It's always nice to have good news at the ranch! A couple of things to report...
Our new arrivals, whom I haven't even had a chance to put on the home page, went off to a foster home today. This 30-year-old Appaloosa and 18-year-old mini-donkey were rescued November 23rd from a field near Wings. The owner, who lived across town, was found dead in his home and no one knew where his animals were. They were found in a pasture with very little grass and no water and Debora brought them to Wings immediately. The next day when I arrived to work, the first priority was to clean up the Appaloosa's back end, which was covered in frozen poo. Yuck, poor guy!
This friendly guy was so good, he stood still while I poured warm water on his tail and backside and washed his legs. I had to spray him down and eventually shampoo and condition his tail to get it clean. He was dehydrated from the lack of water and that caused him to have diarrhea pretty severely. He was still in distress in that way while I was cleaning him (oh fun!) but I managed to get most of it cleaned off, and Debora tied up his tail to keep it clean. After about an hour, he decided he'd had enough of this attention! Luckily it was a sunny day, but cold, and he was able to dry off before it got dark. I didn't know I'd be doing that when I woke up that morning, but as filthy as he was it didn't bother me because I knew how much it was helping him. The next day, after getting plenty of water, he was doing fine.
One of our volunteers agreed to sponsor him, and another of our volunteers and long-time supporters is now fostering the pair, who are very attached to each other. They are both sociable and friendly, and if their vet checks are positive will probably be very adoptable. They left the ranch today after getting hoof trims, and we will miss them, but it's great knowing they are with a loving caretaker. Senior horses need a lot of care, so donations will still really help with his ongoing expense.
The other good news is that one of our rescues from September, Wilson, who was very underweight has now gained enough that his ribs are no longer visible. We took his blanket off recently to do some PEMF therapy on him and the improvement was noticeable. He has filled out all over but most noticeably in the ribs, chest and withers. It's a gratifying success to see a horse gaining weight like this!
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Laura Weise is a Wings volunteer who lives in Stevensville and will be bringing you stories of life at the barn.