Onward And Up Words

The time frame around a holiday dedicated to the things we love found my heart bruised, not once, but twice. There weren’t little pink and red hearts gayly floating around in my world on Valentines Day. Instead, I was looking at two huge graves in our pasture while a winter storm blew snow over the freshly heaped up dirt.

I’d be lying if I told you I’m a quick heal. Please forgive me for sharing my grief. I did try to come up with a different topic, one that would be cheery like a gingham tablecloth graced with a bouquet of daisies. Sorry, no can do, its just not in me right now. Truth is, the theme of this article is actually spot on appropriate for people of the soil … farmers & ranchers. I’ve been given a fresh dose of the downside of animal stewardship.

Before I get into my ordeal, I must tell you once again how wonderful my farmgirl sisters are. Lisa called and later gave me a card that lifted my wilted spirit. Anita called and brought me a heaping sack of garden potatoes from her cellar. Michele called and she cried in our conversation before I did. Donna came over with an armful of red-tipped white roses. They felt my pain and walked into it with me. They didn’t minimize the very real heartbreak I experienced, which can sometimes happen because some folks just don’t understand that losing a beloved pet rips a piece of your heart out.

To try and cheer myself up, I had a little impromptu farmgirl get together. I wasn’t up to planning a craft activity. So, we just visited and caught up with each other. It turned out to be what we all needed and enjoyed. As busy as all of us are, another activity wasn’t the kind of therapy we needed. Downtime … to sit and relax was just right. Wine, finger-food, candle light and soft music.

Now, for the other shoe.

In my last blog article, I wrote to you about losing our dear mare, Bluebelle. A few days after she passed, my husband and I noticed the other horses standing over her grave … almost like they were having a service of their own. A few days after that, it was obvious that Dolly (my beloved soulmate horse in the photo at the top of this page) was ailing … and it was not the usual colic. Long story short: Dolly did not want to be in this world without her best friend. She was dying of a broken heart. She walked with her nose practically dragging the ground. To see such agonizing sorrow in my otherwise spirited steed crushed my own spirit. She was inconsolable. She would whimper a nicker to me and I swear to you it was a weeping version. My effort to comfort her did nothing to stop the inevitable. She just wanted me close to her while she sunk deeper. After a visit to our Vet, I had to make the decision to mercifully end my equine best friend’s life. Our veterinarian came to our house after we got home. My husband had readied her grave … right next to Bluebelle. Dr. Vigil gave Dolly “Sleep Away” while she stood next to Bluebelle’s still fresh grave. My sweet horse went down slowly, at peace. She needed help to leave. She was determined to go anyway, I just wanted her to be able to do so pain-free.

An hour earlier, I had time to say goodbye and to tell her how grateful I was for all the wonderful things we shared. I prayed over her. I cut a hank of her mane to save in an envelope. I wept out loud into her warm neck … knowing soon she would grow cold in the earth. She turned her neck toward me several times and in her eyes I saw that she knew she was leaving. I wanted her to somehow know how much it hurt for her to leave me, but that she had my blessing. Walking away from her was the hardest thing I have ever done. I thought I would drop to the ground, but my feet kept moving. My husband insisted that I go to the house and that he would stay with Dolly and the Vet … when she helped her quietly leave this world. I thought I should to stay, but I couldn’t make myself do it. I wanted to remember my lovely horse as I had known her for over 20 years … full of the joy of life, full of salt and sugary spice, full of herself and full of opinions, full of sass and playfulness, always alert and *always* the leader of the pack. She was an Alpha of the first order. She was a natural born leader and a perfect one – she was not merely bossy, she was the caretaker, the watchful guard, the law, the peacemaker. She was much more than just another pretty face. Expressive beauty, equine grace and plain old get down & dirty TUFF will be what I’ll remember always. Always.

Dolly and I learned how to be cowgirls after we married a rancher. It came easier for her than for me. She took to stock work like a duck to water. No surprise there really since she was bred for it. We both knew we were finally where we were meant to be. Neither of us felt content being trail riders. 99% of the wealth of talent inside my horse didn’t come into play until she was in her own element. Her confidence and enthusiasm for ranch work gave me confidence to embrace it like she did .. with gusto. Our motto was, “Let’r Rip Tater Chip!!”. It isn’t easy fitting into a whole new lifestyle, a new crowd and learning a very challenging job in your mid thirties. I had doubting days, I didn’t know if I could weather some of the more difficult tasks … while Dolly didn’t know that she couldn’t! She was Heaven sent at the appointed time. She was mine while being formed in her momma’s womb.

Here we are on our first solo ride. She let me think I was a horse trainer. She was 3 and I was 35. The only time I came off during those early rides is when I slipped off trying to open a gate. Only a fool would have attempted to train a horse when all you know about the topic would fill a thimble. But, I didn’t know I had no business training a horse and she didn’t either. She forgave my ignorance and we read the How-To together. We truly loved each other and we found our way. She’d let me know when I made mistakes, but she did so without hurting me. She never hurt me, not once in over 20 years. However, she spared me injury a thousand times over!

Below: Here we are many years later, she was 20ish and I was 50ish. We were, by then, degreed professionals. ‘Been there, done that’ 🙂

The breeder from whom Dolly was purchased told my mother two weeks earlier that Apple Pi Dolly Rose would probably be the best fit for my personality. But, neither my mother nor the breeder ever said a word to me. Odd. While at the horse farm, in the middle of a friendly herd, I sifted through nearly 40 possible choices. While I looked at this one and that one, a pretty little filly kept tugging at my sleeve from behind. I didn’t know, but she did and when I finally took notice of her … the deal was sealed and she owned me from that moment forward. Only weeks afterward, did my mother tell me about what the breeder had mentioned to her. Yes, amazing, I agree! There was no human intervention or introduction. Dolly simply took it upon herself to make the sale. That folks, is a fact. Here we are that very afternoon in 1991, moments after we agreed that I was to be her person.

A little while later, a dear friend taught us to drive in one afternoon. Dolly thrived on doing new things. Nothing rattled her. She thrived on pressure and challenge.

Dolly was a model hostess and babysitter. She was incredibly intuitive and very intelligent [as horses go] … more like a dog. When training her early on, I had to move a lot faster with her to ‘keep up’, which is definitely not the norm. Since she had a very assertive nature, it would have been easy for her to take advantage of a novice trainer. I’d ridden all of my life, but training is whole nuther ball game.

I am not a roper, just never had the desire to learn. So, Dolly was not a roper either, however, my husband roped on her at brandings many times when they were short on ropers. Dolly had never been officially trained for it. She just took everything in stride and figured things out on the fly. Now, if you know ANYthing about horses, that is NOT how you should do things! #1, it is stupid and you shouldn’t get away with it. But, this horse was an anomoly. Absotively, posilutely. In one breath, she could be a fire breathing dragon toward a cow and then you could put a baby on her and she’d tip-toe around like she was carrying fine china. My husband would brag on her when he’d heard enough from old blowhardy So & So about their wonder horse that wasn’t a wonder.

She was fearless, even as a young horse. One time, when she was two (I’d just gotten her weeks before), we went for a walk, right before she was under saddle. A neighbor’s five Newfoundlands came bounding out of their property gate and while Newfies are thought to be friendly giants, this brood was not. They surrounded us and it was going to be ugly.

About the time it looked like one dog was ready to lunge at either my horse or myself, Dolly jerked the halter rope out of my hand. I figured she’d take off. HELL NO! She went into battle mode and the shrill scream that came out of her was like nothing I’d heard before or since. She went to striking and kicking and snapping her teeth like an equine warrior princess. She diverted the dog’s attention away from me. Just then, the owner came out and yelled at the dogs and fortunately they obeyed her command to return. No one was injured. It only lasted a couple of minutes. I know that a dog would have been killed if the encounter had lasted any longer. When my horse and I walked home after that, she was not upset, as if she’d been afraid. Oh no, she pranced on air like the victor she was … and she nudged my arm several times as if to ask, “What’dja think of THAT??!!” 🙂 Yea, I’m crying now, but she made me laugh out loud so many times. She was a corker with a heart as big as a train car.

When it came to working cows later, it came as no surprise that Dolly would never take a backward step from a cow. She was invincible and that kind of horse will always put itself and you in the right place with a cow on the fight. So, they save you many times over because they’re so much more in tune with the body langauge of another animal than we are. With bulls and grouchy cows, she was a crocodile. With baby calves, she’d nicker and gently bump them along with either her knee or her nose. She loved any kind of baby … be it human, horse or calf. During calving, we worked around lots of newborns – moving pairs just as soon as the baby could get around good, Dolly would ‘come to her milk’. The smell of a newborn was like fine perfume to her.

Soooo many memories she gave me. In addition to being a cadillac ranch horse, she had seven beautiful babies for me.

One of the most memorable and touching moments was “The Kiss”. My nephew, Zachary, lived with us for four summers. Like all kids, he loved swimming, but we don’t have a pool handy. However, a clean stock tank filled with fresh water will do in a heartbeat. So, it was. The younger horses and he invented a game similar to bobbing for apples. They bobbed for a boy! They would snorkel in the water up to their eyeballs until they located him and up he would come with a splash. Then the game started all over again.

One day, he decided to bob up out of the water and kiss Dolly. As matriarch, she was above playing with him, she just kept an eye on the goings on. Zach popped up several times and smooched her on the mouth. Then, surprisingly, she licked him! She decided to play along with the child who so adored her. How she figured out that licking isn’t really a proper kiss, I’ll never know and unless I had witnessed what happened next, I wouldn’t have believed it myself. Even better, I had my camera! About the 6th time Zach popped out of the water and smooched her, Dolly tightened her mouth, puckering up just like we do … and she gave him a real kiss! Here are the photos to prove it.

She Was A Wonder Horse. 100 kinds of wonderful and I was blessed a thousand fold for the lessons she taught me. I knew it while she lived. Now, as I pour over old photos … I weep and marvel at just how many things we experienced together. The “onward and UP WORDS” part of this writing assignment is this: The good Lord promises that the BEST is yet to come. Admittedly, I can’t wrap my brain around all of that, but I’ll stand on the promise in faith and I know it will be so, based on all that I’ve already seen. Animals have been one of my greatest faith teachers. You just have to be a keen observer and listen a little closer. There is so much there for those who take the time to tune in.

My sweet equine soulmate rests with her best friend now. Neither of them lingered so long that they were ancient and feeble. One week they were in fine flesh and robust … and the next week they were gone. We didn’t have to watch them deteriorate in old age. I am thankful for them … and for myself. At age 23, although they were elder mares, they both galloped over the rainbow bridge rather than needing to be carried. I choked up thinking how delighted Bluebelle must have been to hear her dear friend’s greeting whinny when she arrived. My sweet girl is in the most beautiful meadow imaginable and reunited with the friend she could not bear to be without.

I know these things to be so. The Good Book affirms the dearest hope of pet lovers [in several verses]. So, take heart if you have doubt and have grieved the loss of a beloved pet. They, along with our human loved ones, wait for us.

Dolly and Bluebelle lived together all of their lives. They’re buried just as you see them in this photo taken several years ago … standing, facing east … together. I long to see them again on the other side and to show them to my Grandpa – my horse mentor. He taught me what to look for in a good horse. But, I live in the here and now and their passing was the end of an era for me.

Apple Pi Bluebelle and Apple Pi Dolly Rose.

Now, the good news. Oh my yes, there is a silver lining! My dear friend, Linnea Sidi, told me three years ago that she had bred a sister of Dolly’s to my stallion [who was also out of sister of Dolly’s] … and the resulting filly was so much like Dolly that she named her ML Meadowlark Dolly Rose. Linnea told me that I needed to own her. I resisted for 2 years. The short of it reads like this: We met this past summer and it was all over. She came home with me since there was logic in replacing my aging mare. The obvious choice was a filly named after her! So, without further adieu, here is “Apple” as of yesterday, she is going to be three. Apple is just as Linnea claimed … full of herself, sweet as honey … and like her namesake, a lover of apples.

This entry will be my last blog post in which Dolly and I are together. Thank you for allowing me to share it with you. She lived up to the legend of the Morgan Horse – one of many in her breed to do that. She deserves more than a private farewell. She was the horse every horse-lover dreams of finding, a once in a lifetime horse. And, although I’ve been bragging without remorse about her, I can’t brag about picking a Great horse. For you see, the plain truth is, she picked me.

So, where does a farmgirl go when she sees the door close on an era in her life? Well, onward and upward, thats where. The next phase of my ranchy farmgirl life has swung wide open. I believe it will be good, over all. If you take those first few steps into the next chapter with an attitude of gratitude, you’ve already put your best foot forward. So, here I go. Oh, I’ll leave you with this thought in mind. Disappointment will surely be a part of the following chapters, but where crying fails, humor can help see you through. Until next time, Happy Trails, my friends!

  1. Sue says:

    What a lovely tribute to some beautiful friends……

  2. Diane Van Horn says:

    My heart aches for you. What a beautiful creature and a touching story. How lucky to have had two wonderful souls in your life. God Bless you, until you meet again.

  3. Terry says:

    I remember Apple Pi Dolly, and I am so sorry for your loss. Your enormous loss. And your tribute simply couldn’t have been better Shery.

    Love ya gal.

  4. Carol Norwood says:

    Oh Shery … Yet another beautiful tribute to your beloved horse. I am SO sorry for your double loss but you have a wonderful attitude and with time, your aching heart will heal. Your tribute made me cry. God Bless … Carol

  5. Betty Benesi says:

    Well, I feel your pain and have never figured out how these things go in groups. The first horse I had to put down was Miss Tessa. She ended up with a very large inoperable tumor on her nasal passage. She did not want to go when she was given her injection. She kept looking up at me. I told her "It’s ok Miss Tessa, you can go".
    Her calling in life was as we discovered was to be a lesson horse for the small children. The mothers all marvelled that when a child fell off Tessa, she would stop and stand until she could figure out exactly where the child had landed. When she was gone, my trainer tried another horse for lessons, but the children just cried and said that they wanted Miss Tessa. I believe that our animals especially horses are some of our best teachers about life.

  6. shiralyn yates says:

    I feel your pain. I am so blessed that you choose to share your feelings with us. I know it was hard. I too have to believe that there is a Rainbow Bridge. It would be to hard not to believe.

  7. Joan says:

    Thank you for sharing Dolly’s life and death, you were a good friend to both Dolly and Bluebelle – yes joy joy joy down in my heart – because of your beautiful writing. And Apple looks like she will be another good friend. God Bless
    P.S. thanks farmgirl friends for being there for Shery.

  8. jonna says:

    OH Sherry, I am SO sorry. You & Bluebell have been in my thoughts lately; now I know why… your writings are so interesting, emotional, & filled with LOVE. From one animal lover to another; Prayers are with you, jonna

  9. diana henretty says:

    What a wonderful love story.
    I just read your words to my husband, who doesnt care much for horses,
    but he left the room in tears.
    We know too well of saying good-bye to our old critters that have shared our lives and laps thru our 38 yrs. together, and every time we lose one, it is just
    as hard each time, never gets any easier.
    Not too long ago, we said good-bye to our beloved Collie, the dog I had dreamed of since I was a child watching Lassie, and when I put him on the
    bed of the truck, I told him "good-bye for now, but wait for me in heaven",
    and I know he is there with all the rest, with their little angel wings on!
    Blessings to you, thank you for sharing your love in your post!
    Hugs from the Ozarks, Diana

  10. Christy says:

    Oh Shery,

    There just aren’t words to convey to you how very sorry I am. What a terrible blow to lose both your dear ones so close to one another. But I believe you are right that she couldn’t imagine living without her friend. I once again send you love and warm wishes and an understanding hug. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

  11. Denise says:

    So sorry for your loss, not just once but twice, that is really so hard. prayers for you and I love your gratitude attitude!

  12. Claudia says:

    While I have only raised 4 Old English sheep Dogs I have lost them all. Your heart is in threads at each loss. It’s hard to tell people who don’t know that kind of love how wonderful it is. you are in my thoughts and prayers

  13. Ruth says:

    May you feel God’s Arms of Love around you, Shery. He is taking good care of Bluebelle and Dolly til you meet again. You have beautiful memories to cherish until then….

  14. Diann says:

    Great tribute to some fine animal friends….sigh…ya gotta quit makin’ my eyes leak though…. (:

  15. Judy says:

    What a lovely and touching tribute to your two dear "soul mates". I loved the pictures also. There is something in an animals eyes that tells you of their soul. I know your heart is broken, as that is the way we are made. It makes us human, in a good way. Hugs to you during this time. Your tears and words have broken, but lifted my heart. Your heart is open and dear and will always draw other kindred hearts to you. Blessings.

  16. bonnie ellis says:

    Sherry: I am crying with you, I know what a good horse, best friend, worker and pal can mean to you. But I am laughing with you too. That last sign about shrinking in the dryer is a hoot! God Bless and live free with your new steed.

  17. Elizabeth Colvin says:

    Your story touched my heart so deeply I found myself sitting here reading your story about Your Dolly with tears flowing…..tears of sadness as I can imagine how much you will miss her and tears of joy that her heart is no longer breaking for the loss of her best friend. Thank you for sharing your beautiful story and the wonderful celebration of Dolly’s life and memories

  18. Bonnie says:

    Oh Sheri, My heart goes out to you. I am writing this with tears in my eyes. Although I have never owned or been close to a horse, I have had other animals who have been dear to me and my family. And when you lose one it is just like a part of your heart being torn out, as you said. How wonderful for you to have so many memories and photos of those precious days with your two amazing horses! Thank you for sharing both your joy and pain with us. God bless and keep the faith!

  19. Farewell to your sweet sweet companion. My heart breaks for you. I do not have horses but I do have dogs that are like part of the family. So I know how much our four legged friends mean to us. I am so glad you have Apple to carry on. Be Blessed.

  20. Pam deMarrais says:

    Wow…what a wonderful story! I have to agree that Morgan horses are very special. My daughter had an old style Morgan from New England who was as smart as a whip and as sweet as pie. I am so glad that you are getting to raise another one. Thank you for sharing the promise that we will get to see our furry friends in Heaven some day. They are like family, and our God knows the desires of our heart.

  21. Terces says:

    So beautiful. As I read this my beloved Jersey cow who calved on Valentines day, a sweet little girl calf named Cinnamon, is being tested for BLV. I pray it comes back negative for her and for her calf. I’m not ready to let her go.
    I am so moved by your sharing over these past few weeks. You give me courage.

  22. Mare says:

    Thank you for sharing your most beautiful story of love. Peace

  23. Jan says:

    Shery, I am so sorry for your double loss!! This is a beautiful tribute to your wonderful Dolly. My heart aches for you and tears are rolling down my cheek. Someday I will have to go thru losing my horses too, however I hope it won’t be for quite some time. They are now 7 & 8 years old. Will be keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.
    Apple looks like a dandy. Look forward to all of the special times that you two will have together.

  24. Donna says:

    Soft hugs to you. Love reading your post each and every one.
    I so believe there will be animals in heaven, I will be waiting for my sweet rosebud (my dog)and my sweet horse holly, they were my very best friends.

  25. Jeanne says:

    I was such a crying mess I wasn’t able to comment before. I am so deeply sorry for your loss. Bluebelle and Dolly were such a joy to read about and the pictures of them are beautiful. Our animals really grab a hold of our heart and become a part of us. Thank you, God for the time you had with them and the joy they brought to you. Thank you for sharing and letting us into your heart as well. Many future blessings to you and your family.

  26. Jan says:

    Once again, dear Shery, you have outdone yourself. I wanted to let you know that I saved a couple of ‘Dolly Cam’ pictures on my computer from one of your previous blogs. I ran across them the other day and as always, they made me smile. How much closer to heaven can you get, than spending time with your dear friend?
    Large hugs to you!

  27. Lisa C. says:

    I am so sorry for your loss. It’s been almost fifteen years since I lost my once in a lifetime horse Traveler. I still miss him. Now I have Sassafras Fizz (Sassy, which she is) and we’re learning to be best friends.

    We don’t replace our once in a lifetime horse, we find a new friend who is a different best friend and realize our hearts are big enough to have more than one in a lifetime.

    Hugs to you Shery.

  28. Lynette says:

    Shery, as I read about your loss of Bluebelle, then the loss of beloved Dolly, I have the biggest lump in my throat and tears streaming down my face wanting to give you the biggest ‘Hug" ever. It is such a hard loss (but the twice), we go on remembering the wonderful joy they brought to us in the time they graced us in their life time. Warm embrace to you!

  29. Bonnie Walker says:

    I put off reading this…I instinctively knew it would bring me to tears. And it did. I don’t have a horse, but if I did, I would like one like Dolly. I don’t live on a ranch, but I lived in Montana 10 years. I have lost a person who was a "Dolly" to me, who helped me grow up, who gave me children, who was always intuitively understanding of my nature, and pushing me towards another horizon. He died four years ago, after a marriage that lasted 46 years. He was adventurous, and would lift his head to any new challenge, unafraid, rather raising his head to ‘catch the wind’. We moved often, always a new adventure. He died quickly, after having taken me to dinner, and to shop for a Valentine gift for me. Just sat down in his chair, said call 911, and slumped over, gone! No warning! He always was unselfish, putting other’s needs before his own. I sense this is true in your Dolly. I grieve with you……and I know the challenges will come. They have for me, and for anyone who suffers during loss. But, allow me to say, you have written a beautiful grief letter. The best I have ever read. One line stands out for me, for you, (with the gifted mentor we learned to love so deeply)…(whether animal or human)…."99% of the wealth of my horse did not come into play until she was in her element"!!! This is my lesson from your piece, and one it is for all alive, still breathing. Cast your face to the headwind, and gallop at full speed! Thank you Sherry for writing this, for sharing with us your life and stories. Indeed, a deep blessing for me.

  30. Karen says:

    Such a beautiful story. Last year I lost what I call my heart dog. A dog that helped me though the unexpected passing of my sister. Her beautiful spirit was there when I needed her to come and rest her head on my lap when my heart was breaking. Just a short time after my sister passed away my beautiful Bella became ill and one month to the day of diagnosis she was gone. My heart broke. Just recently, last month, my husband of 40 years suddenly passed away. My heart is broken once again. We planned a trip out west which now we will never to do. I have a void in my heart that is so large. I too hope that someday I will find another heart dog that will be there by my side, my best friend. I hope you have much joy with your new journey. I too hope someday that my heat will sing again with joy…….

  31. Pamela says:

    Thank you, Shery, I am so very sorry. We are granted all the wonderful days with our animals, and in return we have to go through a few hard ones. How painful, but the reward is worth the pain. Deepest sympathy.

  32. Victoria says:

    Oh Shery……how my heart breaks for you. I do understand what you are going through. I have lost horses, cows (a Jersey milk cow that was MY baby), a mule and many doggies. The last episode was so hard, I truly felt I could not go through it again. It’s just too hard. Good Lord, I still had a wad of tissue here by my computer left over from your last post! Once again, I cried my eyes out for what you are going through. I tried to share with my husband, but just couldn’t get the words out. Gosh darn, life can be tough. I’m sending prayers to my Wyo sis and just wish I were there to give you a hug to squeeze the stuffin’s outta ya!! Love from your SoCal sister, Vikki

  33. cora jo says:

    Oh, Shery. Wow! Cried buckets with you…again. My Bluebellt was dear to me too. I read a piece by Alice Walker once about her witnessing a horse grieve for another. True stuff. Only animal lovers can know this. Apple is beautiful. Glad she is "home" with you.

  34. ROXANNE WARD says:

    So sorry for your loss. Our 4 legged family members are so stitched into our soul that the grieving is all-consuming. Your beautiful horses knew that and you are the now the warrior to send them off in love for happy trails until reunited again with them. Life is so short that only the loving and giving to other equine (all animals)will give us love and guidance to follow our path and make a difference while we are here.

  35. Brenda says:

    I am so sorry Shery. Your post was heartfelt and I have shed some tears but would have read it even if I knew that was what to was to come. They were beautiful horses and I know you will miss them. We have not lost a pet so magnificent but family dogs and even a couple of my chickens have made me quite sad for days. May God bless you with peace of heart and know we all love you because otherwise why would we be here reading and commenting to your sad but also happy story. Of course, by happy, I mean the wonderful times you just shared with all of us that you had with your beloved friend.

  36. Theresa Bondurant says:

    Oh how I cried for you. Putting down a loved one when you know it is the best thing for them is the hardest and losing two loved ones so close together…..my heart is heavy for you. I know getting another loved one helps but it doesn’t take away the intense sadness. We put our beloved dog down and I stayed with him till the complete end and i am glad I did but it was so very hard. We got another rescue within weeks and it helped to have a new love to take care of but the saddness was still there and still is even now upon occasion. when I love, I love deep and Shortie will always be my boy. And I am grateful for him being in my life and grateful to have spent that time with him. Now I know he is in heaven eating all that he wants and playing all that he wants. Love takes care of all.

  37. Ms. Terry Fansler says:

    Dear Sherry,
    I have just read your moving tribute to your beloved horse, Apple Pi Dolly Rose. I recently lost two of my beloved pets, Baxter a Maine Coon Cat and Bruno, a collie, huskie, sheperd mix. They were 14 and 15 years old. I loved them so. I now have two new puppies, a golden/doodle and a labradoodle, both girls! I have always loved horses, but have never owned one. I live on Seabrook Island in South Carolina and we have an equestrian center here which allows me to ride and visit the horses! I have come across your site as I am researching for a novel I am writing and I needed to learn about cattle ranching and calving. I am so happy to have found you and love all the information you share on this topic. I have to admit, I’m very taken with your writings and plan to be a follower of your site! I will be reading as many of your posts as I can in order to learn more about cattle ranching! Thanks so much for sharing your life! Terry Fansler

  38. Christy Foster says:

    A beautiful tribute that brought tears to my soul & heart!
    I had to have my 11 year old daughter BAILEY who owns her own
    gelding Pony of America 14.2 hand horse named "DANDY" read the rest as
    her Mom was so choked up reading:(
    My daughters #1 Love is her boy!
    Thank you for a most fascinating story of your lives.
    As a mom who dreamt of having horses be my world young, I was unable to until my daughter
    got the bug @ age 4! Now I’m turning 49 & just going to start riding for first to my daughters desire
    I join & have this love shared as a bonding unity.
    Thank you, Christy &Bailey

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