Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Weekend Follies and the Zena Scare

Saturday was a crisp 11 degrees F, and I was eager to get the race team out for some exercise (Freya and Bandit in lead, reversed sides so I could try out a theory from SDC, and Yukon and Buck in wheel). When it was light enough to see, I pushed the atv in to a position I thought would be easy for the dogs to pull on to the road and get the atv started. This turned out to be one of the worst decisions I could have made. Not only did the dogs have problems pulling the atv through the snow, they couldn't pull it up the slight lip of the roadside. Only with the combined efforts of 4 dogs, Jim, James and me did we manage to get the atv on the road, and not without a lot of blood, sweat and colorful metaphors.

After getting the atv on the road, we had to rest and recover a bit before getting started. With James helping push, we could not get the atv started. The dogs were trying very hard, but got discouraged, so I made the decision to unhook them from the atv and let them pull James and I back to the house and in for a snack.

By this point, the atv was all the way to the bottom of the hill and not looking too good for any prospects of being pushed or pulled back up it without mechanical help. While Jim went back to get the truck, I manhandled the thing in a k-turn around and tied it to the back of the truck for a tow back up the hill. Even with the truck assist, I still was unable to start the atv. It rolled over a couple of times, but let me know that it was absolutely NOT going to start in the winter when it was 11 degrees. With a few more colorful metaphors, I gave in to my urge to want to buy another pedal cart from Tractor Supply, the adult size now that they made them.

When we went shopping later, though, we decided not to pick it up because we really didn't want to tie it down to the roof then leave it in the parking lot while we went in to Walmart to finish shopping.

Sunday bright and early I drove down to TSC with James and picked up the new pedal cart and brought it home. Since he had expressed his desire to get in to mushing, I let him take out the puppy team with it, Samantha and Moon in lead with Ace and Yukon in wheel (Yukon was there for pulling power since James is a pretty big boy). Samantha and Ace started out necklining until I got in front of them and ran ahead calling out to them. Moon was ecstatic to go, and was whining that the team wasn't fast enough for her. They soon passed me though, much to Moon's delight, and took James down to the .75 mile mark where somehow he broke the brake lever. I caught up to him there, helped him unstick the brake and turn the team around. I ran in front of them again to get them going and get him back to the house.

While I was showering up, Jim and James took the cart back to TSC to replace the broken brake. Hopefully this one will last.

Monday was back to work, with a little dusting of snow and another winter stormwatch on the radar for the afternoon. The storm was delayed, however, but at 4:45 I got a frantic call from Jim that Zena was choking! Fortunately she was still able to breathe albeit not too well, but was in dire straights. I told Jim to take her immediately to the clinic. He thought it might have been a piece of hoof she swallowed, I was hoping that was not the case. As soon as I was out in the parking lot I called James to see if I could determine what happened, or what she might have swallowed. Unfortunately she had been outside and ran inside in distress, so it was uncertain what she may have swallowed.

Jim got her to the clinic, but by the time the vet was able to examine her, she had managed to swallow it all of the way down, so was out of danger of choking. However, now we need to keep her under surveillance to ensure she does not get stopped up. Sure wish I knew what she had swallowed!

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