I knew something was up. The woman left Jack and self in the barn with our breakfast AND she put Jack's halter on. She put the horses out and put Doc's halter on him. Hmmmm, I thought, this doesn't bode well. And it didn't.
Who should stroll in shortly after but the young woman vet (the one who cleared Jack's choke with a garden hose) and her assistant. The vet woman was carrying her suitcase of dental torture implements - designed by Torquemada and manufactured by Dr. Crippen Inc. Jack said "See ya later". He put up a tremendous fight but eventually they got him sedated and peered into the darkest recesses of his mouth. Our woman says his breath was slightly musty and he was quidding, which is a hundred dollar word for dropping unchewed wads of hay here and there. They removed his tartar buildup and sanded down some points and then the vet woman discovered his two furthest back molars on top were quite loose. "Oh dear", she said. With great reluctance she decided they must come out. Turns out they were attached by the merest thread and had food wedged underneath. Jack said it hurt, though not too terribly, but I was very worried about the whole dental procedure. I watched the entire thing closely, not moving a muscle, but using my concerned tone (a grunt, rasp, moan combination). I interjected lots of exclamation points so they would know I was upset. "He's old", I said "and he's scared, and he doesn't like what you're doing and neither do I, so please stop it immediately!!!". Finally it was over and Jack was put in his stall to recover.
Doc had his teeth done as well, but they didn't give him the filed-tooth cannibal look he greatly desires. He doesn't mind the process at all and gets so relaxed that he hangs from the rafters, eyes glazed and mouth gaping open, looking like an old-fashioned opium smoker. As usual, he had to nearly be carried to his stall to sleep it off.
We had just gotten nicely settled in the paddock and Jack was trying to figure out a new chewing method, when back comes herself and drags us into the barn again. This time it was for the foot man, whom we don't mind at all. Jack was left till last so he could see it was just the usual routine. When the woman went to catch him in his stall, he was furious, and turned his back to her and even aimed a couple of token kicks in her direction. She already felt terrible about what he had gone through (and so she should) and asked the foot man to catch him. He had no problem at all and Jack said "she's a traitor and I don't have no truck with that kind". Then he was positively angelic about having his feet done. The foot man said they're coming along beautifully and praised Jack lavishly for his good behaviour. The woman is very downcast.
Tonight Jack had his hay soaked and was able to eat it a few strands at a time. I'm still very worried and am watching him like a hawk. I realized today just how important a part of my life he has become. I would be very lonely without him. He says he's putting a freeze on the woman till he has her so remorseful she'll never betray him again. So far his plan is working beautifully. I plan to stay awake all night to check on him.