Monday, February 28, 2011


Lexi got her wings today. She was a well loved, beautiful girl. Her owners wanted her to have a good retirement and they were very careful about where they placed her. She and Gracie traveled all the way from Southern California.

Today Bobbie and Gracie stayed right beside her until Dr. Darling came. Gracie had been her pal, but Bobbie usually is not so friendly. It was very touching to see them give her comfort.

Lexi's pain was severe and she was not going to recover.

She is now at the Rainbow Bridge, pain free and waiting for her family.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Lexi, Rico, Cash and 46 Years

Poor sweet Lexi. Her condition is is not good. Her stifle area is in constant pain. She does not have a good quality of life. Monday she will get her wings. As always, it is a heart wrenching decision. Jim, Dr. Darling and I spend a lot of time going over the pros and cons of the quality of life before we come to a decision. We consider each animal and its needs. We try to determine how life will be for the animal, and if we feel that suffering is a major part of their life, then our duty is to end the suffering humanely. Euthanasia means "the good death." It is truly the last gift we can give our beloved friends.
Lexi came with Gracie. They were well loved . Their owner wanted them to have a great retirement and I know they have had it. Thank you , Cathy, for sharing your beautiful girl with us.
Rico is one of the horses in the lower barn. Tonight when I went down to feed, he was standing stretched out trying to urinate. He'd look around as if to say, "Hey. Something's not working." Then he'd eat a bit and try again. A horse with colic stretches out but usually doesn't eat so heartily. After watching him try several times we called Dr Darling. Of course, it was after hours and of course it was almost dark, but the the good doctor was here soon.
He sedated and listened and poked and palpated and then Rico got two more shots- one for pain and one to relax his innards. Dr D feels that Rico had some spasms that pushed against his bladder making him think he had to go. We'll watch him tonight, but we're fairly sure everything is good. No fever. No blockages.

Cash gave us a scare tonight, too. He was down in his stall at dinnertime. He let me walk all around him without getting up. Not good. I let Breeze Bay in with him . They have adjoining stalls, but he can get pushy so they have their own eating space. As soon as Breeze went in he got up and started eating with her. While Dr D was examining Rico , Cash pooped. As all you horse owners know, that's a great sign. So he's OK. Whew!

It snowed today!!! It didn't last long, thank goodness. It was cold and windy, but the horses got double feedings. It makes chores take longer, especially since the big tractor decided to go on vacation. With the big tractor I can take 4 bales at a time, but only 2 with the small one. We are using about 12 bales a day.
It sure rained hard last night. We are due for a few nice days. Maybe the mud will dry out some.
Put in our fly predator order today. We use Spalding Laboratories and if you order from them and use our name Home At Last they will send us a donation. Thank you to all who have done it in the past. Every penny counts. Phone 1-888-562-4552
Sunday is our 46th anniversary. Where did the time go? We were students at Cal Poly Pomona just yesterday and now it's decades later. We were best friends and still are.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Cold Weather Coming

The horses were put back in the barns today. Really cold weather predicted. Aaron, Art and Jim had the horses put in before I came home from lunch with Holley.
Lexi is walking all over the place. Still limping and obviously sore, but active and happy. Dr Darling will be here tomorrow for an evaluation.
He's going to check Keecha dog, too. She has an abrasion over her eye and her eye is swollen closed. The mark is about the size of a donkey hoof, so she may have made someone mad. She's romping and eating, but she looks like she's been in a boxing match. Maybe she will respect those critters a little more now.
She doesn't like it when they come in to the breezeway and on to the back deck.
Ruby and Sparkle are glad to be in.

Look what I found at the Post Office today!!! Three boxes from a special friend.

One box has a darling baby quilt and an adorable horse, plus lots of really good stuff. Thank you Mrs. Santa, you make Christmas happen every time you send a box. These wonderful items will go to the Thrift Store and some of the really special things will go on sale on ebay.

So many folks have been making the Thrift Store a going concern. We have great volunteers, and lots of donations coming in. We can use more, more, more. Store hours Tues.-Sat 10-4 Sun 12-4 Closed Monday. 611 Walnut Chico
The gift card from Tractor Supply Company came today!!!!! Thank you Out Here Magazine. You can read about Sparkle in the new edition of the magazine at your Tractor Supply Company
We will use the card to feed the critters at Home At Last. FaceBook under Donna Kyle

Monday, February 21, 2011

A short blog tonight as it is late and we've had some busy, busy days. It seems we have so much to do and the days are filled from sun up til bedtime.
Saw the doctor today and was asked if I exercised regularly. I think so I said. Does caring for 60 horses count as exercise? He thought so, so I don't need to go to the gym. Whew!! Didn't know when I could fit it in. Between chores, the Thrift Store, the Fire Safe Council maybe?
It's been cold in the morning. The frosty roof is proof.

Solar donkeys!!!! They know how to get warm.. Se Gracie right up next to the house?

Lil Buck has discovered the joys of a mud bath. He's moving around on his club foot, but it still must hurt some.
Quest has a stall to himself. He is not a very good sharer.

Stuart and Skittles have a stall that has a seasonal spring in it. We built the barn in the summer and didn't know about the water.
Ruby and Sparkle eat in the sunshine. Marnie enjoys a few moments of solitary dining. It's not often he is by himself.

This is the view from my kitchen window. Jonathan is sunning himself on the front little patio. Isn't he a jewel? He is sooooo cute.

A beautiful sunset ended a beautiful day.
Working at the store tomorrow. Come on by. Tues-Sat 10-4 Sun 12-4 Closed Mondays Donations and Volunteers needed.
Check FaceBook for the HomeAt Last Thrift page.

Thank you to all who have done so much.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Clouds, Rain, Sun, Wind

Another pictureless blog. When am I going to find the time to take pictures? When the sun came up Frankie and Moon Dancer were wandering all over the yard . They had untied the gate and decided to see the calves and goats and whomever else they could find.
I led Frankie, with Moon on his hip, to a new turnout, which did not please them at all. Frankie showed all his Oldenburg magnificence by prancing, galloping, bucking and rearing. Moon cantered around with him as they expressed their displeasure. Once they realized Daisy and Levi were available for visits they settled down. They are staying out tonight because Lexi claimed their stall. Both have their snuggy blankets on and were glad for a BIG dinner.
Lexi had another good day. She grazed until dinnertime, then out herself in Frankie and Moon's old stall. When Lil Buck tried to join her she charged at him and chased him out. Her leg may be sore, but she is still in charge. She wanted a stall to herself and she made sure she had it.
Jesse and Quest were out for a bit, but when we came home with a load of hay (92 bales for the week) and they tried to pull the top bales down, I put them in. I lost my A list standing with both of them.
The weather was very unpredictible today, except that it was cold all day. Tonight I fed in the rain while the sun was shining. Kind of magical and very beautiful.
Right now is all we have. Enjoy it.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Good News!!

Another pictureless blog. Some day I'll get the camera going.
Yay Lexi!! The pain meds have made her comfortable and she is meandering around the yard. Her leg still hurts, but she's eating and even lying down to rest. (And getting up).
We'll keep her comfortable and enjoy every day with her.
Today there was a brief flash of sunshine. Jesse and Quest joined Buck, the donkeys and mules for a bit of freedom. Chardonnay, Sunny and Aurora ( the Arabs) went out, too, but it was amazing to watch the parade to the barn at feeding time tonight. The cold rain drops were an added incentive. The Arab mares waited at the barn gate and marched in for the night. There are sure clever critters here at Home At Last.
Patches spent part of the day on his back in front of the heater with his back feet on the heater. Then tonight as I was bathing he played fetch with his plastic ball. He purr talks as he brings it and drops it. He chases it and returns it. Sometimes the game goes on for ten minutes.
Little Buck is quite a character. He canters around, bucks and generally feels good. He makes friends with the big horses, but if they try to bully him, he stands up to them. Jesse thought he might push him around some, but it didn't work. In fact, Buck stood almost underneath him and continued to eat.
The buckskins took many naps. When animals get comfortable in their surroundings, they relax and snooze.
Thank you to Resins by Randy and wife Deb for their support. Check out their website Deb is also founder of The International Blessed Broodmare Project. Take a look. Thank you, also, to our loyal supporter Eileen G and to our new friends Barbara and Steve O for their generous donation.
Always, a huge thank you to Helen and Ron for Home At Last Thrift and Gift and to the volunteers who help them.
Check their facebook site and FaceBook under Donna Kyle

Thursday, February 17, 2011


Today was another heartbreaking day. Dr Darling checked Lexi and found she had a fractured stifle joint-no chance of recovery. She is in the barn nice and dry and on enough pain meds to keep her comfortable. She's eating and visiting, but unable to walk. She will get her wings when we can move the truck and trailer. We love this big beautiful girl. Thanks, Cathy, for sharing her with us.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Hail Today Gone Tomorrow

The first few pictures were taken before the bad weather set in. We have been so busy there just isn't time to stop and shoot.
Stuart is eating alone here, but you can be sure Skittles is not far away. Each of them had been loners for years and this winter they discovered one another. Everyone needs a good buddy.

Sparkle and Ruby are together all the time. (Skittles is up above). They are in a single stall in the barn and are quite happy to be side by side. Skittles and Stuart share a stall.

Levi with his Rosie in the background have become inseparable. When we wanted to put them in the barn for the stormy weather, all I had to do was to catch and lead Levi and Rosie trotted bedside us, then cantered into a stall and waited for us. I am so happy that they have found a partner.
Marnie posed with his girls Amira and Tess. Since the bad weather started we have put them in a double stall area in the barn. They are so compatible. No squabbling nor fussing.
Jim enjoyed some quality time with Bo in the round ring before we turned them in their area. Sugar and Ginger look on. Bo is a mustang cross-maybe a Clydesdale?
This is the only picture I took today. We worked outside most of the day, then scooted to Oroville for banking and Tractor Supply Company. Jim was sure it was going to rain and I was sure we could make it home before the storm. We put the feed bags in the back and started home. The sprinkling began . When we got here Jim quickly unloaded the bags and went to check the power shack. About that time the lightning crashed and the hail came down hard. There was about 2 inches on the ground when it finally quit. Wow!! The critters were not happy.

Lexi's foot is still sore and Dr Darling will be here in the morning. We gave her two powerful shots and she's still not willing to move much. Couldn't get her to the barn so she's well wrapped because it's supposed to storm again tonight.

We never seem to be able to get out vet bill under $1000.00 Can anyone help us pay our wonderful Dr Darling?

Thank you Eileen G, Dana M and Mary R for your continued support.

Working at the store tomorrow. Maybe I'll remember the camera.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Random Acts of Photography

I have not taken pictures for several days because we have been so very busy. Since blogs without pictures are boring I've put in random pictures that have nothing to do with the blog- but at least there is something to look at.
Yesterday Jim and volunteer Jess moved panels to redo the barn stalls after Larry from Wilson's Worms removed our manure. Today the rains came so Jim and I moved over 30 horses into a dryer spot.

We went outside at 7 AM and did not finish until after noon. Boy, are we tired, but all the old, cold ones are inside. Tiger Lily did not come in, but she was sheltering in the trees out of the wind and was not cold. Daisy and Lexi got blankets and the buckskins got put in a turnout with lots of trees and a wind break.
They explored every inch of their new home.

Lexi has a very sore foot, but Aaron and Jim couldn't find an abscess. She had pain pills, a pain shot and some antibiotics, but couldn't make it to the barn. She'll stay cozy with her blanket. If she's not better tomorrow we'll call the vet. Aaron will come back first and try again to find the abscess.
After a bite to eat for lunch I went to the Store for a couple of hours while Jim dug drainage ditches. We know how to have retirement fun.
Jim fixed a very special Valentine's dinner then crashed about 8:30.

The store looks great. Tomorrow is the day!! Open at 10 AM.
Thank you Eileen G and Ursula and Walt C for your donations.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Thank You

Thank you to all our supporters. Tired, tired, tired. Volunteers, Guests and Good Friends here today. Getting ready for the rain. Moving horses in tomorrow. Thank you again everyone. Store opens Tues rain or shine. 611 Walnut Chico 10 AM

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Work Day

Worked at the ranch. Worked at the Thrift Store. No pictures, just plenty of thanks to all who are working so hard to make the store a success. We still need volunteers!!!

Friday, February 11, 2011


Tractor Supply Company's magazine Out Here and Nutrena Feed sponsored a contest about favorite older horses. We entered our Sparkle. We told his story of neglect and recovery and thanks to all of you who voted for him Sparkle won!!!
Here is Sparkle with his special friend Laura who was instrumental in is recovery.

Thank you Tractor Supply Company and Nutrena. The food you donated will be much appreciated and enjoyed.
Thank you HorsePlus for having your followers and fans vote for Sparkle.
Thank you Home At Last supporters for voting for Sparkle.

All of the horses who were entered and all the horses who have someone to love them are winners, too.

It's been a long day. More tomorrow.
Thank you Ruth C, Lin C and Lorie H for your donations.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Try Try Again

Yesterday my computer had blog demons. We'll see if we get through tonight.
Yesterday Mac had a tumor on his eye removed-again-. He is doing fine. What a good old dog.

There was a fire behind us. At first we thought someone was burning, but when the fire engine showed up we guessed it was serious.

Maggie B, Sugar, Poey, Julian and Banjoe got all their inoculations and wormings. It may have been the first time for Sugar and Maggie B and they are in their 30's!!!!

We built a squeeze to contain the wild little critters. that way they could get their shots and no one got hurt.
Stay back, boys.

It was hard for Dr Darling and Aaron to work on Sugar, even after sedation. Mules and hinnies are tough little critters.

Julian says, "I'll help."
Zoe helped Kelly get the records straight.
Wherever you looked there were calves. They were a BIG help. They ate Kelly's hair, her jacket and tried to eat the doctor's medicine.

Sugar was feeling the effects of the sedatives. She was zonked!!!!

Posey was woozy, but she got her feet done , wormed and all her shots.

Tiger Lily and Bobbie were checked. Their teeth are fine.
Tess needed some work. Aaron held Tess while Dr Darling and Kelly got the dental work place ready. Tess really missed her friends and was wound up.

Tess had an abscessed tooth that had to come out. Maybe now she will gain some weight. She missed Amira and Marnie even while heavily sedated.
Kelly took good care of her.
Then Tawnee from HorsePlus Humane Society showed up with 4 wonderful new friends. Didn't get a picture of Jumbo as he came out. He's a buckskin draft mustang cross. I love buckskins.
Here is Buckeye. He has a club foot that has been operated on. He's a little spooky, but is supposed to love children.
This is Sugar II. Isn't she beautiful? I love buckskins.

This is Ginger. She is beautiful. My first horse was a buckskin quarter horse mare named Pet. I love buckskins. Did I mention that?Dr D did an evaluation of everyone. They are up to date on all their shots. Why is this blue? Here are Buckeye -now Buck-, Jumbo- now Bo-, and Sugar II and Ginger. They are settling in nicely. Bo is friendly, but the girls and Buck prefer to be left alone. I think it's funny that we have 3 buckskins, but the one named Buck is a dark bay pony.
Today we medicated the ones who needed it. We are watching Moon Dancer's remaining eye. Hopefully, we won't have to remove it, too.
Worked at the Thrift Store for a while. There is a great article in the Chico Enterprise about the store. Helen and Ron have worked so hard and it looks it.
Tawnee brought lots of tack so our store will horse items, too. More volunteers needed. Check the website for an application. Hours will be Mon-Sat 10-4 and Sun 12-4 Closed Monday.
Thank you Christina and Carla for your donations and HorsePlus for your continued support.
Running rescues and sanctuaries is hard work. When there are good friends to help it makes all the difference.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

What Happened???

My blog disappeared reappeared and then I couldn't write. Enjoy the pictures and I'll try again tomorrow

A Wild Wednesday