Tuesday, July 25, 2006

While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks By Night

Dear Shepherd types,

It was when my friend began to describe to me how she expressed the bladder of her paraplegic dog when I actually realized that I do not love my animals. And, on top of that, I am glad.

Perhaps you jump to the conclusion that I am squemish, but I'm not, (well, maybe a little.) Or perhaps you think I draw the line at expressing bladders, but I don't. Baa-aa-aab, our pet lamb needed some "expression" once when he got a ureter infection. We did that, or I should say my husband did, under cover of evening lest the neighbors come to believe that those old tales about sheep herders were being acted out right next door. (By the way, why did they choose sheep herding rather than cattle rounding as the occupation for Enis and Jack?)

But honestly I've gotten hardened to these things since having male horses. The responsibility of grabbing a horse penis and cleaning it's sheath has got to be the farmlife equivalent of taking a good stiff drink, (no pun intended.) And I do know that caring for animals simply demands the gross at times. It comes with the territory.

I've had dogs that I liked lots. Annie was particularly sweet. She was cooperative and gentle. She was dog-loyal, that spirit of the domesticated dog that communicates something akin to love.

I am enjoying my horses enormously. Nebuchadnezzar has a wonderful personality and a great look. When he runs back and forth impatiently in the field he looks like something out of a movie, his head high and curious. And to ride him is an adventure. I say that I ride for the "rush" and he is guaranteed enjoyment. Partly, that is because I can never wholely anticipate his anxieties. The last time he surprised me with his antics was over a butterfly, and a small one at that. There are moments when Neb appears to prefer my company. That is nice. I prefer his often.

Then there is Solomon. Ah, what a nice ride he can give, effortlessly. He isn't pretty. In fact he has lately been accused of being grass fat. But he is a wonderful guy. He has even proven himself to be dependable in a trailer. I can ask for nothing more.

I entitled this picture llama madness. And llamas are indeed a mad bunch. They are not cuddly, unlike some sheep (see references above). My most unusual llama experience took place in the middle of a rain storm. One of the llama's had just given birth and I was worried about the little critter, covered with all the gross stuff that newborns get covered with. Mama was busy delivering the placenta and I decided that I needed to pick baby up and carry her to the relative dryness of the barn. The rest of the female herd was in the vicinity, but as they are not an aggressive lot, I picked up baby and began walking down the hill toward the herd and the barn. Mama followed. As I passed each of the other llamas, one by one, they spit at the baby. It felt like a scene from My Big Fat Greek Wedding and ranks for me as one of the four or five most incredible natural events of my life.

Then the kittens. Oh, my they are cute. The Pink One, The Black One, The Orange One, The Grey One (a.k.a. Graham), and The Black One with the Stubby Tail.

But I do not love them. Thank goodness for that. I love people and my heart dies enough times over them. Suppose I had to include heartbreak for animals. No thank you. I'll stick with people for that.


1 comment:

cadh 8 said...

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