Run A Muck Ranch Newsletter: Morty, Hal and Charlie Edition

Apologies From Run A Muck Ranch

It’s been a rough few months here at The Ranch and I haven’t been writing.  Seems the best way to get everyone caught up is to do a series of newsletters to get the whole stories straight without losing people in all the events.  So, without further adeiu, let’s get started with the first topic of woe, Morty, Hal and Charlie.  There aren’t any pictures, but it gets you up to speed:

Mortimer Attacks Horses Again, Vet Threatens to Shoot Him

When Hal’s ear was found torn, it was believed Charlie did it to him, though the two have no history of arguments.  When Charlie’s ear was found torn even worse, there was no doubt, it was caused by a dog.

A 2 foot gap, 4 feet from the ground, and just to the right of the horse feeder in the center stall proved opportunity enough for Morty to practice on Hal, but perfect the technique on Charlie.  Unlike his prior attacks, Morty learned to do this newest maneuver silently.

We thought walling the stalls would be enough...
Morty bit the horses through the gap between the top of the plywood and the top stall bar when the horses had their heads in their feeders.

Despite  walling up the stalls, despite always putting the horses in their stalls before letting the dogs out, and despite never letting Morty out into the back yard without supervision, it became apparent there was no way to keep the 3 separated, and heartbreaking decisions would have to be made, especially in light of the fact that the horses’ veterinarian threatened to shoot Morty if she was ever called out over a bite again.  Old dog/livestock laws still on the books would mean if she did, (though I sincerely don’t think she really would) there would be no legal recourse.   Still, why take the chance.

Mortimer Leaves Run A Muck Ranch

It is with great heartbreak that we have to report that Morty left Run A Muck Ranch.  Living at the end of a chain whenever he went outside was no life for Morty, but that was our only option given he refused to leave the horses alone. That he was able to sneak in a few good bites when we were in the yard with him says 99% supervision on our part when he’s loose wasn’t good enough to keep Hal and Charlie safe.

Morty was rehomed to one of Crabby’s camping buddies, a person Morty knew well.  His dog had passed away 2 years ago and, knowing Morty, he didn’t hesitate to say yes when Crabby asked if he could take him.

No dog receiving the promise that Run A Muck Ranch was his or her permanent home has ever been asked to leave and letting Morty go hurt not just emotionally, but physically.  That said, at least he didn’t go to a stranger, and if the arrangement didn’t work out, he could be immediately returned to The Ranch, an assurance most rehomed dogs don’t get.

When push came to shove, Hal and Charlie have lived at The Ranch longer than any of the current resident dogs, and not before Morty have there been any problems.

Mortimer Returned to Run A Muck Ranch

It only took 4 days before Morty’s inability to adapt to being an only dog and a city dog earned him a ride back to The Ranch.  Morty is pretty emotional and those emotions, clearly missing home, didn’t decrease as the days went by, they increased and it became too much for his new Dad.

All that said, when Morty returned home, he didn’t so much as squeak with joy, rather he acted as if it was no big deal.  Men are all the same.

Hal and Charlie Leave Run A Muck Ranch

Charlie has been family for 20 years, Hal for 10.

When dogs get old and need a home, if they’re lucky, they get picked up by a senior dog rescue and possibly rehomed. If they’re not lucky, they get euthanized in a shelter. But that is still kinder than what happens to an unwanted senior horse.  In their case, buyers pay by the pound, then ship them to Mexico for slaughter.  This being the primary reason few horses in these parts die of natural causes.  It’s just easier to sell them to a killer than keep up with the harder maintenance as a horse ages.

This possibility would be very real for Hal and Charlie, both older, both special needs if Run A Muck Ranch could not keep them.

Through the network of local Morty friends, however, a couple was found who happened to be looking for a horse simply to decorate their yard . They agreed to take both Charlie and Hal so they could stay together.  As a significant safety net, the fabric of friends surrounding the Morty network is so strong that for the new home to try to sell the boys by the pound would cause wide spread damage in relationships  Conversely, that same fabric also prevents The Crazy Dog Lady from becoming a nuisance, constantly checking up on the boys.  It also insures that contact will never be lost, even if a decade passes.

Charlie and Hal are now living in a grass pasture, free from harm from a dog attack, and if ever there comes a day when their new home can no longer keep them, they will return to The Ranch.  Hopefully, that won’t be until Morty is too old to attack.

Unlike Morty who only lasted 4 days away from The Ranch, Hal and Charlie are approaching 2 months with no issues.  Crazy hasn’t emotionally worked up to visit them yet, but others visiting the people of the property have reported back that Hal and Charlie are healthy, happy and seriously digging having live grass to graze on.

Coming Soon: Run A Muck Ranch Newsletter: Vito Edition

9 thoughts on “Run A Muck Ranch Newsletter: Morty, Hal and Charlie Edition

  1. Wow! It looks as though you skipped a few details when we were talking on the phone today! It’s hard to believe that Charlie, especially, is gone. That really must have been tough on you. You gave him the very best of you, and that’s a lot. I’ve got to believe that somehow he, and Hal as well, somehow know that they were very lucky to have encountered you and that they will continue to benefit from your dedication to them. I hope that Morty can calm down a bit now. After all, Dan needs a good camping and hiking buddy. And, somebody has to run the Morty cam. Hang in there. Think positive.

    1. Charlie left twice before, he always comes back 🙂 One way or another he will die old and fat with me at his side. It’s how it’s always been meant to be.

  2. Wow. That’s a lot to process and you’ve had some serious emotions going on. I’m so glad that you were very fortunate to find an adopter for the two horses. I kept my two mares for their entire life and would never have taken them to an auction. You were blessed to find folks who wanted horses for decoration. I know that you would have come up with a solution had you not be able to re-home the horses. Sometimes it takes drastic measures to keep dogs and horses separate but it would have most likely been expensive.

    I’m also very glad that you did not have to attempt to re-home Morty again. He’s a smart dog and who knows, maybe he acted up just to get back to you and home again.

    1. Not an option trying to rehome Morty again. The only reason we let it happen the first time is that it was to a person we’ve known for about 15 years and he and Morty were very familiar. Even then, it was not a happy thing. As far as Hal and Charlie, they actually scared me more than Morty, We got EXTREMELY lucky there was someone else in the friend network who would take Hal and Charlie together.

  3. Glad Hal & Charlie get to stay together, I’m totally blown away they hadn’t kicked Morty into next week. Hopefully everything will all work out and you’ll be able to see the boys again soon in person to make sure all is well. As for Morty, what else can you say? Morty, Morty, Morty. Sigh. Welcome back. You have been missed.

    1. I BEGGED Hal (wears shoes) to break a rib – not a head kick – aim for the ribs – but he never did. I bet that would have nipped the problem in the bud once and for all. Charlie was raised with dogs, and he was barefoot. He never lifted a foot against any of his dog friends so I knew he couldn’t get the job done.

  4. Doing what’s best can rip your heart out. But that’s what you did for Hal and Charlie. That makes you a great Mom. Hugs.

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