The following post is an archive of our GoFundMe campaign which began in 2020.
This past week we finally had “operation equine dentist” and as promised in the last update here is how it all went down. The dental treatment for our horse and donkeys was quite a “hands on task” which in addition to our vet sometimes required four extra helpers (all safely masked up pretty much like at the “real” dentist) to keep our ladies calm, still and upright.
But let me start at the beginning. We met in the morning after our 3 ladies Taffy, Opal and Peanut Butter had some breakfast and we started to treat one after the other. Many of us humans (at least everyone present) don’t really look forward to a trip to the dentist, and why should our four-legged patients be any different? They didn’t look very exited about the impending dental work and luckily for them and us (!) they got a small and carefully measured dose of sedation to help them relax. But everyone reacts differently to medication and our first patient Taffy got rather woozy and unstable on her hooves. It took two of us constantly at her side to keep her upright, focused and of course her head up and still. We had our hands full with this 250+lbs (or maybe closer to 300lbs) lady who suddenly decided to be a “lap donkey”. As she is already an elderly lady, her teeth needed quite some work, but luckily it could all get fixed right on site and she was a good patient and a really brave girl. Afterwards for the time the sedation needed to wear off one of us stayed with her to slowly walk around with her until she was sure-footed again.
Meanwhile we moved on to our second patient Opal who is usually our most headstrong donkey. Opal knows what she wants and especially what she does not want! After she started off by being extremely skeptical, her solution to avoid the scary hair clipper in preparation for the sedation was simply to pull me (her human handler) in the opposite direction. I can’t put anything against a 300lbs donkey with a strong will, but we found a safe corner and her trust in us allowed us to administer the sedation. Despite our biggest worries about Opal’s headstrong nature, she surprised us by being a little angel. Her teeth were floated relatively quickly and with less of a weight-lifting effort on our part.
Then on to our final patient Peanut Butter, the oldest of our three ladies. Due to her proud age of 29 years, her small size and the fact that she is very well behaved we were sure that a mild sedation would suffice for her. Her treatment was done swiftly and not just because she is so well mannered but also because unfortunately the old girl simply doesn’t have as many teeth as the others. She had multiple dental treatments in the past years and lost several teeth (some naturally and others removed by the vet). But not to worry: luckily Peanut Butter has already been on her favourite soft and tasty mash diet for the past years and this food seems to suit her well and match her feeding needs just fine. And on the plus side: there will hopefully only be very short future dental checkups for her. But despite or maybe because of her fast treatment at the dentist she required quite a long time to regain her own balance and to become fully awake again to trust herself to walk around. But that gave me the chance to spend a lot of quality time with her and the other two ladies Taffy and Opal hung around the entire time as they of course needed extra many cuddles after such an exiting morning. And when Opal wants cuddles she means serious cuddles or she’ll simply push you over.
A few hours later everything was back to normal for all of them and they were finally allowed food again which of course made them really happy!
Now, I’d like to say Thank you again to all of you, or maybe I rather like to give a really big and loud THANK YOU shout so that everyone can hear it because that’s what you all deserve! I’m still touched immensely by the generosity surrounding us. I’ve also just learned on the news and then looked it up on GoFundMe that according to their data (“The GoFundMe 2020 Giving Report”) Victoria is the most generous city in all of Canada (determined by numbers of donations per capita). Looking at all your support we could experience during this year – much of it from the local community -, I’m not surprised by this outcome. There are many examples of successful fundraisers in Victoria, and thanks to you, ours is certainly one of them. However, to me success isn’t the first word that comes to mind, because this campaign stands for so much more. Most prominent is the simply uplifting, heartwarming and encouraging experience of how so many people coming together virtually and all of them supporting the same cause can make such a huge difference. It means a lot to us that so many people take an interest in the animals and the farm, that they continuously support us through donations which enable us to continue our care for the animals and finally that they all share our hope for the new season. And the result is the success that you have made possible and that we are all so amazed about.
We are still very happy about every donation coming in – knowing that reopening the farm is a work in process. There are still many things that need to be fixed and prepared and the current health situation might require unexpected changes to farm layout, signage and sanitary requirements. But we are working on it and all of us are really looking forward to welcoming you back to a safe season at the farm.
Wishing you all happy and healthy Holiday season.