Thursday, April 09, 2009

Colin's Boo-Boo

This past weekend, the Hired-Hand-With-Benefits was outside doing "manly" things about the place. I had put the wethers in a pen and let the ewes out to graze in the pasture. Since everything and everyone was "doing their own thing", I thought I would take the opportunity to slip into town for some groceries. After getting back, I was putting the groceries away when the phone rang.
It was the DH calling me from his cell. He was down in the pen with the wethers and said I should come down to look at one of the boys. "Something isn't right with him."
Well, when I got down to the barn, the "something not right" was a torn shoulder! It seems that the DH, after handing out treats, thought the wethers would accept him working in their pen on a very windy day even though they had not really seen this guy since before his (the DH's) surgery. That was months ago. Add in that very windy day and it was enough to spark freaked sheep running into the edges of fence panels. Our oldest wether, Colin, did just that.
As I took a good look at the shoulder, I could see that the skin was torn down to the muscle, but did not actually tear into any of the muscle. It's flapping about was a signal that sutures were called for. Poor Colin was so upset I knew we'd never be able to hold him still enough for me to do the "evil deed". After cleansing the wound and getting some sterile dressings on it to keep dirt out, I went in the house to call the vet's service. Naturally, these things happen on a Sunday.

When the vet's answering service picked up, I was told that they were instructed not to call him. OK, well, I'll give you that the operator was young and sounded very inexperienced, but they could have at least told me why the vet was unreachable. Something didn't sound quite right and very unlike Dr. Rob. Luckily, Rob's office manager and assistant par excellence lives down the road from us. If Rob was out of town, Kim would know whom I could get to help with the shoulder issue. And...better yet...I know her cell phone number. ;)
As soon as I related what had happened here and before I could even begin to ask her if she knew of any other vet available to work on sheep, Kim offered to call Rob on his cell phone. Within minutes Rob called me telling me to bring Colin into the clinic for mending. Bless his heart! He had just come off the ski slopes on the last day our local ski resort was open.
So, my poor Colin was drugged into a stupor, hoisted onto the surgery table, draped and both sutured and stapled back together again. All the while Rob and I were chatting away about sheep-this and ski-that. Afterward, Rob gave Colin a tetanus booster and a dose of antibiotics. I was about to put Colin back down on the floor when Rob pointed out that one horn was a "bit too close for my liking. How about we trim him a bit while he's sedated?" Go for it. Great idea. Rob looked him over and did everything but change the oil and filter. :)
Driving back home I thought about how important it is to have a good vet on our "Sheep Thrills Team". I so appreciate all he does. Granted, this is how he makes a living and we did have a bill for the emergency services, but because we consider Rob and Kim as important members of our operation, they both give us respect as well as much needed help. Somehow, some way, I plan on thanking both of them for "being there". It's comforting to know they are there when I need the help - day or night...Sunday or weekday.

...just don't do it again, Colin. ...and why is it you always pick a Sunday to get yourself into these predicaments? It's cats that have nine lives, Colin...not sheep. You and Ole are working on around your sixth lives about now, so just cut it out, will you? I've had way too much excitement lately. ;-)

And for those of you who have wondered...yes, here's the latest photo of my friend, Bran. (pronounced "brawn") He is indeed here both morning and evenings when I feed, looking for some small treat or just to chat with me. I just wish my "Raven" was as good as his "People". He is definitely trying to teach me phrases and I try, but I can tell I just don't have the correct accent yet.

Thanks for being around and watching over me, Bran. It's always comforting to know you're here. But, no...I'm mice right now. Would a hotdog be OK for now?
...Thanks, buddy!


Mim said...

Oh, Bran! I still think of him often. God bless good vets may we always have one near.

Franna said...

My Goodness! That's quite a gash. Of course those things always happen on a Sunday - or at midnight. It's nice to know there are still vets out there who care enough to handle these types of emergencies.

- Franna

Wrensong Farm said...

A good farm Vet is priceless. I have yet to find someone that I can count on for my sheep.

Love Bran!

~~Sittin.n.Spinnin said...

I truely hope my daughter takes up vet medicine; course I will be too old to handle sheep by the time she graduates LOL but it is a nice thought. We dont have a 'sheep' vet around here and it is very frustrating sometimes.