A Day for Surgery

Belgian horse:

Draft horses are beautiful, but it is no understatement- they are BIG.

I was asked to a farmer’s home to anesthetize a yearly draft horse so an Amish man could perform a castration surgery. This was a little irregular, but I understood. Amish are skilled at certain tasks, however, they have no way of obtaining medications for anesthesia. This owner wanted my help for this.

It was the first time  I was asked to drop a horse in a stall – what we refer to as giving anesthesia and laying the horse on the ground. I usually chose to do the surgery on large grassy areas or in open indoor arenas with soft, dry footing – my reasons for doing so are these areas are easier to work in as well as if the horse falls on the ‘right’ side, they can be flipped to the ‘left’ side by grabbing the hooves and all at once, flipping him. The ‘side’ the horse falls on is important because if the surgeon is right handed, the instruments come into the scrotal area from behind and any possible injury to the genitals is avoided.

I estimated the weight of the yearly colt to be approximately 2,200 pounds and administered my sedation medication followed by short acting anesthetic medication. As bad luck would have it, he proceeded to drop on his right side and could not be flipped in the small stall. The Amish man was as uncomfortable about the horse being on his right side as I am, so he and the owner asked me to complete the castration.

Immediately I ran to my truck and quickly opened the compartments, grabbed my bucket and emasculator (the tool used to castrate the horse), some soap and sponges, a blade, gloves, and some water and ran back to the horse. I prepped the skin of the scrotum and began surgery. I made my first incision over the right testicle but when I tried to remove it, the muscle that raises and lowers the testicle in the scrotum was pulling harder than I was able to pull. I pulled with all my strength and couldn’t remove that testicle. Since this wasn’t working, I had the not so bright idea to try removing the other testicle. I couldn’t remove that one either. I could only imagine what the two men watching were thinking.

I quit trying, leaned up against the stall wall, and told the owner I needed to let him stand and give him a second dose of anesthesia. Luckily, he fell on his left side this time and as I began to castrate him, I saw the wood shavings used as bedding in his stall covering the incisions I made earlier. I hesitated for a moment and thought ‘fabulous,’ tried to clean as much of the shavings off as I could, and continued the surgery, ignoring for the moment this complication that could lead to infection.

After struggling to remove those testicles, I finally finished the surgery. I stood, exhausted and shaking. The owner was sweet and smiled as he patted me on the shoulder, and said,  “You did it!” I was certainly glad it was over and I am sure he was too.

The colt’s surgery was on Thursday. When I arrived back at work the following Monday, during our morning reports to the boss, my fellow vet said he ran into a horse owner on Saturday who said he just came from a horse funeral – a recently castrated Belgian yearly. I sat speechless and sure I had misunderstood. The color drained from my face and I think my heart almost stopped. My fellow vet was unable to keep a straight face and then said, ‘He said to tell her (me) he was just kidding – and tell Teri she did a great job.’ I was relieved to know the horse was okay, but not as amused as the men. They thought they were very funny. I probably would have thought it was all pretty funny too if it happened to someone else. Funny how that is sometimes.

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Resurrection Sunday

Amazing Grace <3:

Easter is here again and it means different things to each person. At times it has been fun hunting eggs and baskets of candy hidden intended to be found and enjoyed. I have enjoyed Easter bunnies and lambs and ham for dinner as well as new outfits and special shoes for church and family Easter celebration.
Over 40 years ago Easter came to mean something more to me. Sitting in my pew I saw the sun streaming in the window. It was if it were the first Resurrection Sunday ever. We sang:
“On a hill far away, stood an old rugged Cross
The emblem of suffering and shame
And I love that old Cross where the Dearest and Best
For a world of lost sinners was slain”
I was a broken person, a sinner, in need – in need of a Savior. As I bowed my knees to give my heart and life to the God I love and would love forever, the Cross became more to me than I could ever imagine. They crucified Jesus thinking it was over and it was not. His death turned to life and His great reversal became my great reversal. It changed:
Death to life
Defeat to victory
Hate to love
Anxiety to peace
Loss to gain
Pain to healing
Sadness to happiness
Depression to release
Guilt to forgiveness
Bondage to freedom
Addiction to deliverance
The Cross is everything to me. It is the symbol of where Jesus died and rose again so I could know Him and His love. He became my Father, my Friend, my Provider, Protector, Way Maker, Author and Finisher of my faith, the One Who sees me and knows all about me, Everything. I am not ashamed of the Cross and Gospel of Jesus Christ because it is the Power of God to salvation- to all answered prayers, deliverance, faith, enlightenment, forgiveness, overcoming, life, going to heaven for eternity- everything.
The words came to life to me that Resurrection Sunday so many years ago as we continued to sing:
“So I’ll cherish the old rugged Cross
Till my trophies at last I lay down
I will cling to the old rugged Cross
And exchange it some day for a crown”

I reflect on the Words in the Bible  – if anyone else is god- serve them, but as for me and my house, we will serve the Living God- the Lord – the Resurrected One this Easter.

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「instagram sheltie」の画像検索結果:

I found another pup to add to the family- a Sheltie I named Alex. It always amazes me how fast one can fall in love with a little guy -I estimate about 2.7 seconds or less.

One afternoon, when Alex was young, we gardened together. He walked in and out of the flower beds as I tried to plant and fertilize. While focusing on the flowers, I lost track of Alex. When I discovered  he wasn’t with me, I frantically shouted his name and searched the yard. I checked everywhere- including the street in front of our home and the roads into the grounds where we lived, but did not find him. 

With my mind racing and my heart pounding, I started up the porch steps to phone for help. Suddenly, I stopped half way up the steps because there, sitting at the top of the steps, wagging his tail, sat my Alex. As I scooped him up in my arms and kissed his little face, I told him how worried I was and how happy I was that he was not lost after all. I told him how he scared his mommy. I should have known-  already having a Sheltie – that Shelties never leave you. Where you are, they are. 

When Alex was about 3 years old, he developed a stone in his bladder from minerals in his diet. I surgically removed it, however, the condition went unnoticed for a while. When he appeared to be passing urine, very little or none came out due to the stone obstructing the flow of urine. I believe the blockage injured his kidneys because when Alex was about 7 years old, his kidneys began to fail to do their job.

In human medicine, patients are offered dialysis to filter their blood when their kidneys are not doing so. This may be available now at specialty clinics, but was not well developed when Alex’s kidneys failed to do their job. Alex accompanied me everywhere so I could give him medications and fluids as needed as well as being near me comforted him. I was committed to racing and training horses at the racetrack 2-3 times a week and was aware that taking a dog into the racetrack could result in a $250.00 fine, but I couldn’t leave him at home.  

When we went into the race track, Alex rested on the passenger seat beside me out of view. But, when I took my race horse from the prep barn to the track, I saw Alex sitting in the driver’s seat looking out the window. As I passed I said, “Alex, you’re blowing our cover. Everyone can see you.” Luckily, no one seemed to notice and we were never fined. 

Even after several months of diligent care, and trying to figure a way to help Alex, the day came I could see that we were not on the winning side of Alex’s kidney disease. It was one of the saddest days of my life to say good- bye to that wonderful little dog. When these beautiful creatures come into our lives they bring happiness and love and time seems to fly by until that dreadful day. Saying good-bye is always heartbreaking. They say it’s part of the deal. The more you love something or someone, the more it hurts to say good- bye. The only other option is to not love- and that is not an option I wish to choose. I will always have memories of Alex to make me happy for the time we had together. 

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Friendship Because Life is Hard

This photo and quote show how friendship bonds begin at a young age and is carried on throughout ones life. Certain friendships may change or end but no matter what people always have some sort of friendship bond with others.:

My Aunt’s name was Mildred. Some called her Millie. As children, we couldn’t say Mildred or Millie, so we called her Aunt Moddy. She was young at heart and drove a red Mustang. She told fascinating stories of giving children free ice cream cones when she worked at an ice cream stand. We never knew if her stories were true, but we loved hearing them.

Aunt Moddy filled our lives with laughter and fun, but when she was older, she became sick with cancer. After treatment, she lost her hair and wore wigs. When I visited her in the nursing home she went to live in, she sat on the side of her hospital bed laughing and talking- telling stories – continuing to make everyone smile and laugh. Looking back, she was brave and as I watched her grow weaker and weaker, I remember thinking how sad life is at moments.

As children, life was simple. We went to school, did homework, played after school, made friends, watched TV, and dreamed of being older. Older people had money and could go wherever they wanted, stay up late, and do all the things we dreamed of doing. We thought everything would be great when we were finally ‘older.’ The Beach Boys even sang a song, “Wouldn’t it be nice if we were older…”

Since becoming older, I wish I could sit and have a chat with the adults from my childhood. I would tell them they how distressed I am because they made life look so simple and uncomplicated. They never seemed strained or worried. Time just seemed to go by easily as they did the things adults do. Now I see it all differently.

Sometimes life is filled with love and laughter and hard work pays off and all is well with the world. Other times life is challenging with sorrow and loss and grief and struggle. The longer I live, the more I have said good – bye to beloved family members and friends and pets. I have watched treasured friends falter into memory losses and struggle with health issues. Some close to me have struggled with addiction or sorrow and personal loss. As we are older, there are mortgages, car payments, bills, good and bad relationships, responsibilities- all can be challenging events in a day to day life.

Good friends and family are priceless to me because they help me muddle through the ups and downs of life.  As I share with them, they share with me. It is comforting to know ‘I am not alone.’ We share many of the same struggles, the same ups and downs, the same happy and sad times as many of those around us. We’re in this together.

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Standardbred Harness Racing - Pacing:

We were having trouble racing. Our young horses were in training and hadn’t started racing and some of our girls were hurt and couldn’t race. We were newbies and others made us feel as if we did not have the talent to train a horse to race. This spurred us on to prove them wrong. We could do it! We knew we could train a horse to pace around a track with a driver in a little race bike behind them.

Some friends had many horses and offered to let us finish training one of theirs. We took Mystical Buffy on lease. If I ever had a decision to do over again, I would have purchased her. The original promise was that if we wanted her, we could have her for $1500.00. We thought this was fair.

She was a feisty girl and floated when she paced. Her daddy was a well known horse named Albert Albert. This impressed the other horsemen because folks in the racing world know every mare and stallion that ever lived. When Buffy was ready to race, her first race was at a fair. She did not win, however, she paced fast enough to qualify to race at the racetrack. Horses wanting to race were required to complete a qualifying race or a race at a fair in a minimum race time so slow horses or horses that were not prepared to race did not risk injury to themselves or others.

The first night Buffy raced at the racetrack, she won. We were elated. We had proved we could train a horse to race and win! Winning gave you the privilege of strutting around like you just won the Kentucky Derby when it was just a small race most never knew was won. It was gratifying though. An added bonus was that the racetrack video taped all the races and offered them to owners. We purchased Buffy’s WIN video.

Victory was sweet, but short lived. We lost the next ten races – we didn’t even finish in the money for any of these races- the first 5 finishers receive money. We were back to discouraged.

One night I noticed my training partner watching Buffy’s only WIN video in our living room. He kept playing it over and over. Others had many win videos, we just had one. A little sorrow swept over me. I wanted to tell him we would win again and have more videos. I wanted to tell him it would be ‘ok.’ I didn’t say a word and he just kept watching the race over and over.

After a long losing streak, I pleaded with a talented driver to drive Buffy. I told him a little fib – that I knew another talented driver that recommended him. He was skeptical, but agreed to drive for us. She won! I was so excited that, when I took the horse from him and went to jump on the race bike to drive her to the win barn, I fell on the track. He giggled. I asked him if he would drive for us again and promised to fall off the race bike again if that would help him decide. He did and she went on to win many races for us.

When we made the offer to buy Buffy for the original price  – after doing the training and the care-  the owners more for her. We were disappointed and returned her to her original owners.

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The Debate

How amazing would that be? To see the pets you've lost looking down and waiting for you :-):

If I could write another caption for this photo, it would read, “Where ya been?” -as our pets sit, waiting for us to come over to other side.

Do animals go to heaven? I do not profess to know the absolute answer to this question, but I have opinions and I think there is a heaven and think animals go there. I think I am not alone in my thinking.

In defense of my argument, I am a believer in the Bible and God put more animals on the Ark than He did people. Also, animals are indisputably some of His greatest creations. They have life and love with their whole hearts and being.

There are so many amazing creatures – the colorful birds, elephants, giraffes, zebras, horses, whales, manatees, sea turtles, and of course, our beloved cats and dogs. What would heaven (if you believe in heaven as I do) be like without them? They are here, why wouldn’t they be there?

I often share a story with my clients that goes something like this-  One day, while watching TV, a TV host shared a story of a little boy who seemed sad on his show. He asked the boy, “Why so sad.”

The little boy said, “My dog just died.”

The host said sympathetically, “Well, doesn’t it help to know he’s in heaven with God?”

The little boy looked up at him with a puzzled face and asked, “What would God want with a dead dog?”

We laugh. Apparently, the concept of life after this life for his dog apparently evaded this young man, but the question still remains, ‘do all dogs really go to heaven?’ My vote is  ‘yes.’ We will all find out one day.

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I Just Wanted to Ride

This was so me when I was a little girl!!!...and I had a stick horse when I really wanted to get somewhere. When I was five, I graduated to the real thing...been horse crazy ever since.: i

Like many girls, I have always loved horses. When I was a young girl, my mother arranged for me to work at a horse farm on Saturdays in exchange for time riding. When I started working on the farm, the owner was home and directed my work. When I finished, she chose a safe horse for me to ride in a small riding ring near her barn. These were treasured memories and the riding thrilled me beyond words.

One Saturday, she was away at a horse show. I cleaned all twenty stalls in the barn – a huge accomplishment for a young girl. There were llamas in one stall and when I opened the door to clean their stall, they rushed past me and ran out of the stall into the horse pasture. I knew I needed to return them to their stall, so without thinking, I opened the pasture gate to herd them out of the pasture. Bad plan. Not only did the llamas come, seeing the open gate, the horses stampeded past me running into and through the barn to a field behind the barn. They were free and I could not stop them. What a disaster!

I had no idea what to do. I thought I lost all the horses. How would I explain this? Then, suddenly, they turned and headed back to the barn. Later I learned this is a usual behavior for horses to stay where they are fed. Happy to have them return, most ran back into the pasture. A few horses ran into stalls in the barn. I was able to return them to the pasture easily. The disaster that started with the llamas escaping ended with them returning to their stall.

When the owner came home, there was no trace of the trouble I had, however, she was amazed  at the work I had done. She knew how much work went into cleaning all those stalls, but It didn’t seem like work to me. I was in heaven being around the horses all day and looking forward to a few minutes in the saddle. To tell the truth, I would have done twice the number of stalls to ride. She called my mother and made arrangements for me to spend the night because she had a surprise for me.

I was excited thinking of which horse she would choose for me to ride and how fun it would be to be to walk and trot in the small arena, but the surprise had nothing to do with riding. She took me to a car race.  All I can remember is how bored I was sitting in the bleacher seats alone shivering, eating a candy bar, and watching those cars drive around and around the track. My mother never took me to her barn again, but eventually I owned my own horses and was able to ride any time I wanted.

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No Ordinary Day at the Laundromat

Beach glass from Lake Erie and a broken shell from Ponte Vedra Beach, Fl. ...LOVE the broken fragment of a scallop shell used for the wicker laundry basket!.....vwr:

I agree, sometimes life is about little things. Two little things I have always wished for are a washer and dryer at home.

Until that dream comes true, I appreciate commercial washers and dryers at local laundromats. Since I try to see the glass as half full and the up  side of things when able, I see the laundromat as a great asset. When I go, I am able to wash and dry many loads at  one time  There have been occasions I felt like I was the luckiest person alive – not because I won the lottery or made a great invention of some kind – but because I was the only one at the laundromat and used almost all the washers. Funny what one can consider a good day and luck.

Once, while working, I decided to wash clothes at a nearby Laundromat at lunch time. This meant more of the glass half full concept – lunch, wash, and all my loads done at the same time. Didn’t think life could get much better. I started my loads as usual. Soon after I arrived, two men arrived. One was an older gentleman and the other a grown man, but younger.

While we waited for washers and dryers to finish, I overheard the conversation between the two men. The younger man repeatedly asked the same questions. When would they be done? Would they have supper after they were finished? What were all the people doing shopping at the stores near the laundromat? And more. The younger man also stated the obvious over and over- they were doing wash and would be done soon, but how soon? Each time the younger man spoke, the older man kindly and softly responded and assured him they would done with the wash soon as well as answer the same question for the tenth time as if it were the first time being asked.

This  went on the entire time we washed clothes together. I was touched by the kindness and patience of the older man.  I was sure this young man was a permanent part of his life and he never seemed annoyed and never spoke harshly to him. I thought how easily annoyed I am sometimes.

When I was finished my wash, I walked over to the older gentleman and said, “You are a really kind man. It has been very touching to watch you with him.” In a surprised voice, the man replied, “Why, thank you.”  – as if he considered his acts of patience, kindness and love to this younger man just normal, not extraordinary, the way I thought.  His kindness and patience inspire me to be more like him.

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Isaiah and Solomon’s Adventures

Trakehner -- on Papa's farm:

My Solomon was a great horse to raise my young Isaiah because he was kind and gentle and patient. Isaiah was a Trakehner – a German warm blood- that came to me and Sol as a yearling weighing 1,200 pounds, but grew to 2,600 pounds. Solomon was a Thoroughbred who weighed 1,100 pounds. Sol was senior to Isaiah when he arrived, so Sol was boss. They were best friends and Isaiah followed Solomon everywhere- which would normally be a great thing because Sol usually never misbehaved.

Such was not the case on a few occasions. Once, the two of them escaped from a pasture on a farm we were boarding at. Sol found it great fun to run away from me while Isaiah raced right behind him. The problem was that there was danger in the road close by and I did not want them to just run free. I tried everything to get the two horses to come to me – I called them, shook a can of grain at them, and tried to cut them off from running away from me. Sol darted past me every time I was close and Isaiah ran after him. Nothing I did mattered.

Finally, Isaiah stopped and looked at me with his big baby eyes as if to say, “Sol, it’s mommy, why are we running?” And then he came to me. After Isaiah was apprehended, Sol reluctantly followed. It seemed Sol liked being the ‘bad horse’  – getting them both in the dog house.

Another winter day, I put the two of them in a pasture and  left to work 30 miles away. When I returned, I saw footprints in the snow from the pasture, all over the front and back yards, and leading into the street. The owner of the farm told me what a terrible time she had with my two boys while I was away. She chased them for an hour and fell in the snow hurting her back. First, they ran her around the yards, then up and down the busy street in front of her farm before she safely returned them to their stalls. I wish they could have told me all about their adventure, but they remained silent. Their innocent faces hid all the mischief they had gotten into. I never left them out again unless I could watch them. My two bandito -s .

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Trakehner is a light warmblood breed of horse, originally developed at the East Prussian state stud farm in the town of Trakehnen from which the breed takes its name:

I have a treasured friend who trained me to ride. Since I was a working student, and could not afford for my Thoroughbred, Sol, to stay at her barn, he stayed at a barn up the road. We made arrangements for lessons and I put Sol’s equipment on and walked him down the road to her farm.

It was my first lesson and I was running late, so, as I walked up the road, I rehearsed what I would say. When I arrived at her barn,. When I arrived, I apologized for being 15 minutes  late, but said I would pay for an hour if she was willing to give me 45 minutes of instruction.  She then stood straighter and  firmly said, “15 minutes! You are an HOUR and 15 minutes late and I do not have time to be messing with you.” I don’t remember any other words because I was stunned and stood motionless. Everything was a blur as thoughts churned in my mind- we moved 20 miles to the opposite side of town to learn with her, I traveled every day to this new area to ride, my heart felt broken at the thought of not riding with her because I was so excited to, and I had just walked my horse down the road. I tried to think of how I could make such a mistake.

I was speechless. After scolding me, it seemed she realized I had no idea I was this late. I wasn’t leaving. Finally, she agreed to give me a lesson. She gave me an hour of instruction. She liked us.  We became very good friends. I was never late again. It is customary and respectful for a rider to dress in riding pants and riding boots, but my student budget did not allow me to have these luxury items at that time in life. I wore corduroy jeans and attached my spurs to running shoes. She was a proper woman and a professional trainer, but she never mentioned my dress. She understood. We trained in dressage work together many years. She made me a rider. I am forever grateful.

When I visited her several years later, she had a yearling Trakehner for sale. When he trotted across the pasture, he looked like he was floating on air. I told her I wanted him.  I named him Isaiah. My trainer once said the horse does the best for the person who breaks and trains them. I was determined to be that person for Isaiah.

Isaiah was a stallion when I bought him, but after dragging me across a field to chase some mares, I made arrangements to castrated him. Problem solved. When the time came to teach him to ride, the process was easy because he trusted me. He was 17.2 hands tall- almost 6 feet tall) and weighed 2,600 pounds. It took me a year to adjust to his large size. Sometimes I stood on my truck bumper or the wheel of the tractor to pull myself onto his back. He always stood patiently and motionless.

When we first stared riding we just walked and trotted. One day he began to canter slowly. It was amazing, but his stride was so huge, I rolled right out of the saddle and landed on the ground. That boy stopped and looked down at me with his big, beautiful eyes as if to ask, “What’re you doing down there, mom?”

Isaiah jumped, did dressage, and rode trails. I rode him everywhere. We rode English, Western, and bareback. I have the best memories of the 17 years we shared  together.

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