Quick review of the soring issue and current update on the fight to eliminate it

Leave a comment

This link contains very good information on the current fight too prevent soring. Again, it is the public and sound horse lovers, owners and breeders. If the government refuses to help, we must do it ourselves. This article proves sound horse shows and happy horses can happen. The pads, chains and soring is NOT necessary to have horse shows that are profitable. Getting rid of the sore horse will not destroy the breed. Having the sore horse will.

Then it will be back to my kittens!



Heartbreaking story told by a very brave lady

Leave a comment

I thought this was important to share. Many, well, at least some of us, will have been in this situation. Some will have suffered through deciding when to let your old or sick animal leave this world. The guilt can be overwhelming along with the grief, but we must do what is right for our animals even if we suffer. Most of the comments to her were very supportive, including mine. Life is joyful with our animals/pets, but also can be very hard. Being a animal rescue person makes YOU very special in my heart. Click on ‘home’ to get to the actual blog with comments.

I Put My Dog Down Yesterday

JULY 21, 2015


I put my dog down yesterday. He was not sick. He was not old. I rescued him over 8 years ago when he was only 2 months old. And I put him down to rescue him again.

Sutter would have been one of the 4 million dogs euthanized in a US shelter that year. But instead, he and his litter mates were rescued by Pound Puppy Rescue, a local puppy rescue. Just days old when he was brought into his foster home, Sutter and his litter mates were bottle fed until they could eat on their own.

Sutter was the most beautiful dog I had ever seen. Deep red coat and amber eyes. Naturally athletic. We were unsure of his breed but a DNA test told us cattle dog and boxer. His herding and hunting instincts were interminable. And from the very moment I got him, something was ‘off’.

I socialized him at home with friends and other dogs until he was fully vaccinated. Then I took him to the dog park 5 times a week, the beach, work, dog friendly restaurants, puppy school, agility training, nose work class. Despite all these efforts, Sutter was hyper vigilant. Never relaxed. Always on edge. He put a dog at the dog park in the hospital. He bit a child riding by on her tricycle. He bit people in our house, the cleaning lady, the gardener and a fireman. He chased the postman down the driveway baring his teeth. Amazingly none of these instances were reported, but Sutter’s freedoms were restricted. I rescued Sutter and it was my job to keep him safe. Inside our home with our family, Sutter was a dream. He never chewed anything. He wasn’t needy. He was affectionate. And quiet.

After my divorce I moved into an apartment, and hired a dog walker. I gave her very explicit instructions. About two weeks into her job, she called me to tell me that Sutter bit the apartment manager. Two days later, Sutter bit a dog. Sutter had three days to find a new home. I managed to find him a place to stay until I could move. I was not giving up on my dog.

Sutter was a management issue. Walking him became more and more stressful. Crossing the street when people came towards us. Pulling him away from children who wanted to pet him. As I became more vigilant, Sutter fed off the energy and got worse. Walking him was no longer fun, it was a chore with the thought, “What’s going to happen next” constantly going through my head.

I tried everything: trainers with an iron fist, muzzles, and thunder shirts, medication. Nothing helped. He growled at everyone that gave him a sideways glance. He lunged without warning. He air snapped. But all the while at home, he was a great companion, goofy happy and chill.

Last week, our elderly neighbor was walking by, and as her back was turned, Sutter lunged, knocked her to the ground and bit her. No warning. What would a dog who has been loved his whole life, have to fear? What is going through his head that makes him so insecure and defensive that he would do this? Again, luck was on my side and our 84 year old neighbor made it through unhurt.

I talked to experts and trainers, veterinarians and shelter staff. Sutter had no chance to be rehomed; it would just transfer the liability from my home to another. I could limit his freedoms even more. Only walking him in the dead of night. I could put a muzzle on him at all times. But then the question of quality of life comes up. Quality of life for him. Quality of life for me.

All this time, for the last 4 years or so, the thought of euthanasia has loomed in the background. And to be brutally honest, a bit of relief would seep through the heartbreak when I thought of it. Relief at not wondering when the next time would be. Relief at not worrying about getting a call from the police or animal control. Relief at not being at risk of a lawsuit. Relief at avoiding the distinct possibility that Sutter could badly hurt someone. Of all the people I spoke with, only one told me not to consider putting him down. Because I would never forgive myself; because I would feel guilty for the rest of my life. That, to me, is a selfish reason not to do it. How would I feel if Sutter put a child in the hospital or killed a dog? The guilt would be unbearable. The guilt that I didn’t do something sooner.

So yesterday, I spent the day with my boy Sutter. I made him a scrambled egg for breakfast and he had the last bite of banana. We took a long walk along the coast, and I let him sniff every blade of grass, and eat whatever tasty morsel I would usually pull him away from. I let him look for mice in the scrub. We watched hawks hunt for their breakfast and stared at the ocean. He rolled in the wet grass and jumped up smiling at me.

Then, we took him to the vet. We went into the quiet room and spent some time with him. The tech came and gave him a shot that made him sleepy. Even then he was strong, he refused to go to sleep and jumped up several times, walking like a drunk. We finally convinced him to lie down on the blanket. We pet him and kissed him and gave him treats and hugged him and told him we love him so much. The vet came in and injected him with some bright blue medicine, and his breathing and heart slowed down. His eyes remained open and we talked to him gently, telling him to go to sleep. Then he was gone.

My pain was excruciating, and it still is. And maybe my friend is right. I may never forgive myself for playing God and deciding Sutter’s time was up. And the rescue volunteer in me is calling myself a hypocrite of the worst kind. How can I save a dog, only to euthanize him when he was still so vibrant and healthy?

I will likely struggle with these thoughts for many years to come. And I will always miss Sutter, the little puppy that I rescued. But in the end I know I saved him from himself.

Rescue Kitties Day 14

Leave a comment

Today Braveheart purred! I was wondering when that would happen. Four days ago Sherri, ‘The Cat Lady’ came for the 2 that were going to another home. With only three in the cage, it was easier to crawl in to pet Braveheart, Sapphire and Thunder. Not so easy for an old lady to turn around and get out however. Braveheart comes up to the cage door and meows when I enter the room, expecting something fun or good to happen…mostly food, but it is a start. I can reach in, pet him, and take him out, so that is big progress. The other 2 black ones are much more skittish, but I can still  pick them up while I am in the cage.

Today I noticed that Thunder’s eye looked runny, so while I was administering Vetericyn eye drops, Braveheart and Sapphire escaped out of the cage. I cannot lock it when I am inside, so must get a snap. They were easy to catch, after I finally got out, so that was progress too.  I put Braveheart  and Sapphire into the dog kennel which is on top of the bed so I can reach in, pet and cuddle anytime during the day. Today Thunder stayed in the big cage. Later I reached in to pet Braveheart and that is when he startled purring. I thought I would bring him into my office where I was working, but the space was too large and he was frightened. He tried to squeeze between a file cabinet and the wall and got stuck, fortunately I could reach him and pull him back out. I held him for a few minutes and then put him back into the dog kennel.

This is a good working plan, but as things look, Braveheart maybe the only one that makes a house kitty. Meanwhile the dogs go in for a good look, while I am present. Braveheart stands his ground and hisses. That scares the Doberman, Buttercup, enough that she leaves the room. Hope he will do that as he gets older. She needs a good cat lesson! The cats are not afraid of BIG barking dogs, at least at this point.

I take so many pictures, I have to laugh at myself. It is like new grandparents snapping photo after photo. The kittens are definitely used to the snap of a camera! Problem is the lightening in the room and black cats do not go well together, so only a few turn out. They got new toys, each has a bed of some sort–life is good!FullSizeRender (32)

New Soring Update

Leave a comment

Taking a brief break from the “Kitty Log” to share this update. My followers know how much I have hated the soring of the show Tennessee Walking horses, and how that was part of the reason I wrote my first book: The Horse That Wouldn’t Trot.  The Government is slow to pass the PAST ACT which would put more teeth in the 1973 Horse Protection Act, which was enacted to help the wild horses and prevent the abuse of the Tennessee Walking horse. However, continued PUBLIC scorn and activism against this horrible way to ‘train’ horses, has resulted in positive things. Here is one of them. So please keep urging your congress folks to pass the PAST ACT (It never made it to the floor for votes last year in spite of having enough congressmen signed on. We are trying again this year),  and join with others fighting this abuse in any way we can.


LEXINGTON, KY – Responding to a world-wide outcry to not provide legitimacy to the Animal Cruelty of the Big Lick Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration,  Hagyard Equine Medical Institute announced this morning that Dr. Robert Hunt has resigned from the “VAC” Veterinary Advisory Committee of the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration.

“Due to personal and professional conflict, Dr. Robert Hunt has resigned from his volunteer position on the Veterinary Advisory Committee for the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration.

ROBERTJHUNTER02Here is the email from HAGYARD Operation Manager Lisa Floyd to Change.Org Petitioner Ms. Laura Ousley of Knoxville and www.billygoboy.com confirming same:


This marks the second year that a Scandal has enveloped the VAC (Veterinary Advisory Committee) of the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration.    In 2014,  first www.billygoboy.com,  then followed  by  The Tennessean newspaper, it was revealed that VAC and Celebration officials perpetrated a fraud upon the public that former Budweiser Clydesdale Vet Dr. Dallas O. Goble was part of the VAC.   When contacted by www.billygoboy.com,  Dr. Goble emphatically said he was not, and added,  “I wouldn’t touch that with a 10 foot pole”.

Now in 2015,  it appears that another lie was told  by VAC officials to entice Dr. Robert Hunt of Hagyard Equine Medical Institute to become part of the Celebration’s VAC.

Within four days of being apprised of the truth surrounding the VAC and the“Horsemen’s Leadership Council” of the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration,  Dr. Robert Hunt of Hagyard Equine Medical Institute resigned from the VAC.

Ms Laura Ousley of Knoxville, Tennessee started a Change.Org Petition on Monday, July 13:


It was joined by over 1,000 persons in four days.

The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF),USEF01

which has Hagyard Equine Medical Institute as its Official Pharmacy, was obviously chagrined by being associated with the Animal Cruelty of the Big Lick Tennessee Walking Horse championed by the Horsemen’s Leadership Council of The Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration.

It didn’t take long for Hagyard Equine Medical Institute to grant Ms. Laura Ousley’s request to



Leave a comment

Braveheart and Sapphire day 4 BRAVEHEART AND SAPPHIRE

They have been here nearly a week, and there is progress. Braveheart is brave.  He sits right in front of the door to the cage and hisses slightly when I approach, doesn’t run but won’t let me touch him. He also is the first to eat along with girly Sapphire. Leave it to the females to love their food! There is another black male that is also less frightened, but I cannot tell him from the other black one. Grayson and one black male will be leaving on Saturday, and I hope to have more luck touching Sapphire and Braveheart then. As you can see from the picture, I can definitely get closer and they stay there.

Charm left us yesterday afternoon for her new life ‘on the other side.’ It was the most peaceful passing of any of my cats. Dr. Delia McDonald who has made a business of helping pets to Heaven makes house calls, in fact that is the main idea: let your pet pass away at home peacefully. http://smallmerciesprescott.com/about-us/ I contacted her soon after we moved here 3 years ago, as my niece, Dr. Gabriella  Henderson, had done this for me in Indiana before we moved to Arizona, and I was going to miss that kind act. As cat lovers know, helping an older very thin kitty pass can be physically difficult. Dr. Delia had been taught how to do this, and assured me Charm would not be in pain or fight the procedure. She gave a special sedative in the back of Charm’s neck (while she was purring lying on the bed) and she went to sleep, next she gave the injection in the femoral artery and she was gone quickly. I tell this in detail because the peacefulness of the whole affair was what helped me so very much. I was kicking myself that perhaps I had waited too long, but Dr. Delia thought it was the right time. As I have stated in my books about our animals, “I hate playing God” in deciding the WHEN.

So we shall see if Sapphire or Braveheart decide to be a house kitty, and the cat life of our home will go on.


Leave a comment

rescue kitties day 3 eatingDINNER TIME

Getting ‘tamer’ in that they come out to eat before I leave the room, and stay while I stand there. The little grey male that I named Grayson, is still in the box. For the first 3 days he lay on top of one of the boxes and hissed if I came near, but didn’t leave. Now that the others feel comfortable to come out more, he stays inside the box. I think he wore himself out being on guard. I still plan on letting him go as I think he will do well as a feral, but I keep changing my mind as to who to keep. Yesterday the tabby seen eating alone in the dish and Grayson were lying on the box together, so I thought they were buddies and would let them go, but now they all are buddies with each other.

This is something I didn’t know: when ferals are caught and neutered, they ‘tip’ an ear so if ever caught again, it will be known they are neutered. They usually tip the left ear, but lucky for me, on the little black female her right ear was tipped, so I can tell her from her brothers. I definitely plan on keeping her, she seems the most laid back. Grayson is the only one I have named, it just seemed to fit. Any ideas on a special name for a black female?

The sad part of my cat story is that Charm, the black feral kitten I adopted along with her 2 sisters in Indiana 17 years ago, is nearing the end of her earthly life. About 6 months ago she started losing weight, but still happy, eating and purring. She started living in Hal’s den about that time, I think to stay away from the dogs, and have company. Hal almost lives in there along with his many books and sports on television. We decided to make an appointment with a local Prescott vet who comes to the home to help the animals pass over. In Indiana my niece, Dr. Gabriella Henderson did that with such love for us. That was one of the things I was sorry to leave behind; then I found Dr. Delia McDonald.https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CCEQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fsmallmerciesprescott.com%2Fabout-us%2F&ei=sZ2hVY-8EdPpoASZ3qhA&usg=AFQjCNH2NjvVQZJNEgH-coEcLfGNlpsZEw&bvm=bv.97653015,d.cGU. I had spoken to her several times as I knew Charm was getting closer to leaving us. That is one of the reasons I wanted to take the kittens and have chosen to keep the black female.




Leave a comment

FullSizeRender (16)This blog started out being a place to share my horse book: The Horse That Wouldn’t Trot, and other equine news. Next, it encompassed dog information, now it is morphing into just about anything, as I add cats.

Last year I saw a listing in a horse lady group for folks willing to give a home to some “trapped, neutered and need to be released” cats. I offered and as soon as I emailed Sherri, I had 2 “teenage” ferals. She loaned me a cage which they lived in for a month in the barn. Our house cat, Molly,  is an “inside/outside” cat, but always IN at night (unless she outsmarts us). She promptly took up residence outside the cage and let the newbies know she was the queen lady cat. When the youngsters were freed, they found good hiding places in the barn, and we seldom saw them. They were fed regulairly, and had a litter pan, which they used as well as the dirt around the barn area. Life was good, but Molly kept them hidden during the day by staking out her claim to the barn by sitting on the hay or a high perch. Still, life was good for the little black male and the black and white female.

I saw them outside during late evening or very early morning, then back into the barn to hide during the day. This was a good plan as we have large dogs who chase the cats all in great fun, whether inside or out. Our house is a “gated community” with numerous gated guarding bedrooms and hallways. Cats can go through a space or jump over.

This spring I offered again to take some kittens, but wanted them younger so I could tame them enough that when or if they went to the barn, they could be “barn cats” and not true ferals like the other 2. I also thought if one tamed enough to keep in the house, I would, as Molly the 15 year-old cat police, was older and Charm who was 17, even older. So a kitten or two might make things interesting again. Of course, there are numerous cats/kittens in the various shelters that are tame, but I wanted to do my part to help the cat community. I could and do donate money, but as Sherri said, “we need people who know something about cats and are willing to take the animals.”

I am NOT a cat lady. I consider myself educated by personal experiences to be an equine and canine gal, so this will be a learning experience. So many friends asked for the continuing saga to be shared with them, I decided to do that with my blog.

Today they arrived. Five, but I will keep three, the other 2 have a true feral home awaiting them and will leave in about a week. There are 3 black ones, including the ONLY female, a tabby and a feisty long haired gray one. He will surely be leaving! They are maybe 10 weeks old, and she was able to have them neutered just before she brought them to me. We set up a nice inside pen with liter pans, water, dry food and 2 hiding boxes.

Of course the 3 dogs were beside themselves wanting to see, but were not allowed. They already used the litter pan, ate a little dried cat food and went into hiding. I plan on waiting until Feisty Gray Boy leaves before I try to do much because he is telling the others that life is dangerous. The little tabby seems to be the tamest. Sherri said one was vocalizing and that can mean it is friendlier, and he did when he got in the pen. He was the only one that did not dive into the covered box when let loose, but sat on top of the box. I got a picture of him sticking his head out of the hiding box, so maybe he will be a house kitty.

I wish Ava Brewton, my 9 year-old granddaughter was here to help me! She would surely love that, but will have to settle for helping name the ones that stay.

%d bloggers like this: