Sunday, July 18, 2010

A Happy Summer for Argus & Valentino

I'm writing this from a kitchen table in Mocksville, North Carolina, where humidity hangs in the air like a filmy curtain, and I am hiding inside, avoiding the inevitable and most desperately-needed exercise. Fried chicken, hush puppies, gravy and grits have a way of navigating one's intestines and squishing straight through to the stomach and thighs, and I'm no exception. I swear, I would weigh 400 pounds if I lived here for long.

But I bear happy news, which I'll give first. Valentino, whom I profiled on the last two blog posts, has found an adoptive home, saving his tush from euthanasia. His new owners are Caroline and Patricia, a local couple who saw a flier that led them to Val. It was love at first sight (as someone said, the photo says it all), and now Valentino is happily ensconced at a nearby full-service equine retirement facility where he will live the good life in a large pasture with three other "active retirees" and see his moms weekly. I am deeply grateful to Caroline and Patricia, who are really fine, enlightened human beings, for making Valentino part of their family.

I worried about taking Val away from Argus, who looked up to the big bay horse like a big brother, following him everywhere. Valentino was the kind alpha leader, and all of the horses liked him. He seemed to make them feel safe as he led them around the pasture. Argus especially so.

Argus' twin and Best Friend Forever, Ridge, has been on stall rest again, having severely torn a tendon in his leg. We don't honestly know if he will make it long-term, but Ridge is such a bright spirit and so full of patience for the whole process, that I decided to give it a try. Ridge being my heart horse, my soul mate, and my best friend, it pains me to see him have all these problems. He misses Argus, and Argus misses him. They nuzzle over the fence. If Ridge recovers, he will be retired from riding, and then Argus will at last have a permanent pasture companion again.

Surprisingly, Argus seemed to take Val's leaving in stride, looking wistfully at the trailer as I led Val on, and then going back to munching his hay. Argus has been especially snuggly lately, coming to the fence for a scratch or a quick hug. He's usually a rather standoffish, "businesslike" horse, not very demonstrative, so we're all pleased by his friendliness. He loves his pasture, his "brothers" Odie the Mule and Indy The New Horse. He loves evenings, when we serve him a flake of alfalfa hay. He loves coming in for a good grooming, the girls brushing out his tail until it is like a massive curtain of snow white (Argus has an impossibly thick tail).

Argus never, ever fails to make me smile.

Enjoy your summer, wherever you are. Life is good, isn't it?


kbryan said...

Katie, what a wonderful update! What a wonderful home Val has gone to - he is incredibly fortunate to have fallen in with you, and then his new owner. Please thank them from all of us.

I view each season as a "gift" for Argus and pray that he and Ridge have many more happy healthy seasons together. Thank you for what you have done, and thank you for the update - we look forward to them.

You and your family have a good end of the summer!


excaliber813 said...


Happy to hear from you, and such great news about Valentino!! Thanks to you, Caroline and Patricia. Valentino deserves this next chapter.
Sorry to hear about sweet Ridge, hoping things go as planned and Argus will have his pasture buddy.

Argus enjoying another summer makes me smile!

I agree with Kay, Thanks for the update.

Thought's & Prayers to all @ Watermark Farm


PaintedPromise said...

what a great update, YAY VAL!!!!! your stories of Argus ALWAYS make me smile...

rosedel said...

Ahh so good to get an update. Argus has lived through so much that I guess as long as he doesn't have to get on a trailer and leave, he is a happy fella.
It is good to see that there are good people out there who can see the value in a horse like Val.
Enjoy your summer!

Della Micah said...

Hi Katie,
So very happy - and relieved - to hear about Valentino's new home. And I'm so glad that Argus is having a fine summer.

Rotten news about Ridge's tendon. I can empathize totally as my horse mysteriously tore his deep digital flexor at the end of May, and has been on stall rest and hand walking since then. In the 90+ temps we've been having almost every day in Philadelphia, it has not been a fun couple of months.

Time and patience are the best medicines....

Thanks for giving us the update - love reading your writing.


Nina said...

Kisses for the lovely Argus!

kbryan said...

Hi Katie, I hope you and your family had a good summer. I hope that you have time to give us a little update on your family and critters.

How is Valentino doing? And, of course, how is our dear Argus doing?

Hope this finds all of you well and happy.


kbryan said...

Hello Katie, hope you are your family and critters are all well. I'm also hoping that you will give us all an update on how everyone is doing. Additionally, if one of your human or animal family want for something needed, please let us all know.

Jorgeenah-Ebony said...

Well! Where do I start? I honestly don't know.
I first of all want to say thankyou. Thankyou so much for taking Argus in, and all the others at your awesome farm.
I secondly want to say thankyou for taking the time and being bothered to write all the 'little things' that make Argus so amazing.
You have brought me to tears everywhere I have read the blog. I have signed on and read from the very first blog to here in a metter of days after a friend showed me the link. I have cried at work, at college and at home, sometimes in very embarassing situations!
I am so, so happy Argus has got you as his person, as do Ridge, Indy and Odie. It has almost broken me everytime I have read about one of your dear 'babies' passing on over Rainbow Bridge. Such a shame I never got to 'meet' them when they were still here. Especially andy the horse goat. He sounds awesome. And Half Pint, bless him in all his stockyness. Little Deema, being the supportive one. And I'm so glad they all had time with you, you're an amazing person.

I will carry on reading your blog and will look forward to the next update. :)

kbryan said...

Katie, Katie come our way,
When you write an Argus update,
it makes our day!

Hope all of you are well, would love to hear how everyone is doing.

You have a good week.


spotteddrafter said...

Hi there! I log in daily, hoping for an Argus update. I imagine that you are very busy, rehabbing Ridge and such...and that no news is good news. I can well imagine that Argus is sighing about another season coming to an end. I bet he thinks he's in heaven. :)

kbryan said...

Katie, let's make a deal. You give us a little update, and I'll make a donation on your behalf to a rescue of your choosing.

Hope you are all well!


Breathe said...


I'm new to your blog and look forward to catching up on the stories here. Congratulations on finding a home for Val - how fortunate that you found what was really wrong before surgery.

Jessica said...

Hadn't checked on you in awhile, and was so glad I did today.

What a wonderful ending for Val! He is a lovely horse.

Cheers and happy, happy holidays, Kate!

rosedel said...

Oh we NEED an update. Please, please, please.

kbryan said...

Oh, please do give us an update. I hope that all is well with you and yours.