Wow, where to start!!!
My truck is finally “ready to go”, after 4 years, so off we headed to Reno for the Wild Horse and Burro Expo. Arriving at Shirley’s, I started backing in the driveway, only to have the bolt on our idler arm shear off. That was one of the first miracles. We didn’t crash and kill anything or anyone. PTL!! Bruce and Matt got that fixed for a few more pennies, and we headed off to Expo.
As we were leaving, Shirley let me know that we were “on standby” for the Desatoya (?) roundup. From what I was told, this round up was not expected as range conditions were thought to be much better than were actually found. Just as we were setting up, we got the call, two babies coming in. Instantly Shirley and I are on high alert, adrenalin flying, waiting to see what we would have. But we had to wait, as the babies were about 3 hours out, and under the care of the on scene vet.
While we were waiting for the “head out call”, Matt and I went inside to fill out a burro adoption form. We were talking to Alan Shepard and I was very happy to be able to thank him. He had picked up the phone when the round up started and told them to immediately get a hold of Shirley if there were any foals in distress.
This is what working together accomplishes. After Honey Bandit’s situation, we have been trying to improve on our working relationship with the folks at BLM so there would never be another “Honey Bandit”. Not only are they taking newborn or young foals and mama’s out of the general population immediately, pretty much as a “norm” now, they not only called us immediately, they actually delivered the two babies the over 3 hour trip straight to Shirley’s. Only putting out the truth, good and bad, will help the situation.
We were both extremely happy to find the foals in as good of condition as they were. Both were dehydrated, (but had been given fluids by the vet), and wanted to munch and munch and munch, but all in all, they were in much better shape than we usually find them. Dudley, named after “Uncle Bob”, a wonderful and very special supporter, seems to be around 2 months or so, and “Dixie”, named after one of my boys’ grandmas, was thought to be 5 or 6 weeks? I haven’t been able to talk to Shirley too much lately so I am not sure if that age is correct.
Good News!!! Romeo is going to be coming to Shingletown as we have been working on bonding him up with the Rock Star. It is going slowly, but I think surely…. J He was actually supposed to come home with Honey Bandit and Rocky this time, but none of them came home. The three of them are currently staying with Mama Shirley, as we had to race home because of the huge fire that was hauling towards our house.
Dalton called me when the fire was 100 acres or so and by the time we got home about 4 hours later it was over 7,000 acres and 0 contained and spreading like wild fire (haha).
About halfway home we got the call that we were on a Sheriff’s Mandatory Evac. So we drove home a little bit faster.
We just had time to load up all the critters, PTL that Shirley has 3 of the babies!!. We loaded DaBubbles and Patches first, but the “baby door” that wasn’t quite finished had one little issue. If you put that “door” in the regular “panel” position, you have to pull out the extender and DaBubbles thought it was really fun to run out that hole. So while we were “fixing that”, the goat was running into the trailer and Dabubbles was running out. We got that area secure, then loaded Dakota. Dakota is extremely claustrophobic, and was trying to “break out” of his divided area. This of course encouraged Chilly Pepper to come into the dark trailer with a thrashing horse (not). But we loaded her up and the goat jumped back in for the 10th time and we were closing the door. Then, PTL, Dalton managed to get the last of the 6 rescue cats. Of course we don’t have enough cages because when my chickens were stolen from the old house, they stole the cat carriers to put them in. So we turned a huge blue tote into a “kennel” and put air holes in it. This is all happening after the second emergency phone call for the mandatory evacuation and the sky is brilliant orange and red and you can hear the fire roaring like a jet engine. It is snowing ash, and you just get this really creepy feeling and it is very hard to think clearly. We had our ladders up against the house and the hoses on the ladders ready to go.
We jumped in and started down the hill. We dropped the horses off down the hill at a ranch that Sandy and Marie, (some wonderful friends and extremely valuable members of our rescue family) take care of. The owner is also a very valuable part of our rescue community and has not only taken the horses in this time, but donated hay when we were nearly panicked as to where to find affordable hay last winter. They are all such wonderful people and have made this whole nightmare much easier.
We then spent the night in the parking lot in Palo Cedro, with many others from Shingletown. We awoke to hot cement and crying, stressed out cats. This was not going to work, so we headed up the hill to our old property. I guess God knew what he was doing when the short sale fell through. So we are legally camped out at the old place. PTL!
We took the motorcycle down to check on the horses, which hadn’t been in sight for a couple of days as they are on 15++ acres. But when Chilly Pepper and Dakota heard the motorcycle, they galloped, all five of them (if a goat can gallop) up to the fence to see us. Another clear reminder of why we do this. It nearly brought tears to my eyes as they raced up the field, manes and tails flying in the wind, calling out to us. The mini’s were so cute as they raced behind with the goat.
So although the fire is still raging and the winds are picking up, all is well in Shingletown so far. Thank you everyone for your concern and prayers. We don’t have cell service, so if you need to get hold of us, call our cell and leave a message. We head up the hill for news and messages often. And yes, we made the trip to Wally World as we left with no clothes, toiletries, toothbrushes, food etc. We had to buy food for the critters as we didn’t bring that either. So I guess I am not very good at the evac thing, except for the critters!
God bless! Matt & Palomino
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