Some weeks fly by, leaving you wondering about what you really achieved and was it any good!? Some weeks seems to be made out of clay and you just get heavier as you trudge through it all. Then there are the weeks that make you wish you lived in town. That particular week is coming to an end today, as it's Sunday.
Mr. Chip had an operation on Wednesday. It all started with a tiny lump under his tail. A few days ago the lump plopped out and turned into a biggish growth, a red and angry looking thing that needed to be removed. So we did just that.
Our vet made the most petite looking row of stitches so our happy dog does not seem to have noticed them at all. As Mr. Chip has his own set of medicines on the go, we now try to keep the operating scar clean by showering, applying disinfectant liquid and a honey based cream. This is to avoid antibiotics that then would mess up our dear dogs Cushing syndrome. So far so good and our kind dog takes it all in his stride. We also have painkillers for him but he does not seem to need them. I gave half a pill on the second night, as terriers don't show pain very well, but I did not see a difference in him. He sleeps well and eats like a horse, all good signs after an operation.
Mandy the sheep is limping again. We believe that it's a muscle in her shoulder that gets sore when she gets up too quickly. She did that yesterday. I will try a new round of painkillers for her if it's not better today. She eats like a horse too and is really enjoying the bilberry season. The berries are now ready for picking and are being enjoyed by sheep, hens and me. Mr. Chip too...
On Friday evening my dear husband spotted an elk on a field quite far away from our house. As I'm a bit of a fan of elks I rushed to get the binoculars, to have a closer look. My heart sank when I spotted it, though. It was a smallish elk and it seemed to drag its back legs, having a very bent lower back. Almost falling down, it disappeared into the crop of the field and all I could see was a head being thrown this way and that. So we called our friend the Hunter.
This is never easy for me as I'm a great believer in live and let live but even I could see that aspirin was not going to cut it, this time. I thought a car had hit the poor elk, but it turned out to be a deformation from birth that the animal was suffering from. My dear husband went to take a closer look and we could confirm that the elk needed help to get to heaven, sooner rather than later. Help arrived and the shot rang loud and horrible clear through the summers evening. Then you could see four men walking in formation, checking that there was no small calf hiding in the field. It all looked a lot like a dark, gruesome Swedish detective series and once again I was grateful for the help of the hunters. (No baby was found...).
It's never an uplifting experience, having to put an animal down but unfortunately in some cases it's the only humane thing to do. This was handled in a dignified manner and quickly.
The next morning, after a night’s sleep dreaming of radiation and suffering (me) we woke up to find a swallow hovering in our bedroom. They are like tiny helicopters. My dear husband woke up and exclaimed, "It never ends! " and I knew nature was taking its toll on him, too. He then proceeded to lead the bird out by slowly walking towards the front door, arms raised above his head, looking like a slightly bewildered preacher. It worked and we had less wildlife joining us for the first coffee of the day.
This morning when I let the animals out from the stable, two enormous birds of pray swooped in on us. They turned when they saw me but really!! You would think I make these things up, the way this week is going...
My dear husband did not think this blog would be a very cheerful text to read. He is right, as he sometimes is, but it's about living in the country. It's not always happy sheep and sweet peas; it's life as it is. We just have to hope it gets better and find solace in the fact that we did what we could to help. We can also be happy that a friend of ours thought Mr. Chip looked positively youngish. What more can you wish for?! Well... A less emotional next week, perhaps....
On a more positive note, the hare population in our village is thriving. We have the European hare and the Mountain hare, also called the Blue hare. This is because its thick undercoat apparently has a bluish colouring. It also copes better with the winter cold, as it has shorter ears and therefore loses less body heat. Clever! The European hare is bigger and has a vision range of almost 360 degrees, always handy for spotting predators from above and on the ground. It's hearing is not bad, either....
These are still the animals our hens seem to be wary of. Happy, jumping vegetarians... "You never know..." our hen's tell us. They are right, of course, you never do.
A blog about a small holding in Southern Finland. Each original story is accompanied by a stunning watercolour illustration or resplendent photographs.