Friday, February 23, 2018

Bad News for Horse Owners

I was at the vets today (Farley wasn't feeling well) and they told me a very upsetting bit of information.

Starting March 1st, no rendering service will pick up horses that have been humanely euthanatized with the standard serum. I've heard one excuse for this change but I'm not sure if it is legit or just talk.

But this is a huge blow to horses. How can you promote humane euthanasia if you have no way of disposing of the body? Now the only means is to shoot the horse and I can't do it. I can't be there for such a method. We have had to use that method twice and neither was preferred but it was the option that kept everyone safe and everyone calm. I didn't want to put any undue stress on them anyway and loading them into a trailer and hauling them to an unknown location would only cause more problems as they were both becoming aggressive (Longhorn the donkey who had foundered and we pulled from auction for $10 and Sahara who was a crippled yearling filly we pulled from auction for $5).

If an owner chooses to humanely euthanasia, they will have to find other means for the body and in most instances, it means burying the horse. But that adds up depending on who you go with for a backhoe and then there's the issue of having to bury a horse in the middle of winter! You can't. And what of those that board their horses?

I foresee more senior horses headed to auction and entering the pipeline. That worries me and makes me physically ill.

I hope that there is talk of other means and methods for human euthanasia. These old horses deserve a retirement. They deserve to spend their golden years enjoying time off from all their hard work. They shouldn't be shipped off from one auction to another simply because there is no other option for euthanasia.

And as the days slip by and Bo's condition worsens, what do we do? The ground is frozen and I cannot bear to shoot him. That is not what you do to an old friend and family member. And yes, he is like family. We are either going to have to make a decision quickly about Bo or simply see if he can hold out until spring when the ground thaws enough. But how many can we bury at the Sanctuary before there is no more places?

This is all news I was not looking for nor needing right now. I've been under the weather for the past month and it's taking its toll on me. I haven't been able to get anything done and I've now lost out on a couple of opportunities. Even if it's one step forward, it's four steps back.

I guess for now, put your thinking caps on and lets come up with a way around or find a loop hole in the system. I do not want to see senior horses who have worked their entire lives sent off to auction simply because there is no "alternative" for human euthanasia.

Happy Friday

Happy Friday

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Throwback Thursday

Throwback Thursday to last summer with Mayhem

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Wishlist Wednesday

Wishlist Wednesday
This Wishlist Wednesday, we wish for salt blocks. Even in winter, we need to make sure that the horses receive enough salt in their diets.

A white salt block costs about $5 and will last the big herd a month (and the other two pens longer). You can find white salt blocks at TSC and Campbell Supply. I'm sure there are other locations as well.

Zeke at the salt block

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Thinking About Bo

I cried myself to sleep last night. I don't think Bo has much time left on this Earth and I think he's going to leave it to me to make that decision rather than go on his own (but most have forced me to make the decision for them as well). It's always a tough decision. It's devastating for me but for some reason, I'm really struggling with Bo.

The other night, I went out to let him out of his stall and he let out the biggest whinny. It's the same whinny I get when it's time to eat, but this time it was simply to say hello. Or it could have been, LET ME OUT because I'd left him in with no friends. Jim rushed at him trying to get into the barn and I'd had enough of Jim's bad behavior rushing the door and either pushing Bo out of the way or trying to cram two bodies in through a door the size of me.

But that whinny. That loud, vocal hello (or get me outta here, whichever it was), is too much for me. His mind and spirit are still so very, very active and yet his body is breaking down right before my eyes. He always comes up lame, every 6-8 months and it's never the same foot or leg. But this time, it's painfully obvious that his entire back end hurts, more so his right rear.  He's also starting to drop weight even though he's on a heavy ration of grain that helps with his ulcers.

Maybe I'm being selfish. Maybe I'm keeping him around only to be selfish because I don't want to make that decision. I'm going to have to make that phone call pretty soon though. But it hurts and he hasnt' told me he's ready. His body has but his mind has not. How can I be so unfair? How is it fair to keep him going when his body is falling apart right before my eyes? But how is it fair to say goodbye to someone who greets me at the gate and demands his grain every day?

Bo has always been a complicated horse and I can see now that even in his upcoming, death, he's going to be complicated. Normally I can easily make the decision. Don't get me wrong. Easy is not spoken lightly. I simply know. I know when they are failing and need help. It's not an easy decision nor is it taken lightly. But it's written as plan as letters on a page but with Bo. It's there but I can't seem to read the writing. Maybe I'm being selfish. I don't know. I don't want him to go alone but I also don't want to stress him out because he hates being in a trailer and despises the vet. So that adds undue burden to him. But I don't want to take Zeke because then Zeke will "know" and I don't want to sacrifice one horse's wellbeing for another.

So I wait and I watch and I worry. I would say I'll have to make a decision sometime in March but I just dont' know. That would have given him an additional 5 months from his prognosis in October. It's 5 extra months to have enjoyed Bo's company but it's still only 5 months.

I'm feeling selfish but I'm also not seeing all the signs I normally see. So I don't know. So instead I wait a little longer. For what, I have no idea. It's not like the outcome is going to change. But I wait and I cry myself to sleep thinking about Bo.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Random Ramblings

I still can't put my finger on what's wrong with Maverick. I checked him last night, and he was fine. This morning, he was again hiding in his official spot in the lean to. Of course that spot is becoming a coveted spot so maybe that's it. I don't know. My brain and emotions are a bit tapped out as of late. There's all this stuff I'd really like to do and right about the time I find the time to get to it, something comes up and I'm taking two steps back. I guess that's the nature of the beast.

Yesterday was gorgeous, in the upper 40s. I was so ready for spring to get here although it's much to early for that just yet. And today, as the day progresses, the temperatures are continuing to drop and we'll be dealing with single digits again overnight. It's a hard shift on animals and people alike. I worry every time we have a temp change that's drastic. I worry about colic and who it'll be. I guess I'm a bit nervous after losing Ivan and now watching Maverick, trying to decide what's going on with my spunky red gelding that doesnt' seem to be himself lately. I could have sworn I heard and saw a robin this morning during chores. It's much to early for them to arrive but it was a bright moment nonetheless.

I've been fairly quiet on the blog as of late and I may unfortunately continue that trend. I've been under the weather for awhile and I need to get back into the swing of things before I can tackle any big projects. And that's a bummer because I had hoped to move forward with a couple of ideas but that seems to be stalled right in its tracks. I guess we'll see how things go but I don't expect anything to come of it for awhile.

On the bright side, Junior is looking good. I don't believe he's lost any weight. I can't tell if he's packing it on or just leaving it on but in any case, he's looking good for being 30 years old. I honestly didn't think he'd make 30 when we took him in. He was 26 at the time and I figured one or two good years would be all he'd have left in him. Boy was I wrong. I do love it when the horses prove me wrong.

And Brego, oh my sweet, sweet Brego. I went out to do chores the other night and I wasn't feeling well. Brego knew there was something wrong and wouldnt' leave my side. He walked with me all the way from the bottom of the drylot to the barn, never once leaving my side, walking as slowly as I was and stopping every time I needed a break. That boy really knows when I need a bit of comfort. I always thought I'd only get that kind of attention from the older mares. I was wrong. Brego just seems to know. Yet another reason why I do adore him so. He's simply the sweetest horse we have at the Sanctuary.