Archive for October, 2008

Our Shining Star

She was the greatest cattledog, the greatest big sister dog, the greatest alpha dog, the greatest kisser and the greatest daughter dog. The world become a little less bright 2 years ago when we lost Rebecca. She is the namesake for Rebecca Maye, our baby Fjordhorse. And she was the third of our three original dogs known as “The Holy Trinity”, joining our family in 1993.

The last year and a half of Rebecca’s precious life was spent doing anything and everything to keep her comfortable and happy. I hope we gave her that. She had been one of the dogs in the best shape, had never been sick, never even needed her teeth cleaned. In other words, she kicked much ass!

Then one day she was old. We’ve never felt old age itself was an illness with our animals, but we knew something was going on with Rebecca when she fainted. Talk about scary. In 2005 I was letting all the dogs out to potty and as she was walking back in she collapsed – I thought for a moment she was dead. I grabbed her and yelled for Scottie. By the time he got to us, she had come to but was out of it. That was the beginning. Many tests later we weren’t getting a concrete answer so Dr. Rick ordered up an ultrasound. We opted to do it at his clinic rather than taking her to the specialists because she loved Dr. Rick and would be comfortable as long as he held her. She didn’t even have to be sedated for the procedure – she simply kissed him as she lay upside down while the other doctor found the many problems with her insides. When Dr. Rick called to tell me what they had found (a mass here, another mass there, several small masses thataway…) he was so upset I was consoling him. He loved her as much as we did.

So, we formulated a plan; the least amount of drugs as possible to keep her comfy, only home cooked food, Chinese herbs and supplements, acupuncture and swim therapy. Plus, she was now going to be the Queen of Comfy Valley – her bed that was beside ours. She was so frail she had to be out of general population to avoid getting hurt by one of the other dogs. Ramirez and Frank bunked with her for company. We scheduled our life so she was never without one of us more than a couple hours at a time.

Some of the time I felt like a soccer mom jetting my kid off to soccer practice then basketball then the school play – but for her it was needles to jump start her qi and ease the bones and joints that were fusing.

She was always a good co-pilot in the car. I made sure she always had a great treat once she was done.

One day it was the needles the next it was swim therapy, and on and on. She didn’t like the water much but she did enjoy the massage and stretching. She soaked up the attention from the Hip Dog staff, that’s for sure. It was hard on all of us watching her deteriorate.

We were managing her internal stuff, it was the old bones that did her in. She became like an old lady with rheumatoid arthritis. All four feet began kinking in. The paralysis was moving up her spine from her back legs. She was able to walk outside slowly to potty (with a little help) up until the last 3 weeks of her life.

Every day we told her how much we loved her and what a special girl she was. We also looked to her to tell us when it was time to let her go. We were trying to comfort her but it was really the other way around. She always took care of our family.

She did tell us when it was time and it was as perfect an ending that’s ever been written. Only the four of us (Scottie, Dr. Rick, Rebecca & me) know how it felt. We laid with her for hours in the yard taking in the sunshine, listening to the birds sing and soaking up her essence. Death took her body but she lives on in our hearts.

Last night Scottie and I held an impromptu memorial service for Rebecca since it was the two year anniversary. We put a blanket down in the backyard, lit a gorgeous candle and played her song. Eva Cassidy singing “Fields of Gold” can rip your heart to pieces when you think of it as a goodbye.

It was turning from light to dark and in that moment one, solitary star lit up the sky. We sat out there for about half an hour, reflecting and crying because we miss her. That single star kept shining brighter and brighter. We both marveled at it and knew Rebecca was watching over us. When we got up to go back in the house, suddenly the sky was filled with stars. But our single, shining star remained the brightest of them all.

“When he shall die, take him and cut him out in little stars. And he will make the face of Heaven so fine, that all the world will be in love with the night.”

~ William Shakespeare

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The October 25th (Saturday) edition of the CassidyCam Weekly Webcast is available for viewing. Get the latest on Delilah’s recovery from her leg boo-boo, and see how Cass is doing without Becca around.

IMPORTANT PROGRAMMING NOTE: we’ve had issues with our broadcast the last two weeks. Both shows were cut short during the live time due to connection trouble, but thankfully we record everything on tape… so they’re now both uploaded. And since we always record, we’ve decided to go back to our regular schedule of new shows appearing every Monday at 7pm. This way we can record the show when it’s convenient, and it will go “live” each Monday. This will also prevent any connection concerns, as Scottie will upload the show from a stable broadband line. He’ll also be able to join you in the chat room while the show is airing, so it will be more interactive.

Thanks for watching, and we hope you stay tuned!

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Got a call earlier this week from my friend who runs our local animal services shelter. She had an injured horse and was wondering if I had any connections to get her into rescue. I took my camera with me and stopped by there in between pet sitting clients. I met a beautiful mare with a horrendous leg wound. She was nervous and not real happy, but no one could blame her for that.

So, I put the call out to my horse friends and they sure came to her rescue. Within 2 days of finding out about her they arranged for a reputable rescue to take her and even got her a ride to their facility about 3 hours away! Jazz is in the trailer as I type this on her way to her new life. She’s been disappointed in people before but she has now been promised a life without fear and pain. Pure Thoughts Horse Rescue (http://www.purethoughtshorserescue.com/index.php) will see to it.

I did the easy work of getting the right people connected. Many horse lovers came together for Jazz and are the real heroes. Saving horses one heart at a time.

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Riders Ready!

I want to showcase how special our barn is. I call it “our barn”, we don’t own it, but all of us feel it is ours. Trish & Benito are very gracious landlords to our hooved family members. As the situation with little Delilah has emphasized, we all come together to help the horses. These photos were taken the weekend before Delilah got hurt. Not everyone was there but they did a group trail ride. Enjoy!

Gayle & Sam (the former butthead!) He’s almost ready for the trails.

Caitlin (our resident expert) & Deb’s Gone Shopping (former racehorse saved at a kill auction by Pure Thoughts)

Trish & Teddy Bear (gives the fundraiser “pony rides”)

Benito & Savannah (she’s not forgotten she was a racehorse!)

Chris & Strawberry (resident entertainers!)

He just finished giving his momma a little buck 🙂

That is joy!

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Delilah Update

The vet report this AM was not as good as expected. She is showing signs of lameness now after they backed off the pain medication. She does have infection in the joint but they are not giving up hope on this girl. She definitely has to stay in the hospital until at least Friday now. That means the bill will reach and probably exceed $6,000. She is doing everything they ask of her. We ask for continued prayers and any donation, no matter how small, will be used for her. We had a fund raiser this past weekend, giving pony rides at $5 each and raised $950! Our friends and family stepped up to help her, too. Please keep her in your prayers. Hospital information follows:

Peterson and Smith

4747 S.W. 60th Ave.

Ocala, Fl.    34474

Phone # (352) 237-6151

Delilah & her mother.

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Baby TB Needs Help

Delilah was rescued a few months ago w/her mother, Savannah. They were found starving. Baby Delilah is 15 months old and only the size of a 6 month old. Our barn took them in as our project to rehab and get them into good homes. We found who the mother really is and she is racing royalty. She’s the daughter of the 1976 KY Derby Winner, Bold Forbes and was dumped at an auction while pregnant at 21 years of age. That is appalling. They’ve been receiving much needed love and care but now the baby really needs our help. You can read what happened below. Thank God she has such a sweet temperament. She allowed us and the doctors to do what was needed yesterday. Anything will be greatly appreciated 🙂

*From the barn owner*

As most of you know tomorrow (Saturday 10/18/08) is our next scheduled fund raiser for Savannah and Delilah, the 2 horses we rescued from starvation. What some of you may not know is Delilah, the baby, had an accident sometime during the night this past Wednesday. Somehow she managed to push her foot under the stall door and got it stuck and try as she might she could not get free. (It is a very tight fitting door and seems impossible for something like this to happen). In the process of struggling to remove her foot she severely cut it in several places all the way to the bone and joints and severed some tendons. At some point she went down in her stall with the foot still stuck in the door and that is how I found her at 7:00 am Thursday morning. The vet came out on an emergency call and did what she could to clean the wounds, wrap the wounds, medicate her with antibiotics and pain medication and sent us on our way to the Horse hospital in Ocala. We spent most of the day with the doctor doing everything he could do to help her, now it is in Gods hands, so please say all the prayers you can for her. She will need to be in the hospital for at least a week; her biggest enemy right now is infection setting in her joints.

The cost is phenomenal, probably around 5,000.00 to 6,000.00 before it is over. The initial emergency vet bill here before we took her to the hospital was 590.00. The doctor says the hospital bill will reach 3000.00 in the first 3 days and ideally he would like to keep her for 2 to 3 weeks. After all is said and done, best scenario- if the joints do not get infected she could heal beautifully and go on to live the long life she deserves even being an athletic horse, possible hunter/jumper. Worst scenario – infection takes over the joints and lames her with severe pain and the choice will have to be made to try and keep her comfortable with medications the rest of her life, or let her go, put her down to stop the suffering. Obviously we are hoping for a bright future for the sweet, beautiful girl!

She was just starting to recover from her starvation and malnutrition issues, not to mention the swollen knee and numerous vet visits for that. She had a sprained front foot that had her limping for almost 3 weeks that also healed, and for the last 5 weeks we have been weaning her from her mother’s milk. She was just starting to feel good again. On Tuesday afternoon she was running across the grass and kicking out towards anything that got in her way. And now this!

So……., please include her in your prayers, and tell everyone you know about our event tomorrow (I have attached a flyer to help you spread the word). Also, if anyone has any extra money that they can donate to help pay her vet bill you can send it directly to the hospital in Ocala:

Peterson and Smith
4747 S.W. 60th Ave.
Ocala, Fl.    34474

Phone # (352) 237-6151

They accept credit cards over the phone, checks, and of course cash.

I am expecting some pictures later today of Delilah in her hospital stall, when I receive them I will forward them to all of you. I will also keep you posted on her progress.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all that every one of you do for these 2 horses. You have volunteered your time and services, donated money, and supported me emotionally through some really tough times. It means more to me than you will ever know. Most of all, thank you for loving these sweet precious horses! Life sometimes deals us a really bad hand and they have been through so much.

All my love,

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Here’s our first video report from trainer Leslie. Click here to watch!

Mamma Cass is feeling better, she spent the morning getting acupuncture and massage therapy.

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The October 13th edition of the CassidyCam Weekly Webcast is available for viewing. It’s a special early edition from Monday morning… you’ll see Rebecca Maye take her first step out of a trailer, and onto the property she’ll be staying at for the next month while she is weaned and trained.

IMPORTANT NOTE: the Weekly Webcast is moving! Starting this weekend, you’ll now be able to catch the live broadcast every Saturday morning at 9am Eastern (Florida) time. As usual, all previous shows are just a click away, directly below the main viewer window.

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Getting Ready…

In a few hours we will be on our way to take Big Baby B to bootcamp. My stomach is nervous, I’ve felt tears well up a few times and I have to get control of myself. I must remain calm for Cassidy to trust me and know what we’re doing is ok. Yesterday we bathed both girls to make them more presentable to Leslie and the other horses who will become Becca’s herd for the time being. Cassidy will trailer with Becca to make the hour long drive not so scary. Our plan is to bring Cass home but I’m taking her stuff along in case she has to stay for Becca’s sake. Please think good thoughts for us today – if we all send positive messages maybe it will help calm their fears.

She really is a good baby, for the most part…

Can you tell how dirty that water is?!?

She did some major romping and stomping after her bath…

She has no idea her world is about to get turned upside down.

Momma’s turn. She is such a good girl.

She must be an angel sent from above.

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Our Girls In Watercolor

A special package arrived for us today. We commissioned artist, Gina Hall (http://www.ginahallstudios.com/), to paint Cassidy & Rebecca. The result is spectacular! It will proudly grace our home. I may get her to do all our babies….

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