Thursday, June 22, 2017

Meet Penny

I've been meaning to talk about this topic for quite some time. It's sort of a touchy subject for me so I waited for the longest time and now almost a year later, time keeps slipping away. I have better pictures but I keep thinking I'll get them and post and never do (again the whole Road to Hell is paved with good intentions kind of thing).

So I guess I'll just talk about it with only one picture.

So this Friday will mark the one year anniversary that we lost our English Shepherd, Gypsy. Not more than a week or two after that we acquired Penny, a red heeler.

We had adopted Gypsy from the Sioux Falls Humane Society when my beloved foster failure, Leroy passed away. He hadn't been with us for very long but he had claimed me so what could I do. I had wanted another big outside dog, and Gypsy fit the bill. She'd been a handful for a number of years until the last one or two. I had thought that I should start putting out feelers for another big outside dog at some point because both Gypsy and Farley were getting up there in age. Farley is 13 and will turn 14 in November.

A year ago this Friday, there was a terrible accident. I have no idea how it happened but Gypsy hurt herself horribly. She didn't tell us she was hurt. You see, she was a fuzz ball. So much fur, it was hard to know that she had managed to do serious damage to her and it went unattended. When we discovered that she was injured, it was too late. I'll never forgive myself. She died in front of my eyes. It wasn't the way she should have gone. I take full responsibility for not noticing her injuries until too late. I run through all the what-ifs and scenarios and how she could have done so much damage and we could have been so oblivious to it all. Just the thought of it makes me sick.

We buried Gypsy out back. This weekend for the past two years has been extremely tough for me. Last year we lost Gypsy to that terrible accident and the year before, we lost Trouble. She had had a stroke sometime Friday between the time I left for the Irene rodeo and the time I got back. We had to take her in that Saturday and say goodbye. I was even more heartsick over Trouble but only because she had been with us for so long. I knew the time was coming but with Gypsy it was a shock.

When I mentioned that we were in need of a new outside dog to keep Farley company (last time Farley got severely depressed), Penny arrived in short order. A friend of mine was looking to rehome Penny and she's been a blessing ever since.

Before we started the Sanctuary, we fostered for a small dog rescue. We had dogs come and go each month and they all had their quirks. I was expecting these quirks but Penny didn't have any. Her only pitfalls....licking faces and jumping. Both of which we can easily manage (not running off or anything else along those lines).

Penny loves the horses. She would prefer to heel them but she'll come up to them and say hello (at least to those that want to say hello). She's still so very young and inquisitive. She took a liking to me and my daughter instantly. I'm her dog when Leila isnt' around but when Leila is around, Penny is hers and only hers.

Even though I'm saddened that we lost Gypsy, I think Penny is an angel in disguise. She's not very protective of me but I think she's what keeps Farley going. Her heeling Farley will probably be what ends him. An almost 14 year old shouldn't be heeled if he has bad hips. Although I think Farley would rather turn into a house dog now that he's older. He's discovered the AC (I'm trying to spoil him in his old age). And I can't get him out of the house once he's in.

So I know I didn't ever really introduce Penny like I had wanted. But she'll have been here at the Sanctuary for a year at the end of the month. It saddens me that we lost Gypsy but it did give us the opportunity to meet Penny. I know some don't believe in God and I don't normally talk about it but I do think in a mysterious way, Gypsy sent Penny to us. If it was Gypsy's doing or God's doing or whatever. It just seemed like more than fate. To some it would simply be a coincidence.

Penny is a loyal dog and I'm sure glad she calls the Sanctuary home.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Listening to Rain on the Roof

I woke this morning to the sound of thunder and rain. It's a nice sound as long as you know everything is tucked away. I had to run through everything in my head at 4:30am to make sure I'd done just that. It had been a long night last night so I didn't get home until 11pm (at a training clinic) and I couldn't really remember if/what I'd left out.

I did fall back to sleep after I shut all the windows in the house and realized everything outside would either be fine or soaked. Of course, the alarm came all too fast but I still hit snooze, listening to the storms roll through. No point in going out to let the herds out in pouring rain.

Of course, I waited too long. Snooze one extra time sent me out during cloudy skies but forced me to leave for the paying job in a downpour. I think we've gotten quite a bit of rain during these storms based on the runoff in the pens and just walking out to the barns. I'm happy that we're getting the rain. Hopefully it'll help the hay crops and I won't have to worry as much about prices.

I caught a glance of something tan this morning but wasn't 100% sure I'd seen what I'd seen (sometimes my eyes play tricks on me). Nope, I was right, it was a deer. She'd come into the yard but with the corral panels up for the ponies and Mayhem, I didn't think she'd be able to clear the 5 or 6 foot corral panels. She cleared them with just a tick of her back hoof. I didn't see her again when I went to let the ponies out but I'm sure she went through the other fence, rather than the corral panels. Amazing to see them jump that high.

I still haven't posted the Monday Meet and Greet videos I had planned to post on Monday (and it's now Wednesday!!) I'd attended a clinic to help me improve my riding (and to get Lightening in the trailer) and it lasted after the sun set. So no chance of getting anything done for the Sanctuary. I don't expect to get anything else done this week before I'm gone all weekend for the Irene Rodeo and Saddle Club trail ride. I guess that's the problem with being involved in too many activities!

So we'll see if I have anything more to chat about later. But it was nice to wake up to rain. It did made it difficult to roll out of bed though. This is 100% sleeping weather and after a late night, I'm ready for a couple hour nap!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Paving a Road

I had a half an hour last night to bust my butt and get corral panels up for the ponies and Mayhem. Nothing like having 30 minutes to get a fairly time consuming project done. But I got it done before it got to be pitch black and the mosquitoes carried me away. For some reason, it took that long to fill the water tank as well. So either it normally takes that long to fill the tank and I didn't realize it, or there was a water pressure issue.

Either way, I was able to let the ponies and Mayhem out this morning after I let the big herd out. I figured there would be a lot more running, jumping, and farting but not really. At least not at first. I wish I would have had my phone because it's so much fun to watch those three race around and see the pure joy in their faces.

So now I have everyone on pasture and it feels great! I'm still struggling to pay for last year's hay, let alone save up for this year's hay. This year's hay is going to be way more expensive and our fundraising capabilities have been cut in half because of time and lack of help. It's going to be a struggle and we'll be pinching pennies like we always do but this time  I'll be rubbing pennies together to see if I can't make another penny pop out. It's just because there's been some additional bills and absolutely no fundraising except for the Light the Night fundraiser. Even a little bit of fundraising seems to help ease the pain and there hasnt' been any because I can't get the help.

I had meant to post videos for the Monday Meet and Greet and sure enough, I had a half an hour and it was more important to get corral panels up so hopefully I can get them posted tonight. What's that saying.... the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Sure seems like I'm paving that road pretty well lately.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Corral Panels

I have been gone so there isn't too much to report. I need to rearrange corral panels so that I can get the ponies and Mayhem out on the lawn pasture. Now that Junior and Lace are in Madison, Mayhem is with the ponies. I don't want the ponies on the regular pasture because the fences dont' really work for them. They could easily walk through any fence we have for the bigger horses. So, on to the lawn they go. Now to figure out what to do with Mayhem though. To keep her with the ponies, or to put her in the pasture and bring in someone else to keep her company?!?! What to do, what to do?!

I'm hoping to move the corral panels tonight. I doubt I'll get anything else done this week. Maybe a little bit of spraying and that's it. Another weekend of drill team performance will steal another weekend away from working on the Sanctuary.

The barn and tack room desperately need to be scrapped and repainted but we'll see if I can get it done or not. It's time consuming and there's so very little time for me to work on anything until just before the sun sets.

I had to scrap my summer fundraiser idea so I guess I'll have to refocus all my attention on our playday this fall. Bummed because we need a small fundraiser to bring in a little bit of money to help offset hay costs.

I'm behind on a bunch of stuff so we'll see how much I post this week. Lots of non-Sanctuary stuff to get done and not a lot of time to cram it all in.

Rain is a Performing Machine

So this is where I've been over the weekend...

I'm the one on the end! I had to pull Rain out of semi retirement for this year's Dakota Thunder Mounted Drill Team performances (and practices). I retired Zeke last August and was in search of a new horse. I found a new horse and retired Rain to light riding whenever needed but Lightening needs more work and time on him before he's ready for performances. Thank goodness for ol' Rain.

Rain was originally my personal horse (along with King) but this February we made the transition and put him into the program (along with King)...although he hadn't announced it.  (I'd been meaning to do a long post and video on our decision but haven't gotten there yet.) They are both 19 years old and have health ailments that render them Sanctuary residents. Neither would be good candidates for other people's riding purposes.

Rain became sick when he was much younger and we nearly lost him. He recovered but with some side effects. He can't handle the heat or the cold. So he has to be pampered at all times. King has flat feet and is very, very slow. He's not even a good candidate for a trail riding horse any more because he's so slow. We are looking at putting shoes back on him simply to keep him comfortable. He had shoes on before because he was ridden but when we semi retired him as well, we pulled the shoes. But semi retired or not, he may need shoes to keep him more comfortable. We'll see. I bought some ez boots but not in the right size. He's got a weird size so nothing fits him.

But back to where we were. I took Rain (and Lightening) to the Estelline Rodeo in Estelline, SD this past weekend. Rain did great. Lightening, well, lets just say I'm finding out more of his quirks the longer I'm with him.

It is nice to showcase a Sanctuary horse even if no one talked rescue/sanctuary this weekend.

Next weekend Rain and I will be back with the Dakota Thunder Mounted Drill Team to perform at the Irene Rodeo in Irene, SD. Come on out and meet Rain (and the rest of Dakota Thunder)! We love to perform in front of a large audience!

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Three Weeks

It's been three weeks to the day since we said goodbye to Rabbit. Every time we have to make the decision to say goodbye, it's devastating.

I've been meaning to tell everyone, thank you for your heartfelt condolences, well wishes, loving thoughts, and moral support. It has meant the world to me.

I'm no less worry free today than when Rabbit was alive. New worries take over and become my full focus. Bo has become an issue health-wise. Odd how even in death, life goes on.

I've been watching a few videos today of horses in feedlots with shipping deadlines. I'm not here to debate the feedlot programs, shipping to slaughter, or any of those sensitive topics. I'm only stating it because those horses....those horses don't have anyone to cry over them, lament over their needs and pending end, worry over if they've done the right thing, etc. I know I made the right decision for Rabbit. But I worry about those that I cannot save, cannot help. In South Dakota, we have drastic temperatures. We are heading in to summer and hot temps (well, hot for SD anyway). Is anyone trying to make these "unknown/unwanted" horses comfortable until their end?

This is the thought that constantly rolls through my brain. I wish I could do more, save more, promote more, provide more. But at the end of the day, I do what I can and the Sanctuary horses are fed and happy and I guess that's all I can ask for.

I miss Rabbit and every time I think of Mayhem, I feel a little sadness. Mayhem is the last of Rabbit's lineage. I wont' breed Mayhem. There's simply too many others that need to come in. But Mayhem is her last daughter. Will anyone remember Rabbit in a year? I know I will because I cared for her. But her previous owners, will they remember her? Will they think of her?

I don't know. I must be in a "mood" as my husband calls it. Death is inevitable and with the Sanctuary it's a fact hat is in my face day in and day out as I watch the herd grow older. But it's an honor and I truly enjoy watching them. This morning I let the herd out to pasture. Half moseyed on out and the other half waited for a good five minutes before taking off at a slow lope. It was music to my ears listening to their hoof beats thunder across the pasture. The only better sound is listening to my children's laughter.

I'm sure I'm just rambling and this post isn't making any sense. It certainly didn't go where I thought it was going. But I don't want to forget Rabbit, or any of the others that have walked into our lives, even if it was only briefly. It's amazing how fast time flies. How can it be that it has already been three weeks since we said goodbye to Rabbit. Mayhem still looks for her and probably will for a little while longer. It's a little heartbreaking to watch and listen as she whinnies for Rabbit.

But someday we will meet again. Hopefully not soon as I want to meet more deserving older horses before my time is up.

And I wanted to sincerely thank everyone for their kindness towards having to say goodbye to Rabbit. It makes doing what I do that much easier. I never realize how much I need the moral support until I get a pick me up from a supporter and it truly brightens my week. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for all your help and moral support.

Summer Retreat

Made a quick trip over noon to haul Junior and Lace up to their "summer retreat". Their pasture was done and I've been trying to get them to Madison for over a week now. I'm happy they are up there but will miss seeing them every day. I'm guessing they will stay up there for a little over a month as long as the pasture holds and there's rain to keep the pasture going.

I'm trying to see how I can make the pastures go farther this year to try and hold off on having to use hay. Hay is going to be expensive this year I'm afraid.

But for now, Junior and Lace are happy as larks eating their fool heads off.

Pictures tell better words. I'll post a video later too.

Lace and Junior

Lace and Junior