A Day at the Office
When people ask what I do for work, they all think it is GREAT to be working with animals, train dogs and have a Ranch. While I DO agree my vocation is novel and full of challenge, it is NOT all bliss. It is NOT boring…
For example, here is MY day at the office last Tuesday:
Got up at 5 a.m, fed dogs @ 5:30. It’s still dark so donned my trusty Headlamp and went out to begin chores. Feed maternity ward, weaning lambs, range ewes, horse. Tuesday is my advanced class day so started sorting sheep to haul to Poway ( in the dark). Loaded dogs and sheep @ 6:15; began our trip to big field. I worked my youngsters from 7 – 8, then my other clients began arriving. Finished up lessons around 11, loaded sheep, dogs and started back to home. Put everything away, dressed in cycle clothes and went to spin class from 12 – 1. (everyone asks with all I do, why do I go spinning? So I CAN do what I do)
Returned home and noticed a ewe down, trying to lamb. I tend not to interfere until I know they really need it so after about 30 minutes of monitoring her, thought I should offer assistance. Now normally they will labor to a point of not getting up so I can help deliver babies while mom is lying down. This particular mom (a first timer) didn’t appreciate my assistance so every time I got close, she would run. After another 20 minutes of following her around, I went to get help. Bryce was elected as my team mate ( boy was HE happy) We got her sorted off from the rest and put in a smallish pen. I flipped her on her side; that lasted about 20 seconds. She boinged up and knocked me and the pen gate down and bolted again We sorted her again and this time put her in a smaller pen with a LOCKED gate. I flipped her again; she sprang up, smashing me against the wall but couldn’t get out. I flipped; she jumped….five more times. That ewe weighs about 85 lbs so I was getting pretty sick of this exercise. I walked out and located a rope with a slip knot and this time hog-tied her back leg when she was down. It kept her down but I was at a CRAZY angle to deliver that baby. There was only a nose protruding from her vulva and I needed more to grab. I had both hands up inside her, searching for a couple of legs. Finally found one so pulled it out and dove back in to search for another but no avail. It was firmly wedged in there. So with one leg and a big head, started pulling. Poor Mom!! She was in great pain and so was I. I kept talking to her and massaging her peritoneum to provide more space for this head. I figured the baby wasn’t going to make it so grabbed around the base of it’s jaw and leg and pulled with all I could. Suddenly, I felt a swallowing motion!! “Come on, Mom…PUSH” It was alive and we had to hurry. Mom gave a great cry out and heaved; I pulled. Together we got this big guy out, healthy and breathing. Mom not so happy. She was catatonic and just lay there, panting while I cleaned his face. I put him close to her but she just looked. tired and dazed at him, like he was alien. ( I look at some of clients like that, too) I walked away to wash off blood and slim and returned to see if she had moved. No. So I grabbed her and lifted her to her feet; suddenly she noticed the little baby. A mommy sound emitted from her exhausted throat and babe answered, the bonding process beginning. I went away to leave her to the cleaning process as it’s necessary to preserve the bonding and the sac provides much needed energy and hormones to mom. The massaging gives the baby impetus to get to it’s feet and begin nursing.
This lambing took two hours of hard labor (her’s and mine) to complete, so my “day” was now 10 hours. It was only 3:00 in the afternoon.
Thank God for Beer!!
At 5:00, back out for evening chores, run dogs, clean runs.
Gee, a cushy chair, lunch and coffee breaks doesn’t sound so bad….eh?