While dumping the manure last night, my eye caught an anomaly in the landscape. After a while, I almost tune out quail, bunnies, and coyote, because I see them constantly, but this was different. I held still and watched the area where there was movement, and eventually two big orange eyes turned toward me. Then I saw these huge talons take a one giant step toward a water puddle. It was an owl walking along the ground to get a drink. I've never seen an owl walk before. It's rather fascinating. They walk heel first and roll the whole foot up to their toes.
At dusk, just minutes before total darkness, I spotted the owl again perched on the round pen panels and tried to get pictures. It is hard to get good shots of animals in the dark, and if I attempt to move in close enough for my flash to make a difference, I risk scaring off my subject. Plus, if I don't scare it off on my approach, once the camera flashes, it will be gone, so I only get one shot with a flash. I chose to zoom in and stabilize my camera against walls without the flash. Most of the shots still turned out blurry and lacking in detail because of the lack of light.
In other news, the farrier came by to do the horses' hoof trims, and I told him about Lostine's cracked hip or pelvis. I suggested that he start with her hind end to see if she can stand on each hind leg before beginning the trim, and if it is a struggle, we'll just skip the trim for a few more weeks. He could tell that she was in pain even with the Bute masking it, but she did stand on one hind leg for him.
It turned out that my farrier also has some schooling in equine chiro work, acupuncture and massage. He told me he wanted to take a look at her and give me some exercises I can do to help stretch out her muscles. From my description of her behavior, he thought she just locked up a stifle as opposed to fracturing a bone. Since the vet didn't take x-rays, I don't really know the full extent of the injury, so he could very well have been right. But once he started checking her reflexes, he said it was not the stifle.
He could visibly see a problem with her spine over her rump, that her right hip was one and a half inches further back than her left hip, and that even though it was the right hip that she hit, her left hip hurt her more. He went ahead and made some adjustments that didn't straighten her out completely, but he was happy with the improvement. Her reflexes and conformation were improved after the alignment. He showed me the stretches he wanted me to do with her hind legs and tail, and I paid him a little extra for the help. He told me to rub liniment on her rump and that would be more effective in keeping down the inflammation than just using Bute.
I was happy to get the added help, because I've been having a hard time believing that Bute and stall rest alone will solve her problem. I talked to a friend who has used this vet, and she swaps vet stories with her other friends, and apparently this vet is known for making Bute and stall rest the cure for everything.
These early morning summer appointments are killing me. I always have to sacrifice something to be at the barn on time. Either the manure doesn't get cleaned up or I don't get my breakfast or something along those lines. This morning it was that I didn't get a shower, so I was wearing clothes from the day before and dripping with sweat.
The Chiwees got into a nasty fight and I had to break it up. Scrappy was biting Stewie over and over, and he's too deaf to hear me, so I had to grab him and pull him away, and he whipped around and bit me repeatedly. I had to carry him to the time out kennel. Then the farrier arrived, so I had to get Scrappy out of the tiny kennel so he could get water, but Stewie didn't get his breakfast. Stewie was farting around avoiding his food, and I couldn't leave it on the floor for diabetic Midge to consume, so I had to put the food dish up high and leave the dogs to their own devices.
I also had to toss my own breakfast simultaneously to finish later, and take my pills that I'm supposed to take with breakfast and dinner. Fortunately, the farrier got started without me. His next appointment should be that last super early one, and after that, the heat should no longer be an issue. When I returned to my breakfast, I found that it had been commandeered by a house fly, so I threw it away and started over. Next time I'm going to remember to set my alarm before I fall asleep when I have a farrier appointment the following day.