Monday, December 16, 2013

I am Pilgrim

I wasn't always, "just a horse", there was a time when I was destined to be a great race horse.  Or at least I thought I was. My name on the track was "Deli Chef".  I loved racing and put my heart and soul into running as fast as I could.  I loved flying like the wind and loved the competition between me and the other horses.  I won a few times, placed even more, but sadly, not enough to please my owners and eventually I was retired.

I was sent to auction and purchased by a woman who used me for pleasure riding. It was not a bad life, in fact it was a good life.  She loved me and kept me healthy, and in return I did my very best for her.  She taught me many new things and I loved perfecting each new trick and move that she taught me.

I would have been happy to stay there for the rest of my life, but I have learned that life is not always kind, and one day, for reasons which I still do not understand, I was sold again.

This owner was also nice, but did not ride me as much. She changed my name to "Under".  We still rode sometimes though and I was happy to still have a job.   While at this new home I had an unfortunate accident. I cut my foot on some wire.  It was a very bad cut which made me limp.  I had to go to the vet many times and eventually healed, but now my front hoof grows funny and I have a little limp.  It doesn't hurt so badly now, I don't mind putting weight on it, but I will never be able to have a real job again.

This owner kept me for a long time, even with my bad hoof, and did her best by me for as long as she could.  But then something happened. She quit coming around so much, and I didn't get very much food.  I was hungry all the time and I started to get weak and skinny.  I didn't understand why she didn't love me anymore. Then some people came and took me away.  They said I was going to the auction again.

I did not like the auction, it was loud and smelly and there were lots of other horses there, and we were all afraid.  None of us understood exactly what was happening, only that our owners were done with us, and this was where we had ended up.  There was a man there, he bought a lot of horses, and he bought me.  I thought that maybe I was going to another home but I was wrong.  I was loaded on to a big truck with all the other horses he had bought.

There wasn't really enough room for us all. We kept stepping on each other and bumping in to each other.  I heard the other horses whispering about us being on a kill truck.  But I didn't really understand what that meant.  We did not get any food or water, and we were all very hungry.  We were in the truck for a very long time with out a rest.  My legs were very tired after a while.

Finally we got to where we were going and I was so happy to get off that truck.  We went into a big pen where another man sorted through us.  Most of the horses were loaded on to another truck but a few of us did not.  I heard the man say that I could not go on because of my color.  Something about my color makes me a risk for "mal-i-no-ma", but I do not know what that is.  One of the horses that was going on said that I was one of the lucky ones, but I did not feel lucky.  All I felt was sad...and hungry.

I was put back on the truck I came on and taken to a place.  I didn't really care any more where I went.  I did get food at this place, and the people were nice to me there, they took my picture and put it on the in-ter-net.  They said they were trying to find me a home. But I didn't care anymore.  I had given up.  I spent most of my time just standing in the corner alone.

Here is one of the pictures they took of me.

Then one day some people came.  I did not know what they wanted, but they came straight to me.  One of them was a lady and she said she had come to take me home.  She talked to me for a little while, and told me many things. She said I was never going to be hungry again, and that I would be taken good care of from then on.  She said we had a long trip ahead of us and a bunch of other stuff, but I was too busy being so excited to listen after that.   I was going to a forever home!

This is me in the trailer, ready to make my long trip to my forever home. 

I rode in the trailer for a very long time, but I had yummy hay to munch on and they stopped to give me water.  Finally we stopped and I was able to get off the trailer.  It was a nice place with green grasses to eat.  I thought that this was my home, but it was just where I was resting for a bit.  It was a "layover" but everyone there made a big fuss over me and I felt like a king!
Can you see that I was once a great race horse?

This is me at my layover where everyone was so nice to me.

I met some more ladies, and these ladies were my new owners.  They loaded me into their trailer and we drove again.  This was a very long drive and I got very tired, but eventually we got to my new home.  It was dark when we arrived, and I was very happy to get off that trailer.  At my new home I found that not only was I to have my own stall in a barn, but I have a friend now too!  Her name is Whisper.

My new owner put a warm blanket on me and gave me some hay (it is not my favorite kind of hay, but I am happy to have food so I won't complain)  She offered me some odd smelling things to eat.  I have never had those before and I would not eat them.  Since then I have learned that they are called "carrots" and they are quite delicious! 

The next day lots of new people came to see me and it was through all these visits that I learned the story of how I was rescued.  

One of my new owners saw my picture on line and posted to a place called "Facebook" on her daughters page.  My new owners have lots of friends at this facebook place and pretty soon they were all talking about ME!  One of the friends said, "We have to save him!" and so they all got together and made a plan.  My new owners are MJ and Jen.  But all their friends who helped get me to my new forever home are part of my new family.  They have sent me things from all over the country, blankets, and treats, and I even have a pretty new bright green halter!  There were a bunch of them, some of them I have not even met yet, but Jen says that I will get to meet them all eventually and say thank you to each and every one of them.

This is me in my new halter and blanket.  That is one of my family members Linda.
She and her daughter Olivia were my first visitors. 

This is me and MJ. She knows all the best places to scratch! 

I am very fast! 

Did you see how fast I was?

Hello Whisper!

Looking very handsome if I do say so myself. 
As my new family all stood around me giving me "carrots",  they brushed the mud off of me, and made me feel so special. I heard them saying that I was a "Thanksgiving Miracle".   I did not know this at the time, but the day they came too get me was a day that humans call "Black Friday" where most people go to places called "stores" and fight with each other to buy things that they don't really need.  But my new family made a long drive to rescue me instead.

They said that Thanksgiving is about being thankful for what you have in life, and I am very thankful for my new family.  They also said that Thanksgiving was started by some people called "Pilgrims" and that a Pilgrim is another word for "One that travels to a holy place" and so from now on they will call me Pilgrim.


My name is Pilgrim
(click on link for video)

I have found my heaven on earth.

(authors note: Much of the story of "Under's" life is speculation and imagination, but everything after the kill truck is based on what I know to be true, told to me by Pilgrim's new family, and from what I read on the rescue website where he was listed. His new family has given me creative license to tell his story here and to share with you the story of their Thanksgiving Miracle.)


  1. Happy ending! glad Pilgrim has a forever home :)

  2. What a WONDERFULLY happy ending. He looks so happy now in the pictures :)

  3. He is a very handsome fella! And a very lucky one, too.

  4. Ohh, what a great ending to this story! He is very lucky :)

  5. The family may have gotten a new horse, but Pilgrim got a new family. Win-WIN!

  6. Some of the women who made this happen are personal friends of my family, some are just facebook friends, all are Labrador breeders, which is how I came to know them. I watched this whole ordeal unfold on Facebook and was just blown away by how they rallied to pull this off.

    Then I saw his pictures and was blown away by how expressive he is about how he is feeling. He is a special guy for sure and I am so glad that he was able to be saved. I think though, the hardest part about rescuing any animal is all the ones who end up getting left behind. We want to save them all.

  7. What a noble and handsome fellow. I'm glad he found his forever home and big kudos to all involved! You all rock!