January 9 th
Journey’s End Ranch Newsletter Jan. 9, 2017
A lot has happened in the past month.
The contest ended, we were first in our group heading & 6th place overall. Unfortunately, our friend who had entered me (and the rest of us) did not know that voting only plays a part in the awards of prize money. One $50K winner & 6- $5K winners will be picked out of the top 30 vote-getters by Eagle Rare Life. Winners will be notified on Feb. 20. So, THANK YOU for voting and fingers crossed here!
We had a scare with Knickers, who was stung by a bee and had a bad allergic reaction. It had happened before in the summer. His face swelled, he got hives all over, had trouble breathing, and, this time, went down. I was lucky to see it and I immediately injected him with a steroid that pulled him through. He has now been here 5 years after being seized & will turn 35 in June. We have never had bees in winter, but nothing seems normal anymore.
Warrior, now 28, had a third stroke and I was also lucky to see it and give him an injection to reduce the brain inflammation quickly. He was falling against the shelter and I thought we would be having to euthanize him, but he was back to normal in 2 hours. Warrior came to us > 4 years ago after also being seized from an abuser. He has narcolepsy & a bad knee, but enjoys life, loves to eat his hay pellets and plays with the other geldings.
Mariah, our first BLM mustang who came in 2004, injured her fetlock somehow. She already has joint damage from being run 12 miles by helicopter as a baby, as per BLM records. After a few days of being very lame, I put her on Previcox for 4 days and she was once again back to normal.
Esperanza & Nina arrived 5 years ago, both pregnant. Their “babies” are now 4 and 4 & 1/2 years old and remain bonded with their Moms. Both had been rescued from the infamous Chavez feedlot in New Mexico which ships about 500 equines a month to Mexican slaughter houses.
We had a huge thrill when Ginger Kathrens and Anni Williams, from the Cloud Foundation, came to visit Poco in mid December. They spent a few hours and got to meet all the animals & hear their histories. Ginger’s documentaries about Cloud, the stallion, and the other Pryor Mountain mustangs have brought world wide awareness to our wild horse situation over the past 20 + years. It was an honor to meet them both. Poco and the burros loved them.
That darn Noel! I have had ongoing issues with a packrat who insists on chewing into my laundry closet & wreaking havoc. He chewed all the wires in my washer. No deterrents worked. I had trapped him 4 times in the past year, took him a few miles away & he came back. I caught him on Christmas when he fell into my washer as it was filling with water (he must have been on rafter over my head). I put him in a cage. I had to get my clothes washer wires repaired, cleaned out the laundry closet, moved machines back in, fixed the door & thought it was rodent proof. Then, turned “Noel” out of the cage. He then chewed through the wood door, moved back in….so, I set the Havahart trap, caught him and he is now back in his cozy 2 X 4 foot cage. I added sheet metal to laundry room door, but I think he is going to stay caged, as he was quite content there the first time. If you move packrats, you must take them ~5 miles and then (they say) survival rate is not great. They live solitary lives in the wild, so being alone is not an issue.
…A few ppl have expressed concern over a caged rat. Well, life expectancy is 2 years & I have been trapping him for a year. I googled moving him far away & the picture is not a pretty one:
“At the other end of the adventure, however, it may be a different story. Wildlife, rodents in particular, are very territorial. They set up scent posts to mark the boundary of their territory and woe be the animal that invades it.
Jumping mice, those peace-loving sweet little rodents of our sandy deserts go into a tizzy when a stranger steps over the line in the sand. Males particularly will leap at the invader, tearing away with powerful back feet, armed with needle-sharp claws. Not a pretty sight…
Therefore, you can imagine what happens when a big, bushy-tailed pack rat is suddenly dumped into another pack rat’s domain. All hell probably breaks loose, which may be a way of speeding up Darwin’s Natural Selection. A citified pack rat may have better battling skills than its country bumpkin cousin, or it may be the other way around.”
Noel is acting happy in his cage, gathering things ( I have given him a bunch of shiny objects, including Christmas bows & ornaments, which he loves), and he is safe. I will not condemn him to being eaten or ripped apart, nor can I afford to keep repairing the damage he does here if he is free.
We have gotten > 4 inches of rain in the past 2 weeks, but were lucky to get 13 tons of hay delivered, stored and under cover yesterday, before this new storm moved in last night.
Wishing everyone a Happy New Year. Thank you for your support!
Cathy & the Gang
December 9 th
Journey’s End Ranch Newsletter December 9, 2016
Thank you for voting! We are still in the lead to win $5,000 and the contest ends Jan. 5, 2017. That would buy 20 tons of hay or support the sanctuary entirely for 2 months. http://www.eaglerarelife.com/content/catherine-ritlaw
We had to get a new computer & I am still trying to learn the new OS. We got satellite internet (via our phone company), then the satellite company turned us off by accident & we were without internet for 4 days. The tech had to come back out to re-boot the modem. I am still trying to catch up.
Diego was still very lame for another week after the vet opened up a hoof abscess. Since he is not at all cooperative with hoof handling, we ended up getting a small pond liner so I could build him a soaking area. We alternated between Epsom salts and Oxine soaks twice a day and after a week of soaking, he went from very lame one day to fine the next. Then, a few nights ago, he had a mild colic. We were in day 4 of our monthly week of psyllium to prevent sand problems. Sometimes psyllium can set off a gassy colic. I managed to put a dose of Banamine paste into a hollow carrot & he ate it and was OK about an hour later. A lifetime of neglect has set him up for ongoing problems, but at 21 years old, he is pretty amazing & has a great attitude.
Knickers gave us a real scare two weeks ago when he was bitten by a bee. This is the second time he had a severe bee sting reaction, the first time was 2 summers ago. Luckily, both times I saw him right after it happened. He had hives and was having severe respiratory distress. An injection of 10 cc of dexamethasone did the trick. Here in the desert, we have thousands of bees that live underground and are attracted to any water. For some reason, they decided to go after Knickers’ soaked hay pellets that day and they apparently had an argument with him over lunch. After all he has survived in his life, we’d sure hate to lose him to a bee sting.
I added a north wall to the sheep shelter to block our colder winter winds. Both Stripey & Rambeau are nice & wooly for the winter. This is Stripey who arrived 2 summers ago when his owner was moving to town.
Seven years ago, Windy & Rene’, 2 mustang mares, were at a feedlot in danger of shipping to slaughter or ending up back in Mexican style rodeo as tripping horses. Fortunately, we were able to give them a home and they have done a lot of physical and emotional healing since arriving in January 2010. This photo was taken the day they arrived from California. They seemed to be looking out at the mountains and remembering the home they had lost 6 years earlier. When we sent their freeze brands to BLM, we discovered something amazing. It ends up they had both been captured as yearlings together on the Nellis AFB, just about 120 miles north of us. Somehow, through 6 years of captivity & abuse, they ended up together still.
We have lots of ways you can help us & find great holiday gift ideas on our affiliates page: http://www.jersanctuary.org/available-merchandise/
Shannon Story has added more Poco merchandise to her site, too. She gives us all the profits from any Poco items. http://fineartamerica.com/featured/1-poco-the-brave-little-burro-shannon-story.html.
We have had to break ice a few mornings, but consider ourselves very blessed to have moderate Arizona weather, compared to a lot of other regions of the country.
Wishing everyone Happy Holidays & a Merry Christmas. Thank you so much for your support.
Cathy & the Gang
November 10 th
Journey’s End Ranch Newsletter Nov. 10, 2016.
CONTEST to WIN $5,000. Thanks to all who are diligently voting, we are still in the lead to win $5,000 with 2 months of daily voting to go. That would buy 20 tons of hay or support the sanctuary entirely for 2 months. http://www.eaglerarelife.com/content/catherine-ritlaw
We are celebrating 2 years since Poco arrived. He’s such a sweet little guy and such an inspiration to so many of us. His book makes a great gift for holiday giving and all the proceeds go to feeding the animals who live here. http://www.jersanctuary.org/available-merchandise/
Our weather has finally cooled down after what felt like an endless summer. The horses & burros all had grown in winter coats and some of the horses were asking to be hosed off right up to late October.
We went to install a new OS into our I-Mac computer in mid October and the installation caused the computer to crash. Apple thought it was because of our slow internet (which is very costly, time-wise). I had to pull out the old laptop. Our phone provider was offering free installation of satellite internet and we just got that last Friday. Then on Monday, someone at the satellite company turned off our service for no reason. We are back on phone internet until Monday. When the satellite is reinstated, we will attempt to re-install the OS in the good computer. If that does not work, we will have to ship it to Las Vegas to see if it can be repaired or the hard drive retrieved. The laptop was pretty worn out already, so we have not been able to post pictures to Facebook for two weeks and may be limping along for awhile longer. We have added a few videos to Youtube.
We got in about 12 tons of Bermuda hay. We use about 4.5 tons a month plus 1500# of hay pellets. We now have 3 horses who eat pellets as most, if not all, of their diet. Even doing dentals, some horses will get so old their teeth are worn to nubs and soaked pellets are a must. The downside is that pellets cost almost 3 times as much as hay (pound for pound). With all the effort to promote the contest, we have not had a fall hay drive, so donations are always very much appreciated and needed.
Today, we had our veterinarian out to sedate and trim Diego’s feet. He had come up lame & we suspected an abscess, but Diego is dangerous to handle due to 20 years of neglect and some well founded resentment towards humans. He kicked me in the chest last winter because I walked past him as he was eating. He was never handled much nor was he taught to allow his feet to be trimmed. Our vet discovered two abscesses and Diego behaved with the help of two sedatives and will be feeling much better now. On top of that, no on was injured in the process.
In light of a terrible breeding/hoarding/neglect situation of more than 800 horses at a “sanctuary” in South Dakota, we urge people to be careful when donating to anyone. Most non profits have profiles on Guidestar and Great NonProfits, where you can view mission statements, financials and see reviews from the public. Generous people are the life blood of any non profit organization and they deserve to know that their donations are being used to help others, and not to cause more suffering.
Guidestar Profile and Reviews- http://www.guidestar.org/organizations/80-0456596/journeys-end-ranch-animal-sanctuary.aspx
So, please keep voting & please say a prayer we can get the good computer up and running. Wishing everyone a Happy Thanksgiving. No matter how challenging life is, there is always something to be thankful for.
Cathy & the Gang