A Short Excerpt From The Book
A Small Tidbit From the Book: The $700 Pony Goes To the Vet
I am an Efficiency Machine.
The $700 Pony needs to go to the vet. The dog also needs to go to the vet. The only time vet can see both is at the
day and time usually set aside for my son’s playgroup. So, I scheduled my ever patient Mom to come down to watch
both children and scheduled playgroup to be at my house while I take said Pony and dog to the vet at the same time.
And now, with the help that happy bastard, Hindsight, let’s revisit the above thinking.
The $700 Pony needs to go to the vet so she can have shots and draw blood for Coggin’s so she can move to The
Fancy Schmancy facility (with indoor) that has agreed to take her scruffy green self for a sum equal per month to
more than my layer hens and I make in a year (yeah, employed husband!).
Pony will probably load on trailer because she loaded on trailer when I bought her. I have conveniently blocked out
that it actually took four husky men to hustle her onto the trailer, but despite my startling efficiency, I have been know
to overlook a detail now and again. I had planned to load her a few times preemptively, but the best laid plans of
mice and men are often foreshortened by warfarin. Or something like that.
The dog needs to go to vet for annual rabies shot immediately in order to meet our annual dog registration date. We
live in a town that would make John Mellencamp feel like a big city boy. If you register a dog in 2004 and fail to
register it in 2005, at some point when our local Officers of the Law are not too busy (re: Monday through Sunday),
they will stop by to see if said dog has expired or if you are in violation of the Local Dog Registration Ordinance. The
officers are great guys, and despite my illicit cell phone habits, I make a fairly concerted effort to stay on their side of
The dog is an unfortunate psycho mutt who has reached the unhappy age of 7 without gaining any of the emotional
maturity one expects of a dog of 7. She was begging for a lobotomy and heaven help me should I ever get in range
with a nail gun.
My son and playgroup a are a delightful, frolicking group of 2 year olds. They are such a hoot! For those of you not
well acquainted with human offspring, think “weanlings.” Joyful, gamboling, boisterous, and nearly impossible to
I am a moron.
First, for animal welfare concern reasons that involve the falling down ruin of a barn the Pony was currently housed
in, not to mention the lack of fencing, running water or other 20th century luxuries my good vet was probably used to
seeing on her farm calls, I was hauling the $700 Pony to the vet. My trailer is a gooseneck. This meant that Psycho
Mutt was going to be riding inside the truck with me. Merde.
Stoically, I loaded Psycho Mutt in the cab. Unfortunately, Psycho Mutt and I do not have the best relationship. In part
because while she and I share a fondness for chickens. I am their caretaker and nurturer, while she runs them
down and slaughters them in cold blood. Can you see the problem?
Dogs and their relationships to people, I would like to point out, exist on an interesting continuum. They range
basically from “Dog as Surrogate Child” to “Dog as Farm Implement.” Can you guess on which end of the spectrum
Psycho Mutt resides? I’ll give you a hint; hey if my haybine suddenly went berserk and started killing chickens, I’d be
in the market for a new haybine, let me tell you! Ah, well, Psycho Mutt and my husband were a package deal. Enough
said on that topic.
So, I was not excited about having her ride in the cab with me. And unfortunately, she was so excited about going for
a ride in the truck (despite the fact that the only place she ever goes is to the Vet – more than one can short of a six
pack, this one) that I was a little concerned that the adrenaline rush was going to blow her puny brain right out
through her ears. Instead, she limited herself to flinging herself around the pickup cab with supreme abandon,
spraying canine saliva all over the inside of my truck. Ew.
Second, I have not actually had time to see if the $700 Pony will in fact get back on the trailer. Of course, the $700
Pony does not want to get in the trailer. Why would she? She has no desire to leave her 150 chicken new best
friends behind, right?
Third, the trailer was within site of the cavorting 2 year old playgroup. Small human children are the most adorable
little things. At least, if you are their parents. Probably less so if you are a $700 Pony.
So there I was with grain and lunge whip in hand slowly coaxing the $700 Pony onto the ramp when the pack of little
darlings caught sight of the $700 Pony. All heck broke loose. Mommyponyponyponyponypony!”
“Horsiehorsiehorsiehorsie” “Neighneighneighneigh” and then of course my son who has the inside track “That’
They looked like a pack of young thoroughbreds at the track, barely restrained by their outriders. Until, unlike at the
track, they broke free from their mommy handlers and in a swarming mass, charged down the hill toward me and
the unfortunate $700 Pony.
Psycho Mutt, seeing the seething mass of 2 year olds, lost her mind completely, and, I swear, tried to turn herself
inside out! And nearly succeeded! All you could see in the cab of the truck was a frenzy of flying fur and saliva as she
flung herself again and again against the door, hoping against hope that a miracle would occur, that she would
discover she had grown an opposable thumb and would be able to let herself out of the cab.
I looked at the $700 Pony and she looked at me. “Pony,” I said, “Now would be a really good time to just hop right on
the trailer.” She pondered this for a split second, glanced up at the converging mass of tiny humans, glanced at the
nearly inside out canine inside the cab of the truck and hopped up into the trailer. With bare nanoseconds to spare, I
hauled up the ramp, as what seems like several hundred pounds of frenetic human two year old, driven down the
hill by the perpetual energy supplied by an overabundance of animal crackers and apple juice whumped into the
So, while I am a moron, the $700 Pony is not.