Friday, January 15, 2016

Enter chaos...

Today started out normally enough.  It was a chilly 5 degrees outside when I went to tend to the animals, but all was well.

 My first customer was due at 9:00. At 8:30 I was upstairs getting dressed and beating my hair into submission when I heard a very forceful banging on my door. I hustled down the steps and let my customer in, my hair asunder.  But then I got an early start on his dog, which was a good thing because at 9:00 a customer arrived who was not on my schedule.  He was happy to sit and have a cup of coffee and a brownie while I finished up dog #1, and I was only about 10 minutes behind, so all was well.  Got his dog done and my next dog arrived.  He is one that takes me two or more hours to do, so his owner dropped him off and I got him all handsome right on time.

My next customer of the day was a friend who used to work in a grooming shop, with two little dogs that belong to a relative.  I was looking forward to a pleasant visit with her, and I had a 15 minute  break before she came so I walked my dogs outside, took some hay to the hoof stock, checked on the rabbit, chickens and ducks, and even grabbed a snack for myself.  My friend arrived and we began chatting happily while I washed her first dog.  Then I noticed an unexpected car in the driveway and realized it was another customer that I did not have on my calendar. To make matters worse, they have two dogs.  My friend saw the look of horror on my face, and I explained that somehow I must have missed a page when I moving dates from my '15 calendar to the new one for this year.  She said, "We can do this. I'll help."  She strapped a bathing apron over her pretty outfit and in no time was drying her own dog while I washed the new-comers.  Just then, another car pulled in.  I was tempted to put a gun to my head.  I peered, in dry mouthed horror, to see who emerged.  To my great delight, it was my wonderful friend who was very, VERY kindly bringing my goat Ella home.

 Ella had spent a few delightful weeks at her farm.  We were hoping she would be bred by my friends buck, but alas, this didn't happen.  It is very cold, and I was worried about bringing Ella home in the back of my truck, so my kind friend tucked her into her warm station wagon and drove the long ride her to return her.  What a PAL! I was really happy to see my friend, but it still meant I had to pull my boots on, run outside and kiss my goat, then get her settled back into the pasture.   I noticed my friend had her little dog with her.  Desperate to repay her kindness, I offered to give it a bath while she ran some errands.  She agreed.  Add one more dog to the nuttiness.

 No sooner had I gotten back inside and working on a dog when my farriers truck swung up to the end of the driveway. For non-horse readers, the farrier is the wonderful, talented person who trims horses hooves and puts shoes on them (where applicable.)  I knew my farrier was coming sometime in the afternoon, and here, at the height of mayhem, while I was grooming as fast as I could and trying to keep everything together, he was.

Again, boots on, out to the pasture.  "Chanel!" I called.

Such a good pony, her head flew up and she trotted to the gate.  Thankfully she is an angel for the farrier, so I handed him his money and a brownie for a snack, and left him to his own devices.  I was able to finish grooming the four dogs, and visit with my friend a little more.  Since she had been so kind to help me with my scheduling error, I refused to let her pay for the haircuts on her pets.  I heaved a sigh of relief, a hectic spell had been managed, nicely, with her help.

I had a 10 minute break after she left. I tucked the poultry into their coops for the night, threw out a little more hay, and fed the dogs.  When my next two dogs arrived I was sad to see that they were both in hard shape.  They had been down south playing at a beach for the past few weeks, and their hair was very tangled.  What would normally take me 2 hours took almost 4... of challenging work.

But I managed it, tucked a roast in the oven, cleaned the studio, filled the hay racks for the night and came inside to do dog laundry and get into my fuzzy jammies.  It was a hectic day.  The muscles in my shoulders are hard as rocks. But the jobs were done and done well.  Hopefully the wench that messed up my schedule (me!) will not create such havoc in the future. At least, not in the near future.

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