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January 2008

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Oh dear,
Where DID January go?  But I guess it is time for news of activities during the past month:

Donations
From time to time, cash donations are directly deposited into the ECHCU Bank Account, or kind donations are left at various tack shops to be collected, but some times the donor is not identified.  We do like to say a 'thank you' for every donation, whatever it is, but this becomes impossible to do if I do not know who the donor is.  If you have banked money or donated tack for which I have not thanked you, please accept our thanks and let me know who you are so that the right thing to do is done!  Of course, if there is someone you know who has not received a thank you or been added to the Newsletter, please let me know so that it can be rectified.
 
Talking of donations, we have completely cleaned Nicky Bartlett out of all old long feed of all descriptions, now neatly packed away waiting for mixing and delivering.    We also received a donation of old horse shoes so I did what most Carters do, I took it to the scrap yard, sold it and banked the money!  Thank you!

Lucerne, Oathay 'n Teff
All donations of long feed are stored, then mixed when required and bagged before delivery to various Metro townships. The donkeys love it!   You probably think what use is a bag once a week?   Well, what I find when they come to stay with us is that the same fodder appears to work as a cleanout of the system, as can be seen by the droppings with plastic etc,  within a few days of arrival. I also believe that I have had less plastic colics because of it!

Letter to home
Hi Guys,
I just thought I would let you know where I am and how I am here at the ECHCU.  Now that I have had my stitches out of my face I am feeling a whole lot better.  The doctor did a real good job of fixing me up and then every day my wound was cleaned and muti put on and now I am almost ready to work again. I did not like the daily injections though.  I must say that the food is good here and lots of it and I do not have to look too far to find it either!  I don't seem to be eating any plastic here and have had a real good cleanout of my system and I feel great.  There is a charming young jenny in the next camp with the most gorgeous foal - she really is a handful and is very demanding and sometimes I feel sorry for her mum.  If only the fence was not between us!  My mate Whitey yells his head off at feed time and gives me a headache.  Ah, the youth of today!  The horse that was here when I arrived was taken away the other day to some people who fell in love with him at first sight - I am so glad for him, he was looking so good when he left.  I hope those folk care for him well because he did not know who would take him and he was a little worried although he never showed it - but they made such a fuss of him before they took him, leaving piles of carrots that we also had.  It is also great to have that good brush down in the morning, my coat is looking just fab!
OK, I will see you guys soon when they bring me home.  Boesman

Website
Take a little time and access the Highveld Horse Care Unit website at www.horsecare.org.za

Daily activities
This month I have begun deworming the township donkeys - a novel experience for them.  Thanks to a special price to the HHCU, I was able to obtain a bulk supply.  The added bonus was keeping the used tube that was recycled to hold an antibiotic in a syrup solution that ensured that the owner could dose his own donkey twice a day!   He felt very good about being in control of the situation and now, his donkey is just fine. 

Take it away
Periodically calls are received from concerned people about horses with the strong suggestion that it be 'taken away' immediately.
 
On visiting the owner I often find that there is a reason behind the animal's state.  Often ignorance or just plain financial difficulties have led to a bad situation and sometimes a veterinary surgeon is already dealing with the problem, which is not common knowledge.  Or as in one case, faulty information that had been taken as gospel truth. 
 
With a little positive affirmation and logic, many situations have been either 'turned around' or the animal surrendered to the ECHCU where the necessary action is taken.

Warm Fuzzies
The large flocks of Flamingoes in the salt pans on the northern side of town.
In the middle of a hot, humid day, stopping at the Noxolo Butchery for an ice cold Brrrrrr in a glass bottle.
Learning the Xhosa word for Abscess!  It is Itoomba.  It makes a huge difference in my world, I can tell you.
The successful conclusion to a really bad coronet abscess, sorry, itoomba.
Spending time with the Cart Horse Protection Association in Cape Town and finding that their township problems are the same as ours, and that they are out there 'doin' it'.
Having a very demanding carter begging for attention to his donkey next door now please.
Learning that a friend had approached a carter, and how shocked he was when she walked up to him, shook his hand and hugged his donkeys.

Parting Laugh especially for you
On visiting a new township patient on a drizzly day in an area where there are no tar roads, only red gravel, and finding that my shoes did not 'hold the road' quite as well as the tyres in the bakkie do, I landed up sitting in a puddle of red gravel water.  We all had a great laugh but the best was yet to come.  The lady of the house was absolutely mortified and took me inside, tutting all the way, where she proceeded to wash me down with a bucket of water in the lounge.   I guess it all just part of the job, and thankfully we can all laugh at these situations.
 
M
 
 

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