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In time for Mother's Day

post #1 of 3
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Mothers Don’t Care What Species You Are
I didn’t fully appreciate Mother’s Day until last year, after I’d had 12 months of motherhood under my belt. After spending a solid year changing diapers, kissing boo-boos, wiping runny noses, giving and receiving hugs, hearing the wails of “Mommy!†echoing through the house, and catching bugs with my son (his favorite pastime), I realized fully why we should and do recognize mothers for one special day each year. It’s a grueling job that has immense satisfaction–and quite a few surprises.

But being a mother isn’t limited to just the human species. Cross-species motherhood is also demanding, for just as a small child requires attention, sacrifice and tending, so do our animal children. How many times have we spent countless hours walking a colicky horse or soaking an abscessing hoof or hosing a swollen leg? How many hot, sticky summer days have we spent baling hay or fixing fences or scrubbing water troughs? And don’t forget the smaller animal children–our dogs and cats also demand our time and, sometimes, patience when they roll in something disgusting or deposit a half-eaten mouse on the white living room sofa.

But for those of us who have dependents, we wouldn’t trade these minor inconveniences for anything. Having another person or animal who loves you and relies on you–and who is thrilled to cuddle with you, no matter what–is an incredible gift.

Anne and Ilse Zurth of Petaluma, Calif., know first-hand about the joys of motherhood. They sent us a letter a few weeks ago detailing their wonderful Mother’s Day of last year. Anne and her mother, Ilse, stumbled across a horse they’d bred and foaled 24 years earlier, while spectating at a local horse show.

“As we walked around the warm-up arena, I stopped in my tracks and stared at a big, brown horse with an unusual white snip on his nose. ‘Mom,’ I said, ‘doesn’t that horse look like Tucker?’ †recalled Anne. “My Mom agreed it looked like him, but we doubted he was even still around. We climbed up into the grandstands, sat down, and proceeded to watch the jumper class. In walks the horse with the funny snip. The buzzer sounds and the horse roars into action. A woman behind us comments, ‘Look at Tucker go!’ â€

After a tearful reunion, Anne and Ilse returned to the show the following day (Mother’s Day) to watch their old friend Tucker win the jumper and show championships. “After taking pictures [and a small snip of mane], we bid Tucker farewell,†Anne recalled. “We knew where he lived now, just a few miles away from my Mom, and she had an open invitation to visit. About two months after we saw him give my mom the Mother’s Day of a lifetime, Tucker passed away in his stall. I believe everything happens for a reason, and it was meant for us to go to that show that weekend.â€

And as Anne’s letter concluded, “To all the Moms out there, may you experience the magic of being a mother, both human and equine, and be blessed with wonderful memories like we were that special day in May.â€

Remember you don’t have to have a human child to celebrate Mother’s Day on May 12th–the furred, finned and feathered ones count too. And just having these beings in our lives is an amazing blessing, for as much as we sacrifice for them it doesn’t come close to comparing to the enrichment they bring to our lives. So have a wonderful Mother’s Day–everyone!

Tricia Booker

Copyright © 2002 The Chronicle of the Horse
post #2 of 3
That is beautiful!
post #3 of 3
That's so funny you posted that today. Last night hubby and I were driving around and I saw a sign for a Mother's Day Brunch. I said something about how I would love to go out to brunch or something, but I'm not a mother. Hubby looks over at me and says, "You are too a mother. You have two kitties that you are mom to." I thought it was so sweet that he said that - he actually gets it how I feel about my two feline babies!
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