The Golden Carrot - News - November 1999

DEAR PATRONS  OF THE GOLDEN CARROT

This  will be my last newsletter before the Year 2000 rolls around. In addition,  in the near year, I will provide newsletters only to those who either  have e-mail addresses (and provide same to me), or who donate to The  Golden Carrot. I am sorry, but the effort and expense of regular mail  are not justified any longer.

Press  here to receive the newsletters by email -  just provide your email address and mention the mailing list.

VETERINARY  PROBLEMS

I  recently took Red and Josh up to Garner Valley to the home office  of John McConnell DVM of All Creatures Veterinary for much needed dental work. This cost me a bundle - and let's note  that though Dr. McConnell did A LOT OF WORK on them, (these two nut  cases were so worked up at having to leave home that we had to use  SEVERAL shots of tranquilizer to do the needed work) and working on  a Sunday, Dr. McConnell still gave me a DISCOUNT.

The difficulties  I've encountered finding veterinarians who will come to the Golden  Carrot is a little astonishing. I even contacted Dr.  Lisa Pierson, who was my vet when I lived in the Palos  Verdes area. She was willing to come out, but due to the fact that  she would have to be so far from her own practice for probably 2 full  days, the cost was prohibitive and we held her kind offer in mind  while we tried to find a more reasonable alternative. It looks like  we’ll be working with Dr. McConnell, but we should all give Dr. Pierson  credit for her willingness to help.

You  may wonder why I don't use a vet who is closer, from Temecula or Murrietta,  only 1 hour away. Well, my efforts to do that have met with  the invariable and uncompromising response "We don't go to Aguanga".  This is supposedly a bad area, with lots of deadbeats, and I believe  the vets who came here encountered lost time, and effort, and bad  checks. I don't really forgive them, though - I'm not a deadbeat and  hate to be judged by the behavior of others. I offered Dr. Moore and  Dr. Wood, and my feed store, and my farrier as references - but it  made no difference. They don't come to the Aguanga area. OK. Thank  god for Dr. McConnell. Both Dr. Moore and Dr. Wood travel in excess  of 50 miles one way for me - but both are chiropractic specialists,  and busier than one armed paperhangers in a windstorm. In addition,  both do a lot of work in Northern California and Dr. Wood does a lot  of work in Arizona, so they are not really available, or available  for our needs. Thank god for Dr. McConnell.

DONATIONS  - or LACK THEREOF

 I am disappointed  to report that the tax deductible status of donations has made  little, if any, difference in the donations made to the Golden Carrot  for this year. Total donations to date are $1,780.00. It is a shocking  statistic to me thatMORE  THAN HALF of that money comes from TWO individuals - and one of those  DOES NOT have a horse at the Golden Carrot. At last  count, I had 47 entries on my mailing list who either have a horse  at the Golden Carrot, or who have expressed encouragement and an interest  in donating. If each of those potential  donors had sent only $5 per month ($120 per year), the feed bill would  have been covered for all horses for FIVE MONTHS. Now,  that doesn't take into account the other 7 months. It doesn't cover  any farrier expense, or veterinary expense, or cost of lumber and  other materials for stall and paddock repair, or fly masks and spray.  It doesn't begin to consider the labor donated by myself, and Mike  Roth. It would just cover the feed for 5 months. But it would be considerably  more than twice what has been donated this year.

Does  $5 per month seem like so much?

It  means not buying lunch out one day; or giving up one pack of cigarettes  a week; or only buying 2 drinks instead of 3, or just putting your  pocket change in a box every week. And yet, most of the people on  my list donate nothing at all.

I am depressed  by this lack of interest for a number of reasons. Of course, every  penny of the expenses of these horses is paid out of my pocket. On  top of 3 hours of manual labor EACH AND EVERY DAY, just to clean and  feed, and whole weekends devoted to obtaining hay, and hours every  week on the Internet trying to advertise the existence and need of  the Golden Carrot, knowing that every penny I make will be devoted  to these horses is daunting. And I don't dare get sick, or hurt -  who will help them then? In addition, I represented to the IRS that  the Golden Carrot was satisfying a publicly perceived need - I told  them the public supported me. I only have ONE MORE YEAR of my provisional  tax exempt status left. I cannot even show that the interest has stayed  even, let alone grown.

Carol  Cooling (Web Site Designer) has worked wonders developing ways to  donate that are effort free, and some ways to donate that don't even  cost a donor a penny, all to be accessed on our web site.

I  am sorry to report that little, if any, use of these methods has been  made.

I  am sorry to report that total strangers in Washington DC and Oregon  have donated, and have e-mailed their encouragement to me, but the  local people who are directly benefiting are unable to do so.

I  am sorry to report that the great majority of monies donated to date  this year are from people who don't have horses - some of them never  will have horses - they just believe in me and in the need to provide  a safe harbor for deserving animals, and an educational forum for  children.

Perhaps  you can tell me what you need from me - what do you want the Golden  Carrot to do - to make donating to it worth your while? Click  here to give me some feedback!

THE INTERNET

Carol  Cooling continues to make The Golden Carrot website interesting. At  this point, with about a 1 month hiatus when the counter went down,  we have over 420 hits on the site (better than 120 hits per month). On the DONATIONS page, in light of the previous section, we have  numerous ways to donate including OurBigStore.com, Amazon.com and  iGive.com - all places to do internet Christmas shopping and benefit  the Golden Carrot without cost to you.

I've been advised  by some interested individuals that the iGive drugstores are cheaper  than many local drugstores, even when you add in delivery. And with  regard to delivery expenses - some people don't shop on line because  they think the delivery costs jack up the price too much. I suggest  you check it out and think about it - between the cost of your gas  and time and parking, delivery is much much less than you think. Depending  on what you’re buying, delivery is a couple of bucks - maybe you could  consider that the cost of donating? The holidays approach. I think  you’ll be surprised at the variety of things you can buy on the web  - please check it out before you hit the malls, because maybe there  are a few things you can cross off your list, to the benefit of the  Golden Carrot.

ADVERTISING

Some  people would like me to have a web site address. Well, folks, it turns  out I can get that name, but it'll cost me $72. Any ideas how  I might afford that?

I've  been invited to join the Indio Chamber of Commerce. Other than the  networking benefits (and remember all the breeding farms, and polo  people in the Indio area), one of the nice things the Chamber will  do for me is mail my brochure to 950 people and companies, without  cost to myself. Kinko's will make 1000 brochures for me for $98 (black  and white, 2 pictures and text). The cost of joining the Chamber  is $97. Any ideas how I might afford that?

OUR LOCATION  - we have to move!

Due to misrepresentations  made to us by our landlords, it will be impossible for Mike and I  to buy the property we're currently on. Apparently, the house Mike  lives in is not only illegal, but it can’t be made legal. What ridiculous  laws California has, when in San Pedro people are living on top of  one another, and out here, two homes on 21 acres is not allowed. We  are desperately searching for a place to move TGC.  Our lease is up at the end of February, and our attorney is taking  steps to pursue our legal remedies against the landlords. Of course,  the attorney they hired turns out to be his 'mortal enemy' so chances  of settlement are nil. If we are able to find a place to move - for  those of you who can't donate money,would  you consider donating time to help us MOVE? Including  those of you with access to horse trailers? Since a move by ourselves  alone would require over 10 trips just to move the horses in my 2-horse  trailer? And any strong helpers would be great - Mike and I know from  experience how many holes will have to be dug with a huge mechanical  auger to take down and reassemble the stalls and paddocks. Anyone  willing to help, even for a day (I'll feed you) - please let me know,  and the minute we have a plan, I'll contact you.

Press  here if you are interested in helping The Golden Carrot move location. Just provide your  email address and mention that you are interested in helping.

THANKS

At this pointI'd like to take an opportunity to thank those  individuals who've sent money to TGC. Although this  newsletter is full of complaints, the money which has come in is GREATLY  appreciated. You all know I took Ladyhawk and Sara on because I believed  I had support - the people who have donated have kept that from being  a totally fatal mistake. In addition, I'd  like to thank Marde Bauerman - in exchange for a  load of manure she’s provided us with another several weeks worth  of apples for the horses. Also,  Gillian Swarbrick has kindly repaired a number of  our horse blankets from last year's damage, as well as donating several  sheets and blankets which were "abandoned" by owners at  her repair service. What a workman! She even took the effort to match  the colors of the patches to the blanket! This is a substantial donation,  as those of you who have tried to get blankets repaired will know,  and this year is showing signs of a very cold winter. The extra and  well-repaired blankets will really be needed. Thanks Gill!

Finally, although  at today's writing this is a little premature, Winnie's Cookies has offered to donate some of their "seconds"  and crumbles to TGC - they're supposed to be en-route now after some  delivery snafus. Believe me, if no one else does, Domino will be DELIGHTED,  as he loves Winnie's!

KIDS PROGRAMS

Lastly, due to  school starting again (and soccer season), we haven't had any kids  out since the end of July. That's OK with me though - every single  day I had off from work was devoted to the Lyons kids for 2-1/2 months,  and I was tired! I also made a second inquiry to the Ronald  McDonald Foundation on the status of my application for  a grant, and as before, have received no response whatsoever. I would  have thought I'd be at least rejected by now - but who knows, maybe  no news is good news. Tha’s all the news for now, folks. Please get  back to me if you can help with our impending move, and please please  please look into internet holiday shopping - it can help the horses  and we need it!

Thanks,

Casey O'Connor

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