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August 2009

It has been a hectic month – it started off at a controlled trot and developed into an out of control runaway gallop!!   So I am not sure where to begin, or for that matter, to end!  And also considering that complaints were received that the last newsletter ‘was too short!’ I will give you the edited version of my diary.
I think, seeing how someone, somewhere is missing some tack, I should start here:
Walmer Police Station Crime Investigation Department has in its possession a bunch of very nice bridles with expensive bits and other attachments all in a green rucksack.  I have seen the tack and it is good and relatively new.   Is there any chance that one of you out there are missing bridles and perhaps a green bag?   Please check otherwise you might be caught short when getting ready for the next show!   Either let me know (072 357 2505) and I will organize a viewing, or contact Insp Smuts at Walmer Police Station 041 5814 361.
Township problems
We started off with a request for assistance for a foal that had been hit by a car.  Various cuts and scrapes were treated and the foal has recovered  (and mommy is having a loooovely time chilling in the new camp!)
The same day, a worried carter brought in his donkey with a severe case of diarrhoea – again, thanks to sound veterinary advice, the problem was sorted and the donkey returned to his owner forthwith.
Two carryovers from last month of donkeys with very similar damage to their hind legs, finally went home, sound on all four, or should that be all eight!
The donkey that had been brought in lame in the hind foot and with a mauve plastic jar on the foot as an attempt at protection, was also returned to his owner, sound and well fed and watered.
Kirsten Rohrich who popped in to visit assisted with that extra pair of hands we all always seem to need, and assisted a turnaround of donkeys into different camps – boys in the south and girls to the north.  Thank you, Kirsten.
Engaging with owners whose choked horse that subsequently died was a sad procedure.  And working with a number of different owners to see what to do next for their animals to improve condition.
A beautiful skewbald pony belonging to a carter was brought in with snakebite between the front legs.  Not surprising considering some of the hot days we have experienced this past month, due to global warming!  She was severely swollen and as she was not used to being handled, was loaded and brought home.   At the same time, various spots had been daubed with motor oil – a common township treatment as it cauterizes bleeding wounds quite effectively – but does not do much for fungi!  With a little Vaseline to soften the hard oil, and a shampoo with a medicated soap by Sharon Barclay, the hair is growing, now that it can breathe.  Sharon added her own ‘solution’ by dabbing the pony with Gentian Violet so that our girlie stood out from the crowd to visitors at AWS.   We are, I think, over the worst now.    Thank you most sincerely to Sharon for her caring!
A Uitenhage donkey with plastic colic brought in and treated.  Followed by my friend, Vrydag, mentioned in previous newsletters.   A panic stricken call from the township led to us bringing him in for treatment that unfortunately was to no avail as he died of a twisted gut.  RIP Vrydag, I miss you already.
Then, out of town to do Horse Sickness Vaccinations which is when I got flattened.  Unfortunately you might say, horses and donkeys can’t talk, so we never find out where they have been nor what has happened in their lives that make them resist whatever you are trying to do.    Which is what happened here – he did NOT want his vaccination and instead of moving his head up and down, lashed out sideways.   I won the war as he got his injection but not without getting a split lip and a lump on my forehead!!   I gave him a serious dressing down (verbal of course!) and he had the grace to drop his head in submission and say sorry.    Ah well, same time, same place next year!
Then there were the donkeys that strayed into the Metro’s suburbia!   Two in Bluewater Bay and 4 in Malabar and 1 in Walmer during a road race!!  
Then there was the day that a township cattle owner brought his 200 cows into the AWS premises in order that they could be loaded and taken to a new farm in Alexandria.  Quite a sight!
And, then the wheels really came off:
A donkey in Uitenhage with a split ear that was bleeding like the proverbial stuck pig and had the terrified owner convinced that he would run out of blood. We collected him in pitch darkness, hauled the Vet out and had him treated but not before the inside of the horsebox and his face and neck were absolutely sodden with blood.  Getting him into the pen was done with difficulty given the lack of light, so next morning first thing I arranged for an outside light to be installed post haste that will make it a little easier than bumbling around in the dark!   Forlee Electrical donated the light fitting and globes – Thank you Raymond!    The next day, the by now dried blood was washed out of the box and off the donkey and he reverted to his normal white face and russet neck.
Yet another donkey in Uitenhage had us running at 4.30 in the afternoon.  We eventually found him (thanks to Karien who assisted the owner with contacting us) and after a late evening Vet call and got home at 7.30pm.   He too is making rapid progress now that the problem has been identified and he should be going home soon.
Two days in a row, the same owner in Uitenhage had us running (but now earlier in the day!) with one foal that despite intensive treatment did not make it and also with a young jenny with colic who did make it and who has already been returned home along with the foalless mare.
At the same time as all this is happening, there were still the regular food deliveries to all points north, south, west and east, donkeys popping in for breakfast, lunch and supper, and visits to horses in difficult circumstances.
‘Prince of Dane’ has been donated to us and is therefore available for adoption.   A 16hh Bay Thoroughbred aged about 13 looking for a good home.  Picture available on request or you can just visit and say hi over the fence before making your decision.
And for the sheep/cattle farmers, a number of donkeys are available for adoption, too.
I have been led to believe by my friend, William, that a cattle farmer he knows has the same success with his calves as those that have sheep – vastly decreased losses to jackals.
I am always happy to get a report on one of my 'boys'.  This particular Thoroughbred was having hard times, was surrendered to us, and found, by phone, a new home.  Aside from a medical problem that the adoptor has perservered with with her vet, is now happy to report that at a recent show, he got a 1st in show hack, 2nd in Best Trotter, a 56% and a 59.6% for his Preliminary Dressage and on Clear Round for Speed and Precision Jumping.  Well done, Lauren!
A surprise large donation from my ‘spotter’ in Uitenhage – we do not receive only cash from her but also a large dose of help spotting donkeys that find themselves in trouble, and it is not too much trouble for her to return to Uitenhage after working hours to assist with trying to find an injured donkey at 7pm!!   We did find him and he is making a good recovery.   Thank you, Karien!
The ever supportive Equi Feeds generously gave us a large donation of Lucerne leavings during the month, that was put immediately to good use with all the mouths to feed.
In order to get what we need/want, we (Ayanda and I) did a smart commandeering of a sand truck to get the sand and spread it in the crush camp and pony camp.  It worked a treat!  And the truck driver was happy not to have to go and pay to get rid of it at Arlington Tip.
Alfred needed his bit of spelling during the month, but we were assisted with Ayanda coming to help. 
With the clearing of the ‘new’ camp where the mares and their kids are hanging, I had found that there were a large amount of Stinging Nettles growing happily!    I was tempted to send out an urgent email offering to give anyone that pitched to pull the nettles out, a Recipe for Nettle Soup!   ‘Strue!
And then, on the last day of the month, Shorgan, Anel and Glen arrived to groom the donkeys.  They call themselves the ‘Wash or Brush a Donkey Day’ group and plan to come in once a week.  The donkeys loved it!
Well, it is already the 2nd of September and therefore this newsletter is late – sorry!  C U next month.


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