Monday, November 17, 2008

Fires Return

Thanks to Victoria for her concern about us in the latest firestorm. It's been a little hectic, so I haven't had time to write. But we are in no danger.

Our house is fine, being about 10-12 miles from the latest Sylmar blaze. The smoke has been pretty bad. The winds blew everything into the southwest San Fernando Valley, so we're back to wearing masks again. It was terrible on Saturday, a little less so Sunday, and improving again today.

This time, the direction of the wind made Chatsworth air much better than air in Woodland Hills. The winds were terrible, but the air was clear. I had to spend much of Saturday at the barn waiting for my vet to show because of Ace's new lameness. He had a difficult time getting from the Equestrian Center, in Burbank, to the barn because of rolling blackouts and traffic snarls and freeway closures due to flames. The intersection of the 118 and the 405 was closed, so traffic was being stopped or diverted at the 405 and 101. I had to take my son to Westwood for work on Saturday morning and I took surface streets up over Mulholland Drive, which gave us quite a view of the smoke pouring out of Sylmar. It did keep me out of traffic.

I feel so bad for all of the people who lost homes this time around: over 400 in a Sylmar mobile home park and dozens more in Montecito and down in Orange County. The winds have died out, making it easier for the fire fighters to contain things. There's no sign of rain, however.

As for Ace, his always problematic left fore foot is traumatized again. He had seedy toe which was "interfering with the integrity of the hoof," so the vet pulled his shoe and pad ("I like what your farrier is doing") and trimmed away the parts of the hoof that were separated at the sides of the foot. He's supposed to get his foot soaked for 3 days in epsom salted water (yeah, right), betadine on the trim spots, and bute twice a day for two weeks, before he gets checked again. I've got to get an easy boot for him so we can go for a walk, but it will be at least a month before he gets a new shoe. The bars on the inside of that foot just don't grow they way they should, giving the farrier a problem and Ace a sore foot.

It will get better. I'm trying to figure out how I get up to the barn twice to medicate Ace on Thanksgiving when I've got 20 people sitting down to dinner.


Victoria Cummings said...

I'm so relieved to know that you and your family and Ace weren't evacuated due to the fires. It's a funny, scary feeling to be on the East Coast watching and reading about the fires in California. As for Ace and his lameness, boy, do I know what you're going through. I highly recommend "Soft Ride" boots - Arlene and her daughter, Jacquie, lent me a pair that they had bought for their rescued horse, Sweetie. I don't know what I'd do without them. They are so easy to use and comfortable for Siete. They're made by someone who uses them with reining horses - really sturdy and comfy for the horse. And we switched to Banamine from Bute since it was easier on Siete's stomach. There's also a new medication - Equioxx?? I'll get the exact spelling for you. It's even easier on the horse's digestion and kidneys. This too shall pass - my new mantra.

M. C. Valada said...

Can you tell me where to order the Soft Ride boots and how to size them? They sound great. Yes, I know it will all pass. Thanks for your good thoughts.

We may have reached the end with our Muffin. She's had repeated seizures over the past two days and throughout the night last night. I can't stand to see her suffer like this. We've had her for almost a year since the seizures started and the medication has done a great job, until now. Len's having a hard time letting go. I cried a lot last night, and if I could have gotten her in my car by myself, I would have done so while Len and Michael were out. This too will pass, but it is much harder than waiting for a foot to heal.

Grey Horse Matters said...

I'm so glad to hear that the fires haven't done any damage near you.
Ace's foot troubles will heal as you say, but in the meantime taking care of them can cause problems. Maybe on Thanksgiving you could pay someone at the barn to do it for you and then you wouldn't have to worry.
Sorry to read about your poor dog, that's so sad and so hard to deal with.

M. C. Valada said...

We took Muffin to the vet yesterday and put her out of her suffering. We are heartsick, but it was the best decision for her quality of life. Would that humans had the same choice.

Thank you for your good thoughts.

Victoria Cummings said...

I'm so sorry to hear about Muffin. I don't think Pepper will make it through this winter either. Big hugs to you and Len and Michael. There's something for you over at my blog, just to let you know how much your friendship means to me.