Archive for August, 2012

Rocky Mountains ~ High Waters ~ Never-Ending Rainbows

As we have mentioned several of times in the recent past, we have tipped the scales after taking in so many emaciated horses in 2-months’ time. 

We have been going through a pallet of feed (40 bags of Horseman’s Edge 12 pellet) in just 10-days’ time.  Every underweight Thoroughbred is being fed 3 scoops in the a.m. and 3 scoops in the p.m. to build up their weight. 

Initially when the emaciated OTTB’s started arriving back in June 2012, we started running a credit at our local feed store to cover us until we adopted out animals to their new homes.  After 2-1/2 years of paying cash at this feed store, we finally felt the financial pinch and were forced to start running feed on credit.  In the middle of July we received a very generous, anonymous donation with the exact amount to pay off our tab with the feed store and we then ordered another pallet of feed. 

Just a few days before we got the phone call to pick up Cool Beans the transmission went out on Bob’s truck, leaving us with no transportation.  The ranchhand from Circle B Ranch came to Bob’s rescue to go rescue Cool Beans, who was a level 1 emaciated horse, out of the situation he was in and get him back here to safety at the ranch. 

Beth with New Vision Farm came to see Cool Beans and immediately came to our rescue.  She helped us get started with some feed for Cool Beans and rented a dolly for the truck to have it transported to Holiday to be fixed.  She loaned us her truck and then her car to provide us transportation while our truck was in the shop. 

The next day Bob received an emergency call to go pick up Winter Rain, a level 2 emaciated horse, that desperately needed our help as well.  Knowing our financial situation and knowing the truck was broke down, Bob took a leap of faith and brought these 2 horses in knowing that God would provide.

On the way home from picking up Winter Rain, we stopped by the feed store to load up on another pallet of feed.  The lady at the counter told us that ALL credit accounts had been shut down.  We spoke to the manager and he explained to us that one person in particular, amongst others, had a very high credit account in the 5,000 range and had written bad checks to cover this past due account.  Because of this activity, the owner decided to cut everyone’s account cold turkey.

This put us in a crunch.  We had depended on having the ability to stop in and place feed on credit in times of need when the funds were not there.  We left, not knowing who to turn to, but knew we needed to find help ASAP.

We spoke to a few close rescues and advocates about our situation.  Two of the rescues and one of their FB friends called in the very next day to purchase enough feed to get our crew through the next few days.  One rescue started reposting our FundRazr button for Cool Beans on her page to help bring in donations for our rescue.  She also posted the name of our local feed store and instructed her FB friends to contact our local feed store to purchase feed for us directly through our account.  Four of her FB friends contacted our feed store and the manager turned them away.

He, therefore, called Bob and told him what had occurred.  He told us that he could not be responsible for taking in third-party funds towards donations to our ranch.  He explained his liability, which I never truly understand how he felt he would be damaged by allowing these transactions to take place.  One moment they cut our credit account and two days later he would not allow anyone to purchase feed for us over the phone.  As I see it, he was totally cutting our throat.

Another rescue suggested that we search other nearby feed depots to find someone willing to accept donations, as most feed stores in the state of Florida will indeed allow people to call in orders for other rescues/individuals. 

This past week the donations have been rolling in to help us in the support of Cool Beans.  We did find another feed store yesterday who was perfectly happy to assist us in accepting donations from the public towards our rescue.  The very next day, a young lady, Christine, called into the feed store and donated a whole pallet of feed to help us provide for these horses. 

There is a purpose in not publicly naming these individuals who have stepped up to help us.   We have had a great amounts of support come in this past month to help in the support of Cool Beans and the other horses here at the ranch. 

As most people on my FB page very well know, I always post and thank everyone for their very generous donations whether it be through their donations of their time, supplies for the ranch, or their moral or financial support.  I cannot express the high I get knowing that others around us love and support what we do and are willing to step in and give a helping hand to relieve some of the pressure that we carry.   I am so thoroughly amazed by the support we have been given by local rescues who have wrapped their arms around us to carry us through these hard times.  And to everyone, we thank you for believing in us, as we have weathered through these storms these past few months.  When it rains, it pours, but just remember those who weather through the storm and stand on the rock, there is always a rainbow waiting at the end of every storm.  There will always be storms in our future, but each storm molds us into who we need to be for His glory.

But most importantly, I want to emphasize the most, is that leap of faith and trusting that no matter how far out on a limb we go to test the waters, God will always provide if we have faith in Him.  We are probably one of the smallest horse rescues in the state of Florida sitting on 2.7 acres, but we have always functioned as if we are sitting on 20 acres.  We work with very little funds, but God has provided everything we have needed and has never let us down.  Bob has no fear and has always put his faith in God.  I, on the other hand, have always been the pessimistic who had to see to believe.  This ranch has been a faith builder for me, as once being a pessimistic that held me back from my dreams, I now can testify without a shadow of doubt that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.  There are no limits on faith and faith is the evidence of the unseen.  Faith believes that what seems to be the impossible is possible through God. 

Dinelle Ashcraft

Domino Effect Rescue Ranch
“People Helping Animals Helping People”
Robert & Dinelle Ashcraft
10370 Snowbird Avenue
Weeki Wachee, Florida 34614

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by Domino Effect on Tuesday, October 4, 2011 at 9:36pm

In all walks of life, we must face the most natural, but heart-wrenching reality of losing a loved one, as God giveth and he taketh away, leaving us with beautiful memories to carry us through our loss.

Stryder was rescued initially by the Magic Beans Village Foundation who is a nonprofit organization in Safety Harbor who are dedicated to providing programs and services for able-bodied and developmentally disabled children and adults.

Due to his arthritis, he could not be used as a special needs horse, therefore, he was moved on to our rescue in hopes to place him in a forever home to live out his days. Stryder came to this rescue underweight after putting a lot of weight on him before his arrival to us.

As Stryder was at the Magic Beans Village for a spell, he won the hearts of many, leaving behind a special young lady, Kacey Prescott, who had a deep love for Stryder and checked up on him weekly, as he was in her thoughts daily.

We had many visitors out to the ranch who met Stryder and got acquainted with him for 8 wonderful weeks. He made many friends and played a special part here at the ranch. He was the largest horse here at the ranch, as he was 17hh. However, due to his gentle disposition and calm demeanor, he was a target for the minis’ mischievous ways, as they thought they were 10-feet tall.

Several weeks back we noticed Stryder’s leg to be quite large in size with intense swelling. We called the vet and was told to ice his leg frequently to see if we could control the swelling.

After the weekend had passed, Stryder’s leg would decrease in size after being soaked, but shortly later increase in size. Bob felt an emergency vet call was necessary to shed light on his condition.

The first young lady came to visit who was fresh out of school. She brought an assistant with her to walk him through the steps of her examination. She was quite alarmed by Stryder’s leg swelling and scheduled a followup visit a few days later to come out anticipating x-rays and possibly an ultrasound to be done on his leg. In the meantime, she set us up with antibiotics and more Bute to control his pain level. We confined him to the stall to give him limited movement on his legs. Bob continued to soak his leg and redress his leg daily until she came back to visit.

On Friday she came out for her scheduled appointment, this time bringing with her another veterinarian with more experience to take a look at Stryder’s leg. At this time, they no longer thought x-rays were necessary and felt that the swelling was due to an abscess in Stryder’s other hoof, causing the leg that he beared the majority of his weight on to swell. They wrapped the hoof with drawing salve to draw out the abscess and wrapped both legs for support. Bob was given instructions on how to care for Stryder while he recovered from this abscess. Stryder was doing quite well and seemed to be improving.

Thursday morning, this past week, we awoke to Stryder lying in his stable refusing to get up. Bob called the vet out for another emergency visit and spent a half-hour getting Stryder back to his feet.

When the veterinarian showed up this time, they walked Stryder around the back yard, to the front, and outside the gates where they did several tests on him to get a more accurate prognosis to his condition.

Stryder’s blood pressure had sky-rocketed to 96 beats, as he was in extreme pain. The vet opted to give Stryder a sedative. She checked Stryder’s pulse and Stryder was still at 74 beats. They did a rectal test and decided that they needed to look further. They checked Stryder’s heart and he was at 63 beats. More pain medicine was given. Then they checked Stryder for acid reflux and still nothing. She checked Stryder’s beat and he was still over 60. At this point, she opened Stryder’s mouth and noticed his gum line was white with a heavy purple line following his teeth. She looked at Bob at this point and said “this horse is toxin.” She stated that his kidneys or something had started shutting down and that was why his legs were swelling due to the toxins going to his legs. At that point, Bob said “what can I do.” The vet said we could take him to the hospital and try surgery costing between 6,000 to 8,000 dollars, but she did not feel as if Stryder would make it to the hospital. Bob stated that Stryder had been living with a certain amount of pain and discomfort due to his arthritis when he came here. Knowing what he had went through these past few weeks and seeing how elevated his pain was now and the pain medicine not touching it, Bob said I have to do what is more humane than anything else for Stryder. Bob chose to let Stryder go and put him out of his suffering. It was an extremely hard decision to make, but one that Bob will stand behind.

Stryder’s passing left us with heartache, as we pushed through the next few days trying to move on. Stryder will not be forgotten, as his gentle spirit will reside here at the Domino Effect Rescue Ranch.

Stryder left behind many who loved and shared many memories with him.

Kacey Prescott shared:  “I’m sorry about styder. I cried for hours last night when my mom told me until I finally fell asleep. I know you tried. Thank you so much. He was loved until god wanted him to be in heaven. I know he’s in a good place.”

Kacey’s last words to Stryder: “The times we had together were unforgettable and I will always remember them. Helping you get from barn to barn and hearing your sweet nicker as I walked down the barn aisle. I won’t ever forget you and that’s a promise I wont ever break”

Jennifer Tresh shared: “I know God sent Stryder for a number of reasons, but the endurance that boy had was amazing….He taught us a lot about never giving up. I know how hard it is. When Stryder colicked, I cried for days….since they thought he would go down then. Seems like he lived long enough to have us all meet, and bring some joy to your place for awhile.

It is obvious that everyone there is surrounded by love. It’s amazing that all the evil in the world couldn’t break down that love….I’m so thankful that Stryder and Trinity found a home there. It is truly God’s work.”

Kimberly Young shared:The first time I came out to volunteer on the ranch, I spent some time walking around with Ashley and kind of introducing myself to the animals, some of them through chain-linked fencing, some of them through chicken wire, and some of them by just simply walking up to them and reaching over the wood fence post and touching their nose. That’s how I met Stryder, the instant I touched him I knew that I was gonna be attached to him heart and soul.

He had such a gentle, calm, spirit, I couldn’t help myself to be so drawn to him. He was so beautiful. I knew I wanted to spend a lot of time with Stryder, I wanted to brush him and bathe him and take him out of the corral & walk with him. I just wanted to love him with an over-abundance of attention.

Unfortunately, I had a family emergency and I had to leave early that day. So I was not able to spend the time with him that I had wanted to.”

The next Saturday I came back for another adoption day/open house and I immediately went to Stryder … He was so shiny, Bob had given him a bath and he had a glow to him that just gave him such a lift on life. His coat was soft and smooth. I was excited. I was telling Stryder how beautiful he was, rubbing his silky coat, and scratching behind his ears.. He was loving the attention. I gave him lots of kisses on his forehead and said to him “My Stryder, I can’t wait to walk with you.” He lifted his head as if he were responding “I know” I gave him a pat on his chest and told him I’d be back later. If I had only known….

In the short time that I got to spend with this magnificent horse, I can honestly say that He left a lasting impression and shares a very special place in my heart. Just like my mom (who passed away from Kidney Failure) I know that he is in a better place, where there is no pain & they are not suffering.

SHE IS HIS ANGEL~ HE IS HER WINGS, together they are running wild and free watching over you and me… RIP Stryder.”

Stryder has left a lasting impression here at the Domino Effect Rescue Ranch and his memory will carry on. As we cherish each animal who comes to the Domino Effect Rescue Ranch to share their lives with us, we sometimes have to say our good byes not as we had planned, but as life’s direction would take us.

We say good bye for now as his memory we will cherish in our heart forever.

“The Lord giveth, the Lord taketh away.” Blessed be the name of the Lord.

Author: Dinelle Ashcraft

Domino Effect Rescue Ranch
“People Helping Animals Helping People”
Robert & Dinelle Ashcraft
10370 Snowbird Avenue
Weeki Wachee, Florida 34614
(352) 596-3104

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It’s Harvest Time

November 1, 2010,  a local church donated a truckload of hay and pumpkins to the Domino Effect Rescue Ranch after a fall festival that they had. 

In return, the Domino Effect Rescue Ranch donated 2,500 pounds of pumpkins to the United Way in NPR where they used the pumpkins to make pumpkin bread and pumpkin pie to help feed the homeless.

Do you not say, ‘There are yet four months, and then comes the harvest’? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes, and look on the fields, that they are white for harvest. Already he who reaps is receiving wages, and is gathering fruit for life eternal; that he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together. For in this case the saying is true, ‘One sows, and another reaps.’ I sent you to reap that for which you have not labored; others have labored, and you have entered into their labor.”(NASB) John 4:35-38  

So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes the growth. Now he who plants and he who waters are one; but each will receive his own reward according to his own labor. For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building. (NASB) 1 Cor. 3:6-9

Some of us plant seed or share the truth about Jesus. It may include teaching or preaching the Bible. It can be as simple as telling someone how you came to God. Some of us plant or sow seed. Paul is talking about helping a person become a Christian and then continue to grow. He calls Christians “God’s field.” But the one who really does the planting and watering is God because it is the Holy Spirit Who helps us to see our need for Jesus and Who helps us to spiritually grow.

Domino Effect Rescue Ranch
“People Helping Animals Helping People”
Robert & Dinelle Ashcraft
10370 Snowbird Avenue
Weeki Wachee, Florida 34614

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Cool Beans has been in our “witness protection program” in disguise for the past 2 weeks to protect his identity.  As we have gathered our evidence and nearing our upcoming appointment with the State’s Attorney, we feel the need to share Cool Bean’s complete story.

City Boy, AKA Cool Beans, came here to the Domino Effect Rescue Ranch in the Fall of 2011.   City Boy was fostered out to Larry and Katie on November 4, 2011, to help us rehabilitate City Boy.  Katie was looking for a pasture mate for her horse Stormy and had 5 acres of land in Masaryktown for the 2 horses to graze on.

Larry and Katie attended our Domino Effect Christmas Party back in December 2011.   At the dinner table, Larry & Katie announced their desire to adopt City Boy.  Bob did a drive by in January 2012, where he saw City Boy and Stormy grazing in the pasture and both horses were looking good.

On February 26, 2012, Larry adopted City Boy and signed City Boy’s adoption contract.  He was very happy with City Boy and his progress.

Shortly thereafter, he called Bob in March 2012, and told him that him and Katie were having problems and it seemed that they might separate.  He didn’t want to lose City Boy, but wasn’t sure where he would move him.  Bob told Larry at this time that he would come get City Boy until he got his affairs straightened out.  Larry assured Bob that everything was okay and he would keep him updated.

Within a few weeks thereafter, Larry called Bob again to get permission to move City Boy and to give him the new address.  Bob was having minor problems with the truck at the time, so he could not personally move City Boy to his new home, but gave Larry permission to do so.

In April after delivering a horse to Zephryhills to its adoptive home, Bob drove past City Boy’s new location to do his first quarterly progress check and to check out the property in which he was residing at.  Bob was unable to do a checkup due to the 12-foot, wrought iron gate and a fence that surrounded the property where City Boy was not in view.  Bob attempted to call Larry at that time to no avail.

Shortly thereafter, Larry asked Bob for a contact number for Cindy Fallness, our veterinarian, to have her come out and do a vet check, renew his coggins, and get his shots.  Bob called Cindy and asked her to do a progress report for us while she was out there.  Cindy called Bob after her visit and reported that City Boy was looking good and that she would forward a copy of his coggins and shot record to us and she did.  Cindy Fallness gave shots to and pulled a coggins on City Boy on May 25, 2012.

On July 29, 2012, Larry called Bob to tell him that he needed Bob to come pick up City Boy until he could find another location for him to reside.  At first, he just made claims that the sheriff contacted the owner of the property and that the officer told her that Larry had to remove City Boy.  Upon further questioning, Larry said that City Boy was down about 150 pounds or so, but because the lady did not own City Boy, Larry had to remove him off the property.  He explained that since he is a truck driver, he spends a lot of time on the road.  He said that he had been writing this woman checks to cover City Boy’s feed and hay each week, but thinks that she must have been spending it to feed her other animals instead of City Boy.

Bob told Larry that his truck was broke down, but not to worry, he would find someone to take him to pick up City Boy.   Within a half-hour after he got off the phone with Larry, Bob had made arrangements with a ranch hand from Circle B Ranch to pick him up first thing in the morning to go get City Boy.  Larry had to be on the road Monday morning, so Bob asked him to write a letter of relinquishment and leave it there on the property under the water tub, so that Bob would have written permission to remove City Boy.

When Bob arrived to the property where City Boy was residing, again the property was locked up and no sights of anyone present to let him in.  Bob again called Larry and explained the circumstance to him and that he needed Larry to contact the lady to let him in.  Shortly after that, the owner of the property pulled in behind him letting him in the gates.  She had a load of stock and stable that she had just purchased from the feed store.  He told the lady that this feed was poor nutrition, like feeding potato chips to these horses with no nutritional value for them.  When he got in to see City Boy, the sight before him sickened him.  Bob walked up to the paddock where City Boy was being kept, what Bob saw was City Boy and another emaciated white horse standing in 18 inches of mud and City Boy was a 1/9 on an Heineke scale.  Bob scolded the woman by telling her that she had no business owning or housing horses because she did not know anything about horse care or horse nutrition.  He pleaded with the lady to release the white horse to him, so that he could get the horse back into condition, along with City Boy.  She refused, stating that she would go get the proper feed and trade in the stock and stable if Bob would let her know what to get.

After they loaded City Boy, they went and got City Boy’s water tank, along with the envelope with the hand-written release that Larry had hidden for Bob to pick up.  They then proceeded back to the ranch with City Boy to begin his treatment and rehabilitation.  Bob states that on his way to the ranch he told the gentleman that “Dinelle is going to cry when she sees the condition that City Boy is in.”  Bob was absolutely on the mark with that statement.  When they arrived at the gates, Bob called me out to the trailer.  He opened the back gate, but all I could see was a shadow.  He said, “you’re not going to believe this.”  I couldn’t see in and had no idea what to expect.  Bob backed City Boy out of the trailer and there stood a bag of bones covered with thick, scabs of rain rot covering his flesh with open sores all over his body.  What used to be a beautiful, 1400 pound, full of life OTTB, was now a 750 pound horse that could barely hold his head up.  He was covered in mud and his legs were eaten up from the flies.  The rain rot covered his entire legs and jacketed the upper torso of his body.   I exclaimed “OMG” and started to cry.

Below are pictures of City Boy on May 25, 2012 versus July 30, 2012, the first day he arrived here at the Domino Effect Rescue Ranch.

Below are the first pictures when he arrived at the Domino Effect Rescue Ranch on July 30, 2012.

Immediately Bob started giving City Boy a bath to wash off all of the mud and fly residue.  Once he got City Boy clean, Bob started his first treatment of MTG.  All City Boy could do was stand there with his head hung low.  Usually when Bob brings horses to the ranch, they are talking when he drives up and the ones at the ranch are talking back.  On this day, not a horse was making a sound.  There was just an eerie silence that was not customary when we have new arrivals.  After getting City Boy treated, Bob placed a fly mask on City Boy’s head and a fly jacket on City Boy’s torso.  Bob turned and looked at me stating “Now City Boy is in Witness Protection and we will call him Cool Beans until we get the future events figured out.”

Below are the pictures from City Boy’s first day versus his second day.

We watched City Boy very closely the first day, evening, and the next day.  His back legs were swollen.  His sheath was swollen and looked like he had testicles where testicles were nonexistent.  He had multiple knots underneath his belly and he continued to have very labored breathing.  He made a few attempts to lie down, but couldn’t, as he was too weak to make it to the ground, in fear he would not be able to get back up.

The next day Bob contacted the Pasco County Sheriff’s Department AG Unit and talked to Officer Batten about the events that had taken place and the results of how he had found City Boy.  The following afternoon Officer Batten came to the ranch to take photos of City Boy and pick up copies of our documentation, along with Larry’s adoption contract.  He explained to Bob that he had been investigating Larry and this woman for quite a period of time.  He showed Bob all of the series of photographs from all of his visits to this lady’s property and the condition of the animals on each visit, stating that the animals just continued to debilitate at each and every visit.  He also showed Bob pictures of an Appaloosa that had already died recently due to starvation.

The following day Bob called Pasco County Sheriff’s Department AG Unit once again and asked to speak to the individual in charge.  While talking with this gentleman, Bob instructed the gentleman that we do wish to hold those responsible for City Boy’s condition accountable in a court of law.  This gentleman told Bob that they would be meeting with the Pasco County State’s Attorney in Dade City and wishes for us to attend to plea our case with the State’s Attorney.  Bob assured the gentleman that we would definitely be there with our findings upon picking up City Boy.  We will also have our results after 2 weeks of rehabilitation, along with records from our veterinarian, that document the damage that City Boy has sustained and the medical attention that he will need due to the starvation he has endured.

Friday evening, 5 days after we rescued City Boy, the Pasco County Sheriff’s AG Department sent out officers to seize the white horse and the 3 minis from the lady’s property. 

As the evidence began to unfold, Larry had admitted that he was indeed living on this lady’s property, but claimed that he left before dawn and came home after dark and claimed to have no idea of the condition that City Boy was in.  He also claimed that he had not seen his horse in 1-month’s time.  We were also told that Larry and this lady had been under investigation for a long period of time.

Our veterinarian came out to do a physical examination on City Boy to check for damage and conclude what further testing may be needed in his care.

This is City Boy just 9 days after arrival to the Domino Effect Rescue Ranch

And City Boy on Day 13.

This evening on Friday, August 10, 2012, just 3 days before our appointment in Dade City with the State’s Attorney, Bob called me out to see City Boy.  His sheath was no longer swollen and there was just 1, slight bulge left under his tummy.  His legs were no longer swollen and he was finally able to lie down comfortably on the ground.  He lied there in such content and so relaxed.  It was such a warm feeling to see him enduring such peace.

Since we have had City Boy back in our care over the past 2 weeks, he has increased from a 1/9 to a 2/9 on the Heinecke body scale.  Bob feeds him multiple feedings throughout the day.  He has increased in weight, alertness, and disposition.  After just a few days he was lifting his head, as if in confidence to know that he was now safe and secure.   He follows Bob to the gate, hangs his head over the gate, and watches him leave and meets him as he arrives back home.  Since knowing City Boy before he arrived and entrusting him to his new adopted family under contract just months prior, City Boy’s condition has been quite an impact on our lives over these past few days.  We will be a voice for City Boy and we will fight for justice to those who are responsible in starving City Boy and endangering his health with damage now and long term damage.  It’s not just a fight for City Boy, but for the Appaloosa who undeservingly lost its life and the 4 emaciated horses that were left behind.

Horses cry silently in the dark with no one to see their tears, only to hear their hooves beat the ground as they frantically wait for their bellies to be filled.  Their thoughts run rapid, as they stand there day after day fearful that they have been forgotten.  The gates are high with no one to see in, how will anyone ever see.   As the sun sets, who will ever know if they cease to exist when the sun rises at dawn.  Will you hear their silent cries, will you be their cry in the dark???

Cool Beans needs your help in support to meet his medical needs ~ Can you be a helping hand to his recovery?


Dinelle Ashcraft

Domino Effect Rescue Ranch
“People Helping Animals Helping People”
Robert & Dinelle Ashcraft
10370 Snowbird Avenue
Weeki Wachee, Florida 34614

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I have this friend who visits me nightly here at my window now for the past 3 weeks. My office overlooks the front part of the property facing the front gates. Below my window is a truck sleeper that sits on top of a job box. Every night for the past 3 weeks I have had a distinct visitor come to see me. At first I thought that it was Timone, our cat.

The sun would go down and Timone would show up in the window playing with the bugs on the window reminding me that it was time for him to come in for the night. I would get up, let Timone in, and continue to do my online Medical Transcription work on the computer. I frequently hear noises, as we are surrounded by 10 inside cats, 4 squirrels, and a conure inside and 17 horses, 4 goats, 4 pigs, a llama, and many roosters outside, so I don’t pay too much mind to specifics.

One evening after letting Timone in, I kept hearing a tap at the window. I thought, well maybe it is Timone and he was back outside again, or maybe I didn’t let him in??? My eyes focused through the decals on the window into the dark black night. In between the design I could see 2, beady eyes peering in at me. Then as it became clearer, I saw her face and her hands outstretched on the window, as if she was pressing her face to the window to see in. I was a bit startled at first, but then recognized that we had a raccoon scavenging around the front looking for yummies and she had just crossed my path. Although, I found it quite odd that this raccoon would be staring in at a human, as if it was mesmerized by my face, rather than grazing the ground for food. This continued night after night.

Each night after 10, I would be on the lookout for noises or shadows on the window, as I awaited a visit from my new friend. Every night, she would come to the window for about 5 minutes at each spell. She would come to the window, place her paws up on the glass, and look into me eye to eye every single time, as if she was trying to make a connection.

Each night the frogs gather on the window, especially after a good hard rain. The light from inside the office shines bright through the window drawing all the flies to the window. I watch as the frogs hop around on the glass window snatching up flies off the window in a split-second’s time. Friday night, the frogs were on the window, as described above, catching their meal for the night, when all of a sudden a black, leathery hand came out of the darkness, snatched up the frog, and stuck it straight into her mouth, chewing quickly, and it was gone. The raccoon was enjoying frog legs for her mealtime.

Last Friday I felt a discernment as if this connection were real. One year ago, this month, we released Rachael, the raccoon, after raising her for 4 months from just a baby.

Bob built Rachael her own cage and she lived inside with us.

She became part of the family.

We grew very attached to Rachael and she with us.

We knew it was time to let go, so we contacted a local wildlife facility here in Brooksville about 15-20 miles away, who had given Rachael to us to raise, and she joined her with 2 other raccoons to acclimate with and be released back to the wild. We heard that everything went well with her release and we kept her memory close and dear to our heart.

After seeing this raccoon for a 2-week period visit me in my window, a light went off that jarred my memory of Rachael. Could it be her, I thought? Could she have found her way home?

I searched the Internet for answers and sure enough I found that raccoons will travel a distance back to the place where they were raised. I grabbed a bag of green grapes and went out in the dark night to call for my new friend, Rachael.

Rachael was running circles around Bob’s back truck tires and each time watching me as she circled. I threw grapes just a few feet in front of me and she came close to retrieve the grapes. She didn’t come close enough to make contact with me, but she wasn’t the least bit scared of me, as I talked to her the whole time she was in my presence. She seemed to be in more distress over the farm noises that she heard around her, than the sound of my voice, which confirmed that the horses were a fairly new sight to her and she was startled by their movement. This tells me that she was not raised outside here in the wild around our property or she would not be startled by her surroundings. The fact that she seemed to be comforted with peering in the window to see a human face and was not startled by my voice, tells me that she was most likely raised by a human. Could this possibly be our Rachael returning back home after 1-year’s time? We may never know the answer to this question, but we can only hope that God has brought Rachael back home to live with us.

Dinelle Ashcraft

Domino Effect Rescue Ranch
“People Helping Animals Helping People”

Robert & Dinelle Ashcraft
10370 Snowbird Avenue
Weeki Wachee, Florida 34614
(352) 596-3104

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This is one of my favorite posts that was written just a few days before Bob had to show up in court on February 21, 2011, for a “felony in possession” charge for putting down an out-of-control pig.

Did I mention Bob’s AMAZING, GOD-GIVEN talents.  I want to share with you all the awesome story behind this beautiful boat.  It is amazing how God will answer prayers at just that precise timing when you take that leap of faith and believe in Him, your obedient to his Word, and He will always be there to provide for you, not once, but over and over again.

Bob used to have a sign company in Kentucky until he had open heart surgery at age 29 and then a full blown stroke at age 36.  God has recovered him from the stroke, but he still has residual neuromuscular damage.  Bob had to give up his sign painting at that time, as he had lost his coordination on the right side.

When Bob and I met each other, I was struggling with alcoholism and worked as a bartender. 

We met in 2005 and renewed our faith in God shortly thereafter. 

I wanted to stop drinking, get away from the bar, and have a “real life” like everyone else had, but me.  I went back to school for medical transcription, but needed to get away from bartending in hopes to free myself from the alcohol addiction.

Bob has many God-given talents, sign painting to be one of many.  He quit his job at the time and we hit the pavement to find work through lettering car windshields, storefront windows, and yes even boats.  He realized through painting windshields and windows that not only was the coordination restored on the right side, but he was also able to paint with his left hand, which was not possible for him before.  He took this leap of faith for me, so that I could free myself from bartending and be free of alcohol.

We started CCWC in New Port Richey in 2005.  One Sunday in the spring of 2006, Bob decided to be faithful and tithe our last dollar in the offering plate.  I looked at him like “are you crazy, that was our last $25 bucks.”

He left his phone at home that day and when we arrived at the house there was a message on his phone from a man who wanted Bob to letter his 37′ Mako.  We made an appointment to meet him on the side of the road close to his storage unit where he kept the boat off County Line Rd. in Springhill, Florida.

By that afternoon that $25 dollars turned into a twenty-five hundred dollar deposit with the remaining balance owed with more to come and other jobs that were also given to us by this man.

Bob hand-painted this boat in 2006, and God has brought it back to provide for us once again.

As we are facing the most difficult season in our lives with the unknown territory of what our future might hold, we are brought back to that leap of faith-moment once again.

We have been very confused on our future and what moves to make in order to keep the ranch secure and stable in case Bob must leave for awhile.  We have been in prayer day after day seeking answers on what the right decisions are to do in this matter.

Bob remembered that he had missed a call from this man a few weeks back and it was heavy on his heart to call this man to see if he may need Bob to do some work.  Sure enough, they were planning on having the boat repainted with fiberglass repair in the spring, but were able to meet us in this open-window of opportunity that we have to accomodate us financially now.  This not only will bless the ranch with extra finances, but will supplement our income in the next year to come.

God has delivered me from alcohol and smoking, since 2007, and I graduated with A’s in each one of my college courses.  We since then have opened this ranch in December 2009.  I am living proof that God can and will change your life around if you just place your faith in Him.

Don’t ever underestimate the POWER OF PRAYER.  God always provides a way for his children and answers our prayers as His will is good for us.  If we trust in Him and put our faith in Him, He will prevail.


Domino Effect

We are down for the countdown less than 4 days till court and a boat that is about ready to set sail.  We have been snowed-in up here in Weeki wachee, which has slowed down the completion of Bob’s project of repainting this boat, in which he initially painted in 2006.  God has blessed us with absolutely beautiful weather this past week, just enough for Bob to complete the boat just 1 day before court.  One side is complete and one more to complete in the next few days.  Thank you God for your precise timing, it is all in FAITH that He comes through for us each and every time!!!

February 21, 2011 at 11:32pm

Domino Effect Be on the lookout for a live preview of Bob’s handywork as you will probably see it in this years Boat Parade at the Chasco.

February 21, 2011 at 11:35pm

Domino Effect BON VOYAGE!!!  The ship set sail and headed back home.

February 25, 2011 at 5:14pm ·

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.

Dinelle Ashcraft

Domino Effect Rescue Ranch
“People Helping Animals Helping People”
Robert & Dinelle Ashcraft
10370 Snowbird Avenue
Weeki Wachee, Florida 34614

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