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Archive for the ‘helping others’ Category

War Hero

What an impressive, brave little mare!  And to think, I spent three years at Camp Pendleton and never heard her story!

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Did they leave anything behind for me?

As you can see, there’s clearly nothing wrong with Sugar that simple FEEDING could have prevented.  She’s really starting to feel good now too.  Good enough that she’s starting to be a little pushy when it comes to love, feeding and going for a walk somewhere.

I’m going to de-worm her one more time as I’m still grossed out by the heavy load she was carrying.  I want to make sure they’re all cleared out and she’s absorbing the most nutrients possible.

Should I roll here?

Ahh! That's the spot!

Up I go!

That felt good!

Not only can Sugar get up and down on her own, as you can see from the photos, but she’s quite happy to trot around a bit when on turn out.

My farrier checked her out and thought she might be a little Morgan, given her bone structure.   Thinking about it a little, I think I agree.  Whatever she is, she’s a cutie!

Additionally, as of this past weekend, Sugar officially became ours.  Bad Pants made it official, she’s going to stay with us and no one else will have any say over her again.  I won’t have to stress about what sort of home she may end up in, as she’s here to stay!

 

*I should also say that Sugar has no back teeth on her right side.  No idea why, they’re just not there.

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For those of you who haven’t befriended me on Facebook, I’ve been quite busy with a new project.   I’ve been so busy, in fact, that I have put the Bake-Off on hold for a bit.

So, without further ado, let me show you what’s been going on.

**WARNING: Graphic photos** 

While I admit that the photos I will be sharing below are not that bad, IMO, I do realize they could upset some readers.  So, if you’re one of those, please feel free to skip this post entirely and know I took in a skinny, starving mare near death and I’m working on making her better.

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Meet Sugar, a 14hh, upper-teens, stock horse type mare.

Just 12 days ago, I helped rescue an abandoned horse at the end of our road.  Her owners didn’t want her any more and turned her loose, just like that.  She’d been fending for herself for some time in a swampy area.  But, in case you haven’t heard, Georgia is in the midst of a drought.  Our ponds are mostly dried up and the grass had been dormant for most of the summer.  So , the swamp was dry, with no water and no nutrition in the grasses she was eating.
Mind you, this is the second horse I’ve found since moving to Georgia.  You can read about the first one here.
I told my husband I was going to go take a look at her.  He told me we just couldn’t take on another horse.  We’re already full up here.  AND he’d just purchased another for me a few days previously as a surprise.  (I knew about it.  Oddly, he bought her that SUNDAY night.  It’ll be some time before I bring her to Georgia though, as she’s a baby and in Oregon).
So, he protested mildly.
After seeing the plight of this little mare, at how painfully thin she was (and still is), and seeing her old injuries that weren’t cared for, my heart broke.  I spent the next half hour trying to get the owner to relinquish her to my custody (and he was a scary, strung out, tweaker dude!), followed by 90 minutes of slow walking to move her the two miles it was to my house.  I could not leave her there.  I simply couldn’t.  A couple more weeks on her own and this mare would have died, if she hadn’t wandered out into the road and been hit by a car first, causing a terrible accident and loss of lives.
During that walk, I prayed that we’d make it home safely.  That Sugar wouldn’t go down, and would have the strength to make it to my house.  I sweet talked that little mare the whole way home too, calling her “Sugar HoneyBaby” and begging her to not go down on me, all the while pleading with God to keep vehicles from flying up the road at us, causing an accident, or spook, or worse.
We made it home.  Sugar was in pitiful condition.  I gave thanks for our safe journey.  I gave thanks that my husband’s soft heart caved when he saw her.  And since then, I’ve worked hard to put weight on Sugar and to make her comfortable.  She’s gaining steadily (52 lbs the first week), but she’s not out of the woods yet.
It’s also been financially tight for us to take Sugar on right now.  Not only did we just pay a substantial amount of money for my new filly, but my husband’s company announced they were changing our pay cycle and we’d be going an extra week before being paid again, all on a payday that is already reserved for rent and bill and whatnot.  But some how, so far, the Universe has provided, not just for us, but for Sugar too.  (Because, rehabbing a horse is VERY expensive.  In 11 days she’s cost roughly what I spend on my two horses here at home for a three week period).
I de-wormed Sugar yesterday, as she was finally strong enough for a mild de-wormer (pyrantel, if you’re wondering).  Even then, I was deeply worried about a chance of colicking.  Oddly, colic and founder are my worst fears when it comes to my horses.  I’ve never really had to deal with either (except a little belly ache with Casey because he was cold last winter).  So, I checked on her hourly, until after midnight.  She’s fine today, a little quiet, but fine.
In the past 12 days, I’ve been able to piece together that Sugar was someone’s beloved, well-trained baby in the past.  She blankets like a pro, even lowers her head to put on and take off the blanket, de-worms without need of a halter and doesn’t fuss, and is about the easiest going mare I’ve ever known.  Of course, with some additional weight, some of that may change.
I don’t know much about her past and I can only guess at it from what I observe.  I do know she came with a calcified knee injury, but I don’t know how old it is.  She needs her teeth floated, but appears to be about 16-18.  She fly sprays like a champ.  She spooks sometimes, but she spooks in place.  She has an eye injury that has left her with some vision impairment.  And she spooks when strangers she doesn’t know approach her from the left, the eye with the vision impairment.  Once she knows and trusts you, she’ll follow you anywhere and actively seek out your company.
Sugar came with the name, “Cocoa”, but we changed it for obvious reasons.  I’m told that she is papered and that her previous, previous owners would just give me her papers.  But so far, that hasn’t happened.  At this point I haven’t been able to find out anything more about her.  Not her registered name or breed or date of birth.  But that’s ok.  I’m learning about Sugar all the time, just by what she shows me.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got a broken down old mare to go love on and a stall to strip.  🙂

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Wanna put a touch of the exotic in your barn?  In love with spots?  I happen to know that this little girl is for sale for only $1800!  Doesn’t she look like she’s wearing a jaguar hide?  Contact me if you want more info on her.  She’s located in the Pacific Northwest.

*Did I mention she’s 1/2 Friesian?  Did I mention she’s also the half sister to my filly?

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Recently, Bad Pants and I drove through a housing development that is on the other side of the hay field across the street from us.  So, maybe a quarter mile away.  Part of why we drove through was to learn our area better.  The other reason was that I’d seen houses for that neighborhood marked as low as $49,000 on zillow.com.  Yeah, you read that right.

Forty nine thousand dollars.

New, never been lived in construction.  Or, new construction before the market crashed.  Not all the planned houses for that neighborhood are built yet.  Most are standing empty.  Okay, more than 75% are standing empty.  It boggles the mind.

There are many neighborhoods that are like the one down the street from me that are empty or mostly empty here in the Atlanta area.  New construction is standing vacant, with algae growth on the siding, windows that look like cold, empty eyes, just waiting for a family to come fill them with warmth, joy and laughter.

And just moments ago, the news reported that there are 20,000 homeless people here in Atlanta this Thanksgiving.  The news segment was talking about how many people the Atlanta area soup kitchens will be trying to feed.  Let me repeat that number for you again.

Twenty-thousand people without homes.

Twenty-thousand people living on the streets, in homeless shelters and in abandoned homes without heat or hot water.

Twenty-thousand.

That is approximately 1/5th the population of Anchorage, Alaska.  That is the size of the population of the town in Oregon we just moved from.  That is seven thousand more people than the town I first lived in when I moved to Alaska.  And that is half the population for the county census records of the county where I grew up in Washington while in high school.

Why has the government not stepped forward offering tax incentives to builders encouraging donation of these empty homes to the HUD program?  Why are we, as a society, allowing homes to stand empty when there are so many homeless people without a warm, safe place to sleep?  Instead, we let these homes stay empty and cold, lowering the value of neighborhoods and increasing the risk of vandalism.

So, this holiday season, while you’re making your list and checking it twice, getting that just so gift for Aunt Marge or a sweater in Grandpa’s favorite color, don’t forget the homeless on your list.  Yeah, look down at the bottom.  They’re written in right there in invisible ink.  Go ahead.  Get out your de-coder ring.  I’ll wait.

Did you look?  Good.  Now, where were we?  Ah yes!  Helping out the less fortunate!  Donate a toy, make a contribution, spend your free time helping out at a soup kitchen, cook a meal for someone.  Your gift may very well help someone you’ve met in passing and didn’t know what their life situation was.  It might help that checker at the grocery store, the guy that pumps your gas (at least in Oregon!), one of your child’s school mates or that family that sits in the pew at the back of the church.

Don’t forget the homeless this season.  Because, the life your generosity touches may be that of somebody you know.

Oh, and…

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

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Go here to find the start of this saga.

It’s been 3 days since we brought the Visitor home and contacted the police department.  He’s still here.

What breed am I?

He and Casey are getting along fantastic!  Casey is happy.  The Visitor is a nice, nice boy.  He’s well-behaved and polite.

Borrowing Casey's halter

His person WAS in the hospital, and it might be some time before he leaves.  Part of me secretly hopes they never come for him.

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We found a horse tonight on our way home, near dusk.  A lovely gray gelding that looks like someone was riding him as a single rein was tied around his neck.  One of the guys that works for the landlord’s roofing company walked him home (3 miles) while Bad Pants checked with local stables to see where he may have come from.

I drove the roofer’s truck to our place.   It was a manual.  And ya know what?  I still got it!  It’s been 3 years and I drove home smooth as butta!

But I digress…

A beautiful, well-cared for horse is in my pasture awaiting claiming by it’s owner.  Casey is in love.  If said horse is not claimed in a couple weeks, we’ll be keeping it.

I’ll fill ya in more later!

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I saw this posted over at Snerkology, a blog I’ve been reading for some time now.

Tiffany’s friend posted asking for help for a co-worker who lost everything.

Stephanie writes:

“To all my friends, coworkers, and fellow M-TEC graduates: QMedET folks, you’ll be getting an email too, but please pass the word to everyone you know that might be willing to help. We have an MT, a member of our very special team of phenomenal people, who is in dire need. She and her children have basically lost everything and are starting over, and there is a child who has multiple medical problems that will require a lifetime of very expensive specialists and medical care.

I know that so many are striving hard to make their own ends meet, but the power of the internet is that we have the power to reach so many folks who care, which can make $2 turn into $200 overnight. They are literally down to the clothes on their back and a vehicle. School is starting, birthdays are coming, children deserve a normal life with books, games, and toys; these children’s mother had to spend part of her last $50 on underwear and toothbrushes.

Please understand that this is a special outreach and not an obligation; no one will be thought of badly if they cannot contribute. Even a reposting on Facebook, a blog, Twitter, MySpace, e-mail, etc., is a contribution. Please consider a small gift to this very worthy and special family. Thank you!”

Follow this link to donate via PayPal.

Edited to add: if the link above isn’t working, try going to the QMed Facebook main page and click on the “MT in need” tab.

I’ve faced my share of disasters.  At one point or another I’ve lost everything at least once.  Been there, done that and I remember the fear, the stress and the exhaustion from it.  If it wasn’t for the kindness of strangers, I’m not sure where I’d be right now or what my life would be like.

Every little bit helps.  Please help if you can and may you reap the rewards of good karma!

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