Wednesday, August 18, 2010


Dave-isms =  musings and comments from Duke's veterinarian expressed during examinations and general conversations.

"In my next life, I want to come back as your horse."

"Don't worry, that cut is a long way from his heart."

"I like this horse."

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


Getting better every day...almost healed after only two weeks.

Day 18, Tuesday August 17, 2010
Probably would have healed a lot faster were it not for the numerous times the scab was rubbed off by Duke scratching it, or me accidently knocking it off while bridling him.

Saturday Sam and I, with friends Frank and Barb, ventured south to the small town of Joseph, Oregon for the 14th Annual Bronze, Blues and Brews Festival. Nestled in the peaceful and beautiful Wallowa Valley, Joseph is named for Chief Joseph, famous leader of the Nez Perce tribe. While the first theme of the event was bronze, it quickly became obvious to us that the primary focus is the blues and the brews. There were very few bronze sculptures (Joseph is a major bronze foundry of the Pacific Northwest), there were several bands, but there was lots of brew. We had fun, got too much sun but probably won't go back next year.

Passing by a buffalo farm on the way to Joseph, Oregon

There are two bronze statues in this photo. Can you find them?

Sam, me, Frank and Barb enjoying the blues and brews.

Sam and I with our new 2005 Jeep Wrangler in front of Lake Wallowa

Returning home on a lovely stretch of road called Rattlesnake Grade.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Birthdays and head wounds...

Saturday morning I took Duke for a ride to our local fairgrounds to check out their 100' round pen and huge riding arena. It was something new to do and we had a great time. Amy brought the girls over but they're just not ready to climb on Duke's back yet. To them he must seem like a giant! That's okay, we have plenty of time...

Relaxing with Duke after a nice long ride at the fairgrounds.

When Duke and I returned to the barn I noticed a nasty cut above his left eye, and for the life of me I can't figure out how he cut himself. He didn't have the cut when I loaded him at the fairgrounds, and I didn't notice it when he stepped off the trailer. It wasn't until he was in his corral that I saw it.  I was a little panicked and called a friend who got me calmed down and pointed me to a great product called Vetricyn, which I've seen advertised heavily on RFD-TV.  My tack room is stocked with several first aid products, but with a wound so close to the eye the risk of the medication running into his eye is too great.  My biggest concern was get the wound clean without getting soap or medication in his eye. Vetricyn can be sprayed directly on the wound without damaging or hurting the eyes. All the while I'm cleaning the wound, Sammy is calling wondering where I am (I'm at least an hour late in returning home by that time). I explain the situation, he's pretty sure I'm exagerating until I show him the pictures. A quick trip to a local pet store and I returned to tend to the wound. This stuff is amazing!! Within 20 minutes of spraying Vetricyn on the wound, the swelling reduced by half!! If you have animals, you need to check out Vetricyn! It's not just for horses.
Duke annual dental work and vaccinations were coming up, so we visited the vet on Monday to have the wound checked out (ironically it was shaped like a check mark). I thought the vet would opt to stitch the wound, but in the end it was best to cut the flap of skin off so the wound could heal cleanly.


Day 1: Saturday, July 31. Right after I first noticed the wound.

Day 3: Monday, August 2 after our visit to the vet. Still swollen and looking very painful.

Day 6: Thursday, August 5, swelling gone and healing is underway. He even looks happier.

I've been going out twice a day to apply the Vetricyn, but we've reached the point where we can cut the daily treatment back to once a day.
Dukey loves his kitten.

We have several barn cats, two of which had litters this spring. Three of the kittens from a feral mother adopted me last April and they've been living in Duke's hay room ever since; they just showed up in the room when they were about three weeks old. Only two remain now, exactly one month before making the decision to put Rumbeau down I had to make the same decision for one of the kittens who did not have any use of her hind legs. She just dragged both behind her; a visit to the vet revealed she had no hip joints. As I debated taking her home with me, the vet took me aside, and offered guidance as to the amount of care she would need. She would not be able to urinate and defecate on her own, she would require constant care, and such care demands 100% comittment from every family member. Then the doctor left me alone in the room to make the decision. It was a very difficult decision, the kitten who I had named Honey was barely six weeks old at the time. Concerned that I would want to hold the kitten during the procedure, the vet explained this wasn't something I would want to see because of the way she would have to put her down. I hated having to do it, and even today I still cry. Born to a feral mother who probably didn't get enough nutrition during the pregnancy to feed herself, let alone her babies, I just wanted to give the kitten a chance for a normal life.  Her brother and sister, who I've named Boots and Bitsy, are happy, healthy and thriving today; and Dukey loves his little babies.

Sam turned 55 on Sunday. We celebrated the occasion with dinner at Amy's on Saturday and dinner with friends on Sunday. Amy prepared a wonderful grilled steak dinner and our friends put together a crawfish feed (fresh from the Snake River). Both were scrump-dilly-lish-ous!!!

Snake River crawfish....yum!