Tuesday, July 8, 2008

First time for everything

I've been wondering and wondering what the heck are these blogs all about. Recently, I started investigating. Started with a great blog, Equestrian Ink and have since been checking out various blogs listed there. So, here I am, jumping in and trying a hand at this 21st century form of expression.

First, I am an animal person. I'm not an over the top kind of animal person, just someone who believes animals have more to them than most humans give the credit for. I try to do the best by the animals I have in my care. Sometimes I wonder if I've done enough.

I lost a beloved cat last fall. To what, the vet was not able to diagnose. She had been one of 5 kittens, left in a box, on the front steps of our church back in 2002. The kittens were so small one would fit in the palm of a hand and their eyes were still closed. My son and his girlfriend had found the kittens upon leaving church one morning. My son, the kind hearted soul that he is, couldn't walk away from the box of mewing fur. He brought them home and we all took it as a big responsibility to try to do right by all of them. We had to hand feed them for awhile but they each grew into fluffy little balls of energy in a short period of time.

We were able to find homes for 3 of the kittens and decided to keep the two gray and white kittens, one female one male. Jinxy, the soft fluffy girl had fur that reminded me of a rabbit. She had a soft face. Whenever I would pick her up, she would automatically go to my shoulder, and look over like the way you hold a baby. She was a gentle personality but later she had issues with our dogs. This relegated her to living upstairs in our garage, which, is actually a pretty nice place to live. Both our sons at one time or another stated they would gladly live up there. But, it was Jinxy's domain. Her brother, Buddy would often visit, but he is more of an outdoorsy cat and gets along with the dogs. Actually, I often think he believes he is a dog, and not a cat. In the evenings, after the dogs had been put up, Jinxy would venture out. We live out in the country, away from busy streets or roads, a source of freedom for a cat who wants to explore around the creeks and trees.

I did the right thing by getting both Jinxy and Buddy neutered. I will always do that for my cats and dogs. That is doing the best for them, in my opinion. So, anyway, last year Jinxy became sick. I tried to help her in ways I thought were going to make her better. I have learned something about cats in the past few years that I never really realized, they can get sick very quick, before you even realize it is serious, and then it can be too late. I also lost another long time cat, Kit Kat, a couple of years ago. She was a strickly inside cat. The vet thought she might have had a bowel obstruction or worse. She went downhill quickly. The vet told me he has seen this happen with cats often. I know from now on, I will be more vigilant with my cats.

Second, I am one of those crazy horse ladies. Crazy about horses all of my life! I cannot remember a time when I didn't love horses. I never knew what drove this fascination, it's just always been in my heart. I never owned a horse of my own, until four years ago. At the age of 43 I purchased the first horses I ever went to see. Yeah, I know, that is not advisable. And in all honesty, I wouldn't advise anyone to buy the first horse they went to see. But, one would have to understand that the moment I saw Him standing there my heart said that's the one. Just like falling in love with that guy you end up marrying. Right? Well, actually, I never even felt that way the first time I met my husband, but don't tell him that! As soon as I walked up to Bo (though he had a different name, I had to rename him!) I just knew. Don't know how to explain it exactly, but it was just there. The same is true for the other horse I bought from the same seller. My husband thought I was crazy with this one.

The seller had 2 Spotted Saddle Horses for sale. After I saw Bo, then ride-tested him, saddle tested him all that stuff you're suppose to do I asked to see the other horse for sale. The wife had to go up on a nearby hill to chase the little fella down. He was a two-year old. He came flying off the hill and into the round-pen, proceding to try to jump out of the round-pen until he finally settled down. I went in with him, not before looking over at my husband to see a look of horror on his face and the question "what are you doing?" in his eyes. Once again, I cannot explain it, but by looking at this two year old's face and talking to him, he had me from the first whoa! And yes, by the time I uttered, "I want this one too, oh what's his name?" My husband was silently standing beside big Bo holding the lead rope with a face that said simply "WHAT?" The seller told me the two-year old's name was Spirit. My husband later asked me "Don't you think there's a reason for that name?" I told him I figured there was but I also know I saw something in his eyes. I seem to remember seeing my husband roll his own eyes at this statement. I always look at a horse's face as well as the body. You can tell alot about a horse personality from their faces if you know what you're looking for. My husband thought I had definitely gone off the deep end, and usually, I'm a very sane, reasonable person.

Well, it was the end of October '04 when my two boys arrived at our place. They are a joy and sometimes a drudge, but even the drudge I enjoy. I haven't rode off into the sunset with them, which is much of my frustration, but we're working on that. I guess I'm not as confident in my riding as I once was, but I keep working to change that. My husband told me the other day that he still looks forward to the day when we take a real trail ride together on our two boys. He likes to think Bo is his, and I let him. Bo knows though, and often pacifies my husband so he will look good in my eyes. I am the Boss Mare around here and everyone knows that!

So, starting this new blog will be a journey. Just like my life with horses. Just like any life in general. I will touch on many subjects, but mostly sticking to my four legged friends I have around me.

These are the four legged members of our family:
Xena. Twelve years old. She is our senior member. She was given to us by an eager grandmother trying to make two grandsons happy. The little bear of a pup had been given to her by someone who was trying to breed white German Shepherds. When Xena was born all black, she was given away. She has always been a beautiful dog. Many people have asked us if she is part wolf. As far as we know, she isn't. She has a magnificent personality and has always been great with kids. In her younger days, she was black with silver/gray markings. She has lightened as she has gotten older but at times, I can see why people might think she is part wolf.

Maggie Mae. Part Australian cattle dog and something else. Our oldest son found Maggie when he was working at a state park. He brought her home when he heard they were going to call the dog warden to come get her. He's the kind-hearted soul who found the kittens. She had been left to fend for herself at the park. For weeks after, my son made sure no one left a "lost dog" sign anywhere around the park. No one ever came back to claim her.

Lucy. This is our newest member. She was left by the roadside near our house on Thanksgiving. Our back country road has very little traffic and is a dead end to boot. She is a brown, beagle/hound mix of some kind. Gentle face with floppy hound years. After the third day, Lucy decided to come to visit our dogs, evidently deciding it looked like a good place to hang out. I couldn't turn her away and so one more unwanted dog found a home with us. This little dog had been neutered, so it was hard to understand why she'd been dumped. She's had some issues we've had to work through but now that she knows we won't hurt her and she is safe, she has become part of our "pack".

Buddy. One of the box kittens brought home in '02. He's grown into a big guy, somewhere between 10-15 pounds. He may be a gray/white tabby like cat but I see Siamese in his long body, tail and the features in his face. Sometimes he seems to believe he is a dog. He rolls around with Xena. Lays with her out on the porch. I think he missed Jinxy this winter. Xena has filled in that spot.

Bo. My big, 16h, black/white Spotted Saddle Horse. He's 10 years old this year. He's a laid back boy but don't let him fool you. He knows exactly what he's going to do before he does it. Just ask my husband.

Spirit. My "little guy" or that's how I see him. He's actually six years old this year. He's also a black/white SSH. He's a little smaller than Bo. He's at the other end of the personality spectrum. He can be very sensitive, not quite as laid back.

So here are some things to get my blog journey started. Looking forward to seeing where it takes me.

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