Saturday, April 1, 2017

Roo's First Road Trip and A Few Repairs

Gunner and The Heathen
It’s been a CRAZY winter, as all of you know. I finally have a car and was ready to hit the road with Heath. I planned to stop and see my Brother and niece. We got to their new house where my brother has mother-in-law quarters, so to speak, and Heath was excited to see his doggy-friend Gunner, that he met when my brother came up last year. What he wasn't ready for was meeting my niece's two elderly golden retrievers. One of them, Ruger, decided Heath did not belong there and chased him until Heath found a safe spot under my car. I was glad to see that he was smart enough to get  himself out of what could have been a bad situation.

Once they were formally introduced, the dogs all got along fine. The 2 Golden Retrievers and the Yellow Lab all walking around, content with mouthfuls of soft frisbees. They use them like pacifiers. Heath, on the other hand, just wanted to rough house and play with someone. As Gunner spun in circles protecting his toy, which he thought was Heath’s target, Heath gleefully pinched and gently pulled his ears, which were his real targets. It’s how he punishes the Maremmas at home, when they come to close to me, wanting attention. He grabs and pulls their ears. Never hard enough to make them squeal, but enough to be annoying. After a yummy spaghetti casserole made by my brother and a couple of rum and cokes, we were ready for bed.

They had a nice big reclining chair for me to sleep in, which made a strange noise when it reclined, but everything was great until 2 something-o'clock-in-the-morning when Heath quietly sneaked up the stairs into the MASTER bedroom to chase their cat around. My nephew-in-law came down the stairs behind a speeding and contrite looking sheppie and I apologized and spent the rest of the night insisting that Heath sleep on the chair with me, which he begrudgingly did. The next morning when I got up, the chair made an even louder awful noise and I was horrified to see that it had apparently been too close to the wall and one corner of it had pushed through, making a large hole in the drywall...of their brand spanking new house.

 It had been raining steadily for days, and their back yard, which was too new to be landscaped was a muddy sinkhole. They had sectioned off a small area and filled it with gravel so the dogs had someplace to potty. They would all go out together, the two old male Goldens both squatters, and Gunner a lifter. There was a nice wooden post just a few steps in that made a perfect faux fire hydrant that Gunner appreciated. We opened the glass doors and let Heath out with the rest of the boys. However he found the barbecue leg more appealing, much to the distress of my nieces who loudly said, “OH NO HEATH!”
No she wasn't really yelling at him and she wasn't really angry but he is super sensitive and took it that way anyhow. He curled his tail between his legs and began slinking back to the house. I caught up to him and talking to him  reassuringly, led him out to the gravel area. He refused to put a foot on the gravel and was obviously quite intimidated by it.  I puzzled over this for a moment and realized his memory is quite good. The last time he saw gravel like this was a trip to town when we had let him out to pee. As he jumped into the planter that was full of gravel, all 4 feet were punctured by goathead stickers and he whimpered painfully. We had to lift him up and pick all the stickers out of his feet. As his mama didn't raise no dummy, he wasn't going to make the same mistake twice. I had to push him onto this gravel so he could see that it was safe. After that, he had no problem competing with Gunner to see who could cover the stick the highest. Potty problem solved.

Next day Hwy 20, where I was heading to see my friend, was closed and washed out, so I changed my plans and was going to go visit my cousin on the West side of California. Then the snow and mud slides closed I-80 overnight. If I could sneak by and just get down to Sacramento I could take Highway 5 up to Williams. I was leery of I-80 when it opened as there were already 3 wrecks reported the first 20 miles, so I opted instead to spend another day with my brother and my niece. That day, Williams flooded and the Oroville dam was still in danger of breaking. I am grateful that I heeded the still, small voice, because all of Northern California flooded and the roads were a mess. I definitely dodged a bullet.

It looked like our only option was to head back home before we caused any more havoc at my niece and brother's new house.
It was snowing when I left Reno for the 5 hour trek home. It turned to rain outside of town and rained all the way home. By the time I got to Winnemucca, I was flaring painfully and shaking. I was tired, and weak and didn’t have much strength to work with. I called TheMan and told him I couldn’t make it home, I was too weak and in too much pain to manage the 3 more hours of remote desert driving.  Heath and I went into a Mexican restaurant we were parked next to at a casino and I had lunch while he napped under the table. It was relaxing and restorative.  I took my time, feeling no pressure, and no anxiety because Heath was near and by the time we were done, I felt well enough to make it home.

So went our first big excursion away from home on our own. It wasn’t quite what I had hoped, but it was a good start.  It turns out that when I lifted my saddle several months ago, hurting my right arm it was more than just a tiny little tear in my bicep. Instead, I tore my whole bicep tendon loose at the head of the femur, and 3 of the 4 large muscles that make up the rotator cuff are torn through and badly atrophied, so I just had surgery to make what repairs they could. The doc said he thinks he has bought me some time before I require a complete replacement.

Heath making sure Lamby doesn't try to sit with me...
Heath watching over me while we have car worked on after Dr appt
HannahBanana feeds Lamby
One of my grandaughters came up to help me after surgery. It made for a great 2 weeks, as her cheerfulness was even more valuable than her helpfulness and that was generous. We had a bummer lamb born just before my surgery, so she took care of bottle feeding her as well as feeding the Heathen and helping feed us. I don't think I would have fared well that first two weeks without her as it was pretty painful and needed icing around the clock. Now I am waiting to heal and figure out what is next for us. Hope its something good!
Heath watches over Hannah