Inspired by a recent post written by another blogger that I read, I was touched by a single sentence in her post, “If you are hurting, please know I care.” Her post filled me with strength and determination to make today a “good day!” With that in mind and sunshine outside, I decided to head out to the barn to visit my precious donkeys! It has been quite some time since I’ve made it out to the barn to see them but today is the day I am going to do just that!
Doodle, my sweet Golden Retriever, naturally followed me outside as did Cali, my very old Cavalier. Knowing all the dogs had been out running this morning with hubby, I was less inclined to take everyone out with me on this seemingly far trek to the barn. The last thing I wanted was for one of them to unintentionally trip me. Although the sun was shining, the wind was blowing; I knew it would be cold. So, I bundled up in my winter tech clothes to make sure I stayed warm and… Off I went!
I admit my steps were hesitant as I focused putting one foot in front of the other. My right leg is numb from nerve pain so I really have to think where I place each step. I wanted to follow the fence line but the ground was wet and muddy with patches of snow and ice; NOT the safest route to take! So right down the middle I went with my two dogs on either side of me as I slowly made my way to the barn.
Jack and Jill, my donkeys, immediately spotted me and brayed for me to come closer. I am sure they were puzzled by my slow, unsteady gait as I inched towards them. In an attempt to be “normal”, I picked up my favorite muck rake from inside the barn and the wheeled muck cart before stepping into the donkey paddock. After saying our “hello’s” and a good butt scratch for both, I set about cleaning up after both donkeys all the while maintaining a running banter of nonsense that also included my singing to the donks. Now my singing is not good but both donkeys didn’t seem to mind my off-key singing and tried to “help” by stealing the muck rake while the other one started pulling the muck cart by the nylon handle. These two just crack me up! Neither donk is all that “helpful” when it comes to mucking!
After mucking, I decided to brush both donkeys. Jill doesn’t mind being brushed; she just loves the attention. Jack, on the other hand, goes into sensory overload. Being brushed is NOT Jack’s favorite thing to do. Having been ignored and neglected as a youngster, Jack does not associate touch with good things. That is something I’ve worked hard at changing! He now allows me to brush his neck, chest and sides. He gets “twitchy” when I brush his back but he allows this. Both donkeys are rewarded with treats after being brushed. Jack is treated for allowing me to brush him and Jill is not about to be left out at treat time!
After brushing, I let both donkeys out to pasture. There isn’t much grass to graze on this time of year so both amble back to me hoping for more treats. I work on “recalls” which is easy. Both know they will get treats for coming when called. The time spent with these two sentient creatures is incredibly rewarding.
I’m able to walk back inside the house leaving the donks to run in the pasture or at least continue their search for edible grass. And two hours later, I make my way back to the barn to bring in the donkeys. Walking out to the barn TWICE in one day! I’m thrilled with my increase in mobility! In the big picture, I’m getting stronger and having less pain. All good news! Mobility is something so easy to take for granted. It is something I slowly lost before the surgery and something I’m struggling to regain now. I am incredibly fortunate knowing my hubby is taking care of all of our animals during my absence. I can’t wait to regain my mobility and strength to be able to spend time with and care for all of my precious critters that mean so much to me!
P.S. I’m proof-reading this the next day after a good night’s sleep. As I was lying in bed this morning, I realized I have zero pain! Ahh… the true test will be once I get up. Slowly I get up and while I feel pressure and stiffness, again, not much pain at all! I’m thrilled I don’t have a “barn hang-over” from the walking I did yesterday. Which makes me think… I’m going out to the barn again today! Maybe Jack will let me brush him again? Today is going to be a “good day” too!