Monday, October 23, 2006

Finally...an update...the 2nd half of "Ginger" day

So...finally, an update...well, continuation really

The second half of "Ginger" day was just as exciting as the first.
We had our first field trip for Animal Science class. Horses, was the topic.
Went to Keezlenutten Farm about 10 minutes from campus. Nice place..we got a tour of the facilities and learned about the different kinds of horses, anatomy, types of shoes, types of gait, feed types (they actually smell rather appetizing!), vaccinations...etc.
it always makes things more clear when you've got a living specimen to look at.
We're required to have coveralls & rubber boots to wear on field trips. It was a beautiful day, really warm for October..and it being our first field trip everyone was busting out the crunchy new overalls & Dickies coveralls...nice, because we all look equally dorky...
The highlight of the day, though, was the trail ride. $15 for a 45 min. ride! (we got a nice discount) I got to ride Butch. An enormous Quarterhorse...i was really hoping that I got to ride him..the bigger, the better I always say :)
So, we were all assigned a horse and mounted...talk about a rather amusing scene.
I could get my big butt about halfway up but couldn't quite get my leg over his back.
So, the trail guide had to give my leg some help...oh, yes...
So, i'm finally up there..pretty compfy! We get on our way..i'm near the front, 3 horses back from the guide. Butch was great, a little preoccupied with trying to eat bushes on the way down the trail, but I handled him okay...kept him on track.
Things were going great...had to stop a few times for horsey potty stops. (the guide told us in the beginning, if the horse starts to go potty, stop!) I must say, my horse and the one behind me stopped at the same time and it sounded like a freakin' garden hose was running.
Anyhow, we come to a particulary muddy part of the trail and the first couple of horses get through fine. Then, the horse in front of me stopped and kind of threw his head around..the girl riding him edged him forward and he seemed fine, then...my horse stopped and started to throw his head and tried to back up...then, I saw the problem. Yellowjackets. Suddenly, they were all over the place. Not a swarm, but enough to start spooking the horses. The girl ahead of me was far enough forward to avoid them, but Butch started to swing his head and try to back up..but wouldn't go forward to get away from the bees...he started turning in circles and reeling up on his hind legs (not really really high...but the girl a couple of horses in front of me is really experienced with horses and said it looked like he was trying to buck me off and that she was impressed i did so well and didn't fall off) while all this was going on for me, the horse behind me was kind of frozen, then suddenly bolted into the woods to the left of the trail. The woman riding had never ridden before, lost her hold and fell off the horse among the trees. ouch. She ended up with some bruising and a sore upper back..but is otherwise ok. After her horse bolted, the rest of the group behind us had to back up and find another section of trail to cut through and meet up with us. The rest of the ride was uneventful in comparison...it was great fun, though.

What a Day!

(pictures to come...a couple of girls had their cameras)

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

A Most Eventful Day

well...i can't say my life is boring.
Today was quite a day.

The day started off well. I was up before my alarm went off, snug in the sheets listening to the sounds of the morning. Ate my cereal while listening to NPR Morning Edition. It was chilly so I made a cup of cocoa to take with me on Frisco's morning walk. Had a great walk, saw a bunny run across the road and some really cool spider webs.
Got back to the house, took a shower, got my books and stuff ready and headed off to school about 7:30am. (I've got "clinic week" this week...my team is responsible for the care of all the resident cats and dogs on campus...we clean the runs, walk, feed, play, etc...they'll be up for adoption!!!! hint hint hint)
So, got to school and all is well. I was especially looking forward to today because by afternoon class was to be a field trip to a horse farm, followed by a 45 min. trail ride. Awesome!
Well, I got there and fed the dogs...another team member arrived and we cleaned up all the kitties and fed them then headed back to the puppies to start walking them. Took the big boy "Bruno" out to the play pen to run around, then walked him around campus. (We're encouraged to do this so that the dogs can get some people socialization...and the affection nevers hurts)
SOOOOO....
all is going well, until I get back to the kennel. I put Bruno back in his run and my other team mate took the next dog for a walk while I stayed and cleaned her run. (we switch back and forth---there are 5 dogs) So, I finish cleaning her run and my team member wasn't back yet so I decided to get a jump on the next one by moving the dog to an empty run so I could clean.
Well, I didn't follow procedure by the letter and the dog got out of her run without a leash on. This would have been the end of the story had the door to outside not been unlocked...and not just unlocked, but LOCKED OPEN...you know those push bar doors that usually click shut and have no handle on the outside but can be "locked" OPEN...confusing, i know...
anyway....
Ginger (the dog) ran towards the door and threw her body weight against it...normally it wouldn't have budged...but since it wasn't latched the door flew open and Ginger escaped into the wide world that is the rear of campus. She hauled ass into the woods and disappeared. I ran to get my team mate to help me look...but no luck. I was going to have to gather more people..that meant telling more people how badly I screwed up. yuck. So I ran into the Vet Tech building and notified some folks and soon the rear woods and parking lot were full of technicians and students looking for little Ginger the hound/beagle...the FAST little thing.

Needless to say, I was beside myself.

I kept composure but was internally raging at myself for being so stupid.
What mattered was finding the dog, though.

......imagine about a 1/2 hour pause where you don't know what's going on and the dog hasn't turned up.....

here's a bad reference map... the squiggly black line is gingers flight path... it goes off the map.

(Yes, thats I-81 Interstate right on the fence line of BRCC property...nothing like visions of 18-wheelers flying by to let the imagination run wild when a dog's on the loose)


Then I saw my team member walking towards me smiling...I was worried.

She said..."They've found her!...she was way back behind the barn in the field..they're chasing her down now." I've not felt so relieved in a long time. I hugged everyone around me.
Aside from some nasty side-glances from the staff technicians, I was okay...rattled, yes...and emotionally drained for the day...but got a lot of supportive remarks from my fellow classmates.
"Everybody screws up once"......"At least you know it won't happen again"..."Don't worry, a dog escaped on our first day of clinic too"..."It's okay, she was found, that's what matters"...
and the best came from one of the staff technicians.
"Well, chasing a dog all over campus is rough, yes...but imagine chasing two cats, this was a few years ago...we caught one, the other was hit and killed on I-81."

True.
No one was killed.
That's always a good thing.

And that was all BEFORE 9:30am!

I'm pooped.
I'll recall the second half of may day later....it's no less exciting!

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