Wednesday, December 30, 2009

From Grumpy to Goofy!

The other day, I posted about the neck socks that I ordered from Mrs. Cravitz. I LOVE THEM!!! But she sent a "Neck Tube" and I couldn't figure out how to wear it.

Ring a bell?? Anyway, today she finally sent me a picture of how it's SUPPOSED to be worn.

It's supposed to look like this. Meet Mrs. Cravitz. Cute isn't she? She's one hot momma! WOO! (insert whistles and cat calls here....)

Well, I would NEVER have figured it out!!
I tried it like this - I call it the "Partial Ponytail"

And like this - I call it the "Full Ponytail"

Then there's this one, which is fine as long as I don't need to swallow. If I hold my breath, I can smile...for a second... must....breathe....

And then I look like this when I take it off...

I usually just wear it like this. It's easy. Pull it on down to my chin, then back up. It pulls the hair out of my face, covers my ears, I can breathe, smile, talk, the works!

I finally DID get it, after seeing her pictures. Apparently, you're supposed to put a hat on to hold it in place. Umm... hat? I thought it WAS the hat...

Somehow, I think I'm still getting it wrong. So I show up out at the barn looking like this

The horses don't freak out anymore...much.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Waking up...

I was jolted awake this morning at 5:30 am by an obnoxious radio advertisement that was WAY too loud, which I thought was rather rude after sleeping in for 4 straight days. I got in the shower, put on my war paint, did my hair, fed the horses and the dogs, got my lunch and off to work I went.

About 8:00 am, I got a call from a gal at work. We call her "Mother". She is a sweet as can be and tries really hard, but she's dumber than a bucket of rock and is grossly incompetent, and has this lovely habit of "babysitting" the rest of the secretarial staff. She calls endless with stupid little reminders regarding MY job, which I am very capable of doing on my own, thank you very much.

I have adult ADHD that is unmedicated and for all intents and purposes, I'm a raging airhead. I having an exquisite memories, but it's selective. Random trivial information? Ingrained forever! When to schedule my own dental appointment? Umm...when was the last time I went? Are you SURE???

I am ultra-organized at work. I HAVE to be! Cuz I'm such a stinking airhead! So, when Mother calls, first of all it interrupts my train of thought, and second, it annoys me! "Did you do your payroll?" (umm...they are all adults. They can do their OWN time cards!) "You have a letter that's complete." (I am vividly aware of that fact because I got an automated e-mail message!)

Anyway, that started early this morning and continued pretty much all of the morning. Then the girls in the mail room messed something up. So, I got madder and madder and crankier and crankier, and before I knew it, I was e-mailing my friend Candice and venting &*^&*&% words!!!

So tonight, I sat and thought about what REALLY set me off. Aside from being startled awake, having to go back to work when I wanted to stay home, having Mother annoy me, and the mess up in the mailroom, I can't seem to come up with anything.

You've heard the term "Woke up on the wrong side of the bed"? I guess I did this morning. No real reason why! Nothing especially traumatic happened. I've just been grumpy! Even Squirrel got snapped at tonight at feeding time. You should have seen her face - surprised that momma "barked" at her.

So I'll leave you with that. I'm grumpy today. Tomorrow will be a better day.

Monday, December 21, 2009

This ~N~ That

Life around here, for the first time in weeks, is boring, so I won't send you off to Never Never Land to dream of excitement! Instead, I'm going to send you off to other blogs.

The first one is Why Not Nikker. Be warned - there are graphic pictures! But it ends well. They are just "Oh My God How Did That Horse Survive" type pictures!

The second is Fugly Horse of the Day. I've read this before and it's hysterical!

The third is The Adventures of Bo Diggity. Kort just got a hungry grey filly, which is now named "Pebbles", thanks for Candice Bloom. I don't think Kort had pics or the story up yet, but keep checking back, I'm sure we're in for quite a story! Wait a sec! Did I seriously read she's a 2 yr old the size of a weanling? (Not on her blog yet - insider information)

And last but not least, do you have one of these?

It's a soft, fleece neck sock and a reader, Mrs Cravitz, made a bunch for me. This is the "after. Here's the "before". (If you are interested, send me an e-mail and I can put you in touch with her)



You tuck the flaps in and WOOHOO! No more cold neck, cold chest or cold wind blowing down the back of your collar!

She also sent a Neck Tube. I still haven't figured out how to wear it, so I usually look like this when I go out to feed. (Well, at least my HEAD looks like this)

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Can I have some cheese with my whine?

I'm gonna whine for this post. Bear in mind, it ALL self-inflicted, but I don't care.

I exhausted. It's not even 6 o'clock and I'm completely spent! My back is aching. My feet are screaming. No seriously! They are truly making noise! I'm dehydrated. I'm hungry, but I'm too tired to chew.

So... what could I have POSSIBLY done to end up in this state? I picked up horse poop. yeah, that all.

For 5 hours! Now bear in mind, that this poop was mixed with mud, especially after the husband ran over it with the tractor, turning it into a slurry the consistency of wet cement. He tried to scoop up as much as he could with the tractor, then have me fork in the leftovers. This worked pretty good, except for the "leftover" part.

Wet horse poop mixed with mud the consistency of wet cement is HEAVY!

Ok, that's all I have to whine about. I thought I had more, but I guess not.

SO...I turned the "kids" out on pasture while we were working. Millie went out with Jinx, just by virtue of their pen setup. Sweet Miss Millie had been out with the boys, if you'll remember, and she'd gotten in the habit of being bossy.

Also, Jinx is almost two taller and out-weighs Millie by about 400 pounds. AND, Jinx did not take kindly to a snotty 2 (almost 3) yr old pinning her ears and making a run at her. Jinx gave her plenty of warning...wiggling her butt and pinning her ears. Millie darted in, thinking she was going to take some of the hide of Jinx's butt. Millie ened up getting nailed in the chest with both hind legs. I say hind legs, because she was too close to Jinx to really get hurt or for Jinx to connect.

Jinx wasn't overly nasty. She was totally happy to share the large pasture. But was NOT going to tolerate a snot-nosed brat getting all up in her face!

So Millie got educated...TWICE! Apparently she's a slow learner.

When I let Millie back up to the barn, I figured she'd head right to water, or the hay I had set out. NOPE! Stupid me! WHAT was I thinking?? Millie saw that she could zip under the top tape (the others weren't up yet) and ZOOM she was loose. And, you KNOW what a loose horse does to the one that AREN'T loose.

Lucky for me, there was a barrier that prevented her from going out on the road. Also lucky for me, she is a cookie monster! One shake of the bucket with cookies and she threw on the brakes and trotted over. Crisis averted, she followed me back to the barn, stopping every so often to accept a cookie.

Supporting Our Troops

I'm moving this back up to the top. Here's a couple cool videos - made me cry.

Thank Your Military

US Military Tribute

There are a few ways that we here at home can send support to our troops overseas.

The real spirit of Christmas is giving to those and expecting nothing in return. Xerox, Inc. has a web-site ( where you can take seconds to pick out a card and write a message to a member of the armed services. Xerox will print and mail it for you for free! You being a stranger won’t diminish their appreciation for your efforts.

Also, you can check out, and choose a contact on the left side on the screen. You e-mail them and they send their contact information and list of needed items. They will distribute to those who don't get much or any mail and they share everything.

I have a link to both sites in my list of favorites. Thank you for your support!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Do you talk to your horses?

I don't mean "Hi baby! Momma loves you!"

I mean TALK to them! Out loud. About "stuff".

Here's what happened at my barn today.

I let a gal at work wrap me around the axle. I should have just let it go, but I got spun up and it pissed me off. Even though we (Our Division) had a team building party and exchanged gifts, I was still pissy when I got home. So I went out to feed.

When I walked into the barn, the conversation (one sided as it was) went like this, "Hi girls! You will never guess what that moron did today!" I was ranting as I fed, telling the girls about the stupidity of the woman at work, telling what I should have said if I'd been a quick thinker. I was talking to them as if I would a person. No wait...not talking... RANTING! Venting my anger! Actually starting to feel a bit better.

Then I turned around. Mike was standing there, looking at me as if I'd COMPLETELY lost my mind, looking like he might just call the paddy wagon to come pick up the looney ranting in his barn.

He said, "What ELSE do you tell them?" I said, "I tell them what a jerk you are for sneaking up on me!" He just grinned and I ignored him. But I have to say I was more than a little embarrassed at getting caught. Then I thought, what the heck, at least HE didn't have to deal with all the drama.

Monday, December 14, 2009

All Buttoned Up and Snug as a Bug!

OK, so as a follow-up to my last post, I gotta tell ya... I put on blankets tonight.

Cathy A has been looking for a blanket to fit Frankie. I found a barrel racer (read "Collector of the Lastest Fad") who was cleaning her tack room. She has a couple of lightly used blankets that were the right size, so I had my choice: Navy/Hunter Plaid or Hot Pink and Black Zebra Stripes. Um...I chose the boring green and blue one. I figured Frankie would suffer much embarassment if I put the pink thing on him, and it probably would have tweeked Bullwinkle's itty bitty brain to the point of a stroke.

The Big Man was a champ! He stood quietly while I adjust it to fit him. He seemed a little offended by the whole process, but he got over it as soon as I took the halter off.

Bullwinkle didn't care much for the crinkling of the fabric, but he also accepted my "advances". Mary did such an awesome job with the Little Man, I tend to forget he's only going to be two years old in May. He is wearing the blanket bought for Beau. Thank you again, Cathy Davis! If fits him perfectly! It's amazing to me that even though he's so much bigger than Beau, he is still the same length.

Little Miss Millie the Fat Filly was moved to the empty stall in the barn. She's such a bully to the boys, I've been throwing extra feed out so nobody goes hungry. She has become quite the little tub of lard!

So, WHY! am I blanketing??? We have a winter storm rolling through tonight. We're supposed to get 4 - 6 inches of snow, and sometime in the night, it's supposed to turn to freezing rain and ice pellets. This is a PRIME example of one reason to blanket.

In the comment of the previous post, there were some other good reasons. I remember when I got the blanket from Cathy D and had it on Beau for a couple of nights. He wasn't using his energy to keep warm, so he sort of puffed up and gained more weight.

Ask anyone who knows me and they'll tell you that I hate blanketing! HATE IT HATE IT HATE IT!!! It's pain in the butt! However, with no shelter, the boys needs SOME kind of protection from the winter nasties.

Have I posted yet just how much I adore Bullwinkle??? He's an old soul, mature beyond his years. I have rarely seen a horse with a mind like his of ANY age, let alone one so young. If ever I am stupid enough to breed one of my mares, OR if I end up with a preggers mare, I'm sending the baby to Mary! In spite of her "New Mom" worry, she did an AMAZING job with Bullwinkle! ALL babies should be so lucky to have such a great start!

P.S. It's snowing.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

To Blanket or Not to Blanket...

What is YOUR position on this. Do you blanket? When?

Horses grow a winter coat and they stand the hair on end, trapping warm air next to the skin. This insulates them against the cold. When you put a blanket on them, it lays the hair down so they can't "puff up" and trap the warm air. This makes them colder in my opinion.

I will blanket a horse like Beau - he had very thin peach fuzz on his back, since it all fell out from the crud he came with, thus little/no protection.

I will blanket a thin horse that I'm trying to get weight back on.

I will blanket a horse that has little or no protection from wind or rain.

I will blanket a horse if the horse has gotten wet from rain, and temperature is supposed to be below freezing over-night.

Aside from that, I don't blanket. My horses have snow on their backs. Big deal! If they have snow on their back, that means that they are well insulated and warm.

Like Jazzy here

My neighbor blankets her horses if temp get below 40 degrees. With their blankets on, they NEVER have snow on their backs. WHY??? Because their body heat escapes through the blankets and melts the snow.

Now...that said, I live in a desert. We get very little precipitation. So far this year, not even an inch. If I lived in Western Washington where they have a TON of rain or in say...Minnesota, where they have harsh winters with more snow, I may change my position. But for now, my horses grow their own jammies and live like horses.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Beau's Story - Finally Told

Beau's story is told!! It aired tonight, but I missed it. However, I found the link. Only problem I had is that they called me a "trainer", which I am DEFINITELY not! Ah well!

The videos have been removed from the KNDU website, but the text is below.

Much Thanks to Hilary Whittier of KNDU News for allowing me to share his story!

Here's the write-up.
PASCO, Wash;-- Our station has received a stack of emails from people across the state encouraging us to tell Karen Vermillion's story about a horse named Beau, and how Beau lost a hard fought battle that so many horses around the country have been fighting for years.

Beau was a gelding in his mid 20's who was suffering from malnourishment and overgrown, split hooves.

"She said he was skinny and what showed up was a bone rack," Karen said while reflecting on the first day he was brought to her ranch by a friend she met through a barrel racing club. "He was a walking bone rack with horrible feet."

Karen has rehabbed skinny horses many times before. She has two horses currently on her ranch that she brought back to health. Beau's condition was much worse. He was emaciated and his story is one of serious neglect.

"I honestly did not expect him to survive the weekend he was so thin," Karen said.

However, he did make it through that first weekend, and thirteen more afterwards. During that time gained strength thanks to constant feeding and care. After several weeks he gained enough strength to show his true character, a character Karen says was buried under deep hunger and pain.

"Every little victory for Beau resulted in an explosion of comments," she explained while smiling at the memory. "At one point he was feeling really well and he did this feeble half hearted little buck out in the pasture. It was a huge milestone when he got down for the first time because it meant he was strong enough to get back up."

Captain Steve Keane of the Benton County Sheriff's Office says they see plenty of cases like Beau's; horse after horse showing skin and bones and in need of help.

"We run into a lot of complaints about people not taking care of their animals, horses included," Keane said. "A lot of times we hear about them in the winter, especially when it gets cold and they have to purchase extra feed." Keane said.

The Benton County Sheriff's Department issued a warning to the previous owner of Beau. According to the case file officers were sent to Beau's past home in Kennewick two times to enforce the need for Beau to be sent to a better home. They were then sent three more times afterwards to ensure that the horse was truthfully given away to a more appropriate home with better conditions.

The prior owner could not be reached for comments.

After 13 weeks of constant care at Karen's ranch, it was not enough to erase years of neglect. Karen says Beau was in too much pain caused by split hooves and years without proper food. She had to put him down in mid November, but hopes others will learn from his story and call police if they see a neglected horse.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Beau's Story - Continued

I interview with Hilary (the Reporter) this afternoon. I think it went well. Mike thought it went well. That means I probably look like a complete idiot, BUT at least the story will be told.

She said that she received several e-mails from followers of this blog. Way to go guys! That is AWESOME!!!

She asked me what I wanted to see as a result of airing Beau's story. I'm not sure exactly what I said but it was along the lines of educating viewers and if just one horse is saved from a similar fate as a result of watching the news, then that's enough!

The story probably won't air this week. She has to give Mr. Graves the opportunity to tell HIS side of the story. We'll see how that goes.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Beau's story WILL get told!

I was FINALLY able to find someone interested in telling Beau's story - the good, the bad, and the ugly. I sent her a summary write-up this morning and a few pictures. This evening, I forwarded the former owner's information and the Sheriff's name and the case number. After all, she has to tell both side of the story.

I am meeting with her on Sunday for an interview. I seriously doubt that I'll appear on camera, but perhaps one of my current rescues (Honey or Squirrel) will be a TV STAR!!!

This is going to be a multifaceted story - an expose if you will. Beau's story will will focus on beau and the neglect that he suffered. It will get neglected horses on people's minds and perhaps they will take action to prevent further suffering of a horse local to them. It will also educate them on the fact that old doesn't equal skinny. Now if we can just get that across to local law enforcement!

Another facet of this story will be the sound, sane saleable horses that end up in the killpen - either due to owner ignorance or economic reasons. That in turn will educate the public on the fact that horses really ARE still going to slaughter. Hopefully, that part of the story will drum up some much needed donations for SOS Equines here in town - who rescue exclusively from the killpen.

Then there's the plight of the racehorses. Fugly is on board to do an interview - when the reporter gets around to talking to her. We don't have a TB racetrack here in town so that is sort of "out there", but the goal here is to educate!

When the stories air, hopefully I'll be smart enough to figure out how to post it here on the blog. If not, I can always post a link to the stories.

In the meantime, if you'd like to contact the reporter and show your support for her interest and what this means for neglected horses, even ONE, her e-mail is:

Be sure to put "Beau's Story" as the subject. Stay tuned...

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Moving Poo

I told you that my neighbor was quirky, didn't I? One of her quirks is that she doesn't like horse poop in her pens. (ok, well who does?) Or her pasture. Or anywhere on her property.

So she pays these kids to rake it up, pick it up and dump in on the manure pile. The pile just so happens to be back by our barn, near our horse trailer. If there are no horses in the arena, they'll dump it in there.

Now most people would take in the wheelbarrow, and dump a little at a time, spreading it out as best they can, rather than leaving piles. These kids (translated "stupid high school boys") dump it in piles. AND right inside the gate. And guess who gets to go out and spread it. ME!

Anyway, back to the pile. It had gotten pretty big so Mike and I decided to turn the babies out on pasture and move the manure to the arena. 3 hours later, the pile was moved. I have a chain harrow, so I drove in circles, spreading it out as best I could.

Then I hooked up the rototiller and drove around in more circles. I left a good space compacted near the gate where I feed the babies. The rest is nice and fluffy!

Fluffy arena dirt freaks out babies, did you know that? I ran the babies back into the arena and they walked every inch, nose down, doing that little snorty thing, smelly the nice fluffy dirt, ignoring the hay I'd put out.

Today is going to be another nice sunny day, so Mike and I will spend most of the morning repairing fences. The high winds last week took some down and we need to fix them.

I put a blanket on Frankie on Wednesday, to see for his mom if he'd outgrown his other blanket. I also dewormed everyone. I put the blanket on Frankie, checked the fit, then took it off and hung it on the fence, while I gave the kids their "candy". Frankie did the whole tongue thing, turned his lips inside out, then walked over and wiped his mouth on the blanket. Bullwinkle followed suit. Then all three babies stood there mouthing the blanket. So...when the weather is bad enough to put a blanket on Frankie, he'll have to be moved to the barn. Otherwise, I envision a shredded blanket by morning.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Supporting Our Troops

There are a few ways that we here at home can send support to our troops overseas.

The real spirit of Christmas is giving to those and expecting nothing in return. Xerox, Inc. has a web-site ( where you can take seconds to pick out a card and write a message to a member of the armed services. Xerox will print and mail it for you for free! You being a stranger won’t diminish their appreciation for your efforts.

Also, you can check out, and choose a contact on the left side on the screen. You e-mail them and they send their contact information and list of needed items. They will distribute to those who don't get much or any mail and they share everything.

I have a link to both sites in my list of favorites. Thank you for your support!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Neighbor's Barn

I went over and took pics this morning. There are two big rool-up doors, one on each end. You can view the pictures here.

It's a cute little barn, perfect set-up for four horses.

Listing for the property here

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Interested in Moving?


Well, not "much" of an update, but...

The house is being listed with Distinctive Properties. The address is 2909 N. Road 64, Pasco, WA 99301. The paperwork isn't done yet, so there isn't an MLS# (They're still doing paperwork)

Rumor has it she wants $325,000. This price seems high to me. Here's the kicker - she doesn't HAVE to dicker and she doesn't HAVE to sell! She owns the property out-right. She paid it off after her husband died. SO... she can hold out for her price and the property can stay on the market for as long as it take to get it.



My neighbor next door has decided to stay permanently in Arizona and is listing her house for sale. I meet with her realtor this afternoon so she can take down the specs. When it's listed, I'll post the MLS# and price, just in case someone might be interested in living next to a quirky horse lover!

The house is two story, two bedroom, two bath. One 1 1/3 acre. Gas fireplace and hot water heater. Two car garage. Nicely landscaped.

Three stall barn, I think it's 36 X 30, though not totally sure. There is one automatic, heated waterer. Two frost free water faucets - one on each end of the barn. HUGE loafing shed fenced separately. Fenced and cross fenced so all horses are separated. Fencing is 2 inch electric hot tape on lodge poles. Ground is sandy, so re-fencing (if wanted) would not be difficult. Solid-set irrigation. Pasture is a little over-grazed, but would come back nicely with fertilizer and over-seeding. There is electric plug for LQ horse trailer at the barn, and large space for trailer parking.

I can get pictures and post if anyone would like to do some "dreaming"!

In other news, we had some rain over-night, not much, just enough to knock down the dust. But as the storm is moving off to the east, we now have wind. Sustained 20 mph winds with gusts to 35 mph. Best described as blustery. Just strong enough to blow away the babies' breakfast if not protected.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Mental Meadering

After spending yesterday split between crying and moping, I was sure that I was going to take a break for a while, leaving the post about letting Beau go up for all to read for a while. In the bright light of morning, looking at his empty stall and run, I decided that even though Beau is gone, I don't want to stew in the depressing misery of losing him. I want to remember him with happy thoughts and smile, so I'm going to ramble a bit here...

Our vet uses three shots when euthanizing horses. The first one is the "Sleepy" drugs - it makes the horse sleepy and woozy so they lay down. The other two shots are the over-doses of the euthanasia drugs. When the vet gave Beau the first shot, his reaction was immediate. He dropped like a rock. He lay on the floor of the trailer, weakly bobbing his head, with his eyes closed. He sighed.

Fighting the pain and trying to find relief had exhausted him and he went down quickly. Mike patted his nose and talked to him as the vet gave the final two shots. We had made the right decision. As hard as it had been, it was the right one. Beau told us that.

Wallowing in loss isn't good for anyone, so for the rest of the day, I tried to just make it through. I didn't want to dwell on it, but it was still there. This morning I realized more clearly many things made possible by knowing Beau.

I realized that there are a ton of people who I've "gotten to know" because of their generosity, encouragement, and celebration of Beau's small victories. People I've never met, people who've never posted, but felt the thrill of victory and a deep sense of loss. I was here in person, but YOU were here in spirit or in comments and e-mails, and that means a lot to me. It's hard to go through alone, and because of you, I didn't have to.

I realized that "will to live" sometimes just isn't enough. If Beau had just had weight problems (or lack thereof), we'd be fine. But that foot... The problem existed LONG before Beau came here.

Speaking of the foot, I learned something valuable this time. I'd like to say that if I'd x-rayed the foot right when he got here and seen that the damage was unrecoverable, I'd have put him down immediately and saved everyone time and money. But you know, I would have missed ALL the good about Beau - his goofy little nicker, his obscene, gooey adoration for an ugly little appy mare, his "smile" - the look of utter "joy" at slobbering over apples and carrots, his feeble attempt at a buck because he was feeling better... I'd have missed it all. Sitting here, still feeling the sting of loss, I can honestly say I wouldn't have missed it for the world!

I think Beau came to me to serve a greater purpose. He came here to know love and to be cared for. He came here to get a peaceful death, rather than one of horrific pain and suffering in the pasture of a fool without compassion. Beau came here to bring together wonderful people and create new friendships among strangers with a like passion.

Beau left us to open the door for another horse in need. God knows there are way too many out there. The new horse is out there somewhere, and with Beau's passing, has begun the journey to my barn. He or she hasn't found me yet, but I have faith that it's only a matter of time.

You know that poem "Don't stand at my grave and cry"? Someone sent it to me yesterday and though Beau doesn't have a grave, it does make sense. He isn't here. He is grazing green pastures, jewels intact, flirting with the girls, living the way he was always meant to live. When I die, I want to go where my animals go when they die. I hope that they will forgive my stupidity and mistakes, and love me in spite of it all.

So no more tears for Beau. We should rejoice that he has no pain, will never again know hunger, lies in warm sunny field of sweet green grass. Any tears should be for the horses lost on their journey and don't quite make it to a place of love and caring.

I thank you all so much for your support and kindness. I hope you continue to check in from time to time. There is rarely a dull moment around here and I can already hear to soft sucking sound of the vacuum created by Beau's passing. Not long now.

Hug your horses and give an extra treat today!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Letting Beau go...

I wish I had better news. I wish my prayers had been answered. I wish Beau was continuing to get better. I wish he wasn't in pain. I wish...

If wishes were nickels, I'd be a rich woman.

Tomorrow we are letting Beau go. We are going to ease his pain.

Last Saturday, after his trimming, he was so much better. By Sunday evening, he was hobbling worse than he had been before he was trimmed. By Monday, he could barely walk. He has gotten progressively worse over the week. By this morning, he had to work hard to get over the 3/4 inch mat in his stall to get to his feed.

I'm sorry, I can't watch him suffer like this. His pain is obvious. Double doses of B-L Solution did not give him relief. Double doses of bute did nothing to ease his pain. I can't see him like this. This isn't living. This is barely existing.

If Beau was showing improvement, I'd wait him out. I'd get the vet over here every day to ease his pain enough for his hoof to grow out. But he is getting worse.

Being so close to him, I've held on, looking for ANY little thing to give myself justification to keep him alive. I've been thinking "Maybe if we try this. Maybe if we try that."

But Beau is not an experiment. He is a living, breathing creature that is existing in pain with no relief. It's not fair to Beau. I've always promised myself that if I couldn't do what needed to be done when the time came, I would give up my animals. I'm not ready to do that.

To all of you who have followed Beau's progress, sent money and gifts to make him more comfortable, sent words of encouragement and hope, I thank you. Even as I type them, the words don't seem like they're enough.

Tomorrow morning, Mike will get up at 3:00am and give him a double dose of bute. When I get up, I'll give a double dose of B-L Solution. Then I'll give him a double dose of apples and his very own bag of baby carrots.

I'll give him one more pat. One more stroke on the soft, warm fur under his mane. One more hug. One more kiss on his sweet little nose. One more act of love. And I'll walk away with one more patch on my heart.

Beau, I have been blessed by having you here to spoil and care for. As you cross the Rainbow Bridge to race the wind and jump the clouds, as you run carefree through green, lush pastures and splash across sparkling streams, stop for a moment and look over your shoulder, and know, for these very short past weeks, you were loved.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Work in Progress

The farrier came this morning to work on Beau. I got some photos throughout the trimming.

Before the trimming, Beau was rocking on that bad front foot. It's like the bottom of the hoof is a rung on a rocking chair, he just rocks back and puts his weight on his heel. The other front foot was flat but long. So we'll try to make things a little more comfy for him.

I started him on a Silver Lining Herbal Supplement called "Laminae Support". It's supposed to promote blood flow to the hoof and laminae, allowing it to heal and grow faster. Here's what the website says about the product:

"This product may be beneficial in maintaining the natural temperature in the feet and legs, important in avoiding laminitis. The herbs responsible for this are devil’s claw, boneset, white willow bark and yucca. It is also important to keep the natural health of the feet’s circulation and maintain capillary and venous integrity so we add butcher’s broom and hawthorn. The natural function of the kidneys needs to be addressed and we do this with uva ursi and juniper berry and the liver gains its support from the Oregon grape, garlic for the maintenance of the systems natural killer cells, slippery elm to maintain smooth muscle tissue and kelp for the high mineral content it contains."

Devil's Claw and Yucca are the same ingredients in B-L Solution, which Beau is also on to address and relieve pain. I started him on it yesterday and he is walking MUCH better this morning.

We found an old abcess. Beau is now wearing a soaker boot for the day and is very put out about it! You can see along the "white line" that there is still a void. After just a trimming and before the shoe was put on, Beau was walking 100% better! So that is great news!

This is the "After" with the new shoe. You can see where the toe is still pulled back and hasn't grown out yet. This isn't necessarily "bad" news. The farrier didn't think we'd need to fill with epoxy. Seth set the shoe back further to support the sole, but prevent any pressure on the toe.

His front right is actually in very good shape.

His back feet are in grea shape! Beau is VERY stiff in the left hind hip, but is walking fine on it.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Pictures of Beau - LOTS of them!

Ok..Here's a test. See if you can pick the "Before" and the "After" photos. For those just joining the blog, the "Before" pictures were taken between August 20, 2009 and August 25, 2009. "After" pictures today, November 13, 2009. (Friday the 13th - AAARRGH!)

Making faces at Squirrel. You can see just how much she really cares...

The Cuteness!

Thursday, November 12, 2009


I know I already posted that I lost him, but I felt like I need to say more about Bandit. I believe that everyone who reads this blog feels the same about their animals as I do. They aren’t “dogs” or “pets” or “things”, they are “kids”, loved, cherished, doted on. If you don’t feel that way, you might want to skip the blog for the day.

Mike and I got suckered into buying Rylee, Bandit’s mother. I saw a picture and HAD to have her. HAD TO! We’d always had big dogs…Labs or Rottweilers, so a small dog was a new experience! 9 week old Rylee walked into our lives and said “Put up, or shut up! I’m taking over!” And she did!

When she was three years old, we decided to breed her. She was registered with JRTCA, who registers dogs only after they are a year old, and only after viewing pictures and an extensive vet check. Our female, we believed, was a PERFECT representation of the breed. So we searched for two years for a suitable male to complement our perfect female. 61 days after her first date, Rylee delivered 8 pups. A HUGE litter for a Jack Russell! One died immediately. After six weeks, we realized that six were perfect and one was incorrect. The tri-color male. The lower jaw was undershot and he was obviously pigeon-toed. We would never be able to register him, and he was so dang cute, I had to keep him.

Is that not the CUTEST pup you’ve ever seen?

When the last puppy went to her new home, Bandit moved in and was promptly crowned “King of Everything”. He could do nothing wrong, EVER! (Mike will tell the story different, of course) He was the source of many many hysterics, usually mine, and almost ALWAYS at Mike’s expense!

One night, when Bandit was about 6 months old and still in potty training, I was awakened in the middle of the night by “KAREN! KAREN! The damn dog just pee’d in the bed.” I got out of bed and turned on the light, put the dogs out, and flipped the covers back to survey the damage.

Mike was wrong. Bandit hadn’t pee’d in the bed. My darling had gotten up under the covers, lifted his leg, and pee’d on Mike’s back. Remember the hysterics part? I had them. Mike didn’t find any humor in the situation, not even years later when I tell the story and snicker. I managed to save the pup from certain death by convincing Mike that Bandit was sorry and he’d just gotten confused. I don’t care who you are, the story is still funny!

At the time, we had a swimming pool. Bandit LOVED to swim! Apparently he’d missed the briefing that explained that Jack Russell Terriers aren’t water dogs.

Bandit also missed the briefing that he was supposed to be a cat killer. We have a HUGE male cat, Spaz (4 yrs old and weighs in at 16 pounds) and he and Bandit would wrestle all over the house. Mostly in the middle of my bed, because Bandit would “attack” the cat while he was napping, but occasionally elsewhere in the house. Bandit would ignore our petite female can, and Spaz ignored the other two dogs.

Bandit LOVED “Doo-De-Doos”!!! These are the little tubes in the middle of paper towel rolls or toilet paper rolls, striped of any extra paper, that you hold up to your mouth and say “Doo-Doo-De-Doos”, as if it were a trumpet. The hairy little monster would LOSE HIS MIND!! He’s jump and claw up the front of you, trying with all his might, to get that little tube of cardboard. Once he got it, he’d take it to the living room and “kill” it. Within minutes, it would be shaken, shredded, smooshed, and slobbered into bits the size of a nickel, then abandoned, leaving me or Mike to pick up the carcass and throw it away.

Bandit and Rylee would play tug of war, using one of Mike’s socks. It wasn’t always with Mike permission, either! The way they’d growl and carry on, you’d think the hounds of the Baskerville’s were fighting to the death in my living room. Once bored with the game, they’d drop the slobbered sock and go in search of an empty lap. They liked Mike’s the best, because he is so much warmer than me, and his lap is smooshier!

Mike was not always the target of Bandit’s mis-deeds. In October 2008, Mike bought me a new pair of riding boots, Ariat Springbucks. The old ones had holes where my little toes had chewed through the fabric. So my new boots arrived! They were custom ordered, because they don’t carry them locally anymore. I wore them once to ride Angel. (Yes, I know. Surprise! I DO actually ride on occasion)
The next day, we were on our way to the feed store. Mike told the dogs, “C’mon, let’s go!” I threw a fit! I didn’t feel like fighting a Lab and two Jack Russells in the pickup and I didn’t want to smell dog breath when I came out of the store. So, mean ol’ me, made the dogs go back in the house. When I returned, one boot was not longer a boot. It was now a clog. Bandit didn’t even bother to look guilty. It was as if he was telling me, “That’s what you get for not letting me go.”

I thought when Bandit died, there would be a huge hole left in my life. While I miss him terribly, I realize that remembering him and laughing again at his antics, each puts a tiny patch on my heart, covering the hole of loss and sorrow with a patchwork of love and laughter. So there are no more tears and sadness, just a smile, and perhaps a snort when a memory thought forgotten replays in my head and I remember again just how funny and exciting loving this little dog has been!

New Pics of Beau coming tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


To all of those who have served this country, to those who are serving, to the families, I thank you for your sacrifice!

God Bless You!

Darrel Stafek, Lieutenant, US Navy

Sorry Dad...I don't have a picture.

Michael Vermillion
Gunnery Sergeant, US Marine Corps, Retired (Staff Sergeant when pictured)

Straight out of Boot Camp - Isn't he KYOOOT!

Joshua Stafek,
Recruit, US Marine Corps (Medically Discharged)

Monday, November 9, 2009

Now THERE'S a first!

We've been at this house for four years. We owned horses for two years before that. I've slogged through the muck and the mud and gotten poo on my shoes and boots.

But tonight, for the first time ever, I got pooped on!

I was putting Beau's blanket on and he was "on point" at the neighbor across the pasture, who was moving around in the dark. I moved back to fasten the leg straps of his blanket and WHAMO! Beau poops! Right on my arm.

Luckily, his poops are firm. But still! EWWWW!!!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Frankie goes to Hollywood...Oh wait, I mean Pasco

As promised, here's the new kid. Frankie showed up while I was gone. He gets along with the other babies fabulously, although Millie is a bit of a bully at feeding time. In the 4th picture, you can see just how big Bullwinkle is. Bullwinkle is 1 1/2 yrs old. Frankie is 2 1/2 yrs old.

That's Millie's tail in the bottom corner. The wind is HOWLING!!