Friday, August 29, 2008

Baby's first steps

For almost a week, I tried to get hold of Snoopy's surgeon, Dr. Fischer, to find out what he thought of Snoopy's x-rays, and what we should do next. Finally, darling Dr. Bridget Murphy came to my rescue. She printed out the x-rays, took them to the Chino Valley Equine Hospital, chased Dr. Fischer down and shoved the pix into his hands, then stood and waited for him to review them and give his recommendation.

I owe that woman a fruit basket. A chocolate-dipped fruit basket.

On a very humid, drippy, hotter than hell afternoon, Snoopy took his first hand-walk around the ranch grounds. That's Niki, one of my trainers, doing the honors. We made certain that there wasn't anything to distract him, like other horses, the tractor or its accessories, odd things lying in odd places, etc. The surgeon said we could walk him for 15 minutes, but Niki planned to just walk him a few times around the interior of the ranch. Nothing near the road, where trucks and other horses could startle him. Nothing near the neighbors, where the dogs or goats might make him jump. If we could have lined the path with mattresses, we would have.

I had joked with the staff at my dog's vet that Niki and I might look like the balloon walkers at the Macy's Parade, with Snoopy floating in the air like a helium version of himself. In actuality, he stayed quite grounded. For standing in his stall four months, he was a very good boy. There was no bucking, no rearing, no prancing, no dancing. Of course, some of you might notice that he was wearing a lip chain, but he was still good.

We gave him a dose of Ace about a half hour before this, but it didn't seem to work. He was still trying to nibble on the chain, the line, the halter, me... Niki wants to up the dose slightly tomorrow. She'd like to get him to a place where he's tranquil enough to be walked without needing the lip chain.

So the directions from Dr. Fischer were to walk him 15 minutes every day for 30 days, then take more x-rays. Aye-aye, Dr. Fischer.

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