All is well, though quite fragrant, here at Chilly Pepper - Miracle Mustang. We have had lots of visitors, two legged and four legged as well. There are some big changes coming up, and although they are the right moves for the rescue, they bring heartbreak along with the happiness.
I am back from my surgery much sooner than I thought. It went well and now I just have to catch up on everything. Our friend Ross came over to help me do a much needed trim on Donkey's front feet. Donkey is still pretty sensitive and nervous. He is starting to trust me, and that is very important, especially when handling feet. So I started to slowly proceed with his trim, hoping he would be ok. (Apparently the last time someone tried to trim his hind feet they scared him quite badly). So we are just taking things slowly and carefully. He gave me his foot with very little stress and everything was going well. However, all at once, he panicked and exploded. Seems like Patches was banging his foot on the gate and that was just too much for him along with the outside rescue cats hangin' out. He whipped around and did his 360, and then tried to take off. I simply got out of the way. Now Ross has been around these critters for years, and although it involved a little bit of "mud diving", he managed to keep hold of Donkey, which in the long run is so important. I have worked with many animals who were "trained" to run away and get away when they were scared. By keeping hold of the rope, Ross made sure that Donkey did not learn a very bad habit. He did not learn that he should panic and run away. He learned that he should stop and it would all be okay. We then quietly finished up and he went on his way. Donkeys are so different than horses. I am constantly surprised at how much differently you handle a donkey than a horse. It is so cute though, because Donkey figured out where the kitchen window is and he will come and visit to get a bite of apple or a piece of carrot. He is so sweet.
As for our four legged visitors. Matt and I have seen Mama and baby bear prints in the snow, traveling along the fence line. However, the other day when we had some visitors from Redding, we noticed the bear prints in the snow in the yard. Apparently they were "helping" us with our garbage disposal. Now the cans are locked up safely, as I am sure the items in there are not the healthiest for mama bear and her cub. Our favorite visitor (well, not really under the circumstances) was the skunk. Now apparently getting "skunked" does not bother any of my dogs, as they do it over and over and over. Matt opened up the front door and the smell was so strong it didn't even smell like skunk. It was much farther past that. I had to leave immediately as the odor was so strong it had me doubled over. I have never smelled anything so strong. I can't believe that the dogs don't learn their lesson and stay away.
One of the other changes at the rescue is that "Patches", our beloved therapy miniature, has found a wonderful new home. Amid the tears before his new owners arrived were also happy thoughts for his future. The folks that adopted him are some very wonderful people that we met when they came to visit the critters. I have to say that I am proud to call them friends. They do foster care for children, and I can only imagine the heartbreak they go through. I am broken hearted every timed we place one of the foals that we help, and they are all going to wonderful homes. So I can honestly say that they are amazing people and Patches will get to continue to provide his "love and therapy" to not only them but all the children who come to their home to share their love and care. They arrived in their suv and after Patches got a last minute mani/pedi, he walked up his little ramp and into the back of their car. He just fit and was happy and relaxed as they left to start their new adventure.
Other big news; Rocky, my beloved Rock Star has found his forever girl. We will be delivering him to the Las Vegas area to a wonderful young woman you may have heard of. Her name is "Rockin' Robin", and she is also known as "Wild Horse Robin". She is an amazing and truly dedicated youngster that has devoted her life to saving and preserving our wonderful heritage, the American Wild Mustangs. She founded the group "YEA", Youths' Equine Alliance, and is making big waves on behalf of the horses. To all you kids out there who want to help keep mustangs like Honey Bandit, Rocky, Romeo etc. alive and well, visit her web page at http://www.yeaspage.com and joing the fight to preserve YOUR HERITAGE. Wild Horse Annie and the school children are what made the difference for the Wild Horse and Burro Act of 1971. We need to continue to protect them and make sure that generations to come will have the privilege of viewing the amazing mustangs in the wild.
Right now she is working on saving up to get Rocky gelded and transported to Las Vegas. We are not charging anything for our time and travel, but she is raising the funds for fuel and his gelding, as that is not in our budget. She is actually moving to be closer to where Rocky will be stabled and Rocky the Rock Star will be the Ambassador for YEA! So we will all get to watch the two of them as they grow up together. Again, I have cried a river already, but as usual, our little one is going to an absolutely amazing home where he will be loved and have a wonderful life. Now, we just need to get a home for Romeo.
As the little ones move out, we are geared up for the next critical foal to come along. Although of course we don't want any foal to be without it's mama, we are certainly anxious to be there for the next little one that comes along.
We want to thank y'all, as always, for your continued support and for being part of this "community rescue". They say it takes a village to raise a child, but it seems to take the world to raise a foal. God bless and stay safe. Don't forget you are always welcome to come and visit. The snow is almost gone and the horses are starting to shed out. Could that mean spring is getting here soon? We sure hope so. Also, don't forget to tell the folks at "Lowes" that Honey Bandit sent you when you start your spring shopping. We are extremely grateful for all their support too.
Take Care and "git 'er done"!