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The Mobile Vet Comes to Call

Feb
18

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This is Dr. Clara Mason, at the tailgate of the truck, and her assistant. She’s a mobile vet. Mobile-only! No office. Works out of her truck going wherever farmers need her. I bet she has some stories….

She was at Sassafras Farm yesterday because Zip had herself a little accident. When she didn’t come down for her hay, I went looking for her and found her stuck in a piece of field fence that had been downed by a tree in our latest snow and wind. She had stepped right into the twisted fence, and cut her leg trying (in vain) to get out. It’s too bad horses don’t have cell phones. She could have called. “Woman, I’m stuck up here, come get me.” Instead, she panicked, I’m pretty sure, because that would be how she cut her leg, pulling so hard trying to release herself. After that, apparently, she calmed down because she was waiting pretty patiently at the time I found her.

I contacted Tinia Creamer from the Heart of Phoenix Equine Rescue, who hooked me up with Dr. Mason.
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Zip was sedated so her wound could be irrigated thoroughly, treated, then bandaged.
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She had an antitoxin shot and is on Equioxx and Uniprim (for those of you to whom that means anything, to the rest of us it’s Greek, but it’s her medicine–anti-inflammatory, pain, and infection control).
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Dr. Mason will be back on Thursday for a re-check and bandage change, and to teach me how to carry on with her bandage changes afterward. Zip’s stalled in the barn for the duration. The whole thing was a little scary, but–she’s going to be okay.

And I gotta go fix a fence now……

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Icy Animals

Feb
7

It’s below freezing every day this week. Again. Did I mention AGAIN?
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Animals stare, waiting for me at the fenceline, eager for any sign that I have emerged from the house. Usually, I feed the cows, goats, and sheep first. Today I fed the horses first. I figured they deserved a turn. I got in trouble for that because Glory Bee saw me diss her that way.

When I hauled the first bale out of the barn for her, she followed me and head-butted me from behind, nearly lifting me up in the air.
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Guess she showed me.

Then I bring another bale, to get everyone else started. (Competing with Glory Bee for food doesn’t work much for anyone but Dumplin. And just barely for Dumplin.) I check buckets, check the creek, make sure everyone has an unfrozen source of water.
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I…
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Love…
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This Girl…
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And she knows it, rotten thing.

Then I’m happy to go back to the house and if I make it without slipping on the ice.

These days, below freezing, my camera seizes up outside within five minutes. This is probably due to not being a very expensive camera, but it’s making my life difficult at the moment!

But not for Casper! Apparently. Casper, rolling in the leftover hay at the horse shelter.
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But all is well and the water is running in the house, the power is on, and there is food even if I can’t get to the store!

P.S. I found out yesterday that my book will be reviewed in the February 23 edition of THE NEW YORK TIMES!!!!

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  1. IMG_1178

    January 24, 2014 - Look What I Found in the Barn

    On this cold, cold morning–

    –there is life!

    Jennie: “It’s trying to eat me.”

    Fanta had a baby! Just the one. And it’s a boy! (Healthy and nursing. Fanta is a good mama.)

  1. IMG_1056

    January 15, 2014 - Dateline: Barn in the Boonies

    Crooked Little Hen is my oldest chicken.

    She has a crossed beak. A crossed beak is where the upper and lower halves go opposite directions and it is a genetic defect. She was born that way. (If you missed them, I have some really cute posts about her, including The Crooked Little Hen Saves the Day and A Crooked Little Hen Love Story.) … Continued…

  1. IMG_0766

    December 16, 2013 - Another Rural Mystery Solved

    One little, two little–

    BIG

    –horses galloping past my window.

    What is this I see now?
    One little donkey
    coming around the side of the porch.

    Is that a sheep?
    One little, two little, three little–

    Horses, donkey, and sheep in my yard, oh my.

    But why?

    Sigh!… Continued…

  1. IMG_1025

    November 19, 2013 - She Was Always Ready Ahead of Time

    I’ve posted several times recently about BP–because people often ask about her. I promised I would let you know when she was gone. Some readers don’t know what I’m talking about when I mention putting BP down. Winter is hard on BP. She slipped and fell twice last winter, and both times I needed the help of two men to get her back on her feet. She’s an elderly cow, … Continued…

  1. IMG_0241

    October 31, 2013 - No Wonder She Was In a Bad Mood

    The vet arrived to see my beautiful Glory Bee yesterday afternoon with a vet tech in training.

    She was just here to watch. And who doesn’t want to watch? It’s so exciting!

    Look how the man actually looks happy to be sticking his arm inside my cow.

    And he said, “Oh, there’s … Continued…

  1. Dsc_8794

    October 30, 2013 - Back to the Bee-Hind

    I. Love. My. Cow.

    (Photos in this post by Jerry Waters.)

    I have a vet making a farm call TODAY to preg check Glory Bee and let me know, for sure, if she is bred. What is more fun than watching somebody else stick their arm in your cow? Nothing, I tell you, NOTHING.

    And … Continued…

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The Slanted Little House

"It was a cold wintry day when I brought my children to live in rural West Virginia. The farmhouse was one hundred years old, there was already snow on the ground, and the heat was sparse-—as was the insulation. The floors weren’t even, either. My then-twelve-year-old son walked in the door and said, “You’ve brought us to this slanted little house to die." Keep reading our story....



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