Wednesday, October 30, 2013

I love my pony

I ended up riding last night, but heeded Amanda's warning about Lucy's attitude over the weekend, and gave her a small dose of Ace. I rode in the indoor with Maddy and Brantley. Lucy started out so quiet and just wanted to follow Brantley around the ring. The two horses walked side by side, Lucy on the inside track and Brantley on the rail. When Lucy got ahead of Brantley, she slowed down by herself to let him catch up. It was pretty cute!

We warmed up at the trot and she was happy to cruise around on a long rein. She moved off my leg well and didn't get fresh at all.

Then I picked up a bit of contact and she wasn't pleased. She swished her tail and popped her shoulder to the inside, while her nose went to the outside. I corrected her and then immediately released when she straightened out again. She tried this several times but after each correction, seemed a little more cooperative, until she finally gave up and went straight.

She also got pretty tense with the contact but I remained light and steady with my hands, and pushed her forward with my seat. She immediately relaxed through her body and into the contact. Good girl!

After I was confident that she was feeling ok and wasn't going to launch me, I asked her to pick up a little canter. She felt great!! She is so out of shape but did not motorcycle around at all, even through the turns. I could tell a huge difference between the way she felt last night and the way she felt before she had the time off to heal. She did not get upset or have a tantrum when she got heavy on the forehand and I asked her to sit back a little bit (basically a half-halt, which would have probably ended in a full-on hissy fit before). She came back nicely and listened really well. We cantered in each direction for a few minutes and I figured that was probably plenty for one ride.

I was pretty pleased with how the ride went, given my general lack of riding muscles. I tried really, really hard to stay light in my seat and hands, and balanced in the saddle.

She will have acupuncture today, lucky girl!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

the return of the Winter Horse, and the Sunshine Award

UH OH, Winter Lucy may be on her way to a triumphant return.

Amanda's ride reports went from "Lucy was so perfect!!" to "Lucy was almost perfect except for one little blip and some attitude that went away after a few minutes!" to "Lucy didn't want to walk like a normal horse for most of the ride today." to something to the effect of "Lucy was quite hoppy today!"


First of all, Lucy can shove it if she thinks this kind of nonsense is going to get her anywhere. Second, why is she acting all high and mighty? Is she not enjoying her low-stress fall foliage forest tours?

Third, you can bet I won't be getting on her if she's carrying on like this! I am at 18 weeks today and am reaching the point where any fall is a bad fall. In fact this past weekend, I faceplanted in my house when I tripped over something in a room my husband is re-doing. My dad and Kenny's dad were also there and all three of them came running over. I got up and was totally fine except for a couple bruises, but yeah, it is kind of scary falling when you're home to another little human, too!

So it seems that a few things could be the issue with horsey. Either she is sore, despite not reacting to any palpation at all and looking perfectly sound, stretching in her paddock to get under the fence boards for grass, etc; or, she is bored off her rocker and these little outbursts are ways for her to entertain herself. I'm going to go with "B" since she would gallop all day if we let her, but I will poke and prod her one last time tonight. She also has her last acupuncture appt tomorrow so I'll see what the vet thinks.

If she is in fact bored, then I'm sure we can supply her with ample stuff to do instead of standing around eating. I can do some ground work with her, like what we were working on before she had to have time off. Amanda can start doing actual schooling rides and making Lucy work a bit more. Yes, if boredom is the issue, we can work with that.

Now time for the Sunshine Award! I got nominated by two bloggers, Kate at Grey Brook Eventing and Alanna at Pony Express. Thanks ladies!

The sunshine award is for people who 'positively and creatively inspire others in the blogosphere'. The nominee of this award must do the following, thank the person who nominated them, nominate 10 bloggers of their own, answer the 10 questions given to you, post them, and add the Sunshine Award Button to the blog.

1. Mares or Gelding? Before I got Lucy, I always liked geldings better. Now that I have Lucy, I still like geldings better. Hehe.
2. English or Western? English, but I do enjoy hacking out in my Western saddle every now and again.
3. Do you prefer younger or older horses? I like middle aged horses who have been around the block a few times but are still game to try new things.
4. Have you trained a horse from ground zero? No, and I can't say I would want to.
5. Do you prefer riding or groundwork? Riding, but Maddy has taught me the value of excellent groundwork, and working on the ground is never a waste of time because those skills will always help you in the saddle!
6. Do you board your horse or keep him at home? I rough board.
7. Do you use all natural things or just commercial stuff (the products you use)? I don't have criteria for products that I buy other than "It has to work well."
8. All tacked up or bareback? I do love to ride bareback, and Lucy is surprisingly good for it.
9. Equestrian role model? I am always impressed with Reed Kessler. She seems to be very genuine, smart, is obviously talented and successful, but handles her fame and fortune well.
10. What's your one main goal while being in the horse world? Just to enjoy what I'm doing, because goodness knows this is too expensive and time consuming to do if you really don't love it!

I nominate:

Kelly of Cracker Dog Farm- not overly horsey, but such an interesting blog full of ducks and geese and chickens (and a pony named Pony). I love this blog.
Capture the Light Photo- hasn't been updated in a while but still has very educational posts on horse photography
Comedic Eventing
Foxhunting Friesian
Dreadful Acres, of CoTH fame
I is Roxie
Life of Riley
Pam's Pony Place

Contest annoucements/shares:

Check out the giveaway over at The Sprinkler Bandit, sponsored by Dream Horse Studios. I had honestly never heard of Dream Horse Studios before (I must be living under a rock?!) but their products look sooo fancy and lush, and yet they do not have $$$$$ price tags. I'd love to try their Calypso Boots with hot pink lining (duh)!

Also check out the giveaway over at The Owls Approve, sponsored by Elite Horse Products. I'd love to try their hoof oil because I'm always on the search for products to help Lucy's feet be less horrible. She's on a supplement and my farrier has worked quite a bit of magic, but I'm almost out of Farrier's Secret hoof dressing so winning this product would be useful AND timely!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Suffolk Downs CANTER New England Showcase 2013

Last Sunday, I traveled up to Suffolk Downs Racetrack with my friend Claire, and we attended the CANTER New England Showcase. Claire bought her horse Boe off the track years ago, and is an OTTB fan, so she was the perfect person to take along. All of the horses who were finishing up their race careers and not candidates for the trek down to Florida were paraded around in the Test Barn at Suffolk for a crowd of OTTB-loving people, most looking to take their next horse home. It was a very exciting day!

Before we even made it to the Test Barn, a trainer came up and offered us a horse for free. Seriously. We politely declined and kept on walking through the maze of barns until we found the crowd. It was so exciting.

Some horses walked in looking like they could take a kid in a leadline class tomorrow. Others they needed a bit of a time out to learn how to relax ;) Granted, some had raced the previous Wednesday so they were probably feeling quite full of themselves! There were some reeeeeally nice horses up for grabs. I hope a lot of them found homes.

Here are some photos! I did not write down names of horses, unfortunately.

A horse enters the test barn as everyone admires him. People came prepared
with notepads, cameras, and of course the catalog of available horses that CANTER
had made available.

The catalog had info like their names, ages, genders, race history, reason for retirement,
and any other info they could provide. The CANTER volunteers did an excellent
job!! I'm sure that was a lot of work to put together.



enough said.

This horse was quiet and so friendly! After he had been shown off, he said hello
to the crowd of potential new owners.

Talk about flashy!!! This horse was eligible to be registered as a pinto, apparently.
You can kind of see his roan ticking all over his belly. He was gorgeous.

This beautiful mare came in all braided up with a gorgeous western show halter on.

Jessica Paquette emceed the Showcase. She did a fantastic job! Some horses who
came in weren't even in the programme; they were just last-minute adds. She still
managed to get as much info as she could from the trainer and relay that to the crowd.
She let everyone know who the horse was, their age, any injuries, why they were being
retired from the track, and what disciplines they had potential for.

Some of these horses already had experience being turned out in a farm setting. Some
knew how to cross tie already. Some even had show experience!! There were so many
that I wanted to take home.

Most of the horses were shown off in-hand, but the quieter ones were actually ridden.
This mare was beautiful and very well-behaved.

There was a line of horses outside waiting to come in for their turn. They looked
beautiful out in the sunshine but I was grateful to be in the building because it was
chilly and windy.

This horse was quite full of himself. He was scared of the PA system that the
emcee was using to make sure everyone could hear her. Each time his trainer
walked him by the speakers, he had a fit, his hind end kicking out toward the crowd.
Hopefully he finds a nice home where he can relax and learn about speakers! lol

A trainer talks about her horse as she shows him(?) off to the crowd.

Each horse was walked up and down the test barn several times, and then trotted
out for the crowd to watch them move.

Oh my goodness, WHAT A FACE :)

This horse wasn't part of the Showcase but he was so cute standing in his stall watching
us walk by as we headed back to the car.

We had such a great time watching the Showcase. I got to see some horsey friends whom I had met on previous excursions to Suffolk, and of course it was awesome to hang out with Jessica, even though she was very busy as the emcee! I also got to meet Susan Salk, whom I've been chatting with off and on after she interviewed me for an article about Lucy for her Off-Track Thoroughbreds blog a couple years ago, but I had never met her in person. She is a huge supporter of OTTB's and I was so happy to meet her in person finally!

When we first got to the track, we stood off to the side trying to find a good spot to stand, and a lady standing next to me said, "Do you have a horse named Lucy?" She recognized me from my blog. Stardom moment, for sure! She was horse shopping so I hooked her up with Jessica, who helped her narrow down her list of horses she was interested in. I hope she found the perfect one! The crowd was excited to be there, and I know some people took horses home that day. Best of luck to anyone who bought a horse off Suffolk this year and if you see a photo of your horse in this blog, send me an email and I'd be happy to send you the photo.

On the way home to Rhode Island, we stopped in at SmartPak's retail store in Natick and fawned over the gorgeous tack, blankets, halters, clothing, and other merchandise before heading upstairs to the bargain area. If you have never been to SmartPak's store, make a pilgrimage. The bargain area is like the forbidden cave in the Aladdin movie. So many treasures!!  I bought Cairo a new ThermoManager dog coat for TEN BUCKS on clearance. There is nothing wrong with it at all!! Retail was almost $40. I couldn't believe it.

I also bought a really nice fleece-lined saddle cover for $19 that had someone else's initials embroidered on it. I haven't decided if I'm going to remove that embroidery with a seam ripper (time consuming, but not complicated), or if I'm going to sew some kind of patch over it. Retail for the saddle cover was $40 so I am happy with that bargain. A lot of the merchandise in the bargain area is stuff that people ordered and had personalized, then returned. SmartPak can't exactly re-sell that item with someone else's name on it so it gets heavily discounted. It's my favourite part of the whole store!!

once again I am a blogger failure

Funny thing is, lots has been going on!! Let's have a catch-up post:


Obviously the most important thing here: the Queen Bee. She is doing GREAT. She and Amanda have been trail riding mostly because the weather has been so beautiful and it's hard to resist the trails when the leaves are turning a beautiful golden orange colour, the soft wind is breezing through, the days warm up to the low 60's after a crisp night, and you have all winter long for ring work.

They've been out on a few hacks with various other boarders from the barn, ranging from 45 minutes to over 2 hours. I am beginning to relax a bit regarding Lucy's limits. I figure as long as she is happy, she is probably feeling fine. I am realizing more and more that the old Lucy, the one who threw tantrums regularly, was probably very uncomfortable. We have not seen a single slice of that type of behaviour since she had the time off.

I've let her go without getting blanketed or wearing any sheets because I really wanted her to grow a winter coat. She impressed me with her fuzz and last night was going to dip into the low 30's so for the first time, I put a sheet on her.


Last weekend I got to go out on a trail ride! Amanda rode Lucy, Maddy rode Brantley, and my barn owner lent me her absolutely gorgeous hunka hunka Dutch Warmblood, Merlot. He is the most polite, handsome, talented, and wonderful boy. I kept looking down at him on our ride and just thinking "I am so lucky!!" We mostly walked that day because Lucy was in raging heat, poor girl, and got a little excited with all the boys around her. She held it together and seemed embarrassed afterward, to be honest.

We were deep in the woods at one point and some guy was walking two humongous Golden Retrievers off leash (of course). They saw the horses and BOOKED it over to us. We were about 50' away from them and they bounded over sticks and bushes and through trees to get to us. They looked like miniature hairy slobbery deer and everyone was like, !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.

Merlot spooked first, but quickly recovered without any major incident. Brantley spooked because Merlot spooked behind him, but as fast as he startled, he stopped caring and then stood with a cocked back leg and a bored look on his face lol. Lucy spun to look at them but didn't carry on at all, just stood there on high alert with an extremely worried look! I don't blame any of them for being alarmed -- the dogs scared the crap out of me! You never know if dogs are really going to run all the way up to you (and attack your horse) or if they're just coming over to say hello in a very excited manner. The owner eventually got the dogs' attentions back on him and they headed out of the woods, and we continued on our ride. After that incident, though, all three horses were model citizens. Lucy chilled out and walked on the buckle with happy ears, and the rest of the ride was uneventful.

Also last weekend, I traveled up to Suffolk Downs Racetrack with my friend Claire, and we attended the CANTER New England Showcase. I think I will post another entry about that because I have so many photos!


Awesome as always. Two photos:


I am feeling sooo much better!! I have a good amount of energy during the day but usually by the time I get home from work and the barn, it's 6:30 and I am totally wiped. I am still very behind on design stuff :( :( :(

I've been taking some photos with my new camera and falling in love with it more each time I use it.

I am at 17 weeks now, and Miss Mini Me is doing just fine. I revealed my baby bump for the first time yesterday at work and everyone liked it! It's still pretty small and cute, and isn't affecting my day-to-day life yet.

here, have a crappy cell phone picture!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

adventures in equine photography

What a beautiful fall day!

How perfect is the light to take some photos!

Easy peasy, right?

See those burrs in the bottom right corner of the photo?

Yeah...about fifty of them ended up in her tail two seconds
after I took this shot.

Commence ten minute burr busting break.

Ok, back in the paddock. Put your game face on, Lucy!



Now stay away from those burrs!

Also, RIP to half a jar of Mrs. Pasture's Horse Cookies, which Lucy figured out how to tip over and demolish before I could get to her.


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

the next step

One of the toughest parts of bringing Lucy back into work is deciding when she's ready to take it up a notch with what she is doing under saddle. So far there have been no signs of any soreness at all but I am erring on the side of caution because I am well-aware that one instance of overdoing things could set her back quite a bit. At the same time, though, not asking her to do enough could also work against her.

Amanda is now riding her two days a week and I've been thinking about how to design a programme to bring Lu back into fitness while still maintaining her comfort level in her back. I do think that ultimately, Lucy would benefit from working under saddle 4-5 days a week, with 2 or 3 of those rides being w/t and the remainder asking a bit more out of her, like some cantering or working in a baby frame. I could also lunge her in the fauxssoa on the days I want her to work a bit if Amanda is not riding.

Over the weekend, Amanda rode twice: a 45 minute hour walk-only trail ride on Saturday, and then a 2 hour w/t ride on Monday. Monday's ride was with three other horses and before they all went out, they asked me what I thought Lucy could do in terms of distance/time. I said I didn't feel she would have any problems with a longer ride as long as it's pretty low key; i.e. mostly walking with a bit of trotting here and there. Amanda came back from the ride and said they trotted three times and Lucy was great, except for one point where she very clearly had enough and got a bit annoyed about trotting. Amanda could have gotten after her a bit, but she said she'd rather listen to the horse, and let Lucy walk for a while. After a bit of time allowing her brain to reset on a long rein at the walk, Lucy was happy to go forward again and they trotted with the group.

I've got to say I was totally impressed by the way Amanda handled this. She could have fought with Lucy and made her trot but it would have gotten ugly, I'm sure, and it wouldn't have been productive. Old Lucy looked at each request as an opportunity for a battle and I'd love if New Lucy didn't have that attitude. I was so happy that Amanda listened to Lucy and said "as long as you're going forward, I don't care how fast it is". How awesome is that?!

Upon returning from the trail ride, Amanda applied liniment to Lucy's back and then I checked her later to see if she was sore (she wasn't). I'll check her back again today and she will also have a few days off from riding as an extra precaution. She gets her weekly acupuncture treatment today and we should be in good shape! In retrospect, a 2 hour ride may have been a bit much, but as long as she's not sore from it, I will take it as a sign she's ready for more of a workload.

She has gotten so fuzzy and round, and her dapples have returned! She comes in from her paddock covered in dirt head to toe every day and cleans up all of her hay both in her stall and outside. She is very happy, not worried about anything, and I love everything about the New Lucy. Here she is this weekend:

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Proud mom right here

Yesterday was nothing short of glorious. The sun shone brightly and the temps were in the 70's. A light breeze played with the tree tops and the leaves were beginning to change. I thought, "what a perfect day for a trail ride". Saturdays are Amanda's days to ride so I asked around the barn to see if anyone would like to take her out and show her the trails. My barn owner and another boarder said they'd love to, so when Amanda arrived I asked if she wanted to go and she said, sure!

She got Lucy tacked up and I tried to hide how nervous I was. Lucy had gone out on the trails that day we found the lady stuck in the swamp, and I had hand-walked her out there a bit throughout her time off, but I was still worried that she would be spooky and stupid.

Amanda chose to ride in the Western saddle and as the three riders were heading out, I said, "heels down and have fun!" and then spent the entire time they were out on the trails cleaning frantically to keep my mind off of it!

Bottom line is that all three riders returned still in the saddle, horses looked sooo happy and relaxed, and Lucy was a "total superstar"!!! She led, she walked calmly on the buckle, she had happy ears, and she was so happy to be out in the woods again.

Plus, I ended up with a very clean barn! haha.

As much as I wanted to stuff the horse full of cookies for being so good, I realised that this could be my last chance to give her a bath until the Spring, so I was a mean person and bathed her. She was like, I was THAT good and this is the thanks I get?! but she tolerated it well. Then I let her graze for about an hour in the sunshine so she dried off before I turned her out in her (dirt) paddock with a huge pile of hay. She was a very happy horse!

In other news, Kenny surprised me this week with a gorgeous new camera, a Canon 6D, so expect some new and hopefully improved photos! Here's one of Lucy from the other day:

And one of Cairo:

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

giant sack of potatoes

So I know I said I wasn't going to ride while pregnant.

But here is a video proving that I am a bad girl.

So sue me.

Lucy was perfect and other than the fact that I think I have lost all my riding muscles after a long time out of the saddle, I was really happy with how it all went. We worked pretty well together because she was pretty unbalanced and I could tell she is quite unfit. No worries, Lu. She did do some stretching but not nearly as much as she did with Amanda (who at this point is a much fitter rider than I am!!) so I will try to get some video of her riding as well :)

Also Lucy was sporting her new fancy schmancy OTTB saddle pad and fly bonnet we won from Niamh. Thanks again, I am totally in love with the black and gold :D The fly bonnet came in handy because she had gotten mud between her ears and would not let me brush it off, so it stayed there for our ride and is probably still there now.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Lucy in action!

Amanda came out to ride again today and I managed to get some pictures. Lucy warmed up beautifully. She was stretching a lot, seemed really quiet, had a *slow* trot going, and her ears were floppy and happy!

Amanda stopped for a few minutes to chat with Maddy and when she asked Lucy to go back to work, Lucy gave her a bit of her signature attitude, but it only involved pinned ears, swishing tail, etc. No airs above ground or anything like that. Amanda politely said, "I'm sorry you feel that way; all I want you to do is go forward, so whenever you're ready we can start again" and let Lucy pick the direction and pace. It was the perfect response to Lucy's resistance. Within seconds, Lucy was trotting around nice and relaxed again. YAY!

Amanda got her going nicely again at the walk and trot and then called it a day without cantering, which I totally agreed with. It was a very good ride and I sat there watching with a big smile on my face.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

cookies are important. very important.

Not too long ago, I participated in a giveaway over at Polar Square Designs, along with a super group of horsey entrepreneurs. I gave away a custom horse portrait and as I got to know the group of creative horse enthusiasts I was now a part of, I started to really admire their work! I am a huge sucker for cute and fun horse treats and Melinda from Nicker Bait was also part of the contest. I checked out her website and honestly wished *I* was a horse so I could enjoy all of her delicious looking treats.

from left to right, going clockwise: Banana Chip, Tummy Bling,
and Pumpkin Candy Corn treats

After the contest ended, I ordered four bags of treats from her, three to give away to friends and one for Lucy. I ordered two of the Pumpkin Candy Corn bags, one of the Tummy Bling bags, and one of the Banana Chip bags. Today was Official Taste Test day and Maddy and I enlisted the "help" (ha ha) of all three horses: Lucy, Brantley, and Pretty (the little chestnut Arab mare). The fourth bag was for my barn owner's horse, Merlot, and he loved his candy corn treats!

I started with Lucy and lined all three different kinds of treats up while practically having to shove her away. She knew it was treat time! Once I had them all lined up on the ground I let her go over to them. She ate the Tummy Bling treat first, which is great, because I got that specifically for Princess Lulu.

concentrating very hard on the deliciousness of Tummy Bling

Next she went for the Pumpkin Candy Corn treat, which she gobbled down and then licked her lips. She liked that one!

Next she took a big bite of the Banana Chip treat...and spit it right out lol. Historically, she has always HATED anything banana so I am not surprised at all that she didn't like that treat. Pretty was over in her paddock pacing around like, GIMME THAT TREAT! I went over to her paddock and she tried the treat and loved it. She really likes banana flavoured stuff and even eats whole bananas, and I had gotten the Banana Chip treats just for her so that worked out well!

Princess Dishy Face about to find out that bananas really aren't her thing.

Brantley loved all the treats, which is great because he doesn't like certain cookies so I wasn't sure what to expect!

Overall these treats were a hit AND they are totally adorable AND a small-business owner is the mastermind behind them. Really, there's no reason not to love them.

I didn't get paid to write this review, but I hope more people try Nicker Bait for their horses or as gifts for their horsey friends :)

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

further proof my life is a soap opera

My barn owner told me someone she knew really wanted some saddle time, so A came out on Saturday to meet Lucy and have a little hack around.

Everything went great so to cool off, I said, "Let's go on a walk on the trails!". We set out, and all was quiet. I wanted to show her the trail that leads to a big pond with a nice waterfall, some bridges to cross, and a boat ramp so the horses can walk into the water.

We got to the edge of the area where the pond starts, where it is pretty marshy but the water is about 20' from the trail, through a very thick area of brambles, poison ivy, and general ickyness. I would never, ever think to walk through there to get to the water, especially because if you just keep walking down the trail another few hundred feet, you'll find a nice open area with easy water access and no prickly plants.

Imagine my surprise, then, when I heard a very faint "help! help!" coming from the edge of the water in that marshy/prickly/gross part of the pond. A, who was riding, hopped off and I held Lucy while she investigated, because I had shorts on and I'm sorry, but there was no way I was trekking through that mess to figure out what the deal was. I know that's very bad with my EMT license and all, but yeah, waist-high prickly bushes + bare legs do not equal a happy Kate.

Plus A was dressed for the job in her tall boots and long pants, so she clambered through the thicket and discovered a few things:

-the lady was not dying, but was stuck
-alll those sirens we could hear fast approaching were for her
-the fire dept had no idea where she was other than a GPS location they got via the 911 digital system because SHE had no idea where she was
-she had wanted to get close to the water so she climbed through the prickly area (in SHORTS!) and then got stuck up to her knees in cement-like mud that was also very cold
-she had a dog with her who was very chilly
-she had been there for an hour

That was the basic gist of the situation, and realising that I wasn't being a whole lot of help just standing there with a tacked-up horse, I took Lucy to go meet the fire department and explain how to get back to where we were. Luckily for them, there is a cul-de-sac of houses that backs right up to that area of the trail, so they parked their rigs just about 50' away and had easy access to get the rescue equipment to the right spot. The firefighter who saw me walking toward them first said, "Uh oh, it's never a good sign when a riderless horse meets you at a 911 call." I said, "But this actually has nothing to do with the horse!" And we both agreed we were very glad that was the case.

After 45 minutes of removing prickly bushes and small trees with the chain saw, combined with laying plastic back boards out in a chain over the thick mud so that none of the firefighters got stuck in it, combined with pulling the lady out of the mud with a thick rope while wrangling the small dog, everyone was out of the mud/prickles and looking exhausted and very dirty.

Unfortunately at that point, neither A or I had any more time for a trail ride/walk, so we took Lucy back to the barn and both headed out. I had an engagement session to photograph and she had to go to work. Back to normal, I suppose!

Here is a quick shot I took of the scene. The firefighters are looking in the direction where the woman is stuck. Lucy was very patient for all of this and nibbled on grass while the rescue went down. Good girl, Lu.