Friday, January 18, 2008


This is Little Miss Maggie, a miniature mule, our very first sanctuary equine and the reason we started to rescue.

Maggie spent her first 3 years in a little pen with her mother, with the neighbor kids throwing rocks at them, which the owners did nothing to stop.
Someone brought her to our friends who rescue large equines and love mules, but the trauma of the move caused Maggie to distrust them from the start. Even sitting in her pen reading aloud for hours didn't help - Maggie continued to stand watchfully in the far corner.
We asked to try with her, and with a little advice from our friends, managed to catch her within a few minutes, and she walked with me on the lead rope. They were amazed that we had gotten farther in 15 minutes than they had in months, but as we have come to learn, mules are famous for two things - they don't forget...and they don't forgive.
Luckily we got her in the trailer without too awfully much trouble and when we got home, penned everybody except Lily out of the pasture. We unloaded Maggie carefully, watching that they didn't fight as we brought her in, and then let her off the lead. Lily trotted right up to see what this was, and it was instant bonding - noses sniffed, Lily turned and walked away, and Maggie was her shadow from that moment forward. (Here's Lily)
We continued to work with Maggie and were picking her feet in about a week. Now we even trim her feet - with the greatest of care! When startled she backs up and even though she is small, she can drag two adults! She slowly got better, although she still preferred treats through the fence - or if you were in the pen, she stood behind Lily and took the treats over her back. But when she heard the others crunching, she came right over for her share. After a year, Maggie would approach directly for treats, without having a safety barrier in between! And after another six months Maggie began to approach for love only, no treats necessary! She only stayed a few seconds but we were happy for any progress!
Thankfully not as horribly traumatic as some rescue stories, since she was physically ok, it's still heartbreaking that she has so much distrust for humans because of her early treatment. It will take more than just a few months to overcome years of abuse. Time and patience are the keys. Maggie has seemingly appointed herself as the "nanny" of the group. No matter who leaves the pen, she watches for them to come back, and checks them carefully upon their return.
Maggie will stay here in sanctuary and will never be harmed again. Thank you Hal and Jean for giving her a chance!
We have quite a few equines now that were rescued, either by us or friends, that will be here in sanctuary permanently.
- Katie was rescued starving at auction (thanks to Dick Chapman!)
– Skeye’s mother was rescued pregnant from the kill buyer or she would never have been born (thanks to Yvette Molina!)
– Holly was purchased from people who had not worked with her at all, she didn’t even have a name until we brought her home (thanks Randy for letting me get her, and my mom Erika Meyer-John for sponsoring her care!)
– Betty Jean was bought in poor condition from a not-nice place with her baby Betty Lou and already pregnant again with Susie Q (thanks to Diane Marino!)
Betty Jean above... Susie Q and Betty Lou below
– Wiley was bought at auction in poor condition (thanks to Shawna Brown for hooking us up with her neighbor who bought him!)
– Destiny came from Canada through a PMU foal rescue (thanks Grammy Erika for buying her for Hilary!)
- and Eve's mom, Bella, who has since been adopted, was bought in very poor condition from the family after her owner passed away (thanks Maureen!)

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