Blood & Ashes

Not as creepy a post as the title indicates, promise.

So, thanks to Nicole's shout out on facebook, both Archie and Whiskey are involved with the research project about genomes and whatnot.  I only read a little bit of the packet.  The form says that they'll pay for the vet to pull blood, but wtf for?  To quote my vet, it's like stabbing a garden hose.  Anyone can do it!

After a little ride Sunday, both boys gave donations.  I was interested to see how Whiskey would do, but he stood perfectly in the cross ties and let me pull the full 10ml.  He got Nicker Makers afterwards, which I'm going to have to invest in.  He was even more nuts for those treats than normal.

Hair donations.  Look at the variance in drugs!
I used Archie as a training opportunity, because he also needed his Pentosan injection and I know he's phenomenal about being stabbed.  Both Big G's owner and Ox's owner were present.  I was pretty sure Ox's owner knew how to do a blood draw, so I asked Big G's owner if she did and, if not, if she wanted to learn.  I showed her how to find the vein, press the vein, the angle to hold the needle, and about flashing.  I'm not a licensed vet tech, but if anyone is interested in learning about this, I'd be glad to put up a tutorial.  If you're comfortable giving a horse IM injections, comfortable with needles, it's not too a far leap to draw for yourself.  And you never know when you might have to give IV Banamine (knock on wood).

After Archie gave blood, I showed her how to give an IM injection - another thing I think horse owners should know.  And I love to teach this stuff.  Archie does, unfortunately, have a bald patch on his neck from his years of injections.  But whatever, the meds work and his mane is long enough to hide it.

All the foam coolers I found were ginormous and I knew the blood would rattle around in there.  So I got creative.
The ashes part of this?

Big G's owner's husband built Scarlette's urn.  I said I needed a box that would hold her collar, preferably in a separate section, and 40 cubic inches of ash.  And I wanted it to have a hinged lid, so I could open it.  He's a mastermind with the woodworking - actually built all our jumps and the mounting block and makes saddle/grooming stands - so I knew he could handle it.  And he delivered.

I'd thought various things about staining  and making it look grown-up and professional, but finally acknowledged that I needed it to be as unique as she was.  So ombre and pink and attention to detail and, of course, her grinning up at me.

First coat.

I used a jewelry resin because it's what I had.

Edges a little rough, but so were hers.

I still can't believe she's gone.  I actually even reached out to the guy I got her with, almost a decade and a half ago, to see if he still had any puppy photos.  It was like reaching my hand into boiling water and just coming back scalded.

It felt good to make something pretty for her.  To honor her a little bit.  It won't be the last thing I do for her, either.  

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  1. That box is beautiful. A true labour of love

  2. That box is beautiful and perfect for her. I know how to give IM injections but I am interested in IV. I don't know that I'd be confident enough to do it when it was needed but I love learning stuff like this.

  3. Her final resting place is gorgeous. I love the area for the collar.

    And yes, please!, to the tutorials for injection and blood draw.

  4. That box is absolutely lovely. I give IM shots all the time, and I know *how* to do IV, I just don't practice much, haha. But a tutorial would be cool!

  5. Scarlette's box is GORGEOUS <3 I love the shelf for her collar

  6. I just wanted to say that I am so sorry about your girl, even though I am late. I know I miss my Smokey dog horribly, even though she had an extraordinarily long life, the special ones are just...special. The box is indeed beautiful, what a wonderful way to keep her memory close. Many hugs to you and yours. <3