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SS Native Kasha, Daisy and Gypsy Rose
fly in the Boeing 747 to Germany!
Daisy in Quarantine
April 7th, 2005
Last October I received an email from Susanne and Horst in Germany. They were looking for a couple of Curly mares as their daughter, Lisa, has horse allergies! They decided on SS Native Kasha, our blue roan filly out of our thoroughbred mare by Wyo Cody and Daisy with her Daughter Gypsy Rose. Kasha was bred to Charming Prince and Daisy is hopefully bred to SS Walcurly Winchester. Daisy is pictured above in our quarantine facility. All of the horses spend 30 days in quarantine prior to delivery. Here they received their vaccinations, Coggins tests and Federal Veterinarian Inspections.
Wednesday March 28th I am up at 6 AM and must go to work for 7:30 in the morning, I leave work at 4 PM our time (midnight in Germany) and we load up the horses at 6 PM to head for Calgary. Fill up their hay nets and load the water and bucket for the flight. Their front legs are wrapped with vet wrap to protect them just in case the step on themselves. Arrive in Calgary at 10 PM. Here is Kasha and Gypsy taking their last drink of water in Canada.
Daisy waiting patiently inside the trailer. The box stall is being prepared for the horses. Each stall has a bumper guard at the front and will be filled with shavings. We hang the haynets a the front of the stalls. There is a little door on the side at the front that I crawl through to check the horses and give them water during the flight.
We take the horses into the quarantine facility out beside the tarmac. The forklift arrives to maneuver the crate. We back up to the crate and the ramp is positioned. Kasha is loaded on the left, then Gypsy on the right. We fill all the haynets and the horses are settled. The flash in the middle of the picture above is the reflective coating of Donís coat.
The fork lift then takes the crate to the scale where everything is weighed. I guessed we would have a weight of around 3,100 and it was 3,300. Wasnít far out as the hay bales weighing and additional 325 lbs.!
Then we are finally off to load into the plane. This was the first time that our horses have entered the plane via the nose! It was very exciting to watch. Normally we go into the belly of the plane through the side. The horses are transferred from the dolly onto the scissors jack then raised up to the loading platform. From there they are rolled into the plane.
The entire floor of the plane is full of little wheels and switches. The controllers can maneuver any container to the exact position they want from controls on the walls. After it is in position it is latched and double latched to the floor. This trip the horses are directly behind the stairs to the upper deck where I sit. So during the flight I just have to walk down the stairs, lift the tarp at the front of the crate and I can check on the horses. The door for entry is just on the side. The first picture is looking out the nose of the plane waiting for the horses arrival.
Arrive in Luxembourg!
Arrive in Luxembourg!. The Boeing 747 is ready for unloading. It is 19:30 local time on Thursday. Plane was 2 hours late, not bad for a cargo plane. The crew maneuvers the crate out of the nose of the plane. The horses are all calm. No one is moving and everyone is very relaxed.
Out they come onto the scissors jack and onto the ground.
They are transported to the quarantine facility. Each horse has their own stall waiting for the vet to come and do his inspections. The vet arrived very quickly. The trucker is here ready to load so we load the horses immediately. I am always amazed that the horses will walk up the ramp for these vans. They have never seen anything like it in Canada. Itís a bit scary for them to walk up such a step incline with no sides and then have to turn at the top. But every horse follows me faithfully without any hesitation. One glitch at the airport, they lost my luggage and it took us 1 Ĺ hours to find it all. We are finally ready to depart LUX at 22:00. The first driver does not speak English, but we manage with my limited German. It was pouring rain and pitch black and not a fun ride at all.
We arrive in Mulheim at 3 AM Friday. I understood that it was a 5 or 6 hour ride to Sussane and Horstís. So I think we must be there after travelling for 5 hours. When the new driver arrives I ask him how much further an he tells me another 5 hours!! Iím pretty tired by this point as I have been up for 32 hours. We depart and pass through Bremen at 7:15 AM and arrive at our final destination at 8 AM Friday morning
Everyone is there to greet us and see the new horses. The driver must back his rig into their yard. This looks impossible to me, but he does it exactly. The ramp is lowered and we are ready to unload!
First comes Daisy. Here legs are wobbly and she is not sure about the steep incline to walk down. She shakes herself and whinnies to the others. Lisa is coming with a full bag of carrots to welcome the new family members.
Then comes Kasha. Her legs are really wobbly. Itís all she can do to stay upright on the ramp.
Gypsy has been calling her buddies. She is very happy to finally make the final descent.
The horses are lead through the yard, through the small pasture and let loose in the field.
FIRST thing Daisy does is roll. She is so happy to be free! She then takes off at a flat out run to join the other two girls. This is their first taste of freedom in 37 days!! I had advised them to take their 28 year old gelding out before we turned the mares loose as he had not been feeling to well lately and we did not want any accidents.
Mr. Karl-Heinz cleans out his van before joining us for breakfast. We then go to their other pasture and retrieve the old boy. He is very wise and stands his ground when all the new girls come to check him out
Daisy is wondering why she in solitaire! It was a perfect plan. Kasha and Gypsy did not even care about the other horse. Was interesting once Daisy was returned. She would keep sending Gypsy out to fend off the "intruder". Very interesting to see them all interrelating. Lisa bonded almost immediately with Gypsy. Lisa is so thrilled that she can be around the curlies with her horse allergies!!!!
Daisy would feign complete indifference, but watching the entire time. Susanne Reports that Daisy and her old boy are now companions. We hope it will give him a reason to live and that he will fell better and have many more good years. He sure does not look 29, does he!
When I entered my room I was greeted with fresh flowers and a beautiful Easter arrangement. I LOVE chocolate, so could not have had a better welcoming! The window at the end of the bed looks out over the field with the horses. It was a perfect room, could not have been better. Also the window in the kitchen looks out over the horses. Susanne told me that every morning the horses are standing by the fence waiting for the kitchen light to come on.
I was treated to a visit to an old grinding mill. We do not have anything like this in Canada. It was huge! And the grinding stones must have weighed a ton.
We also visited the North Sea!! I was able to walk around and look for sea shells which Lisa collected and late presented to me, all washed and in a cute little box. I believe this is called the Watt, if Iím wrong Iím sure someone will correct me!! They tell me you can walk for 20 kilometers when the tide is out to a little island. It was raining and foggy when we were there so we could not see very much. Many people die every year when the head out into the water, the fog and tide comes in and they do not know which direction to go and they drown.
The sea floor is covered in a brown silt, so your first impression is that it looks like home. But when you brush away the surface there is a black sand/clay beneath. Little worms make delicate formations on the sea floor.
They dig a trench for the fishing boats to come into port. We certainly made the most of every minute. Late Friday night we were back out with the horses. They were all happy to laze around.
Saturday morning Daisy IS TIRED! She is content to just relax. Kasha isnít going far without Daisy. Gypsy had been sent to ward off the intruder.
Gypsy is back for a back rub. This is their old barn, built in 1840!!!
Their house is typical for the area. As is the yard set up. An enclosed area surrounded but the buildings. There is a hidden treasure in the shop. An original, vintage car!
Time to leave! One photo for memories with their Ridge Back dogs. We stop at the museum on our way to the train station. This is Horst sitting side saddle!
The horse museum and the train station of Bremen. The train is scheduled to depart at 16:44 and arrive Mainze just before 22:00.
One final goodbye from the train. It was a very heart warming visit for me to meet such a gentle and caring family. I felt welcome from the initial "hello" and had a super visit.
To see Prospector and Austin
Karen and Marian picked me up at the train at 22:00 and we headed straight to see Austin and Prospector. The horses look super! I have never seen Austin with so much wave to his coat. I really like the picture with Marian silhouetted with Prospector. We sit up looking at pictures and visiting until 2 AM!!
Prospector is lame, looks like he stepped on a rock, so we go for a walk with the horses. Marian is awesome with Prospector. So trusting (both of them!). He lays the rope across Prospectors neck and he follows like a loyal puppy dog along the trail. Thereís a major road at the bottom of the hill and other horses being ridden by, but Prospector stays close to his master.
Can you see the lush velvet pattern on Austinís coat! He has really darkened in colour. Karen has him doing a complete bow now and fetching the ball at the trot!
Yes Austin! You are cool!!
Off to see Cjura and Whitney
Karen and Marian take me to Dagmarís Monday morning. Above right is SS Miss Klondike Kitty (Cjura). SS Misty Whitney is coming out of the barn. Dagmar advises me that she has been chatting with a lady that has extreme horse allergies, named Dawinia (pronounced Davina) and she will be arriving to talk about curlies. She had tested herself with Cjura and Whitney and was amazed that her allergies did not flare up and she did not break out in her normal rash of blisters.
Hereís the whole family! Dagmar, Karen, Cjura, Whitney, Marian, Bernard and Anna! The red rock is directly across from Dagmarís driveway. There are many parts of Germany with this beautiful rock. Davina arrives with her mom and she is very excited to hear about Canada and the Curlies. Show her pictures of our newest babe. She says we should name her Davina! Tell her that she is one of our thoroughbred babies and we name them SS Palís Native ???. Then she is very excited. Her last name is pronounced Nautice! So our new babe is now called SS Palís Native Davina.
Sunday evening we travel into Homburg to a very ancient castle (started in 1911!!) Awesome view of Homburg from the top. The castle was bombed during the war (as was most of the area), but there is enough left to get a feel for itís magnitude in its prime. It was huge , with underground caves that the local villagers hide in during air raids. The walls are very think with many different rooms. I always wonder how they were able to construct such magnificent architectural masterpieces way back then, especially when todayís buildings are match stick boxes in comparison.
Anna is taking English in school and presents me with a folder full of pages of German/English translations. She has hand written MANY words and I am grateful for this thoughtful gift. Angelika arrives at 7 PM Monday night from Northern Germany with two of our new Russian Siberian Forest cats. Then Gabrielle (SS Walcurly Nakitaís new mom) arrives to take me to Nonwieller. We visit the horses for a minute and then on the road again.
Just before we leave (20:00) we go out for one last look at the horses. Bernard has noticed a swelling under Whitneyís belly. He calls the vet and we await his arrival. The vet says Whitney has bronchitis! Never heard of a horse swelling there for that before. He gives her some antibiotics and some follow up medicine and everyone is happy.
Off to see Nakita's new family.
Warm, friendly, caring, extremely accommodating, such was my feeling upon entering the home of Gabrielle. Pictured with their gorgeous Red papered German shepherd. Her husband and son plus the 13 dogs (they breed shelties), 2 puppies, 5 cats, 6 finches, 3 ducks, chickens and tropical fish make a very happy home! A super of pizza is ready by midnight and off to bed for a much needed (all be it short) sleep. Then up at 7 to meet Astrid who brings the last Siberian cat (Denise, a seal point) from Southern Germany at 9 AM. Nakita should be heading there in a few months. We sent some hair sample to Gabrielle last winter. Her son has allergies and she was very thrilled when she found out about the Curlies!
The cats all get to meet each other and the puppies. We must be at the airport for noon so Gabrielle cooks us an awesome pork tenderloin lunch and off we go.
We arrive at the airport, the plane is scheduled to depart at 14:30. Upon check in we are told that we were suppose to be their 6 hours early! Nobody ever told me this, after much discussion we realize that the cats will not be able to fly with me. Iím devastated, what will I do with four cats! Gabrielle very generously offers to take the cats back to her home. What would I have done without their kindness?? Then they tell me that I cannot get on the plane. I as the lady how long till I cannot board. She says the plane is sealed already. I tell her I MUST be on the plane! I have to run upstairs to phone my agent, payphones only us cards in Germany, no change, finally contact the office, my agent is on holidays, his assistance is away, nobody knows anything about my flight. Finally talk with Dominique. Tell him my dilemma and he says I cannot get on the plane. I tell him the lady at the desk said they would hold it for 5 minutes. He says he must make a call. I tell him to call the front desk when he is done and I run back down to the counters. When I get their they tell me to RUN to the gate. I must leave Gabrielle standing in the middle of the airport with all my cats without much of a grateful goodbye! What a way to make friends, eh! I finally get on the plane and we are set to go.
The pilot tells me that he was told I cancelled the flight. Strange how things get turned around. We land in Los Angeles around 12 hours later. I cannot sleep and I know I am going to be tired. Arrive LA and Iím told there are new rules now, I must find my way back from clearing customs (which is crazy as I am only touching down in the States) which is about a mile and a half from the cargo area. Clear customs and I try to find a taxi. Get one and he takes 20 minutes to make my credit card work. I donít know what his problem was, but he swiped my card at least 100 times and phoned his boss to figure out how to use his machine. Iím panicking, if I miss this flight the next Cargolux flight is not until Friday!! I tell him to just give me my card back and Iíll get another taxi. He does not speak English! Iím running out of time (and patience) He finally gets it to work and we are off. Then I realize he does not know where he is going. Thankfully I got the cell phone number from Cargolux and I get them on the phone (had the wrong area code) and they come and meet us.
Arrive in Calgary at 7:30 AM Thursday Europe time. So that is 11:30 PM our local time. Now I must drive myself home to Edmonton, 3 hours and be up for work in the morning!
Ahh, the peaceful life of a person with horses!