Tuesday, January 31, 2012

July-early August 2011

Lori had arranged to have Suki visit a burn survivor camp for children at the end of June. Her son had attended the camp for a few years,so Lori was well acquainted with the directors and administrative staff. Lori had also been in contact with owners and veterinarians of dogs and cats that had also been burned in fires. These animals would not be in attendance, so posters and a scrap book were put together to introduce the 4-legged burn survivors. I also put a book together with articles and photographs of Suki's progress. Lori warned me that the children at the camp were in various stages of treatment and recovery, with many of them being quite disfigured. I knew that would be difficult, but I was also feeling very upbeat about how they would respond to Suki. Suki has an amazing effect on everyone she meets. While many people are startled by the extent of her injuries, others are amazed by how much improvement she has made compared to the early photographs. My nervousness about the trip had more to do with the area where would secure Suki for th visit. This would be the last day of camp, which was held at someone's private home, rather than at the camp itself. The last day was a pool party and barbecue for the kids. We would be the afternoon entertainment. Initially, the owner of the property had said that there was a nice shaded area that would be perfect for the visit, keeping everyone out of the sun. In my mind I was thinking there was an enclosed area for safety. However, although the designated shade tree was far from the road, it was not fenced at all. After further discussion we found out that there was a barn and paddocks on the property that the owner leased to someone else. We decided that the barn would be the best place for the visit because Suki would probably feel more secure, and so would I. The one little glitch was that there was a bit of a walk from where we would park the trailer to the barn. More anxiety for me! When the day came for the camp trip I think we were ready. I had organized everything the day before including sedation for Suki. Although I knew that it would take awhile to get her on the trailer I was confident that she would load. We allowed two hours for this, and I had asked a horse person friend to help and to come along for help on the other end, for the trip home. It was going to a warm day, but not horrible heat. I was also doing the driving this time, but as I had resigned myself to this I was not OVERLY nervous, as the roads that we would be travelling were familiar to me. So, we started the process. I injected Suki with the tranquilizer and we waited for it to take effect. She was wearing her fancy "public appearance" halter and was groomed and shiny. I put the lead rope and Suki and confidently walked out of the barn and up the ramp of the trailer....well, almost. Suki walked almost all the way onto the trailer then changed her mind. It was like she realized what she was doing and said "wait! I hate getting on the trailer!", and off she came. Oh well. So close. We turned around and tried again. Now that she was in tune to what we were trying to do, Suki decided that she wouldnt even look at the trailer. Or go near it. At all. We tried every method, including some of the more forceful methods, to no avail. We were close a few times. At that point I said to Lori: "When she gets on, we are not unloading her at the camp. The kids can visit her through the front door." We were all in agreement over that one. Eventually it became evident that we were not going to make it to camp. I was devastated. My main concern was that the children would be disappointed. I thought that it was such a wonderful opportunity for Suki to help people and make children smile. The director, in her infinite wisdom had not alerted the children to Suki's visit, just in case something happened and we were not able to attend. We probably should have made the decision earlier, then we could have gone out to the camp and just spoke to the children and showed them the books. Certainly it would have made less of an impact. We tried for awhile longer to get Suki on the trailer with no success. I put her back in the stall and sent everyone home, profusely apologizing for their wasted day. I unloaded all of the equipment and supplies, drank a cold bottle of water and brought Suki back out. 15 minutes later she was standing on the trailer.....I love my horse, I love my horse, I love my horse!! But boy, did I want to kill her at that moment! A lesson learned. I hope that would help us in the future. With plans to work with Suki and trailer loading over the next few months, I hugged Suki and went home. I love this picture of Suki from early August 2011. She looks the picture of good health (although maybe a little fat from that lush summer grass!)
And this is a close up of some of the plugs...Look at that hair! I told Dr. Fugaro he should consider performing hair restoration!
January 31, 2012: It was 23 degrees this morning but the temperature was to rise into the 50's. So after I dropped Isaiah off at school, I changed Suki from a blanket to a sheet. These temperatures are driving me crazy! Then I had a lovely ride on Nikki at lunch today. She is such a delight to ride. Tomorrow I have to leave for a conference in San Francisco so I will not be able to ride until Sunday. I love when I walk in the barn and call Hello Baby Girl!" She nickers furiously for me to come over to her. Nikki's voice is much deeper than Suki's. It is louder also compared to Suki's low rumble. I love that they have such distinct voices to welcome me.

1 comment:

  1. this is amazing. healing from so much love...