May 1, 2009

Hey! Remember Me?

Click to enlarge photos.
Little Rescue Boy

It's been quite awhile since I've updated the progress report on Shadow. Much has happened in his life in the past few months.

He fell in love with Royal, he became Royal's babysitter while Royal was confined with laminitis, he learned that he could be alone without freaking out, which, to me, meant that he had learned to trust us. 

He decided that this was home. He had that "I'm not moving" manner about him.

What he did not learn was to respond to his name. I've never been so ignored by a horse. I'd whisper his name while grooming, I'd call his name while carrying a bucket of feed ... nothing.

I wondered if anyone had ever called him by his name. It was clear that "Shadow" did not associate himself with that name. 

Maybe he had had many names in the past or perhaps he associated the name with how horribly he had been treated in the past. 

I still look at that photograph taken last fall when we rescued him. It remains unbelievable that anyone could treat him so badly.
(Click on "Our Rescue Horse" under Labels for the full story)

Last September

In the early days of this saga, many of you sent some really good suggestions for a new name. However, nothing seemed to fit. Finally I gave up and decided I'd let this boy pick his own new name.

We had many trial runs, but nothing seemed to please him. While working with him I'd usually say things like ... you poor little boy.
Since there were other things to learn, we went on with the business of helping him adjust to life in our barn.

The two horses had never been together... I mean, out of their stalls, together. I knew that day would have to arrive eventually. 

But in the meantime, it seemed safer for both of them to just take turns visiting each other. I didn't want Shadow to be overwhelmed by the Number One horse in the barn, and I didn't want Royal to get into any shuffle matches as he is still in therapy shoes.

I'm really not sure why I decided to take the chance a few weeks ago, but both stall doors were opened. 

I stood back out of the way ready to handle whatever disaster might happen.

This was the scene ... not even the geese ruffled their feathers!

Royal didn't seem to feel the need to puff himself up and parade his authority and Shadow was just grateful to get close to Royal.

That was when I saw the two horses side by side. I'd never thought much about the size difference. There were so many other things to think about.

Looking now at our newcomer, I said ... why, you are just a little Joe.

That was it. Shadow became Little Joe and finally, Little Joey.

What is terrific is ... he likes his name. He'll even come from behind the barn when he hears me call him. Perhaps it is the gentle sound of saying his name, but respond he does.

And as for life with Royal ... why, he can even get close enough to sniff the big guy's royal tail.

How cool is that?
Yep, life is looking good for... Little Joey!


  1. How great to see those two together! Little Joey! I love it...and the sweet horse-fellowship!
    Very nice to get to hear about them again~ Missed you!

  2. This post made my morning! Looking back at those old pictures...his eye just looks so dead. Looking at him now he looks so happy! And curious! And I love the name little Joey, especially after seeing those pictures of him and Royal. He is like a little kangaroo baby trying to get into Royal's "pouch". I am glad Royal is feeling better also. They look adorable together!

  3. Well, this has got me near tears!

    This is the best news. How wonderful for Little Joe! It's the best forever home. And I bet Royal loves having a pal, too.

    (Made my day....)

  4. Awwwwww, I'm feeling those same warm fuzzies I had when you first rescued 'Shadow' from that awful situation.
    Little wonderful! He looks and sounds so content with you and with his best pal, Royal.
    I'm so happy for all of you! :)


  5. This is a wonderful feel good story. So glad for Little Joey,he has a new lease on life and a marvelous new home with people who love him and animal friends he feels comfortable with. I think he and Royal will be great friends for a long time to come. Thank you for telling us about Little Joey, I was wondering about him. Also, it's great that Royal is doing so much better.

  6. This is so nice to see Little Joey happy. Seeing it getting close to Royal is so touchy...

  7. What a wonderful update!! I am so glad that Joey is happy now. It's wonderful when they all get along. I am glad everyone is doing well. Thanks for the update.

  8. Awesome! I like his new name and it sounds like he does too!

    Now is "Little Joe" a character your husband played? LOL, just kiddin'!

  9. That is a perfect name! ;) I love that they got to hang out and be together...they seem very content. I am so glad Little Joey made his way into your blessed little stable!!

  10. Nobody wants to be a shadow - I love Little Joey. These two horses look so happy together. You must be feeling a lot more relaxed these days too. What ordeals both of them have gone through - you're taking great care of them and it really shows. All the horses in Heaven are smiling down on you.

  11. What wonderful news! I LOVE the name. It obviously fits him to a tee if he's coming his name. I suspect that his other name had too many negative associations (like you said). And it's so heartwarming to see that Royal has accepted him as well. How very, very special!


  12. This almost made me cry. Can you imagine what it must feel like to be Little Joey? How much you've done to earn his trust -- and now he has a Royal friend!

    I wish all stories had an ending like this. But this is really just the beginning, isn't it?

  13. How lovely to see them both so happy in each others' company and I am glad that Little Joey likes his new name. Quite a relief that they weren't sorting out the pecking order one iota. Happy news indeed.


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