Saturday, May 28, 2011

Whoever Said Winning Isn't Everything

Yesterday was one of those days you wish had never happened. It wasn't that there was more horrific tragedies ... it was a day lost in confusion and pain. It was simply gorgeous weather going into this holiday week-end. The first races of the season started at Ruidoso Downs, and it should have been such a productive day. But it wasn't.

After a bad night I woke up very ill but by noon a migraine had started in earnest as I tried to figure out any method to find help to get this single wide and barn finished, and no matter what I did the migraine was going to get a whole lot worse before it got better.

At the Lazy J Jan and I discussed every single topic under the face of the earth. Marketing horses in an economy that isn't showing any sign of recovery, the state of the economy, the state of the horse industry, life, careers, hopes, dreams, disappointments... and growing old .... but as I drove away I realized that I had not asked her the most important question. "Did she speak to her electrician friend about the problem I have getting electricity to my property?"

I returned back to the shed and managed to pay my insurance policy on the phone late yesterday afternoon before crawling into bed so deathly ill I wanted to scream. By 2 am this morning I was wide awake, but still violently ill with my stomach churning over and tunnel vision.

I know that I have to find a way to get this single wide renovated and electricity onto that land but for the life in me I don't know how.

Another horse died yesterday of EHV-1 and it's causing serious concern for everyone, including myself.

Horse dies from equine herpes virus

Updated: Friday, 27 May 2011, 12:12 PM MDT
Published : Friday, 27 May 2011, 12:04 PM MDT

LAS CRUCES (KRQE) - A Bernalillo County horse died Thursday from a dangerous and spreading viral disease that now appears to have infected a horse in Torrance County, the New Mexico Department of Agriculture reported Friday.

“Two horses in central New Mexico have died from the virus. One horse in Lea County has recovered and two in the state are still ill,” State Veterinarian Dr. Dave Fly said in a statement released by NMDA. “All cases being reported involve horses already placed in one of the three quarantined facilities we have in the state.”

The outbreak of equine herpes virus EHV-1 and equine herpes virus myeloencephalopathy EHM is believed to have started with horses that attended the National Cutting Horse Association Championships in Ogden, Utah, earlier this month. A tot

Fifteen horses from New Mexico attended the show.

“Although the horses that attended the show have been quarantined for several days, there is still a threat of secondary exposures that may have occurred at other events or by horses that have not yet been identified,” Fly said. “We believe that an additional seven to 10 days is needed before normal equine movement is recommended.”

Horse owners in New Mexico have been urged to limit travel to help limit exposure. The New Mexico Livestock Board also recommends that major or large equine events be canceled for the next ten days.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports the number of cases of the virus more than doubled over the last week to 75 confirmed cases. Eleven horses have been euthanized and another 17 show symptoms of the neurological problems that often lead to death, according to USDA.

And when you don't believe that anymore heartbreak can shake your foundation, yet another story just takes hold of your heart and doesn't let go..

Children orphaned by tornadoes carry on, and grieve

PHIL CAMPBELL, Alabama (Reuters) - Five-year-old Garrett LeClere survived the devastating twister that struck Phil Campbell, Alabama on April 27 with two broken arms and a fractured skull.
His parents did not make it. Rescuers searched for a day before finding the bodies of Jay and Amy LeClere beneath the rubble of their home.

"They are with Jesus," Garrett told Reuters this week.

Many children lost loved ones in the killer tornadoes that carved up 610 miles of Alabama last month and left 238 dead. Though there is no official state count, a Reuters review of storms victims' obituaries found that at least eight young people were completely orphaned.

For those children, it will take years to process their experience and realign with their new normal, experts said.

"The trauma is deep. The wound is deep. Being orphaned is what we call a forever loss," Dr. Jane Aronson, Chief Executive of Worldwide Orphans Foundation, said on Friday.

"You cannot tell them when to heal, and that can take a very long time."

Fundraising efforts are underway in St. Clair County, Alabama, to help three sisters who lost their parents and other relatives in a twister there.

Cicely Sanders, a 21-year-old college student, plans to care for her younger sisters, ages 14 and 18, said Kandy Smith, a retired teacher leading the effort to raise money.

The 18-year-old Sanders daughter remains hospitalized with a shattered pelvis.

Cicely "says a house isn't a home without a mom and dad, but is holding up her head and doing her best," Smith said.


Young disaster survivors often gain compassion and a higher level of moral development, said Andy McNiel, executive director of the Children's Hospital's Amelia Center in Birmingham, which specializes in trauma counseling.

But they are at a high risk for drug abuse, promiscuity and mental illness down the road if they do not properly work through their grief, McNiel said.

"Children are keen observers but poor interpreters, and there is no snake oil to take away grief," he said.

Guilt is common, though some children do not quickly express their feelings.

Young Garrett LeClere does.

"I feel sorry for my parents," he said. "They wasted their lives saving me."

There was room enough in the family bathtub for only Garrett and his sister to weather the storm in Phil Campbell. The boy remembers the tub spinning and being lifted before he landed hard 200 yards from his leveled home.

"I heard myself scream really loud. The hurt was really painful," he said.

His screams saved his life. A volunteer fire chief found Garrett covered in blood and mud and carried him in the back of a pickup to a hospital, where he remained for eight days.

Jeff McCormick, another volunteer fireman and the father of Garrett's two half-siblings, heard rumors of a rescued 5-year-old John Doe when he arrived at the LeClere home to assist in the search for his injured daughter, ex-wife and her husband.

With some persistence, he cracked through privacy laws to locate Garrett and obtained a court order to become legal guardian of the blue-eyed, blonde-haired boy.

McCormick, a truck driver, and his current wife have taken off work since the storm to care for Garrett. In his new home last week, the child played with a new brother, hardly slowed by the blue casts on his arms.

His 13-year-old sister watched nearby, the storm scars on her face and arms still visible. She had delivered the news to Garrett about his parents.

"He is doing real good," McCormick said. "He has his moments where he will break down and cry for 15 minutes. He takes comfort in thinking Jesus needed more angels, and his parents are looking out for him from heaven."

Out of the ashes of misery, a little hope emerges..

Pup With Broken Legs Crawls Home After Surviving Tornado

A puppy crawled home with two broken legs after being thrown high into the air by a tornado that ripped through Alabama.

Mason, a terrier mix, was feared dead after the storm but was found two weeks later by his owners in the wreckage of their home.

"This is probably the most dramatic we've seen as far as an injury in an animal that's survived this long," said Phil Doster at Birmingham Jefferson County Animal Control shelter, who is caring for Mason following surgery. The shelter has dealt with hundreds of pets hurt by the storms.

"For an animal just to show up on someone's porch after this time was pretty remarkable, especially with the condition he's in."

Mason has become a minor celebrity, and has a Facebook page with more than 1,200 friends.

I think we are drawn to dogs because they are the uninhibited creatures we might be if we weren't certain we knew better. They fight for honor at the first challenge, make love with no moral restraint, and they do not for all their marvelous instincts appear to know about death. Being such wonderfully uncomplicated beings, they need us to do their worrying. ~ - George Bird Evans