Saturday, November 30, 2013

Super Special Limited Time Offer!

I finally have a DancingDonkey calender made and available. You actually have TWO choices (I know, I know, the woman who can't abide shopping making you choose, but there is a good reason.  Keep reading to find out.).  The first choice is to go here or click on the picture below (which I hope works) to buy a calender directly from  If you order before 12/10, use the promo code FREESHIP to get FREE shipping.  I think this includes international shipping (for you Dougie Donk!), but I won't swear to it as I couldn't find anything on the website.  Maybe someone from across the pond can try it out and let me know?  This calender costs $14.99, which covers the cost of the calender and gives me a couple of dollars to apply to my second offer, which is below the picture.

The second choice is a limited edition, limited TIME, special offer.  This is basically the same calender, but it will be personally signed by Ramsey himself.  How cool is that?!

So, OK, in the spirit of full disclosure, I did have to help a little and this signature is a tiny bit out of date.  You see, I had meant to do something like this last year, but then there was the whole near-death-experience and surgery and sleep deprivation and all that so this went by the wayside.

Because of all that, this is actually Ramsey's baby foot signature.  I did a tracing of his foot way back when and then I hand carved a signature stamp....

All celebrities have personal assistants and use signature stamps right?

Anyway, here's how this works:  This calender costs $20 (which includes shipping) and the extra $5 from each one is going to the Donkey Sanctuary.  I know there are a lot of rescues out there who could use the money, but I am only one and can only do so much at any given time.  I am doing this because I would like to help out, but what I can do alone won't amount to much.  I would love to send each of you a calender just for reading this and the support you have shown me, but I can't do that either.  I hope that this way, everybody wins a little bit.

I chose the Donkey Sanctuary because they have been very helpful to me personally and I believe deeply in one of their main goals, which is to provide education about the care and treatment of donkeys.  From my own experiences, I know that ignorance and misunderstanding are what account for most neglect and abuse.  The donkey Sanctuary is a true wealth of information and support for donkeys the world over.  If you would like to help them out directly click here.

If you would like to help them out AND get your very own personally autographed (ahem, stamped) calender then click on the PayPal button below and send me the $20 bucks along with your address and I will get a calender to you as soon as I can.  I do have to wait for them to come to me, sign them and then send them to you so this WILL be slower.  And please, when (if) you order, check the little box that says the money is a gift.  PayPal will not take out any fees that way and the DS gets a bit more $.

Now here is where the fine print comes in.  The deal that allows me to buy these calenders at a low enough price to make this work out expires soon and if you want it there by Christmas, there is another time crunch.  So this offer is only good for the next couple of days.  I will leave the button up as long as I can and take it down when everything expires or I get too overwhelmed, whichever comes first.  Maybe next year I'll be more organized and do this sooner, but we will see how it all works out.  Fair enough?  I hope so. Happy shopping:). 

This deal has expired:)  Thank you to those who participated!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thankful for...

A sturdy, comfy barn.

The helping hands and good company of friends...

including all of you reading this.  I am humbled, amazed and very thankful for your company.

A cupboard that is never bare....

The love and trust of true family

The occasional ride with a good horse.

and a good friend.

A handy coat-rack when one is needed.

The beauty of small things...

and the ability to go out and find them.

A warm house...

Good health...

an occasional moment to relax...

and baby donkeys who always make me laugh.

I am even trying, very hard, to be grateful for snow, which is much better for little donkey feet than mud.  I am not sure it is working, but I'm trying.

Truly, I am trying....

it's just going to take a lot more work:)

Happy Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

A Definition

Winter Wonderland:
    a.  A fictional version of a beautiful, snowy landscape often filled with images of fun and frolic in fluffy,  white snow.   This Winter Wonderland exists only in fairy tales and the minds of the truly delusional.
    b.  Wondering, wondering, wondering if the car will actually make it home.

    c.  Wondering, wondering, wondering why, oh why, do I live in Winterland?

Monday, November 25, 2013


Ramsey is doing well today, he is nearly sound again and no sign of fever.  He is a very obliging patient and makes a good towel rack to boot.

I want to thank everyone for the comments and good wishes, they are a nice warm spot on this miserably frigid, windy, snowy weekend.   I was actually a bit concerned that one of my windows might blow out last night if not the whole house.  It suddenly feels like we are in the darkest, coldest days of February when it seems like winter will never end.  Unfortunately, it hasn't even begun yet, which I better not think about too much more. 

My herd hunkered down in the barn with a big pile of straw and made out just fine.  As you saw, I did break down and blanket Ramsey, he just doesn't need any added stress.  Fortunately, Emma is handling the cold much better this year than she has in the past.  I don't know that she was really warm, but she was not miserably cold and unhappy like she was the last two winters.  It must be the extra insulation she has now:)

The wheat straw I got a few weeks ago is working out well for them.  They seem to like it better than the barley straw and definitely eat more of it when it is cold.   I like it better as well as it is finer, easier to deal with and doesn't bother my allergies as much.  A win-win so far.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

November is Not Our Friend

I feel like we dodged a bullet today and it wasn't from a crazy hunter.  With the coming of the cold, wet, miserable weather Ramsey has been somewhat lame on his bad leg.  It wasn't the hoof, but the arthritis he has developed in the fetlock joint.   At least, that is what it was until a few days ago when he came up VERY lame and I opened an abscess in his bad foot.

I have to admit, it's been a rough few days.  This foot is far more vulnerable to another bone or joint infection then normal and another such infection would be the end.  I was on the phone with two of Ramsey's vets last night listening to a discussion about doing regional limb perfusion again and....well, it was a rough night.

Fortunately, Ramsey is still a very good patient and this morning, he was significantly better and still no hint of fever.  I think, knock-on-wood, that all is well, something to be very thankful for this week.

I am going to continue treating the foot well past the point of my extreme paranoia and will probably put a cast on it for a couple of weeks to protect the sole and prevent any possibility of  reinfection. 

Speaking of treatment, I have been using a product called Magic Cushion made by Absorbine as a sole packing underneath a bandage and I truly believe that this stuff helped avert disaster.  It will be in my emergency kit and hoof care arsenal from now on and I would highly recommend it, especially for treating any kind of sole pain and for removing false sole.  It is sticky and messy and you will probably have to swear at it a lot, but it works.  It is a thick, black, tar like substance that has an oddly pleasant herbal smell to it.

Wear gloves.  It does not wash off well.

The stuff may seem a bit pricey, but a little bit goes a very long way and I think it is the best abscess treatment I have ever found.  It's worth it.  I especially like the way it draws out infection while simultaneously sealing out and killing bacteria.  It is a topical anti-inflammatory and analgesic as well.  I was skeptical about all of its claims at first, but I have used it for several different applications now and have been pleased every time.  It's earned a place on my shelf.

Aside from this darned abscess, I had been cautiously pleased with Ramsey's feet and had been planning on writing an update soon.  I think there has been some improvement in the lateral distortion I have been concerned about.  I decided to sort of throw out the instructions I had been given about his foot and try to let it tell me what it needs.  I have been "trimming" very minutely every two weeks, trying to encourage healthy growth and mimic his natural wear pattern.  Taking only what I think might wear off naturally if he were walking on more abrasive ground.  I am mostly just trying to let his foot do whatever it needs to while keeping it from overgrowing and distorting. 

Aside from the nasty stone bruise that abscessed, I think it is working.  The feedback I got from the Donkey Sanctuary when I sent them photos a while ago was basically, "You're doing a great job trimming feet.  Try not to over-analyze too much:)."  

Thank you to the great folks at the DS, I certainly appreciate all the input.  And as for that last bit....let's just say you aren't the only ones to tell me that I think too much:)  I'll try.

I actually have a bunch of very interesting feet pictures to share along with some equally interesting nutrition stuff.  The two are very much related.  Hopefully I will get to them soon.  With all the snow, high winds and below zero temps that have descended on us, maybe tomorrow.  I'm sure not gonna want to go out and actually deal with it.  In fact, I'm off to go hide under the covers.

Friday, November 22, 2013

T.E.S.S.A aka The Honkey Donkey

About a month ago Tessa confessed that she has been suffering an identity crisis.

What exactly is a horse who thinks she's a donkey?  Her Royal Donkeyness?  Hmmm, she does have the blue blood for it, for what it's worth.

Sus S. certainly got it....Smart is right.

As is Cathy R, with: "Tallest (farm) Equine Standing (in) Solidarity Always".   Clever, we hadn't thought of that.  It's a good title for Her Donkeyness.

Ya know what though?  I think you'd have to meet her to find out, but Honkey Donkey actually does fit:)

Thursday, November 21, 2013


Sometimes, I read, hear or see something that really sticks in my mind.  Usually it's a sentence or phrase that just reverberates inside my skull and starts me thinking about all the little tendrils that lead off of it.  The big picture that is summed up inside a little snippet.....


From a conversation with the vet who did x-rays on Lakota a few months ago, we were talking about putting Lakota on isoxuprine (a drug that is supposed to help improve blood flow to hooves)...He said, "just about all the quarter horses live on isox nowadays, even mine...".


From Dr. Robert Bowker's portion of the book, "Care and Rehabilitation of the Equine Foot" by Pete Ramey, et al, "Conformation of the horse foot is merely a point in time, as the internal structures of the foot appear to continually change and adapt over time."

I come back to this thought nearly every day, it gives me hope.


During a conversation with one of the pathologists I work with; we were discussing flu shots and I wondered if they actually worked.  He told me that it didn't really matter whether they worked or not in any given season. The main reason that the health department wanted as many people vaccinated each year as possible was to expose the general population to as many flu strains as possible so that the next time a truly deadly flu epidemic occurs, it won't wipe out the entire population.


The trust of a donkey is a fragile, humbling thing.  Earn it and be careful with it.


There is a whole other world happening out in the countryside that most of us never see.  Working an odd evening/night shift that has me driving home at 2:00am, I see parts of this hidden world now and then that most of us never think of.  For example, did you know that August 7th is apparently THE day for porcupines to come out from wherever they hide all year long in order to play mating games?  Yeah, I didn't either until I drove past 32 pairs of them that one night and have not seen another before or since.

Oh, and just in case your wondering how porcupines manage to mate, that old joke really is true - very carefully:)

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Opposing Views

"This is way too easy Ma.  You need to come up with something a little more interesting!"

"Forget 'interesting', just get me a bigger rock."

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Better Part of Valor

I am standing at a gas pump, feeding my ever hungry car, when a monstrous stereotype pulls up next to me.  It is an enormous F350 extended cab, dually pickup decked out in every kind of custom chrome polish it is possible to imagine - plus a few.  It sports Jersey plates, NRA stickers, decals of naked women and deer skulls; a full gun rack and it is towing an equally bedecked trailer loaded with the biggest 4-wheeler I have ever seen.  It too is trimmed to the nines; flaunting a custom, camouflage paint job with deer skulls interwoven amongst the mossy oak pattern - along with large, polished-chrome Playboy Bunnies on every wheel and four,  four! sets of chrome testicles hanging from it's undercarriage. 

Out of this monstrous absurdity climbs a disheveled, dirty man wearing that bizarre combination of blaze orange and camouflage.  He is reeking of booze, deer lure and extreme testosterone poisoning.  As he turns away from me, my astonished eyes are gifted with the unavoidable sight of a butt crack so blatant that it can only be partially obscured by the enormous revolver, whose weight at his hip is causing this exposure of geologic proportions.  I can clearly see that the gun is not only fully loaded, but that the hammer is cocked, ready to fire. 

As he turns towards the store, he reaches to salvage his failing garments with a firm upward hoist of his belt.  While succeeding in obscuring a portion of the unfortunate geology, this prodigious hoicking also succeeds in dislodging the loaded, cocked, unsecured cannon at his side and it clatters to the pavement.   The fact that it didn't go off can only be attributed to clear evidence that God does indeed favor fools.

I decide that my car has had enough to eat and that I would forego the cup of coffee I had been contemplating.  Sometimes, retreat really is the best option.


For those who wondered, the donkeys and I have not gone out walking for the past three days.  Saturday was opening day of rifle season and there is not enough orange in the world for the first few days of rifle season.  It will be very bad again Thanksgiving weekend.  For the rest of the time, we should be OK.  I hope.

I do have an orange vest for myself as well as all of the critters.  We are a very hard troupe to miss when we go trooping through the woods.  We also only go out on a trail where there are not supposed to be any hunters (although there always are).  I don't make the donkeys wear their orange in their field, but I do limit how far from the barn they can go.  I keep them close to the house during gun season, exercise be dammed.

And if any of you might be wondering, with my penchant for making up donkey conversations, that this too might be a bit of colorful fiction - sadly it's not.  My imagination is just not that good.  

I am not fond of hunting season.