Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Old horses+ Longer days= Lots of hair -- by Rachel

Shedding season has officially kicked off at the ranch. I wandered through the old horse pasture the other day with a shedding tool. I don't know if there is an exact way to quantify horse hair, but if there was I am pretty sure the measuring unit would be 'gobs'. After about 20 minutes of strolling around, the entire pasture looked like a Tribble stampede. From now until around May, it will be shedding all day, every day. The senior horses especially make lots of padding for bird nests with all the winter wool they are downsizing. For those of you who haven't experienced this, you haven't really ever groomed a horse until your car upholstery is fuzzy afterwards, your shirt itches, and you're picking hair off your tongue because you were concentrating so hard you started breathing through your mouth. Man, I love horses.....

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Spring brings new and exciting changes to the ranch…. By Rachel

Hello all! One of the things I love most about being at the sanctuary are all the different hats I get to wear. Most of you who have met me, have done so while I am crawling around with tools under a horse, covered in hair and mud. I had the opportunity this Second Saturday open house to crawl out from under the horses and meet some of the fabulous community members who came for a tour. Spending time with the families who came to visit was a blast, and I am definitely going make it a more regular occurrence!

This new activity has gotten me excited about the many other new and exciting changes in the hopper for this year. I will just mention a few…

First and foremost, we have a few new residents to welcome!

Charlotte is a 16 year old potbelly pig. She is …um…… opinionated, and quite vocal. She is a hoot to watch. Upon arrival she immediately staked out her territory with the cats on the porch. She also enjoys lounging in her own personal dog house.

Quincy is a darling senior quarter horse, who long time sanctuary friend Heather Olson rescued and maintained until we were able to take him. He has a bevy of physical needs, which we will be diligently working towards sorting out this spring.

From the dog world, Casey and Kringle have joined our ranks (WHAT!?! Two non- Boston Terriers in a row!). Not to worry though—we have not lost our Boston touch. Izzy, an almost year old Boston puppy, who was born without an anus, also now calls the sanctuary home. Although this girl has been through a lot (surgery, continued incontinence, etc.), and will probably require surgery in the future to improve her bowel and bladder control, she is a little ball of happiness. Much to the relief of the older dogs, she and Joy are now playmates, and keep each other entertained.

We are also welcoming two unusual new residents. Chrissy, the angora goat, came to us with a severe leg injury that ultimately required amputation. During a pre-surgical x ray the vet detected something unusual in her abdominal cavity--- a skull. Much to our surprise she was pregnant when she came to us, and gave birth to Valentine, an adorable fawn colored doe, on February 10. Mama and baby are happy and healthy. Chrissy is moving around well on her three remaining legs, and Valentine is enjoying the advantage of unobstructed udder access.(Photo by the enormously talented Ann Ranlett, who joined us this weekend for the open house and brought her camera along).

Next, we need to extend a huge welcome to Lydia Patubo, who has agreed to accept a part time position as our Marketing Director! Lydia has shown her passion and dedication as a sanctuary volunteer for the last year, and we are so excited to see her in this new position.

Last year was a HUGE learning experience, as we launched our first official push for recruiting volunteers. We are taking all the knowledge we gained and revamping our volunteer program for this year in order to better meet the needs of the animals. Stay tuned for more information….

We are also improving quite a few elements of our community outreach. Keep checking in as we improve our website, schedule more events, and get ready to launch a new resident sponsorship program!

Sincere thanks again to all amazing people who assist us in continuing our work. As spring brings new grass, lots of sunshine, and TONS of shedding winter coats, we will keep you updated on all the new and exciting goings on!