Thursday, August 6, 2009
I just wanted to let you all know that our big old wonderful, slightly goofy, St. Bernard died this morning and is resting under one of her favorite spots in the yard. Some of you knew her and a few of you never had the chance to meet her. She was 14, a very very very old age for a ST. B. I had Georgia about 13 years. She was a marvel with the kids when they were young. Eli was only 6 months old when we got her and everyone said we were crazy. I believe some animals come into our lives for a very specific reason. Angles in disguise. Georgia saved Eli from choking to death when he was just barely a year old. When he was walking and would bolt toward the street she took off running with me and usually reached him first snagging him by the seat of the pants or back of the shirt. She never left a mark on him. When Adam would go sledding on the hill out front she was always grabbing the hood of his coat to 'rescue' him if he went down on his belly. No kids face down in the snow on this dogs watch! Big as she was, she loved to ride in the truck. She traveled all over with me to where ever I was headed. She picked up the kids at school or waited on the front porch for the bus to come by and drop them off. She moped the first day of school every fall. As she aged she was not quite as quick and a bit unsteady on her feet sometimes. She starting laying right by the door or near the outhouse so she could she see the front and back doors at the same time. Ever the guard dog. As the farm grew and our visitors become more and more she took on the job of being a hundred pound one dog welcome wagon. When my handicapped kids are here she would lay in the barn isle and keeps watch over everyone. This seemed important to her so I let her. Most of you know my 'no dogs in the barn' rule because of our mule. She was just so old and so tired and ran out of steam. Really, could we ask more of her? I don't think so but I will surley miss her.
Sunday, June 14, 2009
Saturday, February 7, 2009
Friday, January 30, 2009
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ShareThisby Esther MarrDate Posted: January 26, 2009Last Updated: January 29, 2009
Photo: courtesy of Shannon Hahn
When Windswept Lady arrived at Shannon Hahn’s Argyle, N.Y-based Double L Stable Equine Rescue and Sanctuary near Saratoga Springs with her newborn foal, the outlook looked grim for the granddaughter of Triple Crown winner Seattle Slew.Emaciated and weak, the mare had abscesses in both front feet, and her four-month-old colt was more than 100 pounds underweight and suffering from pneumonia. Hahn acted quickly, calling her veterinarian to provide the necessary care for the injured and starving horses, never thinking at the time that their story would someday educate others via a display in the National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame. “Our goal is for (Windswept Lady’s foal) to make a personal appearance at the museum this year,” said Hahn of the colt, who was later named Willie. “Here is this Thoroughbred baby that was supposed to be a big moneymaker (he was a maternal great grandson of Seattle Slew and a paternal grandson of Conquistador Cielo), he almost dies, and ends up here—nobody’s sure if he’s going to live, and now he’s working with at-risk youth and handicapped kids. We’re hoping he will be an ambassador to show people that Thoroughbreds can do anything, especially when they’re done racing.”Unfortunately, after two years, Windswept Lady’s condition deteriorated and she had to be euthanized. The silver lining is that her situation is now being further studied to help future horses with her same condition. “(Windswept Lady) is missed everyday here,” said Hahn. “I never met a stronger mare with so much determination in my 10 years of rescue work. She had a true mother’s love as she was fighting to stay alive for her foal.”Hahn, a specialist in equine neglect and abuse cases, explained how the mare and foal first came to reside at her farm. Windswept Lady had gone through a small, local auction while carrying Willie and was purchased by a person who recognized her pedigree and thought he could make a profit selling her foal.After discovering the mare’s breeding paperwork had never been filed and being unsuccessful in negotiations with the owner of the stallion (Hammer), however, the buyer, who has been charged with corrupt practices involving animals in the past, apparently stopped caring for the two horses.“The mare had abscess in both front feet, and the vet refused to treat her,” said Hahn. “Instead of the abscesses blowing out the back like they normally do, they ate up into her legs and ate the bones out of her feet.” After being bought by a third party, who had heard about the cruel situation, Windswept Lady and her foal were sent to Double L.Hahn’s veterinarian did the best he could to treat the two horses, along with reporting the abuse. Willie, who is now in training to work as a therapy horse, is featured along with Windswept Lady in an exhibit called “Ride On” at the Racing Hall of Fame Museum. Dedicated to racehorse injury and recovery research, the exhibit was inspired by 2006 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) winner Barbaro, who succumbed to laminitis in 2007. Hahn expressed how Double L had been unable to rescue as many horses as usual lately because of the dismal economy. To help keep her operation going, she is asking for members of the horse industry to send a Valentine’s card to its rescued horses with a $1 donation enclosed to LLSERS, 9 Tilford Rd., Argyle, N.Y., 12809. The cards will be hung in the barn for visitors to see, and in March a winner who will receive a $25 gift card to Tractor Supply will be drawn from the card senders.Hahn explained how 15 of the horses at Double L live permanently at the sanctuary. Local handicapped adults, as well as at-risk youth help do the barn work and care for the equine residents. “Everything we do here is based on gifts and donations,” said Hahn. “We have no paid staff. Every cent we raise goes right into the horses’ care. It’s rehabbed horses, rehabbing people. It is a great full circle program.”
Saturday, January 17, 2009
Post Star Article December 2008
By NICK REISMANreisman@poststar.com
Updated: Wednesday, December 3, 2008 6:22 PM EST
ARGYLE — Her cheeks a bright shade of rose, Shannon Hahn bounced around the horse stables and spoke as crisply as the temperature. “I’m probably turning down 12 horses on average, a week,” she said quickly, as a caramel-colored mare nuzzled her. “Oh, hello my dear. They just can’t run fast enough to make people money.”It was a typical Wednesday at the Double L Stable Equine Rescue and Sanctuary — if there is a “typical” day for the Argyle sanctuary for animals that, through abuse, neglect or circumstance, find themselves without a home.Hahn was hosting a group of four high-functioning young adults with disabilities who are part of the Innovations program at Community, Work & Independence (CWI).
The Queensbury-based program is designed to help them become familiar with a work environment, like keeping track of multiple responsibilities.
There weren't a lack of tasks to do on Wednesday, as Hahn’s stables descended into a form of controlled chaos.Horses trotted in from the pastures to happily munch on grains, two cats darted around the barn and a Saint Bernard named Georgia slumped lazily on the floor. Meanwhile, a collection of turkeys and chickens clucked outside, oblivious to the racket inside the barn. Mary Rose Kana, a participant in the program, filled a red plastic scoop with a generous helping of grain and placed the food in a bucket for a horse named Russell.The horse dug his nose into the bucket.
“I love every part of this,” she said. “I love being around animals. When I’m upset or sick, they make me feel better. It just works for me.”Kana works at McDonald’s part-time. She was a little hesitant to work with the large, sometimes unpredictable animals.“I was scared at first,” said Kana as she was sitting in Hahn’s living room, enjoying a warm cup of apple broth near a wood stove. “But I got the hang of it. You have to know what you’re doing.”
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Now the Story
Hoping to recover the photos from my disk and maybe eventually post Vermont photos here!!!
With all due respect to all those Vermonters and New England folks reading I must say phooey! Brian and I have just returned from what is hopefully our last vacation as a family of two. We went to visit our friends from "upstate" New York, Argyle to be exact. Well Brian has been waiting and we have been all just ranting about some things that can be found in Vermont so we scheduled a day to "visit." We found ourselves in what can only be likened to a Griswold adventure in Vermont. There should have been a moose at the Welcome to Vermont sign that said "Sorry folks Vermont is closed on Tuesdays.... and some attractions are closed for the season." We never even gave most of this a thought. Off we went on an hour trek from Argyle to the Vermont Border. The first (and only productive stop) was the Chocolate barn. Here we indulged in way too much sugar and spent a kazillion dollars on chocolate and maple candy. Then off we race for "The Cheese House" only to find a sign in the window that says CLOSED ON TUESDAYS!!! So we are a bit bummed but its just cheese right. So we go of for a light lunch. Next stop..... Hemmings Motor News and Museum. Brian is an avid car fanatic and there is a Mustang (a Shelby GT) on display here. I have stopped on my way to Dog Camp and have told him about the place and he has been jonesing to go. But alas this too was not meant to be.... As the sign in their window said CLOSED FOR THE SEASON!!! The gas station and garage were open for business. I said I was going to walk in and ask if there was any way we could just quickly walk through, but everyone else including Brian just said phooey. So since we are already in Bennington lets go see the revolutionary war memorial. Ok cool...... CLOSED FOR THE SEASON..... At this point we say phooey to everything else and just hit a few local stores. Since everything else is closed. Well one thing Shannon and I enjoy doing is thrift shopping. Ok cool there is a thrift store right on our way home and we KNOW there is a bathroom there and everyone's legs are kind of crossed by this time. So we stop....... BIG SIGN on front of door..... NO PUBLIC RESTROOMS!!! At this point we just all explode in unstopable laughter. There may has well have been a closed on TUESDAYS sign on the door. So we go down the street to the Dunkin Donuts The women's room is LOCKED and no one is in.... So Shannon has Aaron stand guard and uses the men's room. Well she inadvertantly locked the door from the inside and now BOTH bathroom doors are locked!! Aw forget it I was not waiting in line to ask for a key so we head off. Now remind you we are in VERMONT... The night before we were sledding with the kids and Ripley decided to find his herding instinct. He herded the blow up snowtube straight down the hill grabbed it and POP.... That was the end of the snow tube. So I said I would buy a new snow tube. We are in Vermont there is snow and hills everywhere!! Should be easy right? NOT!!! No snow tubes or sleds of any kind to be found in the state of New York or Vermont. Guess the kids there need some cardboard boxes. With tales tucked we head home. Shannon runs a Horse Rescue and she always takes the time to stop in at local shelters when she passes any. Especially if they are small and private run. So we pull up at 3:30 in the afternoon to Second Chance Dog and Cat rescue which I think was somewhere just outside of Arlington before the Vermont/NY state line. Well the big red white and blue open sign was still out front so we pull in to the small front lot. As we do a woman walks out. Shannon gets out greets the woman as the woman proceeds to remove the open flag and tell Shannon in a pretty gruff voice.... "we close at 3:30 on TUESDAYS!!! Shannon asked if she could just take a quick look around. Which was met by a stout NOPE you can come back tomorrow.... OK no donation for you. So sad maybe we both would have left a few bucks donation for this small facility!!! Not a good way to do business.Anyway we head to the Vermont border. I ask to stop and get a photo of the Vermont sign so I can photo shop it and put a closed sign through it or something appropriate for our day. We do,I stop, no big deal. But once I got back to the house to try to download the few photos I actually did get for the day...... ALL THE FILES ARE CORRUPT!!!! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAASo much for our day in Vermont..... I will try a few things to repair the photos but I am not promising anything. Next time Brian goes with me to visit We will call the STATE of VERMONT first and ask if by any chance the borders are CLOSED for the DAY. Maybe the whole state of Vermont went south for the winter!!!!!