August 23, 2011
Getting a Good Scratch With Scratch n All!
Who doesn’t like a good scratch from time to time? If you have pets, as I do, I’m sure you’re aware that most animals spend a great deal of time self-grooming and figuring out ways to scratch themselves. My miniature donkeys, Clive, Rufus, and Billie scratch all the time by rolling on their backs and rubbing against rigid surfaces. In fact, the corners of their paddock shelter were getting worn away by all of their frequent rubbing and scratching. I talked to Betsy, my stable manager, about this and she agreed to keep her eyes and ears open for a solution.
Last November, Betsy attended The Equine Affaire in Massachusetts and came across a product called Scratch n All, invented by Cynthia Garry. These nubby pads are designed to be used in stables, barns, kennels, zoos, and in homes. They can be used separately or interlocked, creating surfaces in any size or shape. Plus, they can bend around corners! A perfect solution for the problem with the donkey shelter.
1 This is Betsy Perreten, my stable manager, with Cynthia Garry, the inventor of Scratch n All. Cynthia was in the area recently and wanted to stop by for a visit with Betsy and the donkeys.
2 Cynthia invented Scratch n All about four years ago to satisfy the self-grooming and scratching needs of her animals. In addition to sable, they come in nine other colors.
3 The nubby surface of the pads is perfect for a satisfying scratch. They can be used flat or folded around a corner. They have an interlocking design, so you can make the scratching surface as big or small as you like.
4 I had three Scratch n All pads installed on all four corners of the donkey shed.
5 Clive, Rufus, and Billie were already using the corners to scratch on and were actually wearing away the wood.
6 So, not only are they a better scratching device, but the pads are also protecting the shed from the donkeys' rubbing.
7 Gelbu brought the donkeys out from the cool stable to meet Cynthia in their paddock.
8 That's Rufus, Billie, and Clive - my adorable miniature donkeys, which are native to the Mediterranean islands of Sicily and Sardinia.
9 Cynthia, who is great with animals, is a long-time animal lover from Dillsburg, Pennsylvania, where she keeps two dogs, a horse, and a donkey of her own.
10 Miniature donkeys are, by nature, extremely friendly and affectionate. The life expectancy for well-cared for miniature donkeys is approximately 30 to 35 years, making them a true lifetime pet.
11 They are also very playful and enjoy rolling their balls around in the paddock.
12 The average height of these donkeys is about 33 to 34-inches at the withers, from the ground to the highest point of the front shoulder.
13 Quite suddenly, it was time to go to the shed for a good scratch.
14 Clive enjoys rubbing his cheek against the Scratch n All.
15 Ahhh!!! Billy is a seasoned scratching pro!
16 Rufus was still scratching even though their bridles were back on to lead them back to the stable.
17 The donkeys have put Scratch n All to good use!
18 My Black Welsh Mountain Sheep spend their days in a different paddock and they also enjoy a vigorous scratch. They rub up against many things, as the ewe is doing on the metal gate.
19 This dual-use breed of sheep originated in Wales.
20 They were bred in the Middle Ages for that deep black wool by Benedictine monks, who used it for their robes.
21 They were also prized for their fine, succulent mutton.
22 The males sport a true mountain sheep set of curled black horns, which grow larger as the sheep matures.
23 Like the donkeys, the sheep also love Scratch n All!
24 The ewe passes by one corner.
25 While the ram takes advantage of another.
26 Just like the donkey shed, the Scratch n Alls are protecting the corners of the sheep shelter.