07 May 2006

Shearing Day/Entering the War Zone

The camera batteries have been recharged, so I have some promised photos. It's a beautiful, sunny morning, so I thought that the dandelion patch that is our sideyard would be a good place to snap a pic of one of my test swatches of the lace heart motif. The final product will be, as I said before, in the same yarn in a baby blue.

Yesterday was shearing day here on the farm. Since it was also a work night for me, I wasn't up for much of it, but I did get up in time to snap a pic of the shorn boys.

I was also up just in time to help catch David's boy, Kozmo, and Stonington, the other silver grey boy on the farm. Kozmo has a reputation of being the hardest to catch and the biggest badass on the farm. Once he was down and in the restraints for the shearing, though, he was pretty well-behaved. He didn't even squeal over getting a pedicure, which he usually hates, at the same time.

War Zone

The line of cars when I pulled into the parking lot at work was a bad sign - a very, very bad sign. I walked in the door to pure & absolute chaos. The waiting room was standing room only, and our work area reminded me of the scene in Brazil where the workmen have disemboweled the ductwork in Sam Lowry's apartment. One of the other daytime docs who wasn't even scheduled to work had stopped by and stayed for 5 hours to help, but there was still a 3 hour backlog of cases waiting to be seen.

So I quickly changed into my scrubs and set to work trying to deal with everything that was waiting. I saw 16 cases in the first 4 hours - standard fare for a day practice seeing vaccine appointments, but an insane pace for an emergency clinic. New cases eventually stopped coming in, which allowed me to get caught up on surgical cases by about midnight. I managed to get caught up on all the paperwork by 5AM, just in time for more cases to come in. The last few were straightforward, though, and I finished up at a remarkably reasonable time.

Sad News

I found out earlier in the week and had forgotten to mention it here that Mr. Tittlesworth had to be euthanized. The lump that I had seen him for on his last visit turned out to be cancerous. I had not been able to get any malignant cells from it at the time I saw him, but I had warned his owner that it was still a possibility. She was, as I had predicted, devastated, but she brought us a book on hedgehogs and two photos of him in a frame. He was hiding his face in both photos, so they look rather more like photos of a scouring pad, but at least we know who they're of.


Sean said...

WOW, crazy night, eh?

Do alpaca really hate shearing day? It would seem that they don't like the restraints...kind of like being on the rack!

Mel said...

They do get a bit worked up, but once they're restrained they actually will usually just give up and remain fairly still. An experienced shearer can do a full clip within a few minutes, so as a once a year thing, it's not that bad for them. It's also important to reduce the risk of heat stress during the summer months.