July 18, 2011
The other afternoon, Caregivers noticed Ronnie was walking with her right front leg very stiff, swinging it forward in an arc with each step. She didn't appear uncomfortable or in any pain. In fact, she wandered from grazing spot to grazing spot with her usual speed. The next day, the arc was slightly less, but Ronnie still kept her leg straight. She and Debbie have made their way up the hill, so it's clearly not keeping her from her normal activities. We are giving Ronnie an anti-inflammatory twice daily for the next few days to help her recover as swiftly as possible, but we are not sure what caused this injury. It could be something as simple as playing too roughly with Debbie or tripping over something in the habitat. In any event, Ronnie seems completely unperturbed by it, as she climbs hills and dusts vigorously in very typical ways.
Recently in Phase 1 Yard, Caregivers tried giving Billie a new toy. Real simple—just a giant plastic cube (well technically it's rectangular) with 2 of the corners cut off so that it could hold treats. They were all excited about it until Billie walked over, flipped it once or twice, causing all the treats to come out way too easily, and then she was done! Next time, Caregivers will cut smaller holes to make it more of a enrichment challenge for Billie!
This week in Asia, Tarra has been venturing around the property searching out the extra goodies that the Girls who have been under the weather might be leaving behind. First she visited with Dulary and Misty and seemed disappointed at the lack of extras that greeted her arrival last time. Misty is pretty much back to her normal self, with Dulary following close behind. They are both still a little picky with hay, so there was some of that around for Tarra to finish up, but all of the produce that is given to these Girls was eaten up, so it was time for Tarra to move on. She traveled through the North Gate and headed down the road, and when a Caregiver was out dropping hay and extra produce for Sis and Winks, there was an "err err" noise coming around the bend that was unmistakably Miss Tarra. She stayed at a distance for a bit, then wandered right over. All of the Ladies were very excited with the visit. Tarra must have decided that being with Sis and Winks was the place to be, because that is where she has remained. With the three of them together, it is almost impossible for Sissy to get all of the extra produce she is being fed, but she gets the majority of it by the time Tarra decides to back up to her from one side, while Winkie approaches from the other when she has finished her meal. Sissy is relishing in the new company right now, so all is well. Her favorite is still "calf manna," always looking for that first, and then if necessary, taking her food bucket with her so she does not have to share with her friends. Sissy is eating her grain well and most of her produce—although sometimes she eats it rather slowly. While we never see her eat hay, it is present in her dung, and she is usually grazing when someone arrives on the four-wheeler. Throughout her illness, Sissy's demeanor has been great—as soft and sweet as ever. We'll continue to keep a close eye on her recovery.