Saturday, April 25, 2009

The Loomis Earth Day Celebration ~ by Deanna

The Loomis Basin is a beautiful place to live for many reasons, not the least of which is the wealth of powerful and committed animal welfare groups and supporters. Partcipating in our first Loomis Earth Day Celebration was a wonderful opportunity to visit with several dear friends and make many new ones.

Sunshine, Murphy and Hanauma came along to shake hands and receive pats. The celebration coincided with the one month anniversary of our sweet Hanauma 's arrival. The 30 year old Rocky Mountain Horse mare is a "been there, done that" sort of girl and behaved perfectly, unphased by passing trains, enormous (200#) wolves and big, blue dinosaurs.

Gary Liss, Loomis Mayor Pro-Tem, spoke with us about his intention to promote equine presence and activities and to "put the Horse back in Horseshoe Bar." Hanauma was invited to share camera time with Gary as he spoke to this very issue. We will share the video link when it becomes available.

Margaret Andrews and Hanauma spoke with many visitors.

We can never say "Thank You" often enough to the myriad of friends that help us to love and provide for the kids that share their lives with us. We are blessed to be able to do what we do and I would like to take a moment to acknowledge some of those who shared time and space with us yesterday - Janet Thew, Best Friends Bakery, Fieldhaven Feline Rescue, Placer SPCA, Foothill Feed & Gift, Aunt Cynthia's Bed & Biscuit, Animal Spay & Neuter, A Pet's World and Placer Mosquito and Vector Control. We were pleasantly surprised by a visit from local artist, Ann Ranlett, and the Clark family from Chico. The BLM brought the only other horse ~ a gorgeous and much younger model!

We hope to see you at Lommis' Earth Day 2010.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Goodbye, Daisy

In August 2006, we came to know a lovely, grey Arabian mare named Daisy and on Tuesday, April 14, she left our Sanctuary for good.

Daisy came to us as an older gal with arthritic hocks and an old eye injury. Like most mares, Daisy had her good days and bad days ~ days when she would easily win over the hearts of those who met her and days when she would stomp and squeal and make her ill feelings known. Incredibly, Daisy was one of the only horses that showed no fear to Ferdinand, our gigantic steer, only heels and squeals. Other horses could force Daisy from her ration, but not Ferdi, even with his imposing presence.

Daisy arrived with an Arabian gelding named Fritz, but Fritz crossed the rainbow bridge on 10/22/07. Shortly thereafter, Big Cloud arrived and claimed Daisy as his girl. While I don't believe the feeling was mutual, as Daisy was always eager to check out new geldings, she had a true and forever friend in Cloud.

Daisy also had a good friend in Steven from the Easter Seals HTR program. Steven took good care of the old girl on multiple visits and she relished his attention.

Daisy's weight would fluctuate, even when food (rations designed for hard-keepers) was made readily available. She was always anxious to eat but would sometimes leave food, which is a rare happening around here! After our recent visit with an equine dentist, I realize those fluctuations were probably due in great part to the shedding of molar teeth. The dentist came in late March approximated Daisy's age at right around 30.

Daisy's end was not a surprise, of course. Throughout her stay at the sanctuary, she would have challenges rising once she lay down. We would awaken to find her down and usually be able to assist her back up and moving pretty quickly. Daisy seemed to always have sores on pressure points.

In February, Daisy had been down for a while in a cold, wet spot and we struggled to get her up. Her attitude and appetite were great - key markers. We fed her grain to bolster her strength got her up after nearly two hours of effort. This photo was in our back yard, where I proceeded to gently bathe her with warm water from our bathroom sink. Warm and clean, jacketed and fed warm mash, Daisy was good to go again.

This time, however, while she still was happy for grain, she was not helping us to help her rise. The sweet old girl was tired. Incredibly, Big Cloud stayed by her side through the euthanasia, the pick up by Sacramento Rendering and all the time in between. Daisy was his life. We have a sad Thoroughbred on our hands, but know beyond the shadow of a doubt that a beautiful angel just received her wings, at last free from her failing body.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Tuesdays with Maggie ~ remembering

As you know, our wonderful Percheron, Tank, passed on a few months back. While his passing was devastating to us, I never knew the impact one animal could have on so many people. Tank was a blessed soul. If you ever met him, you’ll know what I am talking about. Something about him was calming. He attracted both people and animals alike. We often asked him to befriend a new horse to the farm or comfort those who were ill or were getting ready to pass to the other side. Tank was never ill tempered or mean spirited. He’d put up with a lot from us (and from the other horses). Especially when we’d bathe him and dress him up for the Santa photo shoot back in December. The first thing he did when we got home? Rolled in the dirt. But he never fought us. People (especially kids) like to climb all over him and he was as patient as ever. So I guess that is why, to this day, when someone finds out of his passing, they become saddened. Even those who never met him in person! I have never known an animal to have this kind of attraction. To say that I was blessed to have spent time with our four-legged angel is an understatement. He was a gift. All our animals are gifts. But our beloved Tanky will live on through our hearts and our charity. I could go on forever about all the wonderful things about Tank. That’s the kind of angel he was.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Unexpected Lessons Come Via Easter Seals

As our relationship with the Sacramento Easter Seals Help to Recovery program continues to grow and deepen, greater gifts continue to reveal themselves. We are creative and resourceful beings, the lot of us. We find that we can, indeed, do things we might not have thought possible, if the desire to do so is great enough.

When we remodeled this home, we did so with the full intention of caring for many dogs. It was designed with them in mind - low windows in the front so a whole slew of them could witness the comings & goings in territory that is beyond their bounds, dog doors in the front and back of the house so that blind dogs don't have so far to go if they are sleeping in our bed... Believe me, a wheelchair accessible bathroom never ocurred to us. Beyond that, we thought that toilets which flush with a pull from the top of the tank were pretty, but they can prove downright baffling to somene with a brain injury.

Our friends, however, are a determined group. There has been classroom time spent discussing the "ins & outs" of our bathroom quirks as it is crucial to their visit. The trip out here from their facility on Hurley is not short and there are typically a few headed directly indoors after the long ride.

Ah, if we ever move to a larger parcel, we will certainly take more things into consideration.

The March visit was refreshing - the weather was gorgeous and the horses, especially, enjoyed the hands-on time.

Bob brings Prince out for loving as Rachel prepares the rope.

Wilbe gets some TLC from Marcellos and Kim.

Anthony spends time with our sweet Ranger.

Steven and Marcellos always look stylish, even as they muck.

Vince enthusiastically mucked the pastures, as well.
(Gentlemen, how do you manage to stay so clean?)

Seriously, Kim could be a professional Groom.

We realize that not everyone is able to view the video portions of the blog, but they show the personalities so well that we must keep some coming. Below is a clip of John with Bow Tie, who is thriving on the attention. Her behavior hints at the terrorist tactics that have earned her the nic-name "Osama Bin Bow" ~ behavior which she usually reserves for her canine siblings.

We'll close with more life lessons, presented by Hector in three languages. I hope to someday soon launch a personal blog in which we can share some of Hector's writings, for they are insightful, thought-provoking and humorous lessons.

I realize that I did not manage to post photos of everyone who visited this month ~ please forgive. Thank you for continuing to share yourselves with us and helping us to grow.

Fondly, Deanna

Darcy ~ by Woody ~ March 25

Our beloved duck, Darcy, left us today.

She came to us having survived an attack by a bobcat. She lost her mate and was close to death when she was found. She was brought to the sanctuary and, to be honest, I was pretty certain that she would only be around for a day or so before she made her transition.

Deanna immediately made her comfortable and even slept with her for the first several nights. That love my wife so freely gives to all the residents made an extraordinary difference to Darcy, and soon she started to perk up. She began eating and moving around a bit (she had obviously been grabbed by the neck, and had some difficulty walking on solid ground), and so we moved her to the master bathroom, filled up the tub, and day by day she regained her ability to swim and enjoy the water.

Thus began her daily routine, she would spend the day in the big bathtub, complete with whirlpool jets, and when I would get home at night, I would pick her up, dry her off, talk with her a bit, and then put her to bed in the master shower, in her big comfy dog bed, safe from the others just in case they ever got a little too curious.

She loved the tub, her floating bowl of food, and the jets! She would literally shoot the whirlpool rapids, going to and fro and all around the tub, and it was quite a treat to watch her play.

She slept in until about Noon today, and I just happened to be a home longer than usual before heading out, and it seemed strange that she was not yet awake. She was finally up, and I filled the tub, and placed her in it, but something was amiss. I continued to watch her, and thought maybe I was being too concerned, but when I came back before leaving, she looked at me, lifted her head, and then passed away.

I am shocked. I know she had been close to death when she was found, but as late as yesterday she seemed 100% okay. Her daily routine did not change and so I am left that she simply decided it was time to go. She had a glorious time with us, and we came to love her very much, and like those many others who have also made their transition with in our care, she made a distinct and lasting impression.

God speed sweet Darcy…you will be missed.

Darcy tucked into her bed.