewie sniffed the ground, and Scrappy stared off into space.  I turned around and brought them right back into the house with the intention of going down to the barn to deal with thrush, but my phone was ringing.

An hour later I got off the phone, and totally forgot what I was going to do.  By the time I remembered that I was going to treat the thrush, it was too hot outside.  I went out again just before sunset, gathered my supplies with the intention of tying each horse to the trailer one by one, but the sun was in my eyes, so I cleaned up manure until the sun set.  However, the sun was taking too long to set, my hair was hanging in my face, and I was sweating like a pig, so I went back in the house to rest, cool down, pull my hair back into a ponytail, and feed the dogs, who were barking the entire time I was outside because they were hungry.

I noticed a pee stain on the carpet and scrubbed that.  I also remembered that I had to pay a bill and get it out in the mail first thing in the morning, so I filled in the check and put everything in an envelope, addressed it, stamped it, and set it out where I would remember it.  Then I remembered that dishes I left soaking in the sink that would rust if I didn't get them out.  On and on it went.

When I returned to the barn after sunset, I knew I only had a matter of minutes to treat the thrush before it got dark outside.  Our floodlight isn't working, so I would have to work by flashlight.  I decided to work on each horse's hooves while it was eating, so I threw everyone a flake of hay.  I carried all of the supplies from the trailer to the barn, but misplaced the hoof pick.  I kept wandering around looking for it, and couldn't find it anywhere.  Suddenly, it appeared right in front of my face on a railing.

I started to pick out the first hoof, and Bombay yanked it away and kicked repeatedly at a fly.  I knew I would get nothing done without fly spray, so I went to the tack room to get some only to find there was none.  I had used the last of it the day before.  That meant I had to hike all the way back to the house to get a new bottle of fly spray.  I store them in the house in the summer so that the heat in the horse trailer and tack room doesn't cause all the liquid to evaporate.

By the time I got back to the barn with the fly spray, it was almost dark.  Right then a strange car came racing up our street, pulled out at the trail head, a door slammed like someone got out, and then the car raced back down the street in the opposite direction.  I wondered if my junkie trespasser was back.  I decided to put all the thrush treatment supplies away for another day, but I had locked the trailer, so I dumped them all in the tack room and then locked the tack room.

I ran across the street and out onto the trails to see if someone was out there drinking and doing drugs.  By the time I reached the main trail, it was getting so dark that I was afraid that I might step on a rattlesnake or get eaten by a mountain lion, so I hurried back home.  No one was out there.  I'm not sure what that car was doing.

So much for thrush.  See how hard it is to get anything done around this place?


achieve1dream said...

I hate days like that!! I hope things settle down soon.

achieve1dream said...

Oops I just realized I didn't copy over my whole comment... here is the rest of it.

Ick! I couldn't deal with all the spiders!!

Don't answer that.... cracked me up so hard!!!!!!! Oh and the toilet reminders!

Did you wait 3 days to see if Stewie would eat? Three days is the magic number and trust me he won't starve himself. It may seem like it, but they can survive a week without eating... wolves do it all the time. Also have you tried soaking it to make it soft? Maybe he has a tooth bothering him? My dad's old Yorkie has that problem sometimes.

I have such a bad memory that I write my comments in a separate document while reading so I don't forget everything I wanted to say haha.

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

achieve1dream - Interesting about the three days. I think that's about when I start freaking out, because he looks visibly skinnier. He's such a skinny dog to begin with. Yes, I've soaked his dry food, and given him cans of wet food. The only food he likes is people food, but right now I am getting him to eat at least half his serving out of my hand for two meals, but he won't eat all three meals. He's just so changeable. Next week he'll be throwing a completely different curve ball at me.

achieve1dream said...

I'm glad he's eating a little. It has to be annoying having to hand feed him though. What does he do if you mix human food in his dog food?

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

He eats the people food and leaves his dog kibbles behind. He's wily one.

This morning he totally took me by surprise because he ate about half of his breakfast out of my hand, and then ran over to Scrappy's bowl and ate half of that even though it was the exact same food. In this case, Scrappy didn't care, because he didn't have much of an appetite, but sometimes they get into scuffles over the food and we have to break it up. Most of the time Stewie guards his own food, but won't eat it, and then tries to steal other dog's food, and will eat that, even though it's the exact same stuff. None of the dogs are good about respecting boundaries when it comes to assigned dog bowls, yet Stewie and Scrappy won't eat if I close them in separate rooms with their own bowls. I think a lot of Stewie's eating behavior has to do with whether he feels intimidated by or wants to intimidate the other dogs. He seems to think that meal time is a power play. I think it is a Chihuahua thing. Midge just eats.

achieve1dream said...

LOL!! What a little turd. That might be a Chihuahua thing. They always think they are tougher than they are and they always have to try to prove it hehe. I'm glad he ate more today!