Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Good-bye, Baby

Baby Jane our beautiful white donkey got her angel wings today. She was well loved her whole life and was a great girl. We were privileged to have her live with us.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Dark Damp Tuesday

Mac set the mood for the day. Relax and stay warm.

Princess took her usual place on the back of my chair and took it easy.

Feisty found a new spot on one of Jim's jackets.

But Patches really took advantage of an easy day. He loves that heater.

Jim and I tried to get things ready for the predicted big storm. Hay moved. Animals watered. Drainage ditches cleared. Horses in and blanketed. Extra feed to everyone.
Then I spent the afternoon starting to get the sanctuary's tax records in order. Order is not my best trait, so it is work.
Memories of 2010 April- New critters-Tawny horse who was 30 and extremely thin. We tried very hard to get him back in shape. With Tawny came Jonathan the 37 year old donkey with the arthritic neck. They had been together for 30 years. At the end of the month beautiful Moon Dancer came to live with us.
Beth's young horse Warrior died after a bad accident.
In May we attended the Spring Fling at Spring Valley School. We are always glad to have an opportunity to talk about responsible pet ownership and to share about Home At Last. The very same day Frankie came to us.
Pilgrim got colic and died.
Larry from Wilson's Worms started his cleaning of corrals.
June brought plein aire artists from Paradise. They enjoyed a day at the sanctuary, painting and just relaxing. Patches the kitten arrived. We attended the Patrick Ranch Threshing Bee. We had lots of interest in Home At Last and Jesse horse.
Callie the mule with a broken knee came to live with us.
Braveheart the beautiful grey Arabian and Tawny got their angel wings. Both boys were in their 30's, could not maintain their weight and were slipping away.
Our volunteers braved the hot weather and came every Sunday. We love our volunteers.
Sweetie Pie has forgiven me and Levi II enjoyed another day of freedom. Babe, Lacey and Tucker asked to come in from the storm.
We are snuggled inside tonight, listening to the wind howl and grateful to all of you who help Home At Last.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Vet Day Good News Sad News

Dr Darling came today. We had many animals who needed evaluations and treatments. First, the sad news. Donkey Baby Jane came to us with Cushings disease. We have tried everything we can to help her, but it has become more and more obvious that she has intractable pain. Even with a double dose of pain meds she cannot get comfortable. She doesn't move more than about 10 feet each day. I have been carrying her food and water to her because she just can't get around. She stretches out and rocks on her feet. Dr D says that donkeys are really tough and for her to be exhibiting this much pain, it must be almost unbearable for her. Wednesday she will get her angel wings.
This is the most difficult part of our sanctuary life. We love each animal deeply and it hurts to say good-bye. But then it is not about us, it is about them. If they are not having a good quality of life then it is time to give them their wings.
Baby Jane is only 20, and wasn't with us long, but she is sweet and beautiful.

Dancing Drum decided to take advantage of the warm sunshine. Maybe warm mud baths are the in thing with equines. She was sacked out.

Dobbin was having eating issues. He had begun to loose weight so his teeth were checked. Two of his back teeth were so long that they were digging into his upper gum. He couldn't close his mouth all the way. Chewing was difficult.

Gracie said to never mind about Dobbin. Just let me sleep.

Dr Darling and Kelly had to sit because Dobbin was too short for the head stand.

What a good boy. A little woozy, but good.

Jessie, who is just beginning to trust people, kept her distance and watched from the far corner of the house.

A few sharp edges needed filing.

Let's see. Yep, pretty darned good.

A little off the bottoms, please.

Rinse, spit and we are done!

Chardonnay, Aurora and Sunny were checked. Their stitches are fine.

We heard moaning and groaning and were afraid that someone had colic. We raced to Frankie's pen, only to find out he was enjoying a super deep, really gooey mud bath. He rolled and twisted and managed to get caked with mud. When Dr D tried to look at his neck to see how his surgery was, Frankie turned away from him and stomped off, looking over his shoulder at the doc.

Another evaluation was done- this time on Levi II. It was decided he was well enough to enjoy some freedom. He has been stalled since he arrived. Oh, did he ever enjoy being out. He went from pen to pen and horse to horse to say Howdy.
He nibbled on grass and hay, and at feeding time tonight went into the barn to be stalled for the night. I think he knows that he will get outside time more often now.
He was used to the donkeys and mules because they visit the lower barn, but the calves amazed him. He would watch them for a while, walk away, then come back and stare some more. Their moos really had him confused.

All the goats thought the sunshine was wonderful. They spent the day basking in the warmth.

Sweetie Pie had injured her eyelid and her eye is infected. Dr D sedated her, then flushed her eye and tear duct. She got an antibiotic injection. Usually, she loves people, but tonight she was still mad at me for letting the vet work on her. Whenever I came neat her stall she turned her back to me and walked away.

Babe, Jesse and Tess were, also, checked because they have not put on much weight after having strangles. We will watch them closely and give them necessary supplements.
Navajo's cancer on his side will be treated, too.
Jake is usually camera shy, but today he wanted a close up.

Thank you Lisa A for your donation.
More rain expected. Oh., goodie. More mud. Jim is going to dry the mud and sell it. Instructions:just add water.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Restful Day

Christmas lunch had loved ones, friends and family. It seems as though whether you have 5 or 25 for a meal there is always so much to do, so much to eat and so much love to be shared. For some reason I didn't have my panic attack cleaning. Could have been the rain and mud kept us too busy for much else.

Even old Mac had his fill, as did all the other critters. There were goodies for everyone. Brian and Jim did the feeding so I could do the preparations.

This morning there was a little more rain, but not much. Poor Sweetie Pie has injured her eyelid and has an infection started. Some SMZ has it calmed down already. Dr Darling should be here tomorrow for some routine dental work, some quality of life checks and a general herd inspection.
Part of running a sanctuary is to have the vet always be aware of all the animals and our concerns. The thin ones, Babe, Tess and Jesse, will have an extra check-up and Baby Jane will have her feet checked.
Should anyone have questions about the health of any of the animals they can see the medical records of each animal.
All four dark donkeys gathered in the driveway. Baby Jane does not move around much and stays mostly in the trees in front of the house.

Perhaps tomorrow we will be able to let out the stalled critters. They are getting cranky by being kept in.
During this last week of 2010 let's remember all the good that happened this year, and plan to make more happy memories for 2011.
I'll try to do 3 months of memories a night. Some of the memories are sad.
In January Granddaughter Beth was still living with us and we got NO new horses. We met Helen who became our horse trainer. The frogs returned from their winter hideout. No horses died.
In February 4 newborn goats came to live with us. They had been abandoned at birth by the dairy owners. We kept them in the house in a playpen. 3 of the babies died in our arms. They died full, warm and loved. 2 more baby goats came to live with us. No new horses.
In March Tess and Amira arrived. Tess was a Clint Richie Arabian mare who no one wanted because of her age-29. Amira had been Trixie and was an untrained mare about 8 years old. No one wanted to adopt her. Cajun got colic and died. Cajun had been rescued with Aurora . They lived in a neighboring county and had been seized because of severe neglect. Cajun had been a stallion , but was gelded just before he came here. He was an exceptionally beautiful bay horse. All three horses and the goats came from NorCal Equine Rescue.
As soon as I figure out how to get pictures from the disc to the computer and on to the blog I'll post pictures . I'm still a techno-idiot. 2010 didn't change that.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas

Happy Holidays to all.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A Dry Day

Today was supposed to be rainy and the clouds teased us with showers, but we never got a drop. Hurray!!! That meant we could let everyone out. Sounds simple, but sometimes it just doesn't work that way.
Our lower barn has seven stalls on each side and we made 7 in the center by putting in panels and gates. There are often 2 or 3 horses in a stall so letting them out is like a Chinese puzzle or maybe a Rubric Cube. First one, then the next. Sometimes, however, those who go out, just stand in the stall that is open to the turnout. That means horses who would like to go out have to get by the standing ones. Shooing works sometimes, but often as not our horses are "shoo" proof. They know one one will hurt them, so why move?
Finally the only three left were Chardonnay, Sunny and Aurora. They went into every stall, had a looked around and back tracked before I could close gates behind them. It took a good 15 minutes to get them all headed in one direction and out the gate. It was like herding cats.
Everyone enjoyed the fresh air and outing. All except Levi II. We aren't sure yet he can withstand a good romp. He was not pleased at being left in, so we gave him the whole barn to explore. Juan was not happy either, because his Rosie was out and he couldn't see her.
We, also, moved the upper barn horses to their turnouts. Oh, the running and mud rolling that went on. Sparkle was free again, but we did put him in the barn for the night. No sense burning calories to keep warm.
The evening sky was beautiful. It sort of made up for the grey gloomy days.

At dinnertime the three Arab mares asked to come in and this time there was no silliness. In the gate, in the stall and begin eating. Tess and Amira wanted in, too, as did Marnie. The girls came in and Marnie stood next to them in an outside stall. Rosie, Lexi and Navajo asked to come in. Navajo has become a real love. I guess once he figured out where the people are is where the food and love is, people became OK.
The sky just got more and more spectacular.

Met a lady at Tractor Supply today who had no idea on the fate of male dairy goats and calves. She cried when she found out most of them are just thrown away.
She promised she raise some when the new supply of babies are born.
Thank you Carla G for your Christmas donation.
Thank you all for your kind Holiday wishes. Check out the cafe option.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A Bright Grey Thing in the Sky

These are all that are left from the feline decoration onslaught. So we will have a minimalist Happy Holidays . Used to decorate every square inch of a rather large house, but these particular cats seem to think every item put out is for them to roll, push, pounce on or eat. Keep smiling reindeer and snowman. Maybe it will protect you from the cats on a rampage.

Very little water fell from the sky today and there was this bright grey thing shining.

The donkeys, Jessie, Jenny and Dobbin, like to be in on every activity. There could possibly be food involved.

Gracie found some grass by the solar panels.

The three not-billy goats not-gruff pop up for a hello. Where's Poe?

There he is. He likes the house. They all pile in together when it's wet and cold. Haven't gone in with them, but I bet it's warm. Maybe a little smelly, too.

The mud pair Frankie and Moon Dancer soak up some rays.

Amy, Aaron, Carolyn and Art came over today to help pile extra hay in the muddy stalls in the upper barn. Chance thought it was wonderful to have all that extra food in there.
The stalled horses are most anxious to get out. They have had enough. It's supposed to rain tomorrow, then be dry for a couple of days. Hang in there, kids. You'll be out soon. And then back in.

While filling water tanks in the upper barn, cats Daphne and Ben came out for a visit. Daphne was born in the woodpile at our place in Magalia and Ben just showed up at the barn here one day about two years ago. He had a very bad eye infection that we treated for months. His eyes would bleed. We had him neutered, but decided his eyes were causing him too much pain. We made an appointment to have him get his angel wings and he disappeared for a week. When he came back his eyes were much better, so he's still with us. No eye problems at all. Maybe he just needed a good scare to get better.
Daphne's full name is Daphne Braveheart Thistledown. She's a small cat with a ferocious ego and temper and is as soft as ,well, as thistledown. She's about 10 years old.

Candy Bar cat stayed up above to watch the proceedings. He and his brother Oliver were born at our Magalia place, too. They are about 8 years old.

Oliver thought you might like a close up of a very lovely barn cat. These are the non-mouse chasers. Live and let live is their motto.

The hay really helped the stalls. Thanks, everyone.

Part of the herd enjoyed the rainless evening to dine al fresco.

Can you believe that over half of our horses were slaughter bound? Sure, some may not be rideable, but they certainly are not worthless. Just ask them. They will tell you they are priceless.

Tucker the spotted mule ate a little with the gang, but met me at the lower barn and asked ever so nicely to be put in for the night. He's been a little stand-offish with the herd and we want to watch him carefully for a while. He has a bowed tendon that might be giving him some trouble.

Baby Jane, Gracie, and Jonathan like to wait by the fence for their meals on wheels dinner. Why walk when it can be delivered at no extra charge?

I didn't give everyone their grain tonight before I fed hay and the protesters met me at the gate. Jim had to come and push them away so I could get back in.

To say they were disgusted with me would be an understatement. They gave me the cold shoulder or backside, as it were.

Callie is trying to convince Jim that I am neglectful and that he should give her a treat.

Juan has no fear of the tractor. If he wants a bite then I have to stop. Donkey dodging and mule navigating is a required course for tractor driving here

The cats have had their climber for over a week and tonight is the first night they are playing on it. Feisty is hanging through the center hole and batting at Princess.
Had to take several of Patches' cat toys out of the tub before I could bathe. He drops four or five toys in the tub, then races around in it playing with all of them. It's been a while since he been in the water with me, but when he does it doesn't bother him getting wet.
Hope your Holidays are happy.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Slip Sliding Away

The old song "Slip Sliding Away" is perfect for the weather, the rain, the mud. The upper barn is going to slide to the lower barn and the lower barn is going to slide all the way to the lower well. Our mud has reached perfection. It's gooey, slippery, and in some places so deep that if you venture in you'll never been seen again. I'm going to make horse skis and invent a new Olympic sport.
Daisy and Levi try to make the best of miserable conditions. We really can't put Levi in a confined stall because he just goes nuts. We're hoping to get a shelter in his turnout that will protect them from the rain and water but won't be closed in. Jim made a wind break with tarps and horse blankets that works OK. They tuck themselves beside it and stay out of the wind. Levi will not wear a blanket. He doesn't even like the panels to have blankets and tries to take them off the panels. Then he has a ball stomping them in the mud.

We had no rain for about an hour. Silly me. I thought it was over.
Had to mail some Holiday cards, so knowing that today and tomorrow are the post offices' busiest days, I girded my loins and set off. I didn't really gird anything because I don't have a girdle. I did however get "the look" from the dogs as I set out.
The rain had returned.

On the way to the post office. Rain!!!!

I love our post office- no lines, no waiting, just friendly, helpful people.
Ours is a post office, feed store, hardware store, stationery store, and deli. Just ask and they probably have it.

On the way home-RAIN!!!

These silly horses could go to the barn and snuggle in with two or three others but they won't leave this part of the turnout. On occasion when I have had them stalled there were unhappy and fidgety until they could go back to their spot. Would like two or three nice run-ins out here, too. Maybe these silly kids would go in out of the weather.

You horses make me feel guilty.

The wind turbine and new generator have had a good work out while the solar panels snooze. We actually have a readout on an energy computer that says something is snoozing.
Mac has the right idea.

So do the kitties. Patches, Princess and Feisty think only fools and horse feeders should be out in this weather.

Thank you Ursula and Walt for your donation. Thank you to Dorothy who chose to donate to Home At Last as a gift from her sister. What a nice idea. The animals appreciate it.
When we lived in Magalia our Breeze Bay used to love run in the mud, then slam on the brakes and slide right up to the fence. At the last possible second she would turn and race away, stop and slide up to the next fence. She would do this over and over, having the best time.
We had a Thoroughbred, April, who watched a few times then decided to try it herself. Now April was tall, stately and clumsy. She would run, brake, turn and fall on her side. She'd slide along in the mud, trying to figure out what went wrong. Up she'd get and try it again. She never did get the turn and stay on your feet part, but I guess she had fun trying.
Check our web page and the cafe page. Good goodies.