Thursday, June 30, 2011

You wanna spay what?

Dogs? Yes. Cats? Of course! A horse? ..........

Wait - what?

The good doctor and I took what I believe to be an "odd" phone call this afternoon. A gal called inquiring about fixing a horse. And not just "fixing" it as in fixing a problem or a wound, she meant fixing as in spaying the horse.

Now, for those that may have been living under a rock for the past half century or so, it is highly suggest that you spay or neuter your pets. Um, pets as in dogs and cats. And for the those that are still in the dark, "spaying" is where the lady bits get taken out so she can't get pregnant, and "neuter" is where boys get cut so they can't impregnate half the neighborhood pets.

Oddly enough, "neuter" is the term for dogs/cats; "gelding" is the term for horses; "castrating" works for every single thing.

Anyway, back to the horse. A gal asked if the clinic could spay a horse. I was a little taken by surprise as I've never heard of anyone actually spaying their horse. I mean, yes, it can be done. Apparently the good doctor informed me that he's done the procedure before. I handed the phone to him and let him answer the lady's questions because I was obviously not qualified as I would have told her just the geld the boys. Far less invasive and much more cost effective.

I about coughed up a lung when I found out that it would cost a minimum of $600 to spay a horse. It costs about $90 for a dog spay, and that's a lot.

Apparently, the way they spay a horse isn't exactly like a dog or a cat. Dogs/cats get cut along the abdomen, just below their belly buttons. For a horse, they lay it on one side, and make an incision on the flank, and take out an ovary. Then they have to flip said horse over onto it's other side, make another incision on the other flank and take out the other ovary.
The "flank" area is the number 3, just in front of the hip.
Not every large animal clinic has the same set up for equine surgery. One clinic I worked for had a special padded room dubbed the "fall room" which was where we anesthetized horses and guided them as to the floor as they got sleepy. In essence, we were helping them fall to the ground so they didn't hurt themselves. Then their feet would be bound and they would be lifted on a hydraulic system and pushed to the padded surgery table. After surgery, the horse would be lifted again on they hydraulics and pushed back into the fall room to wake up.
The clinic I work for doesn't have that kind of set up, although I'm sure they'd be like kids in a candy store if they could get their hands on one!
The easiest and most economical way to prevent a mare (female horse) from getting pregnant is to keep her away from a stallion. Or house her with other mares or  geldings. No problems there. The least economical way is to spay the 1200 pound mare.
Although, there is another idea, and it's probably more economical than spaying a horse. That is to stick a sterile marble where the sun doesn't shine. I've heard of this being used on sport/show horses where owners/riders don't want the attitude a mare can get when she comes into heat. Yes, even mares get a little nasty. It's not just humans. Anyway, the idea behind the marble is that if there is this thing bouncing around her uterus, it fools her body into thinking she's pregnant. Therefore, she won't come into heat. Therefore she can't be bred because she won't ovulate.
So, before you go getting any bright ideas about spending a small fortune on spaying a 1200 pound horse, you might consider more economical ideas. Like keeping it alone. Working on the boys. Or sticking a marble up it's hoo-ha.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

All Must Bow To The Overlord

Before I get to the Award portion of this blog, I would just like to wish  my Granddad a Happy Birthday. Today would have been his 86th birthday. My parents are taking Granny to a nice steak house in Redding (where Granny and Granddad always liked to go for birthdays or anniversaries), to celebrate Granddad's birthday.

So, I kind of took awhile to pay homage to this award that I received from the Frisky Virgin. I loved her post regarding this award, as she definitely put her own twist on it and definitely brought a smile to my face. Anyway, life got a bit crazy for a few weeks, and I had a moment where I vaguely remembered an award . . . so here I am.

As with most blog awards, there are a few rules to follow. They are as follows:

1. Thank the blogger who bestowed you the award.
2. Three changes must be made to our lives.
3. Bestow this award on 10 bloggers worthy of world domination.

So, first off, I wish to thank the wonderfully kind Frisky Virgin for bestowing this award on me. I adore the fact that she, too, is a huge Harry Potter fan and therefore, I shall overlook the fact that she likes vampires (example - True Blood, or possibly Twilight *shudders*). I shall also overlook the fact that she is a Dallas Cowboys fan, as she has grown up in Texas and does not know any other way than the wrong way. *wink* If you haven't checked out her blog, it's a must do on your list.

Second off Ahem . . . Secondly, I get to make three changes to our lives. You poor innocent suckers. However, I am Overlord, so put on your big girl panties and deal with it.

Change No. 1:

R.E.S.P.E.C.T. I'm serious here, folks. So many from the younger generations simply have no respect for anyone - not their peers nor their elders. I know that every generation goes through their teen years where the kids apparently know everything (hey I was a culprit, too), and the parents know squat. However, there's a fine line between that and the crap kids pull nowadays. From here on out, if you scream at your parent/guardian in public, refuse to take out those stupid little head phones from your iPod, throw a tantrum of any kind, refuse to do your chores yet still expect a raise in your allowance - anything that means anything to you will be taken away. Being sent to your room will not mean that you have the whole day to play your Wii or spend all day on Facebook or texting your friends. Any and all toys and electronics (especially the fun ones) shall be taken away so that you may learn from your lesson. If having refused to do chores, extra chores shall be added with no pay until you fully comprehend how disrespectful you have been. If you have thrown a tantrum in a store, and therefore embarrassing your parents/guardians, you must apologize to your parents (sincerely). Of course, this can only work if the child is old enough to speak, therefore understand they have done something wrong. If you tease your peers, you shall make a public apology to them.  If you think things will always be handed to you, that you don't have to do chores to earn an allowance, and can mouth off anytime you want, you have lessons to learn. If you want respect, you must first give it. It is not a right, it is a privilege.

Change No. 2:

To all those in the public eye;

Politics. Oh yes, I'm going there. If you have ever been convicted of a crime, you can no longer run for political office. If, while serving any term, you are convicted of a crime, you must immediately step down and admit to your stupidity - by wearing a Dunce Cap. If you take part in inappropriate behavior (such as texting pictures of your naughty bits, having secret affairs, etc.), you will immediately step down from office. If any of these politicians are lucky, they will be the next generation of fast food servers. Also, for legislature or congress that cannot pass a budget on time, will cease being paid. For ever day there is no budget, you do not get a single dime. That's why there are deadlines. DUH. Also, you will not be allowed to slash monies from the budget that are for health care, schools, or public safety officials (police, firemen, etc.). In fact, if you're past the deadline, what you would be paid will now go towards one of those three. I also declare that all politicians take a massive pay cut - you are a public servant, voted in - so why are you being paid so much?! If you can afford a house, a vacation home in the Hamptons, can afford European vacations, and a limo, you are being over-paid. From here on out, you will take yourself to work - limos will not be allowed (okay, the President gets one). If the working man/woman must struggle to pay their bills so that you can have your mansion and vacation homes and $200k sports cars, then you must struggle, too. As of now, all politicians who have a vehicle that cost in excess of $50k, must sell it and give all proceeds to the budget. All second homes, same thing, we'll put that money towards the national debt. Cough it up.

I hereby declare that in addition to the politicians getting their pays slashed, that all corporate CEO's are to adhere to said rules, as well. Each of your 5 homes can house families that were affected by natural disaster tragedies.

And you know what, this also goes for famosity. This is yet another privilege, not a right. If you abuse your famosity, you will no longer be deemed famous and be sent to work washing cars or flipping burgers. There will be no MTV or VH1 show looking for you 20 years later, either. If you have a "wardrobe malfunction", your famosity will be on probation. Your stalkers (this includes the paparazzi) will help the authorities keep tabs on you during your probation period (unless they actually pose a physical threat; and as for the paparazzi, they will  be used only to keep tabs on problem stars, they will no longer be allowed to chase down stars and cause accidents). Famosity shall not be granted if you take part in some stupid reality TV show like the Jersey Shore, Real Housewives of Whatever, Jackass, Ice Loves Coco, 16 and Pregnant, and any show dealing with tattoo parlors or nail and hair salons. In fact, all reality TV must be approved by me and other Overlords (my hand picked panel).

Change No. 3:

Everyone will learn that farmers and ranchers feed the world. They will no longer be encroached upon or complained about. If those ranches or farms were there before you moved in, you have no right to complain about smell or animal or tractor noise. You will no longer whine about the amount of water agriculture uses. That water is making crops grow that feed you, or that feed the animals that eventually feed you. You will no longer whine about how much land they take up, because it takes land to feed the world. These people bust their chops and get no thanks from anyone. So therefore, I declare a new National Holiday - Rancher & Farmer Appreciation Day. No, you know what? They get a week. Also, all schools - especially city schools where agriculture is not in their backyard - will be educated about where their food comes from, including field trips.

And now, to pass this award onto 10 bloggers that I deem worthy:

Canadian Blogger Girl

It's An Average Life

The Adventures of Cinderita

On My Soapbox

Happy Dying Sun

Drake's Doomsday Corner


Simple Dude in a Complex World

Are You Serious

The Life and Times of A. Nighbert

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Potato Salad Anyone?

For those of you that don't know (which would probably be all of you), Dean Koontz is one of my favorite authors. I'm always lying in wait for the next book to come out in paperback. Which, come to think of it, there should be a new one in paperback pretty soon!

Anyway, I "like" his Facebook Page, and I saw this post from him recently:

"As of today, more than one million friends have joined my Facebook page. I'd like to meet you all. I'm thinking about a picnic. It'll have to be summer of 2012 because I'll need time to make 400,000 pounds of potato salad. I'll start tomorrow."

1) That's a lot of "friends". 2) I cannot even fathom what 400,00 pounds of potato salad looks like. and 3) Um, wouldn't it just be a wee bit easier to make a potluck? Although, coordinating that potluck would be very un-fun.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Oh. My. Gawd. Seriously?!

What on earth would posses someone to wear this in public?!

Monday, June 20, 2011

If Heaven Wasn't So Far Away

Thursday was my Granddad's funeral service. It was one of the hardest days my family has gone through. Once I made it to the cemetery, I couldn't stop crying. I think the finality of it hit me. It was a nice service, over 100 people showed up to pay their respects. I got lots of big hugs from my family and friends. I swear that all the best huggers in the world bred and became my family. We had a nice gathering at Granny's house afterwards, probably 70 people or so. My parents had the most wonderful friends who brought food for Granny, and also stayed at the house to help out during the wake.

I know I will miss him and love him forever. He was an excellent example of courage, strength, dedication, and determination. Without any of those things, he never would have walked after his plane crash, or raised his family. And if Heaven weren't so far away, we could still keep in touch. But I will have to make do with knowing that he is watching over me and my family, and that he is flying any plane I hear.

Thank you for bearing with me, and for your thoughts and prayers. It is all so much appreciated.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

My Granddad

First of all, I'd like to thank those than commented on my last post. They meant a lot to me at a hard time.

Granddad around 19 yrs old. Circa 1944.
My Granddad passed away on Thursday, June 9 around 5:30pm. All of his immediate family was with him. My dad, his brother, sister (who flew in the day before), his two granddaughters, and his wife of 65 years.

Granny & Granddad at a recent Christmas.
Throughout the entire week, a plethora of family and friends flooded his hospital room. Until Tuesday, he was able to recognize people and sometimes could speak to them. He blew me kisses and smiled at me. My parents spent several nights in the hospital, by his bedside. My aunt and uncle stayed with Granny, never leaving her alone. I would stay at my parents house, taking care of animals at night.

My parents took them to the coast recently.
He was a highly respected man; his grandchildren and nephews and nieces all gravitated toward him.  He was married to my Granny for 65 years. He worked hard every day of his life. He was literally a walking miracle - on June 10, 1949 Granddad was in a plane wreck that broke nearly every bone in his body. Two doctors walked away saying he'd never make it. He was pronounced dead three times. He lived. They said he'd never walk again. He did, with a wooden leg. With Granny, he raised three wonderful kids. And he was one of the greatest Granddad's his two granddaughters could have asked for.

With Granddad on my 28th birthday.

He fought so hard for so long to walk and work. Even as old age crept up on him, he never stopped trying. In the end, it was an infection that beat him.

I (and my cousin) was so blessed to have him as a Granddad. He gave me my nickname - Charlie Brown. It breaks my heart to know he's no longer with us. But I know he's in a better place. A place where he has two legs, no holes in his arm (from a gunshot wound), no phantom pains, no ailments whatsoever. But I'm a selfish girl who would still love to have him around.

Live it up, Granddad. You deserve it. ox

Monday, June 6, 2011

Quick note.

Just a quick post to let all of my super wonderful followers that I won't be around much - to read or write blogs.

My Granddad is in the hospital and it's tough going. I drove to Redding to be with family, and I really do have to say that my family (and my BFF who I consider family) gives the best damned hugs. EVER.

Anyway, I'm taking some family time, but I will be back. Please keep my Granddad in your thoughts and prayers.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Murphy's Law Sucks

If anyone ever finds Murphy, shoot him. I'm sick of him. He makes a so-so day go straight to Hell in a hand basket.

Today was my day at the Sticksville clinic, with a vet on duty. I knew yesterday that we were double booked a bit in the morning for some vaccinations, but I figured those go fast, so really there shouldn't be a huge issue. My first client showed up about two seconds after I drove in. I literally hadn't even gotten out of the car yet. She was nice to at least wait until I got inside and turned the "Closed" signs to "Open". She comes in with a cat to be spayed, saying that she had called the main clinic in Town who told her they had a cancellation so she could bring her cat in. I must have a confused look on my face, as I looked at my appointment book and saw no cancellations. I thought to myself, well, one of two things happened: either the cancellation took place after I left at 4pm yesterday OR the cancellation was really in Town and not here. I took the cat back, and hoped that one of my other spays didn't show up. Prayers not answered. All three spays and the neuter showed up.

Why would I hope a spay didn't show? I only have two surgery packs at our little outpost of a clinic. Meaning, I don't have enough sterile surgical instruments for four animals.

Doc shows up about 8:20 and his first words to me out the back door were, "Did you really need 10 bags of cattle mineral? Because I couldn't fit 10 bags in my truck." And this is the reason why vets don't have room in their trucks, their beds look a lot like this:

My jaw dropped when he said "10 bags of cattle mineral". I told him I had asked for two bags. He brought me six. No need to go to a gym when I have 50lb sacks of cattle mineral. After that, he hands me a box chock full of 5lb bags of dog food in Ziploc bags. (there's one brand of dog food that we sell that way, as well as it's 40lb cousin). I got all confused again and questioned him, and he said that's what they gave him. Hmmm. I had asked for two 5lb bags of dog food, I wound up with about 10. (scratch head) After that, he hands me a case of 8-way vaccines for cattle. I got that confused look on my face again. When he mentioned the look, I said, 8-way wasn't on my wish list. (the main clinic in Town provides us with all our supplies; each week I make up a list of stuff we need, and the vet brings it on Wednesday's when he comes over for the day). Another thing I was befuddled over was that I had asked for those pink eraser toppers for pencils; I got those, plus a box of pens (a type I don't particularly care for) and extra sharpies . . . none of which I needed. (still scratching head)

While dealing with the confusing wish list box, I told Doc about our morning. He was cool with the double booking for vaccinations, and then started drawing up drugs to knock out the cats we had to spay. He brings a knocked out kitty to the surgery table and I hear an "Uh-oh". FYI, that's never a good sign. I run into the room, and he tells me we have no oxygen for surgeries. Now, we don't tube cats, but we do tube dogs. So we quickly did the two cat spays, then called a local store that had started carrying O2 tanks to see if they could switch out our big tank. They could, but we had to haul our tank in and bring the full one back if we wanted it done now. So, Doc and I barely manage to load the empty tank onto the tailgate of his truck and barely managed to get the full tank up the stupid stairs into the clinic. While he was doing the dog neuter, I was scrubbing a spay pack as fast as I could so I could autoclave it. We'd have to do the dog spay during our lunch hour.

At 8:30, our 10am appointment shows up for puppy shots. Really?! I told him Doc was busy with surgeries and his appointment was for 10am. He left the dog with us to pick up later. Wise choice early bird. Luckily, one of my double-booked appointments didn't show. But it was a mad-house all morning. I was answering phones, getting extra suture material for the vet, scrubbing packs, and assisting people who wanted to buy stuff. My head was spinning. (that might be an understatement) Our 11:45 showed up at 11. I was trying to check people in, get vaccines ready for Doc so everything was lined up, and check people out.

Here's an issue: Sticksville clinic doesn't have a computer. Nor a credit card machine. So, if someone wishes to pay by credit card, I have to call the main clinic in Town and hope the receptionist has a few minutes to spare -which she usually doesn't. And there are times that I get a busy signal - for like 10 minutes. By the afternoon, Doc was hovering, mumbling how we gotta find a better way. I completely agree.

By 11:50, the spay pack was autoclaved (meaning sterile), and we knocked out our last surgery. Which also included a very messy tail dock. I say messy because no matter how hard I tried, the waste basket just couldn't be in the right position. I wound up on the floor afterwards cleaning up the mess. I had thought of calling K to see if she could bring me a sandwich, because I typically go there for lunch on Wednesdays. I didn't have a spare moment to dial. I usually take at least a granola bar, which I (of course) didn't think about today. Doc was able to steal about 10 minutes in his truck out back to nibble on something. I kept working away. It wasn't the first time I didn't get a lunch at a job. Sometimes you just keep going.

After lunch, Doc had two ranch calls, one of them being my grandparents. Both ranch calls were the same thing, Bangs 6 heifers. Now, Drake or Jewels, before your mind goes in the gutter (probably too late there), it's a Brucellosis vaccine which is required by law and the cow gets an ear tag and an ear tattoo. It's not slang for anything. I swear. After the first ranch call, he comes in, cleans his kit, and I put a note on the door saying we'll be back in 30 minutes - Doc wanted me to go with him to make sure we had enough people to run the cows and operate the chute. Not a minute after I lock the door, a guy comes by to pick up his dog. (sigh) Doc drives around front to pick me up so I can lock up the clinic, and we get stopped by more people who want to make an appointment. We were about 15 minutes late getting to my grandparents place, which is literally about 30 seconds from the Sticksville clinic. It went smoothly. We told them how crazy our day was, and in there it was mentioned I hadn't gotten a lunch. By that time (3pm) I was past the hunger stage and only had about an hour or so left at work; I was fine.

Back at the clinic we actually had a small lull until our next appointment. Doc brought in nearly stale crackers he keeps in his truck, for me to snack on. Such a nice guy. About 3 crackers in, my grandmother pulls in. She had made me a sandwich, packed in a couple cookies and a soda. She is freaking awesome. I barely tasted the sandwich as I scarfed it. I didn't have time for the cookies though. I saved those for dessert after dinner.

The last hour was as crazy as our morning. If not worse. I lost track of how many times I had to call the main clinic in Town to run credit cards. Or how many times people wanted to pay cash and I had to grimace because I didn't have enough change. My cash box now owes two doctors money. Not kidding. We had appointments to see and people coming in to pick their surgery animals.

Doc told me to bring the Sticksville box to Town on Saturday. He had to leave and I still had paperwork to do. I left at 4:30 today, my entire body hurting. Head to toe. I have dirty kennels and cages to clean tomorrow, as I literally didn't have time to do them today. I have surgery packs to autoclave. I have mopping and general cleaning to do. Not to mention doing my money paperwork. I think I will have plenty to keep me busy for 3 hours.

So, if anyone sees Murphy, you know what to do.