Walking up to Hudson’s paddock I see Bella.
“Did I go too far?”‘ she asks, “TMI?”.
“I don’t think so…?”, I reply, mentally scrolling through our recent interactions.
“Because I don’t have any idea what you’re talking about?” (The “huh?” reply: a good indicator that all is well in a friendship.)
“I sent you a picture of Hudson’s poop.”, she says.
I throw my arms around her, choking on sobs of relief and gratefulness.
She barely fends me off. “No Jane! I woke up with a cold.” Aw, sniffle sniffle, she doesn’t want me to catch it. She’s such a good friend. I pull myself together before I start sobbing about what a good friend I have. (Um. It was a rough week?)
Instead, I say, “I didn’t get the pic, but it means a lot that you sent it”.
We both turn and stare at Hudson, source of poop and human bonding.
His ears prick. The thought bubble over his head clearly calculates: mom plus former mom equals FOOD. He swivels an ear to alert Woodrow to pay attention. Woodrow lifts his head swiftly, and begins to amble carefully down the muddy hill, eyes on the ground, ears on us, nostrils testing the air quality for any hint of a treat.
It hits me, how refined the tools are that horses use to “see”. It’s…so cool.
Hudson’s had digestive issues. For the non-horsey, this isn’t like a human having digestive issues. It’s more like a human nicked an artery, and you’re doing everything you can to repair the problem and prevent the nick from widening, so the human doesn’t bleed out.
While he looks fantastic, his teeth weren’t doing the whole chewing hay properly thing, as his other end so aptly reported. Woodrow needed his teeth checked as well, so off to the dentist they went. (Hudson is missing a tooth, which can throw off his bite, floating wouldn’t be sufficient.)
Knowing they would both be slightly worse after the dentist (sore mouths aren’t going to chew better, even if the teeth are capable, and there’s the anesthesia, which slows gut motility) we were prepared to up their ration of easily digestible pellets.
It’s true: horse people are all veterinarians-in-training.
We hand walk them to get their guts active, and help move the anesthetic out of their systems.
They both needed Bute (Aspirin, for our non-horsey) to eat even the mushy pellets. Bute can upset the stomach. So can an empty stomach combined with pain. So can a stomach coming out of anesthetic. Tricky.
This is the start of the Jane Is Worried Sick week. I believe worrying before it’s necessary will prepare me for future events. I blame this on the Girl Scouts. (I took “Be Prepared” a bit too seriously.)
Every day brought about tweaks to the get-normal program. More pellets, less Bute, etc. Finally, I hit on Hudson’s magic balance: adding dry bran, upping pellets even more, and
feeding insulting him with a slurry of aloe juice and powdered slippery elm bark.
(Probably time passing had a lot more to do with it, but I need to believe I helped.)
Bella and I took turns checking on, walking, and feeding the boys twice a day. Woodrow was digesting better, but had a much more difficult time with pain and the after effects of sedation and dental work. He took it very hard. It showed up in whole-body muscle spasms.
As he recovered, I’d send photos of him happily rolling, or bucking, and send them to Bella at work: look how much better he feels this morning!
And Bella took a picture of a decent poop, and sent it to me, knowing it was my relief-equivalent of seeing a good buck.
Does it get any better than a friend who sends you a photo of poop?
How about you?