Since my first post, I’ve spent a few mornings at 13 Hands, wandering the terrain of the paddocks and getting to know the rescues. What a gift I’ve been given to be able to do this.
We all know that many of the rescues suffered in significant ways before their arrival. This is hard to face, especially for anyone who cares about animals. And it raises so many questions for us about their histories: What happened to you? Where have you been?
The rescues can’t tell us their stories, but often, their scars can.
Dutch, a handsome, steady draft cross, is missing some hair on his face. Staff members guess that he wore a too-tight halter for too long.
The groove across Dante’s withers indicates that this giant, sweet mule probably outgrew his work harness, but that no one took the time to change it.
The brand on Sweetheart’s rump — burned into her skin — reveals that in her past, she really was just a number to someone.
And bite marks, scratches, overgrown hooves, and matted manes also tell stories — of bullying, insecurity, neglect, and abuse.
However (and this is a big HOWEVER), Dutch, Dante, Sweetheart, and so many of the resilient rescues I’ve met are not shut down. In fact, despite what they’ve been through, they’re approachable, gentle, and trusting. Isn’t that just amazing — the leap of faith they’re willing to take to be with us?
I’ve begun to imagine the rescues’ lives as they might actually now live them: with adopters who deserve their trust. Adopters who will offer them safety, security, warmth, love. Who will heed their scars and pledge to heal them. Who will wander the terrain of their paddocks with them and marvel at the life-changing gift they’ve been given.
Until next time —