So summer is almost over. The leaves are starting to turn on the oak trees, and I am soaking up every last ray of sunshine in an effort not to forget what it's like. I do enjoy winter, but I like snow much better than rain and it hardly snows in Corvallis. Although I'm sure I'll have more to add to the list after next weekend (The Pendleton Round Up!), here are some highlights from this summer:
-driving my uncle's car in Bredene and Oostende without killing it once
-Gabby finally turning into a sweet riding horse, and getting her first pair of shoes so I could ride her up the road
-riding all over Davis Creek Road with Walt (Luna having shoes!)
-working equine ambulatory medicine for the second summer
-4th of July at the Grahams/playing at the skeleton house up Bridge Creek
-Chief Joseph Days! BBQ at the lake house and the rodeo
-being in Wallowa County just about every weekend
-riding up Bear Creek Trail to the Eagle Cap Wilderness Boundary with Patrick and Vanessa
-attending the Stock Grower's Dinner and Dance in Enterprise with Vanessa, Jamie, and Jeff (plus watching the boys play in the band and learning the Horseshoe)
-sitting on those Wallowa evenings around the fire in the driveway
-having Carolyn visit the farm and her first ride on Rosie
-helping at Beckijo and Sweyn's rehearsal dinner which consisted of great deep-fried turkeys (thanks to Charlie and Casey) and partying out at the arena trying to chute dog steers
-eating deep fried grouse!
-going to Beckijo and Sweyn's wedding
-having a fun family dinner at Ember's in Joseph
-driving out to the top of Tick Hill at midnight with an awesome CD that included some great songs by Dispatch, Llama, Fountains of Wayne, Gin Blossoms, and many more
-driving a BMW Z3 up to 90 in a few seconds!
-going dog sitting in Scotts Mills
And there's probably a lot more I can't think of now...
All in all, this summer was all of these things: a brilliant, trying, hot, wonderful, beautiful, and amazing learning experience.
Working in veterinary medicine you meet the best of people and the worst of people. Trust me, I understand that sometimes you can't afford to put hundreds or thousands of dollars into a horse because it will mean going broke. And I totally understand that vets can't just work for free. The profession can't advance if vets are going broke themselves taking care of animals whose owners won't pay for procedures. That's what makes these inevitable situations so horrible. Stuff like this happens ALL the time.
Case in point: A man has a 1 month old colt. He calls in and says the horse broke it's leg, and he can't afford to have any vet care but he wants to bandage it himself. He says that every time the horse steps on the leg, it folds sideways underneath him--the bone is severed. He has put a small bandage on it, but the leg still moves like that. He says he wants to get his friend at the local hospital to give him some cast material and cast it. Unfortunately, he doesn't realize that casting the leg will rot it and cause the horse to die from a horrible infection. The suggestion is made to euthanize the poor animal. However, the man wants to try to save the colt. (And he doesn't have the money to euthanize it, anyway.) He wants to bandage it, then, since casting won't work, yet he doesn't seem to listen to the correct way to do it. He also doesn't believe that simply bandaging the leg won't save the horse from hours of pain and serious infection. He says he's going to do what he can, and hangs up. A 1 month old colt will live for days or even weeks, especially if it is just strong enough to fight off infection. In three or four days, if the horse isn't dead, the man will get tired of bandaging the leg (because it is, in fact, not as easy as it looks) and he will shoot the horse in the head. The sad thing? The horse will have suffered all day and all night for those excruciating days. And if it survives, the leg will never set right and he will be lame forever.
The man should have just saved the trouble and shot it when this happened, save us all the pain.
I am quite pleased with myself, because I had a pretty amazing weekend in Wallowa County. Highlights include the stock growers' dinner and dance, Terminal Gravity and Shooters, and riding up the Bear Creek Trail to the wilderness boundary--also, hanging out with my most amazing friends and family dinners around the fire under the setting sun.
I am back here in the valley for the next week and a half, at which point I'm back in Wallowa for a wedding. It will be crazy fun, and I hope the weather holds. Then back to the valley for just about another week and a half that will include more house-sitting for Dr. Caldwell and the last days of trail riding my horses for the summer (because their shoes will be coming off)--only to turn around again for the Pendleton Round Up, which will also be wild and crazy fun. Then: school. Eek. Summer disappeared so fast!
Lordy, I'm tired. This morning I drove Anne-Sophie to the airport in Portland at 4:30, and this is generally not all that early except I didn't go to bed until after midnight because I was up talking to Patrick--and it's hard to say goodbye. I don't regret it, obviously, but that's not all that much sleep. So I got back to Silverton around 7:00, had breakfast, and left for work in Scotts Mills. Embarrasingly, I missed the turn for the road and ended up going like three miles out of the way, but I got there eventually. The dogs greeted me and I walked up to the barn, where Lynn told me that we had no appointments! Well, at least I had a nice drive out there. And I was back home at 8:30, watched the end of an "ER" episode, and promptly went back to sleep until about half an hour ago. Now I'm watching "Felicity." I love this show.
Somehow someone convinced me to ditch basically all of my responsibilities (such as getting hay) and go to Portland with my mom and Anne-Sophie instead. It started off as a little bit of an annoying trip, because my mom somehow seemed to forget all of her previous knowledge of actually how to drive in Portland...so we had a very interesting drive up to Council Crest that consisted of me saying something and then her realizing seven to ten minutes later what I actually said. That, or coming to the same conclusion herself in that amount of time and not even recalling that I said a thing. But the day turned for the better when we met friends Ken and Petra for dinner. I really enjoy spending time with the both of them, and they made me glad that I decided to go. Next weekend they are going to come out to the farm. My mom is going to pick blackberries while Petra and I ride, and then when we get back they are going to make preserves. Sounds very down home, huh? It is, and will be fun. Today Walt and I are going up to Scotts Mills to fix Lynn's wireless before we ride. I don't really know what else to say, other than that it's COLD outside. I don't think it's even 50 degrees right now.
The boys are back. I find it amazing how one person can make you feel so complete when you are in contact and so incomplete when you are apart. Seven days never felt like so long!
Work today was good. An easy dental and an easy colic and easy vaccines. All very relaxed, and I like it when it's like that. The weather has turned weird and fall-like, and I'm not sure if I enjoy it. I was getting used to it being warm.
Somehow, I'm not tired, even though I spent the better part of the 12:00 a.m. to 3:00 a.m. hours awake and enlivened by lovely conversation...and had to get up at 7:00 to go to work. I'm happy...just, so insanely happy. Maybe I'll have time to crash later.