Friday, July 11, 2014

Spreading Apple Love At The Phoenix Rising Equine Rescue and Sanctuary

My wife and I have assisted with rescue efforts for quite some time. Today, during a conversation, I found myself caught off guard when I heard, "When he arrived here, he was about 250 pounds underweight." No, that's not a typo. It's also not something that we're used to hearing. It was a first for us.

Today, while delivering biscuits to "Famous Amos" we had the opportunity to take a tour of the Phoenix Rising Equine Rescue and Sanctuary. It's on the property where Amos lives. We arrived with bags of biscuits for the pups and a large container of sliced apples for the horses. Neither one of us knew what to expect. We're not too familiar with the equine world. Our interactions are with much smaller animals usually not weighing more than 180 pounds.

Spreading the biscuit love and feeding the pups is what we're used to. Holding a slice of apple in the palm of our hand to feed a horse weighing over 1500 pounds is a whole other world...but it's one we enjoyed and want to go back to. As we fed each horse some apple love, Sue shared their stories with us. More often than not, we were speechless. The nightmares some of these horses endured before arriving are incomprehensible. One of the larger horses was beaten with a Wiffle bat while another went blind due to improper care.

The "before" stories (or as we call them...pre-rescue stories) will never get easier to listen to. There is no way to desensitize yourself to any of that. Our throats will always tighten. We will continuously fight back tears. And we will always be hopeful that any animal, regardless of size, will learn to differentiate between the "hoomans" that suck and the ones with gentle, harmless souls. Whether it's the wagging tails of pups waiting for their crunchy love or an 1800 horse eating a slice of apple from our hands, we can only hope, at that very moment, a connection is established.

A huge thank you to Sue for taking time out of her busy day to give us a tour. We'll definitely be back...with more biscuit, apple and carrot love!

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