Sine Wave on a Slope

I was reading about weather patterns yesterday morning and ‘like a sine wave on a slope’ was a phrase I read. And I liked the sound of it. They were talking about the earth cooling down slowly into the winter – then warming slowly back up towards summer.  The sine wave oscillating up and down, up and down further, then up and down even further.  But I just loved that phrase. ‘like a sine wave on a slope’ – it seemed to describe mankind. I love the word oscillating too. Reminds me of a dancing child with two tunes in her head and a cupcake in her hand.


The vet came and spent some time with Tane and as he has treated the little boar for this condition before and watched the decline in the dexterity of his back end, he has concluded that he probably has a degenerative congenital spinal problem.  Not a bung hip as previously thought. Tane is not very old you know.  Naturally there is a proper name for this condition but I cannot remember it. It may be that he was born with vertebrae that do not meet properly or they are drifting apart as he gets older and heavier- he always did have a wild waddly walk.  But basically it is his spine that is letting him down – not his hip. That is why  he is leaning heavily on his two front feet. We watched him toddle about with his odd balletic walk thinking what to do. Then I fed Tima an extra treat to keep her from interfering and Tane quickly turned on his front feet, lifted his back feet and swung his bum into a wide turn,  like a bride swishing her train out behind her, then gambling away at speed rushed over to Tima, wacked her in the head and stole her food – the vet grunted and agreed that he  was doing ok. So we are starting a new anti inflammatory that also relieves pain but does not have the nasty side effects of prednisone and see if he improves.

Then we will take him off it as a trial. If he is worse without it then he will work out a dose that he can take daily for as long as he needs it – which will  be the rest of his life. Because in the long term he will get worse. But we will cross that bridge when we come to it. Sheila and cowsSheila is now living with cows. Because she hates pigs she is a bit of a problem in the winter with enclosed spaces being in short supply and she refusing to share. And she hates to be locked up in an interior pen.

So I decided to try her with cows. Yesterday the new calf shelter in the old rat house was finished. The Rat House opens into Sheila’s little field that we call the Salad Bar. So, I nailed a board across the entrance to Sheila’s suite so the cows could not go in there but she could go in and out, then opened the gate from the Rat House paddock to the Salad Bar and let the young cows through so they could inspect their new winter digs (the gates will remain open for the winter) and watched closely to see what Sheila would do.

She did nothing – in fact as they came through into her field she calmly sauntered past them and into theirs.  In the evening she just wandered off to her bed and they wandered off to theirs – no drama at all. So all is well and Sheila does not have to be locked up  in a small space for the winter – she will be free to wander half the farm with the calves.pig and calf

You never know – she might even sleep with them if she gets too cold. The dairy cows have the other half of the farm.  I always feed the cows as far away from their barns as I can go – exercise is important in the winter.

I am pleased. Another problem solved and help on the way for Tane.

I hope you have a lovely day.

More fencing for me!



47 Comments on “Sine Wave on a Slope

  1. That’s good news about Tane! Sheila looks quite small in the pictures until you realise there’s a cow standing behind her 🙂

          • She’s a beautiful pig! And I’m so glad there’s help for Tane. My potbelly Roosevelt developed severe arthritis in his spine to the point he totally resisted rising when he was laying down. Sadly I had to let him go but he was 11 years old! As everyone said yesterday, if it gets too bad he will let you know one way or the other and that makes that awful decision some little bit easier.

  2. Such a relief to read your blog, where problems are dealt with one at a time, with heart and good sense. Never giving up. Always looking forward. Having faith in the way things are and they way they will be. A perfect antidote to the news. Thank you, Celi!!

      • Could even the barometric changes affect him? The ribs I broke some 16 years ago are stabbing me unmercifully the last two days as a cold front approaches. If that’s the case maybe cold packs would help when changes are in the air.

  3. So pleased there is a solution for Tane, fancy Sheila being willing to reach a compromise 🙂 Laura

    • I am sure it is a very delicate compromise – last night she ate her dinner while they watched her – not one cow got too close to try and steal a bite so i think they will be ok.. c

  4. So glad Tane showed the vet he was doing okay and what a smile your description brought to my face!

  5. I too have spinal degenerative disc disease that started at 48 years of age, too young to have health problems. I too, like Tane, have pain in my hips and am glad no one has decided to put me down because of it.

  6. Maybe a t-shirt campaign can help with expenses for Tane’s meds. My little dog Bear has a spine issue (some long name I can’t pronounce) that he’s likely had since birth. We’ve kept him quiet – no jumping on furniture or strenuous activity, and on a low-dose med. He does fine. I was so happy to read about Sheila and the cows, and the rhythm of movement towards the winter season. Animals are so resilient.

    • My little guy Mac has a hinky disc also, he doesn’t require daily meds, only a course of metacalm when it acts up. Wish I could find something for the hinky disc in MY neck – ha.

  7. Mending fences…. hum…. lots of that is needing to happen figuratively too. Happy and sad about Tane. Happy you can work a little while longer with medication, but sad that his days will be shortened. But as you say, a short life that is good, is still a good life.

    I hope Sheila does accept the cows. Maybe she thinks she is part cow and not all pig? She was around some very good Mamma Cows as a youngster … Daisy what a sweetie she was.

  8. Glad to hear that you have some promising help for Tane’s issues. Degenerative things can be so difficult. Wonderful for Sheila to have a less restrictive environment! She really does not know she is a pig!

  9. I’m glad there is a plan for Tane, it is always nice to have a plan of action. Sheila sharing her space with cows! 😃

      • Me again, have you let his breeder know of this? Hopefully he/she would consider it when breeding from his line.

  10. Tane will be fine. He has a decent vet, and a lot of affection and goodwill pointed his way. You can live a pretty decent life even with quite a lot of pain. I hope your sine wave doesn’t dip too deeply this winter, that the wood, the hay, the feed, etc, last as long as they need to, and that the creatures will be warm and safe, and that you, Miss C, also stay warm and safe, even if your clown pants are not the most fetching garments you own.

  11. Glad to hear there is some help for Tane. If he’s using his bum to help him get things he wants I’d say he’s a pretty adaptable fellow. Sheila looks quite content being with the cows. Enjoy the lovely weather.

  12. Yes I’m also glad Tame performed for the doc. Seeing Tane in action maybe turned the tide!

  13. I am thinking about the calendars again. I am so happy with the one I bought last year and am hoping they will be offered again.

    On a personal note I started to get sick with bronchitis since Oct , 4. I took 2 rounds of antibiotics and just today am feeling crappy. It is said that one purpose of illness is to make us appreciate health. I am there in spades. Much love, Your Gayle

  14. And once again you are a living example that life is best lived in the moment in front of you, doing the practical things you can to improve the moment and place you inhabit. I have spent the last 2 days overwhelmed by large events I cannot change. And the reality is that life lived is in the small moments and the work that is immediately in front of us. That is where the satisfaction and joy is.
    I’m glad Sheila is sorted and that Tane is on his way to being sorted.

  15. I watched too, as you and the vet “watched [Tane] toddle about with his odd balletic walk.”

    When he “turned on his front feet, lifted his back feet and swung his bum into a wide turn, like a bride swishing her train out behind her,” I smiled along with all the farmy friends.

    But when he “wacked her in the head and stole her food” I thought I shouldnt laugh. Naughty boy. Reminds me of my twin grandchildren, 6-year-olds, boy & girl. I get in trouble with their parents when I laugh at antics.

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