Carseland, Alberta,Canada

After living in Calgary for many years we moved to Carseland, just east of the city, in 2007,and have come to appreciate it's beauty and peacefullness so much since moving in. The air is fresher, and , other than the CP trains that run behind our home, it is a quieter way to live. So much has happened, and changed , since we moved out here. We arrived with two dogs, Candy and Abby and now have two cats, Shadow, and Mimsy; two dogs Abby and Lucky (Candy passed away) and three miniature horses , Silver, Koko and Babe. Oh, and, we have a pet gopher named Goophy. He was a 'gift' , at a very young age, from Mimsy.
We had no intention of keeping him, but, David checked 'google' (the all wise and all knowing Google) and it said that , unless one returns a 'found' gopher to it's correct family, it could suffer a disgusting death. Well, then, he had to stay didn't he???
Now, he lives the life of riley in an old , large, rabbit cage. He gets fresh greens (from the yard..dandelions when in season and stuff like that) as well as cheese, (he loves his slice of cheese) a handful of cereal (cornflakes, cheerios etc.) sometimes a grape or two,bits of cookies,slices of banana etc. He is more spoiled than our 'real' domestic pets. Go figure. How long will he live? Damned if we know. Oh, yes, he 'owns' the room his cage is, he gets to run around it a few times a day...and we are hard pressed to stop him digging , again, into the couch!! Yes, we do ask ourselves over, and over.........WHY??????
The sad thing is though, that our Goophy has gained a lot of weight over this past year. I guess it is a case of lots of food, especially things a gopher would not, normally, have access too. Yes,in spring,summer and fall, he gets fresh dandelions etc. However, that stuff just doesn`t grow during the winter months. He does not get the excercise he would if he lived outside, and sometimes, he looks like a pillow..and that isn`t good. We just try to let him run around the room, outside of the cage of course, with our couch covered with a tarp, and wood in the areas he could chew into.

Today, Dec. 10 2016 we went looking for a new product to help with keeping ice-balls from forming on our miniature horses' hooves. It is very difficult to watch them struggle to walk, when ice and snow have, literally, formed a ball under their hooves. It is very hard to remove, and I use , if possible, a hoof pick to hammer at the lump until it loosens, then pry it off. However, lately, because of extreme cold temperatures, that has not proven useful, so I have used a small tack hammer. This has brought some success but the horses do not like it. The sensation of having someone hammer against the sole of their hooves is very unpleasant. Especially for the older two, Silver and Babe.
So, after reading on The Horse (a magazine for Horse Lovers) about a product, initially designed for sled dogs,called Musher's Secret that the magazine said has proven useful , in minimizing ice-balls, we decided to try it. So, I will follow up and write about any successes we have using it.

Well, I have to say that this product worked extremely well on the hooves when the weather was particularly cold, snowy and icy. Normally, the ice build up was so large that it almost looked as if the horses were walking in high heels. (like runway models!). So, I applied Musher`s Secret over each hoof, and particulary on the bottom of the hoof. What happened was that there was no large build up of ice, and what little there was (we had quite a cool winter) was easily removed using a hoof pick. I was very, very pleased with this product and would recommend it, especially for smaller animals with `little`hooves. Now, I did not use it on our dogs simply because neither of them spend enough time outside to accumulate ice..but, certainly would if they were outside for long periods.