Tubby was sold at an exotic auction in Oklahoma when he was only 14 days old.
Let that sink in first.
We saw his auction ad online and while we did not want to take on another dwarf, and certainly one that’s as immensely time consuming as a newborn, we could not look away.
Within hours, Tubby was ours and plans were made to bring him from two states away in the hopes we could care for him and provide him with the life that we believe he should have.
Tubby arrived, scared, confused and decidedly unwilling to forge ahead with his little life. He had a terrible underbite which we knew would impede his ability to eat in the future and his back feet were so deformed he was walking on his pasterns - think walking on your heels as a person.
The fact that Tubby was sold in an exotic auction, meant he was exposed to germs and disease everywhere. Thus, he was extremely unhealthy on top of everything else.
Tubby required around the clock care. Our vet came out to treat him and check on him, nearly every day during his first week home. He was on multiple medicines and probiotics along with a host of other treatments, in an effort to get him healthy and to survive.
Tubby’s will to live, as a baby, was low. His level of energy was at a zero. His ability to drink a high quality mare’s milk replacer was a challenge. He could not grasp the idea of sucking up the milk from a bowl. (We do not bottle feed our foals as that runs a high risk of aspiration.)
Adding to this, Tubby began to present as if he had a clef pallet, as once he began to learn how to drink, he began to have the milk pour out his nose, causing a new set of challenges of respiratory issues.
Tubby was a mess. We moved him into our house, laundry room, in an effort to both keep him warm during freezing temperatures as well as to provide him with companionship.
It was during this time, that we began to notice a change in Tubby’s attitude. He was eager to be around our dogs, especially, Handsome, whom he quickly forged a sweet and everlasting friendship with.
Fast forward through Tubby’s initial health struggles, we then concentrated on getting his back feet corrected. We flew our farrier in from Florida, who specializes in dwarf’s feet, and fit Tubby with corrective shoes on both back feet.
Given Tubby’s young age, he had an excellent chance of having his feet become normal in stature and use.
As you can see by the video clip we have posted, wearing back shoes, didn’t slow down Tubby one bit.
Today, Tubby is as healthy as he can possibly be. While early onset arthritis is already displaying lameness in one of his front legs, we are hopeful that the warmer weather to come, will help with this pain.
Tubby is an excellent ambassador for R&R Ranch and routinely visits with adults and children during tours as well as participates with our Overcoming Disabilities Program.