Wow, Thanksgiving is over and we are headed to Christmas. All around me I hear people talking about having their shopping and decorating started and in some cases are already finished. We are still behind as usual. We haven't really had a chance to think about that yet. I guess we had better get busy and in the Christmas spirit. We did have a wonderful gift though, two of Honey Bandit's very special aunties created and donated Christmas Cards for Honey Bandit.
I have some excellent news to share with you. Honey Bandit went 4 nights without getting cast. Then he had a bad night, and then a good night. We are hopeful that this means his brain is continuing to improve and he is on the road to a full recovery.
He and Patches had a wonderful time in the snow. Honey Bandit seemed to take the snow in stride, and had a good time eating it. I will have pictures soon. It was extremely cold for a few days/nights, and the propane heater "died", and we lost power for about half a day. So it was interesting for awhile. One of the pipes busted from the cold also, so there is never a dull day. (I always wanted to live by running water, and now I am. It is gravity flow though, so there are no real problems with it. It sure sounds nice though. ha ha.)
DaBubbles is improving daily. Sometimes it is quite frustrating, as it seems like it is taking a long time for his wounds to heal. But today they seem to be a bit better. He still has three huge, gaping wounds with no skin to cover them, but with time they should heal up nicely. If he has scars, that will not be a negative if he does therapy work. He will have "war stories" to trade with the sick kids.
Apparently all of our injured horses read the same "how to make mommy crazy" guide for sick horses. DaBubbles is now following in Honey Bandit's footsteps and has realized that rough housing, bucking, going nuts, making noise and causing trouble is done perfectly around 3:00 a.m. It's like there is a secret alarm clock that makes sure they are wide awake and roaring to go in the wee hours.
HONEY BANDIT IS ASKING FOR YOUR HELP! Friends of ours at the Sunshine Sanctuary, in Los Molinas, are having a special, one of a kind, Christmas Party. It will be December 18, 2010, from 12:00 - 2:30.
Foster Parents, Grand Parents, Single Moms and Dads and "Regular" Parents, - do you have a child whose greatest Christmas wish is to ride a horse? Well this party is all about making their dreams come true. It is a party for kids who dream of riding a horse for Christmas. All you have to do is RSVP to the Sunshine Sanctuary at 10931 Singer Ave, Los Molinas, CA 96055. Their phone number is 530-529-0183. All you have to do is sign up your child for a free, dream come true, adventure. There will be horse activities and yes, FREE HORSE RIDES. There is a group of college students coming down from Oregon, to help make these kids dreams come true. They will also get to meet one of California's Historical Treasures, the nearly extinct, Santa Cruz Island Horses. But don't wait to long. The first 40 kids have a guaranteed spot, so please call right away.
Honey Bandit is asking for everyone to pull out their checkbook and write a check for $3.00, or whatever works for your budget. Please make it out to the Sunshine Sanctuary to help fund this day of "dreams come true" so all the children can have that special Christmas they deserve. It only takes a few dollars from each of us to make a huge difference. Or you can donate "stuffed horses", any type of "horsey toy", cookies, hot cocoa mix. They need HP photo ink 564 (black, blue yellow, dk pink) for the pictures the kids will be taking home. Please find it in your hearts to make these kids' dreams come true. It will be a once in a lifetime chance for some of these kids. Tell 'em Honey Bandit sent you. God Bless and Stay Safe!
Hugs, kisses and many thanks from Honey Bandit.
These will show what a little ingenuity can do! I took these back on Nov. 5, which was before little DaBubbles was attacked and seriously injured by a mountain lion.
Honey Bandit had previously tried to scratch his itchy backside by sitting on Patches, who adamantly said, "No way, José!" so HB resorted to his own method of addressing the awkward situation.
Same day, little DaBubbles showed how he can scratch his backside.
Perhaps we humans can learn a thing or two from a horse or two.
Enjoy the little chuckle.
If weather improves and we have no snow on the highway tomorrow, I plan to go visit the horses and take some photo updates.
Click here to view Honey Bandit's Videos (the Itchy Situation videos)
Just wanted to say Happy Thanksgiving to all of you! We have so much to be grateful for this year.
Although we didn't expect to bring home a horse the day we went to observe the round ups, we are eternally grateful that the staff at Litchfield had pulled Honey Bandit out to care for him and let us bring him home.
He is doing well, thanks to all of you, and to them for letting us help him. He has grown about a foot taller and a foot lengthwise since we brought him home. He has gained probably 80-90 pounds since then also. That is definitely thanks to all of you!. He (and we of course), so appreciate that.
Click Me! Is something that cannot be said enough when people show kindness. We have met so many wonderful people through this whole thing. I have heard from so many people that wanted to make a difference, but couldn't do it "by themselves". But we have come together as a community and one big world to not only make a difference in this little horse's life, but at the same time to witness the generosity and love that is out there.
His story has touched the hearts of people as far away as Finland, Australia, Alaska and throughout the United States and Canada. It truly warms my heart to know how many people can simply respect the "gift of life" that God has given us, even if it is one of his four legged creatures.
We are also extremely grateful for your support and prayers for DaBubbles. He is doing better, but still has a long ways to go. It was very difficult to go out and treat him, knowing he was in pain. The little horse that jumped on my bed to see me, was running away. He was not happy with me. At all!
However, he seems to be improving and I finally started using my head and we have "happy" times after the treatments, ie. I brush him and take more time just to love on him. So now he doesn't hate me anymore. Yeahhhhh!!!! Also, he had been pretty lethargic, and had very little interest in his surroundings. Now he seems to have passed that point and is starting to play, whinny and just getting into mischief again.
Believe me, that is something I am extremely thankful for. I could not possibly begin to list all the wonderful things that have been done for our rescue and Honey Bandit. We have received food, $ donations, items to help winterize the carport we are living in, blankets, hay, love, prayers and the ongoing emotional support that was necessary to make this happen. I was just the one that was lucky enough (I think that 98% of the time ha ha) to be able to do the hands on care of Honey Bandit. It was ALL OF US together, that made it possible for this little guy to flourish and thrive.
It was very cold here in Shingletown last night. The forecast was for zero degrees. We are a little bit lower so usually about 5 or so degrees warmer. Without everything ya'll have done to help, we wouldn't have made it safely through temperatures like that. While we are no where near finished making this warm enough, it is survivable and we will be eternally grateful.
The best news I have right now though is this. Honey Bandit has went a full 2 NIGHTS WITHOUT getting cast. So we are very thankful for that. It could mean that his wires are coming back and we won't have to keep dealing with that. The last time he did it, I got him unstuck and he rolled back over immediately 5 times. Then he got his foot stuck and panicked and I was afraid he was going to break his leg. So NOT getting stuck is huge.
My husband and one son are on their way to Washington State for Thanksgiving. We were all supposed to go, but Honey Bandit and DaBubbles still need the 24/7 care and it is too cold to take them in the trailer that far. Also, there are too many crazy drivers out there - hee hee. So although I was pretty bummed when he drove away, I am still thankful we were given this opportunity to experience this. (He has to pick up supplies for HB and the rescue and there was also some family stuff they had to attend to).
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and I hope ya'll get to be with your families and loved ones, in spirit if not actually there.
I am happy to say that I keep getting requests for a new wish list. So I am starting it and we can keep updating it.
If you get our update, I am sure you will see that I need a new laptop. DaBubbles smashed my other one and now I am using a borrowed "glued together" computer.
I am also going to try and set up an account at the hardware store(s) and one of the feed stores so if people want to just donate towards an item or buy one item they can do it through the store if they'd like. Hopefully we will get some hay that way. If you think of anything else I should add, please feel free. Thanks
Baby Monitor (in case I need to go in the house I could hear the mountain lion??)
Or the horses if they were panicking
4 x 4 gauze pads (washing DaBubbles mountain lion wounds)
Rolls of gauze (for DaBubbles)
Betadine (for DaBubbles)
Miniature Foal Blanket
New Hoof Pick
Right handed hoof knife
Grass Hay * * *
Foal Lac Pellets for Honey Bandit * * *
Winter Blanket for Honey Bandit (size 52 would fit right now and larger for later)
(he grew from size 41 to size 52 in 2 months, so he is growing fast)
Hood for Honey Bandit
14 ft sheets corrugated roofing - 7
10 ft sheets corrugated roofing - 7
Insulation `6 rolls of 24" wide
Insulation 30 rolls of 18" wide
Lumber for nursery / modification
Lights for nursery
Electrician (just kidding) unless someone wants to help with installation
Sitting here listening to the rain, it is quiet inside. Honey Bandit is finishing his milk pellets and DaBubbles is standing under the heat lamp. Patches is waiting to come back in when Honey Bandit is through. I have to watch it, because Patches needs to lose weight and Honey Bandit needs to gain it. So I have to make sure that HB gets all the food he needs.
I am hoping that if we do get snow that sticks here, (we are in the sissy zone), I will get a chance to video tape Honey Bandit's first "snow fall". It will be interesting to see his reactions. He and Patches got to go outside for awhile today. I am not comfortable taking them in the back area to run around yet as we need to catch that cat. Even if we are armed, the cat could be upon the horses way before we got a shot off. I am praying that we will know when it is safe to let them back there again.
Also, we are so close to the elementary school, and the cat (according to comments on a local newspaper blog) was spotted down the road from the school. I would hate to hear about one of our young children being attacked.
It is interesting to read all the comments that people make regarding Honey Bandit and his experience. I have to say the one thing that gets me the most is when people say "the horses are not native". Well, I am sorry, but they are as native as you and I. The United States of America started with the Native Americans, the ONLY NATIVES, and the rest of our ancestors "CAME' to America, just like the horses. Do the people that say they are "not native" think that we should all be rounded up by helicopter and put in jail? Aren't we kind of like the mustangs? The weak and sick settlers did not survive. The strong and healthy survived the journey to America and the harsh winters as they foraged in a wild America. As time went on sickness ravaged the weak and only the strong prevailed, surviving the rough conditions. It was the same with the horses. Only the strong and healthiest survived over time. The weak ones died. They foraged for food and to survive in harsh conditions. For years they have survived in the wild, cohabitating with other wild animals.
I have never said that there is not a need for "management of the wild horses". It is possible that in some cases we need to step in and do something to "manage" the wild horses. Giving more land and higher percentages of the grazing to ranchers is not one of the reasons though. Neither is making it easier for new pipe lines to be added or new minerals to be mined. However, until there is a safe and humane plan that actually works and makes sense, ALL of the roundups should be stopped.
Until that time, if someone in the public observes a sick, or injured, foal or horse, if they can provide medical attention of contact someone who can come and take that animal, it should be automatic. I would think that anyone with any common sense would see the benefits to this. It would save the government time and money, save the lives of numerous animals, and would increase the working relationship between the public and the BLM. But we as the public would have to concentrate on the fact that the people working at that facility actually let us take the sick/injured animal. If we worked together there wouldn't have to be secret, closed to the public, facilities. I think that BLM needs to know that if the corrals were open to the public like they legally should be, that we, the public, would concentrate on working with them to solve any problems that exist. They don't like it when there is a big public outcry about the condition of an animal. Guess what? If we worked together we could stop "Honey Bandit" and other foals from ever getting in that condition in the first place. We could remove the sick/needy horses immediately. That alone would be a huge step to start fixing an intolerable situation.
I have let the Litchfield BLM office know that my husband and I will come no matter what time of the day or night if a foal is down or needs immediate attention. There are people who have been doing that for years in Nevada, and they work together with their BLM offices extremely well. That is why I cannot stress enough that this is not an "anti BLM" campaign, it is a "change the laws to protect our wild horses campaign".
I wrote a letter for BLM to publish. This is a tricky situation, as I need to make sure the world knows Honey Bandit's story in complete detail, no matter how ugly it is. We just continue, as we have from the beginning, to keep it simple and tell the truth. Honey Bandit was not branded at that time and I was told that they did not want to 'brand a dead horse, as then it became a facility death". I know I would not want to be responsible for the welfare of 900 horses. Anyone who has horses knows how hard it would be to really be able to know if each one was okay. So when there are already more in the holding facilities that can properly be cared for; why on earth would you keep bringing more in?
Honey Bandit's story is not about blame. It is the clear and undeniable fact of what happens when the round ups are done the way they are now. His story is only unique in the fact that he is still alive and here fighting to have a healthy life, and to to tell the world about his fallen family. He carries the torch for all the babies that didn't get to stay alive to tell their stories of horror. He carries the torch for all the mares that lost their babies as they were chased by the flying "mountain lions" we call helicopters. Can you imagine how scary that would be? In the wild if a cat was in a tree, the horses could run away and escape. But this cat simply flies through the air after them. Chasing them until their hearts are bursting in their chests, their muscles screaming in agony as they run down the rocky terrain in the extreme temperatures. The mares are frantic as they are forced to race ahead of their foals. Knowing they should be waiting for them to keep up, but forced ahead by the big steel monster. How much higher does that raise their level of stress? HB carries the torch for the stallions who die trying to save their mares and foals. He is their living, breathing symbol and God saved him for a purpose, and that is to tell his story and help change the way that we treat our wild horses. We need to respect all life, not just that which is convenient for us.
Thank you for allowing us to share in this fight to save the wild horses.
Guess who can jump? DaBubbles. Now I can understand how he got to my laptop. It just didn't make sense as I knew he couldn't reach it, even standing on his hind feet. But that was the only way I could think of him getting it. Boy was I wrong.
I was sitting here yesterday typing away, when all at once there was a flash of brown and a big weight was on the bed. Of course you freak a little bit because all the dogs are safely on their runs. I turned and looked and no, of course it wasn't a mountain lion, it was Dabubbles. He had jumped up on the bed to give me kisses. Now that might sound cute, with the exception of the fact that he is slimy, draining and probably doesn't belong on the bed. He is struggling with the infection and doesn't feel all that hot, but loves to be loved and is a little fighter. He can use lots of prayers right now.
Honey Bandit loves it when it is really warm inside at night. He seems to lay down for longer periods of time. He and Patches always sleep close to each other. More than once they have been so close they actually end up with their feet mixed up. Honey Bandit is a very happy little guy right now. He is still having "stuff" but we will just hope that time fixes his little quirks. If not, he will be our "special pony". It won't matter because we all love him so much.
I had an interesting phone call today. Some things that were brought up were, What does Honey Bandit need? How long will he need it? Why spend that much to save a horse? During the discussion it came up that this lady was a teacher and she was talking about how many kids are in the classrooms nowadays. To me this is a perfect example of the relevance of what we are all doing with Honey Bandit.
As discussed prior, some people say that Honey Bandit is "just a horse". Well that is not actually true. Because of how is life was turned around due to the humans that brought him into captivity, he is no longer "just a horse". Because of what he represents, and the changes that are being made due to the public learning of the horrors he went through, he has a job to do. He is doing that job. With your help, the public is slowly getting an education about the roundups and the excessive costs incurred. The costs are huge, not only to the horses, with many ending up maimed, injured or dead, but also the costs to the American tax payer. Hmmmmmmmmmmm $74 MILLION DOLLARS is budgeted to round up and "hold" these animals. Then you have the ones that "slip through" and end up in slaughterhouses.
Back to the teacher. I told her that this is why Honey Bandit is also known as the Million Dollar Mustang. Because through him, and all the people working so hard; together we will hopefully get the moratorium on the roundup and save the millions of dollars that are being spent to hurt and round up these horses.
Just imagine if even $50 million dollars of that money was divided up and each state got their share of the money for education. That would hire a lot of teachers. Like many others, she did not understand that Honey Bandit is not "just a horse". Letting him die would have been committing one sin after another. If he was born in the wild and that was the condition he was found in, then maybe putting him down would have been a kindness. HOWEVER, we paid people to put him in a place where he would be kicked, beaten and starved, with our tax dollars. If ever an animal deserved a chance to live, Honey Bandit wins hands down. Also, if Honey Bandit had ever looked at me and wanted to quit, then it would be done. But he has always fought so hard to be here. It is almost like he knows he is special and that we needed him here to tell his story of survival.
It doesn't matter whether someone is a "horse/animal person" or not. Just the inhumanity of what happened to him should make people sit up and say no, this needs to stop. You either respect life or you don't. I know lots of people that really do not care for animals that much, yet they have respect for life. That in itself would make them care when an injustice is done.
The laws need to be changed not only for the horses, but for our children and our families. With today's economy, the money being wasted should be put to better use. More firefighters, police officers, educators etc. More help for the people struggling just to survive. But oh no, instead we take helicopters, traumatize and injure innocent animals that are not costing anyone anything, force them into "jail" and throw good money after bad to feed them. Don't get me wrong, there are times when assistance is needed, like when the ranchers fence the horses out and away from the water. But what is happening now is a travesty and we need to stop it.
So yes, whatever it takes is what we will do to help Honey Bandit live to tell his story. I want to thank the kids at Manzanita in David Gilstrap's class once again for their courage and help in making Honey Bandit's fight for life that much easier. They are true heroes and will always remain in my heart for their efforts. I believe they will follow their dreams and America will be a much better place because they are here.
We can all learn a great lesson from these kids. They put the needs of another before their own. They are 9 and 10 years old, and took the time, made plans and helped a complete stranger (in this case a beautiful little horse that people had almost destroyed). They didn't do it to "get anything back". They just did it because they were being loving and kind. I am proud to have met these wonderful youngsters.
Honey Bandit is on a mission, and together we can all "git ER done" and stop the roundups and change these outdated laws. Thank ya'll so much for working so hard. Together we can get this done, and we won't stop until we do.
Well it's about 5:00. On Tuesday. Sorry I took so long to update you on everything. But after DaBubble's got attacked by the mountain lion, the pipe broke and the kitchen flooded, we were a teeny bit stressed. But Matt got the leak fixed and we got the water cleaned up. About 2 hours later, all the power in half of the house went out. Of course that is the half with the freezer and refrigerator, so I got a bit bummed. I got the power fixed, but not til the next day as of course our breakers are ancient and we can only get them at a specialty place. But I did it. Yeahh. , (How scary is that? Me doing electricity??). But it's all good, the power is back on and we are back on track.
It's already getting cold. It's gonna be way way cold by bedtime. Now we heard it is supposed to be snowing this weekend. Now normally, I absolutely adore snow. It beats mud by a million miles. However, we are not quite ready for that yet.
We are working like crazy to get the carport "modification" finished so we can all stay warm. Now with two sick ones in the nursery it is even more important that we get this done. I know that Honey Bandit is not sick per say, but we still have lung issues, so that is why the warm, dry place is crucial for him. When he lays down at night, sometimes his breathing sounds weird, like he is kind of stressed, but not too bad. But it is immensely important that he not breathe a bunch of cold air. I was given a really good idea about how to warm up his breath, but have not had a chance to get the stuff. That would make it okay for him to go outside this winter. Click Me!
He also continues to get cast any where from one to three times a night. On a good note though, the other day we had visitors and HB had gotten cast. As I was going around to go in and assist him, he actually got himself out of his predicament. So that was a first and "mommy was so proud".
In spite of the fact he got stuck twice later that night, I am hoping that maybe it was a good start. After all, his hearing came back in spurts. He still doesn't have it back perfectly 24/7, but most of the time it is great.
Yesterday our friends from the Redding Record Searchlight came out to do an update on HB. Was so rewarding to see the face of the photographer. This was the first time he has seen him since he took that picture of us in the hospital. Sometimes I forget how far HB has come. We took Patches and Honey Bandit out to let them run and play. Of course in light of what happened to DaBubbles from the mountain lion, we were "packin' heat" and did not leave the babies alone for even a second. I cannot believe that I cannot run into the house for a drink of water without it being dangerous for our babies. That was all it took. Five minutes unattended and his little life was almost ended.
I wanted DaBubbles to get some fresh air and sunshine today, so I took him out to Patches' old pen. It is about 20 feet from where we were working. At first he though it was cool. Then you could see his little ears fly towards the back of the property. He kept listening and running around in circles trying to get out. Guess he could hear the mountain lion, (or maybe he smelled it too). We know he is still around has he/she does that blood curdling cry once or twice a day. I am pretty sure it is the injured one. At least that would explain his strange hunting behavior. So I brought him back inside where he felt safe.
Luckily it was warm enough for Honey Bandit to play with Patches outside. Yesterday when the guys were here, Honey was busting out, running and bucking and flying around the field. Of course he ended up face planting in a major way. It is still scary, but I am getting used to it. Hopefully he will outgrow that little number too. But he always shrugs it off. After he falls, he can take a minute or two to get up and shake it off. Then he kind of prances a little bit, letting us know that he is still the "coolest". Honey Bandit thinks that all of us staying together is the best thing in his life so far. At our little place, the world revolves around these guys right now, and they totally love it.
Matt and I, on the other hand, can't wait until the "temporary nursery modification" is done. Much as I love DaBubbles, it is kind of gross when he rubs his open sores against my blankets and pillows when I am laying in bed. He needs his loves though, so I have to remember that he doesn't feel good and it is just too bad if I get slimed. Then he turns around and rubs his butt against me. I am not really complaining though, because he is too precious and he is going through a horrible trauma because I left him out there. So he can pretty much milk this for quite a while.
Please say a prayer as we have to get roofing material and "git 'er done" before this weekend. So far we have been very blessed with people donating their "leftover wood" and with what Lowe's helped us with. It is amazing what you can do with random pieces of wood. Thank you so much to all of you who helped with this project. We also had some old windows donated, and they are going to be perfect. We are not worried about getting the whole nursery done, just the minimum that we need for this winter. Sounds like it could be a doozey of a winter.
Personally I can't think of anything more cozy than being snowed in with the "patients", as long as we are all warm and toasty and they have enough room. But for now, we will just take it one step at a Time and pray that we get everything done in time. Honey Bandit, Patches and DaBubbles all send a big kiss and hug. God Bless, Stay warm and safe, (and watch our for the big cats. Hee hee_)
P.s. Anyone wanting to see DaBubbles injuries, please email me. I just don't want to shock anyone. I believe the above picture just shows what a Cutie he is.