The sanctuary plans to build a memorial garden for donkeys like Arnie who have ‘made their mark”’ over the years.
I write this from within Casa del Pero where once again I reside, maligned by my mother as a “bank balance-draining, heart attack-inducing, ulcer-causing, methane-producing waste of oxygen” (interspersed with other adjectives that I am too much of a gentleman to repeat). I don’t know about you, but I think she might be mildly miffed with me?
Pray tell what has caused this level of angst for her to suggest that trees are needlessly working their roots off to provide me with oxygen to sustain my pitiful existence? Well, I’ll be honest here folks, it’s not WHAT but WHO; a deadly combination of Herman the German Needle Man and Cool New Shoes Man (CNSM) who descended within hours of each other last Friday and left mother in a mood blacker than the inside of the under-stairs cupboard in Hades…
It started off so promisingly, Herman arrived and I was paraded in front of him like a Russian mail order bride before being made to run alongside Dad up the drive and back down. Dad is not as good a distraction as when mum runs (he doesn’t have her fun bags to draw the eye away from my feet…) so I did hide behind him for most of the way.
As we pulled up Herman was heard to mutter to mother that if this had been a vetting he would have suggested wind issues, lack of fitness, bilateral lameness and a reluctance to move forward off the leg and would have suggested her to walk away. The horse he would have said to buy – an excellent equine specimen .
Having passed the “can I run faster than Dad” test, I was then lunged on “intermittent hard and soft ground”, which to the uninitiated means lunging on the boss lady’s once pristine lawn (ooops sorry about that) and the driveway. Herman looked thrilled, Mother looked at the divots in the boss lady’s lawn and looked mortified and Dad was too busy trying to remember how to breathe to notice anything.
Apparently, I looked “great” and Herman was very very pleased with the outcome of the stem cell treatment. Not as pleased as mother’s bank manager I can assure you, but still I basked in the reflected glory of my incredible powers of recovery and the excitement of being allowed to do something (anything!) more than trot round in ruddy circles.
So, all was going well then, I hear you say. Yep, everything was great… For the precisely two hours that elapsed between this visit and CNSM arriving. At which point things went down the toilet faster than British politics…
CNSM took off my shoe on the previously damaged and now stem cell-injected foot and immediately wrinkled his nose in disgust like a member of society’s elite invited to dinner at a Weatherspoon’s. Something was clearly not quite right, and mother responded with the barely-concealed panic of a Weight Watchers coach caught at Cadbury World.
More digging with various tools, some muted swearing while mother’s anxiety levels escalated like tensions in the gulf, and CNSM was officially “not happy”. In essence the area of my foot where the surgeons cut the hole in the sole earlier this year has gone a bit “spongy” – note the incredible technical language here. CNSM is worried that putting a shoe back over it is providing a breeding ground for bacteria, which could lead to a repeat of Barry the biomass that was found on my pedal bone in January. CNSM suggested he would liaise with Herman to agree the best way forward, but in the meantime for mother to poultice my foot all weekend to see if any “gunk” (by this stage, the level of technical speak was so high I was positively bamboozled) came out.
Credit: Simon Horn
Credit: Coxwell Stud
‘My daughters are going to do young handler classes with him. They’re really small but he’s very gentle and loves
He rapidly finished my other feet and backed away from mothers’ tangible air of desolation faster than an Italian tank driver. He clearly doesn’t handle tears and snot too well, which I understand completely, so I’m thinking he got back in his van to sob in private…
I was left alone with a murderous-looking mother, gamgee and a roll of gaffer tape – people I was in fear of my life. I suffered the lengthy tirade about my attention-seeking, self-harming tendencies and my ongoing desire to make sure that Herman can finish the new north wing of Herman Towers at the expense of my mother ever bearing witness to a bank account that isn’t red in her lifetime, and was turned back out in my field. It’s fair to say a blind man with the emotional intelligence of a lump of Portland cement could see she wasn’t happy.
The weekend produced minimal “gunk” (see I could be a farrier…) and a cunning plan involving me not having an shoes on for a while and some other fancy foot freakery has been hatched meaning that I am rideable in the school (more ruddy circles) for now and will have shoes back on for mother’s return to the saddle in five to six weeks time (deep joy).
If in the meantime someone could equally come up with a plan to make mother marginally less murderous, much less moody and possibly slightly less skint I’m all ears…