Trials of a Farmer with a Broken Foot

It’s been four days since I broke my foot. In that time period I have hopped, rolled, crawled, balanced, hoisted, scooted and cried from frustration. Let me tell you, a broken foot is not just an major inconvenience, it is a total lifestyle change.

Do crutches look easy to use? They are for the first ten minutes. I learned fast that you are not supposed to bear weight under your armpits and trying to will hurt you and possibly cause nerve damage. This means all of the strength needs to come from your hands, arms, shoulders and chest. Areas of my body that could probably have used a little work. Well they’re getting it.

On day two of my break, the rest of my body hurt way worse than the busted foot, which felt fine other than being very swollen and bruised, even though I was not on painkillers. My good leg was a tight ball of stress, my abs were so wrecked it hurt to cough and I was totally exhausted. Many times I found myself hungry or thirsty but did not have the energy to crutch myself the thirty feet to the kitchen. Not to mention I couldn’t carry anything back to my desk where I was set up anyway. Any eating or drinking had to be done standing at the kitchen counter.

All of this is nothing considering I have a small farm to take care of by myself. Usually my daily chores take about an hour, and consist mainly of feeding and watering the rabbits and poultry and collecting eggs. Outdoor rabbit tractors also need to be moved to fresh grass daily. The first day I managed to get the chores done to my satisfaction, even though the tractors had to stay put. It took me almost two hours and felt like I had just run a marathon. The only way to carry things was to abandon crutches and hop on one foot. This of course also entails hopping back to wherever you left your crutches, trying not to trip and fall on your broken foot. Sigh. Much spillage and panting ensued.

My life before the broken foot was very full, I was busy all day long running back and forth. Did I mention I also have a small business to run in addition to the farm? Well I do. Luckily I can still sit at a desk and stand at a workbench for short periods so I can complete these tasks with some competence.

I am very lucky to have help. This past weekend my lovely boyfriend came over and did absolutely everything for me. He cleaned my entire house, did all my chores, took me out to eat when I was hungry and fetched me whatever I required. He set me up with jugs of water in each room and even left me his iPad so I could play my silly games in bed. But alas, dear boyfriend had to go back Sunday night for a week of working on the Mainland.

Just the thought of getting down the back steps today and tackling the barn chores now tires me out. They’ll have to get done one way or another but I’m not looking forward to it. Yesterday I bought an expensive walking cast and the doctor at the clinic seemed to think I could walk on it right away. “You can do away with those!” he said pointing to my crutches. I was relieved, but also skeptical. Turns out I just can’t put my full weight on it so soon and I don’t want to either. The cast still helps a lot though with keeping the foot rigid and keeping the swelling down.

The doctor at Emergency didn’t really give me any helpful info at all. He said I should get a walking cast when the swelling went down and gave me a Dilaudid. Then he told me I could go home and walked away even though I was sitting in a locked wheelchair in the middle of an empty waiting room. I had to twist around, depress the lock on the handle of the chair and concurrently inch myself backwards back to reception with my good foot where the nurse said “Wow you’re coordinated! Those chairs aren’t designed for patients to move themselves.” I told her I figured that out already. She looked at my bare foot and smiled. “Not broken after all?” I told her yes, it was broken but the doctor sent me home. She looked confused and said “He didn’t even give you a splint, nothing at all?” I said no and asked if she would please call me a cab.

Considering I pay about $85 a month for healthcare and haven’t been to the doctor in maybe 5 years, I was pretty underwhelmed by the service at the hospital. They didn’t even have a pair of crutches to loan me so I could get home.

Is it weird that I’ve been training my wolf mix to pick up household objects and hand them to me for the last few months? Was I anticipating this accident somehow? Too bad he can’t take out the garbage.


The Myth of the Routine in Dogs


Enjoying the water? Not the routine!

When most people research dogs, they read that dogs love routine. While this is certainly true, it doesn’t mean you have to become a slave to your dog. You need to make your dog’s love for routine work for you, like any good employer!

Dogs live to work. Whether it’s guarding your home, playing with your kids or making you laugh.

I’m an entrepreneur so I have a very variable work week. I could be up until 7am or up until 10pm. I don’t have a typical schedule at all compared to someone who works a consistent 9 to 5. I also have two large dogs and three cats (well currently nine). I used to worry about my pets adjusting to my ever changing schedule, but I soon realized that if I could adjust, then they could too. And it’s a lot less painful that you may think.

What people don’t realize that is that your dog loves any routine you can offer them, and everyone has a routine.

Even the most erratic schedule can become the “routine” for a dog. A dog does not need a routine schedule in the formal sense at all, and I even think it can be beneficial to avoid a set schedule with certain activities like feeding. If you feed your dog every day at the same time, you know what happens. Your dog knows exactly what time it is, they begin to salivate and remind you that mealtime is approaching… I find this annoying. I never really deal with this anymore after implementing my “chaos” training but I know what it’s like. Dogs can become very demanding in situations like these because they know they will be fed no matter what. Because it’s the schedule.

Try feeding your dog on a wholly erratic basis. Some days you should not feed your dog at all. This has the added benefit of not having your dog freak out and have a heart attack if they have to miss a meal for some reason. I often feed my large wolf mix a whole chicken carcass, feathers and everything. I will then usually not feed him the next day. As long as you monitor your dog’s weight closely, you should really only feed when your instincts and your dog tell you the dog looks thin and the dog seems hungry. Dogs and cats (like humans) do not benefit at all from being overfed.

So relax about worrying your new dog will not fit into your routine. It’s possible they truly may not, but if you do your due diligence as a responsible pet owner, it’s more likely your furry friend will adapt to your schedule like a furry chameleon.