Sunday, November 30, 2008

October in a Nutshell

October began with not only tremendous stress regarding our financial situation with respect to our mortgage crisis, but with an earnest effort to rehabilitate a sweet grey horse who had been abandoned in an apple orchard in Stockton. For the sake of brevity, LeRoi's entire story will be stand-alone later. The 'Reader's Digest Condensed Version' reveals that he was with us for just five days ~ days that were both short and long ~ and he took a piece of us with him. LeRoi died on Friday, October 3. I will always carry the vision of what might have been for him.

October 4 ~ The Olmstead Loop
Our dear friend Mary Gaspari joined me to ride the loop in preparation for the National Rescue Ride. This was Buck's first ride off-site and he was a dream. The sweet Dolly-Mama certainly outperformed the much younger gelding, who needed a few breathers. Cool is a beautiful place to ride.

October 8 ~ Dr. Paglia to the Rescue
Paddington underwent surgery at Animal Eye Center in Rocklin to remove both of his eyes. He arrived into rescue with glaucoma in his Right eye and somehow ruptured his Left eye. Paddy Bear landed at Wonder Dog in San Francisco after his Momma passed away. Her adult children tried to keep Paddy to honor their Mom, but the big old bear did not do well with infants. We are happy to say, however, that they did not turn their backs on the big Boston boy and took financial responsibility for the care of Paddy’s eyes. Thank you, James, for coordinating with us for Paddy’s care. I wish there were more people willing to care for the senior dogs as you and your siblings have. Paddy looked a little rough immediately after surgery, but he has healed nicely and CLEARLY feels better. We love Paddy very much.

October 9 ~ Time for a Tractor
We use our little garden tractor a lot, mostly to collect and haul the daily manure offering to the neighbor's garden. The old Craftsman that we'd found on Craigslist for $100 literally broke a rod. After a Summer of assorted tractor repairs (belts, tires, battery, starter, and fuel filter after fuel filter), we collectively decided it was a better idea to spend a little more upfront and repair a lot less. Once more, Craigslist to the rescue. For $500, we were able to obtain a nicely maintained Yard Machine just two seasons old, with 21hp and an automatic transmission. And guess what? It actually mows, too! Woo hoo! It was a big expense, but absolutely necessary. The new tractor is treated with great respect and it towed the old Craftsman off to scrap. :o)

October 10 ~ Ready Steady Eddie
I went out to check the horses' water and found Eddie standing over the trough, dribbling blood from his lip. I can't say for sure how the injury occured, but Guy immediately took him to Loomis Basin Equine Medical Center for stitches. I'll refrain from posting the most graphic of the photos, although Guy took some amazing shots of the procedures. Eddie healed beautifully and now bears a sexy scar for all the ladies!

While Guy was taking care of Eddie, I dealt with our failing septic. In the end, our tank simply needed to be pumped, but this is a tough operation to run without use of plumbing for a day or two. With all of the dog and horse hair that runs through our laundry, we are certainly harder than the average household on our septic system!

October 17 ~ Goodbye to Our Friend
Miss Dolly died. That morning, she displayed all of the symptoms of colic. Because Dolly was of advanced age and possessed a multitude of melanomas, we chose to call the vet for an emergency euthanasia rather than to try to prolong her life. She died before the vet arrived. Her passing was so unexpected. She had been the picture of health. I am certain that the excessive melanomas that hardened her lips and covered her tail bone and surrounding areas played a role in the colic.

During the Spring of 2007, Dolly experienced a bad bout of laminitis, which was not her first. I was confident that with Rachel's assistance, we could restore Dolly's feet to a healthy state. Then in November of 2007, Dolly, along with five other of our horses, contracted strangles. I promised Dolly that if she stuck with us through the healing, she would have a wonderful Spring and Summer. She did. The Dolly we all knew through the Spring and Summer of 2008 was a happier and healthier version than ever. She was a willing partner and a sweet mare. Dolly will forever live on within our hearts.

October 18 ~ When one door closes...
Suddenly, there was an opening at 'The Inn' and we had heard about an older Quarter Horse in need. A woman in a nearby town was going through an unexpected divorce and her soon to be ex-husband was threatening to shoot the horse and his pony pal. While the woman did not have the cash to pay for the first year's care, these two babies came with a dowry of quality tack that we could really use. Volunteer extraordinaire, Margaret Andrews, jumped in the truck with Guy to save these two sorrel kids. Margaret named the pair Ranger and Ruby. Ruby exhibits the all the sassiness that ponies are known for and Ranger adores her.

October 19 ~ National Rescue Ride
What a day! Deep gratitude to everyone who helped make it so excellent, but the day began with a bit too much stress for my taste. We met some amazing people that day and enjoyed some fun conversations. This event will receive the coverage it deserves on its own page.

October 21 ~ Surgery for Sutton
Our own Guy Sutton underwent lapband surgery. Due to upcoming increases in his co-pay, it was important that Guy complete the surgery in a timely manner. We are incredibly proud of Guy's relatively recent commitment to his health. In March of 2006, he gave up alcohol. On Halloween 2007, he smoked his last cigarette. Between May 5, 2008 and October 21, he shed 20% of his body weight in preparation for this surgery - twice that amount that Kaiser required. His medications have dropped off significantly and his knees no longer fail him.

Unfortunately, Guy experienced a small complication and was readmitted into the hospital on October 27 for three more nights. An abcess had developed, which turned out to be a staph infection. He handled this hiccup gracefully and once home, we packed a gaping wound twice daily for another week. This didn't keep him from his chores for long, however. Thank you, my dear friend.

A Chance for Bliss would certainly not be where it is today without Guy's love and commitment and these healthy choices mean that we can look forward to his vital participation for a long time to come.

Nearly 100 pounds have disappeared since last Christmas. Soon we'll reveal the Christmas 2008 version. Congratulations, Guy.

October 28 ~ Easter Seals
The last Tuesday of the month brings our beloved friends and a flurry of activity around the ranch. A couple of new faces and some familiar friends, whom we will all get to know better very soon.

John with Grace and Max

Steven with Daisy

Marcellos and Bow Tie [aka Osama Bin Bo]

Les aka Poppa aka 'Keeper of the Brushes' :o)

Master Groomer Kim with Eddie and Handsome

Yvonne with BoBo and Miss Piggy

Heather & Spike, assisted by Rachel & Marcellos, supervised by Les!

October Overall
An assortment of October snapshots.

1 comment:

Meg said...

Speaking of new additions...check mine out!

(And yes, he's a shelter baby!)