Taken from the zootoo.com Shelter Makeover Journal Section...reprinted here in its entirety...
Im an animal lover, period. I fill my home and heart with wayward cats and dogs and now a couple of horses. I had the farrier out the other day to trim the girls. I always looked at him as a caring old cowboy..a man I could trust his judgement. Afterall he is a man that loves horses. He said something that day about my girls that cast a black cloud on my thoughts of not only him but the attitude of many.
Horses. They dont come by us cheap thats for sure. Not only their cost to purchase but also to care, feed and shelter. More then any other animal we bring into our lives. We train them and show them and race them and maybe even make an income from them. What I dont get is how quickly and often we let them go without a blink of an eye or a care as to their final outcome..like trading in last years model of car for the new shiny one on the dealers lot. As a little girl what I would have given to have even one of those horses we would see out in the fields as we drove down the highways.
How lucky those people were to have them in their lives. I would draw them on my schoolwork or anywhere there was a blank surface and when I played, I was the most glorious of horses running with my mane flowing and my hooves pounding a beat of a beautiful song on the earth..just like they have done since the beginning of time. Thats the sound that makes your heart pound and your blood race thru your veins. Never can you feel more alive then you do when you witness such a beautiful sight.
As an animal artist, Ive done a lot of study on all these creatures-horses, cats, dogs...-how they think, act and re-act and their relationship with man. The one I always found so profound was the horse. The way they communicate without speaking and listen to our souls. They know our thoughts and feelings often long before we even do. They are a creature that bond not only with each other but also with us. Often if allowed, for life.
They can reach out to the most troubled of souls and those that are so misunderstood by society and accept them as they are for they lay no judgement. Now that I have been blessed to have not one but two in my life, I cant begin to express the feeling I get when I am with them..heck even thinking of them.
Craig finished shodding Lena and came out of her stall chuckling and shaking his head. "Shes a got some issues."
I piped up in quick response,"Yep, she has spunk and personality". And that she truly does. I couldnt help but feel a warning to be defensive. She came from a bad place. A place of brutal old ways and lack of compassion and whether she 'acquired' her behavior there or has carried it with her her whole life, only she knows.
But she is who she is and although she does have a few bad habits that she can do without, I really wouldnt want her any other way. She just wouldnt be Lena..Our other girl, a blind Paint mare had her turn next. It didnt go so well but we didnt expect it to. She also came from the same bad place and had lived a miserable life.
Her blindness is not from genes but rather from the hands of man. It was Jo of Angel Acres that really held my hand and gave moral support while I went thru the process of trying to rescue her from this place. She has come a long way that girl has. We have our good days and our bad, but no matter what she is loved. They are loved.
"Just a couple of misfits. That one(meaning Lena)just sell her back to where you got her and this one(the blind one) is no good for nothin. You wouldnt get anything for her so best just to let her go to slaughter and get yourself a couple of good horses. Just throwing good money after bad".
These words fell hard on my ears. This was a man that loved horses. He LOVES horses and so easily those words rolled off his lips. I was flabbergasted "No" I said. "Thats not the way it works here. They are part of our family and as with each family member we take the good with the bad". And that was the end of that...at least for my horses.
With our recent involvement in the 'horse world', it started to become so clear and common how many horses never see a forever home. How quickly they are turned over or forgotten. It also brought to light the horrible fate that a lot of them endure thru no fault of their own. Ending up on dinner plates of the elite in European countries by being bought up by the kill buyers at the livestock auctions.
These have been our companions. They have carried us, worked for us, listened to us and forgave us time and time again and this is our gratitude. I took a bit of a hiatus from my art but upon returning to it this past year, I joined up with Artists United for Animal Rescue. We are a group of artists that donate proceeds from our art to benefit animal rescue charities that work to save unwanted and abused victims.
It has been thru my involvement with helping these charities that I met Jo of Angel Acres Horse Rescue. I have both great respect and admiration for Jo. For she gets into the heart of it and does what I only wish I could do physically. Whether it be one horse or a 100 horses, she works day and night to give these companions of ours a new chance on life. To save them from the abusers, to save them from a sad life of neglect and to save them from the slaughter houses. I can only imagine the emotional toll it must take to be in the forefront.
Just getting our Cherokee from a life that was not nearly as dismal of what some of these horses she rescues is, I found to be so physically and emotionally draining. And yet day after day, she rises to head out to save another and do it all over again. She is driven by their heart and soul to save all that she can. A true hero in my book.
Sadly sometimes a person can only do so much when accommodations and money dictate your capability. And I dont want to ever imagine the emotional toll it must take to have to turn your heart away from one that needs you because you dont have the means to do something.
It is for all of this that I support whole heartedly the cause, efforts and commitment of Angel Acres.
As one more sad soul is loaded off the rescue trailer at Angel Acres the rest of the herd watch on with anticipation. His frail frame from lack of food fights to make every step, and the look in his eye dark as his hopes and dreams faded over the years. His master loved him....once. The crew again get set to work the long hours it will take to bring his body, mind and soul back to what it once was...if they can.
Next to that is another trailer just returning from the auctions. Out comes a beautiful mare due to give birth in only a few short weeks. She was saved from the kill buyers and destined to be slaughtered. Out in the pasture a beautiful song beats on the earth as the herd gallops now full of life. They all were once greeted by the Angels and rejoice that two more this day will join them.......for thats the way it works here...
Caron WiedrickRealism Animal ArtistArts of Eden <http://www.artsofeden.com>