The friend was Betty, Isaac the farrier's wife - and their little girl, Rebecca. What a doll! That precious child in the little outfit and the sweetest smile and big eyes - I never wanted kids, but I want one like that! She did a lot of the brushing of Gracie from what I understand, I was at The Farm with one of my horses who needs the shoeing bed, when they came back, and I got caught in the rain so stuck around a while so I wasn't loading and driving with my trailer in that downpour. I can picture it, that sweet child brushing Gracie, just the right size for each other, the little black bonnet on the girl and the little purple socks on Gracie.
Guess what? I had LOTS of company yesterday! Gramma Nancy, and her friends Pamela and Kim all came to spend some time with me. I was really glad, because all those horsie hospital neighbors I told you about last time are gone now, and it was kind of lonesome!
They brushed me, and talked to me, and petted me, and told me how good I look! Gramma Nancy talked to one of the staff and learned that I've gained 40 pounds! Wow, I guess I AM doing good!
I miss you, and can hardly wait to come home next week and see all my friends again ... Handsome, Pony, Miss April, Appaloosamare, and ... well, everyone!
PS ... Gramma Nancy wants you to know that she gave me NO treats, but she sure wanted to!
I am aware that, with this warmer weather, we are all anxious for Little Gracie to return home. Unfortunately, until I can find a way to support the twice daily trips out to the pasture to retrieve her, the daily stall cleanings and relinings, and the daily water bucket cleanings and refillings, I need to leave our Little Gracie right where she is.
The plan is to contact the surgeon first thing Monday morning and ask for his assessment on the pain level and the inability to put pressure/weight on the leg. Depending upon what he says, the plan for Gracie will materialize.
I'll be sure to post any developments.
P.S. And then just this morning I caught the week's forecast with lows on Wed and Thurs in the low teens - which is single digits up here on this hill. Just too close to zero for Little Gracie. So, I'm thinking she is good where she is this coming week.
Just hung up the telephone with our friend, Dr. Anne. Gracie is weighing 457 now and the boots on all four feet seem to be working out well. They take her on walks everyday so Gracie can say, "Hello!" to her friends in the hospital and she stops to exchange some breath with big Hercules. I would love to see that!
I updated Anne on the lack of progress with this knee and we decided to touch bases at the end of this week. Dr. Anne is in agreement that Gracie can be turned outside during the day with stall housing at night. Gracie is still on meds but as Dr. Anne says, that may change when she gets home and back in the routine, as well.
Poor Dr. Anne has a bad, bad case of the crud. She sounds horible. It began settling in on Friday and she is in clinics this weekend and sounds like she is really struggling. But even so, her compassion and understanding are remarkable. And her sharpnesss is still beyond belief! The woman is brilliant!
Get well, Dr. Anne. As I told her, "Physician, heal thyself!"
It is windy, cold, and wet up here on the hill today. Just the kind of weather to ponder the plans for Gracie and Liz-Beth and getting them both home again.
To bring those two girls home, there will need to be support systems in place. I would like to say my knee is 100% but I cannot. My sights are now on having a solid knee in time for next winter. It will heal and it is progressing, just at a snail pace! In the meantime, the spring grass is poking through the earth and we need to get these girls back with us and in this barn!
For Gracie, there will be the need for daily help. I will go to the barns in the mornings for the once-per-day-trip and I will hook and feed The Herd. While in the barn, I will also give Gracie her meds and set her up for the day (blankets, boots, etc.). Then I will turn her out to be in the pasture with her buddies.
It is the evening setup for Gracie where help is needed. Before bringing Gracie in for the night, her stall will need to be picked clean of her manure pieces and the wet spots of shavings. There are bags of shavings in the old barn and when you think it is needed, you would open and spill a new bag of shavings for her. Her water bucket would need to be cleaned and topped off and her ration of feed and hay would need to be put out for her.
Knowing Gracie, there will be the task of fetching her and bringing her back into the barn. She'll be somewhere in the pasture and will cooperate in returning to the barn, it is just the process of helping her find the barn. Once in the barn, she will need to be put in her stall where she can eat her feed and hay for the night.
There may be the process of removing blankets and putting on new or different blankets - that is all weather dependent. But this spring (or should I say this winter-that-just-won't-end?) I'm thinking there will be blankets on some well in to the month of May. I will work with you on her nightly cares until you tell me you've "got it", so don't think just because you haven't taken care of Gracie before that you cannot help out now. She's a cutie and you'll be trained before left to your own in the barn.
While this activity is happening for Gracie, Liz-Beth would be in her stall eating her supper. She will come right in and she will exit her stall without you having to lead her either way. The trick is letting her in her stall without the company of Lanna or Miss April.
The big help for Liz-Bethi is the help that will be needed by people on call to assist in helping her up when she gets herself stuck in the hay. In the past, that has been one or two people who help her to get her head over her shoulder. Once her head is in that position, she rights herself. And the need for help is usually in the morning (given that she rested in the night) or at supper time (if she rested in the sunshine of the day).
These people would be on call and Refuge Farms would be willing to pay for their time and effort. I understand the cost of fuel and so you may want to think of neighbors, friends, college students, family members - those that would be willing to help when needed. I would work with them to get the ropes set up and to get her unhooked after she is up. It is the act of the pulling where the help is needed.
Historically, the effort to help her up takes less than 60 seconds. It is a quick process - just the unknown of when that requires flexibility.
Please ponder these needs and ask yourself:
* if you would be able to sign up for one evening (the same evening) every week for six weeks to help with Gracie?
* do you know anyone or are you someone who could be on call for Liz-Beth?
If you are willing to sign up for a Gracie shift or if there is assistance with helping Liz-Beth, please post a reply on this bulleting board or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. I'm working hard to bring these two girls home on Friday, April 8th. That's this Friday! It is time to have The Herd complete again. But we are only able to do this with teamwork and supports already in place.
Thank you for considering helping these two ladies. The tiniest of them all and one of the strongest of them all. Quite a pair, they are!
There's nothing special about May 13th except it is the final day in a six week stretch....and the cult? Oh, heck, there's probably a cult saying the world is going to end on every single day of the year! Remember the big year 2000 scare??
Thanks, Tracy - Tuesdays are yours. Much appreciated by Little Gracie, Liz-Beth, and me!!!
Hi, I can probably come over most evenings and help who ever is doing it. It will go faster and it will allow me to learn the process faster. You know what my brain is like. It just needs training!!! Same if you need help in the morning. I will have even more time once the house is down. i may even begin to get proficient at horse care and feeding.!
Last night it was time to bring Gracie in the barn for the night. She was out beyond the hay searching for a blade of grass. I hollered for her and she heard me. Turned her head in the sound of my voice. I hollered again. By golly, she turned her little body around and came into the barn to me!
I emailed Dr. Anne the good news. Perhaps the supplemental Vitamin B is helping her brain activity or maybe, as Dr. Anne suggested, she was just hungry. Regardless, she came into the barn on her own last night!
Once in her stall, her little face was in the feed, in the water, in the hay. Hungry little girl. This morning she isn't so hungry as much as she wants to go outside. Talk, talk, talk....."I wanna go out there!"
Gracie's surgery was today. Her right eye was successfully removed relieving her of pressure, pain, stinging, and weeping. As Dr. Anne says, "I have it in my power to help this creature and so I must, Sandy. We'll find a way to work out the money part. I have to help Gracie."
Dr. Anne said that Gracie did exceptionally well and that the surgery "went perfectly". The eye was preserved for Dr. Draper so that perhaps something could be learned.
I'll do my best to bring her home as soon as I see what is involved and feel I can support it. Hopefully, that's within just a day or two.
Picture this: Bringing Gracie home in the front of the trailer and Handsome home in the rear of the trailer. That's the big and the short of it, eh? ;D
Gracie came into the barn on her own this evening when she heard me calling for Liz-Beth. So, into the barn she comes and goes right up to her gates. I let her in and she found her waiting bucket of feed.
I came around the corner with some carrots. Breaking them into 3" sections, I stuffed them into her feed so she would find them as she ate her feed down. She knew what I was doing and with each section, she tried to beat me to the feed with her lips.
We did this for about 8 or 9 sections. On the next section, I went to stuff it in her feed and this time she went for the carrot - and bit! The little squirt! She got her piece of carrot, that's for sure!
You just gotta love the spunk in this little horse. Her bites are like taps and we'll work on curbing her new habit. But right now, I laugh outloud at her! Gracie is free of pain and so now the real little girl is appearing!
We did a good thing here, people. We did a good thing for Gracie.