One HECK of a STORY
This isn't really Haven news but it is a very cool story. When a person owns/operates a horse rescue/retirement facility she can expect any number of phone calls that beg for help with a horse. Last Saturday was no different. This time it was my vet on the other end of the line, "Jeanne," he says, " Have I got a deal for you!"
You have to understand… with MY vet, those words could be followed by anything… Once he set us up with two baby skunks that had washed up in another clients' flower bed during a flood.
"Ok." I replied with caution, "Does it have anything to do with skunks?"
He went on to explain that one of his mares, housed at a client's farm, had a beautiful QH colt the night before but the mare suffered a rupture of something internal and needed to be euthanized. He asked if I would take the foal… a full blooded QH and the grand-son of one of my old mares, Arc's Bar Miss.
Well, I knew my husband might actually leave me if I brought home another horse so I told him I'd call him back.
I called Pam. As you know, Pam lives two doors down but the back of her farm and part of mine have a common fence border. We often share horse responsibilities. Her horses graze on my land and my hoodlum herd (young horses) follow her horses to her place every evening. I thought if Pam could house the colt, we'd have time to find him a good home.
She readily agreed fully understanding the work involved in raising an orphan foal. Three hour bottle feedings 'round the clock and all. (SHE IS VERY DEDICATED!)
We set out in my pick up truck to retrieve the foal. The colt rode home in our laps in the cab of the truck. A freshly bedded stall waited and the little guy took right to it.
Last night as I went off to my "real" job for an all nighter of foal watch, Pam brought the hoodlum herd in for dinner. They took the mares over to the colt's stall to meet him. Each mare nuzzled over the door.
Moon Shadow, my nine year old mustang/paint mix went ballistic. She couldn't be pulled away. So, they put her in the stall next door… She actually tried to RIP away the metal screen in the window between the stalls. SHE WANTED THAT BABY! She wanted that colt as her own SO much she started lactating!!!! No kidding!
Moon Shadow hasn't had a foal in TWO years! She hasn't shown any signs of problems so we had NO IDEA she had a condition called "persistant lactation" which is actually a hormone disorder.
BUT the good news is that this means Moon might be able to raise that foal!
I called the vet Sunday morning and told him about Moon shadow. He came out, checked her for pregnancy, declared her in the clear and gave her a few shots to stimulate her ability to nurse the foal FULL FLEDGED.
Then we brought the foal to her. She let him nurse almost immediately and has been caring for him ever since.
A most remarkable part of this story is that Moon Shadow was an orphan herself. She was close to dead when I brought her home and raised her on a bottle. It's almost like she doesn't want another foal to be motherless.
As of an hour ago, Moon and her new baby are doing quite well. We'll have to continue with bottle feeding for a few days while Moon's meds (hopefully) take full effect but as of right now, things look great.