Tag Archive | Horses

Large Animal Disaster Rescue by F. J. Thomas

From Christina, I recently got to know author F. J. Thomas when I was a guest on her blog. Today, she returns the favor and appears at Time for Love with a post that deals with a very important topic — large-animal rescue. Although there are some graphic elements, please read her post. I share her hope that readers might be moved to help in any way possible.


Large Animal Disaster Rescue

by F. J. Thomas


horseLost Betrayal, a story about a woman who loses her ranch and her horse to a tornado, came out in early March of this year. I’m often asked what inspired me as an animal lover to write such a horrific story that includes such graphic details as a horse that’s been skinned alive.

The short answer is surprisingly simple yet one that few people are aware of – large animal disaster rescue. In any disaster, large animals are the last to be rescued.

Years ago, when hurricane Floyd hit the coast of the Carolinas I was indirectly involved in getting much needed supplies to some vets in the disaster area. It was through that experience that I learned what can happen physically and mentally to any large animal that goes through that type of experience.

One of the horses that the supplies were intended for was an aged stallion that was only survivor of the farm. The stallion and two mares were in the water for three days because there was not enough help to rescue them. One mare drowned the second day. The other mare died of exhaustion immediately upon being brought to dry land.

Because he’d been in contaminated water for three days, the skin on the stallion’s legs was sloughing off and he was badly infected. Well-meaning but unknowledgeable people gave him antibiotics for the infection which immediately caused a reaction and the stallion was blinded. That story has stayed with me all these years and was the original inspiration for Lost Betrayal and has been re-kindled every time I see a disaster in a rural area.

Last year, when the tornadoes went through Moore, Oklahoma I was a large barrel race in Ft. Smith, Arkansas. At one point in time, we were under a tornado warning for about three hours that same day. There was no shelter for us or our horses to go to. We just had to ride out the best we could in one of the buildings while our own horses waited in the thin metal sheds and others rode it out in the vinyl temporary stalls in the parking lot. It was pretty scary for a gal from Tennessee who’s not used to tornadoes!

Then the next day, we saw the news and the devastation of the horse farm that had been hit. I knew then I had to finish the book. My heart ached to go help personally, especially since it wasn’t as far as it normally would have been. But I didn’t have the financial resources to just take off and help. Later I did have the opportunity to give to a Jockey fund and to a local vet who was assisting with helping horses injured from the storm.

As I mentioned earlier, large animals of all kinds are the last to be rescued in any disaster. Large animal rescue is not a high priority, it requires a special skill set, and the needs for large animals are something that majority of the public never hears about. While entities such as the Red Cross and the small animal Humane Society do great work to help people and easily rescued animals, large animal efforts often receive no press at all. The graphic needs of large animals are just as important and devastating to watch go unmet. Not everyone has the skills to rescue a thousand pound animal that is scared and can’t be reasoned with.

My hope in writing Lost Betrayal is that through its shocking details, it brings to light the reality of the plight of large animals in a disaster and that people will start seeking out ways to help. At the current time, large animal rescue groups are loosely organized. Hopefully with more awareness these small groups will be able to grow to meet the large animal needs that arise from tornadoes, floods, and fires.
ThomasAn active barrel racer and horse show judge, F.J. Thomas lives with her husband on her small horse farm in east Tennessee. When she’s not working at her regular job in healthcare, she’s either writing the next book or riding the next horse. A cowgirl at heart, she’s written several children’s books and a non-fiction about showing horses, as well as her latest release, Lost Betrayal which is available on Amazon.

Writing blog: http://fjthomasblog.wordpress.com
Horse blog: http://qheventer.wordpress.com/
Farm website: http://www.fairweatherfarmtn.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/fJTHOMASAUTHOR1
Twitter: @F_J_Thomas



Winter Morning in Clark by E M Bannock

From Christina: Almost everywhere in the US, temperatures have been dropping to record lows. Today, author E M Bannock shares winter in Wyoming, writing about a typical morning for her.  


A Winter Morning by E M Bannock

A Winter Morning by E M Bannock


By E M Bannock


I opened my eyes and looked at the clock. It was already five, time to get up. On my way to the bathroom I glanced over at the weather station, minus five, with the wind chill, minus twelve. I shivered and got dressed in a hurry. I walked into the living room and sat down next to the wood stove. I ran my hands over it to see if there was any warmth left. I detected only a slight heating but it was enough. Looking inside I could see a few hot coals in the back. I used the poker to bring them up to the front and put a couple of pieces of small kindling on them. As soon as I closed the wood stove door I could see sparks flying around and the coals glowing red.

It was time to tend to the dogs that were already hovering around. “Who wants to go pee-pee outside?” I asked as all three raced to the front door. When I opened the door a whoosh of cold air and blowing snow hit me in the face. The dogs raced out barking as they romped in the snow. The kindling in the fireplace had flamed, and I put a few logs on top to build a roaring fire. By now the dogs were ready to come back in and have breakfast and morning treats.

I filled up the coffee pot and got it ready for the guys so when they woke up for work they just had to flip the switch. I’d make my tea after I showered. I headed downstairs to my special room and meditated.

When I came upstairs I suited up for the cold with my below zero hat, scarf, Carhartt pants and jacket, boots and two pair of gloves, one pair for warmth and a thinner pair to wear while I fed the horses. The dogs knew what was going on and they were anxious. I had to put a doggie coat on Jenna ‘cause she is short haired and gets very cold, but mostly because she is a baby. Suzie, a Black Lab, loves the cold. Shadow, Suzie’s daughter, preferred to snuggle downstairs in bed with her master, my son.

We walked outside and the cold hit me like a sobering splash of cold water. I breathed it in and felt it down in my lungs. I looked up. The moon was crescent but shining bright. I could see the Milky Way blazing across the sky. I saw a falling star and made a wish.

The snow crunched beneath my feet as I walked out toward the barn. I let out the whistle that told the horses I’m coming and it’s time to eat. I heard Doc whinny back. I opened the barn door and turned on the lights. The fluorescent’s flickered and glowed dimly. It was so cold that it took time for them to brighten. As I filled the horses feed bins I saw that their backs were frosty and so were their whiskers and eyelashes. I talked to them softly as I gave them their various morning feeds.

On my last horse chore, giving the horses their Horse Candy treats, I detoured to the chicken coop and opened up the gate so that they could free range. I saw the red glow of their heat lamps from the window. I called out to them, “Morning, girls.” A few answered back. I smiled.

On my way back to the barn I called out to the dogs and asked, “Who’s a good girl that needs a treat?” They both came running and sat in front of me. I made them shake and gave them each a Horse Candy and said, “Let’s go inside, girls.” Jenna took off running a hundred miles an hour. Suzie just meandered her old bones back with me trailing behind.

The snow was glistening like a field of diamonds as I made my way back to the house. I could see the moon reflected on the creek water as it rushed past its icy banks, its sound assaulting the still morning quietness. I looked around and lavished in the peace and tranquility of our homestead and said a quite prayer of thanks that I was lucky enough to live in this piece of heaven on earth.

E M Bannock has loved reading for as long as she can remember. For her, writing stories seemed like a natural progression. 

Here’s how she describes her experience as an author:

 I often thought about being an author but after graduation life got real serious and I had to get a paying job. Life happened and my dream was put on the back burner. In 1997, I had an inspiration to write my first book, “Totally Devoted.” I tried to get it published but was unsuccessful. A year or so ago certain life events happened that allowed me the opportunity to pick it up again. I began researching self-publishing. I revamped my book and can now proudly say I am a published romance author. The experience has been a wonderful ride so far, although self-promotion is proving to be a challenge. It has opened up a whole new world and I’ve made a lot of friends. I have found that fellow romance authors are a friendly bunch willing to share.