Pet of the Day

October 15, 2000

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Jim Dandy, the Pet of the Day
Name: Jim Dandy
Age: Deceased, Eight years old
Gender: Male
Kind: Quarter Horse, Arabian Mix
Home: Buffalo, New York, USA
   This is me and my horse, Jim Dandy. These pictures were taken a few days before his death, on November 26th, 1999. He was only eight years old. He's a quarter horse/arabian mix. I bought him almost four years ago. He was only five years old. He was wild and uncontrollable. I didn't know about horses and I didn't know how to ride. After more than a year, we bonded. He did everything I asked, every time I asked. He came when I called. He loved me and I loved him. I still love him. The barn where I boarded him was not well kept, but I didn't know that at first. The owner kept equine infectious anemia (EIA) positive horses on his property. My horse turned up EIA positive when I got him tested for Coggins in order to move him to a better stable. NY regulations require any horse testing positive be either stalled in an enclosed stall, with no contact with other horses, for the rest of their life. Or to be put down. Jim Dandy loved other horses and he loved being outside. I couldn't chose to enclose him in a stall for the rest of his life. Jim Dandy and I had a special relationship, the kind you only see in movies, that only come around once in a lifetime. You wouldn't believe me if I told you. He and I were like one. No one could get him to respond the way I did. I let my friends ride him once, because they never wanted to ride him again, because he always took them for wild rides. I would fool them, because he always responded perfectly with me riding him. He was my Black Stallion. "For every great horse, there is but one rider." Recently I heard a song on the radio, that made me think of Jim Dandy. "Thinking of the day, when you went away. What a life to take, what a bond to break." Everyone thought I was crazy for buying a five year old grade horse for only $800. They thought for sure something was wrong with him. The only thing that was wrong was that he was missing me in his life. Horses are still a big part of my life. But Jim Dandy will always be my favorite. He was all the horse I never knew I needed. He deserves to be pet of the day because he was the pet of a lifetime, he died too young and it could have been prevented. This is in honor of his memory. For all the great horses, that always seem to die way too young. I should have had many more years with him, but I wouldn't have missed having him for anything. Having him for too short of time is and will always be, better than never having him at all. He taught me how to ride, he taught me how to take care of a horse, but most of all, he taught me how to love unconditionally.

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