Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Sick Lamb, Trail rides, & Soap Orders!

A few days ago I walked out to the field to check on the lambs and saw one, a smaller ram lamb, was down. I thought he was dead and I cursed under my breath and Gibson and Friday ran past me up the hillside. When I got closer I saw he was alive, but weak. I knew it was the transition from his old farm to this one. My soil has tetanus, there are new parasites and animals here, and a young lamb either thrives or fails, rarely one or the other. Sheep are masters at hiding weakness. It is their evolved trick of survival -to seem fine and stoic and strong until they are literally down. It is the shepherds job to know their body weight and score, to make sure they are wormed, immunized, etc. These guys had their shots and were wormed, but nothing is certain in farming. I scooped up the lamb and brought him inside.

I gave him a booster CDT and some anti-toxin, just in case. I added sugar and electrolytes to the water and gave him the entire kitchen to eat, lounge, and have grain in peace. TO my relief he was up and walking in an hour. He was drinking out of the dog bowl and leaving normal feces behind. There was no diarrhea. There was no shakiness. I don’t know how common it is to cheer at solid sheep stool in your kitchen - but I cheered.

The lamb was carried back out to the field that same night, once I had medicated and checked him out and saw him eating and drinking as normal. He was underweight and I suspect it has to do with worms not being treated by the wormer I had used. So I ordered some newer stuff and added herbal wormer as well to their feed of daily grain. The other two are plump and hail. As is Sean, the lamb born here back in late winter.

In other good news, my friend Tyler has taken up the saddle and started riding with me. He had not been on a horse in 20 years, but was so game it was amazing to watch his confidence and ease on the back of Merlin. I rode Mabel, who has been nothing but wonderful after a small adjustment period. Together we galloped (YES, GALLOPED!) those horses all over the mountain. He was a natural and rode Merlin like the whimsical hairy rhino he is. He said he’ll be back to ride this week and I hope to get some pictures.

I used to get all my kicks out of riding alone. I still love it. I took Merlin out by ourselves for a bit today and we are such old friends I can pop an earbud into one ear and listen to an audiobook as we ride on trails we know as well as our own paddock. But there is some real joy, and real wealth of spirit, seeing a new rider you are teaching beside you enjoy your horses as much as you do. You get to see those smiles of a first fast canter up a hillside, or grabbing apples off high branches as you slide below them on the back of a clever beast. Tyler was so great and will only get better.

Lastly, I am making soap like crazy. If you are interested in a custom batch and signed book, do email me at dogsinourparks@gmail.com - Takes about 2 weeks to cure and mail, sometimes sooner. I am making around 6 pounds of soap a week right now and mailing it all over the US and Canada. IT fills me with solid pride and the bars are lovely. You can also just order 4 bars of what I have laying around if you don't want to pay for custom designed special orders or books.

Also! I have 4 piglets left to sell and would love to sell them to blog readers, feel free to mail about them as well.

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