Tuesday, February 16, 2016


I have a very short attention span, however yesterday I did legitimately get distracted by a squirrel.  I was supposed to be feeding, watering and cleaning up after the horses and then getting ready to go to an event, but while I was down at the barn things took a turn in a direction I could not have predicted.

Rock has been coughing a little over the past couple of weeks.  It's one of those things where that is his only symptom, so I don't want to have to fork out five-hundred bucks for a vet to listen to his lungs.  Instead, we bought a $20 stethoscope and I watched YouTube videos on taking your horse's vitals.  It turns out that listening to the lungs is much more difficult and complicated than listening to the heart and the gut.

While trying to listen to Rock's lungs, I heard his gut sounds and instantly knew that he had ingested sand.  It's been a while since I've given the horses psyllium, so I went into the tack room to dig out a bucket of it.  In the process, I found an old bag of bran that was covered in worms and larvae.  I threw the bag outside on the ground and proceeded to give all the horses psyllium despite Rock being the only one who presented the sounds of sand.  The other three horses had an occasional gurgle or squeak, but Rock's gut was roaring and sloshing and had the sound of the ocean as if I were holding a seashell to my ear.

As far as his lungs went, I thought I heard a snap, crackle and pop, but couldn't be sure because his gut was so loud.  It would make sense that he is sick, because the animals only seem to get sick on holiday weekends when the vet offices are closed.  Scrappy was sick all weekend too.

Anyway, while dealing with the horses, I spotted a ground squirrel trying to get into the bag of bran that I tossed on the ground.  It was so funny watching it try to climb into that bag that I had to go in the house to grab my camera.

It finally gave up trying to get inside of the bag and chewed a hole in the corner...

The horses looked on anxiously, knowing that squirrel was eating their feed...

I decided to dump the contaminated bran out and throw the bag away, and the squirrel played King of the Hill...

He was in bran heaven, but I suspect I will be finding squirrel turds all over the place because of this.

You can see bran flakes stuck to his fur.  At the very least, it might be a warm, soft place to burrow.

By the time I finished all of my chores and stopped allowing myself to be distracted by the squirrel, I was behind schedule and had to choose between eating dinner or changing my clothes for the event.  I changed my clothes and made myself more presentable.  It turned out that my husband forgot about the event too, so he had to change his clothes and get ready at the last minute.  Of course, we struggled to find a parking spot and had to run to the Will Call table to get our tickets.  Then we walked into an auditorium that was stuffed to the gills with people, and had to ask where is was safe to sit, because people are always saving seats for their friends and family.

When I sat down, the lady beside me leaned way away from me.  I thought maybe she just didn't like having people in her space.  Then she started fanning herself, and that turned into her fanning me.  I was baffled, because I hadn't been sweating, I did brush my teeth and use mouthwash, I had clean clothes on, and I wasn't wearing any kind of scent that should bother her.  I thought perhaps she was smelling the cheap perfume of the woman sitting in front of me and she thought it was me.  As soon as the lights dimmed, she got up and moved to another seat.

I've never had anyone do that to me before, so of course I was checking my breath and armpits, but didn't smell anything.  Maybe I smelled like horses and dogs because I didn't take a shower?  I'm usually the one who gets grossed out by the smells of other people in tight quarters.

Anyway, in the end, I concluded that this lady and her husband were just jerks.  They refused to applaud for anything, and the man fell asleep and snored during the presentation.  It was hard for us to focus, because a bunch of people did not turn their cell phones off or turn the volume down, and a lot of people were coughing.  It continues to astound me how crowded this community gets in the winter months.  We had to go out to dinner at 4:00 PM the other night, because we knew we wouldn't be able to get a seat in a restaurant if we left any later.

New people keep showing up all the time.  I found horse shoe prints wandering around in my back yard, so some horseback rider got lost.  My horses don't wear shoes, so I know these weren't their prints.  The horse circled my round pen and cut through my manure pile.  I've also been finding hoof prints in the arroyo and sometimes hear horseback riders passing through down there.  Then this weekend a couple of horseback riders showed up in front of my house and rode around looking for a way out of the desert through the residential neighborhoods.
The man who keeps hiking in my back yard and watching me from his perch on his porch while I work with the horses now has two more people living with him.  The population in houses on our street is so transient.  You never know who your neighbors will be from one week to the next.  And you never know what is going to be popping up out of the ground from one week to the next either.



Judi Daly said...

What a cute little guy! I wouldn't have even known it was a squirrel. All of ours have bushy tails. (Well, I don't know about the nocturnal flying squirrel--I haven't seen one in daylight.)

Linda said...

What a day. It's a good thing you were listening to his lungs. As for the smell, I often think I smell normal, but my husband says, you've been kissing your horses, haven't you? I think it's in my pores...or hair. Lol. I love the smell.