Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Making Preparations

We are preparing for two different events. The first is the arrival of Wilmer, a young fellow from Honduras who will be joining us for at least two weeks prior to his surgery at Shriners' Hospital. We know very little about him at this point except that he has been a sweetheart to his host family in Atlanta. I will meet him tomorrow & am excited!

We are also getting ready for the cold weather that is forecast. Mr. Potter had already put a new round bale in each pasture at the beginning of the week so everyone has a good supply of hay. We've filled water troughs to the top & will do so again tomorrow once the temperature is above freezing. Most of our troughs are filled with hoses so we drain those before a freeze. That way, once the day warms a little, we can use the hose again without trying to blow long tube-shaped ice cubes out of it. That is fairly amusing but takes too long when I just want to fill a trough & move on to other chores.

The last thing we did this evening was to move Bart & Leo into the stable where they can stay warmer. Bart, the adorable fellow looking into the camera in the photo, is our crippled sheep. He came down with grass tetany almost two years ago as a lamb. We managed to nurse him through the initial total paralysis that less than 1% of sheep survive. Many would have thought the time, effort & expense was ridiculous but we could not NOT do it - that is just how we are. Because of his residual paralysis, he must be helped to stand each morning & I often give him an extra little boost after a daytime rest. Sometimes he can manage to get himself up if he has not been down for long but we do find him every morning to help him. When he sleeps, he has to lay all the way over on his side with his legs sticking out. Most sheep sleep with their legs curled under him but Bart's do not quite bend like that. I am fearful with the predicted cold weather that he won't be able to keep his legs warm so he's now in the barn along with little Leo.

Moving Bart all the way to the barn was interesting as he has never had a rope around his neck or walked on a lead. But it was dark & I was in a hurry so decided to grab a lead rope, loop it back on itself for a makeshift collar & try to walk him to the stable. When I first looped the rope over his head, he backed up & looked startled. He dug his feet in when I began to gently tug him. Mr. Potter was walking by me with one of the cans of kitchen scrap from the Hyatt & reminded me to be patient. I asked what he had in the can that might speed the process. He came up with a few "fresh from the morning breakfast buffet" pancakes that looked good as new. I had Bart's attention after the first nibble & he trotted all the way back to the stable just a few feet behind me. So not only is he warm for the night but he has learned a new discipline - walking on a lead while following a pancake!

Pig Update: I checked on the pigs throughout the day & filled their water. They have decided that they can eat pig chow without having to wait for their eggs which is good as I'd fed extra eggs to the dogs this morning & didn't have a lot to go on pig chow. I had also flipped them a few ears of dried corn throughout the day. Those were all stripped clean in the corner of their stall. They have laid out their living arrangements which is pretty common for pigs. They sleep in the same place & always use the bathroom in the corner farthest from their bed.

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