Thursday, March 30, 2006

Horse versus Dog: Horse Wins.

Okay, before I start, I want to thank My Favorite Berry and her 'rents for being kind and generous and allowing Monkey and I to stay at their farm in Oklahoma. Many things about the trip were relaxing. Monkey and I read alot, took a few walks, played Scrabble and Backgammon. The solitude was great. The fresh eggs (straight from the chicken's cloaca!) were great. The weather was generally good, but windy.

But, to be perfectly honest, Oklahoma just didn't do much for me. I am trying to give it the benefits of several doubts. It's an in-between season, so the trees are still bare. It has not rained much lately (this is an understatement), so the ground is dry and gray. The grass is burnt and yellow. Most of the state has been dealing with wildfires, so it's not surprising that much of the time, the gusting winds were scented with smoke. But, even with all that, it's not much to look at.

Granted, again, My Favorite Berry and her parents visited on Wednesday evening, and that was great. As well, we met a few other Oklahomans, and, really, they were genuinely nice, interesting people. It's just that, physically, I can't give you much for it. I don't even know how the cattle can live on such scant resources. But, worst of all, is the horses. (Obviously, this is a photo of sheep, which were housed very close to the horses.)

On Sunday, our first full day at the farm, Monkey and I took Ripken for a walk on some trails that wander about the Berry farm. To get to the "back forty," one has to meander through the horse pasture. Off we went, through the dried mud and manure of the horse pasture, through the big red metal gate, and off into the oak savannah of the Oklahoma countryside (complete with tank batteries and pump jacks for the oil well, of course). Our walk was blustery, but relatively pleasant. We saw a live armadillo (one of three on the trip) and several turkey vultures and crows. We waded a shallow stream (Ripken's favorite part).

After about an hour of hiking around, we headed back. Wade the stream, through the gate, out of the savannah and into the pasture. Where Ripken saw the horse. And the horse saw us. The horse ran toward us. We yelled at Ripken to stay. He stayed. The horse got closer. Ripken stopped staying. Ripken approached the back right side of the horse, the horse kicked out and caught Ripken just inside his left eye and down his snout.

Ripken went spinning away from the horse, into the dust. He tried to rise, but could not. He tried to rise again, but realized he was not getting up any time soon and lay prone on the dirt. I picked up the dog, who was bleeding near and into (and, for all I knew, from) his eye, Monkey distracted the horse from the gate, and I carried Ripken the considerable distance to the house (Recall from a very early post that the dog is officially fat.).

After a few phone calls, we found a vet who said he'd meet us at his office (down the road) in half an hour. We met the vet, he stitched up the dog (after a shot of sedative), and asked us to leave him overnight. There proceeded much wailing and crying and gnashing of teeth, as Monkey and I dealt with this traumatic incident. The upshot of it is as follows: fourteen stitches and a lost tooth for the puppy dog, A horse pill and a half of anti-biotics every day (turkey does the trick nicely, by the way), no walks through the horse pasture anymore, no swimming with stitches, lots of loving from Monkey and me.

The rest of the trip was just hanging out (read three books), taking a couple of walks without the dog (bummer), and being happy that our baby boy was in relatively decent shape after his ordeal.

In other trip news, the birding was not great (I didn't do a whole lot), and the beer at the gas station is 3.2%, but we did see and hear several coyotes, a couple of red shouldered hawks, and the aforementioned armadillos, and the steaks at Freddie's are top notch (the cabbage rolls and BBQ bologna ain't bad neither).


Osculator said...

Wow! Quite a post -- both in length and in content. I'm glad the puppy made it through his ordeal. I'm sure the Monkey was totally freaking out.

I'm pickin' up what your puttin' down on Okla. On my way through I kept thinking "It's really beautiful... in a way." But the big MO seems lush and alive by comparison. I felt the same way on our way through Kansas, until we hit Quivera and the Cheyenne Bottoms.


P.P. Thanks for clearing up that whole Sheep/Horse question.

Anonymous said...

Welcome back to MO, Reda and family! I missed you! Central Standard just wasn't the same without you.

I'm glad you all made it back safely from OK. My jaw dropped and I was gasping incredulously as I read about Ripken versus horse. Please give cutest puppy lots of love from me. I'm relieved he's OK and so thankful he wasn't hurt worse or permanently. That must have been awful for all of you.

Today I was supposed to drive up to DE to spend the weekend with my family but learned this morning that my stepfather just came down with that stomach virus. I decided to postpone the trip and thus forego time with family and friends, delicious Italian food at my favorite restaurant, tax-free Macy's, and my first attempt at a meatless sub from my favorite sub place until Mother's Day weekend - the first time I'll be free to get up there. April is a very busy month!

Next Friday I'm going to look at office space for private practice in Dupont Circle, which is one of the hippest spots in the city. It's also right near my salon, so I'm going to make a morning of it and then meet up with a good friend for mischief for the rest of the afternoon.

P and I went to see the Cherry Blossoms early this morning! Wow, it was breathtaking! Also, it was even better than last year because we managed to get there early enough to avoid the crowds. Lots of tourists were starting to swarm when we were leaving by 10. It was a lovely morning. Tomorrow night there are fireworks that we'll be able to see from P's place.

It's slated to be a gorgeous weekend here. It seems that I'm as healthy as I'm going to be, so among the active activities outside I hope to run for the first time in weeks. I also hope to get my bike out. In fact, what in the heck am I doing inside posting right now when I could be out and about?!