Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Blog, Blog, Blog...

With the obvious exception of the lack of Hope's presence, it has been business as usual around the ranch. Lots of cleaning and caring for critters.

Saturday and Sunday, Woody worked on cleaning out the pond. He had help from a couple of water dogs, but especially Harmony, who is ALWAYS Poppa's biggest helper.

I have been working diligently to put weight on Big Cloud and Daisy. Try as I might, these two are TOUGH! Big Cloud is making progress, though it is less than I would hope for. Nutrena Senior (and lots of it!), ProBios probiotic, rice bran, ground flax seed and corn oil, combined with regular worming and tooth care ~ I'm doing all I know to do! At the very least, the oils are making his coat gorgeous.

Here is Big Cloud on arrival (notice Hope is in the shot) compared with last week.

On a high note, we will be visited by Pawier tomorrow. Pawier's President, Joan Bohl, saw Woody on KCRA and is donating a gallon of their water soluble liquid vitamin. After visiting our website, Joan thought the product might be especially helpful to DeeDee. We are so grateful for their care and interest, even though I believe it is too late for the Baby Deeds.

DeeDee's time with us is definitely drawing to a close. After we carefully considered her quality of life versus simply extending life with awful side effects, combined with the associated costs and current financial hardship, we chose to discontinue DeeDee's chemotherapy almost five weeks ago. During the Open House, Dr. Schmidt explained that the bi-weekly chemotherapy treatments would continue for the rest of DeeDee's life. Considering how sick the treatments made her and the weight she had lost, combined with the fact that income from Woody's 15 years as a mortgage broker has dropped off entirely, the choice was clear. She certainly started feeling better after the effects of the chemo wore off, but the lymphoma is back with a vengeance, once more beginning to inhibit her ability to breathe well. What's more, another tumor has developed in what I assume to be a mammary gland. I am carefully monitoring her for the inevitable sign that "it is time." She is still a happy little girl, though less enthusiastic. She sleeps with me every night and goes looking for me when I work outside, as we are tightly bonded. I trust that we will do this in DeeDee's perfect time. In the meantime, she can do and have anything she wants, though her appetite is becoming inconsistent. The photo below is what we call her "Eaglet" pose - she likes to sit on Poppa's shoulder like a little bird.

I've become someone who mourns and cries a lot more than most, which may not be a lot of fun for my friends and family, but I believe each of these kids deserves someone who will feel the way we feel over their loss. We have had an incredible 26 months with DeeDee and that is worth any amount of heartache.

I look forward to posting a completely uyplifting blog anytime soon.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Still No Sign of Hope

It is painful to think and speak about, but there is still no sign of Hope. Harmony misses her terribly. Harmony is just one week older than Hope and they have never been apart before. Harmony was born deaf, and Hope has acted as her ears since the very beginning. When Poppa comes home, Hope would go tell Harmony.

Hope's absence has made an impact on many.

Hope and Harmony at 3 Months of Age

Inseparable Sisters

Going "Bye-Bye" in the Ford

A Trip to Lowe's

Poppa Handing Out Ice Cream - Hope and Harmony Side by Side

We met a new volunteer Tuesday. Our good friend, Alaine Beers, brought out her delightful great niece, Hannah. These hardworking ladies helped us with pasture maintenance and gave loving baths to DeeDee and Princess. We are so grateful for the kindness and help. Thank you, ladies!

Sincere thanks to everyone for the kind words and prayers for the return of our girl.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

We Have Not Given Up Hope

Though it has been anything but easy, there is much to do around the ranch, so we keep "moving our feet" as we continue to search for our Hope.

A core group gathered Saturday morning, all of whom I would consider family, in an all-out effort to bring our BT girl home to us. Rosie and Jeff Steinbrenner, Mary Gaspari, Lary Bucher, April Ford, Margaret Hunt and Erica Entz gave generously of their time and spirit as we literally went door to door on foot, speaking to as many people as possible, posting flyers and tucking business cards and flyers into mailboxes and front doors. An amazing amount of ground was covered that day. My eyes fill with tears as I write this as I am so moved by the kindness of new found friends - Rosie and Jeff discovered us through Woody's appearance on KCRA 3 on May 17 and have been dedicated, caring and hard-working on several visits already, driving all the way from Elk Grove to be with us. Margaret Hunt is a Veterinarian at the Sacramento Animal Control on Bradshaw Road and spent a few hours Saturday walking the nature areas (in the heat of the day) and educating us on shelter protocols. Her kindness and support lift us up. Mary, Lary, April and Erica are "the family we get to choose" and stepped up in a huge way as they have so many times before in our lives. We cannot thank these people adequately. I was not "present" enough to get photographs of everyone Saturday but their contributions are immeasurable.

Sunday was spent doing some deep cleaning around the ranch, which always helps us when we're down.

Monday morning, Katie came out for her fourth visit and helped us to attend to some neglected chores. Katie has Thoroughbreds of her own, rides Hunter/Jumper, is a conscious and thorough worker and a true pleasure to know. Our life is enriched by her presence in it.

Mary Gaspari enjoys some post-search trail time with Eddie.

Katie and Zulu

Katie loves on William

Grace really loves her new Poppa

DeeDee gets special priveledges

Saturday, June 14, 2008

We're Going Door to Door

Hope is out there somewhere and we're determined to find her. We've assembled a small, dedicated crew to help us canvas this small town of ours. Guy will be here "manning the fort" if you have the time and concern to help us find our most precious child. 916-663-9121

Thursday, June 12, 2008

The Good, The Bad and the Ugly

The Good

WE ARE OFFICIAL! We received the formal 501c3 approval from the IRS and are no longer "Status Pending!" We had been lead to expect the process to take approximately nine months and it took less than 30 days. I attribute this to Woody's talent and care in preparing the Form 1023 package and the written description of our sanctuary. The approval is retroactive to our incorporation date of January 2, 2008. Woohoo!

The Bad

We could really use some financial help feeding the animals this month. As always, Woody is our main benefactor and he simply has no fundings this month. We spend $3,500 monthly just feeding the animals, not considering medications. If you can spare even a little, it would help us greatly! We have discontinued DeeDee's chemotherapy due to the financial constraints.


Hope has been missing since Sunday night. Words cannot accurately convey the pain and heartache this is causing us, but especially Woody. We have done everything we can imagine less going door to door, which we will do this weekend if she has not returned to us by then. I will blog more specifically later as we have learned much about what to do when you lose your baby.

Please hold the vision of Hope's safe and fast return to us.