Sunday, 22 August 2010

The Pupillage Fairy and (non) Flying Pigs

As mentioned in my previous post, Bar-Os is poorly. His digestive system isn't working as well as it should and he's had a few bouts of mild colic. He's not really one to suffer in silence and stamps his feet if he needs 'the slave' (me) to attend - this has meant that I've had quite a few disturbed nights. On Wednesday night, I awoke at 1am to hear him stamping, did a quick check and went back to bed. At 4 am he was stamping his feet again, so I went back out, only to find that he was staring out of his window looking quite worried. I assumed that a local cat had startled him and thought nothing more of it. I gave him a jam butty laced with 'bute' pain-killer just in case he had a mild colic and crawled back to bed.

The next evening I was very tired. I thought I heard squealing at the back of Bar-Os' stable, but put it down to tiredness and an over active imagination on my part. On Friday, I went to get Bar-Os in from the paddock and lo and behold, there were 2 pigs munching away on a neighbours lawn. There was no-one else in sight and the pigs were making their way towards the road, so I decided to do the decent thing and try to get them to safety. Mmm, it would appear that pigs have a mind of their own and don't take lightly to being ushered around. Cars were passing by and the occupants were looking both bewildered and amused as I smiled sheepishly and shrugged my shoulders at the mayhem the porkies were causing. One driver scowled meanly at me and pursed his lips. "It's not my bloody fault; they're not mine" I said. Eventually the piggies made their way up a drive towards a crab apple tree, where they happily munched their way through the windfalls, pausing only to have a scrap amongst themselves over the spoils on offer. To be honest, I was quite relieved to discover that I wasn't going mad when I thought I'd heard squealing, and that the pigs had been going awol for several days on the trot (or should that be trotter). Poor Bar-Os must have woken from his slumber to see piggies parading past his stable and had stamped his feet for the slave to make them go away.

To date, I haven't managed to get a pupillage, but have sent off a few non-olpas applications; one to a chambers where I've recently done a mini-pupillage - time will tell whether they liked me or not. I have also gotten through to a second round on-line process for another pupillage and did an on-line test earlier today. Goodness me, 6 years of LLB, 2 years of BVC, and we still have to do tests to see if we are really fik or not. I'm entered for the 2012 Olympic Games for the Jumping Through Hoops competition. I must admit that when I finished BVC I was sick of the sight of law, but my interest in it has re-emerged and I really do want a pupillage; along with several thousand others unfortunately!

Day job is busy, which is just as well, as I seem to be keeping the vet in the style to which he has become accustomed. No matter how well I try to plan my finances, it always seems to be the case that the unexpected empties my bank account. Oh well, the weather has been lovely and I've much to be grateful for.

Friday, 6 August 2010

Sad Times

Oh well, I might as well tell you - Bar-Os is very ill.

He hasn't been 'right' for some time and I've made excuses not to ride him because I just felt that there was something that I couldn't quite put my finger on. Family members told me that I was worrying over nothing - his coat was shiny, his eyes bright, good appetite, no weight loss, no obvious signs of pain... But he was a little too well behaved for my liking, like he couldn't be quite bothered to be his usual cheeky self. Of course the warm weather seemed a likely cause of his laid back attitude and the flies have been awful this year...

He was well behaved with the farrier and there was no sign of the usual (effortless on Bar-Os' part) tug of war with the arrogant apprentice, who somehow thinks he's stronger than a horses back leg!

Anyway, following his breakfast last Thursday he went down with colic. I called the vet out and she tentatively diagnosed Cauda Equina Syndrome - it was something that she'd read about in the text books, but had never seen for herself. 2 more vets looked him over and it is more or less confirmed that he has CES. The second vet said that he'd seen 2 cases during his many years in practice, both fatal. The third vet seemed slightly more optimistic, but by no means certain that it won't get worse. The disease seems to often be caused by some other illness or infection and it kinda kicks in as an aftershock - it's a bit like M.E. I suppose, but causes paralysis of the 'rear end', along with lethargy. Spinal injury can also cause CES, but he's had no tumbles and the vet couldn't find any sore spots along his back. His blood count shows no raised white cell count, but he has a mild anaemia.

At the moment the paralysis hasn't spread to his back legs, but he has a limp tail, a weak bladder and can't pooh by himself (I have a plentiful supply of shoulder length disposable gloves and lubrication gel - I'll leave you to guess the rest). In order to save his dignity, we have told all of his equine friends that as a (putative) barrister's horse, he's far too posh to push.

Anyways, I'm sorry that this post couldn't be more entertaining, but it feels quite cathartic to share the worry.