Horsin’ Around 11-15-10
Fort Collins, Colo.
Well, I am about to finish what I have learned about taking care of my horse for now, but first I have to tell you about a sad event that came into my life the other day. I had a border collie/blue heeler cross pup given to me a number of years ago. He was totally out of control and that’s why he was given to me, but I worked with him for two weeks and just like someone had flipped a switch in his head, he suddenly came around and would mind and stay right with me everywhere I went.
Over the years he became my partner. His name was Blaze and loved kids, especially girls, because it was a neighbor girl who had raised him. I would take him with me in the summer to Rodeo Bible Camps, the kids loved him and he loved the kids. When I was busy in the arena, Blaze would jay under the trailer and watch. Oh, every once in a while he couldn’t stand it and would sneak out to lay by the roping chutes. As long as he stayed there I wouldn’t say anything but when he would sneak out and try to chase the steers, I had to get after him.
But he was the best-behaved dog I have ever had and it took a lot of work on my part to train him. Most of the time it was with my voice and very seldom did I have to spank. But I would if he really messed up. I even taught him to allow the kitty we had to be around and I know that was hard for him, but he did it because that’s the way I wanted it.
There was one time though we went over to my friend, Jim Zimmerman’s house and Jim and I just let him snoop around the cats. There was one cat that just walked by like any other animal and Blaze made a jump for the cat. She wheeled and laid a claw in his cheek, after that he had nothing to do with Jim’s cats and gave them a wide space. Jim and I laughed at him so hard I think it embarrassed him. But from then on I could go over and not have to worry about Jim’s cats.
Well, the other day I could tell Blaze was not feeling well and stopped eating. He had done this before when he was not feeling well so I plugged in the electric heater in his dog house and put his coat on him, thinking it was just the flu or something. But when I loaded the horse to go practicing he did not want to go and that was a first. So I made him comfortable and took off.
I was gone most of the day and when I came home, I found Blaze under the front porch. It was his favorite place to be but he had a heart attack and was lying there and had gone home.
This was one of the hardest things I have dealt with in a long time and I miss him so much. Especially when I go out to feed or go to town because he was always with me. I even found myself walking out of the house and calling for him. But that is the way it is when you have animals that are your buddies.
Prior to his retirement, Roger Thompson was a CHA certified instructor of advanced Western horsemanship and beginning English riding.
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