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Archive for September, 2009

It’s been nearly one month since we lost our most special and beloved Ramirez. Every day he is felt and spoken about and deeply missed. For the last three months of his life he required most of our energy, time and devotion. Some of our others trudged along without much attention and unbeknownst to us, developing serious problems. So, our hospice care continues. Sam, brother to Frank, has been diagnosed with bone cancer. It was shocking to hear those words and I immediately felt guilt at the fact he’d been limping for a few weeks but we figured it was his knees or some age related thing. Cancer had not even crossed my mind. The Pookie Bros. are sixteen years old and I suppose it’s fitting they’re going to leave us together, just as they entered our family all those years ago. Frank has been steadily declining for most of this year. It’s not easy watching those you love die. But our goal is to keep them comfortable and give them their peaceful end with dignity when they tell us it’s time.

Frank is on the left, Sam on the right.
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There are times when I’m urged to act upon situations by those angels we have lost. The tale of Barby Bunny Butt is one of those situations. She had been named Deva at the shelter and everyone who spent any time with her quickly fell in love. She’d been brought in as a stray but they felt maybe someone would come claim her. By her girth it was obvious she’d been someone’s pet. But no one did. The shelter workers set about finding her the perfect adopters. A few workers tried to convince significant others to allow another dog in their family but in the shelter she stayed, for nearly 2 months. I had seen her listed on their website but kept myself from going to meet her in person. I was sure she’d get adopted. And the last thing we needed was another dog in our ever declining family. Besides, Eva, the cattledog would be none too happy to have any intruder try to come in her domain.

Then, Deva got adopted! Yoohoo!!! Whew! Everyone was thrilled because it was someone within the shelter family. They would be able to keep track of her. All seemed right but then a week after she left for her new life, Deva was brought back. No one could figure out what had happened. The reason was given that she began peeing on the floor, everything else about her was great. But, they had a brand new house so they couldn’t let her ruin it. Back she came amid tears. The workers noticed something was off with their favorite girl. She seemed to be having trouble walking and she now was peeing blood. The volunteer veterinarian looked at her and gave her some meds but they don’t have diagnostic capabilities so she was housed in the treatment area without an answer. This was when I noticed she was listed back on the website. Why was she back?! I tried to push her out of my mind and was successful for a few days. Then my friend, Ruth, came to visit and we somehow wound up at the shelter. I found Deva to meet her in person and immediately could tell something was wrong. I also noticed she was an older gal. Her feet reminded me of our first cattledog, Rebecca. When the workers saw me with her they got excited thinking I was going to take her home – no! We don’t need another dog right now! So, I put her back in her cage and went about the rest of my day. She weighed heavily on my heart and in my dreams that night.

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I got up on Saturday with my head spinning trying to figure out how to get Deva out without bringing her to our house. I conjured up a plan with Therese that she would keep her for a few weeks thus allowing time for Eva and Deva to meet on neutral territory. This would also give time for our hospice patients. I had it all figured out. So, I went to the shelter and got her out. There were some tears again as the workers saw her off with me. I took her straight to my vet, figuring she had a bladder infection, they could treat her for a few days then she’d go to Therese’s. I dropped her off at the clinic and went on about my day. A few hours later I got a call from Dr. Provan with some questions about Deva, who by now had been dubbed Barby by Scottie. (Think Shrimp on the Barby, not Barbie Doll.) We decided to just give her a good bed and we’d do the x-rays  and bloodwork on Monday. They were now closed for the day. Before we got off the phone, though, she changed her mind and said she’d take a quick abdomen x-ray just to be safe. I took a nap for an hour and awoke to five missed calls from Dr. Provan!

The nagging feeling I’d had that something was really wrong came to fruition. The poor girl had a pyometra, which is an infected uterus. This is one of the true emergencies in veterinary medicine. If I would have left her at the shelter on Saturday, they most likely would have come in on Monday to find her dead. The uterus ends up rupturing. So, three doctors gave up their afternoon off to perform emergency surgery on this dog I didn’t even technically own since I was simply her foster parent. She made them work, they even worked up a sweat. She was under anesthesia for more than two hours. They also found several mammary tumors but those have to be addressed later, the pus-filled uterus was crucial to get out. By about 8pm I was heading with her to the Emergency Vet where she would be monitored for the rest of the weekend. We were far from out of the woods, she could still die. Thankfully, another cattledog afficianado was on duty at the EVet and she assured me Barby would get extra-special care all night. Our free dog was rapidly racking up major bills.

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Barby did make it through the night and I was able to bring her home earlier than expected. We had to change the plans of her going to Therese’s since she was now a patient that needed to recover. Eva, our cattledog, has been a good girl in obeying me when I tell her she can’t kill the new dog. Thank goodness I put in all the time and effort I did to train her and I do have control. It’s making this much easier. We are taking things slow as Barby doesn’t feel good and we want all their interactions to be positive. So far, so good. The greatest thing is Barby has completely fallen for Scottie. He got the first tail / nub wag, he got the first kiss. I can tell her to go in the crate and she ignores me. He tells her and she walks right in. I’ve seen him smile for the first time in a long time. I think Rebecca, who was the caretaker for all of us for so many years, sent me back to the shelter to get this girl. She knew her daddy needed help. She knew this girl would help heal his heart from all our loss and the losses we still have to endure. They just may be a match made in Heaven.

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Dear Friends,

Please help me save my Daddy! We got word that my daddy, Marvin, is in danger of being sent to auction by October 15th if he’s not “adopted” before then. This is exactly what was going to happen to my mommy and me when I was in her belly! You see, my daddy has lost his job, too, just like so many others. The ranch where he’s worked so hard keeping all the mares pregnant can’t afford to keep feeding him or Fordie (the other Fjord stallion). My daddy is currently in Alberta, Canada and they are running out of grass there. They’ve had no rain and so the hundreds of horses on these defunct PMU (Premarin, look it up) ranches will have nothing to eat once winter comes. They can’t afford to buy them hay because prices have gone crazy. So, the easiest thing for the ranchers to do is send all the horses off to what’s called an auction and try to get as much money out of them as they can. They don’t look at horses like you do, as a living, breathing, beautiful soul. They look at us as commodities only and if we’re costing money then we’ve got to go. I’ve heard people whisper about such places as auctions and it sure sounds horrible. A boy as big and beefy as my daddy would most certainly be bought by the pound and sent to slaughter. Sniff. Sniff.

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We can’t let that happen! It didn’t happen to us and look at all the great things me and my mommy have done. We’re internet superstars, writers of a blog, magazine cover models and genuinely, sweet spokesmares for all horsey-kind. Not to mention, we’ve brought much joy and happiness to our parents, Scottie and Kathleen. I know my daddy, Marvin, has great potential and we have a wonderful home all ready for him. He can’t come live with us right now but a great lady in Georgia is going to take care of him for us. She has a friend of my mommy’s, Dixie Darling, who’s a huge Belgian horse. She has changed her life so much she’s starting her own horse rescue and sanctuary and she’s invited Marvin and Fordie to come live there! How great is that?!?!?!?!?!!!!!

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Getting my daddy out of that place won’t be easy, but I know we can do it. We have to raise $1,500 to pay his ransom and get his ride from Canada to Georgia. Fordie is even more than that, I guess because he’s younger, but people are already trying to help him out. If we all pull together we can save this magnificent and deserving stallion – that’s what my mommy says about him, anyway 😉 You can’t deny I’ve got a great looking set of parents! I really want to meet my daddy someday and tell him about all my friends, and all the things I’ve learned, especially how to herd the goats. I know he’ll be proud of me. Will you please help me? Click on the “donate” button, any amount will help!

Thank you so much, you make me smile knowing together we can save my daddy!!!!!!!!!!!
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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

View highlights of the Ramirez vigil  and farewell at  justin.tv/discoscottie.

Click above for the song that sang him up to the stars.

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