Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Buddy! What Have You Done!!

There we were yesterday, rootling under the snow in the front paddock, looking for any leftover grass. We watched the woman trudge down the driveway to the mailbox - she peered in, put down the small red flag on the side of the box and extracted some envelopes.

She revese-trudged back down the drive and called over to Molly "Molly, there's an envelope for you and it's from Nevada!" Molly peered at her from under her mop-like forelock, grunted, and galloped up to the barn. With Molly hovering self-importantly, the envelope was opened - and what did it reveal? A valentine card! With a prancing golden horse on front and the words "Kick up your heels Valentine!" The reverse side says "Stirrup some fun!"

Buddy, I can only ask, what were you thinking?? Our lives have been an ongoing misery, what with Molly pointing out her card (which is on her door) every five minutes, barging up beside us in the paddock and saying loudly, and much too close to our sensitive ears, "did you see my valentine - it means I'm special, did you get any valentines?" and of course sighing and saying how "dreamy" you Nevada golden boys are.

The woman finds it all very amusing and even took some ridiculous photos, thus pandering to the famous Haflinger ego. All I ask is that next time you contemplate communicating with the golden girl, please, please give us a heads up so we can leave town.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Invasion of The Robber Baron

I'm afraid we've had yet another instance of things that go bump and shriek in the night. I know I should be used to it by now but I still find it a shock to be wakened from a sound sleep by the sounds of Armageddon unfolding outside my window.

We four equines were all dozing (and some of us - notably the Haflinger variety - were snoring) in our deep beds when the most bloodcurdling sounds arouse just outside the window. Doc was first on his feet and was able to give us a blow-by-blow account of the mayhem.

"Bawoooo-ooooo-oooo" was the first thing we heard, apparently from the Hound of the Baskervilles - in fact it was Penny doing her best hunting hound imitation. We then heard a confused scuffling and various levels of growling and hissing. The house door opened again and this is what Doc saw. "Geez Louise, it's a spectacle (I think he meant spectre)! It's wearin pink fuzzy stuff an a hat with flaps and it's carrying a big wooden spoon! It's fallin over it's feet now cos it's shoes is too big! Now it goin over to the big tree and looking up and yelling and wavin the spoon thing! Oh wait, it's just Herself." With that he went back to his remaining hay.

I mean, really. Is this normal? I think not. A few minutes later Herself appeared in the barn door and flicked on the light. Her face was flushed and mottled. She was indeed wearing bright pink night clothing made of material that had, I assume, been rejected as too gaudy for novelty beach towels. She had thrown some sort of shawl around her shoulders and this was complemented by the horrible "Elmer Fudd" hat of many flaps. She wore the male human's galoshes on her feet and yes, she was brandishing a long-handled wooden spoon. My heart is still leaping about like a gaffed salmon from the visual shock of it all.

It seems one of those masked, ring-tailed creatures we call a Robber Baron had the temerity to walk across the lawn and Penny had spotted it from her lookout post in an upstairs window. Penny rocketed outside and commenced battle - in my opinion not a wise decision as the Robber Baron is approximately twice her size. They had the spine-chilling exchange of unpleasantries that we had heard and the woman, in a rush to protect Penny, had exited the house clad as - well - as Doc said, as a spectacle. I have no idea what she proposed to do with the wooden spoon - perhaps puree the miscreant or batter it to death. The RB wisely retreated to the top of the tree and averted it's gaze.

Why any sort of wildlife would want to come anywhere near this madhouse is beyond me but they seem to be drawn as if by magnetic force. I anticipate many more sleepless nights, punctuated with ungodly sound effects and who knows what sartorial crimes.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

PrimRose Update

Imagine our pleasant surprise yesterday when who should show up but Sheila of the PrimRose Donkey Sanctuary, accompanied by three of her faithful volunteers. There was much debate beforehand about whether or not Jack would remember Sheila. Jack may have a heart murmer and "floaters" in his eyes but there is absolutely nothing wrong with his memory.

We watched the five women walking toward our barn and suddenly Jack's head shot up and he said "well, i'll be durned!" He barged past me and rushed to the gate, trying to open it with his prehensile nose. He did his best to climb into Sheila's arms and the two of them had a most touching reunuon. He wanted her to know that even though he is blissfully happy here he will never, ever forget that she saved his life. I somehow think she understood.

Things are going well at the sanctuary, which is bursting at the seams with needy donkeys. Amos is failing but still manages to guard blind Patsy. PrimRose herself may be of advanced age but is in generally fine fettle. Tabolinsky's feet continue to improve - and then there is TJ. TJ has changed his name to Virgil, which he feels suits him better. It makes him sound rather like a wild west outlaw, so I tend to agree. His volunteer, Laurel, has finally gotten him relaxed enough that she can brush him all over, halter him and even give him restrained hugs. That woman is a saint. She has been working with him for over a year and has never given up hope that he could learn to trust her. Of course in TJ/Virgil's mind, he has done all the training.

I finally have a date for my annual fundraiser/tea party/birthday event - it will take place on May 29th, which is a Saturday. Jack says he will consider attending but will decide closer to the day. I think he just wants to see Sheila again. Everyone but mini-mules is invited.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Goodbye To A Very Great Lady

Many of you know CindyLouWho, a majestic white Percheron mare of advanced age and royal bearing - she has been a reader and supporter of mine for many months now. She communicated often, offering encouragement and stories that gave us a glimpse into the heart of a truly great character.

On Tuesday, after a long battle with various physical ailments, she slipped away to a peaceful, pain-free world. Her human, Pam, was with her and her pony friend Finn not far away. In my mind I see CindyLouWho kicking up her heels in a very green pasture, free of cares and woe, enjoying a well-earned release from the hardships that can accompany an aging body.

Pam has a sizable hole in her heart. She knows CindyLou is in a better place, that losing her dear friend was inevitable and that the happy memories will prevail. Nevertheless, such a parting is always painful for those left behind. An elderly Appaloosa gentleman was introduced into Finn's paddock and is proving a steadying force for a young pony who doesn't quite understand where his friend has gone.

I myself was not priviledged to meet this grand old lady horse but the woman was and returned with tales of a being so magestic and dignified that she felt she had met true royalty. I have instructed the woman to show the photo of CindyLou in the bonnet Pam constructed for her in honour of my birthday last year. The picture very much tells the story of this gracious soul.

Godspeed CindyLou. Pam, our thoughts are with you.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Molly Throws a Wardrobe Fit

The days lately have been sunny but the temperatures have remained firmly entrenched in deepest winter. Jack and I have a collection of sunning spots that are quite pleasant if the wind does not spring up from the west and seek us out, slicing through to our very skin. When that happens, we usually ask the woman if we can go back in the barn.

Last week was just such a mixture of weather elements. This time the woman came out of the tack room with Jack's blue plaid blanket in hand. She told us that the sun was good for us and that, snug in his blanket, Jack would be comfortable outdoors. I refuse to wear clothing and that is that - she knows better than to argue. She proceeded to strap Jack into said blanket, working away on buckles and straps and moving from front to back. He says it makes him look like " a loominum siding salesman" but does agree it's warm and toasty in there.

We other three watched the process, Doc and I with mild interest, Molly with growing agitation. She finally had had enough and strode over, grasped the top of Jack's blanket and tried to shake him out. She was soundly told off by the woman. She waited until the woman had finished blanket installation and was trudging off to the barn and then she went over and picked him up off the ground in another attempt to eject him from his clothing. The woman was furious.

Molly went over and touched the back of Doc's blanket and then went back to Jack with her ears pinned and grabbed the tail flap, shaking it vigourously from side to side. Jack said he was starting to get motion sickness. The woman finally clued in - Molly wanted her own blanket. Accompanied by eye rolling and deep sighs, she fetched out one of Doc's spare blankets and put it on a very smug Molly. Problem solved. Molly has no particular dislike for Jack, she just wanted her own winter apparel. The downside is that she has the heaviest natural winter coat know to horsekind and was quickly a tad warm in the red jacket. Now she just wears it on the really bitter days and she seems quite happy with that. Honestly, I live in a mad house.

There is already talk of the second annual Sheaffer birthday/tea party /fundraiser for PrimRose in May. I must begin planning my wardrobe. I certainly won't leave it up to Herself or I'll be dressed as a pink bunny, or the Mad Hatter or worse, an infant donkey with diaper and rattle. I wouldn't put anything past her.