Heather, a girl in my writers group, had a sad day today. She and her family had to say good-bye to their beloved dog, Buddy. She wrote a memoir about Buddy and what he meant to her and her family -- It made me cry! She challenged the rest of us to write about a special pet that made its mark on our lives. For me, it was my first horse Magnum.
I started begging for a horse when I was around 8 years old. I remember over-hearing my grandparents tell my mother that I was going through a phase, and that all little girls love horses. Whatever! If this love is 'just a phase' then I've been stuck in it for the past 27 years!
It started when I rode my second cousin's horse, Trigger, in La Grange TN. Trigger was the first horse I'd ever been around...and that's all it took; I was hooked. Purina Dog Chow used to have a contest every year. If you wrote about why you thought your dog was the best in America, then the winner was awarded $25,000 and a trip to New York City to ride in the Macys Thanksgiving Parade. I must have entered that contest every year for as long as it ran. I suppose I wrote about my intentions because I never won! How could they award the winner of a dog contest to a horse lover?
However, my dream came true on October 14th 1984. It was love at first sight; and I was a teenager in love with Tom Selleck so it made perfect sense to name my gelding Magnum. He was my best friend for 19 years. My parents sold my home place in 2003, and unfortunately Magnum stayed with the property. The new buyer just recently sold it again, but this time Magnum went with her to Branson Missouri. I was relieved that I would never have to mourn his death. He will live forever in my memory as a young healthy gelding. The following is my tribute to him:
You could read my thoughts -- that is what I will miss the most about you. I remember sneaking out to the barn in the middle of the night, and you would meet me at the fence.
Instinctively, you knew I needed to talk. You nickered softly as I climbed over the crooked wooden fence, and wrapped my arms around your giant neck. Long strands of your chestnut mane tickled my cheek. You didn't back away, turn your head or ask for anything. You stood strong for me, unwavering; always giving me unconditional love.
I used to cradle your head against me and kiss the corner of your eye. You rested your soft pink nose in the palm of my hand. While still wearing my pajamas, I would crawl on your back and we would wander out into the fields for a midnight graze. You munched on dew covered grass while I stared at the stars and listened to you chew.
Those are some of my most cherished memories of you. I will forever carry them close to my heart, and some day in heaven, we will ride the fields together again!