Weenie Wednesday: Conrad Enjoying Himself

Conrad has taken to understanding the me saying, “okay, I gotta go to work” usually means he gets to come with me to work upstairs in the loft and he stations himself on the couch. Maybe he is actually my security guard? But anyway, he is getting extra attention.

He gets many extra walkies. He also had a grooming appointment. The nice thing about his grooming appointment is that it’s with a mobile groomer and I am working from home — I don’t have to take any time off, because I can keep working. If we ever go back to full time on site office life, that will be very difficult for both me and Conrad.

Somewhere

You know that song “Somewhere” from West Side Story? It’s been in my head for a few weeks now. I keep hearing it if I think about everything going on in America right now. So I thought I’d say, I’m listening and I am trying to learn as much as I can, and that this blog (sporadically active as it is right now) is a place for Black Lives Matter. I’m not here to write about it; I am here to say I am learning about it, and I want to help. Honestly, this post isn’t even about that, it’s just a quick Eli & Conrad update, as mundane as any other Eli & Conrad update. But I just wanted to say at the outset here that I am taking a side, and that side is Black Lives Matter, mainly because I had not yet said that here before. I want to keep listening & learning.

Now to the more personal “Somewhere” episode of what my dog and my horse have been up to lately …

Conrad has definitely learned the WFH routine. I have breakfast, sit with Conrad for a few minutes downstairs while I go through personal emails, and then I ask him if he wants to come with me to work, and he runs upstairs and takes his station on the couch by my desk. IT IS SO CUTE.

pre-work walkies
not the work couch, but you get the idea
this would be Conrad’s work couch and blanket

Conrad does not let work get in the way of his daily routine of napping, and then napping again. But he is a quiet coworker, so he can keep his job.

Eli has proven his worth as a hot weather horse. Y’all. He is so much more comfortable and happy in warm weather. He has been a joy to ride this last week or so.

he’s even cuddly

While I am still thinking I need to keep his work load light, maybe we can bump up to a little more work now, and see how it goes? We’ll never be in a regimented conditioning program, of course, and I am not sure horse showing is in Eli’s future any more (totally okay with me!), but lately he feels like he could be happy cruising around 2’6″ at home for fun. The navicular journey is most definitely not a straight path so all of this is subject to change should Eli show signs of discomfort or lameness in front. There’s a possibility that the issue could have just been that Eli’s soles were too thin. However. I see no reason to push the soundness boundaries of a 17-year-old ex-racehorse. But, maybe we are on the other side of both the suspensory injury and the hoof issues? Maybe? Knock on wood? Throw salt over my shoulder? Feed Eli four-leaf clovers?

before
after

 

What I cannot believe, is how long I let Eli’s mane get. COVID-19 fatigue is real. I got kind of lackluster there for a while about staying on top of routine things. Because who hasn’t right now? Still, that’s not fair to my horse, so luckily I snapped out of it and/or the expired stay-at-home orders energized me bit. Not that I am willing to eat dine-in in a restaurant yet and I will take this light traffic all day every day, but I think getting to visit some friends around Memorial Day weekend and not feeling guilty about it restored some sense of regular old unextraordinary life. Eli even got a bath. With shampoo.

Can spray with hose. Still can not spray with fly spray. Have given up on fly spray training.

Eli’s reminding me how quirky he is, too. Fly spray = acid. Sleeping dog curled up in the grass outside of the arena = EXERCISE EXTREME CAUTION AND SNORTING. Compact front-end loader moving paving gravel around on the driveway and loudly scraping it and dumping it on the driveway at the top of the arena = zero issue/yawn/big whoop. Human exits aforementioned compact front-end loader = WHAT DIS NOW IT MOOV.

I am pretty confident in my wrapping abilities. I am comfortable with standing bandages, regular polo wraps, BoT polo wraps, doing first aid wraps with cotton, vet wrap, and elastikon, Eskadron combo bandages, track bandages … but woodog these Incrediwear wraps are tricky AF.

Last little bit of catch-up (maybe one day I will blog more frequently again) … I have tried a few new things lately, and I might have to review them here. The newer style (i.e., higher waist) Ghodho Elara breeches, an Anique sunshirt, and Incrediwear circulation exercise bandages. Anyone curious about this stuff, and I can get some reviews up?

 

 

Weenie Wednesday: Essential Care

Conrad had his grooming appointment today.

I know not everyone may agree with me, but I do consider these appointments as essential to Conrad’s overall health and well-being. The great thing about his groomer is that it’s one person in a mobile grooming salon, so it is a very controlled environment.

Additionally, his mobile groomer has developed protocols that eliminate human-to-human contact. Once the groomer arrived, I put Conrad in his soft crate on the front porch. Once his appointment was over, the groomer returned him to the soft crate for me to take him back in the house.

I paid via credit card over the phone as opposed to handing the groomer cash, which is what I usually do.

I really appreciate that Conrad’s groomer is still able to groom him, and that the company has been very thoughtful about how to keep this essential service safe for pets AND their humans.

Conrad is going to hate that soft crate after all this, though!

Scaling Back but Feeling Full

Nothing like a pandemic to make me thankful for what I have, and to show me just how much of my life falls into the privileged sphere. I am one of the lucky few whose routine has barely changed, and what has changed so far has been mostly for the better.

I still get to work! This alone is immense, as many millions of people will end up unemployed as a result of the pandemic, if they are not already. Just like some people may not survive COVID-19, I fear that many people may never recover economically from this crazy situation. But addressing the pandemic is much more important than addressing the economy in the immediate future, as difficult as that may be for many, many people.

Conrad gets a few more walks. I don’t think he minds. He’s not too happy at me about working from home and not paying more attention to him because I am at home. But my home office area has a couch he can nap on. He’ll figure it out eventually.

I am still able to go to the barn to see Eli. I know barn access varies from state to state right now and many people are relying on barn employees for all of their horses’ care. Lesson programs in my area have been suspended at many barns, but some barns are still allowing access to boarders.

So what am I scaling back? Driving — my commute either involves a drive in to work three days a week with little traffic, or a really short walk over to my desk at home. Running everyday errands — I am avoiding this if possible. I have a bracelet that needs fixing at a jeweler and a snap on a tall boot that needs replacing, for instance, that I’d take to a shoe repair place. But this kind of thing is on hold indefinitely. Riding Eli — Eli can be a bit spooky, as we all know. I am limiting his under saddle time to just a few rides a week when the weather permits it and keeping the rides at a walk or trot. I am going for low impact and minimizing risk. I do consider his exercise as essential pet care and it’s also my outdoor, socially-distanced exercise anyway, so I do not really feel like I am skirting any stay-at-home orders in my area with this. I understand that MANY people may disagree with my interpretation of the local stay-at-home orders. However, I am at the barn at times when few other boarders are there, and I am only touching Eli’s stuff, so I am minimizing risk in that way, too. Eating out — oh how I miss Mexican restaurants. I am not on a budget that allows constant take-out, as much as I would like to do that to support the restaurants around here that I like to go to. This does seem to have the benefit of cleaning up my waistline a bit, at least. Visiting friends — I don’t visit very many people, and now I am hardly seeing friends in person at all. I am not going to rule it out completely because when I do visit friends, it’s usually one person in a private residence and it’s to watch streaming stuff, drink wine, and catch up.

I find myself asking daily the question, “Is this really necessary?” A lot of the time, whatever it may be, it is not really necessary.

And here’s my last little editorial thought for the day: Even if inadvertently, COVID-19 is showing us a path to mitigating climate change. We are quite obviously capable of making many of these changes for the long-term, if there is even much of a long-term to look forward to.

That being said, I CANNOT WAIT for all the restaurants and bars to reopen! When that happens, maybe we could all consider tipping at 30%-50% for a month or so if we can swing it. I also want to go to ALL THE MUSEUMS and donate $$$ to their programs and collections. I miss having a Manhattan at Lamberts. I miss the Austin Opera. I miss meeting up with somebody for lunch downtown on a weekday. I MISS QUESO. But we could all stand to drive or fly a little less after all this craziness subsides, right?

Weenie Wednesday: WFH (yes i know it is thursday)

this is my new coworker
he goes on 15 minutes breaks A LOT
I get to work and he’s still in bed
he has pretty good fashion sense, though
judging, or … ? judging.

As it turns out, I do not actually work from home every day. I do some “essential” things at my job (they actually really are) so I still go in 3 mornings a week to handle that stuff. Do you even understand how delightfully creepy ~1,000,000 sq ft of almost empty can be? I still see DPS officers, a few Preservation Board workers, and the vehicles of some super-high-ups’ staff are on the drive periodically, but that’s it. I LOVE IT. Can we keep the 6′ apart rule after all this wraps up? Not that it will ever wrap up — it’s a virus. We’ll have a vaccine eventually but it’s going to end up endemic like the flu viruses. 

The working from home is the biggest difference all of this stay-at-home has made in my life. And I am not complaining. My new coworker has some strange habits, but he doesn’t talk so that is most definitely a plus.