Horsin’ Around 11-15-10 | TheFencePost.com
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Horsin’ Around 11-15-10

Roger Thompson
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.

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Prior to his retirement, Roger Thompson was a CHA certified instructor of advanced Western horsemanship and beginning English riding.


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