It’s strange; fog rises off the river even when there’s no river there. Or at least no water. It looks like a ghost river, not the “Killer Kern”.
The burned-out trees add to the eerie effect.
Night before last was a long one. We had two problems. One is an ongoing one; a pack of feral dogs. It’s the same pack I had trouble with out on the trail some months ago. Luckily, they’re small to medium-sized dogs, mostly. But there are five or six of them, all aggressive, and they’ve been joined by a German shepherd. They’ve jumped riders and walkers, with and without dogs, who’ve gotten too close to what they regard as their territory. That started as a spot on the south bank of the river, but is expanding. A couple of weeks ago, they were in a riverside pen, chasing one of the horses. Our dogs keep them away from the house, but they are outnumbered. I worry that they might get overconfident, especially at night.
The other problem was more common; a colicky horse. With almost three hundred boarders, you’re bound to have an occasional colic. This one didn’t seem too bad, and the vet advised waiting and careful watching. The owner came out and walked her horse into the night, but she needed to go to work the next morning. She had to go home and get a night’s sleep.
We had brought the mare over to the sick pen, so we could watch her under the lights. Billy used to pull the duty of getting up to check on sick horses, but he really can’t any more, so it falls to me. I camped out in my recliner, ready to get up and check every hour or so. The night went something like this.
12:00. Mare is up and walking around. Doesn’t seem too bad. Get some sleep.
12:30. Dogs hear pack in river, and go yelling out the doggie door. Get up and call them in.
1:00. Mare is standing in back of pen, shifting from foot to foot. Doesn’t look comfortable, but not in real pain. Get some sleep.
2:00. Mare is lying down, but is up on keel and quiet. Not a big problem. Get some sleep.
2:30. Dogs go shrieking out the door again — or, in Peaches’ case, stand in doggie door barking thunderously. Call them in and lock door.
3:00. Mare is down flat, but quiet. Not as good, but not an emergency yet. Get some sleep.
4:00. Mare still down flat and quiet. Make the mistake of opening the door to peer out. Dogs go roaring outside. Call them in and shut door. Get some sleep.
5:00. Mare is up on keel again. Dogs are asleep.
6:00. Mare is on her feet and walking around. Good sign. Dogs are still asleep.
7:00. Mare is up and scrounging for food. She has made a good-sized pile of manure; very good sign. Biscuits are rather hard and dry, so she was probably a bit dehydrated.
8:00. Dogs are poking their noses into my lap, wanting to know why I’m not up. Mare is fine; owner checking on her. Planning afternoon nap . . .
I got one, too.