So where were we? Oh, yes, Kern County had just been rocked by one of the biggest earthquakes in recent memory, and the neighbors were busy shooting off illegal fireworks the day after the 4th of July.
This one, this earthquake? It was HUGE. Unless you live in a cave, you've probably seen the video clips of water sloshing out of pools (ours looked like Fatty McFatso had just done a ginormous cannonball), cracked roads, and fires burning. We didn't just feel it, we braced ourselves against the wall and waited ... and waited ... and waited some more for the earth to stop heaving and rolling.
About 30 minutes after Friday night's earthquake, I got a call from the ranch owner telling me that Speedy was in trouble. I threw on a pair of boots and hustled out there. Before I even made it to his paddock, I stopped by the feed room for a tube of Dormosedan that I'd been saving for an emergency.
The ranch owner had Speedy's halter in hand, but she hadn't been able to get close to him. I couldn't blame her. It was pitch black, and Speedy was simply terrified. Whether the earthquake had started the panic attack or not, the fireworks coming from across the river were driving it. Speedy bolted past me without even glancing my direction. Little by little I was able to affect his direction of flight until he suddenly noticed me. I quickly threw my arms around him and slid the halter on.
We pushed Speedy to the back side of the barn where two of the ranch's senior citizens live. Speedy is great friends with Pixie and immediately let some of his tension go when he saw her. I grabbed a hose and started spraying him off hoping to cool him down as well as distract him. I tossed him a flake of hay and stood chatting with the ranch owner as Speedy's terror slowly dissipated.
The ranch owner moved Pixie and Archie to the grass pasture immediately adjacent to their dry lot so that Speedy could spend the night near them and away from the fireworks. The Dormosedan began to work much more quickly that I had expected, so within a half an hour, Speedy's head was hanging.
I went to bed hoping that Saturday morning would bring an end to Operation Bubble Wrap. It did not. To be continued yet again ...