Friday, January 21, 2011
The True Story of Beau's Feet, Part 3 and Conclusion: A really (really) big day
If I've still got your attention, then you will know this is Day 3 of Beau's story.
Originally, I intended this tale to be a single post, but as I began writing, I realized there was so much to share about this year-long experience with Beau's feet. To include everything in one, single post would have been really overwhelming, not to mention incredibly long.
So, if you've read Part 1 and Part 2, then you've definitely earned today's post. And I've saved the best for last.
Tuesday was a very big day on Critter Farm:
The boys knew something was up because 1) they were both haltered, yet we weren't going for a walk and 2) they had been separated by the stupid brown gate:
Then there was 3) Kai had been asked to leave the barn and, though she was asking nicely to come back in, her requests were repeatedly denied:
On this day, Perry the farrier was coming and we were going to take a chance. We were going to try to trim Beau's feet without any sedation. The vet was on stand-by, you know, just in case - but I really felt, based on how well Beau had been working with me over the last couple weeks, that he was finally ready to give it a try.
I was focusing so hard on not being nervous - those donkeys of mine can read me like an open book. I needed everything to be peaceful and for everyone. to. remain. calm.
I had exchanged a couple emails earlier that day with a fellow donkey owner (ok, it was Linda from 7MSN) (I ♥ you, Linda!). She shared a tip with me that the farrier of another fellow donkey owner (ok, ok! It was Justina & Don from Morning Bray Farm) had suggested they use on one of their nervous donkeys (Fergus), called the "cupping of the eye":
The thought here is that even though the donkey can feel somebody touching them, they aren't made nervous by the sight of who/what it is because you have shaded their view of it. I tried it out first-thing with Beau and it really seemed to work. After a few minutes, I could feel him relax a bit and I was able to take my hand away.
And then, with little fanfare, NO SEDATION and lots of carrot coins, Beau stood quietly and let Perry, my farrier, lift, pick and trim his front feet.
As if he'd been doing it this way his whole life:
Then it was time for the rear feet. (I took a couple deep breaths, trying so hard not to let the anxiety I felt run from my heart down into my hands, through the lead rope, up to Beau's halter and into his head):
And he did just fine. That's my boy, standing peacefully, without meds or any kind of tying up, letting the farrier do his work. This picture brings tears to my eyes:
So does this one. "Am I almost finished, Mom?":
Yes, Beau, you're all finished.
Twenty-five gold stars for YOU, young man!:
There was the biggest spring in my step as I walked back from the barn:
It was a wonderful day.