You’re a writer/producer of Fluff-TV’s show “Fluffy Life with Cherry and Berry”, and that’s what you usually do. However, the instructional videos for owners series has been hitting a snag, and the studio needs all hands on deck to get it up and running by deadline, so you’re working with them. “FAQ: Fluffy Asked Questions”, yes, they’re sticking with that name, is intended for new owners, and as a general tips and tricks show. It’s not intended for fluffy ponies to watch, although because they may watch, things must fit the channel guidelines. Which means no violence, pain, or crying that can’t be immediately corrected. The segment on discipline for your fluffy ponies was all theoretical, no actual fluffies were punished on screen. Even though it’s not meant for fluffies to watch, there’s still A LOT of product placement and advertising, because gotta pay the bills, and cocaine ain’t cheap.
The episode you’re working on is about caring for foals of various ages, as their care is different from adult fluffies, although adolescent care is pretty much the same. Due to the limited time for filming, a second presenter has been brought on to assist. While Mark is shooting episodes about outdoor fun with your fluffy, and making a yard as fluffy safe as possible, you’re working with Megan on foals and another episode tomorrow about care for pregnant mares. Megan is a handler on “Babies!” and has helped you with Cherry and Berry, even worked with Brent Spiner on occasion, so this isn’t anything she hasn’t dealt with before. The episode opens to Megan wearing a red polo shirt with the Fluff-TV logo on it, tucked into her jeans. “Hello there, I’m Megan, and this part of our series will be discussing care for a new foal as well as special needs a fluffy pony has as they grow. Please note, this episode is only about the care of foals without a mare. Care for a pregnant mare, and care for a mare with foals will be discussed in a future episode linked here.” She points to the lower left corner, in episode links will be added before it airs, hope you’re not watching this on a smart TV.
The camera pans as she enters the safe room set up by Mark in the first episode. “Now, we here at FAQ recommend your first fluffy pony be an adult, or an adolescent, at the very least, a weaned foal that can be away from its mother.” She stands by a table placed in the center of the safe room and puts a plastic box down, about the size of a litterbox. “A safe room like this is ideal for grown fluffy ponies to live and play safely either with their owner, other fluffy ponies, or alone. However, this is a bit too big for a foal.” The camera cuts to the plastic box on the table. “A box of this size will make a perfect “safe room” for very young foals. A cardboard box works, but a plastic box is easier to clean, be sure to get a large one, as your fluffy pony foal will grow a lot over the next few weeks.” Megan puts down a white absorbent layer “Pee pads for dogs are perfect liners for a foal’s safe box. Foals this young will not be able to be litterbox trained yet, so everything in their first safe box should be easy to clean. A clean environment, especially at this age, will ensure a long healthy life for your fluffy pony.” She puts a small, folded blanket in one corner. “Fluffy ponies this young do not have their characteristic long fluff, and need lots of warmth, a blanket with a color that contrasts with your foal is ideal, as they will burrow in the blanket, as they would in their mother’s fluff,” She attaches a FluffCo brand heat lamp to one side of the box and angles it downward. “A heat lamp like this is necessary as well, there are various models, but be sure to get one that is designed for fluffy ponies, as getting too hot is just as dangerous as getting too cold for a fluffy pony.” She steps back as the camera zooms in on the box. “For very young foals, this is all we need, other things like toys or food and water dishes can be added later.”
The camera cuts and she’s holding a small yellow unicorn foal in her hands, it’s not much bigger than a newborn kitten. “This foal is about three days old, still in the first stage of fluffy pony life, the “chirping stage” or as fluffy ponies say “Chirpy Babbeh”. The foal snuggles in its blanket and begins to chirp. “At this age, the foal’s eyes are still shut, and they will remain shut for seven to nine days for a healthy foal. They are unable to talk, only chirping softly when they need something, usually milk.” Megan readies an irrigation syringe full of FluffCo brand fluffy pony formula. “Formula mixes work well for foals, as they provide all the nutrition the foal needs, however some may not like the taste at first. The formula should be heated to fluffy pony body temperature, 104°F before serving.” She takes the syringe and moves it closer to the chirping foal in her hand. The foal smells the milk and chirps more as it squirms to find the end of the syringe. “Use a soft, steady pressure on the plunger and watch the foal as it drinks, when it stops, stop pressing on the syringe. This requires some practice, and a towel should be kept closeby to catch spills and drips.” She continues to feed the foal as it drinks down the entire syringe, chirping in protest as she refills it. After the contents of almost two syringes of milk, the foal stops suckling and retreats into the blanket.
“After feeding, your foal will most likely become tired, so now is a great time to introduce it to the safe box” She places the foal down on the dark blue blanket, and it chirps, before working its way between the folds of the blanket. “If being away from you causes distress in the foal, try some mare scent spray, available in Fluffy Marts, and most pet stores. Be sure to apply the scent spray ten minutes before placing the foal down for best results.” She holds the spray bottle up for the best view of the product placement. “Blind chirping foals need constant care, so adding something like a baby monitor to the safe room is a good idea, when they are hungry, or in pain, they will chirp loudly.” She sets up the baby monitor on the table next to the box. “After seven to eight days, your fluffy pony will first open its eyes. At this point, their vision is poor, mostly able to make out light and some shapes. Colors will be muted as well.” Stock footage from “Babies!” plays showing chirpy foals with eyes open looking around. “Care is the same, except you may want to start adding colorful items to the safe box. Between two and three days after its eyes open, your foal will begin to walk. Its movements will be shaky at first and it will fall a lot, but these tumbles rarely set off a fluffy pony’s sensitive pain response.”
The camera cuts again, and shows an older yellow unicorn with a short black tail, and much longer body fluff. This is a completely different fluffy pony, but we can’t put this episode on hold to wait for our starter foal to grow up. “Now that our fluffy pony is fourteen to sixteen days old, it should start talking, making it a talking foal or “tawkie babbeh” as fluffy ponies say. Babbling begins earlier, and can be encouraged by talking to your foal daily.” She holds the foal, almost double its former size, and feeds it from larger volume irrigation syringes. “Words for things like “Milkies” when you’re feeding it helps your foal’s language develop.” After the foal finishes three syringes of milk, it mumble “miwkies” before being fed a fourth and Megan puts it down in the box. It runs over to a fluffy safe foal sized teddy bear and hugs it “Wuv huggies”
“At this point, you should add a small litterbox to the foal’s safe box. Litterbox training shouldn’t begin until the foal is a bit older, but having the litterbox in the safe box with your foal helps them familiarize with it.” She places a small litterbox in the safe box, opposite the corner of the foal’s blanket, and the foal walks over to it and sniffs it, pawing the litter with one of its hooves. It then moves to Megan’s hand and hugs it “Wuv mummah.” it coos as it nuzzles her hand. She strokes its back fluff as she “returns’’ the hug “Mama loves you too, baby.” she responds. Megan presses a button on a pastel FluffCo branded “radio”, which just plays recorded music. This one is the “For Babies” model, and it plays mummah songs, as it begins with “Mummah wuv babbehs”, the foal moves towards it and wraps itself up in its blanket. “Fluffy pony mares will sing simple songs to their foals, these “Mummah songs’’ soothe foals, so something like FluffCo’s Music Player For Babies model is perfect.”
The camera cuts again, and Megan is present with a larger fluffy pony, a yellow unicorn with a short black mane. “This foal is three weeks old, and is fully weaned. Foals usually stop drinking milk on their own once they can handle solid food, or are encouraged to by their mother. A fluffy pony only lactates for a few weeks, and a few foals this size will quickly drain any mare’s milk supply. Your foal may state its intention to eat sold food “big fluffy nummies”.” Megan strokes the foal’s mane and scratches behind its ears as it coos. “Are you hungry?” she asks the foal.
“Yes, babbeh wan nummies, very hungwy” the foal says. In truth, this foal hasn’t been fed since a late breakfast, and we are filming in the afternoon.
“As you can see, this foal is talking like an adult fluffy pony, but will still refer to itself as a baby.” She opens a can of FluffCo brand foal food, and dumps the contents of the cat food sized can into the fluffy pony’s bowl. The foal begins eating almost immediately. “It is important to ensure your foal has soft food, so as to not cause binding in their intestinal tract. For dry kibble, soak it in water for a few minutes before serving. Remember, only feed your foal as much food as it will eat on its own in one sitting, open food containers can attract pests, mice, and especially rats, have been known to hurt fluffy ponies, or kill younger foals.” The foal finishes its food and Megan sets it down on the floor of the safe room. “Foals of this age are too big for their old safe boxes, and can be safely introduced to living in the safe room. If you have other fluffy ponies, they should be receptive to a new friend for them to play with.”
The foal wanders the safe room, muttering “Babbeh am splorin babbeh” as it runs all over its new environment, looking at the decorations and colors before going over to the toybox. “Pway” it says as it grabs a ball and starts kicking it around the safe room, chasing it all the way. The foal stops, looks around and begins to urinate. Megan walks over and grabs it, carrying it to the litterbox. “Litterbox training is important at this age” she says in a cutaway segment. “Accidents do happen, but your foal should make an effort to go to the litterbox. The first time, you should explain why the behavior is bad, and tell them what good behavior is.” Cuts to the foal in the litterbox, once it finishes urinating, Megan takes it to the puddle on the floor. “Fluffy, you shouldn’t pee outside the litterbox. This is bad peepees” she says sternly, holding the foal so its face is next to the puddle. “Good fluffies make peepees and poopies in the litterbox. Do you want to be a good fluffy?”
“Yes, wan be gud fwuffy, babbeh make poopies in wittabocks nex time.” The foal says, a bit shocked at the treatment, tears welling up. The camera cuts again, and shows the foal pooping in the litterbox, then instinctively covering it with litter.
“Good fluffy, you made good poopies in the litterbox.” Megan says as she scratches behind the foal’s ears, before the camera cuts away to her saying “When litterbox training, always reward good behavior with praise and attention, be sure to tell the fluffy pony they are a “good fluffy”, as this helps the lesson stick in their heads better. Do not give your foal treats for using the litterbox, as they will come to expect it every time they use the litterbox. In the event they continue to not use the litterbox, time in the sorry box may be necessary, but use this as a last resort. Remember, your foal is learning, and some foals learn faster than others, so be patient.” These cutaway segments are necessary for the segments where the foal is old enough to be confused by instructional statements. You tried it with Megan explaining while caring for the older foal, and it would expect treats when she mentioned food, or get scared when she mentioned the sorry box. This method also let you use more hours of the day, when the foal of the segment needed a break. The camera cuts back to Megan and the foal.
“Yay, babbeh make gud poopies!” the foal says, ecstatic in the pets and praise it’s receiving. After leaving the litterbox, it sits by the fluffy bed and sits on its haunches and starts to wiggle and shake its forelegs “Wook mummah, babbeh am dancie babbeh!” It says as it dances semi coordinately.
“Dancie babbeh behavior is common to the point of being nearly universal, and is often used to express great joy, a desire for attention or praise
The camera cuts again, and Megan is holding a larger foal, yellow coated unicorn with a black mane and tail. “This foal is six weeks old and in what we would call the adolescent stage, at this point, the foal is two thirds the size of a fully grown adult, and will begin to mature sexually. It is also at this point where safe sterilization can take place.” The camera cuts away “If you wish to breed your fluffy pony, then it should remain intact, however, for house pets, we recommend sterilization. Fluffy pony sexual maturity can be observed with fillies asking about babies, colts pleasuring themselves with stuffed animals or bedding, and either asking about a “special friend”. Sterilization can be a traumatic process for your fluffy pony, so we recommend it occurring right when the fluffy pony becomes sexually mature. A veterinarian can sedate and numb a fluffy pony for surgery, and it goes easier with colts than with fillies. Your foal may have a lingering fear of the veterinarian’s office because of this, and colts may ask about “special lumps”, but with care and lots of positive interactions with their owners, a fluffy pony will forget all about their sterilization. Failure to properly care for your foal, especially a male, after sterilization can leave them depressed, with the phrase “wan speshuw wumps” said over an extended period of time. In extreme cases, prosthetic testicles can be added to your fluffy pony colt/stallion, to restore their confidence. However, this should be a last resort, as it will require more shaving, and more time with a cone around its neck than the neutering, as the recovery time is much longer. Ask your veterinarian about this procedure if it applies to your fluffy pony.
“Yay, fwuffy wuv upsies wif mummah” the foal says as Megan scratches its ears, holding it with her left arm under its forelegs and pressing it against her body.
“At this point, your fluffy pony will stop referring to itself as “baby” and will generally refer to itself by its name, or as a more generic “fluffy” or even as “colt/filly”, although “fluffy” is far more common.” She sets the fluffy down and it goes over to play with blocks. “In two weeks the foal should be fully grown, although it is not uncommon for fluffy ponies to continue to grow up until they are ten weeks old. With the right start, your fluffy pony will live to have a long, happy life with you. Remember, your fluffy pony loves you very much, and you are the most important thing in their life. They may make mistakes, but what they want most of all is your approval and affection.” She walks over to the fluffy, admiring its stack of three blocks “Great job with those blocks, you’re a great builder!” Megan says as she scratches behind the foal’s ears again.
“Wuv bwocks, wuv mummah.” the foal says as it giggles as Megan scratches its ears. The camera zooms out as the foal stacks more blocks and it fades to black, credits roll. This episode took longer than the safe room set up video, but this one did have a lot more fluffy screen time, so it was to be expected. Hardest part was finding fluffy ponies of various ages to give the illusion of a single growing fluffy pony. With the chirpy foal, it was easy, just had to be a unicorn with a yellow coat, but for the others, we scoured the current batch of foals in “Babies!” to find matches. The adolescent came from a Fluffy Mart, and he had already been neutered, so shots where he rolled over for belly rubs were cut.
You’ve already got people searching for a proper pregnant mare for the next episode. No one’s looking forward to shooting that one, as a fluffy pony’s personality can change after they have foals, even stallions. So finding a mare in early stages of pregnancy, who is fine with on set life, and looks good enough for TV is already a monumental task, but there’s no guarantee she’ll be fine with us handling her foals, or will start to hate set life and be a pain in the ass to work with. You see a lot of scrapped footage for the next episode, a lot…