I had to brush 5 inches of snow off
of my truck as the diesel engine spat
fretfully to life, chugging resentfully as I
stared at the swirling snow in disbelief.
The Carpenters came on the radio and
Karen’s cheery voice informed me that
she was on top of the world. Since I
couldn’t reach through the radio and
throttle her, I flipped stations until I
found some Metallica, which better
matched my mood.
The visibility was terrible as I crawled
along the roads, praying that I wasn’t
about to drive off a steep shoulder.
Finally, I pulled up to the ranch, a
dull headache throbbing behind my
eyes. The owner was dressed in heavy
Bad weather combines with a vet
emergency to create the perfect storm.
It had been a long, tiring day. I’d just showered and was happily climbing into bed when the phone rang. Reluctantly I answered, and the worried voice on the other end made me sit up straight. “Dr. Diehl, something is very wrong with my mare. She won’t eat and she keeps pawing at the ground. You know Clover. If she’s not eating, something is really wrong!” I did know Clover. She was a sassy little mare, and absolutely lived for feeding time. If she was refusing food, she was probably about to
keel over. I asked a few more questions, and then accepted the fact that I would
not be going to bed anytime soon.
On the Move
Despite the fact that it was April, snowflakes were beginning to swirl in the
air, and it was going to be a 30-minute drive to the farm. Feeling very sorry for
myself, and cursing the fact that I lived in the Rocky Mountains, I hauled on my
long underwear, thick socks and muck boots, tied a silk scarf around my throat,
pulled on hat, gloves and heavy work coat and trudged glumly out the door.
BY COURTNEY S. DIEHL, DVM