3 days ago
Monday, January 21, 2013
Those of you who have owned horses and dogs at the same time all ready know that a horse hoof fragment as a byproduct of hoof trimming is a to-die-for dog treat. It is such a treasured chew that it brings out impeccable dog manners in hopes for one of the delicious morsels.
In truth, the blacksmith's visit ranks right up there in a dog's life equal to a child's delight in Santa. As much as the meter reader or mail carrier is loathed by most dogs, the blacksmith is adored.
My blacksmith Chris and I were good friends. While I was a bunch older, I had been one of his first customers and we had the easy, fond relationship of long time friends.
Often when he was through with the horse and pony, we would share an iced tea and solved all the world's problems while the kinks worked out of his back. We were "big issue" in sync and had lovely head nodding discussions.
But, he was also a self depreciating story teller and you know how I love stories. Chris had a grin on his face as he started to tell me about one of his customers the previous week.
Seems a new customer expanded his job description that day. When he was through trimming their horse's hooves, the woman kind of dug her feet in the sand and colored up a bit in the cheeks.
"Mr. B, there is one more thing I'd like you to do today if you wouldn't mind."
Chris was use to being asked to do extra jobs that usually required strength so he good naturedly agreed. She led him to the porch where her husband sat in his rocker.
Quickly he spotted his extra job. The man's cowboy boots had the toe cut off and the most gnarly looking toenails poked out. The big toenail was easily three inches longer than it should be. They not only were long, they actually curled.
"Can you do anything?" she asked hopefully.
Chris got his giant hoof nippers out and hesitantly went to work. He tried just nipping off the ends and when that proved successful, he slowly nipped piece by piece till he got as close as he could to the toe. Chris was sweating as much from the labor as he was in fear that he would hurt the man. While he would not have gotten a tip in a pedi-parlor with the results, the man was almost normal once again.
The fellow rose unsteadily from the rocker and weaved a bit. "Dang mama," he said. " I must have used those things for balance."
Chris said after they paid him with money and hugs, they beat him out of the drive way heading for town on a mission to get a new pair of boots, not open toed ones this time. As Chris left the property,their family hound was enjoying the fruits of his labor, both horse and human.
While that operation was a success, Chris did not add that service to his business card. He truly hoped never again.
I loved Chris's story and could relate a bit. My dad had those same toenails from hell though he never let them get that out of control. When Dad would cut them with tin snips, we would all run and hide for they were dangerous weapons as they flew in all directions. All of us hid but the dog Susie. It was treat time for her.
I tend to believe killer toenails are a"man thing" for I have never heard of a woman with this problem.
Do you have someone in your life with nails of steel?
at 5:41 AM Posted by Arkansas Patti