I found this in my email box… a heartwarming read – make sure to read the POST SCRIPT!
Original story linked here.
Just a Boy and His One-Eyed Pony
In late November, a post by Deborah Bell-Delvin of the group, Don’t Forget Us Pet Us began making the rounds on Facebook. The post told the story of Deborah’s five-year-old son Cole and his love for Cowboy, a one-eyed, slaughter-bound pony the family pulled from a feedlot two years ago. What happened next would have a wide-ranging impact, not just on one little boy and his pony, but on horse lovers around the globe. The post is reprinted here with permission.
Cowboy entered my son’s life when he was two years old. Cole is five now so three years—but when you think about it, my son has had Cowboy more than half his life! Cowboy was an aged pony heading to a high-kill buyer auction with a significant, untreated, and oh-so-ouchy eye injury. I bought and brought him home so he would not continue to suffer; so he would not continue to be uncared for and unloved…little did I know he would turn out to be Cole’s first pony.
This twenty-something-year-old, one-eyed pony has taught my son some of life’s greatest lessons.
Cole noticed right away [Cowboy’s] eye was injured; you could barely see it as it had started its journey of withdrawing back into the socket. But you could see the inflammation, the drainage, and it was clear he could not see. My two-year-old practiced and practiced closing one eye. He wanted to experience [Cowboy’s] world.
Cowboy taught him empathy…
Together, we would tend to Cowboy’s eye. [Cole] would help hold compresses and hold the lead line while I applied ointment. All the while telling his pony it was going to be okay, that we were helping, not hurting!
Cowboy taught my son compassion…
Cowboy taught my son responsibility…
As Cowboy stood in our barn aisle under standing sedation, we watched his surgery; we watched as the surgeon carefully and skillfully removed his eye, cutting through the optic nerve, and stitching up the socket. [When] Cole was at the hospital just last week, I reminded him how brave Cowboy had been, and he quickly showed he could be brave too.
Cowboy taught my son bravery…
As Cole got older, he would spend forever trying to mount his pony—he insisted on doing it himself. I would giggle from inside the barn as Cowboy would walk off and leave him at the mounting block, or maybe the saddle would slip, or he’d get half-on or at times fall over the other side. But [Cole] didn’t get mad, he didn’t give up, and he would eventually find himself in the saddle, grinning ear to ear.
Cowboy taught my son perseverance and patience…
When Cowboy tracked left in the arena, he could not see the rail. He depended on my son to be his sight where he had none. Cole would have to navigate him safely around the ring, through the woods, and around obstacles.
Cowboy taught him trust…
Ohhh these two through the years—two peas in a pod. Everything was always “my Cowboy.” [Cole] was not afraid to hug and kiss his pony, and just the other day he told me he wanted to give this most cherished one-eyed pony to his kids someday.
Cowboy taught him love and affection…
Today, Cowboy taught him his last and final lesson, one you never want your kids to learn. The one that when you lose something you love, there is nothing, just nothing, that can fill that great big hole in your heart. No Band-Aids, or ointments, or mommy’s kisses can make your pain go away. You can’t understand it, you can’t make it stop; not even for a second. You cry all your tears, stop to let them refill, and then cry them all again, it hurts that bad.
Cowboy is teaching my son to grieve…
To my dearest one-eyed pony, you are responsible for introducing Cole to the wonderful world of horses. You gave him the most pleasurable experiences, some of the most precious moments, and when that little boy sat upon your back, not only did you carry him safely, you did it with such pride…and that pride worked its way up and landed on my son’s face.
Thank you for every minute and moment you were in our lives.
I told him you were in Heaven. I reminded him of some of the other special people and animals that are also up there. I told him you would be watching over him because I know you will. And as my son grows, as he moves through life, he will never forget you. So much of who he is, is because of what you taught him.
You can keep up with this story at Don’t Forget Us Pet Us.
JANUARY BUCKET FUND! MEET ARACELY:
She is a 15 year old Peruvian Paso mare with a horrible skin infection on her face that started from a rope burn! Click here to read her story and donate! Thank you!