Went to the rally in Carson City yesterday. We headed out about 4:00 a.m. In the pouring rain. Was a lovely drive, ha ha, but it finally started clearing up around Susanville. Arrived in plenty of time for the rally to "Save the Walker Lake Herd", and decided to grab a bite to eat.
I have to say that I was so excited as we were going to meet Richard "Kudo" Couto. I had met him on the phone, but we were now going to see him face to face. He has been working tirelessly to shut down the illegal (horse) slaughter houses in Miami Dade, Florida. Unfortunately, the conditions and practices in those illegal slaughter houses make the legal ones look like a party. The cruelty is unmentionable, and he risks his life to stop them once and for all. He was worked extensively with CNN and is making a huge difference for our beloved horses. He is now helping us in our fight to stop the BLM Round Ups. So it was an honor to meet him in person.
There were so many incredible people there. It is truly wonderful to be working with such amazing people. Cat Kindsfather was there, as well as Ginger, the beautiful lady keeping tabs on Cloud and his herd. It was beyond heartwarming to get to see Shirley Allen, one of my beloved mentors, in person. We have spent many a night and early morning on the phone trying to figure out the best care for the orphan foals. There were other advocates too numerous to mention. It looks like there could be some changes in the future. According to Bob Abbey, it is going to happen. We keep praying that this is the truth..
Honey Bandit has been a tad "under the weather". He almost seems to have the "blues". He is eating all the time and his bodily functions are working well, but he is just a little off. His energy level is not what it should be. After talking with some of my other "foal rescue" friends, we came to the conclusion that maybe he has been missing his mommy. The last two weeks I have been busier than normal, and although he is never alone, I think maybe the fact that I wasn't with him as much was really hard on him. I guess it makes sense as he already lost his other "mom". They bond so tightly with their bands, and have been know to risk their own lives for their family members. (A good example of that was the band that came back to wait for their fallen mare in spite of the helicopter trying to push them on.)
I guess my focus this week will be to make sure he has more "mommy" time, and he will also be going to the vet for a check up and some more blood work to make sure there is nothing else going on.
He is really enjoying having Patches around all the time. They rough house as though they were the same size and just have a ball. They remind me of my boys when they were younger and always messing with each other. I am trying to get a picture of Honey Bandit when he pounds his foot on Patches' back. It would also be quite entertaining for ya'll if I could get the pictures when Patches torments HB when he is trying to sleep.
I guess having to take care of the little miniature baby, "Bubbles" is a blessing in disguise. Of course between the medications and Patches and HB playing all night means no sleep again. But that is okay. Please say a prayer that HB cheers right up and that everything continues to go well for him. We love meeting all his visitors and appreciate all your support.
God Bless - Honey Bandit.
p.s. We still need to get his nursery built. In the meantime we are trying to get the carport as warm and dry for now as we can. But I am not sure if it will be warm enough for him when the weather really gets ugly. It is so scary when their immune systems have been so compromised. I have also been advised by many in the foal rescue field that he may never have a "proper" immune system. But we will just take it one day at a time.
Just a quick update as we have to get up about 3:30 a.m. To go to Carson City for the protest.
We have a new addition, a little baby mini is now in Patches' stall while we take care of a very serious eye injury.
So, now Patches is hanging out with Honey Bandit pretty much 24/7. If that isn't just a picnic. About 1:30 a.m., they both decide to start playing and crashing into the walls. When Honey Bandit is laying down, Patches will go over and just bite on him and paw at him until he gets up. Then Honey Bandit gets up and takes his front leg and starts pawing on Patches back. Kind of looks like it hurts, but Patches doesn't really seem to care.
Then they rear up and play, making as much noise as possible, making sure that there will be no sleep.
Honey Bandit seems to get stuck more often then any other horse I have ever known. He gets cast in the fence on a semi regular basis, and doesn't seem to realize that he could simply roll over more often than not and get up by himself. There are times when he is actually cast and is halfway under a fence, but most of the time he simply needs to roll over and get up.
Makes me wonder if it is a brain thing, or if he just wants me to come and "save him".
Anyway, he is looking fabulous and really filling out. We want to thank all of you who are continuing to be a part of this awesome journey he is taking and helping to make it all happen.
We are also enjoying all the visitors and are looking forward to seeing/meeting those of you who are coming in the near future. (We have someone coming from Alaska). That is awesome.
God Bless and take care. We will be getting some more pix of him up soon. Margaret is visiting and she said she will be posting some pictures to the web soon.
Check out the new pics of Honey Bandit
10-24-10 Honey Bandit stays Dry
It is 4:00 a.m. As I sit here listening to the rain pouring down, we are in the middle of one of the worst storms I have ever seen. Every now and then you hear a big crash as the wind wreaks havoc. I thought I heard thunder, but it is the wind. There is so much power and you can feel the uncontrollable force that is all around us. It is exciting and a little bit scary. The whole carport is shaking and feels like it may just pick up and fly. This is the first real storm I have seen in the 8 years I have been in Shingletown. We had some good ones when I lived in The Poconos, but this definitely is the best, (except for the lack of thunder). When you hear and see this raw power it reminds you how little you are. (You definitely get the "real thing" when you are outside.)
I have been awake pretty much all night. Between the storm and Honey Bandit there is little chance of sleep. I still am amazed, as usually a storm like this will last an hour or so and move on. However, this has been going on all night long. The wind is howling and the rain is coming down in sheets. I don't think Honey Bandit is particularly nervous, just pretty darn mad that he hasn't been able to run. He has been getting into everything, kicking and pawing at his buckets and generally just being bored. Matt just brought us some coffee and said that the rain is driving sideways and the trees are bent over in the wind.
I wonder how many trees are quietly loosing their grip on the earth and will silently crash to the ground. I worry about the other horses. Are they under the trees? Are they huddled together? I am praying that the old barn doesn't come crashing down and that the roof stays on. I know there will be mass damage from this storm, not only from the winds, but also the amounts of water. It is like the ocean is pouring onto the roof.
I am going to go and get Honey Bandit some toys today. He is going nuts and if it is like this there is no chance of him going outside. I was planning on taking him out to get some exercise and then just drying him off, but this would be like taking him swimming.
I am truly amazed that the power is still on. I would be surprised if everyone is that lucky. Of course, I live in a carport with a horse, so loss of power would not be the end of the world. :) We are using a propane heater, so H B will still be okay.
Outside, the storm is intensifying. I wish I could keep the power it is producing. You cannot hear rain drops, only sheets of water. How lucky we were that the rains held off during the rally.
Saturday people gathered in Sacramento on the capitol steps to try and raise awareness and stop the round ups. The horror stories could go on for ever. Each one about one of our beautiful mustangs that were so severely injured, died, or had to be destroyed due to the round ups. Endless stories of heartbreak as mares and stallions were ripped away from the only families they had ever know. Stories of babies watching their dad's fighting for freedom and to protect them and dying right in front of them.
It is now 10:30 p.m. What a day. We spent most of it trying to avoid the massive flooding outside. I guess when you live at the bottom of the hill you get lots of run off. Our whole front yard was flooded, but Matt and the boys finally got that under control. Honey Bandit's stall (bed) was starting to flood again, but I believe we have that pretty water proof for now. So he has all fresh, dry bedding and he loves that. He also got a ball today as he has been quite bored. He did get to go outside for about 1/2 hour earlier and again for an hour or so later tonight. Now the temperature is dropping rapidly. It is cold!
We did lose one of the big trees. That must have been one of the crashes. Kind of strange though, it was a cedar tree and it split and the top half fell and the trunk section is still standing. Luckily no horses were around when it happened. So although it was a nasty day weather wise, it turned out well as everyone is finally dry and hopefully we won't get so wet next time. We were lucky because Honey Bandit's stall just started getting wet in the early morning, so he suffered no side effects. He is snoring softly as he sleeps beside us. The glow of the heat lamp surrounds him and all is well.
It's getting chilly as I sit here writing this. There is something so soothing about hearing horses eating. (or in this case, just listening to Honey Bandit munching steadily away.), We took some cute video tonight that shows how smart he is and how well he is doing with his training. Unfortunately, I do not know how to down load the videos yet. We can watch them on the TV or on the computer, but not sure how to get them out. Once I do, look out. Honey Bandit seems to be thriving. He is getting more and more confident, and his hearing is definitely coming back. Wouldn't say it's 100% by any means, but compared to a couple of weeks ago, it is unbelievable. He and Patches are still doing well together. It's pretty funny when HB gets "kicky or pushy", Patches just scoots up and leans against his back legs. They seem completely content just to hang out together, whether they are running and playing or just standing around munching. I guess it is a good combination to have two such wonderful "eaters" together. They have so much in common. We are working on getting every thing together for this coming weekend and the rally to stop the roundups. Terri (Farley) and I have been asked to speak, so I feel privileged to be in such great company. We are working on having a "presentable" version of Honey Bandit's CD. The plan is to be able to project it so everyone can see where he started and see the changes everyone has brought about with their love and support. Jennifer is working on that, and if it goes as planned, it will be pretty awesome. We have ordered 50 t-shirts for the this weekend. We want as many people wearing Honey Bandit's shirts as possible. They are supposed to be here on time, but one can only hope. We are also working as quickly as we can to get the carport safe enough for a temporary place for Honey Bandit until we get his real nursery. It has been in the 30's, and that can be pretty hard on a baby like him, especially when it gets so warm during the day. But he is happy and I get the feeling he knows he is loved very much, and by many. Never guess who I ran into at the gym. Nancy Hague, from the BLM. We had a very cordial conversation. She seemed very happy that Honey Bandit was doing well. She said she appreciated the letter I had written to BLM, and that I should put a link to it as they cannot post letters. So we will be posting the letter on Chilly Pepper's website if ya'll would like to read it. I wanted to make it clear that Honey Bandit's journey is not about "hating the BLM", but to make Americans realize that unless we change the laws and legislation, we will lose our horses, and continue to throw away the $74 million dollars that is being spent on the round ups and to house these horses every year. We hope to see as many of you as possible on Saturday, October 23, at the capitol. God bless everyone for all their hard work in attempting to save our beloved horses. God bless. p
Hi ya'll. Been a very long day. Started early this morning as we were fortunate enough to have a spot on BizTalk (www.biztalk1400.com) this morning. Marissa and the gang are awesome. Not sure who listens to the radio that early in the morning, but hopefully someone was. Click Me!
Took Honey Bandit out for a walk. Was going fine but he was very antsy and wanted to buck, kick and play like a happy little horse. So I put him and Patches out in the corral and they had quite a bit of fun. It seems like he is getting a little bit of his feistiness back. I think he has been a little bit more mellow the last couple of days.
But he's back. He is definitely a little "striker" . He likes to rear up and strike out. I think he feels pretty darn cool because he can actually do that. He is getting pretty good about having his feet messed with with nothing on his head. He still doesn't like his "private area" messed with too much. But who can blame him.
He is growing so fast and is obviously going to be a very big boy. He has the most precious little face. We are truly blessed that we found him in time and that he seems like he is going to keep on thriving, thanks to all of you and your support.
We have lots of visitors and we welcome everyone. The schools are waiting for us to bring him to visit, which will happen in the near future. (Not a get out of the trailer type visit, but where he will be there where they can all see him and know first hand who they are helping). We are modifying the trailer so he will choose if he wants to come and "say hi", or if he is feeling shy he can stay back.
He is incredibly smart like all the mustangs I have ever trained. He is picking up his commands quickly, and his hearing is coming back with a vengeance. It is not 100%, but definitely way improved and seems to be getting better all the time.
We cannot thank you enough for all your help. He is surviving and thriving thanks to all of you, your support and prayers. Keep up the good work.
Palomino and Honey Bandit.
30027 Highway 44 East
Shingletown, CA 96088
530 474 5197
(I was asked to provide this info at the bottom of my updates so here it is:) )
Mustangs in Danger
Some bad news re. the Virginia Range horses.
Another Mound House horse was hit on US-50 last night, just west of Centennial Drive in Carson City.
The state is still REFUSING to authorize diversion feeding that the local communities would pay for and who would perform the necessary labor to keep horses off the highway. In fact the officials have said they would go after anyone who does that. This "position" affects all the diversion feed programs on the range, including keeping horses out of Reno and Virginia City.
In the meanwhile the Department of Agriculture is picking up horses and hauling them to the Fallon Livestock Exchange. It appears that the Department is doing this in secret, not publishing various legal notices as required by law and not freeze branding the horses for identification, also required by law.
I'll be taking a complaint to the Attorney General this morning along with copies of the legal sections from the newspaper showing that the required notices were not published. Meanwhile I urge everyone with an interest in these horses to call the Governor's Office and Mr. Hettrick's Office and demand an explanation as to why the state is preventing the traditional control of these horses through feed diversion, why the horses that were picked up haven't been turned over to cooperators, and why horses are showing up in Fallon without the legally required public notices and brands.
There are Virginia Range horses presently standing at the Fallon Livestock Exchange and more are likely to show up.
Here are some phone numbers and email addresses you may wish to use
Governor Gibbons' Office:
For email pleas use the web form: http://gov.state.nv.us/Contact_Us_NORTHX.htm
Deputy Chief of Staff Lynn Hettrick
Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto
Edie Cartwright, Public Affairs
Beware of the BS responses.
1. Feed diversions don't work. (They have been successful for years.)
2. Cooperators won't take the horses. (Of course they will, they always have.)
3. The state is broke. (Then stop preventing the citizens from addressing the problem.)
4. The state can sell the horses. (Only after the public notice and branding requirements are met.)
5. Notices were published. (Advocates have copies of the specific newspapers that the law says the notices have to appear in and there are no notices.)
It is my opinion that in order to fix this situation we can't let the state think we are simply going to let the issue die down. They felt the pressure back when the "Hettrick's Irrigation" incident started, but all indications are that they think we're losing interest and things are returning to "business as usual."
The local citizens and horse groups could have solved this problem but were prevented by the state.
Honey Bandit & Young Fans Rally
Wow, I can't tell you what a fabulous experience it was to meet Honey Bandit's youngest fans. Yesterday, Terri (Farley), Jennifer Gillespie and I went to Manzanita School, in Redding California. We went to meet David Gilstrap and his fabulous group of fourth grade students. These amazing kids, mostly ages 9 and 10, have shown more initiative than many people who are supposed to be mature adults.
There are so many people who yell and scream about the plight of the wild horses, but don't actually do or accomplish anything. These kids saw something they felt wasn't right and DID something about it. The kids all worked hard to raise money for Honey Bandit. Through their hard work and creative thinking, they were able to raise $140. When the class presented the money to me for Honey Bandit, they asked what I was going to do with it. I asked them what they wanted me to do with it and they decided half for his vet bills and half for his food.
The kids also spent hours making posters. The messages ranged from saving Honey Bandit, helping Honey Bandit, to one of my favorites, "throwing out the challenge". The kids in David Gilstrap's class are challenging other schools to a fund raiser. I am not sure of all the details, but I do know the prize. We will be having a big party for the winning class! Terri Farley has agreed to come back and the kids in the winning class will all get one of her autographed books. There will also be fabulous food and fun. Of course Honey Bandit will be the guest of honor, (as long as he is feeling good) When I get the official version of the challenge from the class I will pass it on. BUT THE CHALLENGE IS ON!
Looking in their beautiful faces brought tears to my eyes. There was so much love and caring. Many of them gave their allowances, mowed lawns, had a snack stand, scoured the house for change and did whatever they could to help save an injured and dying foal.
Honey Bandit was scheduled to go to the school, but due to his "cold", we decided it would be best if he waited for the big party.
We plan on taking their posters and letters to the Protest in Sacramento next weekend. These kids are making a difference. Their actions will not only help save the wild horses, but hundreds of thousands of tax payer dollars at the very least. For the people who think "it's just a horse", well I think they forget, or simply don't understand the amount of money being thrown away in rounding up and caring for these animals. Funny, but when left alone, they cost zero. I personally would like my tax dollars to help with needs such as health care, or better yet, stay in my wallet.
Besides being America's Poster Boy to stop the Roundups, Honey Bandit is now being nicknamed, "The Million Dollar Horse". The amount of money we would be saving is astronomical if we get the moratorium on the roundups. We need a successful trip to Washington DC and Americans must INSIST that the legislation be changed, not only to protect our beloved wild horses, but to save tax dollars. If David Gilstrap and his fourth graders can make a difference, think what we can do together.
Honey Bandit fought the good fight, and now it is our turn. He is doing well, although he is still fighting being sick. He won't quit, and neither will we. Thank you all for your help and support.
Honey Bandit fights pneumonia
It was sunny and breezy, a cool, beautiful Sunday I walked out to see Honey Bandit and he was drenched in sweat. His little body was burning up and he was on fire. I immediately took his temperature and it was 103.7.
It is pneumonia weather for orphan foals. It just seems to be the time of year and the type of weather when they are very susceptible to catching it. When you take a temperature like that and put it with even a tiny little cough, well it can be very dangerous. I talked to Shirley (horse angel of Nevada) and we agreed that we should sponge him off as opposed to shocking him with hosing him down.
We started antibiotics and monitored him to make sure his temperature didn't go any higher. (it came down when we sponged him and gave him some banamine per the vet. (I never knew you could use banamine for that, but it works very well).
Once his temperature was under control, Dr. Rodger said to continue monitoring him and bring him in on Monday. I stayed awake, and like a first time mom, kept running over and checking his temperature and his breathing. He probably thought I lost my mind, but didn't seem to mind the fact that he got so much love all night. His breathing is also faster than it should be. So today we went to the vet. He had blood tests and x rays. There is some cloudiness in his lungs, suggesting that he was on his way to getting pneumonia. Luckily I am over protective, and some might say "neurotic" about every little thing that happens when a foal is in this condition and has been so very compromised. I had already let her know that he had coughed a couple times the day before so we were already watching him for any signs leading to pneumonia. His breath sounds were not horrible, but we felt that the x ray was necessary and it is a good thing that we took it.
Hopefully the fact that we started treating him right away will nip this in the bud immediately. He has certainly been through enough and doesn't deserve to get sick on top of it. That is one of the reasons we are rushing to get the nursery, (or temporary nursery) ready before the weather gets any worse. His immune system is pretty much non existent right now. He is also anemic, and we are starting the necessary supplements to help him get better, as that will also cause him to be more susceptible to any illness.
We do have GOOD NEWS though. Our little man weights 190 POUNDS!! He went from around 120 pounds to 190 pounds in a little over five weeks. So all those donations you have sent have certainly been put to good use, and are so appreciated.
Unfortunately, Honey Bandit had to cancel his visit to Manzanita school in Redding, CA. He was scheduled to appear (via the safety and comfort of his beloved trailer) tomorrow with one of his favorite aunties, Terri Farley. The 4th grade class of Dave Gilstrap raised money to help save Honey Bandit. So tomorrow we are going to visit them and I believe they are throwing out their "challenge" to other classes and schools to a "change drive" benefiting Honey Bandit. But he will be there in spirit while he gets better at home.
Until next time, I leave you with another fabulous Honey Bandit happening. "Mr. Big shot" jumps in and out of the trailer all by himself. It is probably a little bit higher than a foot off the ground, (I can barely step up with my bad knee), and he just jumps in and out like he is a big horse and has been doing it for years.
Matt noticed something today. He told me that when Honey Bandit moves, walks or whatever, he seems to feel very proud of himself. It is almost as if he knows that he survived against all odds and not only did he survive, but he will thrive.
Been a busy couple of days. Yesterday, (Friday), some of our "new friends" came up and stayed with us. They then had a booth at the RAIN Flea market to raise money for Honey Bandit. We had a really wonderful afternoon/evening with Lee and Nona, and even had a little excitement around dinner time.
Honey Bandit had been out with Patches, but of course knowing we all had our cameras out, he was quite mellow and didn't do too much. A little bit of bucking and running, but nowhere near what he would usually do. I guess he is making it clear that he is not my little circus and will not perform on command. Click Me!
So we put him back in our little carport, and we were chatting away when all of a sudden he went after Chino. He reared up and struck out at him and then started to buck and kick. (Now Chilly Pepper used to do that to the goat, Buddy, when she was cranky, bored or just out of sorts. They are still best friends.) At first my husband thought he didn't like the dogs anymore, but then we remembered that Chilly used to do the same thing. I guess it is kind of like when your kids are being brats and fighting with each other or arguing. Anyway, the way things were set up we came close to having a hoof in the head, not to mention numerous other items that were in peril.
So we had to re arrange his little nursery, move my bed to one end, and of course since he was cranky he couldn't play with his dogs.
Today, Matt and I built a little "wall" between Honey Bandit and where we "live". Instead of the blankets, he now has a big fluffy pile of straw, more like a real horse stall. He is pretty happy with it. Most of you saw the pictures of him in his "new bed". For now we are just doing the best we can in here until we can build the nursery. I keep thinking about the other 2 foals I heard about whose mom's were not taking care of them. However, they are in a place where there is an outbreak of strangles and it wouldn't be fair to do that to Honey Bandit. He wouldn't survive getting sick with his immune system. Hopefully they have already found new homes. But it will be nice when we have a real nursery and a place where we can quarantine someone who is sick as opposed to not helping them.
But for now, Honey Bandit is doing well and he is our big focus. We are planning on going to the protest in Sacramento on the 23rd, and I have been asked to speak. That makes me nervous, but if I can help the horses by telling Honey Bandit's story, then I will do so. Hopefully we will have lots of people with us and don't forget we need to make signs. Please feel free to use any of the pictures of Honey Bandit that I have sent out. The more focus on his story, the bigger difference we will make. It will take all of us to get him to Washington DC, and we are hoping that people will caravan at least part of the way with us.
I got to do that for the bicentennial celebration when I was in high school. I got to ride my pony with the wagon train for a few miles. We won't be in a wagon train (darn) but would be cool to have a big caravan a long the way.
Well, Honey Bandit wants his evening milk. Thank you everyone for all your support and the love you send him.
God bless, p