Via the miracle of Ace and lip chains, Snoopy has been hand-walked every day since the end of August. Dr. Pollard came out the first week of October and took more x-rays. He was very happy with the pictures - the plate was still straight, the screws still unbroken.
The following Tuesday, Snoopy had his first workout on the longe line. Tina didn't tell me she was going to do this, which was just as well. I wouldn't have been able to breathe for an hour, whether I was there to witness it or not. She called and told me what had happened after the fact.
First, Tina gave him a big fat dose of Ace (5 times the normal dose), then put him on the line in the bullpen. He acted like a typical 4-year old who's been standing in a stall for five months - trying to buck and kick and run. Which is not what she wanted him to do, so she decided to make him too interested in his surroundings to try to act like a crazy horse. She took him to the trail course and had him (still on the line) walking, then jogging, then loping over poles. By the end of it all, he was loping the wheel, both directions, until he had worked up a sweat. He loves the poles, and seemed to enjoy going over them, head down, looking for the next one.
Today, Tina repeated the exercise, except without the Ace. Snoopy was so good, she thought that she might try riding him tomorrow...
Then the other shoe dropped, so to speak.
When I went in to the ranch, I made up Snoopy's bag of A&M and garlic and walked to his stall. He was lying down, but got up and nosed around his goodies. I got my lesson gear ready, then went back to see him. He was lying down again. I expressed my concerns to Tina, who felt like being optimistic.
"No, he's okay. See, he's coming over to the stall door."
"But he's not trying to eat you." This has become the barometer for how Snoopy is feeling. If he's trying to eat you, he's healthy.
After the third time he laid down, Tina admitted he was trying to colic. She called Brigid Murphy, who scampered right out to stick tubing down Snoop's nose and pump him full of oil. He rebounded almost immediately, and was back to trying to nibble on everyone within reach.
Forget the fruit basket - I owe that woman a kidney.