Well it has been awhile since our last update. We were honored to be invited to participate in the " Virginia City Heroes Parade", honoring all Veterans. Of course we were only invited if we brought one of the Honored Guests with us - "Soldier", the military war dog who now lives at Chilly Pepper - Miracle Mustang. To make it possible for us to attend, along with the invitation was a generous gift of the fuel needed to attend. Soldier was once again a big hit with the Veterans that were not only in the parade, but watching on the sidelines.
We were in the Nevada Day Parade with him last year, riding on the Wild Horse Preservation League float, and when he was announced, you could see people tearing up as we passed by. After the parade we took him to the travelling Vietnam Memorial Wall. One of our "heroes" (a veteran), asked if he could buy Soldier a cheeseburger. Of course we said yes while our eyes filled with tears, and Soldier chowed down. Well, I could not believe it when that same Soldier - Hero, was at the parade in Virginia City. It made a very special day even more so. Soldier did well in the parade, although he still has very prominent PTSD. Unfortunately, although it is not talked about too much, many of the canines that have returned home from service have PTSD. It can make them so unsettled that they cannot always be saved. However, we are blessed with Soldier and each day he gets more and more comfortable.
Rocky is settling into his new home in Las Vegas, and Robin and Denise are as happy as can be. They have been working really hard to make his transition as easy as possible. However, coming from the mountains to the blasting heat of Las Vegas can take a little toll on a baby, especially one that arrived with a full winter coat. Denise and Robin have been working with their vet to find the perfect combination of feed for him, as he can stand to gain a few pounds. He may also be in a new growth spurt, as when any of the critter kids start "growing up", they can often look like they are too skinny. Then they look too fat when they are growing out. Poor Chilly Pepper didn't figure out her perfect look until she was about 5 years old and stopped growing for the most part.
The vet said that Rocky is one of the most well mannered "bottle babies" that he has met, and that most bottle babies come in two categories - the worst or the best. He said that as long as they keep up the good work, Rocky the Rock Star will be one of the best horses anyone could ever have. You go Rocky!!! We want to thank Denise and Robin for taking such amazing care of our beloved Rocky.
Chilly Pepper is doing wonderfully at her new place, although she is now the one "pushing" up front to get all the loves. When she was here Dakota was the boss and she would be pushed aside, so she is truly enjoying being the lead mare and getting to be in the front when it comes to the attention.
Collins is doing fabulously and you can barely see his scars. They have healed up so well. Doc Lydon did a wonderful job stitching and patching him up. It was a pretty long recovery and took a lot of time and care, but he seems to have recovered and is back to hopping right into the trailer when we go any where. You just tell him to "load up" and he hops right in. He is extremely bright and behaving very well. I know that being in with Romeo, who will definitely let Collins know when he is out of line, has helped tremendously. He realizes that he is not the king and has been much more polite. We are pretty sure that Collins has an adopter, a wonderful young woman who seems to be getting to know him pretty well. She does't let him get away with being disrespectful and I think they are going to do very well.
Honey Bandit is growing like crazy and getting so tall. His 3RD BIRTHDAY is coming up on July 3, 2013. Looking back on all he has been through and all of the wonderful folks who are now in our lives, well, it is simply overwhelming. We have such an amazing group of people that are not only part of Honey Bandit's life, but are also part of the rest of this rescue and all the babies we have saved together. I am so grateful that this is what God has chosen for us and even though I get scared sometimes about where the next flake of hay might come from, He always provides for these animals, and he does it through our wonderful "extended family". We are planning Honey Bandit's 3rd birthday party/Open House, but have not set the date as of yet. We will let you know as soon as we can so y'all can come and visit and see the miracles that you have worked by being part of these horses lives. I promise it will be a fun day, and much much cooler up here in the mountains than it is down in Redding.
Click picture to enlarge.
Wow - this is one I thought I'd never be writing about. Chilly Pepper has moved to her new forever home. She is now living on a beautiful piece of property that consists of about 400 acres, her new boyfriend "Jack", and a number of ponds and a large lake. Chilly Pepper is a water girl, and you simply could not ask for a better place for her to spend her life. She would literally spend hours, turning and rotating slowly, being hosed down. She plays in the water and just loves getting wet. So there couldn't be a better place for her. As always, it was heartbreaking, especially since we have had her for so long. However, for us to continue to do what we do, we have to move horses when we can, or we would not be able to help more. Also, when there is such an amazing place for them where their life will be pretty close to perfect, you have to think about their welfare and what is best for them.
It is always hard to place your babies, and it was doubly hard to move Chilly Pepper, as she was the inspiration for our specialized focus on the critical, injured/neonatal babies and for doing what we do. She showed us how much of a need there actually was as most places are not set up for critical foal care, do not have the man power or supplies and are unwilling or unable to commit the funds needed, thus making it impossible for them to take care of them. A single bag of Foal Lac runs about $190 in California, and Collins is already on the end of his 4th or 5th bag. This can also be a deciding factor when people choose to try and save a foal. It is an extremely costly venture, both financially and time wise.
While we were taking care of Chilly Pepper, a nearby rescue had an orphan foal in a similar situation. They had to put down the mom because of complications with the birth and they had no one who could get close enough to the mare to help her. They tried to take care of the baby, but unfortunately it was left outside in the heat for 3 days, alone and scared. It is extremely important for them to not be left alone, especially if they are weak or newly born. There were many people trying to save the little filly, but without the correct equipment, and knowledge, they were unable to provide the proper care. Their mothers would never leave them alone for hours on end in the wild, and they are scared and often depressed and need to be "pulled" back to life. Also, a new foal cannot regulate it's body temperature for some time after being born. I received a phone call from one of the girls who had been trying to save this little baby, and she was sobbing and said that the baby was having convulsions and died in her arms. This poor filly was dehydrated from the heat and her inability to drink the life saving formula.
After that heartbreaking incident we decided that this was where God wanted our focus. We have an amazing support system, mainly my mentor and "sissy" Shirley Allen, who has spent many hours, often all night long, helping us provide whatever care we could to the babies we have had with us. But we also have such an awesome "community support group", who as y'all know, (since it is you guys), who will step up with whatever we need to save these little ones. Whether it is emergency funds, funds for feed, fuel or medicine, y'all have never ever let one of these precious little souls down. I thank God for y'all and for being lucky enough to be involved in such an amazing community. I know there are many babies who die in the wild, and that it is part of nature, but if you are breeding on a sanctuary or private land, you then are responsible for every little one that comes along. When the babies are found in the wild, and God puts them in front of you, you also have the responsibility to help the ones you know about. We are extremely grateful that this is where God wants us to be.
The other exciting news is that Collins is now hanging out in the same corral as Romeo, (our very sweet black yearling mustang that needs a home). Both of them are pretty even on the "don't hurt me score", except for the fact that Romeo is still the boss. He is extremely gentle when he lets Collins know what is or isn't acceptable, and for the most part it has been an almost boring introduction. (That is always good though!!) They are mostly "co-habitating", and not really inseparable yet, but every day they spend more time closer together. Woohoo. That is so awesome for a baby to be able to hang out with a real horse.
Placing Chilly Pepper should be a celebration of sorts, because she was truly a miracle and inspired so many more miracles, and she deserves to live in such a pristine environment.
We are looking forward to more successful adoptions and to helping more critters. It is beautiful up here this time of year and we are enjoying lots of visitors. Please don't be shy if you want to come and spend a day in the mountains out of the heat. Call us at 530 474 5197.
God bless and stay safe!
p.s. If anyone has any old water tubs they aren't using, we could really use them. :)
Chilly Pepper Miracle - Mustang is sending out a big THANK YOU to LOWE'S, in Redding, CA. Once again, they have demonstrated their love and support for their community. As most of you know, not only do we specialize in the critical foals, but we are also involved with the local schools and are truly a "community rescue". It is not "our rescue", it is YOUR RESCUE, and Lowes stepped up AGAIN to do everything they could to help all of us make this a safe place for the animals at the rescue. We are blessed to belong to such a supportive and compassionate community and that is what saves these critters and lets so many children (and adults) come visit and enjoy them.
We are finding out that living so close to Mt. Lassen puts you in a whole different world weather wise. Looking out the window, the sky is a brilliant blue, and the trees are magnificent against the pristine, blue backdrop. The ice and snow are sparkling like tiny diamonds in the sunshine. It is absolutely beautiful. It is about 20 degrees and we are living in solid ice. The ice has been here since before Christmas, and although it is much better for their feet than the mud ,it is quite treacherous. In the areas where the horses spend the most time, they are walking on about a foot of packed ice.
Wow, I just glanced out the window in time to see Honey Bandit "sitting" on the ice. His back feet slipped out and he went down. However, the good news is that he got right back up and although favoring his back leg slightly, appears to be fine. Man, that is so very scary. It makes you panic until you know they are okay. We of course will watch him like a hawk, but he is walking around and eating just fine. There is always that little part of you that wants to stuff them in a stall and "protect them", but that is not natural for them. If we look at the mustangs in the wild, they travel in all kinds of weather, in all kinds of terrain. The horses have shelter, but make it very clear they would rather be out in the fresh air.
However, due to the severity of the weather we have been having, and the cold and unrelenting temperatures we have been experiencing at night, that little part of me that is so protective, is making sure that their shelters are much warmer than before. Matt and I decided that we would make the shelters warmer by adding more walls and wind breaks. The other morning it was said to be about 3 degrees with the wind chill. It's funny though, because it may warm up to mid 40's during the day and then it feels like spring. If you look out, you will see the critters scattered all over, soaking up whatever bits of sunlight come through.
So Matt and I headed down to Lowe's to get some wood for the shelters. Upon arrival, we saw a stack of culled lumber. We spoke with the manager and he gave us an additional (rather large) discount on the stack. THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!! So yesterday Matt and I used our "new wood" and added a couple of much needed walls. We still have lots more to do, but this will make a huge difference in the wind chill. The stalls already stayed dry and free of snow, but this will be much nicer for the horses. As we get the funds, we will be adding additional walls to all the shelters. It is kind of interesting looking, as it is made up of mismatched pieces, but the horses don't care and we may not be fancy, but we will eventually be warm.
Honey Bandit is now hanging out with Chilly Pepper and Dakota, as he was getting quite pushy with the little ones. He actually "rolled" Romeo the other day. He ran right into him and knocked him down. Romeo is fine, but it is time for Honey Bandit to remember a few more of his manners. All are well and enjoying the bright and beautiful days.
I did have a recent phone call which was kind of upsetting. Basically the message was that I should not be trying to find a forever home for one of the horses up for adoption. Unfortunately, we are not a sanctuary. We have limited space and extremely limited funds. We are a "rehab and then re-home". We have to keep adopting out the babies or we won't have room for the criticals. Unfortunately this person did not offer to "sponsor" the horse, and just expected us to feed and pay for it the rest of it's life, and as much as I would love to, we simply cannot afford to do so. It also seems like people are forgetting we are in "crisis" as a horse loving nation. There were over 100 (not exact on the numbers) of wild mustangs rescued at the last second from being sent to slaughter in Nevada, just in the last couple of months. The Nevada Dept. of Ag has been continuing to round up the wild mustangs. People have stepped up to "save them from slaughter", but many do not realize that is just the first step. Most of these horses are still in temporary homes, and will need to be supported and fed and cared for the rest of their lives. Yet through all this, there are still sanctuaries out there breeding more unwanted babies. It is hard not to want to "save them all", but it isn't possible the way things are. It is heartbreaking on one hand when we find a home for these babies. After spending 24/7 and then pulling them back to life, it is extremely hard to let them go. But we simply cannot be available for those emergencies if we don't do what needs to be done, and that is find loving, safe, forever homes for these babies. This is what they deserve. So please, when you are passing judgement on the folks who "rescue and re-home", remember that a little piece of their heart leaves with every critter they save and move on, whether it is horses, cats, puppies or whatever. It is hard. If you are really concerned about a specific animal, there is always the possibility that you could sponsor that one, and help to save it even if you can't care for it yourself.
Take care and remember - LOWES is the answer to all your hardware needs. Tell 'em Honey Bandit sent you!
The photo with HB and the feeder is taken on about 1 foot of ice. Very deceptive as it seems like you are on solid ground until you fall through on those warm sunny afternoons. :) The horses don't seem to but we sure do. Guess God made them better at this outside winter stuff than we are.
Honey Bandit and the babies took the screens off the kitchen windows, so now they can "visit".
The pix of the car shows how much snow is really still out there. Love it when it's white. .
Bear (black rescued doberman) is starting to spend more time "hanging out" closer to Soldier. They still have some issues of "who owns mommy", so we are working with that slowly. The girls spend lots of time playing with him in the pen.
Just thought y'all might like to see what you have accomplished. We sure appreciate it! and so do the critters!!