Monday, October 24, 2016

Just how flexible am I?

My little patient.

Let's just say that, if my joints were as flexible as my schedule, I could be a yoga master.  After going on four weeks of Juno as a semi-mobile, non-walking/standing patient, I made calls to get an expert opinion.  I talked to the vet at the rabies clinic who was not all that helpful (she's mostly into cows).  I called my new large animal vet who could 'get to me sometime in early November'.  Then, in desperation, I called my favorite (and overworked) vet of all things animals.  And he answered the phone!  At first, it looked like he could not get to us until Wednesday but then found a way to squeeze us in on Saturday.   However, he didn't have the schedule made up and wouldn't know what time until Saturday morning.  So, all things Saturday were put in a holding pattern.  The skies also opened up.  After getting the go-ahead for Saturday early afternoon, I ran down Plan A and revised to Plan B.  This entailed jettisoning the feed run.  I was limited also by the fact that I will be gone for two days next weekend and am handing the whole mess over to my dear sister.  AND my neighbor who continually saves my bacon is on vacation.

I did get most of the other chores and errands done - large Goodwill run (I am keeping up with my quota), Tractor Supply run - dog treats and an emergency bag of scratch feed, parents' for lunch and use of their dryer to fluff dry the down garments.  *Note here:  Be sure to thoroughly check your down coats and vests BEFORE washing them in case of cuts and tears.  This is going in my Do As I Say (not as I do) book.*  By the time I left their house (in VT), it was pouring.  I had just enough time to get home and let the dogs out before Dr. D arrived.  Let me just interject here that I love this man.  Not in the romantic sense, but as a person and a vet he is above all others.  Always cheerful.  Extremely empathetic and willing to try anything.  He listens.  He loves animals.  His practice credo is to treat every patient as if it were your own.  That is why I trust his judgment.  We dashed into the barn and he remarked that Juno seemed to have a very strong life force.  That she does.  She got booster shots, vitamin shots and a steroid.  I was told to lay the calories on and roust her about as often as possible.  We would revisit Wednesday.  All day Saturday, I was in and out of the barn (always in the 3+ inches of rain/sleet/snow we got).  I rousted.  I cajoled.  I plied her with second cut hay and sweet feed and molasses drenches.  She got perkier but still did not stand.  I squished when I walked.  To make myself feel as if I was accomplishing something, I baked these:

Coconut Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies (From Mighty Nest)

(Makes 1 dozen relatively small cookies.  Or so I say...)

1/3 cup coconut flour
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1/3 cup dark chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350*.  Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat.  In a large bowl, whisk flour, melted oil, maple syrup, vanilla, salt, and eggs until the mixture comes together into a thick batter.  It did take a little while for the coconut flour to absorb the liquids.  Fold the chocolate chips into the batter to distribute.   Drop by heaping tablespoon onto the parchment paper.  You have to flatten these slightly, as they will not spread.  Bake for 12-14 minutes, until the edges are golden.  Cool on cookie sheet for 10 minutes and then transfer to cool completely on a rack.  Store leftovers (hahahahaha) in the refrigerator.

I felt better, but Juno hadn't changed.  I did a few inside chores (it rained all the day long and all the night long, and added high winds), but not a whole lot was accomplished.  A lot of sock knitting but that doesn't count until you get at least half your list checked off.  So sez me.  I did get the nesting boxes cleaned out and some surfaces scraped off, but nowhere near the 'clean the coop' job I had intended.  Sorry, sis.  On a happy note, both the little hens and the girl ducks put themselves to bed for the night with no help from moi!  Oh, happy day!  All I have to do is go out and close doors.

Sunday, the weather finally cleared up, just in time for us to toddle up the mountain to the cookout.  Imagine my shock at seeing four inches of snow halfway up!  It is three miles from my house to the hosts' house and it was like a totally different climate!  I am glad that I put coats on all the kids, as the wind was whipping around, too.  They were very well-behaved and received.  It was two hours of treats, food, runs, walks, and much patting of heads.  By the time I loaded them into the car for the drive back down the mountain, Pepper was snoring in his soup.  They were out for hours, happy dogs.

Unfortunately, Juno was not so happy.  With all of the added protein to build her strength up, she had developed bloat by evening.  I put in a call to Dr. D and we discussed the fact that, in her weakened state, there was not much hope.  I would do what I could for her and he would come down on his lunch hour to send her on to her next big adventure.  I gave Juno two bicarbonate of soda drenches between 6 and 11:30, and rolled her around and squeezed her a bit.  She seemed to like the attention and burped a couple of times - all of which I took as hopeful signs.  I brought out my knitting and set up my camp stool, and she and I (I did all of the talking...) spent a few companionable hours.  I recounted her birth (in case she forgot it) and my part in in.  I talked about her mother - Flora - and I knitted.  There is something so right about spending time with a very nice sheep and knitting.  At 11:30, I let the boys and Apria into the barn so that she could have company, and sadly took my knitting off to bed.  This morning, I put off going out to check on her because I didn't want to find her gone.

I didn't.  She was back to perky and chewing her cud.  I called the vet to report in and happily rushed around doing morning chores.  I was so happy that I left early so that I could do one of the jobs on my list - take the recycling to the transfer station on my way (sort of) to work.  I had forgotten that they did not open until 9 on Mondays.  Thank goodness I know the crew that works there - they begrudgingly let me do a frantic run-through and get out of their way quickly.

Dr. D and I still have to have the hard talk about Juno, but at least I know she is not suffering.  Now, if I could just get my feet and hands warm again...


Mama Pea said...

All I can say is you are, undoubtedly, the bestest of the best animal moms. Keeping you and Juno in my thoughts today. Sending hugs.

Susan said...

To be at the beginning and end of a well loved animal's life is precious. You have done well by Juno. We have two vets to choose from, one is on automatic pilot, the other adjusting his fees to pay for his swanky new office.

jaz@octoberfarm said...

close's such a tough thing to have old pets. i'm noticing lots of changes in teddy. my problem is, she won't get in the car and won't let anyone in the house. what am i going to do?!

Fiona said...

Ahh that will to live...its a wonder and a curse at times. I do understand how you feel, but seeing them feel better is such a joy.
Bless you!

Nancy @ Little Homestead In Boise said...

Sorry, is Juno a pig, goat or?

Michelle said...

Bless you, dear woman. That is all.

Joy said...

I can so understand how you feel about Juno and hope she will rally today. I feel for you.

Susan said...

Mama Pea - It's so difficult when you have to tackle that quality-of-life thing.

Susan said...

Susan - It is a wonderment to have so much connection with a living thing. Sorry to hear about your lack of good vetting. We have plenty of the latter type here. This guy is a gem.

Susan said...

Jaz - I am noticing that Scrappy spends a lot of time staring out into space. Plus, he's a deaf as a post so I have to either yell at him or make sure we have eye contact. I think that Teddy will decide. She seems to have a mind of her own... :)

Susan said...

Fiona - That is so true. I was hoping that she would make the decision herself, but it looks like she's passing the process onto me.

Susan said...

LHB - Juno is my oldest Icelandic sheep.

Susan said...

Thank you, Michelle. I know you can so totally relate.

Susan said...

Thanks, Joy. We can only hope (and give her lots of molasses drench...)