Last week Matt and I received a phone call from the folks at Whispering Winds that I hope no one else ever gets. Susan went out to the fifth wheel on their property where their son Steve was staying while he helped them out, and found him deceased. Steve was about 40, I think, and had a 10 year old daughter. The manner in which he died was horribly tragic and no mother or father would ever be the same after discovering that type of situation. Although we were reluctant to head into a situation with so much pain, and knew we were walking into a horrible nightmare, where there is basically nothing you can do to make it better, we headed out. But I know that there was a reason that she called us, and that God wanted us to go. I don't think anyone has a choice in a situation like that. As human beings we simply need to step up and help each other. Unfortunately due to the distance, It took about five hours to get there, and then the only thing I could do was simply hold her while we cried. I cannot even begin to describe the pain that surrounded that situation.
We spent five days trying to help them get through the 1st days of the tragedy. It was a horrific and heartbreaking situation, and Matt and I helped Tom clean up the trailer so they can get it off the property. It was definitely a parent's worst nightmare, and the family needs prayers beyond imagination. Basically Susan is unable to even walk out the front door at this time, as the trailer needs some repairs before it can be taken off of the property. In reality, she is beyond overwhelmed and close to, or more realistically beginning to have a complete and utter breakdown. Tom has been standing strong, but he is also grieving and it is too much for them to function, let alone take care of 38 horses. Yesterday she posted they were "shut down", and although we are not affiliated with Whispering Winds, we have been asked to help them place horses.
While we all have our own responsibilities, this is one of those situations where we simply need to come together as the horse community to ensure the rescue horses from Tom and Susan's will continue to be well cared for, as they have been in the past. I know that once again God would want us to step up and try to take care of His creatures. We already have received the call about placing numerous horses. I know that many people have had their differences over the years when involved in the horse world. But when someone goes through something like this, I would certainly hope that people forgive and forget any differences they have had in the past. If nothing else, we are supposed to be "about the horses". There is a particular "special needs" crippled one that I would be willing to take on if I could move Chilly Pepper. His leg is deformed and he reminds me of me - haha. One of the things with placing the horses that needs to be thought of is the price of transportation. It is quite costly to transport them, so we need to either raise funds for that or at least figure it into the process. I know that even if it is one at a time, we can "git er done', with all of your help.
This is not the happy, wonderful update I thought that I would be putting out for the holidays. But life waits for no one, and we need to treasure each and every second we have with the ones that we love. Our life will never be the same after what we saw and felt, and I simply pray that no one else ever has to go through that. Please reach out to anyone and everyone that you can think of so we can place those horses. The group of mustangs have been together for a very long time, and all of the ones that need new homes need sanctuary situations. I know that more horses needing homes at this time seems like a nightmare, until you consider what caused this urgent need. Getting through placing these horses is a piece of cake compared to everything that happened last week.
On a happier note, all the critters are doing wonderfully, and we have every last piece of insulation up and finished in the nursery. (Thank you so much to our special "insulation Angel".) We have a couple of the walls almost finished, although they still need a little bit of work. We have to add a stub wall and some detail work to finish up, but we are ready with a warm nursery for whatever comes. PTL as it is starting to get colder and the nursery, once we find a working pellet stove, will be absolutely perfect for the babies. (But for now, we have a portable heater so if we get a call - we are still good to go) The feeder that HAWES RANCH AND FARM SUPPLY helped us get is working perfectly, and we are trying to get another one. It is so awesome to go out and see absolutely no hay that has been stepped on and wasted. WOOHOOO!!!! So one of our new goals is to get another one for Honey Bandit and the kids on that side. As we all know, hay is like gold.
I am sorry that it took so long to send out another update. We picked up the 8 x 12 shed that was donated from Greg Clarke in Vegas, and are working on getting that put up. It will be our first "tarp free" hay storage. We are so thankful for that.
God bless and give your loved ones extra hugs.
p.s. Quick note regarding computer issues. My computer dumped and the whole thing had to be cleared. You can buy "computer repair" for a year, or two or three at Best Buy. I ended up doing that as it was cheaper to buy the "year's worth" of protection than to pay for the repairs for this one issue. So now we have coverage if anything goes wrong on this computer. I believe you can actually use it on 3 computers in your home. PTL I had Carbonite. It costs about $60 a year and when your computer is erased (like mine was), all your info is in outerspace and they can put it back on. (Of course it takes days to get everything set back up, but no data was actually lost). Just a thought for those out there on a budget. They certainly saved our hides with the service plan, and I didn't even buy it until my computer crashed. Just a heads up for anyone who needs computer repairs and is on a budget.
As usual, life has been crazy busy with lots of ups and downs. We need to send out some THANK YOU'S to some people!! We had a 1972 Dodge flatbed donated to the rescue. So Matt and I drove to Placerville to pick her up. After picking up the truck, we drove over the mountains to Dayton. She made if over the grade from Placerville through South Tahoe into Carson very well, and that is saying something. We are extremely excited and hopeful that she will be a great "hay truck" and we will be able to use her to "git er done". She should be great in the ice and snow, and also has a pretty phenomenal winch, which will come in very handy where we live.
After leaving "the beast" (as her previous owner called her) at Bruce & Shirley's, we left the next morning to drive down to Vegas. Greg, whom we met at the conference in Las Vegas, donated an awesome little "hay shed". It is about 8 x 12, and will be our first enclosed hay shelter that will not need tarps of any kind. God bless you guys!! The trip down there was very long, and after spending the night at Greg's, we jumped in the truck and drove back. The winds were horrible, and the trip was long, but well worth it. Then we stayed at Bruce & Shirley's and came home the next day via Susanville and a lot of ice. We are so appreciative of everything that y'all do so we can continue our "community rescue". The fuel costs are high, but the benefit definitely outweighs that expense. We are also extremely grateful for the folks in Nevada, as they help with fuel when they need us to transport horses etc.
I also want to thank Hawes Ranch and Farm Supply. They have always been very generous with the babies, and help whenever they can as they realize that the little guys grow to be big guys. They have donated Foal Lac or other specialty items for the critical foals and help us every way they can. The picture of the feeder below is an example of how they try to always be there and help us. Apparently someone "special ordered" it and never picked it up. They let us purchase the feeder for less than they actually paid for it. As we all know, hay prices are already through the roof and I know that like everyone else, when you see any of it wasted, even the tiniest bit, it's enough to give you ulcers. So we cannot express how much gratitude we have for being able to have a feeder that keeps most all the hay out of the mud and helps reduce any waste there might have been.
Update on Soldier. (The military war dog now residing at our rescue). Soldier is doing well, although the more time we spend with him, (and we have pretty much been spending 24/7 with him), the more we see the trauma that resulted from his military career. This poor soldier definitely is suffering from PTSD. There are so many little triggers that stress him out. It is obvious that he has felt pain from some of the things he went through, and so we are just going slow and taking it day by day. On a bright note, he is extremely protective of his mommy :). He is starting to enjoy his road trips more and more, as he is beginning to realize that we are not going to leave him somewhere. There is a pix of him on the way back from Vegas, along with some wild burros we saw. It was so awesome to see truly WILD BURROS that were afraid of humans like they should be.
We also have a new addition to the rescue, KK the cat.
The less bright part of the last week, is that not only was my truck in the shop last week, it needs to go back. Apparently leaving it sitting for four years will cause a lot of little things to need fixing the more you use it. It is running strong, but little things keep popping up, and as we all know, there is nothing "little" about the pennies we spend to fix those items. But the good news is that the engine is running strong. PTL!
Last night my computer crashed, and now none of my programs are on it. But I can still do a couple things, so I guess we will be visiting Best Buy again. They have a pretty good repair program.
So no matter how many little frustrations keep coming up, there is more sunshine than snow. God is teaching me patience, and Lord knows I have never been that great in that department, unless of course it is with the little critters. :) PTL for that one! We were supposed to transport some yearlings that were adopted, but need to postpone that until the latest truck issue is solved. If anyone is travelling between the Susanville area and the Bay Area and could pick up a couple horses, please let me know. 530 474-5197 530 339-1458.
If anyone is considering adopting a baby/horse, it would be awesome if we tried to get the ones headed for slaughter placed before the ones that are safe where they are at the moment. There is another bunch coming up immediately. We are simply running out of places to put them. If mares are allowed to breed on purpose, obviously those babies are not at risk of slaughter. Just a thought as we are really in crisis.
I was asked to post the Rescue Wish List on my next update, so here are a couple little things.
Hay (always) :) - it's kind of like air - you just can't live without it. hee heee
Amplify (Honey Bandit's special supplement) sold at Tractor Supply - If anyone is trying to put weight on a horse and having trouble - this stuff is what keeps HB doing well.
Wood for two interior walls in the nursery - It is coming along so well. It is going to be so warm and cozy for the babies. It will be very rustic, but that is more fun anyway.
A working pellet stove (that someone is no longer using) for the nursery - we have a friend that can help us with free pellets when we have babies. woo hoooooo!!
We can also use refill supplies for medical care, from bandages to antibiotic creams to needles and syringes.
It would be awesome if we could do a "work day" so we can git the hay storage and big water tank up.
A few more old panels to finish the double fence in back.
There it is...... and I am happy to say that it is much smaller than it used to be. The rescued critters are thriving and we might have an adopter for Romeo!! You guys are amazing and I am so happy to be part of such a wonderful little community rescue. God blessed me when He put this in front of us, especially with all the new friends we have met.
Take care and drive safe!