Thursday, March 24, 2016

Animal Buddies

Photo credit: Larry D. Fenwick
Within the past few months each time we go to town we have noticed a horse and a goat sharing the same pasture.  At first we didn't think much about it, but gradually we realized that these two animals were friends.

Returning home last week the sun was perfect and the two animals were close enough together and near enough to the road for us to get a nice photograph of them.  My husband turned around and went back, and when the two buddies saw us stop, they came to the fence to pose.

Photo credit:  Larry D. Fenwick
 I recalled a video we had seen on television not long ago about an old blind horse and a goat named Jack, who decided on his own to become Charlie Horse's guide.  According to their owner, no one trained Jack or encouraged the relationship, but for 16 years the goat would lead the blind horse to a favorite grazing patch, where the two friends would spend the day together until it was time for Jack to lead Charlie home.  The video may be watched at and you can find it by googling "goat guides blind horse."  After Charlie's death, the owner recognized the rapid decline of Jack, and made plans to bury Jack beside Charlie in the clearing where the two of them loved to spend their days together.

As unusual as it may seem, if you google "animal buddies" you can find other sites with photographs of animal friends you would never expect to see together.

Photo credit:  Larry D. Fenwick
Isaac B. Werner staked his claims on the Kansas prairie in 1878, and for six years he managed without a horse.  He acquired the horse he named Dolly Varden (See "Isaac's Dolly Varden," 12-28-2012 in the Blog Archives), and Isaac named Dolly's first colt Jim.  Two years later Isaac bought Jule, a gray mare with a colt by her side that he named Baldy.  

Baldy's first brush with bad luck happened when he was three.  A neighbor named Frazee was helping Isaac one day in mid-July, and when his dog misbehaved Frazee picked up a rock to throw at the dog.  His aim was poor, and he hit Baldy in the eye.  In Isaac's own words, "Frazee knocked Baldy's right eye out with a stone throwing at his worthless nuisance of a dog, showing hardly as much judgment as an ordinary 15 year old boy..."  Isaac lost sleep worrying about Baldy, and he treated the eye socket with a "linament half Lard and half Turpentine."  Baldy survived the ordeal, but his life seemed ill-fated.

Photo credit:  Lyn Fenwick
One morning in early April of the following year, Isaac went out " put [the] colts on rye pasture and found 'Baldy' horse cold dead by fodder stack and 'Jim' keeping him company." About a year apart in ages, Jim and Baldy were buddies, and Jim kept watch over his friend until Isaac arrived.  (According to Isaac, death was the result of eating cane "..after much freezing, too much indigestible stalk shell in it.")

For those of us who have loved special animals in our lives, we know each one has a unique personality and a great capacity for affection.

Isaac loved his horses, his cats, even his favorite chickens, and he certainly loved and protected the wild birds on his property.  (See "Isaac and His 'Pet' Game Birds," 8-8-2013.)  As for the hogs...not so much!  (See "Isaac's Bad Luck with Hogs," 9-11-2014) 

1 comment:

The Blog Fodder said...

Most animals are gregarious and herd animals especially so. No surprises to see different species befriend one another in the absence of others of their own kind. The story of Charlie and Jack kind of made me sad. Love is love where ever.