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R.I.P., my precious Zenya

Posted by stonedragonfarm on February 27, 2016 at 4:15 PM Comments comments (0)

My beautiful Zenya. So sweet, so smart, so bright, so funny. 23 months old.

And now she is gone. Wednesday morning, she was fine; her normal playful, funny self. Saturday morning (Feb. 20) she was humanely euthanized, due to a rare, inheritable condition known as "megaesophagus" associated with "disautonomia".

I hate these words I've never heard before! Suddenly, they have taken from me one of the most precious souls in my life. They caused her immense discomfort, and even though the condition MAY have been manageable, the drug that MAY have helped (if we could even find it--it is no longer commercially available) could have taken 2 to 4 months to help. The treatment she would have had to undergo to keep her alive until it was determined whether or not the drug was even helping would have meant her living in a cage, with an e-collar on her. Infection and discomfort, constant dangers.

No, for my beloved Zenya, the kindest thing was to help her across that Rainbow Bridge. I held her to her final breath.

Now, MY pain is constant. No more little games: fetch the wad of paper, chasing the hand under the sheets. No more listening to her talking to herself as she played, alone or with another cat. No more looking to see where she was when going in or out of the door, because she was a champion door-darter. She lived in the bedroom for the most part, because there are residents in my household (including myself) who simply wouldn't be able to move fast enough if she decided to make a dash for freedom out the front door.

I am a selfish human. I don't want to hurt like this. I have done it before (Dragon, Wings, Flower, Shadowolf, Bonfire), but it doesn't get easier, or quicker. As I get older, those old scars on my soul seem to ache in sympathy to the new wound that has been torn in the very fabric of my spirit.

I can sometimes barely breathe from the agony of knowing that I will never see or hear Zenya again. I know it will lessen in time, but the scar tissue is fragile, and a new heartache will reopen the old wounds. 

I cry some every night at bedtime. I don't have her to play with, love on, talk to, fuss at...

I miss you, Zenya. May your bright spark be shining brightly somewhere. Here, today, in my world, it is dark.

Never thought I'd be married to a 62YO man!

Posted by stonedragonfarm on April 6, 2014 at 9:55 AM Comments comments (0)

Randy's birthday was yesterday.  He is now 62!  (Old fart!):D

Finally getting some severely needed rain.  We got almost an inch last week, and bad storms passed over (mostly to the north) two nights ago.  Raining again now.  So far, just over an inch total, including last week.  We need a LOT more.  Of course when I start getting ready to work on the barn exterior, it starts to rain regularly!  Wouldn't you know?  Murphy's Law in action.

Got a black & white stinker living under the tackroom floor.  Getting to the point I'll have to leave her while she rears her babies, but I've been trying to get her out before she has them.  No luck so far . . .  I had a trapper get the last one, but it was a lot more trouble than this one's been, pooping on the hay in the tack room and smelling the whole place up.  I haven't even seen this one, but I know she's around--get a whiff when she moves around under the floor.  All the animals (except the feral cat that has taken up residence under the house) have been vaccinated, and that cat is avoiding the skunk! 

I won't get the trapper out for this one if I can avoid it.  Not only is he expensive, but I learned in Texas no one is allowed to relocate skunks.  If one is caught, it must be killed.  That may be understandable from most folks' point of view, but I think it's unnecessary.  So I will co-exist with this odiferous lady if need be.  :roll:

It's Now February--2014!

Posted by stonedragonfarm on February 15, 2014 at 9:20 AM Comments comments (0)

Somehow I guess I forgot there was a blog on here!  Didn't post at all last year.  Too much going on, I guess!

I've added a barn cat, lost her 6 months later to feline leukemia.  Added 3 weird hens, including a true drama queen named Mocha!  But they lay good eggs (and they are fed all organic feeds, scratch & layer mash both)

I have made it a crusade to get all GMO foods out of my house, but I'm not totally successful, as my daughter and son-in-law don't seem to believe how much a danger GMOs really pose.  After all, Jennifer says, the USDA doesn't even require labeling, so how bad can they be?  Well, when the head of Food Safety, and several on the board of the USDA are Monsanto people (government/corporate revolving door at work here), how can you trust anything they say regarding the (unproven) safety of GMO foods?  If the rest of the family chooses to eat without worrying about them, that is their prerogative.  I for one will not be putting any more of them in my mouth than necessary!  VERY FEW processed foods!  I have my own garden (drought permitting) where I grow organic, heirloom vegetables.  

Got a 20' X 26' spot in the front horse lot where the round pen used to be.  Good compost there, good soil, and I had a really nice crop last year.  I had cantaloupe, cucumbers, tomatoes, black-eyed peas, sweet corn, sunflowers, baby limas, summer & winter squash, basil...  I even had a family or two of baby rabbits raised in the shade of the pea plants & cantaloupe, safe from predators (except while Sasha was here) because of the fencing!  Had no problem with them eating much of the garden, so I was happy to share a little security & space with them!

Randy is retired, disabled, and we finally got approval on his Social Security disability.  Actually, it was rather quick, but seemed like FOREVER...  He turns 62 in April, so would have been eligible for regular SSI, but it wouldn't have been enough to get by on.  Still won't but it sure eases things a bit!

Nearing the End of 2012 (Yay!)

Posted by stonedragonfarm on December 26, 2012 at 7:30 PM Comments comments (0)

Well, here it is, nearly to the end of another year.  I went from seven horses, to six, to nine, all in a six month period!  


Kittyhawk was sold to a family that is horse savvy, for their 12-year-old daughter who wanted a registered miniature horse to drive, show, and maybe breed.  Kitty fills that bill very nicely!


Radar came to live here, from a home that, while probably not legally abusive, was at best indifferent to the feelings of living animals.  Trust is coming slowly, but it is coming.  He was put more or less on a shelf here while my husband recuperates from hip replacement surgery (gradually I have more time to work with Radar and the others).  Weather permitting, we start again in the new year.


Hope and Polly came in November to live out their days here.  They are sweet, beautiful, dignified senior ladies, and I love them both very much.  Polly is my beloved Bonfire's mom.


Chicken numbers went from 24 to 8.  I just decided they were more trouble and time-consuming than I wanted just now.  The newly constructed pen and hastily thrown-together straw bale coop are vacant, soon to be re-used somewhere else for ????.  The old, smaller, but more secure (and warmer!) coop & pen are in use for the eight hens I have left.  I miss Caruso's crowing in the morning, but I don't miss not being able to turn my back on the little devil!  He got to where he attacked my legs everytime he caught me not looking.  Nope, that don't work around here!  Bye-bye, Caruso!


I miss Shadowolf every day.  His sister Mithlin has finally gotten to where she will eat on the floor with the others again.  It took her four months to do that again.  I was putting her in a carrier and letting her eat by herself.  She would leave her food and look for Wolf, then stop and just cry.  Made me cry, too.  We hurt together.  I think she still misses him sometimes, but she usually sleeps with the others now.  Once upon a time, that would never have happened.  She would have nothing to do with anyone but Wolf.  Time heals.


I had a minor (or not so minor, maybe) epiphany a few days ago.  Standing out in the barn, waiting for the horses to finish their lunch (yes, they eat 3 times a day, although lunch is not grain, but shredded beet pulp & timothy/alfalfa cubes soaked in warm water), I was looking around at them and I realized suddenly that this was where I wanted to be, in the circumstance that I wanted to be.  A cynic, a skeptic, a chronic depressive, and a freethinker, I realized I AM HAPPY. What a great state to be in!  I don't know how long it will last--life always has a way of sneaking up and biting you in the butt--but for now, today, this week, I am happy.  I hope it lasts a while.

Hi, Radar! Here Comes Polly & Hope

Posted by stonedragonfarm on September 22, 2012 at 2:45 AM Comments comments (0)

More changes at Stone Dragon Farm!  Kittyhawk has found a new home, and so has a grade pony named Radar.  He's quite a character, and it's fun to watch his personality unfold from a terrified little horse to an increasingly confident (and bratty) pony with a very busy mind and dominating manner.  He is gaining in trust, but still afraid of new things.  I'm working on that (and the dominating attitude).  Clicker training is amazing!

Polly & Hope are two senior citizen mares that will be coming to live out their years here with me.  Polly is, I believe, 29 years old, and is Bonfire's mother.  Hope is her lifelong companion, 28 years old, tiny & sweet.  They deserve to spend their lives in one secure place, rather than being shuffled around from home to home, as has happened the last year or two for them!  

I am taking about a third of my tack/feed room, turning it into another stall.  (I had eight--seven were filled--but need nine now!)  I can't believe I'm about to have NINE horses!!!!  (No one ever called me "sane" and if they did, I'm sure they were lying!)

The chickens will be moving into larger abodes soon.  I'm fencing 16' of the front lot to give them more room, and building a hoop house out of a couple of utility panels (just as soon as I can figure out how to stabilize it so it won't flatten or flip over in a storm!).  They will have a long, narrow (16' x 73') pen, and the house is 8' x 10'.  The chicks will then move from the brooder, which is now much too small for them, to the older, smaller pen & coop.  It has an electrical outlet--which the bigger one will not--so I can add a heat lamp for their first winter, if necessary.  If it gets extremely cold, I will have to rig an extension cord outlet to the big coop for a heat lamp out there.  It won't warm the coop much, but it will keep it above freezing, so chickens and water won't freeze!

I've a lot to do in a short period of time (and add to that hauling 50 bales of hay!), so I'm staying busy.

Husband Randy had hip-replacement surgery at the end of August.  He's been on house arrest, Dr's orders, and we've had nurses and physical therapists coming to the house on a regular basis.  Been almost a month now, follow up appointment #1 is Monday (Sept 24th), and I'm hoping some of his restrictions will be lifted.  We are both going kind of nuts with someone (mainly me) having to stay with him 24/7.  Ready for some freedom!  (We both are!)

Ladyhawk, RIP - Welcome, Magic!

Posted by stonedragonfarm on September 1, 2011 at 12:30 AM Comments comments (0)

This has been a summer of ups and downs--mostly downs!


DOWN:  First, Bonfire (miss you, Baby Horse).  


UP:  Then on August 22nd, Indian Creeks Elemental Magic came to live with us.  A four-month-old, bay & white tovero pinto colt, Magic has been delightful.  Totally unhandled when I got him, he was quick to learn, becoming trusting in just about two weeks.  He's picked up on everything I've tried to teach him so far, and the farrier will get his first crack at those little pink hooves next Saturday.  (He needs a trim, bad!)  I am amazed at how easy he learns, and how little he panicks when presented with something new!  He's a doll.


DOWN AGAIN:  Then, this past week, Ladyhawk succumbed to a severe colic attack, brought on by heat or who knows what (the vet, in his 3 visits that night, said he'd seen more colics in the last two weeks of August than he had all summer, even in the intense 113º heat).  She spent a very uncomfortable 12 hours before her passing, and I mourn both her passing and her pain.  No horse deserves the suffering a bad bout of colic can bring to them.


???:  So now, I'm down to seven again.  Haven't decided if I'll keep to that number for now.  I may sell Kittyhawk, or I may fill Ladyhawk's stall with another colt.  (Not that I can afford to right now, and with hay scarce and expensive and getting more so every week . . .)  


Anyway, time (and finances) will tell me what I want to do.  Right now, I'm trying to enjoy retirement, looking forward to ending this ridiculous string of 100º+ days of summer, and getting used to 7 horses where there were 8. 

It Is Over

Posted by stonedragonfarm on June 21, 2011 at 11:02 PM Comments comments (0)

Yesterday, June 20th, I took Bonfire and his best pal Buffi, to the specialist vet in Tioga, hoping (but not really expecting) a miracle.  After a lengthy and thoughtful exam, Dr. Spencer told me there would be no miracle for my Baby Horse.  

With Buffi in attendance (for comfort and companionship), Bonfire was euthanized quietly and gently laid to the ground for the first time in over 2 months.  He can rest now.

As I cried over his body, Buffi very gently nuzzled his ear and blew her breath into my face.  She was quiet today, but eating well and calm.  (Which is more than I can say for me.)

Bonfire is being cremated by Pine Hill Pet of Bowie, TX, and his ashes will be returned to me.  I also took a lock of his mane and tail.  There is a lady I know who makes wonderful keepsake jewelry, using tufts of mane and tail hair from horses that have passed on.  She will be getting this lock of Bonfire's hair to make a pendant to go on his urn.  If there's enough left over, I may have a second one made and put it on a silver necklace chain, so I may keep a part of him close to my heart.

I'd forgotten how to hurt this much.  But I am comforted somewhat with the knowledge that Bonfire does not suffer anymore.

I retire in 9 days.

Bonfire's Last Days

Posted by stonedragonfarm on June 19, 2011 at 2:03 PM Comments comments (0)

My beautiful  "Baby Horse", Bonfire, injured his left hind leg at the end of April.  His stifle (the joint just below where the leg meets the body, and where the patella--or kneecap--is) was severely injured, probably as he played with the other boys in the roundpen.  He has had surgery and numerous therapies, drugs,etc., none of which seem to have helped much.


He has not laid down since the injury.  A horse is a prey animal, and they depend on their feet to save them from predators (which is why horses have a very high "spook" factor:  run first, identify the threat when there's enough distance between).  When a horse is in enough pain in the feet/legs, or when they are injured badly enough that they don't think they can get up, they will not lie down.  A downed horse is easy prey.  If they are down, they are dinner.  That's a horse's instinct.


So, moving either VERY slowly or on three legs (which a standard sized horse would not have been able to tolerate this long--there are advantages to weighing less than 200 lbs as opposed to weighing 1000+ lbs!), his good hind leg is beginning to cause him pain.  The muscles in his bad leg have atrophied enough that his entire posture has changed, and he seems to be in pain along his back because of that.


Bonfire is going to the lameness specialist in Tioga, TX tomorrow (Monday, June 20) for what is probably his last trip.  If the vet has no good news for us, Bonfire will not be coming home.


He is one of the sweetest and smartest horses I have ever known.  Quick to learn, eager to please, I had intended to spend my retirement days teaching him tricks and learning from him as well.  My retirement will come 10 days too late.


My heart is breaking.

Retirement, Here I Come!

Posted by stonedragonfarm on February 13, 2011 at 10:24 PM Comments comments (0)

Well, it's official!  As of June 30th, I will be retired!  :D:D:D


After spending 11 1/2 mostly unhappy years at my job, it has affected my health, both mentally and physically.  My doctor has said it is time to rethink my priorities, and suggested a less stressful job. 


I intend to spend more time with my horses and with my camera.  Both have been woefully neglected at times.


A part time job is in my future after that.  Life begins at 57.  The countdown has begun!!

Bae Li has a new home!

Posted by stonedragonfarm on November 30, 2010 at 11:26 PM Comments comments (0)

Bae Li has gone to live with a nice lady south of San Antonio.  After a rough start (Bae Li panicked and bit her!), she is coming around and sleeping on the bed and ruling the rest of her canine clan, which consists of two neutered male Chihuahuas.


Which leaves me with Blubelle.  She is such a great little dog!  I want to get another companion dog for her (something for her to do besides torment the cats), but I'm sure enjoying having her to myself.  She was spayed at Cause for Paws low-cost spay/neuter clinic two weeks ago, and that makes me breathe a great sigh of relief.  


I must say that Cause for Paws was wonderful!  I've taken cats to low cost clinics that treated the people bringing animals in with contempt and patronization, and treated the animals with disregard of their comfort.  These people were polite and respectful, and truly showed themselves to be lovers of animals, handling them gently and caringly.  I was most impressed with them all!  


I'm getting EGGS now!  I have 3 chickens, out of 9, producing eggs now.  It is time for them (age-wise) to start laying, but this time of year, they usually stop laying, so I'm amazed that 2 Americaunas and 1 Silver-Laced Wyandotte are now giving me eggs.  I have gotten 2 dozen so far.  My Thanksgiving pies were made with eggs from my girls.  I was very proud of those pies!


Happy Holidays!


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