The day began by letting Val go naked - for first time in several days - giving his blanket and underoos (shoulder guard) time to air out.
A shoulder massage and major grooming session followed this afternoon. He who has been Mr. Antsy Pants since the weather changed, rested in the cross ties, periodically yawning and snorting contentedly. A full tail comb-out, mane + forelock brush (sighs for this) and a tidy up of the bridle path (mmmmm, clippers) finished out the afternoon's pampering.
After getting dressed again, a small friend stopped by to share carrots. This is the first time that little G (three year old son of my photographer friend A) has been brave enough to feed the beast. We'll get him hooked on horses yet!
G kept a steady stream of carrots coming, giggling delightedly. I kept the piranha mouth busy between bites with pieces of soft peppermint stick. The small friend didn't lose any of his digits, though I worried about Val grabbing the tiny mitten along with a carrot - after what I went through with him the previous evening...
(Cue dreadful music)
Last night while layering Val up with his blankies, out of the corner of my eye, I could see him flipping the mitten he snitched from my pocket while I fumbled around with the icy buckles. Did I mention it was dark, and sleeting? I went to put my mittens back on, but could only find one in my pocket, and nothing on the ground. (!)
Let's just say I jammed my forearm into his mouth, frightened he had already swallowed. Frantic visions of hooking up the trailer, and driving through sleet and snow to an after hours vet emergency filled my head. What a relief to find a soggy mitten plastered to the roof of Val's mouth, though I was prepared to send the search party further if necessary.
Despite your best efforts, we made it through another year. Happy Birthday my sweet Valentino - 11 years young today. Love you buddy!