The day before yesterday Sheila pulled up lame, by that afternoon she was not walking at all.
This happens to Sheila sometimes, she had been out in the field and I think she trips on the ruts, or the coming rain upsets her bones but usually it is the hip that was gouged by the boar. This time it was a front hoof. Pigs are long and very finely balanced. A three legged pig does not hop along like a dog does. A three legged pig is like a bridge trying to walk, it can’t. So she lay down and by yesterday morning she had been lying down for way too long.
I treated her with her usual three aspirin and 6 arnica in an apple three times a day. Handfeeding her only fruit and vegetables and milk. This time I sat by her belly and stroked her and told her to roll over until she wriggled right on to her side and stuck all four feet out. Gently I explored the painful foot as we talked quietly to each other. She told me where it hurt, grunting and wincing so through-out the day we repeated this with me stroking the whole leg with whispery fingertips, brushing tissue thin fingertip runs down the swollen joint, out through the toes, then flicking my fingers in the air. I have always done it like this. Drawing the pain away. It is important to shake your fingers after each stroke so the pain does not store itself in your own joints. (That sounds very weird written down but it makes perfect sense to me who knows where I learnt it.) Once while I was doing this, sat into her belly, Poppy came up from the other side and lay her head onto Sheila. She stood there with her head rested on Sheila’s upturned side, quietly watching. Sheila and I talked to each other for a while and soon we heard a soft snore. Poppy was fast asleep, standing up, eyes closed, head laid heavily on Sheila. TonTon laid at her side. Both fast asleep.
“Kids.” snorted Sheila, stretching her leg out. Though technically Ton is older than Sheila it always surprises me that anyone is older than Sheila at all.
Late yesterday afternoon I went in with a bowl of fruit and milk for Sheila, up until then she had been eating and drinking lying down. I passed a mountain of steaming poo (2 days worth) and smiled happily. Sheila lifted her head and smiled as well. She had been up, accomplished her toilet and then limped back to bed. Good Sheila.
By yesterday evening she was standing up and using the walls of the corridor as a crutch as she limped slowly along to the big water barrel. Sliding along like an old lady with her hand on the banister.
The thing with Sheila is when I say Good Girl Sheila she lifts her head to look me in the eye. She hears me encouraging her, and tries harder so I say it again. She wants to get it right. She has a way with her this pig.
I worked in the barns all day yesterday. I am well again and more than happy to be back outside. Our John was home for the day so he helped with the heavy work and anything that needed a drill and two people, he put new windows into the West barn and changed all the spent light bulbs in both barns.
So now we have light. I worked on closing up both barns and securing all the doors for the coming cold. Layering more straw into the beds. Filling up the waters. We had a lovely warm spell. Not like this time last year. And look where I was the year before that. And this from 2011. Goodness we have been around a while you and I.
Not you though Elsie. You are a new member, still watching you are. Its hard being the new guy.
Good morning. I am off out to see how Sheila is. I think she will just keep on getting better now. I will let you know how she is in the Lounge of Comments.
I hope you all have a lovely day.
Love your friend on the farmy,