First, I want to say thank you for all your prayers and concerns. I finally have access to my computer again - yipee!!, and half of the horses are back home. We should be bringing Honey Bandit and the Rock Star back home in a day or two. BIG NEWS - Romeo is coming to Shingletown. He and Rocky are not quite "buddies" yet, but we are starting the process and they should eventually become closer. They will eat from the same pile of hay and have been known to touch noses, so it will be very good for them to have each other. SO AGAIN, THANK YOU FOR ALL THE CONCERN, PRAYERS AND GOOD THOUGHTS!
U N F O R T U N A T E L Y !!!!!!!!!! Everyone was not so lucky. There is a couple that was completely burned out in the Ponderosa Fire. I am not exactly sure where their house was, but I AM CERTAIN OF THIS - THE HOME THEY WERE RENTING BURNED TO THE GROUND AND THEY HAVE NOTHING EXCEPT THE CLOTHES THAT WERE ON THEIR BACK!!!
They need everything. Furniture, bedding, dishes, - just every single thing that we take for granted every single day in our homes. Gift Cards would be ideal, as it would be so nice for them to be able to pick out their own personal items. We will be collecting things for them in Shingletown, (furniture etc.) and you can contact Palomino at 530 474-5197 or 530 339-1458. Lori and Greg will be most appreciative and surely deserve our help.
God bless ya'll!
THANK YOU - PALOMINO
Wow, where to start!!!
My truck is finally “ready to go”, after 4 years, so off we headed to Reno for the Wild Horse and Burro Expo. Arriving at Shirley’s, I started backing in the driveway, only to have the bolt on our idler arm shear off. That was one of the first miracles. We didn’t crash and kill anything or anyone. PTL!! Bruce and Matt got that fixed for a few more pennies, and we headed off to Expo.
As we were leaving, Shirley let me know that we were “on standby” for the Desatoya (?) roundup. From what I was told, this round up was not expected as range conditions were thought to be much better than were actually found. Just as we were setting up, we got the call, two babies coming in. Instantly Shirley and I are on high alert, adrenalin flying, waiting to see what we would have. But we had to wait, as the babies were about 3 hours out, and under the care of the on scene vet.
While we were waiting for the “head out call”, Matt and I went inside to fill out a burro adoption form. We were talking to Alan Shepard and I was very happy to be able to thank him. He had picked up the phone when the round up started and told them to immediately get a hold of Shirley if there were any foals in distress.
This is what working together accomplishes. After Honey Bandit’s situation, we have been trying to improve on our working relationship with the folks at BLM so there would never be another “Honey Bandit”. Not only are they taking newborn or young foals and mama’s out of the general population immediately, pretty much as a “norm” now, they not only called us immediately, they actually delivered the two babies the over 3 hour trip straight to Shirley’s. Only putting out the truth, good and bad, will help the situation.
We were both extremely happy to find the foals in as good of condition as they were. Both were dehydrated, (but had been given fluids by the vet), and wanted to munch and munch and munch, but all in all, they were in much better shape than we usually find them. Dudley, named after “Uncle Bob”, a wonderful and very special supporter, seems to be around 2 months or so, and “Dixie”, named after one of my boys’ grandmas, was thought to be 5 or 6 weeks? I haven’t been able to talk to Shirley too much lately so I am not sure if that age is correct.
Good News!!! Romeo is going to be coming to Shingletown as we have been working on bonding him up with the Rock Star. It is going slowly, but I think surely…. J He was actually supposed to come home with Honey Bandit and Rocky this time, but none of them came home. The three of them are currently staying with Mama Shirley, as we had to race home because of the huge fire that was hauling towards our house.
Dalton called me when the fire was 100 acres or so and by the time we got home about 4 hours later it was over 7,000 acres and 0 contained and spreading like wild fire (haha).
About halfway home we got the call that we were on a Sheriff’s Mandatory Evac. So we drove home a little bit faster.
We just had time to load up all the critters, PTL that Shirley has 3 of the babies!!. We loaded DaBubbles and Patches first, but the “baby door” that wasn’t quite finished had one little issue. If you put that “door” in the regular “panel” position, you have to pull out the extender and DaBubbles thought it was really fun to run out that hole. So while we were “fixing that”, the goat was running into the trailer and Dabubbles was running out. We got that area secure, then loaded Dakota. Dakota is extremely claustrophobic, and was trying to “break out” of his divided area. This of course encouraged Chilly Pepper to come into the dark trailer with a thrashing horse (not). But we loaded her up and the goat jumped back in for the 10th time and we were closing the door. Then, PTL, Dalton managed to get the last of the 6 rescue cats. Of course we don’t have enough cages because when my chickens were stolen from the old house, they stole the cat carriers to put them in. So we turned a huge blue tote into a “kennel” and put air holes in it. This is all happening after the second emergency phone call for the mandatory evacuation and the sky is brilliant orange and red and you can hear the fire roaring like a jet engine. It is snowing ash, and you just get this really creepy feeling and it is very hard to think clearly. We had our ladders up against the house and the hoses on the ladders ready to go.
We jumped in and started down the hill. We dropped the horses off down the hill at a ranch that Sandy and Marie, (some wonderful friends and extremely valuable members of our rescue family) take care of. The owner is also a very valuable part of our rescue community and has not only taken the horses in this time, but donated hay when we were nearly panicked as to where to find affordable hay last winter. They are all such wonderful people and have made this whole nightmare much easier.
We then spent the night in the parking lot in Palo Cedro, with many others from Shingletown. We awoke to hot cement and crying, stressed out cats. This was not going to work, so we headed up the hill to our old property. I guess God knew what he was doing when the short sale fell through. So we are legally camped out at the old place. PTL!
We took the motorcycle down to check on the horses, which hadn’t been in sight for a couple of days as they are on 15++ acres. But when Chilly Pepper and Dakota heard the motorcycle, they galloped, all five of them (if a goat can gallop) up to the fence to see us. Another clear reminder of why we do this. It nearly brought tears to my eyes as they raced up the field, manes and tails flying in the wind, calling out to us. The mini’s were so cute as they raced behind with the goat.
So although the fire is still raging and the winds are picking up, all is well in Shingletown so far. Thank you everyone for your concern and prayers. We don’t have cell service, so if you need to get hold of us, call our cell and leave a message. We head up the hill for news and messages often. And yes, we made the trip to Wally World as we left with no clothes, toiletries, toothbrushes, food etc. We had to buy food for the critters as we didn’t bring that either. So I guess I am not very good at the evac thing, except for the critters!
God bless! Matt & Palomino
Palomino and the critters have been evacuated due to the Ponderosa wildfire. Right now, we know that they've all been safely evacuated but we don't have any news on their home yet. Follow the latest on the fire here.
We just got to Shirley's, as tomorrow is the first day of the Wild Horse & Burro Expo in Nevada. As you may or may not know, my "reliable" truck has been down for almost 4 years, waiting for new injectors and a few other things. So today was our first big trip. It pulled the trailer like silk. We were smiling and happy and so grateful as arriving at Shirley's it simply felt like we had been out for an afternoon drive. UNTIL I TRIED TO BACK INTO THE DRIVEWAY. The idler arm came completely disconnected from the frame and the one wheel would not turn and the other tire kind of caved in. Hmmmmmm, imagine that pulling our beloved horses and travelling 55+ miles an hour down the freeway. So, although after spending all of my pennies, (and it was ugly :) ) to finally get the truck fixed, get new tires and make sure everything was safe and secure for travelling, we have another "incident". I have to say I was disappointed to say the very least, that the truck wasn't "good to go" like we thought, but everyone was very quick to point out how lucky we were that it happened after a 200+ mile trip and not in the middle. So I guess I am thankful after all!!!
We do have another issue that we need help with though. I seriously need help raising funds for this. As I have mentioned, we have a huge mountain lion casually traipsing down our driveway in the middle of the afternoon. He is very brazen and has been coming around more and more. The neighbor watched our dogs chase him off, but he keeps coming back. This morning, as we were pulling out of the driveway, we noticed about a 6 foot area of WIDE OPEN where there used to be tightly stretched and extremely well secured "no climb horse fence". We heard the cat again last night and the dogs barking and chasing it away. Well apparently before they chased it away, it had time to go after Honey Bandit and the minis. They hit the fence and blew it open. Now if you have ever tried to push down well stretched horse fence, you know it takes an extreme amount of force and fear to do that. (We had a two year old colt do that one time before at the old place when that other mountain lion was around) I thank God that the horses came back in after the fact. The fence that borders the back of the property is fenced with the "no-climb horse fence", and it is only about 150 feet or so (maybe a little bit more) from Highway 44. (A very fast two lane highway where the speed limit is 65, so you know people are traveling well over that).
So, the only thing we can do to make sure this doesn't happen again is to use strong horse panels. No type of wire or no climb fence is safe enough on the strip by the highway, and board fences can break and splinter if hit with that much force. We are looking for a burro, which will help the situation, but the horses may still panic and we simply cannot have them going through the fence and out onto the highway,
IF ANYONE HAS ANY OLD OR USED PANELS THAT THEY ARE NOT USING AND WOULD LIKE A TAX DONATION, PLEASE THINK ABOUT DONATING THEM! WE ARE BETWEEN A ROCK N A HARD PLACE. This is home, (which we truly love and are very appreciative of), but we need between 35 and 40 panels for a PERMANENT fence on the highway side. The rest of the horse area is paneled, except for the back which is fenced with chain link. We will be beefing up the supports on that as soon as we get home.
Please don't forget we are selling raffle tickets to win the Honey Bandit Chair. It was going to be for a hay barn, but I kind of think that keeping the horses off the highway is a much better idea. So now it is a "panels for safety" fund raiser. We thank all of you for any help you can give us in this situation. I am also very open to any other ideas as to solving this problem??? The tickets are $5 each or 3 for $10. We will be having the drawing in December before Christmas. You can get raffle tickets by mail or through paypal at Palominodancer@yahoo.com or by going to our website at www.chillypepper.weebly.com.
Everyone is watching for the cat, but he is nearly invisible,, although very large, except for my neighbor seeing him in the afternoon, and the rest of us spotting him at random times. Our neighbor said he could place his whole hand inside the cat's paw print. But he is almost like a ghost. We are not the only ones worried about this, as our friends down the road from the sanctuary have already lost their goat to a cat. There are simply too many cats around us as they have been feeding off the wild babies at the nearby sanctuary every year and the new (lion) youngsters get kicked out every year and they hang around the neighborhood, which unfortunately is us. Fish and Game told me that once they have an unnatural source of "easy" food, it attracts a much higher number of mountain lions to the area. They are also breeding, and then they produce kittens who also become lazy hunters when they have an abnormal abundance of easy prey, and they stay lazy hunters, more often than not feeding on domestic animals.
So once again, I have to be very thankful that these two occurrences didn't turn out differently. I know God is watching over us and I am extremely grateful the horses didn't get hit or cause a wreck, and although I am still not truly happy the truck had issues when we got here, how much luckier could we have been.
Stay Safe and God Bless. Please, please drive extra carefully in light of all the things that have happened recently. WE HOPE TO SEE YA'LL AT EXPO, TOMORROW, SATURDAY OR SUNDAY!
Again, thanks for everything and let's "git er done"
It's been awhile, but things have just been busy. We are getting ready to travel to the Wild Horse & Burro Expo in Nevada. HONEY BANDIT & ROCKY are planning to be there to see all their aunties and friends this coming weekend.
We are still working out the details, but Honey Bandit will finally get to meet a lot of the people who have been supporting him and following his story. We are so looking forward to that.
Last weekend we spent Saturday at the Shingletown Volunteer Fire Department FUN DAY! It was so much fun. We spent all day surrounded by kids and yes, grown ups too. It was so awesome seeing the smiles on the faces of the kids who had never touched a horse, or had never gotten a chance to offer up a bit of hay. There were also lots of old friends that have been part of the Honey Bandit saga since day one. It was really awesome watching the amazement on their faces when they compared the pictures from the "before" to the "now" that is Honey Bandit. He is a little bit on the lean side, as he is enjoying another growing spurt. We have upped his groceries and he is feeling very good, and once again picking up his weight.
I had forgotten how much he enjoys these "meet and greets". Especially since the babies started coming through, he has been feeling a tiny bit left out as he hasn't been the complete center of attention. But he made up for it by stealing the show on Saturday. Talk about a ham, he certainly is one. He knew he was the star. Rocky enjoyed much attention also, but Honey Bandit was definitely the one "working" the audience. We are so looking forward to the Expo, and to having a chance to meet in person so many of the people that have been involved in Honey Bandit's life, but who have never had the opportunity to actually say hi face to face, and to see the miracle they helped to happen.
Thank you all for your continued support and prayers. Things are going well as we start looking forward to another year in our new place. It is coming along, and thanks to a very special lady, we have purchased the insulation for the nursery. The boys and I actually got one wall of the "stall" finished with insulation and putting up the boards over it. It is so exciting to see the little changes that we have accomplished and the progress we are making (baby step by baby step) towards having a finished nursery before the cold weather arrives. We are also looking to get materials for a hay barn so we can make sure we have a dry place to store hay and grain. (We keep hearing rumors about having a harsh winter - and it can do that up here, so we want to be prepared.)
We would appreciate prayers that the mountain lion that is wandering through our road/driveway in the middle of the afternoon stays away. So far the dogs seem to be doing a good job of chasing him away. Our neighbor watched one of the dogs actually run him off two days ago, but it is still nerve racking. We are looking to find a burro/donk as they are known to be very good deterrents. What is scary though is that the cats are so blatant and not worried at all about people or dogs or anything. They just wander through the property in broad daylight. So we appreciate prayers for safe critters.
I look forward to seeing ya'll at expo. Please stay safe and drive with extra care!
Sorry it has been so long since we sent out a Romeo update. Here are some pictures of Romeo and Rocky. They spent several days eating together through the fence and nuzzling each other and hanging out. Shirley and I decided it was time to let them "hang out together and play", but it was not what we had hoped for.
Although hanging out at the fence was all good and dandy, the Rock Star was scared to death when they were in the same area. Poor Romeo has been waiting for someone to play with, and he was so excited. He walked up behind Rocky and put his mouth on his tail and that was pretty much it. Rocky ran for his life. I stayed outside with them for a couple of hours, and every time Romeo would come and chase Rocky, Rocky would come crashing over to where I was. (I was smart - or maybe just a big fat chicken- but I stayed outside so I wouldn't be trampled when he ran over for me to save him). He tried to get away so fast one time that he fell down. (He didn't get hurt, just looked silly) Poor Romeo. He would chase Rocky and then turn around and just look at him like "don't you know how to play? You are suppose to chase me!".
So we separated them and once again they started "hanging out" through the fence. On a positive note, Rocky has actually touched noses with Honey Bandit through the fence too. So he is improving, just not as fast as we had hoped. He needs someone to play with. Shirley and I figure that little by little they will finally figure it out and Rocky won't be so scared. But in the meantime, he has horse friends across the panels on all sides and he does play with the goat and the dogs, so he is not all alone. But I cannot wait until the day he starts playing with Romeo for real. That will be a very happy day. I hope I get to see that before he is adopted!
Romeo is doing very well. He is running and bucking and having a good time, but there are still times when he suffers memory loss and it is almost like he had never been touched. The last time we left we were loving all over him, brushing him, hugging him, and then when we came back he was scared of every thing and every body. But that only lasted a couple of days. So although his brain injury seems to be less of an issue than before, it is still there, and he still needs prayers and energy for his recovery. He is sure a cutie though. Wow, what a little sweetheart and how awesome it is to watch him prance and play.
Thank you all for your support and prayers. He is so much better, but still not quite there yet. Without ya'll, and Shirley, (and of course Bruce :) he would never have made it this far.
Take care and God bless!