Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Rapture....

Today was a bizarre day. It was quite dead at work so I took advantage of having extra help to clean all the crap off the top of the kennels. Boss Man was for once, not breathing down my neck, so I was able to toss some 20 year old plus stuff that he'll never miss. One of those things on my "to do" list but since the damned phone rings every time I'm up on the ladder, it was nice to get this done quickly.
There was a ton of traffic and cops everywhere on my drive home. Despite that, I got nearly taken out by inattentive drivers a couple of times. It was worse than full moon fever out there.
I had an appointment with my farrier and I specifically told him "after 2" and he assured me he'd be there "well after that". So I'm looking forward to eating lunch, watching the Preakness, and winding down before his visit. I drive up at 1:45 to see his truck in my driveway. Like most men he doesn't listen, but at least he shows up on the day he says he will. The kid's truck is in his way, the dogs are outside, so I toss my untouched lunch in the house, move her truck, and call the dogs in. Only 2 show up. Shit. My ancient heeler mix, who has Cushings and I'm keeping a close eye on is missing. She finally creaks out and I get them all in the house.
I've been looking forward to a summer of riding. But Princess Pout, my principal riding horse, managed to get a vertical crack in his hoof that ended up traveling up to the coronet band. He's been on 2 weeks stall rest since it happened.
So farrier goes to work on Princess Pout's feet, and finishes by filling in the crack. It's still going to be a PITA to have grow out, but the good news is it's just a fluke, nothing vital is affected. Bad news is that the only exercise he can have can't be above a walk. For quite awhile.
So it looks like my summer is going to be relegated to handwalking Princess Pout and working on Shitweasel's training. Shitweasel is a colt that is ostensibly supposed to belong to my hubby but I've been the chief manure mover and wrangler with this one too.
The farrier tells me that for the first time in over 20 years, today two horses kicked him square in the butt and knocked him over. Even the animals are off kilter today. I'm looking forward to just getting back to the normal insanity that is life.
***Note to horse owners: Ever consider how much time you spend talking to the farrier's butt while holding your horse for him? Of all the people I know my farriers are the only ones who I'd recognize walking away from me rather than face on. I once saw a guy who I thought might have been a former apprentice of my farrier, but since asking him to turn around and bend over would have been too weird, I'll never know if it was him or not.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Just Sayin'

For every two of these you give to the H.S.U.S. :

This is how much actually goes to help the animals:

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Closing Time....

I've mentioned before that we have shot clinics every Saturday. We are only open half days on Saturday, and unlike most offices that do vaccine clinics we also see medical patients. Shot clinics are on a walk in basis, first come first served and are basically in and out. Go in, vet gives the shot, pay, get paperwork and leave. Unlike some practices, the vet at our office gives all the vaccines. It's insanely busy with lines going outside. Medicals in the middle, which take up a great deal of time, tend to bottleneck the line. So I try to get our medical patients booked in the hour before the shot clinic insanity. I have no problem with true emergencies and am more than willing to stay beyond closing to help out when they truly happen. Here's a few simple Saturday rules:

Shot clinic has been every Saturday during these times for years. It's posted in the newspaper, on your pet's shot records that we give you, and on the postcard we send you reminding you that your pet's shots are due.
If you come in when we open or before the designated time, you will have to either wait or pay full price.
If you show up when the vet is already in his car ready to head home, no discount.

No, I can't honor shot clinic prices during the week. Yes, I know your life is busy, you just tied me up for 15 minutes on the phone telling me about it. No, I won't make an exception for you. You're not that special, and since you're annoying me, I don't like you anyway.

Yes, you may have to wait at shot clinic. No, I don't know how long it will be. If you'd gotten in line a few hours ago you'd have spent less time here than you have on the 16 phone calls asking me how long the wait is.

If your pet is sick, get your ass in here as early as possible. It's not fun to wait with a sick pet. Don't wait until 5 minutes before we close to bring in an animal  that's been sick for 3 weeks. We're already working past our posted hours now, so stop bitching about what we charge you to treat the pet you've turned into a skeleton with your neglect.

Your lack of planning is not my emergency.

I am locking the doors at closing time and your ass had best be on the other side of them.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Dancing Is Supposed To Be Fun!

I had a rare Saturday off and got to play with my horses in the morning for a change. They were  finishing breakfast (listening to horses munching hay is a peaceful escape for me.) My reverie was interrupted by a BOOM BOOM BOOM, there was an electrical charge in the air, and it felt like the ground was shaking. Not a thunderstorm, just the A hole who lives behind me "training" a horse to "dance".
I've spent the last more-years-than-I-like-to-admit sporadically learning to ride dressage. I've worked hard at it. Being a realist, I'll never be a famous name, will never win a USDF medal, will probably never do more than enter a local backyard show. I'm content to be an adequate rider. To not embarass the talent I'm riding. To dance with my horse. Working as a team with my dance partner, the flow of energy as such as it's hard to discern where one ends and the other begins is like crack. When it's achieved for a whole ride or just a few strides, it's better than sex, as awesome as chocolate.
Just a disclaimer that I am not targeting a particular race or culture. I've seen people of all races do good and bad things with horses. The "dancing  horse" fad seems to be predominant in the Hispanic culture. Why anyone who thinks this looks good is beyond me, the horses are moving like they are crippled and in pain. Most have soundness issues at very young ages, and instead of being rehabbed, they are dumped at an auction and a new horse started.
If the "training" methods weren't cruel and controversial, why is it necessary to do it under cover? There used to be a chain link fence separating our properties, this neighbor attached aluminum panels to the chain link so nobody can see in. I've seen several horse properties "secluded" in this fashion, so I know exactly what is going on. So not only does my backyard look like Little Tijuana with that tacky ass aluminum on the fence, it sounds like it too, when the "trainer" is there. It does, however, make a satisfying loud sound when I throw something against it, scaring the shit out of the people and causing them to vacate the place in seconds. 
For those who think I'm talking out of my butt, I have owned two horses who were victims of this kind of training. Rehab is tough, as they are shell shocked and lack confidence. One, long gone to the Rainbow Bridge, would still tremble whenever she heard anyone speak Spanish. The one I'm working with now is young, so hopefully the physical and mental damage that's been done to him can become a distant bad memory, but it won't happen in a hurry.
I'm no Kool Ade drinking carrot stick waver. I expect my horses to behave when I'm around. They get to do whatever they want for 23 hours a day, they can do what I ask for an hour. I'm not a great trainer, and there's a lot my horses have to forgive about my riding skills. But they greet me at the gate and eagerly put their head in the halter, happy to go out. They enjoy their workouts and are sound into ripe old age. I have yet to see one "dancing horse" that is.
Here's the video, in case you missed it last time:

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


Boss Man was out of the country last week, so we had several different vets who came in and took over. Normally this is a nice break. It's nice to watch how others do things, and pick their brains, get their opinions. However, 2 of these vets work at corporate veterinary clinics. The advantage to corporate vet clinics is that the corporation is footing all the costs. The equipment and supplies are all state of the art and since the corporation is doing the accounting, the vet just does vet work. Everything is there, including plenty of help, and the vet doesn't have to do anything but be a vet.
The downside of this is of course, price. Which gets passed on to the client. The staff has a quota to meet, they must bring in more revenue than the cost of their salaries. Which means everyone there is upselling. The vets and staff must do everything according to corporate rules, which means nobody is actually permitted to use their brains and think outside of the box.
As I've mentioned before, where I work is ghetto. We're in an area that is the hardest hit by the recession. Cost is carefully monitored, and we don't waste things. We're one step above being a charity hospital, in fact, we do work with charities that help pay for some of our patient's needs. Many times we're treating animals not to the ideal standard, but by what standard the owner can afford to pay.
I've had an intense dislike of corporate veterinary offices long before I worked in the industry. I won't go into the reasons why, since they know why they suck, suffice to say I won't be taking one of my pets to one.
 So I get two of these assclowns. To prove that God has a sense of humor, one of my coworkers is also out of town so I'm working double shifts with them. I hate whiners, and I had a pair of them. "I can't do a good job in these conditions, with this equipment. I can't believe you work this way. We charge 5 times the price for this at my place, the client better know what a good deal she's getting having me do this for her for this price."
One thing I hate worse than whining is a sense of entitlement. And they had plenty of that. I actually had to call clients and reschedule surgeries, since they refused.
So I finally get through the week to Saturday. Shot clinic day. Another new vet. It looks to be busy, with vaccines and plenty of medicals as well, which are always rough on a Saturday. A man approaches the door. He's got a haircut that looks like something I'd do with a bowl and the surgical clippers. Thick glasses. Polyester pants that don't quite go to the top of his bright white loafers. If Revenge Of The Nerds was being remade in his country, he'd get the lead. He looks lost, and I'm hoping like hell I can understand his English.
"Hi, I'm Doctor_____.  I'm a relief vet at several different private practices. Just show me where things are, tell me what your policies are, and I'll adjust, I'm used to it."
I was ready to propose.
Naturally, the first client he had to deal with was one of the worst. This woman would actually have to evolve a few levels to get an assclown label. I felt like I was throwing this poor guy under the bus, but he handled it beautifully. As crazy busy as we were, it was one of the best Saturdays I worked in a long time. But I'm glad that week is over.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

May 1

Happy Beltane to those who celebrate. And for those who don't I'm sure you're enjoying Spring finally getting here.
Today, May 1, is also National Holocaust Remembrance Day. Those who survived the holocaust are getting older and as times goes by we are having less opportunity to hear eyewitness accounts of those who were there. I have been honored to be able to hear firsthand stories of what it was like to live in an occupied country during that time, to have to hide, to starve, to make horrible choices because there wasn't freedom of choice. I have made sure my own kids listened to these stories as well, hopefully instilling in them what prejudice and intolerance can cause.
Those of us fortunate to have been born in a free country are inclined to think that the holocaust was long ago and far away and will never happen again. But it is happening. Hate crimes are more common. Bullying, torturing and tormenting another human being because they are "different" is firsthand evidence that we have not evolved as a human race. That generations later we are still producing subhumans who have the same genocidal mentality of those who committed atrocities to a whole generation of people whose only crime was that they were deemed "different."
We must never forget what happened, and we must stop what is happening now.
I had a long, exhausting event filled week, and I had a post queued up with my usual snarkfest.  As I remember the significance of today's date, what I have to bitch about is microscopic in the grand scheme of things. For those who have been teased, bullied, tortured, tormented (and worse) because of being different, this is your day. To those who survived and those who did not, you are all heroes.