In Memory of Woody
(Read more stories of Barb's animals)

Today was a very, very bad day for me. We had to put my darling Woody down.  It's like loosing my best friend. Somehow, stupidly or not, you you start to believe that some of them will just go on and on. I couldn't imagine the farm without Woody's sweet face here to greet me every morning. He came back from the brink for me so many times I guess I just wanted to believe he would always be able to.
He looked so small when he lay down for the last time. But his dear little body had an enormous  heart.
I have to believe that Fern and Zotti were waiting for him, to show him where the greenest grass grows, and where the apples and carrots are handed out. His last meal here was apple slices dipped in brown sugar, that he lipped gently out of my hands.
I don't know if I believe in a heaven for people, with all their pettiness and imperfections. But I KNOW that there is one for animals.
So goodbye finally my sweetheart. I bless the day I found you. Say hello to them all for me.
Your Barb

The story of Woody, a  working horse who will never again have to earn his keep.

My little girl Dodi,  tells me that horses are the best to tell your secrets to because their mouths are always full of grass, and they can't tell.

Her pony's name is Woody.  By the vet's best guess he's well into his 20's, if not older.

Woody was a pony-ride pony.  He was at a farm in Mission the first time I saw him in 1999.  He was getting too old to give rides so his owners put an add in the paper advertising a "bomb proof pony". We wanted a companion for Fern so we went to see him, and I loved him on sight. 

We knew we would take him before we even got close enough to touch.  He is not beautiful by any human measure of horse beauty, and his owner began to apologize for him almost immediately.  He has a sagging back, huge ears, and needs his food mashed to a pulp because most of his teeth are gone. 

Woody won't go anywhere fast.  Dodi sits on his back sometimes while he is eating or lies beside him in the sunshine.  She doesn't want to ride him, she feels somehow it would be an indignity to inflict on him.  She just wants to be with him.  She will stand beside him, her arm about his neck, and gaze solemnly into the distance.  A miracle for a little girl who seldom stands still.

She thinks Woody is beautiful.  No, he didn't teach her to ride, but he taught her other important lessons.  Respect for all life.  About an animal's right to grow old and be treated with kindness after a life of serving.  That beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  And that a friend is a friend, regardless of what they do for you.   We cherish every day that we can share with him.