Sunday, February 24, 2013

Quite a day . . .

I was sleeping out on the sleeping porch again last night - and with the meds the doctor gave me, I WAS sleeping at last.  But just before 6 am this morning, Arthur began howling bloody murder and woke me up.  I jumped up (ouch!) and took a look, but all I could see was that he was just standing there howling in "mule code" that I could not understand.  But I figured I might as well get up and feed them now that I was completely wide awake.  And I had just gotten dressed when the phone rang.  I picked it up and it was our neighbor saying that one of our horses was in the front yard and that the front gate was OPEN.  What!!  I peered out the front window and there he was  -- parked out front in our driveway.  And sure enough, there was Lizzie, grazing over by the van out front.  Since he was right there, I asked him to go ahead and close the gate.  I thought maybe Lizzie must have figured out how to get through that thick horse fence around her paddock and I couldn't understand that at all, but when I walked outside I could immediately see that her paddock gate was wide open.  And then it dawned on me --
Yesterday Jerry, the guy who helps Mark when he's home, came over to move hay from the hay shed to the barn for me since I can't use my right arm at the moment.  I had locked Lizzie in her stall so he wouldn't have to get past her to go back and forth from the hay building to the barn.  But when he finished I was in the house getting things ready for him to come pour new bags of dog food into their food containers. (I couldn't lift those either.)  So I wasn't out there when he got done moving the hay.  And it never crossed my mind that I might need to check to see if he locked that gate!  HE was the one who ended up closing that front gate when Duke got out not long ago so he certainly SHOULD have known as well as anyone not to let Lizzie get loose by not locking her gate!  But obviously, he had just pushed the gate closed so that it LOOKED locked to me, but he hadn't put the chain on there.  Apparently, it looked locked to Lizzie too through the night, though, because she apparently didn't leave her paddock until this morning -- which obviously was what started Arthur screaming his head off.  He always stands next to the gate between their paddocks so he would have been the only one able to see her go out that other gate and leave her paddock.
Well, it's a darned good thing it was only Lizzie who could get out!  I had opened Lizzie's stall door Saturday evening when I fed them -- that's when she got access to that gate -- but thankfully I did NOT open her gate to the BACK pasture where she's been grazing for the last few days because it was supposed to rain.  Thank goodness I didn't!  If I had, all THREE of them would have been able to get out into the road!  And knowing Duke, they'd have been out there all through the night!  It could have been a MAJOR disaster.  Thankfully Lizzie no longer sees well and couldn't see the gate open through the night.  Plus she has no real desire to ever go anywhere she hasn't ever been before.   So when she saw the open front gate she didn't instantly head for it as Duke would have!
But although the day started out just awful, things have definitely picked up.  Buddy and Lisa came today (yippee!!)and got the barn and paddocks all completely cleaned up.  Talk about GREAT timing!  I haven't been able to do a darned thing except feed them for the last few days because I haven't been able to use my right arm, so today was the perfect day for them to come by! 
Oh - and while they were working in the back pasture they saw the horses playing in the pond!  Now Ladybug used to love standing in water.  Al used to have a giant concrete cattle waterer and when the horses were out in that cattle pasture, Lizzie used to climb up into that thing and just stand in there when it was hot.  But I didn't think either Duke or Lizzie would like being in water.  Ha!  Just goes to show you should never assume anything.  Lisa said Buddy called her to come see and when she first got back there, Duke was standing out in the MIDDLE of the pond in deep water (!) pawing at the ground (well - at least his legs and feet are no longer muddy anyway).  She didn't have time to video that, but she did take one of Lizzie.  Lizzie was just standing there in the water for a little while, but then she laid down and rolled over in the water!  Thankfully, she rolled toward the ground and not out toward the deep part of the pond!  That might have changed her mind about the water!  But she's sure going to need brushed if I ever get my arm working again, that's for sure.
Anyway, the day is over now.  It's pouring down rain AGAIN, and I'm about to head for bed -- outside.  I love listening to the rain as I go to sleep.  But it's going to keep on raining until tomorrow night and the place is going to be a horrible muddy mess -- AGAIN. 
But in another two days, it's going to dry out and Mark will be coming home.  Yeaaaa!  I'm going to be even happier to see him this time than I usually am, and that's saying a lot!   But I sure need some help.

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