Friday, May 11, 2007

In Sickness and In Health

I'm happy to report that Luna (the nearly-three-year-old Border Collie, daughter of my beloved soul-dog Toss) did well through her in-patient treatment for heartworms. She had a very mild case of them, so long-term damage is unlikely. She is nearly 1/2 way through her time of confinement--out of her 10' x 10' dog pen only on a leash, or to sleep in the entry-way of the house at night. Thankfully, her coming into heat (another occasion for confinement) coincided with the heartworm diagnosis, so at least she doesn't have to do two back-to-back confinements.

I'm pleased with how well she is taking it. Some accomodations I've made: I began her confinement as soon as I found she would be needing the treatment, so it was just a change in daily routine for her, and not some sort of "punishment" for spending three days at the vet's. Of course part of that was because I knew I'd need time to change habits, too--so there was a bit of a transition time before the full-time confinement. And when the full-time confinement started, she was just so glad to be home and see me again, she didn't seem to mind being confined. I've not had time for controlled walks, but have encouraged the people who garden at the farm when I'm not here to take her out and let her lay on the leash near where they are working. No one is allowed to throw sticks or balls for Toss where Luna can see! And, I transitioned her to a high-quality "weight control" dog food, and slightly less quantity, to prevent her gaining too much weight without all that exercise. We'll have to work into off-leash privileges--coyote chasing and herding--gradually beginning in early June.

The big down side of her confinement is that the coyote (probably with a den full of young ones) has grown bolder. Egg production has dwindled, partly from stress and partly from a declining number of hens in the main flock. This morning I awoke at dawn to her urgent barking, and went out to see a coyote dragging a large hen across the neighbors' corn field. The pen was littered with feathers from the kill. When I went out later, the pen was clean of feathers, and I realized that I never saw any trace of the kills was that the hens have been eating the evidence. Need to supplement more with calcium and protein sources to reduce feather and egg eating somewhat...although keeping the feathers cleaned up is not really a bad thing. This weekend I will reconfigure the main flock's pen to have an "inner sanctum" where I feed the birds outside their house. It will be 6' chain link dog kennel panels on all sides...the coyote has not seemed to go after the pullets, though, unlike the hens, they are unprotected by geese.

I resent losing the hens and eggs a bit, but really am quite philosophical about Mom Coyote wanting to feed her young ones. It's more a sense of challenge to try to outwit a Worthy Opponent, than rage at the coyote. Acceptance of what IS.

What IS, for me, tonight, is ill. Achy joints and muscles (more than seems reasonable for the work I did yesterday, though surely that's some of it), weakness, and a temperature pushing 100 (mine usually runs just over 97). A gradual decline since last night, when I'd hoped that I'd sleep in today, wake up a bit rough, and then improve over the day. NOT. I've warned both Farmer's Market and work that I may not be there, and will just surrender to the sickness now. I did only the very most esential chores after work...feeding the dogs and cats. Everyone else had food and water this morning, and will hopefully be fine if something has befallen during the day.

This is one of the times I most miss having a housemate, close friend, or partner. Someone to say, "Go to bed, take care of yourself, I'll take care of everything else."

But, there is no sense fighting something I can't control, and I haven't the strength or presence of mind, anyhow. So surrendering it all to God is really my only option. Little by little it becomeseasier, through times like these, to rely on Him the way I always used to want to rely on the people and institutions around me.

This, too, shall pass.

1 comment:

Wandering Coyote said...

Yes, this too shall pass... I hope you're feeling better soon.