Tuesday, August 21, 2012


         Spencer, my 14-year-old son, and I arrived home one late afternoon to an urgent message from a neighbor who said Paso, her beloved horse, was missing. Spencer and I pulled on our cowboy boots, barn coats and gloves. Then, we walked to our neighbor’s pasture, with a couple lead ropes, positive we’d find Paso grazing on this lower portion of our neighbor’s ranch.
When we didn’t locate Paso, we jumped into the truck and headed to our neighbor’s home with the lead ropes. I pulled into her driveway and abruptly stopped when I saw my neighbor and barn helper standing frozen as statues. Spencer and I jumped out of the truck only to have our neighbor say, “Thank you so much for driving up here, however, I found Paso dead in the creek. I don’t know how he died. He somehow must have broken his neck.”
After talking with her a few minutes, Spencer and I made a slow drive back to our ranch. There, all the lights were brightly shining in our beautiful home and the wood for a fire waited. We knew our neighbor was in for one heck of a long, dark, cold night.
Sad, I posted this story for my animal-loving Facebook friends around the world. As always, they responded with their kind and thoughtful remarks:

Tati Santiago I am so sorry what happened to the horse, a hug from a distance my dear friend.
Tati Santiago Have a beautiful Thanksgiving Day in spite of what happened.
Ignacio Mogni Do you know the cause of death?
Lisa Woodcock I'm so sorry about your friend's horse :-(
James Sanchez ‎:-(
Kathryn Anderson What an incredible Mama you are to Spencer, opening his heart, testing his courage, faith, and willingness to risk and ASSIST someone ELSE. Those memories, experiences, and courage are life lessons that are the gifts from God, Deb. You are helping him "BE", the boy/man he is to be! Thank you for sending an incredible child into the world!!
Deborah Patterson-Gilson Hi Guys - Spencer and I will take our 4-wheeler up to the neighbor's ranch tomorrow to haul Paso out of the creek. I'll know more then what happened to him. I didn't want to ask my neighbor any questions about Paso's death. She was shell-shocked when we saw her late this afternoon. Thank you so much for your kind and thoughtful comments.
James Sanchez Kathryn said it all. "You're an incredible Mama."
Janelle Timmons Wow. I feel so sad about her horse....I am so attached to all my pets what a shock. Good thing she has you for a neighbor to assist her in such a trying time. And indeed, look at these wonderful life lessons of love and compassion u are passing on to your son. I mean I feel such pride when my 10 year old opens the door for someone. Spencer has got to be such a sensitive, compassionate young man. You share life with him...so awesome...Thanks for sharing this experience; some life experiences can be painful but shape us as we all grow older. Good luck tomorrow!

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