I thought you’d enjoy this photo taken of my vizsla, Sadie, and her pups in 1972. She gave birth to twelve of the darlings! After experiencing a dozen little redheads we decided that Sadie had done her bit as far as motherhood was concerned. No more litters for her.
I had two whelping boxes with six pups in each. Every two hours (round the clock) I switched them. Six with Mom, six with me. The ones stuck with the human received a goat-milk based formula. The twelve did just great! I, on the other hand, was astounded when I swam the 100 freestyle six seconds slower than I’d ever done. This swimming meet occurred when the pups were two weeks old. Sleep deprivation and racing do not go hand ‘n hand.
Back to the present! This December 6th snow (knee high where it hasn’t drifted) has occurred WAY TOO EARLY this year. I’m not mentally prepared. As a result, the boys have had two days of tricks, free jumping and liberty games. It occurred to me that my being a wimp about the winter of 2010-1011 just might put some heavy demands on finding new games to play with Zelador and Zeloso. I have no intention of giving them the winter off (however I might ride a lot less) and they really like trying new things.
So I got to thinking and today’s highlight was: Zelador stood politely beside me while I threw the ridged ball as far as I could. Then I said, “GO!” and we both took off towards it. He always got there first, picked it up and brought it to me. (Wow! I’m thinking that teaching the boys to retrieve to “hand” was a stroke of genius.)
Zelador and I had a great time with this new game. After I turned him out in the paddock I travelled to Bolton to check out some stores… looking for a basketball hoop-like structure that could become horse-proof. I almost got a tree watering ring (for under $10), but then found a yellow bucket for less than $4.00. I’ll contact Pax’s owner, Ron, and see if he can remove the bottom portion of the bucket, add an attachment mechanism to it and then find a place or two (perhaps in the arena and in the stalls) where I can hang the thing and introduce the horses to putting the ridged ball through the hoop. Perhaps we’ll add a basketball-type net in the future.
P.S. I mention “Ron” (not my husband, Bill) as a possible person to create the new toy because I’ve learned over the decades that being married to someone and asking him to do something I’m interested in usually doesn’t work. However, asking a man I’m not married to has excellent results. That being said, I will present this new project to Bill and see if he shows any interest…or hears what I’ve said.