A Visit from Our Neighbors

19Apr07

I had mentioned in a previous post that we have two neighbors – two small horses that live right on the other side of the fence line. The pups initially did not like these guys, even when they were puppies they thought that it was rather rude, this sudden urge of theirs, to find the grass greener on this side of the fence.  One night around three am – a time when chaos always seems to make itself known around this place – I awoke to our pups barking.

They had that high pitched ring to it that tells an owner that the barking this time is not in jest, it is not calling other dogs to play, it is not a warning but that indeed there is something out here… “this time I promise!” I was a bit concerned that perhaps the cougar had returned – which they will often do – that is if your backyard has been their hunting grounds long enough. There was no moon that night but I decided to investigate anyway.

Okay – okay not without actually waking my husband because he is, after all, a much better shot than I am.

So out we go, me holding a flashlight and he holding a handgun. I was led through the dark by the insistent barks. Suddenly I saw a shadow pass by the pups and I was able to figure one thing at that moment whatever they were barking at was real – and real big. Joe being who he is his steps didn’t falter. I said, “hon, there really is something out there” but that didn’t halt him either. He just muttered, “I know.” It reminded me when the cougar was there and while I had been back stepping he walked right up to it as if he was going to introduce himself. “Hi Mr. Cougar, names Joe, you stopping for lunch today?”

Then suddenly I recalled that I had light that was only staring down at my boots. I lifted it, my stomach lurched and then I saw the unmistakable hind end of a horse. Joe walks up to the horses and says firmly to the puppies, “these are our friends – look.” And he give big hug to the painted horse. I was stunned, and so were the puppies. I heard the firm barks turn into dark short lived silence. Then they decided that while the painted horse was Joe’s friend there were two horses and thus the other must be an enemy. So they started firmly barking at the other horse. Joe promptly went up to the white horse and said, “This is my friend too,” and hugged that horse. Why, he could have handed them a frosty mug of rootbeer and I would have been less shocked then to see him sleepily hug two horses. Then he turned and threw his arms over the shoulders of both of the horses – so here is this guy with two horse heads on each side of him. My flashlight made him and the horses look like they had a spotlight on their faces. I couldn’t stop myself I started laughing. The puppies, deciding all was well, started off to go back to their puppy condominium – stopping to nuzzle my hand with their snouts as they went back. And my, I laughed. That was the first introduction between the horses and the pups.

So they showed up yesterday again and somehow got over the fence. As previously mentioned they grew up over here before we bought the place. So even though they live next door thier heart is here – oh yeah, and greener grass. Obviosuly its a shame that fish don’t bite on grass because as the horses can attest we do have alluring grass.

The pups barked a bit and we told them to stop. They saw no cause for fear so they did as they were told. I had read somewhere that dogs read your emotions and if your calm they will be too. That the biggest mistake a dog owner does is yell at a dog to shut up. Why? It’s so logical and simple I cannot believe I missed it all these years – they think you are barking too.

The horses are treated like guests. We don’t pull out the good whiskey mind you – however, our “crisper” in the fridge empties out real quick when they visit. {Is “crisper” what they call that little plastic basket at the bottom of the fridge?} We give them what apples and carrots that happen to be in the house. Joe usually used the last one to lure them back to their home after they taste the grass for a couple of hours.

They are welcome guests.

Yesterday when they stopped by I finally took out the camera so you can see them yourself. They are owned by one real nice guy next door. They would not be lured home by anyone yesterday so we called the neighbor and he came to collect them himself. While his son talked nonstop, he tied both of them to the back of his quad.

I don’t know their names, so far they have yet to introduce themselves, so you can name them anything you like if it helps the story along.

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Them enjoying the green grass as mentioned before.

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Yesterday was the first time I had petted one of the horses and I was pretty amazed by their fur – they look softer than they feel. It’s very brittle and I became enamoured with it.

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Sometimes when I’m petting the pups (and on this day petting the horses) I’m in awe at the thought of being able to tame any animals at all. I cannot fathom the wild person who worked with the wolf over and over until he not only wanted the touch of man but actually craves it. That idea just makes the world seem so much larger than myself. I certainly couldn’t claim such an accomplishment.

I think it was Micheal Criton who said we stand on the shoulders of giants – and every-time I pet an animal like this one who is about four times larger than my size I realize it isn’t just modern day scientists, psychologists, and physicsist that do this but so does this lowly woman as well.

… and I thank those giants – the ones who tames the pup and the horse. It’s pretty amazing to me that we humans are just honored enough to whistle in a pup and rub the side of a mare – and even the privilege of calling them neighbors. (On a slow day sometimes they work out to be the best company.)

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4 Responses to “A Visit from Our Neighbors”

  1. 1 montucky

    That’s a great story! I’m glad to know that I’m not the only one who looks at animals as friends or neighbors and not merely possessions.

  2. :o) boy, that would take a large ego to think they own an horse. After all even those who “own it” pitch hay in it’s trough everyday and clean up after them – it’s like me with the pups. They are just enough work to remind me that I’m the silly one opening the canned dog food and mixing it with thier dog chow (they have yet to do this for me I think science is cool but I don’t buy the opposable thumb theory – especially with teeth that can take down a deer.) I believe they own me and I also believe they believe they own me. I think that’s we get along so well – we agree wholeheartily on that subject.

  3. I too am from Kettle Falls and your story made me laugh and think about that happening to us a couple of times. Every time my husband goes to the coast to visit family, my horses get out. It’s as if they know that Dad is not here so they can misbehave.

    I had a new foal born this Easter and my husband left the next day to go visit family on the coast. The foal was 3 days old and at 3am my black lab, Rex, started growling and barking at my bedroom window. I stumbled out of bed and raised the blinds only to see 3 day old baby in her blue snow blanket looking in my bedroom window.

    As I hurried and got dressed and ran outside to try to catch Momma and get them both back into the pasture. Momma took one look at me and as if to say, “I miss Daddy and I’m going to find him!” she started to walk down the driveway in the snow taking baby with her!

    Needless to say that was exhilarating running to get grain, getting them back into the pasture, and then mending the fence so they didn’t get out again. By the time I was done I was wide awake, thanks to the brisk winter air! I am not a morning person!


  1. 1 patch perfect grass seed

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