GODSPEED beautiful, elegant, honest Sam. You were FREE and very loved. I am grateful you let me be your friend.

Sam passed.

It was not painful, she was not sick… she had no broken limbs.   She simply laid down under a tree and passed during the night – on the lovely 9600 free acres of Skydog Sanctuary – surrounded by her wild herdmates.

Could it have been any better for her?  I think not.

She was buried under her favorite tree.

Rojo, Remi and Sam’s herdmates all gathered to pay their respects… and then they all moved on.

As it should be.

The cycle of life.

Sam, Remi and Rojo when they were first released at Skydog.


It tore my heart to send the ‘Stang Gang (Sam, Rojo and Remi) to Skydog – but I knew it was the very best option for them.  I knew I could never offer them the freedom, the LIFE that they could live at Skydog.  To me, the invitation to relocate to Skydog Sanctuary was like winning the lottery for my previously wild horses.

How could I not?

And… I felt totally secure and contented with the decision as time went on.  I knew Clare of Skydog gave my trio – and all of her charges – the best of care.  The best.

When I visited Skydog Sanctuary, Sam, Rojo and Remi all came running to visit and tell me all about their wonderful new adventures.  They looked robust and happy.  Every time.  Robust and happy.  As it should be.

Sam, Remi and Rojo… happy at the Grass Valley Ranch.

Rojo, Sam and Remi, FREE AGAIN at Skydog Sanctuary.


When Sam first arrived to me in our Grass Valley ranch (you can read that story here), she was sick, skinny and very pregnant.

I had 8 years plumping her up and getting to know Sam.  At first, she wouldn’t let me touch her.  After time, she considered me a trusted friend.  Sam was street smart.  She wisely pushed her baby to bond with me even though she may not have wanted to be loved on by humans.  She knew this was the world now.

But even thought she didn’t want human interaction, she did everything I asked.  Sam understood what I wanted and graciously did whatever I needed her to do.  She went through any gate I opened and put herself back after free grazing.

She understood sunscreen.  In fact, she’d ask for it in the summertime.

And, my greatest compliment to Sam, was that she was the VERY BEST mother.  Not only did she mother her baby, but she mothered everyone elses’ babies better than they did!

Remi, Sam, Rojo and Gwen… all relaxing at the Grass Valley ranch.


As most of you know, we recently moved from a perfect setting in Grass Valley, to a not so perfect setting in Paso Robles.

My domestic horses were OK living here on 10 acres with not much diversity… but the previously wild mustangs (Sam, Rojo and Remi) were horribly bored.  Remi hung her ears sideways on most days.  It was heartbreaking.

So, when the opportunity arose to send them to Skydog Sanctuary, I knew it was the right thing.

Rojo and Sam at Skydog.

Sam from my last trip to Skydog in October, 2017.

Rojo and Sam during winter at Skydog.

The Stang Gang at Skydog at Sunset.


Having her pass so soon (we think she was around 16 – 20 years old…), was shocking.  But, if she had passed here with me in Paso, I would have been sad for the last 16 months of her life.

But, having her pass at Skydog, well… I think she spent her last 16 months – HAPPY.

She was the very best Mom. Here she is, just a few weeks after arriving to my place in Grass Valley and then delivering her Mini-Me baby!


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8 comments have been posted...

  1. dawndi Post author

    Hi Delia:
    I am a blogger who helps horses in need through our Drop in the Bucket Fund.
    I think you were asking about Skydog Sanctuary? You can google them. They are in Oregon.
    The article links to them a few times.

  2. Delia Edgett

    Where are you located exactly? Do you need volunteer help? I am a certified vet tech. (Qualifications; Can take blood and also run blood work, can prepare anything for and also read it under a microscope. I can do surgeries, dentals and any other procedure’s asked of me.) I have extremely amazing work ethics. I can also get all of this verified by the famous DVM who taught me all that I know. It is time for me to serve now.

  3. Kitty Bo

    This is one of those sad happy endings. You did the right thing for her in every aspect of her life. We are sad with you and happy that she passed in happy freedom where she was taken care of, no fear of predators or hunger, and with her herd mates.

  4. Helen Fleming

    With both sorrow and happiness for Sam’s passing, we know she lived in a perfect setting with her family, peacefully and free. A fitting tribute to a beautiful, strong and independent companion that defined your love for her. Thank you for sharing with us. You will meet again in spirit.

  5. Mary Lu Kennedy

    I am so sorry for your loss but I am so glad that she had her time in the wild with her friends. She was a beautiful mare.
    I cried through all of the photos of her. I get so attached to any horse and it always makes me sad to hear of a loss.

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