Well, one good thing has come out of all of this lameness business: FarmWife, in my eyes, has gotten her muleness back.
Before I wound up three-legged lame a week ago, this was the routine: 8:30 am, hay thrown. 9 am, grain dumped in my bucket. Troughs checked. Four pm, hay thrown. Stall mucked out. Friendly overtures made by FarmWife and refused by me. Ear rubs for Arrietty only. Eight pm, hay thrown.
Since I wound up three-legged lame a week ago, this has been the routine: 8:30 am, hay thrown. Concern expressed. 9 am, grain dumped in my bucket. Troughs checked. 9:10 am, halter applied. 9:10 to 9:30, feet picked, soaked, poulticed, etcetera. 9:30 am, shed mucked out. Four pm, shed mucked out again. Shavings topped up. Hay thrown. Feet looked at again. Friendly overtures made by FarmWife and accepted by me. Ear rubs all around. Eight pm, hay thrown. More concern expressed.
FarmWife has always loved me, you know, since before I was even hers. The thing is, she's been job hunting (taxing) and working a lot (taxing) and feeling like we mules needed more time and money from her than she could provide (taxing). Now, we need from her just exactly what she CAN provide: a half an hour a day, a little bit of attention, and lots of love. Also the occasional vet visit, with which some of you have so kindly assisted. (Poetry buyers: your first drafts are already in the works!)
Since the vet was here a week ago, I've improved considerably (I'm now back to 95% sound, though I never did have an abscess blow out) AND my relationship with FarmWife is sunnier than it has been for a while. When she stopped riding me two years ago because of my hocks, she thought I'd lap up retirement like a thirsty dog. Actually, I have been missing my time with her.
It turns out that time together is good for any relationship, even if one of the parties has to spend that time with his feet in buckets.