We welcomed Dorothy and Blanche (the Golden Girls, despite their dark coloration) into our herd last week, two ladies both seized by Pierce County Animal Control (they met for the first time on the trailer ride to SAFE, but were fast friends).

Dorothy is a 22 year old OTTB who, if we decoded her faded lip tattoo accurately, was born as ‘Jazz’n Off’ in 2001. She ran only once, at Portland Meadows, but decided that life as a race horse was not for her, as she stopped mid-way through the race. Her history becomes hazy after that, with no website keeping track of all that happened between the time she did not make it to the finish line to the time Pierce County Animal Control picked her up, nearly 20 years later, thin as a rail and in terrible shape. With a body condition score of 2, she would need to be put on a re-feeding program, something that is not only slightly nerve-wracking, but incredibly consuming as well, with small meals needing to be fed throughout the entire day (and sometimes through the night). Dorothy also had abscessing on all four feet, with her fronts being the worst offenders. She also was displaying signs of a UTI, which are uncommon in horses, but given the structure of Dorothy’s anatomy, seemed inevitable for her. But thanks to the great team at Tacoma Equine alongside her foster and the folks at Pierce County, Dorothy was able to get the help she needed. She was given a dental, and put on a more manageable grain diet when it was revealed she had a chronic wave mouth. She was seen by the farrier multiple times to help get her feet into better shape. She was given antibiotics for her infection and a few stitches to help keep manure out of places it shouldn’t be. She put on weight, and was given the care she had been previously denied. And this all before she stepped of the trailer at SAFE! We are, once again, so grateful for the PCAC and the wonderful fosters they work alongside — Dorothy’s case was one that required a hefty degree of management and time, but they did not give up on her. The horse who stepped off the trailer, while not fully rehabbed, was a far cry from the intake photos that Animal Control sent to us.

It just so happened that Dorothy’s intake coincided with a week when both our vet and farrier would be out. This sweet mare made these appointments a breeze. Despite the unfortunate condition of her feet (an improvement from where they had begun, but still a ways from healthy), Dorothy was a trooper for the farrier. It would have been more than understandable if she was to protest having her hooves handled, but she remained patient and kind throughout the trim. We put her in some nice cushy cloud boots for turnout with an artimud packing to help protect and heal her soles, and the addition of this extra cushion has really improved her comfort level.

Her chronic wave mouth will need further management, but she arrived at SAFE up to date on her vet care. The only thing left to do was remove the caslicks that had been placed to help prevent manure from entering into her vulva, causing further urinary tract issues. Despite being new to the barn and the property, she was a very brave lady.

Dorothy’s kind eye challenges you not to fall in love with her, and if it really is a challenge, then it’s one we are happy to fail. We look forward to continuing to nurse this lovely mare into the healthy and happy version of herself we know she can be!