Monday, October 8, 2012

Things that run your life

Ever notice that there are periods of time when your life is taken over by certain events or a series of events that don't seem to be under your control. Like your daily life has been abducted by circumstances.

Well that has been the theme for my life this past year. Other than my usual responsibilities of earning a living and putting food in the dog and cat bowls and hay in the barn, this year has primarily revolved around circumstances which at times consumed nearly every available minute.

The first of these circumstances, a very happy one,  is training and competing on the horse I purchased last June. I blogged about Uiver many months ago and our FEI dressage career has been progressing well throughout this year's show season. Driving an hour each way to ride with an FEI level trainer, however, dramatically impacted my schedule but it has been a labor of love. David Blake, the trainer I have been working with, has been great and the skills and partnership between Uiver and I has steadily improved. Uiver and I have enjoyed many successes this year, a topic which I will blog more about in a few weeks.

Circumstance number 2 has been dealing with one of my dog's health issues. Let's just say it has been a very expensive years in vet bills and there is a specialty vet hospital in San Diego at which I should have a private designated parking spot for the amount of bills I have paid at their facility. This first issue was ACL surgery for Murphy and as many of you might remember from a previous blog, not only was the $4500 cost a huge ouch to my credit card but the aftercare and complexities of immobilizing a more than slightly neurotic dog was all consuming for several months. Factored into his multi-phased recovery process was somehow finding the time to drive him 45 minutes each way to go to swim therapy to regain proper muscle tone in his leg. So every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday I had to magically create the time for a 2 plus hour window of time for Murphy's physical therapy.

Get the theme here. Time has been in high demand and a precious commodity. The time needed to take Uiver to Arroyo weekly to train or Murphy to therapy came out of the normal time period where I would write, manage books, organize my office or just normal things like eating meals, cleaning, laundry and sleep. Needless to say, sleep has been almost as precious a commodity as time has been.

That brings me to circumstance number 3. Thump. You might remember, also the subject of a blog this past June, that I became the proud parent of a baby European Starling that fell out of a nest in my barn. Little did I know that my simple act of being an animal good Samaritan would lead to this little bird completing taking over my household. Much to the chagrin of my cats I might add. Thump, as he is called, has beaten all the odds and grown to adulthood and is living blissfully in my house. There were originally 2 baby birds but Thud sadly did not survive. Both of the baby birds fell a good 20 feet onto the center aisle of my barn with little more than fuzz and a few pin feathers on their bodies. In my experience very few this young survive but Thump is a fighter to say the least.

 In the first several weeks, Thump needed to go everywhere with me because he needed to be fed every 30 minutes or so during daylight hours. Thankfully baby birds generally don't feed at night so I could get some sleep. Everyone at Arroyo where Uiver and I train thought it was hysterical that I would be feeding a baby bird in my truck before and after my lessons. Of course anyone who knows me also knows that normal is not a word often associated with my life.

Inspecting a tissue box.

Waiting for the water to get warm

Taking his Bath
So caring for Thump has also become a part of the routine which includes making sure he is supplied with meal worms and crickets to eat. My friends have gotten use to the containers of worms and crickets on my counter and the cricket food in my refrigerator. Thump spends his days in a large flight cage outside on my patio and has a smaller cage in my kitchen next to my Love Bird named Chance. (Chance flew into my old barn nearly 15 years ago and has been a part of the household since.) What Thump enjoys the most is when I shut my cats in another room and Thump gets to fly freely around the house.

My poor long suffering dog having to babysit.
There are windows that separate my living room from a smaller room where the cats stay and Thump takes great joy in pecking on the glass and tormenting my cats. He gets right into their face as if to say "try to get me stupid cat, there is glass between us." Needless to say with this brazen attitude I know that turning Thump loose would probably be condemning him to death so in the household he will stay.

His favorite sport, taunting the cats

Telling what show I should watch.

I need another animal to care for like a hole in my head but what is an adopted bird mother to do. I do think now that Thump has grown into an adult that perhaps I should change his name to something more mature and sophisticated. So any suggestions?? Should I keep it the same or change it, since Thump has become a permanent circumstance in my life.


Anonymous said...

Some names:
Mercury [or "Freddie" ;) ]

A lot of these I don't necessarily think are such great names as they are funny. I am trying to imagine a "Reginald" flying around. Silly!

Linda Benson said...

Oh gosh, Terri - you are such a kind-hearted soul. I loved this post. And I think Thump is a perfect name. Why give up his heritage? Besides, there's such a great story that goes with it! Keep up the good work, Terri, and I hope your load lightens soon. ;-)

C.E. Wolfe said...

ooooh he is so cute!!! Thank you for saving him and caring for him. I think Thump is a perfectly good name. When I was a kid we kept taking in stray neighborhood cats and we always had intentions of giving them a proper name but whatever we had nicknamed them as strays tended to stick forever. For instance, "Stumpy" the tom cat who only had half a tail. Now, we were rather embarrassed by the dumb names our cats had taken on so when we took them to the vet, we announced their names as something more normal. So every cat had a name and a vet name. So there was Stumpy (Hans), Moo-Moo Kins (Amy), Cow-cow (black and white cat, vet name Clarissa), Keeton (varation of "kitten", vet name Missy), Baby (Max), etc etc. Anyways, you know him as Thump, why not keep it? He is adorable. :)

Martine said...

Why would you change his name? Thump he is and Thump he should stay! He is a very handsome boy!

Laura Crum said...

Terri--I always knew you were a saint. What a great story. I'd leave his name Thump, but I don't like changing an animal's name if they've had it awhile. Some of my horses have come to me with names I wasn't crazy about, but that was their name, you know? So I'd let him stay Thump. Good wishes to all of you--can't wait to hear about your triumphs in the dressage arena.

Alison said...

I agree with the rest -- Thump is perfect. He needs to have his own children's book.

And Bravo for finding time to take photos and blog during this crazy time!

timaru star ii said...

I'm unable to resist a suggestion. Possibly extend the name when formality (maturity?!) is needed:

Francesca Prescott said...

Love that you have him flying around your house, and that he comes and sits on your hand and on the dog! And yes, you are a saint for going to all that trouble to care for him when he was a baby! And he totally needs to be the hero of a children's story...

I'm looking forward to hearing about Uilver (sp?!)...please tell us soon :)

PS: he should keep his name. It's perfect :)

Terri Rocovich said...

ABS... Maybe I should go with Trump, then write a book about him (the bird that is) and then be rich like the real Trump. It is nice to dream.

Thanks Linda, I must admit I get great enjoyment and am very entertained by this little bird. Makes all the work worth it.

C.E. Wolfe - OMG that is so funny about the stray cats. I have a cat named Piper who is so named because she was rescued from the tail pipe of a car.

Terri Rocovich said...

Ok, Martine, Laura, Alison so the vote is in and Thump he shall stay. I love the idea of making him the star of a children's book. It definitely tells a good story of perserverance and survival. His daily antics gives me plenty of subject matter.

Timaru, maybe I will call him Thumper when he is bad like whenever my Mom would call me Teresa I knew I was really in for it.

And Francesca I promise my next post with be about my wonderful Uiver. It is all good news and I will give you a hint, we will be learning a new FEI test for our next show.

Thank you everyone for such great comments.