Shutting down my computer on Tuesday evening, I glanced one more time at my messages. With that last glance, I saw a plea to help an orphaned foal. I had almost shut down the computer without seeing the message. Moments like this can make your heart stop, as something so small as not seeing the message about the foal right away could end up in the loss of the foal, as time is of the essence. I quickly responded, sending phone numbers and telling them to call me no matter what time they got the message. With orphan foals, every hour counts. Finally, about an hour later, I received a phone call from a woman I had never met. There was an orphan, one of the Paiute Indian group that was recently rescued from slaughter.
So many folks breathe a huge sigh of relief when they hear that the horses have been "saved from slaughter". But the reality is that is just the beginning. One of the horses rescued was a pregnant mare that the vet deemed to be in her late 20's. Although pregnancy at this age is not an everyday event, it does happen but a lot of those mares that age do not carry the foal to term. However, this mare was determined to have her baby, and even though she carried him to term, she was in really bad shape and passed away when he was about 3 months old. So this baby already had a lot of strikes against him. The first is that his mom could not possibly have given him the proper nutrition when she was still pregnant. After she had him, in her condition there would be very little nutrition left in her milk because of the shape she was in, and who knows how much milk she even had. (The vet told the woman who rescued the mare that he didn't think she would live long enough to even give birth.) The woman who saved these horses from slaughter did her best to care for him, and then realizing she needed help she contacted us to take the baby. By the next day there was another foal in distress. This one was Mikey, the little tri-color, and the mare he had been paired up with after the auction did not seem to be his mother. When foals and mares are separated, they do not always match back up appropriately and in the chaos of the roundup and then the confusion of being pushed from pen to pen at auction yards, they very easily can get separated if care is not taken to make sure all are paired up properly. The mare had milk, but refused to let him drink and was being aggressive, resulting in a leg injury and him not being able to eat.
Not knowing where the babies were, but realizing time was of the essence, Soldier, (my service dog and our military war veteran), and I headed out the next day to Dayton, first stop on the way to get the babies. Matt was staying back to hold down the fort as this was an emergency situation. It was too late to do anything Tuesday night, and we also had to make sure the proper steps were followed. It is necessary to have the brand inspector legally change the title to the horses before you can take them, especially when you need to cross state lines. The foals would need to be checked by a vet and get a health certificate, as well as having their blood drawn for a Coggins test. It's never wise and no one wants to cause more problems and delay by not following the laws when crossing state lines without correct paperwork and it was a good thing to get them on their feet and have a little rest before they start their next journey to California. It was Thursday morning before we were able to pick up the babies so we have had a week to watch for problems and get them eating their supplements. It takes a little time for the older babies to learn about their munchies (supplements and vitamins) along with eating good hay. Electrolytes are so important to these babies and it's almost the first thing we do is to replace and keep them on water with electrolytes added. At 3 months they can free drink on their own and we watch their water intake to make sure they are drinking enough and not drinking too much.
Shirley and I headed out with the small two horse baby trailer that is totally enclosed, praying like crazy that the little guys would be okay. We arrived to find Mikey, the tri-colored little colt, lying on the ground. Ikey, the little buckskin, was actually standing on the edge of Mikey's neck, but Mikey was too weak to even care. We loaded them up in the trailer, knowing that they were extremely compromised as well as being dehydrated and seriously malnourished. We took them back to Shirley's and began checking them out. Their temperatures were in a safe range, although their little legs were quite cold. This can be a huge issue if they get too cold from lack of circulation, as the blood flow can decrease to the point of losing their hoofers, which of course means losing the baby. They both had good gum color, which is also extremely important, as it shows good oxygenation and abnormal gum color can show jaundice, and indicate other health issues. Low body temps (core temp) below about 85 degrees can cause internal organ damage and then the loss of the baby, one of the reasons it is so important to have compromised foals in an area where we are able to keep the temperatures stable and they are breathing air that is not to cold.
The next day Doc came and checked them out more thoroughly, and also drew the blood for the Coggins test needed to bring them back to California. He said both their lungs sounded good, and that hopefully with lots of love, attention, good groceries and supplements, their legs have a good chance of becoming more normal. Ikey also has a hernia which will most likely require surgery. We are hoping he will be well enough in a month or so for the surgery as Doc say it is better sooner than later as long as he is ready. We will need to raise funds for that operation before that time. We have to watch them closely as with foals that are this compromised they have absolutely zero reserves and also immune system that is also compromised, so it is imperative that we keep them as healthy as possible and in a temperature controlled environment.
Both Mikey and Ikey love to eat and drink, which is a great way to start getting better. They are definitely showing tiny signs of improvement every day, and if anyone would like to help with the special supplements, foal lac pellets, hay and feed that they need it would be much appreciated. You can donate at Palominodancer@paypal.com or go to our website www.chillypepper.weebly.com and donate there. Remember that all donations are tax deductible and so much appreciated, as they are what keep us going and make all this possible. We are hoping to head back to Shingletown on Thursday at the latest. I am anxious to get them safely (and ever so slowly) home and settled in. Thank you again to everyone who made sure that we have a safe and warm nursery. These two need it if we are going to have a chance to bring them back to a healthy state.
God bless you and thank you so much for making it possible to give these foals a chance. So many folks stepped up to make sure that they didn't end up at the slaughterhouse in the first place and we really want to make sure that they continue to beat the odds and are able to live a happy and peaceful life. Thank you so much for helping us help God's critters.
Ikey and Mikey say THANK YOU ALL, we're getting better.
Ikey day two, chowing down.
Mikey, day two, taking a little breather to say Love You and Thanks.
Was so awesome to see so many of you at our Open House. As glad as I was to see everyone, I always feel a tiny bit guilty to not get to spend more time with individuals to catch up and chat a bit. We had good food, although we forgot to get out the birthday cupcakes as everyone was munching on our famous Cheesecake! Woohooo. The chickens also enjoyed the cheesecake and were quite aggressive in their quest to get the biggest piece. There were rescued critters everywhere, dogs, cats, horses, donkey and of course our resident chickens. Just want to say thank you to the folks that took time out of their busy lives to come and hang out for a bit. God bless y'all and we cannot ever thank you enough for supporting what we do and making it all happen!
We wanted to thank Nancy for the wonderful hoses and sprinklers that they brought. We are 3 steps closer to having enough of them. We can still use a few more, and will definitely use all of them, although as the nights continue to get colder our thoughts are definitely heading towards winter supplies and feedings. All of the critter kids are already starting to put on their winter coats. I just got back from Nevada, moving mares and foals that were slaughter bound (we actually picked them up from one of the kill buyers who had purchased them at the auction.) and took them to a place a few hours away from here where they will live in paradise. Many of the horses looked pretty rough as far as scrapes etc. as the auction yard is not a pretty place.
When I returned home, I was shocked to see that the horses are already getting ready for winter. It has been quite chilly up here in the Mountains at night, and I am really wondering if winter is going to sneak in early. It made me remember all the double feeding we had to do last year. Arghhh.
This is our trip from the Kill Buyer's place with the mares and foals to their paradise in California. So many folks forget that actually "saving the horses" is just a teeny tiny step, although a very important one, in actually making sure the horses are truly safe.
PART 1 (THE HAPPY PART) Wow - what a trip. Put on about 940 miles starting Friday, then Mike & Jackie and Shirley and I took 13 pairs of mares and foals to their forever home in California. We left Shirley's about 5:00 a.m., picked up the horses in Fallon and headed out. It was a pretty good trip, with a few weird noises on one truck, (but no real problem). Then we had a truck whip into the lane I was driving in. I didn't even have time to think and whipped over into the next lane. Praise God there was a break in traffic. If there had been anyone beside us, we would have had a seriously deadly mess. Afterwards, shaking and being close to tears, we pulled over to make sure the horses hadn't been flung too hard. They were absolutely fine, PTL, and I am so thankful that our prayers for a safe and blessed trip were answered. We arrived at our destination about 4:00 in the afternoon and the horses unloaded calmly and walked happily over to start munching. If you look at the pix, you will see how calm these horses were when we arrived. We opened Shirley's trailer, the little filly calmly looked out, and then decided to stop and have some yummies from mom, nursing for a few moments and then casually stepping out. That is a pretty happy little horse who had a very positive trailer experience.
PART 2 (THE NOT QUITE AS FUN PART) Hmmmmm - I am wishing I had been a little bit better informed about towing a goose neck trailer and how much clearance you really need. So I will share my humiliation and despair (haha) and let y'all in on a little secret that I didn't know.... you need LOTS of clearance, way more than you think, not just a few inches. On the way home from taking the mares and foals, we were pulling out of a gas station with a rather steep and weird driveway when I heard an explosion... Scared me to death - but I knew I didn't run over anything. I looked back and poor Soldier had broken glass all around him. We have been towing with the trailer on and my toolbox attached for quite some time. We have went up and down hills, around tight corners, loaded and unloaded. Never had a problem. BUT ON THIS DAY...... I blew out the back window of the truck. The trailer caught a tiny bit of the tool box and crushed it in, exploding the window. I didn't realize that automobile windows "burst" like that. So long story short, we pulled over again and Soldier went to travel with "Mom 2" (Shirley) so he would be safe. I now have to remove the tool box, the remaining glass and get a new window. There is something I am eternally grateful for though, yesterday if one more car had been in the mix, or I had reacted half a second later, we wouldn't even be here, so I have to be so grateful that if we were gonna have a "wreck" on the trip, it is one as small as this. I am not happy about it, but no one was hurt and like Shirley said, glass can be replaced, but equines and humans cannot. So once again I am sharing one of my "idiot maneuvers" so someone else can learn from my lack of knowledge instead of having to go through it personally.
So the first part of what we needed to do to help the nearly 500 horses that went through the auction went quite well. Will update next time about "Step 2" Helping to Prepare the horses to travel to their new homes. God bless all of you for your prayers and good thoughts. Our window has been fixed, so all is well, with the exception of my poor tool box. But again, I am so grateful that the Lord was watching over us and prevented us from a deadly accident. Hopefully someone else won't have to make my mistake and pay for a new window.
THANK YOU FROM ALL OF US!
Matt, Palomino & The Gang
Chilly Pepper - Miracle Mustang
Equine Rescue & More -
Rescue/Rehab Project LRTC
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.
Soldier is a red doberman, one who was bred in Europe for his size. He is approximately 8 years old. He is a war veteran and was one of the lucky canine that were actually brought home after their service ended.He was extremely depressed and nervous when we picked him up. He walked slowly and like he was depressed, and there was absolutely no bounce to his step.
We were attending a canine training class in So. Cal. Matt's sister and brother-in-law run canine cadaver and "live-find", bomb dogs, and drug dogs for the FBI and other authorities. However, also at that training session was a beautiful red doberman. I asked about him and this was the answer I received.
"He is is a military war dog, and his handler/soldier was killed in action. Since then he has been bounced around from home to home, as he has a severe case of PTSD and is hard to handle."
It took about 5 seconds and a quick phone call to Matt and we loaded him up to bring him home. He was extremely depressed and nervous when we picked him up. He walked slowly and like he was depressed, and there was absolutely no bounce to his step.
This dog is a WAR VETERAN, through no choice of his own, and not only has he seen action, but most likely WATCHED HIS SOLDIER DIE. We need to honor each and every soldier that comes home, and mourn those who don't. So not only to honor "Soldier" aka Soldier Scooby, but to honor his handler and one of our own, Chilly Pepper - Miracle Mustang has taken in our very own soldier.
Soldier had the saddest eyes I have ever seen, and
he seemed totally lost. When his leash was placed in my hand, he
looked at me with eyes so empty that it brought tears to mine. He
walked quietly and sedately beside us, did what we asked him to, and was
simply "there". There was no life to him, no spark of energy or
anticipation. When he ate, it was with hesitation and he had to be by
himself. He doesn't come "off leash", but is very obedient and well
trained overall. We were thinking there might be a reason for him not
to "come when he was loose", especially in a war zone. We cannot seem
to get any more information on him, what his commands were, or any other
info. So we handle him with extreme care and love, and are always
patient when he gets scared. He is extremely fearful if you throw
Since the first week we brought Soldier home, he has slept beside our bed.
He has become a member of the family and has gradually lost the haunted
and empty look in his eyes. They are bright and shiny and he plays and
bounces around when we take him out. He has made friends with the other
pups and loves to play. He is extremely protective, but will still
only come to Matt if he is sitting down.
There are times when he will come in the kitchen, and others when he is so
nervous he won't take one step in. If you carry any type of object he
tends to panic, like a computer, a purse or a package. Things that
panic him are extremely random and it is truly hard to tell what will
trigger the bad memories.
Soldier was in the Nevada Day Parade and afterwards we attended the Military
Celebration where they had the traveling Memorial Wall.
While we were at the wall, it was as if Soldier was searching for his fallen
comrade. He would go up to many of the young men in uniform as if to
say “have I finally found you”? Many of the veterans had tears in
their eyes as they reached down to pet them and I started to cry when
one of the veterans reached into his pocket so he could buy “Soldier
Scooby” a hamburger. One woman started sobbing as she told us about her
wonderful son who came back so traumatized by what had happened that he
had snapped and was now in prison. She told us of how her son would
not let her get rid of his best friend, buddy and soldier’s bloody boots
and clothes. It was all he had left of his fallen friend and it simply
broke her heart. She said that her son came back a different man and
she wept in my arms. My heart breaks for her and we need to never ever
forget that just because a soldier makes it home, it is still not
over. We heard that he came back through Camp Pendleton, but are still
unable to get any solid or definitive information on what he went
through. As far as we know, we believe he was in Afghanistan and
possibly a bomb dog, but will never know for sure. All we know is that
it is an honor, (and a huge responsibility) to provide a safe and loving
home for this amazing animal. It seems as if he was taught “not to
come” if he is loose. Whether this is so the enemy could not obtain his
services we do not know. However, little by little this amazing
Soldier is starting to heal.
His soldier gave his life for our country and he not only deserves to be
honored, (along with all the other soldiers who give up their time and
lives for us), but Soldier Scooby deserves to be honored for the rest of
his life also. He went through horrors unknown and watched his Soldier
and best friend die, only to be shipped home (PTL for that) and bounced
around from place to place, again through no choice of his own. He
cannot help what happened to him, or how he reacts to life back here.
So many times people forget that these amazing men and women are often
put through living hell, seeing things so horrific that we could not
possibly (or even want to) imagine.
Today, Soldier still sleeps with me every night. He actually got on the bed
the other night, which for him is a huge step forward. He loves to play
and although he is still extremely nervous and easily stressed, he is
settling in well. If you throw a bone or a snack into the pen, he
still runs away, but will quickly come back for it. His PTSD still
seems to be with him most of the time, but hopefully with love and
patience, he will someday be able to relax. One thing for certain, he
has found his forever home and will continue to be honored for the
soldier that he is.
We look forward to bringing Soldier to the parade where he can be honored and
also honor his brothers and sisters in the service. God bless and thank
you for all your support.
We would appreciate any help with the finances of getting Soldier to the Parade in Virginia City that will take place on the 25th of May. You can Donate via Paypal using the link below, please put FOR SOLDIER in the "Add special instructions to recipient" so that we know that your donation has been made specially for our Soldier.
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!