I was doing some cooking for Alex's dinner when the phone rang. Not expecting a call, since my hands were gooey from chopping up the remnants of a leg of lamb for Lamb-and-Bean, I let the answering machine pick up -- only to hear the ranch manager's voice saying that Dink was not right. I grabbed a towel and mopped my hands, answered the phone.
Dink was sick, and so I headed out to the ranch. His breathing was too fast, and he was not his usual feisty self. While the ranch manager called a vet, I walked the horse down the road and back, down and back, stopping to listen to his side.
A horse's belly should be a chorus of gurgles and squeaks; Dink's left side was completely silent.
The ranch manager thought we should pack him off to the vet, and so she brought her trailer around. Dink was definitely not himself, but he was thrilled with the sight of the trailer, and clambered in with no prompting at all. Off we went in the sundown. The vet stayed after his usual hours to examine the horse, who was in the first stages of colic -- a shutdown of the intestines, possibly brought on by the radically changing weather.
Dink is still there, in a clean stall, where the vet will check on him again tonight. He should be okay, but the vet said he would call if our old horse (22) took a turn for the worse.
Tonight I'm listening for the phone, hoping that it doesn't ring.