Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Wonderful Number 6,000

Last week Argus happily greeted Dr. Miller and stood quietly and politely to have his blood drawn. This in itself was gratifying because getting a needle into Argus' jugular vein has traditionally been an exciting affair. I waited anxiously for the results of the blood panel.

The next day, a jubilant Dr. Miller called with the good news ("What's the best news you can imagine?" was his greeeting): Argus' white blood cell count was down to 6,000 --- well within normal range. Argus has beaten internal pigeon fever, once and for all! He will continue on 2-3 weeks of twice-daily antibiotics just to be sure.

For Argus, life has returned to a comfortable pace. He's still aloof, moving away from my touch at times, yet he eyes me with a kind face and thrills me with an occasional nicker when I prepare his evening bucket. He's forgiven me for torturing him with needles, and he even lets me blanket him now without being haltered (a miracle in itself).

Rain has finally graced the farm, bringing squishy mud and dirty horses. Though it's not enough to quench our drought-thirsty region, it's enough to make for slippery turnout and leg-wrenching footing. I realized the other day, as I watched Argus struggle, to some degree, to dance through the newly-wet pasture, that here was another first: Argus first real muddy winter. I smiled for him, knowing that he was enjoying himself.

This horse, who has been the recipient of love and support from thousands of people on every continent on Earth, has more work to do. So many have fallen on hard times, and people need to hear good stories that fill them determination and hope for a better future. It's a beautiful world out there, with so much to be thankful for. Could it be that a simple white horse is here to teach us that a beautiful life can emerge from the absolute depths of despair?

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A smiling mother and daughter climbed out of a mini van after a long drive. Fans of Argus from afar, Kim and Ava had decided to make the trek to see him for real. Six-year-old Ava greeted me like an old friend (her mother later explained that she felt like she "knew" us from seeing the blog), thrusting two drawings into my hand. They hang on Argus' stall now, one picture of Argus and me in front of our barn, the other of Shelby (my daughter) and Odie The Mule. Those drawings make me smile every time I walk by them.

We enjoyed a pleasant afternoon of grooming, stall cleaning, and chatting. Argus (and later Ridge) enjoyed a whole hour of grooming (something I never have time for) with Kim while my daughter Shelby kept Ava busy with a ride on Ginger the pony.

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Afterward, I coerced Kim into joining me in the arena for a ride. Odie the Mule was her trusty mount:
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31 comments:

LuvMyTBs said...

What wonderful news....Hip Hip Hooray,Yipee,YEEHAW (for Odie the mule)!! May Argus continue to revel in his happy home and make strides to be with you for many more years to come.This just made my day!! Thank you!!

FullCircleEquine said...

I am so happy to hear this.

Thanks so much for keeping Argus and keeping up with the blog.

Rose said...

Wonderful news! He really really is all better. Thanks so much for taking such good care of "our" Argus. He has touched all of us. I think there is a slightly fuzzy white thread woven into the tapestry of my life too.

kbryan said...

What wonderful news! Dr. Miller must have been smiling ear to ear after he got the results. You two accomplished a miracle with Argus, I am so happy for you all!

excaliber813 said...

Simply Marvelous! Bravo!

Argus is our "heart horse" I am overjoyed, great job Argus,Katie, and Dr. Miller!
I love this "simple white horse"
Thank you Katie, for sharing Argus with all of us!

Blessings, and many muddy days ahead!

Doe

Holly said...

what a relief for you, and all the blog/Argus followers.

this was another speed bump that is now almost over.

Pats and nickers to Argus from me and my horses.....

Caryn said...

WOOHHHOOOO!!!!! You just made my day :) I am so happy for Argus and his wonderful family. Congratulations.

Sincerely,
Caryn

Grey Horse Matters said...

Congratulations and hurray for Argus. This is wonderful news! So happy that he is going to be okay.

Kyfarmgirl67 said...

So very very happy to hear this wonderful news!!!!

Sport's Mom said...

YAY!!!!!!!!!!
I'm so happy for you!
Maybe someday I'll come out and see ya'll. I'm also a semi-professional photographer so maybe I could do a shoot of the Critters too since I specialize in animals.

SkyBar Farm said...

What wonderful amazing news. Argus has a wonderful angel in you.
God Bless.

A Bay Horse said...

Very happy to hear the news! :) Thanks for keeping us readers in the loop!

tschin said...

Hooray, what a happy post! Good to hear Argus is going to be fine! What a wonderful job you did of nursing him.
What a great Valentine gift you and Argus have!
Enjoy your day!

Anonymous said...

YES! YESYESYESYESOHYES! Oh, Katie -Siegfried Sassoon, an English World War I veteran, wrote a poem about the end of that first war to end all wars. His first line is memorable: "Everyone suddenly burst out singing!" - and that is EXACTLY how I feel.
Happy Valentine's Day to you, your family, your beasties and beautiful Argus.
Love - Jean in Seaside

Anonymous said...

What good news to read on Friday the 13th. ;) Thanks for letting us in on the day to day simple moments with Argus.
RobinTx

Isobella said...

YAYYYYYY Argus! I'm so proud of him.

The Equus Ink said...

YAY ARGUS!!! What a trooper!

KD said...

Life IS Good !

Kelly said...

This is fantastic news! I am so glad to hear Argus is going to make it. Thank you so much for always keeping us 'fans' updated.

Sarah said...

Lucky 13 - what a lucky day indeed. Way to go, Argus and Katie! It's heart-warming to hear that the Big Grey Miracle Boy is back on track!

Mom said...

Yes! What wonderful news. In a time when there is so much depressing news, it is so good to hear that Argus is much, much better. Thank you for all your hard work and for sharing it all with the rest of us.

Anonymous said...

You must publish Argus' story, it would make a fantastic book.

pchoofinit said...

Congrats to you Katie for all your hard work!
Hopefully all stays peaceful there at Watermark Farm!

Anonymous said...

Yay Argus! Well done! So happy to hear the good news!

autumnblaze said...

Yay for Argus (and you)! That's quite a feat he's accomplished. He had a lot more to live for, is my guess.

Thanks for sharing your story.

Anonymous said...

Awesome news, Katie! You have done a wonderful job nursing him back to health. It's just got to get better from here!

KarenTX

Carol said...

Its great to hear that Argus is finally out of the woods. That sweet boy is never far from my thoughts!!

I left a little award for you on my blog, so when you have a moment -- please check it out!

Carol said...
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Schnitzie said...

Hip hip HOORAAAAAAAAYYYY for ARGUS' AMAZING RECOVERY!!!!

"6000" brought tears to my eyes, Katie. What wonderful, wonderful good news.

I am so glad and feel so privileged to have been able to play a small part in Argus' healing. Thank you, Katie, for reaching out to those of us who love Argus from afar...and love you for all YOU have done for him.

My faith in humankind is constantly redeemed by people like you, Katie. If not for you and your family, Argus would not have stood a chance.

When Argus first presented with the Pigeon Fever, you quoted us the terrible odds of recovery for an animal as stressed and immune-compromised as Argus. I remember countering the statistics by noting that the average immuno-compromised horse did not have the unquantifiable advantage of the "K-Factor." YOU.

Thank you thank you thank you for proving me right. I just knew this would turn out well. It HAD TO. I wish I could hug you for real.

Thundering cheers,
Andrea from Brooklyn

Jennifer said...

Hurray! Hurray! Such good news. You and Dr. Miller are my heros (remind self: self, you cannot afford to go back to school yet again. Let alone vet school.)

I wish I were close enough to come visit, except I have a horrible feeling I'd leave with Caleb. I keep looking and reminding myself that I live about 3000 miles away.

PaintedPromise said...

aaawww Happy Tears for Argus :) an glad you enjoyed the visit with Ava and her mom, sounds like fun... i love when folks come to love on my critters, hard as i try i do NOT have enough hands for 11 dogs and 20 equines...