I've had my hands full with sick animals today. The new dog food didn't agree with Scrappy's tummy, so he's been having accidents left and right. It was unfortunate that we ran out of the old dog food and a bottle of insulin at the same time, because Midge's diabetes has been unstable and it's difficult to determine whether slightly different ingredients in the new dog food or old, ineffective insulin are the cause. I switched her to a fresh bottle, so time will tell.
Bombay has had a poor appetite and it's deja vu all over again. The same thing happened at the beginning of last summer. As soon as it starts heating up, he stops eating. I had the vet out last summer, and she said he was fine, but I could switch him over to less hay and more grain because of his age. The vet was just here a few weeks ago and all she found was an inoperable melanoma up inside of his sheath against the abdominal wall. I say "all she found", because melanomas are not indicative of a potentially fatal condition in horses like they can be in humans. Bombay has had both melanomas and sarcoids in the past, and they didn't cause him problems. They are common with gray horses.
Bombay is very sensitive and emotional, so it could be that he's feeling depressed. He's never colicked before, but just in case he had low-grade colic or was feeling blue, I took him for a walk to see if it would help. My leg was in pain, and I was more worried about not being able to dismount if I rode him than I was about limping my way around on the bridle trails.
I forgot what a wonderful hiking partner he is. He's such a considerate horse. He always stays at the perfect distance from me and keeps his head at my shoulder. He does wander back and forth behind me from my right shoulder to my left shoulder, and he does nuzzle me while we walk, but I don't mind. I don't worry about him sneaking in a bite like I do with Rock. Bombay is very gentle and affectionate.
He's also a clown. I had stopped to rest by this tree that kind of amazes me, because it looks like it is dead, yet it has pink blossoms that remind me of the cherry blossom trees in Japan. I was admiring the tree, and Bombay was standing next to me feeling bored. He let out a sigh and took the lead rope away from me and carried it in his mouth to show me that he was ready to keep moving. I let him walk himself next to me while he held his own lead rope.
Then he began swinging it around and trying to smack me with the end of it whenever I wasn't paying attention. It was as if he were trying to train me to move my feet. Ha ha.
When we reached the trail toward home, he paused to look as me, as if asking if it was time to go home. He's the only horse who does that. The others just drag me home. He defers to me in the decision making department.
He didn't mind that I was limping slowly. He just matched my pace. When we reached narrow sections in the trail and went through gates, he hung back to let me go first. It's too bad someone couldn't take Bombay's personality and put it into a human man, because we need more gentlemen in the world.
He was definitely in a better mood after our walk, and so was I. He ate most of his dinner, so his appetite came back. I wish my leg would get back to normal so I can ride him. I'm not sure if my leg needs rest or exercise, because nothing seems to fix it, and both rest and exercise can trigger the pain and make it worse. It's one of those things I don't want to bother seeing a doctor about, because he'll just order a bunch of tests and imaging that will eat up what little time I have left of my riding season, and everything will come back inconclusive. Then I'll have all these bills to pay and still have no idea what the heck is wrong with my leg and how to make it better. That's kind of my life story.
In the meantime, I'm keeping a log of my diet, sleep habits, exercise, and activities each day, and I'm looking for patterns that might clue me in to the cause of the pain and how to prevent it. It took me a long time to figure out that when I was experiencing arm pain, it was caused by shoveling too much manure.
People keep saying, "I'm sorry you're not feeling well," and "I hope you'll feel better soon," as if I have a common cold or the flu. Some tell me to tell them when I get better so that we can do something, and I'm at a loss to explain the reality of it. I can be in pain and unable to put any weight on the leg for a few days, and then it will go away as if nothing ever happened, or the problem can come and go in a matter of minutes. The pain travels to different locations in my legs, and it can attack both legs at the same time. I can't seem to permanently get rid of it, and I can't predict when it will return. I'm scared to schedule any activities at all, because if my leg or legs give out right in the middle of it, that will be a drag for everyone. So, I'm just going into hermit mode and avoiding putting anything on my calendar.
I called the police today to request that they patrol a certain area after high school graduation, because I don't want to get stuck having to clean up other's people's party garbage like I did last year. I spent six months cleaning up "Congrats, Grad!" balloons, beer cans, broken beer bottles, gift wrap, plastic bags and whatnot thanks to some carefree partiers. High school graduation parties are the worst, because those kids have this "screw the world" mentality, and doing things like throwing trash on the ground makes them feel powerful. I looked up the police department's non-emergency phone number for that jurisdiction and perused their reviews online while I was at it. There were a lot of people who were pissed at that police department.
Anyway, this one review cracked me up, because I realized that it could have been about me. Someone was complaining that she called the police because there was someone with a flashlight in her neighbor's house, but the police wouldn't investigate it because she didn't have the exact address of the house. I shine a flashlight from the inside of my house out the window down to the barn any time I hear a commotion outside. I want to make sure that an animal isn't attacking my horses, or that a horse isn't caught in a fence, or that someone isn't stealing my horses. Sometimes I hear grunting and want to see if there are javelina in my back yard, or I want to chase off some coyotes who are trying to steal my Jolly Ball.
I've already had one other neighbor call the police on me for shining a flashlight outside at night. I told him that since I don't have electricity in my barn, I have to use a flashlight to let the horses out of their stalls after they eat. It's funny how most people from cities think the only people who use flashlights are burglars. I guess they've never been camping.
One of the downsides of living in such a transient rural neighborhood with a lot of snowbirds who use the houses as time shares is that I always have different neighbors, and they aren't familiar with my routine. So, every time someone new sees me shining a flashlight, he or she calls the police. I think the police have gotten wise to the situation, so they probably ignore the flashlight reports.
On another topic, I read an article about a woman who believes that Siri is not just always listening, but is recording data from our conversations and passing it on to marketers. This topic interests me, because I really dislike the lack of privacy we have on the Internet. It's almost to the point where I can't shop online for gifts for people, because then I'll be served up a bunch of ads for the gifts I just bought, and everyone will know what I got them. I absolutely hate it when I have to order more underwear online, because I have to look at soft porn for the next month or so until I order something else since underwear ads pop up everywhere I go.
Anyway, it makes sense that if marketers are tracking everything we do on the Internet, they would also be eavesdropping on us through our phones. My new iPhone just sits there in sleep mode when I carry on conversations in the same room, but I decided to trick it and see what happened. I stood across the room from it while it was sleeping and I said, "Hi, silly!", which is something I say to the dogs and horses all the time.
Sure enough, my phone woke up and the microphone turned on and began recording. I didn't even have to say, "Hey, Siri."
Well, hopefully tomorrow will be a better day for my carpet, for Scrappy's tummy, for Midge's blood-sugar level, and Bombay's mood. I could use a problem-free day.