I started volunteering with Pasture Pals Equine Rescue in May of 2015. I came here looking to get back into horses. I had leased a horse for a while, even tried my hand at barrel racing until life happened (aka 3 kids). It had been quite a while since I’d been around horses, when I contacted Alex for a meet and greet. During my next couple of trips to the barn, I noticed a horse who appeared to be used to not being noticed. He didn’t seem to have high expectations of people that he did not know. I’ve got a reputation among the horses for always having cookies, but this one horse didn’t have any teeth so cookies weren’t something he could enjoy. I went to the store and bought apple sauce cups to keep in my car just for him.
I wish I had recorded the first time I gave Mr. G one because he was so excited, so happy, so surprised that somebody (other than that amazing woman who saved his life) thought of him. It also appeared all the horses in his field felt the same way because no one bothered us while he ate his treat. This was the moment he became my “G-G”. Over the next couple of months, I found I adored all the horses and donkeys, but I always looked forward to the end of feeding rounds, when we’d get to the “west olive” barn and I’d get to see my man.
I called him my baby, even though at 32 he was older than me! He didn’t care because he was spoiled rotten. I brought him and his buddy Doc a baby pool to play in since they shared a love for water. I drove Alex insane some days with my constant worrying over G-G. G was always happy to see me when I’d get there. Sometimes I’d go down at night after it reached a certain temperature in the winter to put his blankie on and he was as always grateful for the extra attention.
When I had my second back surgery and had to stay away for a while to recover, the time apart was hard on both of us. The day I finally returned, G-G was just as happy to see me as I was to see him. He literally pushed past everyone else out there to get to me. He pressed his head into my chest and there we stood, me sobbing and him just breathing a sigh of relief that we were together again. We spent the next months just enjoying each other’s company.
When the weather finally got warm enough this year, I spent an early afternoon giving G-G and his buddy Doc a bath since they loved the water so much. Being that he was an older horse and never seemed in a hurry for much, it was rare to see G move at anything other than a quick walk unless it was snowing (he loved the snow). After their baths, I let them out in the big pasture and never have I enjoyed watching a horse run and jump and roll in the dirt as much as I did that day. It was like G’s final gift to me because less than a month later my baby got sick.
He got so sick so quickly. I don’t think any of us were truly prepared to lose him. I know I wasn’t. But I could tell from watching him and looking in his eyes that he knew it was time. Never have I spent so much time and put so much of my heart into a horse that I never had any intention of riding. Even if he had gained all his weight and was finally to that point, I never wanted to ride him. I only wanted to love him, to make up for all the years he wasn’t treated like the king I knew he was. Even the heavens were sad the day he crossed the rainbow bridge; it rained all day that day.
I miss him every day. Every time I drive by the barn I still look for him. But I know there’s so many more out there who need their faith in humans restored, who need someone to spend a little extra time with them. I thank G for everything he taught me and all the love we shared for each other. He showed me that even though an animal is older and maybe a little needy, doesn’t make their life any less meaningful, any less important than anyone else’s. He would’ve died if he hadn’t come to Pasture Pals, if Alex hadn’t taken a chance on him, if she hadn’t done everything possible to bring him back from the brink of starving to death when he got here, I never would’ve had the opportunity to spend an amazing year and a half with him.
It’s taken me awhile to get over losing G-G, but there’s still so many horses at the rescue who need love and attention and to be shown that people aren’t scary, that I couldn’t just walk away after he died and I’m very glad I didn’t. I hadn’t realized so many others trusted me until another of my favorites, Cinnamon, gave birth to her first baby, who we named Spice. I went to see her a few hours after she gave birth and it was as if she breathed a sigh of relief that someone she’d known and was good to her for the last few months of her life, the first human she had let touch her was there. She showed me her brand new baby and then proceeded to lay down and take a nap. Cinnamon trusted me the way G-G did and it wasn’t until this moment that I realized it. I was honored and touched that she wanted me to watch her new baby so that she could sleep. (I’ve had 3 kids.. I know what a tired momma she must’ve been!) There will never be another G-G for me… But without being at the rescue, being around these magnificent creatures, I’m lost. I need them as much as they need me.
At the end of the day the only ones I have to thank for showing me another side of an animal I had loved my entire life are G-G, Alex, and Keith. I cannot wait to see what adventures the future has in store for me at Pasture Pals ER!