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April 26, 2019: Wh-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-sh

Our trip plans are slowly becoming a reality. I says to Pete a few days ago, I says, getting ready is like going down Niagara Falls in a rowboat. The current picks up speed, then becomes so fast you can only go faster, and then over the edge. We are now at the point at which the rowboat is carrying us along and we are observing the distant shore. The roar of the water is now also deafening.

All this occurred to me today as our veterinarian, Zach Kaiser, and his assistant Sarah, worked on our horses. They did EIAs and with a dremel tool, rasped Hrimmi and Tyra’s molars. This was after sedating their sorry little asses.

It was a long and very leisurely visit. Both Zach and Sarah are very much into imparting as much information as they can – and we are eager to learn as much as we can. For instance, Zach encouraged me to reach my hand in both Tyra and Hrimmi’s mouth and feel the unevenness of their molars. It was revelatory – my hand went in the mouth, nearly to the elbow. And the grinding surfaces were uneven – I could feel the points. We took several photos, but it was the actual feel that enabled me to comprehend just what an uneven occlusal surface feels like.

Alys reaching into Tyra's mouth

Hrimmi's rear molars

Zach also took the time to take a look at our horse first aid kit. He suggested additional things that we might need, such as a tourniquet, which we can make out of a bicycle tire. He also showed us exactly where it should go should a horse have a lower limb laceration. The tourniquet needs to go distal, or above, the wound, and taped in place. You actually put it directly on the joint. With humans, you do the same, but not on the joint, rather above it.

Zach and Sarah are both so knowledgeable about so many facets of animal care – and also very hands on. Being around them makes me realize that I’d be reluctant to move because I suspect that individuals of their caliber are rare.

After what turned out to be a five-hour visit, Pete and I came inside and prepared for tomorrow’s WOOFER exams. We are as ready now as we’ll ever be. We have a written, a practical, and a group exam. I’m most concerned about the practical exam – although, as I keep telling myself, if I go slowly (I have 25 minutes to do this) and follow the outline on my notebook, I should do just fine.

What made me think further about the Niagara Falls analogy was Pete’s statement that Felipe, the fellow who rode from Calgary to Argentina and will now be riding from Fairbanks to Calgary, will be here next Wednesday. Gulp. Things really are happening fast. We did sit down and update our list after he said this, but I was not of much help because I felt too overwhelmed. I guess in my haste to be underwhelmed, I ignored things on my list that I should have been paying attention to.

Well, the days are now long, so we have all that much more time to get things done. Aren’t we lucky. . . .

Next: 115. 4/27/19: Woofers One, Woofers All, Woofers Make the Call

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