This past week and a half have been a rollercoaster ride of emotions. Emotions were already raw from saying goodbye to my beloved hound dog when Ms. C informed me that my Big Man was struggling after receiving his annual vaccines. I can’t tell you how tempting it was to pack up my suitcase, hop on the ferry, and blindly drive home through the tears while wiping my nose on my sleeve. My husband was the voice of reason and gave me a big, reassuring hug, “Ike will be OK.” Sigh. All I could do was wait for Ms. C’s Tuesday morning update and then know whether Ike would be staying put or heading up the road to the vet hospital. Needless to say, Monday night was rather sleepless.
The email I’d been waiting for arrived mid-morning (email and text messages were more reliable than phone service on Ocracoke Island, NC). Ike was better! Ms. C and Mr. D felt that there was enough improvement with the administration of the Bute that Ike did not need to head to the clinic for further evaluation. Ah, I could now breathe. We were not out of the woods, but our vet felt that if the Bute helped, that there was no need for evaluation for EPM or other neurological problems…Bute wouldn’t help those issues. I did my own research online, but could not find anything conclusive on vaccines and the symptoms Ike demonstrated. The scientist in me will keep digging for an answer. In the mean time, I was just tickled that Ike was improving.
Ms. C kept me updated with daily emails and phone calls when I had cellphone reception. By Thursday, Ike was banging on his bucket for breakfast and marching with great purpose to his paddock in the morning. She tried lunging him with limited success. For one, I’ve neglected that part of Ike’s education…he is such a mellow fellow that he never needed lunging before I hop on for my ride. And then, he was obviously still hurting a bit because he pinned his ears and would stop. Ear pinning is not a normal part of his repertoire, so we knew he was still not 100%. He was allowed the time off to heal. He did manage a good romp around his paddock one day which again was a positive sign of progress.
I was home for barely an hour today before I high-tailed it to the barn. There was no way I was waiting any longer to see Ike. There he was, peeking through his window. Silly boy, inside on such a pretty day? I didn’t care. I must admit that I think he was a bit miffed at me for not being with him. I received some ear pinning and a “gentle” bite on my hand as punishment for leaving for the week. It was interesting to note that the horse’s coats have darkened considerably in the week I was gone…winter coats are growing in quickly with our cooler nights and shorter days. Sorry, the mind wandered for a moment. Ike was clean so it took no time to get him tacked. My friend M and Mr. D came out to watch me ride since they’d seen Ike at his worst and would be good at judging his progress. They were both pleased with what they saw. I rode walk, trot, and canter in both directions. The only time Ike pinned his ears was when I pushed for a more forward trot. I was okay with that. M saw some awkward steps on my centerline turns. I’m okay with that as well. My big, beautiful boy is on the mend.
In closing, I must share that I am eternally grateful for my friends Ms. C and Mr. D and the care and concern they have for my boys. My boys are part of their extended family and are treated as such. It makes it possible for me to go away from time to time and know that I need not worry. (that doesn’t mean that I won’t worry, but I don’t have to worry.) Now the question is, how do I properly thank them for their care. “Thank you” is not enough. That will be what I ponder as I head to bed tonight.