Tag Archives: Animal Husbandry

A Horse’s Best Friend

I thought I’d continue my little rant on friendship and Mexico with this touching story of equine friendship…

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Red has been quite the handful these past three months since he’s joined the Flores homestead. He isn’t contrary like Spirit or Joey were but he isn’t as friendly as Shadow was. He does what he wants and really doesn’t have a care in the world.

He and Lady have become bosom buddies. Yeah, he likes mom to be in his sights, but when Lady goes for a ride with my husband, he carries on until she returns. This past Sunday, my husband had the idea to take Lady on the yearly cabalgata (horse ride) to El Ojo de Agua en Medio a nearby town. Red was having none of that. It took nearly 20 minutes for my husband to sneak off. 

The friendship between the two is reciprocated by Lady as well. She is only just over two years old, so a relatively young mare. She doesn’t seem to mind when Red bugs her to have his back scratched or races around while she’s eating. 

The other night Lady was fussing in her stall so much that I got up to see what the issue was. I shined the lamp down onto the animal area from the front porch and saw her circling her stall in agitation. The goats believed that the sudden glow of the lamp was the circus spotlight and immediately began running in circles, jumping off the walls doing mid-air twists and generally making quite a show. 

Lady continued her anxiety until Red popped his head over the wall in the stall he shares with his mom Cookie to see what all the fuss was about. As soon as Lady saw Red, she calmed right down. 

My husband has been talking about selling one of our mares. Really, three horses are too many for the space constraints we have. He hasn’t decided whether Cookie or Lady will go. I think Red just might be more devastated at losing Lady then his mom after he’s been weaned. So perhaps he’s made the decision for us.

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Elvis has left the building

So after another half dozen times that our testosterone challenged macho goat knocked the door of the corral off, it was time for him to move on to greener pastures. We drove on out towards Valle de Santiago to this bridge where we typically find a herd of goats out and about. Sure enough, there they were. 

The brown and white one is preggers!

My husband made a deal, Elvis the macho goat for either 2 small female goatlings or one larger one that was pregnant. The owner said he could choose two small ones, which suited my husband just fine because one ended up being pregnant anyway. 

During the transfer, my husband handed the lasso that was around Elvis’s neck to the new owner. Elvis leaped off stage (the back of the truck) and took off. The new owner flew through the air much like one of those cartoon characters. Elvis was immediately rechristened “Venado” (deer) by the laughing compadres (buddies) watching the spectacle. 

Little chivito (Spot, one of the triplets) stepped right up to the plate now that Elvis is gone even though he’s not quite a year old. Whether Spot or Elvis has done the job, we are sure to have a batch of kids in December or thereabout.

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Aesop’s Fable

While we don’t exactly have the Tortoise and the Hare in the backyard, we do have The Turtle and the Rabbit and I think that’s good enough to qualify as our own Aesop’s Fable.

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We were gifted with a new Wascally Wabbit a few weeks. She’s a cute little thing and totally at home in our backyard. We’ve named her Buster Rabbit. We’ll see how long she’s a free-range bunny though. I’m afraid the dogs might just scare her to death if they happen to find a way in the back.

She’s adapted quite nicely to life in our backyard and has plumped up considerably what with all the green grass the rainy season brings. She’s also been able to enjoy carrot tops, watermelon rinds, and other tasty tidbits that get tossed out the back door.

We also have Mr. Turtle who’s a cantankerous SOB. My son and I crack each other imagining the things he might say if he were able to speak. In our mind, his speech is full of groserías (swear words) complaining about nearly everything.

Mr. Turtle is obviously not happy to live with us. We picked him up some time ago off the main road. His shell was cracked probably from being run over. Due to the severity of his injuries, we thought we’d let him recover in the upstairs patio garden. He was fine with that for about a week then scaled the wall and dropped down to the ground and made his way to the backyard.

Since the backyard is green and lush, full of good things to eat and ample water, we let him be. Now that his shell has healed, he has decided it’s time to move on, continuing that journey across the road to wherever it was he was headed before his mishap.

So far he hasn’t reached the front gate in his escape efforts, but it is only a matter of time. He’s determined, that’s for sure.

Aesop’s fables typically had some sort of moral to them. I’m not sure what the moral is in our rabbit and turtle interactions might be. Mr. Turtle might be Keep on, keeping on. Maybe Buster Rabbit’s lesson is to eat it while the getting is good.

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Gimping Around

We have two males gimping around the place this week, my husband and Puppy. So here’s what happened.

Puppy barks at everyone as they go by the house, even if they are on the other road. That’s what he does. He’s gotten better about chasing motorcycles since he was run over, but if a motorcyclist kicks out at him or throws rocks, he goes ballistic.

We let the puppies out in the morning for a romp and walk around the block with me. About noon, the shade is gone and it isn’t fun to be out anymore, so we let them in the back. They enjoy the time outdoors but the barking is non-stop unless they find something dead to roll around in. That’s always a treat.

This particular morning, some jerk on a motorcycle decided to go down our road. Our road is the center road and he actually had to go out of his way to come down our road. In fact, the opposite road that is a straight shot to the main road is in much better condition. So it was with evil intent that this guy went down our road.

Anyway, this guy goes down the road, slows down in front of the house and kicks out at Puppy, sure to get a reaction. He then drives further and turns and starts chucking rocks. Rocks that he had already collected and had ready to throw, mind you. Puppy naturally gives chase and the guy runs over his foot, probably with the idea of squashing Puppy.

Now Puppy’s poor little foot is injured. He’ll be fine, but he is sure milking his injury for everything its worth. Maybe he’ll learn not to chase jerks on motorcycles, but probably not. My son had a stern talk with Puppy about chasing motorcycles and he just moaned and sighed with big sad puppy eyes. Then we accidentally got the wrong dog food, the ones with the green pieces, and his day was totally ruined.

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Now for my husband. He is currently working on a remodeling job. The owners are going to put a new floor in. Before that can be done, the old floor needs to have a myriad of holes hammered into it so that the new floor can be installed. My husband figured he’d speed up the process by using a drill with a disc on it.

For two days, this was working well. Then that morning, the disc broke off, flew up and sliced his knee. When he looked down, he could see all the way to the bone, so he decided he needed some medical attention.

He came all the way home for me because it’s mid-week and he didn’t have any money. We went to one of the consultation offices next to Farmacias Similares. We could have gone to CAISES and been covered by Seguro Popular, but you know how long that takes, and the blood from the gash was flowing.

We waiting about 10 minutes until the doctor could attend him. The first thing he said was that to stitch up the wound, the cost was $250. Ok, fine. A little steep, but not impossibly so.

The doctor went next door to the pharmacy for his supplies. As he was cleaning the wound, cutting the pant leg off and then stitching and wrapping the injury, he regaled us with all sorts of medical stories.

First, there was this guy who had gotten hit with a baseball. The area swelled. Someone told the guy to put warm water on it (which goes against everything I ever learned in first aid classes, but what do I know?). Anyway, the guy figured the warmer the better. So he boiled a pot of water and then poured it over the swollen area giving himself third-degree burns in the process. That’s when he decided it would be best to go see a doctor.

Then there was the accident that happened just a few weeks ago during Semana Santa. We have a shrine in a little town called Soledad to the Virgin de Soledad that people make pilgrimages to during Holy Week. So a mother and her three children, ages 3, 6 and 10, were returning home after visiting La Virgin. It was just starting to get dark.

A driver who had been in Huandacareo all day, lounging by the pool and drinking, was also returning home. He didn’t see the family. The mother managed to get her children out of the way but was hit by the car and killed. Our doctor at the clinic was the attending physician.

Then there was the little boy who had to have his fingers amputated. He was playing at Los Areas Verdes, a park with a small zoo. Apparently, there was a slide where one of the metal plates was bent up, fairly common on playgrounds here. The little guy was unattended because his parents were arguing. He was zipping down the slide too fast and tried to stop himself but sliced his hand. There was no way to save two of his fingers.

My husband has a huge fear of needles, so these stories distracted him while the anesthesia was administered and the wound sewn up. He needed 5 stitches. The doctor then wrote out a prescription for an antibiotic, antibiotic topical cream and some ibuprofen. Altogether, the medicines were nearly $200 pesos.

For comparative purposes, my husband makes $250 pesos per day. This minor injury cost us (or rather me since I paid from the grocery money) $450 pesos. He didn’t feel well enough to return to work that day and took the next day off as well. The stitches are right at the bend of his knee and the job he was doing meant he was all day on his knees. So he rested up.

He returned to work on the third day. He says he’s been “taking it easy” but his leg is red and swollen when he gets home every night. He needs to go back en 8 días (next week) to have the stitches removed. That will be another expense. He’ll be fine, but he is sure milking his injury for everything its worth. Maybe he’ll learn to take more safety precautions at work, but probably not. I had a stern talk with him about that while he just moaned and sighed with big sad eyes.

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