The Equine Practice Rounds™ - Week 1, 2012 In This Week's Issue: ▪ “Are You Drunk Yet?” ▪ Float Your Horse's Teeth Using Horsemanship Having troub

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The Equine Practice Rounds™ - Week 1, 2012

In This Week's Issue:

“Are You Drunk Yet?”
Float Your Horse's Teeth Using Horsemanship

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My truck turned 300,000 miles this week - "Just broke in" - Click for more BarnPics™

"Are You Drunk Yet?”


Pet turkeys at one of the farms in NY - Click for more BarnPics™

Cool, refreshing champagne flowed over my tongue and swirled down into my stomach. The poison alerted my body’s defenses but there were none available to fight the onslaught. My brain was drawn to the sweet taste as the immediate buzz the alcohol created tempted my rational thoughts into submission. My empty glass extended outwards to be refilled by my jubilant mother as the clock ticked 15 minutes into the New Year.

While in high school at a New Year’s Eve party, I drank rum and Coke into oblivion. From that point on I realized that to me, drinking alcohol was pointless. Because of this, my liver had not made alcohol dehydrogenase for a while (ask me about this and horses sometime).

Twenty years later, my Mom was visiting us for the holidays. Matt was asleep and Kathy and I had invited some friends over. Mom was a party girl and to this end, had bought several bottles of the bubbly stuff. Being a vet, I knew I could be called out any time and so I firmly, and repeatedly, said, “Mom, no thanks. I don’t want to drink and drive.”

We all celebrated as midnight was reached and I could see disappointment in my mother’s eyes each time she offered me champagne. At 12:15 I broke down. “Geoff,” she said with a little slur to her speech and a twinkle in her eye, “no one will call now. Just one glass for me?”

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A pet duck at one of the farms in FL- Click for more BarnPics™

The second glass went down easily as I enjoyed the moment. Warmth filled every part of my body as a familiar goofy grin stretch across my face. The music started to make my bones move in rhythm. I almost missed the phone making it’s angry noise.

“Geoff, this is Julia. My horse has colic.” I looked at my watch. 12:20. She lived 10 minutes away. She was a vet and head of the clinical pathology department at Cornell and married to one of the small animal clinicians at the college. For her horse, she always used my services. “I’m on my way,” I said, then quickly added, “Why are you at the barn at this hour?” Was that the alcohol speaking or was I curious to find if this had been going on for hours?

“I just went to the barn to wish him a Happy New Year,” she said.

I am the poster child for not drinking and driving. That January 1st I almost became a statistic as I was unable to keep my truck going straight down the road and between the lines. I pulled into the farm grateful I had not ditched it nor been arrested. “Julia!” I blurted out. “I’m a little drunk and I’m sorry.”

Julia and her husband Jim smiled and said, “We’re not worried.” Their confidence in me helped to bring my swirling mind to the task of examining the horse. My head quickly cleared and sobriety soon took over. After all, it was only two glasses of champagne.


Christmas cookies from a GA client on my dashboard - Click for more BarnPics™

Diagnosing the horse with a simple gas colic and administering medication, the horse returned to his normal self and I packed my gear into the truck. Julia and Jim gave their warmest thanks and good wishes for the New Year as I drove away, my truck easily staying between the lines of the road for my return home.

364 and 1/2 days later, on December 31st about 9 pm, I received a call. “Geoff, this is Julia. My boy has colic again. I thought I’d call earlier this year. Are you drunk yet?”

Doc T

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Equine Dentistry - Using Horsemanship

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Travels With Doc T™ & The Equine Practice Rounds™ by Geoff Tucker, DVM is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.