There's four hurdles to cross before I can tuck Scout in for her recovery. Hurdle 1, taking her to the clinic tonight.
One thing about Scout, she knows me. She can tell the difference between my worry and my fear. She parked her chin on my shoulder and breathed into my ear, standing stock still, just waiting. Erin wrapped all four of her legs for the ride, and then Scout followed me right into the trailer. It was a long ride, but still so much shorter than those she routinely experienced as a joust horse. She crapped a tall mound of excita-poop, but hauled steady as ever.
They went right to work at the clinic, taking her temp and drawing blood for a workup. "Oh no, don't show me the needles! I can't look at the needles!" But her ears show anxiety, not hostility.
Questions to answer, phone numbers to check, a quick tour of the anesthesia, operating and recovery rooms. Then we stood near Scout's stall and talked through the first part of tomorrow. Scout sampled the hay, but she kept her eyes on me. Finally she whinnied stridently. "What the hell is there to talk about when you could all be paying attention to me?" I went in the stall and broke up a carrot for her.
We cleared this first hurdle easily. Scout was solid, willing, and, for the most part, calm. I can feel the tension beginning to build in me, though. Tomorrow I will worry about her from the moment she steps into the anesthesia room until the moment I step into her recovery stall.
I know how hard it is to surrender all control, because I've never done it. That's one of the reasons I couldn't just let go and ride her. I don't know if Scout has ever been unconscious before, but I know she won't like it.