Faith made it through the night with no incidents, and we are more positive than ever that she is on the road to recovery. She greeted me at her door this morning, awaiting more food, even though she still had a least a flake left over from the night before. I refilled her water buckets and let her eat her breakfast while I tended to the others.
A wonderful, kind-hearted woman from a neighboring town was scheduled to come and meet Faith this morning. She was kind enough to donate to the "Saving Faith" fund with our primary veterinarian, and I looked forward to meeting and thanking her in person. The emails that she had sent me since the rescue occured were ones of concern and support. Anytime Faith was having an issue, she was the first to give me words of encouragement. She was also the first of Faith's angels to pay her a visit.
Norma showed up around 9am and I introduced her to the mare who I was sure would win her over. Faith immediately greeted her, saying thanks in her own special way. I pulled her out of her stall and put her on the crossties to begin my morning routine of pulling her blankets back and giving her a good grooming. Norma patted Faith and gave her a peppermint candy. (Food of any kind given to Faith means that she can trust a person; peppermint candies seal the deal that they're not allowed to leave until their pockets are emptied.) I chit chatted with Norma about her recovery, similiar incidents of neglect in the area, and more. It was a relieving feeling to know that others supported the difficult task I was trying to accomplish. We also discussed plans to convict Faith's previous owner for animal abuse. (More information to follow once we have everything set in motion.)
Shortly thereafter, our good friend Patricia showed up to meet Faith as well as talk with the reporter. Patricia has a strong standpoint on animal rights and has kindly offered her skilled advice so we can pursue the correct routes with filing reports and possibly pursuing this legally. She kindly donated to the "Saving Faith" fund, and Dan and I are extremely humbled by all she has done for us so far.
An hour later was Faith's big moment to shine. Suzanne, a reporter from our local newspaper arrived around 10:30am to interview myself and Patricia and take pictures of Faith. This was a big deal; this story was going to become public and bring light to the terrible situation facing many animals.
I pulled Faith out of her stall and hooked her up to the crossties in the aisle. I began pulling off her blankets and heard gasps by both of the women in the barn. Her condition is bad. I have told people from the start that I didn't believe the pictures did her justice. The reactions of Patricia and Suzanne confirmed that. The next hour consisted of taking pictures and discussing the situation. The article will hopefully be published in next Thursday's paper. I will post the link on their website once it becomes available. Keep your fingers crossed that we make the front page.
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This afternoon Faith had an appointment to see Dr. Barnes at his clinic. I walked her up to the trailer and she stopped, refusing to step on it. It was obvious she didn't want to leave, but it was impossible to convince her that she would be back. With a little coaxing she walked on, still a little shaky on her legs, and headed straight for her hay net. Twenty minutes later, we were at his office and he was examining her for his report. She stood like an angel while he ran his hands over her entire body. He noted similar things that Dr. George and Dr. Robyn had noticed, stating that it was obvious that this was a case of neglect. He suggested dental care as soon as she was able to withstand sedatives in order to better digest her food. We would also schedule radiographs with Dr. George in order to better understand the excessive calcifications she has on her front left pastern.
Dr. Barnes believes that she has a fighting chance, and as long as her internal organs could keep functioning, she will overcome this. I have known Dr. Barnes for years and I trust every word that comes out of his mouth. It was a great relief to hear this from a man I so highly respected. He wished us luck and handed me his signed report. A line from it stated, "upon physical examination, this horse appears to be approximately 300-350 pounds underweight..." We had a long road ahead of us, that was certain.
We were on our way home, and she was eager to return to her stall.