Monday, August 30, 2010

Day Before Leaving

Early this morning Fiesty said good-bye to BBH.The sky was beautiful. It was cool and the critters were sporting around.
It felt like the coast. It was wonderful.

Babe and Lacey are doing fine. They haven't developed lumps and are eating like horses (Sorry).

Tess and Amira are good, too. They come up to the top for every meal.

Juan took a break today and rested his sore hoof. He, like a lot of mules, is difficult to give shots to because he tenses his neck muscles and bends the needles. He doesn't like powdered Bute, either. I tried to sneak some in his grain tonight.

Maggie is eating and drinking and not coughing. We're keeping her in a stall because she is so hard to catch. If she should get sick while I'm gone Jim will at least be able to treat her. She misses her friends. They call back and forth all day long.

Lucky, who started this whole illness, is doing fine. Cricket never got sick. Lucky and Leeso were playing I'm The Biggest through the fence tonight.

Breezy Summer didn't lose much weight and is eating enough for two. Her abscess is drying up.

Rico and Navajo are beautiful bay boys.

Cash is one of our real success stories. He's an off the track Thoroughbred who didn't know how to be a horse. He was afraid to be outside, didn't know how to be with other horses and did not want to be petted. Now he is part of a small herd, loves his turnout and asks to be scratched. He was skinny and now he's not. He gallops with Breeze Bay and eats with Jesse.

The garden survived Gracie and is beautiful.

The butterflies love this bush.

Because I'm leaving for Denver tomorrow, I had this need to clean today. So besides feeding, watering, and mucking stalls, watering the garden , doing laundry, ironing and dishes I cleaned. What a silly thing to do. We had traipsed stuff in before dinner, but at least the stuff was on a clean floor.
The one thing I didn't do was make the bed. Who could disturb those 3?

Jim feels about computers the way I feel about flies so there may be no blogs for a week.
Thanks to all for the kindnesses you share with us.
Be back soon.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Interesting Sunday

Again no pictures. Too busy. Maggie B. hadn't eaten for a couple of days and just couldn't swallow. We finally got her caught in the lower barn and she got 2 shots. Boy, is she feeling better. She drank and drank and is her old perky self. She'll stay in the barn a couple of days while we watch her.
Her buddies Sugar and Posey wanted to be with her and their fence was in bad shape so Brian and Jim fence mended. Now the girls will just have to wait until she comes back.
Juan's foot was so sore he couldn't set it down. Aaron came and found a huge abscess. It went from the top of the hoof clear to the bottom. Aaron got it opened and draining, then we soaked the foot. Juan should be feeling better soon.
Quest and Bobbie are fattening nicely as is Charles.
Belle is moving so much better. More shots for her.
There are a few coughs in the herd and Pico's and Breezy Summer's sores are still draining, but no new sickness today. Keep your fingers crossed.
Home At Last has many great supporters. Bonnie and Mike are two. Mike is a finish carpenter and makes absolutely beautiful items. Call him if you need any construction work 530-534-9289
It is hard for us to understand how some people can look at a very thin horse and say they are fine. Yes, some of our horse have lost weight while they were sick, but we are doing everything we can to fatten them. The folks we are talking about let their horses get thinner and thinner and do nothing. They don't call a vet. They don't feed more. They do nothing , then get mad if someone tries to help. Speak up when you see this. Be the voice for those who can't speak for themselves. Thank you to all of you who do this.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Bad News Good News and Noses

4:30 AM this morning the dogs barked, "Horses Out!!!" Well, actually is was ponies out. Lucky and Cricket pushed the panels apart and had a great time. Lucky thought Bobbie was charming. They finally raced to their pens about 6 AM.Now for the bad news. Poor old BBH fell off the tractor and the big wheels ran over her. I think she is beyond repair. She will go in the barn for the mice. If the cats can share their food then I can share my BBH. Rest in pieces, Old Hat.

Good news. Dr. Darling cannot figure out what is wrong with Belle. She definitely has foot and leg issues. We moved she and Charles to the lower barn and she will get super duper shots for a week. She gets another week for us to try to help her. Next week she will get re-evaluated. Come on, Belle. Keep getting better.

Charles and Belle had been grooming each other all day. As soon as the vet came Charles panicked and needed to touch Belle the entire time she was being examined. The bond they share is extraordinary.

Juan was very footsore and didn't feel good at all. When we decided to try to fix his foot we knew his other feet would get sore. He's getting pain shots, too. He felt better at dinnertime.

Rosie is doing well. her swelling under her jaw doesn't seem to be bothering her. She has put on a lot of weight and her feet are not sore now.

Quest has put on 50 pounds in two weeks!!!! Way to go, old boy. Keep it up.

Maggie B hadn't eaten in two days. This morning she didn't want any grain. She stood off in the corner and even treats didn't tempt her. I was really worried. When I fed tonight she ran to the fence and nickered. She ate and ate her grain. Since she has only 3 chewing teeth, grain is her main source of calories. Maybe she will be OK.

Tonight was a "nose night." Bobbie shared her nose.

The calves shared their noses.

I guess the nose knows.

"Nobody nose the troubles I've seen..."

Smoke and Smokey share their noses.

Here is Tucker's nose.

Charles thinks we have seen enough noses and this is what he thinks of them.

Your support has been phenomenal during the strangles crisis. Thank you for the emails, calls, cards, donations and FaceBook notes. We appreciate the care and concern you have shown. Dr D thinks we'll have a few more outbreaks, but probably have passed the huge outbreak time. At one point we had 15 horses sick. Pico and Breezy Summer still have open abscesses, but they are healing nicely.
I leave for Denver to be with family next week and didn't want Jim to have a herd of sick horses to care for by himself.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

It's Not Over Yet

BBH was waiting for me this morning, ready to start her day. Mr.s , Zang and Gray were ready, too. Hey!! Where's the food?

Ben Barncat came out for a good morning and a reminder to fill his dish.
Belle is still having trouble moving. Apparently, it is not pain, but a movement issue. She just can't get her back legs to do what they need to do.

The upper turn out only had a few horses. Tiger Lily and Skittles are having a discussion about who gets to eat first.

As I drove down the side road I began to worry. Where are the horses? I worried that someone came in and took them. I probably should worry that someone will come in and leave a bunch. That's been known to happen. Folks wake up with several new horses in their pastures.
About 20 of them were way down by the lower well, standing in the dried up pond. It is cooler down there and after yesterday's scorching weather I guess that was the coolest spot on the ranch. They meandered to the fence when they heard the tractor.

Everyone present and accounted for and no new faces. Whew!!

The hay trailer is empty. Time to get a load. We just took the truck for a load today but will get a trailer load tomorrow.

Careful, Lyle.
Jim is the sideline coach.

Lyle is having his house remodeled and we got to take a tour. It's going to be very nice.

We met Luke Messenger a while ago when he came to get a load of hay with his draft horses and a wagon. He's doing a great job on Lyle's house.

We came home, traded trucks and set off for our favorite feed store. This is the color of the foothills in Northern California in summertime. Golden waves of grain is so true.

Here we are- Tractor Supply Company in Oroville.

Manager Brian Bender and Jim discuss what we need .

They are always good to us. Thanks, everyone. See you soon.

It's not over yet.
Tonight Rosie has a swelling under her jaw and Maggie B has been listless and not eating for two days.
I had hoped it was the heat, but Jim says Maggie has a swelling, too. Both girls are old- Maggie 30+ and Rosie in her mid 20's. Let's hope they will be like Babe who didn't feel good for a while but never got really sick.
Thank you to Jan C., Dorothy J and Naomi J for your very generous donations. You are truly horse angels.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Belle and Charles have a reprieve!!! It was too hot for the vet to come. We cancelled him. It was 110 degrees here today. We are trying extra pain shots for Belle.
No strangles today- day 2.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

A Day to Celebrate

A reason to celebrate-There were no new outbreaks today. Yes, Juan sneezed on me and Pico and Breezy Summer still have ugly abcesses, but everyone is eating and drinking. We have to go at least 2 weeks more before we can be sure it's the last sickness, but this is the first day in 17 days that someone hasn't been sick. Hooray!!!!
When we went out to feed tonight at 7:15
It was still hot. The breezeway is usually 10 degrees cooler than outside.
Jonathan was waiting. What do you suppose he wanted?

Mmmmm. Senior mix for a senior boy. He's 37.

Quest has a mucusy nose, but it's not too bad and his appetite is good. Bobbie has a small lump under her throat, but she's doing OK for now.

Another reason to celebrate is that the little birds who eat the leaves of the sunflower plants missed this one and there is a sunflower!!

The tractor is loaded, ready to go.

Zoe decided to ride tonight. She went all the down and back without getting off. Keecha would rather chase shadows.

Love and Mac lead the way.

Pico is celebrating that he feels good enough to be out with his herd. He has a fist sized abcess that has opened and is draining and another one that may open. He is eating and drinking. Good news.

Jake let Tucker out, but it's OK because Tucker seems to feel good now, too. In fact he was galloping and bucking this morning.

I worried about Skittles because she just stood as the hay was being thrown. Will check her on the way back.
Lacey stood apart, too. She and Babe often do this until everyone is eating. Then they find a quiet spot to eat. Babe used to be the crankiest mare we had, but she has mellowed with age.
Tiger Lily has a cough, but nothing else has developed. Quincy had a cough for a while, too. They are being watched carefully. Their appetites are good, though.

When Amira and Tess were sick they stayed way down at the lower well. They still go down during the day, but come up for dinner now that they feel better.

Brandie's abcess has dried up and she doesn't seem to have another one.

Stuart feels good, too.

There's Skittles eating with the boys. Whew!
Jake, Smokey and Pico are glad to be back together.
This may sound silly, but I even celebrated this stick. The gate rolls forward when the tractor goes through and this cute little stick holds it back.
This rock greets everyone at the front gate. I celebrate that is it older than I am, probably.

The sun is a radiant orange as it sets behind the trees.
There are 2 horses who need your help.
Music is an APHA mare who will be a great pasture buddy. She can take light riders-children preferably. If you can give Music a home please, contact Dana at
Dancer is a registered Arab 28 years old who could be a good babysitter and pasture mate. She needs flat ground. If you can help Dancer, please, call Rhiannon at 530-518-6232.
Tomorrow Dr Darling comes and we have to make a decision for Belle and Charles. It is never easy.
Thank you Amalie for your donation.
Thank you for all the emails. cards and calls during this very stressful time.
The vet bills are huge. If you can help we would appreciate it very much.
Home At Last Sanctuary P O Box 4129 Yankee Hill Ca 95965