Thursday, May 8, 2008
Spring Is Bursting Out
It’s such a relief to have a quiet rainy day. My garden is exploding with gorgeous flowers. The dogwood, the lilacs, the lily of the valley are just going wild this year. The pollen levels are at an extreme high, leaving a thin yellow and white film over everything. So, it’s no wonder that two nights ago, Siete had another one of her allergy attacks.
Both horses have been so itchy, and the gnats are still attacking with a vengeance. The worst time is at sunset. Tuesday night, Siete was sneezing and rubbing her nose and her butt. I thought she was going to knock the barn down. After washing her nostrils and putting aloe on her behind and her belly, I called the vet again. While waiting for the vet, I put Vaseline all over the area around her tail, which gave her some relief. Since this wasn’t an emergency, it took quite a while for the vet to call back. My regular, favorite doctor just left the practice because she is having a baby. So, this was a vet that didn’t know my horses, and I was really grateful that he agreed to give Siete some dexamethasone without coming out to see her. Even more, I appreciated that he offered to let me run over right away to pick it up.
So, at nine o’clock at night, I drove to the equine hospital to pick up the medication. I realized when I got there that I was wearing my pajamas. There was only a vet tech and a barn full of sick horses, so no one noticed. I can;t get over how lucky I am to have a place like this so close to my home. As I drove down the pitch black country roads, I briefly considered whether it was crazy that I would jump in the car and race over so late to pick up the dex. Then, I thought ,”Hey, what else can I do?”
Siete slurped it down in some bran mash and molasses. I considered giving it to Silk too because she was so itchy from the gnats, but I just did the wash and aloe routine again with her. By eleven o’clock, all was calm, with only occasional sneezing, and we went to sleep. The next day, I gave my little horse a second dose of dex, and I also gave one to Silk. I spoke to the vet again and we decided that if the itching continued, we’d try some hydroxyzine, which is an antihistamine. Meanwhile, I’m also soaking their hay and changing the bedding in the stalls more frequently to make it less dusty.
The baby birds hatched in the nest above Silk’s feeder, so she’s hanging out at the back of her stall. She instinctively seems to know to give them some space. The girls also like to stand in Siete’s bedroom in front of the fan. I was realizing how glad I am that it’s only a ten second walk across my backyard to check on the horses. I’ve been hanging out with them more now that the weather is warm. Thinking about what’s causing Siete’s distress, I am once again confronted by how many mysteries there are in horses, as well as in life. The longer that I live with my horses, the more accepting I become of the notion that there’s not an answer to everything.
While watching Silk as she ate her breakfast, I was thinking again about how the turning point in our relationship came when I stopped trying to “fix” my horse and just began to see who she really is. I am finding that the same thing is true with my mom and her problems. Here’s the reality: I can’t “fix” anything with anyone. All I can do is try to see them for who they really are. And enjoy the smell of the lilacs and lily of the valley.