Day 18: Pets are People too – Introducing the Horse Gourmet

The Horse Gourmet – a Three-part Story

By Susan Deborah Schiller

In the Series, "Write to Freedom: A Mini Memoir eCourse"

Life certainly has it's challenging moments and "hard" stories and it's through the tough times that we learn and grow the most. To discover beauty, joy, and humor in the midst of the pain saves us from despair. 

Today I'll share a writing prompt from my "paradise" home in the mountains of rural Montana. You'll get to meet our 1200 pound watch dog and I think it may give you a good laugh. Most of all I hope it inspires you to remember your own "pets are people too" stories, or a time in your life that still makes you chuckle. It's really nice to weave these humorous stories into our memoirs, to help balance the "light and dark" tones!

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One of the joys of rural living is working from a home office where with a few clicks on your keyboard you can instantly connect to nearly anyone on Planet Earth who has a decent internet connection. It does get a little lonely, at times though. It's not like anyone is likely to ask you out to lunch and the nearest Starbucks is a mere 100 miles away!

Working from my home office I type away on my computer in front of a window that looks into our horse pen. Fire has his morning routine, which includes munching grass in front of my window with occasional curious glances in my direction.

Fire can be distracting, but in a peaceful stress-relieving way. I am never at a loss for smiles and giggles when Fire is close by, even if it is true he loves me for the oats and alfalfa.

By noon I am ready for lunch and my favorite place to eat is on our front deck. Taking my sandwich outdoors, I sneak in a few carrots and saltines for Fire. Fire is quite unforgiving if I forget our lunch appointment, and if his equine alarm clock fires off before I hit the porch, he beats me to the door and stomps on the steps with his heavy hooves!

Thankfully I am not late for lunch on this fine summer day… no. I missed lunch and I am late for dinner! He has plenty of grass, but he's outraged that he missed his treats!

At 5 o'clock sharp Fire understands the routine. I am supposed to be outdoors, on the dot, filling dog bowls with Ole Roy high protein pellets and hosing water into the dog's drinking pans. I have had too many phone calls, because I am late for a very important date!

Fire, who has the run of our riverfront property in the mountains where there no neighbors and barely any traffic, has decided to take matters into his own hooves! He knows the dogs must be fed first, and no one – meaning me – was taking care of business!

Mischievously, he trots over to the hound dogs, grabs hold of the lid on the Rubbermaid dog food container, bites it open and knocks it down. Using his big head, he rolls the food bin over to the dogs, pellets spilling everywhere, and allows them to gorge on 25 pounds of food!

I can't help but watch, dumb-founded!

Next, Fire calmly walks over to his own food shed where I normally scoop out generous servings of alfalfa grain, corn, and oats. Waiting next to his shed, Fire simply trusts that now the dogs are taken care of, it is going to be his turn! And so it is. Losing 25-pounds of dog food is worth the trouble as I laugh until tears are flowing.

I don't remember ever being late for dinner after that!

Part II: Do Horses Talk?

I'll never forget the day Fire put young Toby, a mutt we adopted, in his place. You see, to Fire, a yard is more than grass… it's his salad! Fire has never once lifted his tail in our yard. He has plenty of trees in the woods surrounding our property to use for his latrine. The grass is "sacred space" to Fire and not even a wild turkey is allowed to touch the ground.

Fire is more like a 1200-pound watch dog…. a pit bull, is more like it. All deer, elk, and turkeys had better mind their manners!

That's kind of handy when you live in the wilderness where lions, bears, moose, and other large beasts roam. But Fire is more interested in protecting his land from the 4-legged's who considered grass to be their pooping grounds.

Toby is about to make a mistake he will instantly regret. No sooner does he finish squatting than Fire gallops over, meeting the pup head on. Nose to the ground, Fire herds a very humble mutt to his dog house. Toby bows his head and plops down in the safety of his dog house. But that is not enough pennance for Fire…. no, uh huh.

Turning his rear to Toby, Fire backs up and lifts his tail, plopping the biggest, greenest, mushiest present all over the door of the dog house and directly on Toby's doorstep! Trotting away, as nonchalantly as ever, Fire returns to munching grass. I'm sure he hasn't realized I'm watching the entire episode right from the living room window! Hilarious! Now, really, you wonder what people do who live way back in the hinterlands of Montana with no T.V.?

Part III: There are Stories Everywhere You Look

It may have taken us 1 1/2 hours to drive to WalMart or the nearest big shopping, but I will always treasure the special moments we have had living in the wilderness with Fire and the dogs. There's just something about country living. Every day is an adventure!

I can never get enough of the wide open spaces and the deep vault of the heavens above me. Whether nighttime or daytime, the glory of God shines from horizon to horizon. The photo above is a closeup of the mountains, in our front yard.

There are stories everywhere we look, if we take time to notice the little details of creation all around us. If we pause to listen and to watch, the world is full of humor and adventure. And if you listen very carefully, you will not mistake the thoughts of a horse gourmet. English is not needed when you can communicate heart-to-heart.

I hope this story inspires you to share your own "Pets are People Too" stories! Please share your story with us. It builds community and makes us laugh to hear all the different kinds of stories.

I'll bet you can guess what the Day 18 Activation is, in our ongoing E-course called Write to Freedom. Pets deserve to have their stories recorded, don't you think? 🙂

With all my love,

Sue

Susan Schiller knows how it feels to lose everything: marriage and family, church and reputation, finances and businesses, and more. Susan's upcoming, interactive memoir, "On the Way Home," tells the story of how she came to be known as "the most abused woman" her counselors had yet met and how she learned to navigate her way out of hell to a rich and satisfying life. In her lifetime, Susan has served in duties ranging from home school mom – to pastor –  to full-time deliverance minister – and to Midwest regional prayer coordinator for a large international ministry. These days you can usually find Susan soaking in her favorite hot springs pool, reading a book (or several), blogging, baking bread, or hanging out with her family and friends. You can pre-order a free copy of Susan's upcoming book, "On the Way Home" by registering here.

Copyright 2014, Susan Schiller, http://TeamFamilyOnline.com. For reprint permission for any private or commercial use, in any form of media, please contact Susan Schiller.

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Carla J Gardiner November 23, 2010 at 5:11 am

Thanks for sharing, I am still giggling picturing that horse chasing the dog and then pooping on his turf! Our pit bull-boxer cross dog Dexter, and cat Sylvester have a similar relationship, only with my bed! Sylvester hisses and swats at Dexter to ward him off. However, Dexter being 105 pounds wins everytime. They are hysterical to watch and such company. We live in a rural area, too…not quite as remote as Montana though.

Thanks for the entertainment.

Carla
http://CarlasTransportServices.com

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Susan McKenzie November 23, 2010 at 5:15 am

Never a dull moment…. wow, a 105-lb dog on your bed!!! I love their names… how fun!!! Thanks for sharing, Carla!

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Susan McKenzie December 3, 2010 at 1:32 am

Thank you for reading and commenting, Carla! When you get a chance, shoot me an email – because you’ve won this week’s free give-a-way – the $149 package and a free Life Story Book! Yay!!! Congratulations 🙂

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Claudia November 23, 2010 at 4:11 am

Your stories and the pictures help me remember my ‘why’ of coming to this beautiful country. Love it, keep writing.. blessings, Claudia

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Susan McKenzie November 23, 2010 at 5:14 am

You have blessed me, Claudia… where are you from? I love America – every state is so different from the others, so special! How long have you been in the US?

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Rachelle November 22, 2010 at 10:19 pm

We had a horse that was a person too! Pickles. His favorite food was Caribou sausage!

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Susan McKenzie November 22, 2010 at 11:03 pm

Amazing, Rachelle! Sausage??? Wow … I would have loved to watch that 🙂

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Victoria Gazeley November 22, 2010 at 8:44 pm

What a character!!! How lucky you were to share your mountain home with such a brilliant four legged trickster…

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Lily November 22, 2010 at 3:18 am

So lovely hearing your stories. I grew up in suburban sprawl and never had experiences like these!
Best,
Lily

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Susan McKenzie November 22, 2010 at 9:00 pm

Me, too, Lily! 🙂

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Donna November 21, 2010 at 9:43 pm

Susan, these stories are so wonderful. I’d never heard most of these, but I do remember how he liked to chase motorcycles!

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Susan McKenzie November 22, 2010 at 12:52 am

You’re right, Donna… Fire would get steaming angry at any 4-wheeler and chase them for miles down the road! He never did catch one, but I always feared what he might do to the riders!

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Anonymous November 21, 2010 at 2:18 pm

Susan these stories warmed my heart and brought back so many wonderful memories of the years I lived in the mountains of Vermont. We too had “4-legged” members of our family…horses, cows, cats, dogs and even some rabbits…your stories have inspired me to share my own with my grandchildren and they are loving it!!

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Susan McKenzie November 21, 2010 at 2:26 pm

I’m so glad, Denny! Your grandchildren are very blessed that you can share those stories … I love it 🙂

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