Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Update on Calli: She's doing so very well after her dental work and hoof trimming. She waits every morning and evening for her grain bucket, talking all the time. She is a real lover. She sneaks up behind you then waits patiently for loves and pets. She did not like when I tried to give her a bath. Her coat is getting shiny and she even rolled the other day. We are so glad she came to Home At Last.
Quincy and Tiger Lily are an item now. Fickle Quincy keeps Babe and Lacey near by, but is focusing on Tiger Lily . Quincy was the most physically abused animal we have ever had. When he came to us he was crisscrossed with scars from whips, chains and boards. His back leg is deformed from abuse. Quincy does not like to be caught, but is beginning to enjoy rubs and pets.
Tiger Lily lost an eye in an accident and was going to be shot by her owner. Her former owner said she was difficult to ride after her injury and he didn't want an unrideable horse. It took her a while to get used to only having one eye and she was not comfortable with other horses near her. It took many months, but now she loves her Quincy and tolerates the other ladies in Quincy's life. She loves to be brushed and petted. She is a Kiger mustang.

Jake has a story that is hard to believe. He was rescued by Animali- a PMU rescue in Santa Maria. When we went to pick up two injured Premarin babies, I heard a voice calling to me. The voice was clear and loud and I asked Jim if he heard it. He didn't. The voice kept telling me not to leave without him. I got goosebumps and started to cry. We walked to all the pens until I thought it was the right one. The corral was filled with 18 month old geldings, all from a Premarin ranch in Canada . I went in and stood still. Lots of the colts came to me , but Jake came and put his head on my shoulder and said, "Take me home with you." That was the most powerful moment I had ever had with a horse. It was the first time I had heard them communicate with words, not just feelings. Needless to say Jake came home with us. Of the 4 we brought home Jake is the only survivor.

This is what Gracie left of the garden.

We have 2 totally blind horses at Home At Last. Charles is older and is having a difficult time maintaining his weight. He is fed grain twice a day and 3 times as much hay . Belle the mule is his guide and he seeks her out frequently. He is a happy boy and loves attention. He nickers for his breakfast and dinner.
Having a blind horse requires more attentiveness. When you are with him it's always hands-on and talking. He needs to know where you are all the time.

Daisy is our other blind horse. She has adapted very well to her blindness. Of course, care is required around her, but she is very mobile. Sometimes it is hard to catch her. She always know where she is in her turn-out.
She and Levi romp around and sometimes I'm afraid she'll run into a tree, but she never does.Jim is a very funny person. The other morning I heard him say, "You are out of control. You need to focus." This happened 3 or 4 times, so I peeked around the corner and there was Patches the kitten racing all over the computer. Jim would pick him up, give him his lecture, then set him down. Off would go Patches and Jim would lecture him again. Finally, Jim gave up and sat down in his chair and Patches started his romp over Jim again.
This morning I said to Jim, "Your hair is growing really fast." "No, it isn't," he said. "My head is shrinking."
Thank you, Holley and Rich for your donation. You have been wonderful Home At Last supporters.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Mish Mash

It's almost 2 AM and I can't sleep. It's hot. The smoke alarms keep beeping to tell us they need new batteries. They spread their beeps out so you just get to sleep when the next one beeps. The guineas and frogs are singing so loudly no one can sleep any way. So this will be a mishmash of thoughts.
Home At Last is in a beautiful setting. It may be hot, but there are plenty of trees for the horses to find shade. Some of them prefer to stand and bake their bones in the sun. Others nap in the dust, while others play in the water troughs.Dr. Darling , our vet, is also on our Board of Directors. Like us, he values each of the critters' lives as though they were all multimillion dollar animals. Of course, they are worth more than that. They are priceless. Each animal gets the care and consideration one would hope for. These are our precious gifts and we treasure them .

Daphne the barn cat was born in the woodpile when we lived in Magalia. She made the move with us to Yankee Hill. I wish I could say she is a good mouser. Her best trait is she is lovable. She says to the mice, "Just move over and make room for me at the feeding dish." Her full name is Daphne Braveheart Thistledown.

Aurora is our greatest success story. She came to us starved beyond recognition, having eaten only mud and manure for years. She had a very bad eye injury. This brave girl fought for her life when most others would have given up. This summer she, Chardonnay and Sunny are enjoying Margaret's 10 acre pasture. We call it Margaret's Summer Camp for Arabian Girls.

There are horse angels all over and we are privileged to have Diane P as one. She rescued Daisy from Craigslist and continues to donate for her. Thank you, Diane.

The Three Billy Goats Not So Gruff are thriving. Jim needs to finish their yard so they have more room. He's just not motivated when it's 103 degrees. Thank you Rod and Karen H for the very generous donation made in memory of Rod's mother Mary. The vet will be glad to get some of the money we owe him.
The bugs are flying into the computer. I'm pretending they're the sandmen and I can go to sleep now.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Wonderful Volunteers

Our wonderful volunteers showed up today to spend time with the horses. As usual. I was having so much fun, I didn't take any pictures of them. Jenny and Laura groomed Bobbie, Tory, Charles and Belle. Jenny said Charles told her he WAS going to gain weight and stay around for a while. Go, Charles, go.
Then Tina and her girls, Leah and Carly came and started to work in the lower barn. Sweetie Pie came in , as did Stuart, Stoney, Picoand Quest. Calli was already there. So were Lexi and Gracie.
Then Laura and Jenny came to the lower barn and the horse washing began. First Chance had a bath. He loved it. Then it was Harmony's turn. She was a good girl. Then Stoney wanted washed, too. When I had hose duty I made sure everyone got wet. Me too. The cool water felt so good. Pico and Stuart stood by the fence so they could get squirted. Anyone who wanted a shower got one.
It is a real blessing to have good, faithful caring volunteers. Thank you, all, for giving your time for the benefit of the horses.
Tucker turns tail and gives a good swish at dinner time.
Skittles and Stuart dine near the roadway.
Leeso, Bonita, Pearl and Jet share a table for four.

Lady Bug and Quincy move around for the best spot.

Pico is always one of the first to eat.

Smokey is usually second, along with Jake.
Today Star was having a little trouble with his legs. He walked sideways for a bit. When we got him almost 2 years ago, we thought he only had a couple of months to live. He has done very well. He likes his little herd of Dancing Drum and Dunny. There is no competition for food.

Dunny likes the herd, too. He has put on quite a bit of weight.
Dancing Drum is enjoying her retirement. When she couldn't have any more babies, she was sent to auction, awaiting the killer buyers. She is the leader of her little herd.

Brian fixed our evaporative cooler this morning and we are not sweltering in the house like we did yesterday. Thanks to everyone for making Home At Last a true sanctuary.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

A Very HOT Saturday

It was too hot to go out to feed any earlier than this tonight.The breezeway is 10 degrees cooler than outside. Yikes!! I'll start complaining about the heat if this keeps up.

Beautiful and lovable Bobbie waits for dinner. I think she is gaining some weight. She, Tory and Charles have been getting double, triple feeding. That means I double their grain and triple their hay. If they don't gain weight with that then there are other problems to look for. Of course, their teeth have been cared for and they have been wormed.

Tory seems to be OK with the loss of Tawny. He even stood near Bobbie who doesn't usually like anyone near her. Tory is a pocket horse. He'd get in your back pocket and stay right with you if he could.

Charles loves his grain and loves to be loved. Tomorrow our volunteers will spend time with him and Belle.

Belle didn't want her picture taken so she moved away. No pictures, lots of love, please, especially ear rubs. Aren't Moon Dancer and Frankie a wonderful pair?

Usually, Breeze Bay canters around while I get their feed ready. Tonight it was Cash's turn. He raced around chasing everyone.

Molly mule can make funny faces.

Navajo is doing so well. He likes his little herd of Ruby, Molly, Rico and Pedro.
Rico's abcess is better. He's a funny boy who loves to snuggle.

Here is Princess Gracie in her "dungeon" with Lexi. She ate all of my garden.

Harmony and Chance have really bonded. I turned them loose in the yard today and they stayed close to one another. They did not eat my garden. When I led Harmony to the new pen tonight, Jonathan followed. When he saw they were going to be put away he turned around and went elsewhere. He likes his freedom. Chance's rump is starting to fill out now.

Why do people race these babies and cause so much pain and suffering? His knee will heal, but it
will always be a problem for him. He loves his Harmony.
Being with the animals is the best part of the sanctuary, but second best is getting to know so many caring people. I have been in touch with Ruthie from Granada Hills who has been helping to care for three abandoned horses. One of the horses is Dakota, a 27-28 year old grey gelding. He was a reining horse, but now needs a loving home where a child could ride him slowly. If you can offer Dakota a forever home, please call Ruthie-818-360-4989.

Friday, June 25, 2010

To Reno and Back

We were up at 5 AM to get all our chores done so we could get granddaughter Beth in Sierraville and take her to the Reno airport. It was cloudy , but warm when we left.
As always the Feather River Canyon had beautiful scenes. It only takes a few minutes from our house to get into the green, green forest.

There are many power stations built in the 30's. They are real works of art. This one spans the highway. You drive right under it.

The Feather River was originally called Las Plumas Rio. Las Plumas means "the feathers" and the river was covered with duck and geese feathers.

We stopped to stretch our legs and this wonderful barn was by the side of the road.

I wonder what stories it could tell.

Across the street from the barn was the city sign. My kind of city.

The clouds hung on the mountains and we even had a rainstorm!!

The country is so open and green here. We keep thinking it would be a good place for a horse ranch. Maybe someone will open a sanctuary here.

We picked up Beth, drove to Reno and saw her off for Denver where she will go to school.
Then we turned for home. It was very comfortable, but a long drive- a little more than 8 hours total.
Soon we were back in Butte County, grateful that Carolyn and Art had fed for us in the evening, so we weren't rushed to get home.
Updates- Lexi is doing very well with her drain. Brandie's tumor removal is healing. Frankie's biopsy site is fine . We are keeping a close watch on Tory and Charles now as they are not keeping their weight on. All the dental patients are doing well. Harmony and Chance are enjoying their time together. Jonathan has quit watching the gate and is back to his meandering ways. There is a problem with Gracie, however. She ate every single plant in my garden- every vegetable- every flower. Princess Grace has been banished to the dungeon- otherwise known as the turnout with Lexi. We had to chase her for a bit, and she showed us how fast those little legs could go, but finally two adults got one little horse corralled.
The frogs are singing a bedtime lullaby and I'm exhausted. Miss you, Beth. Enjoy those big ole Rocky Mountains.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

A Day Late

Today first. Art and Carolyn came to lunch today. They know horses and cattle so well that on occasion when we are gone they can do our chores. Thank you so much. It's wonderful to have friends who know what they are doing with the critters.Now for yesterday- vet day. I couldn't post a blog because my computer was in for an oil change and tire rotation- or whatever Ron did to make it healthy again. Thanks, Ron.
The morning sky was covered with lumpy clouds. It was beautiful, but eerie. It also made the day very sticky and hot.

Here they come- Dr. Darling and Lauren. The dogs always greet everyone who comes to the sanctuary. We call them the Barkanacle Choir.

Lexi was the first to be evaluated. We had done a good job in stopping the infection and keeping the injury site clean, but it was decided to put a drain in so we could continue to flush it.

Lexi gets 13 SMZ tablets twice a day and her wound gets flushed 2-3 times daily. Lexi is a very brave horse. She never gives any trouble with all the poking and prodding we do.

Next Calli's knee was checked. Wasn't much to do there, as Aaron's trimming helps more than anything.

The mobile vet truck is ready for the day's work.

Lexi is getting a drain put in so we can keep it flushed. That way we can make sure no germs settle in the bottom of the wound.
Lexi was sedated for the minor procedure and didn't mind a bit.
Then it was dental time. She's an older girl and floating her teeth will make eating easier.
Here's a sentence you don't hear often, but we heard it twice yesterday. "Please, hold her tongue." OK. Whatever you say. Tongue held.

Lexi was put in the "drunk tank" to sober up a little, then it was Calli's turn. Calli would get wads of food stuck in her jaw. Her teeth were really bad. Jim asked how old she was and Dr. D said somewhere between 30 and 100.

Here we go again. "Would you, please, hold her tongue?" The reason there is blood is that one very rotten tooth had to be pulled. It was where the food wadded up.
This tooth was bad. We gave it to Lauren for a good luck tooth to take to vet school with her. We told her mule teeth were very rare and brought lots of good luck. (Not to the mule, however.)
Almost done, Calli. Hang in there. Everyone worked in the shade of the tree. All the animals are sedated before the dental work. Into the drunk tank with Lexi she went.

While the girls were sobering up, Frankie's tumor was evaluated.

Jim held Moon Dancer nearby so Frankie would have his friend. He was very patient and quiet, knowing Moon Dancer was right there.
Moon Dancer and Jim consult with Dr. D.
It was decided to biopsy the tumor. It will take about a week. Then we will decide how to proceed. The tumor is surrounding the jugular vein and carotid artery. There is no easy solution.
During this time a rather large spider hopped on Dr. D's back. He walked to Lauren and asked her to get it off. She's not a spider fan and really whacked it. Everyone was surprised, except the spider. He was gone. Somehow we missed getting a picture of Brandie getting her teeth done. We moved Lexi and Calli to their turnout, did Brandie and put her in the drunk tank with the cattle. (When Dr.. D saw Banjoe and Julian he said they needed to go to Jenny Craig. He'd never seen such HUGE bellies).
Then came Harmony. She really needed some work, too.
Harmony was a really good girl, a little loopy, but good. Harmony is a beautiful Arab mare who usually doesn't like any horse near her, so we put Brandie away before we put her in the sobering up pen.
Almost done, girl.Chance is a 3 year old off the track Thoroughbred with a fractured knee. He was raced as a 2 year old and his bones were not ready for the hard running. He had some dental work about a month ago, but he is not flourishing. It was decided to leave him in the calf pen so we could feed him all the food he would eat. Harmony was still in the pen when we put him in. Surprise! Surprise! They are getting along so well we decided to leave them together.

Now for the most difficult part of what we do- saying good-bye to those who are ready to wait for us at the Rainbow Bridge. Braveheart came to us starved to bare bones, with his mane rubbed off trying to reach food. He had over a year of good food, lots of love and knowing he belonged. His body could no longer process food. He had his teeth done, special food and all his shots. He belonged to a herd. He went to horse events as one of our equine ambassadors. He was a special Arabian boy. We will miss you, Braveheart.

When Tawny and Jonathan came it was with the hope they could have one final summer. Jonathan flourished. Tawny did not.
Tawny was 34 years old and had spent his whole life with Jonathan. When he came to Home At Last Tawny and Tory bonded and Jonathan had the freedom of the whole sanctuary. They didn't visit often, but when we led Tawny to the horse trailer, Jonathan appeared at the gate and stood near his friend until the end. Jonathan had never come to the front gate before when we took out horses. Today he spent most of the day beside the barn watching the gate. He didn't call out to Tawny like Tory did, but he did stand watch. Good-bye , sweet boy. We will miss you following us around hoping for just one more treat.
Thank you to Helen and Ron and Savahanna for their support yesterday. As always, thank you
to Dr. Darling and Lauren for their competent and compassionate care. Thank you, too, to North State Rendering for their kindness and consideration. Without all of you we couldn't do what we do.