This blog is dedicated to my friend, my mentor, and the best teacher I have ever had. Without him, I would not have embarked on this amazing journey. Split, this blog is for you!
Ponderosa Misty Icon, aka "Split," is a handsome gray Welsh pony who came to me via a phone call "out of the blue" (actually Peterborough, Ontario). Our first few months together were rocky to say the least, which made me question my ability as a horse owner, as a horsewoman, and as a rider. Forty years of horse ownership had not prepared me for this little gray pony!
But we muddled through and because of Split, I have begun a journey that is both spiritual and enlightening. I hope something here resonates with you and that you'll check back now and then.
We leave you with one of our favorite quotes: "The best whisper is a click!"

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


Toby showed up in my grandparents' yard when I was a kid. He was bedraggled and scrawny and half-grown so of course Nana and Grandpa took him in. He rewarded them with many years of love and devotion. He also became my best friend. When I visited my grandparents (which was pretty much every weekend I could), Toby and I were joined at the hip. My visits were the only occasions in which he was allowed to sit on the furniture. We would sit side by side on the sofa or in the old red recliner, watching Saturday afternoon bowling with Grandpa or Lawrence Welk with Nana and Aunt Marion on Saturday nights, sharing a bowl of popcorn. And when I went upstairs to bed, Toby went with me. He'd jump up on the bed and curl up against my back and stay there til we were both lured downstairs the next morning by the smell of pancakes and bacon. I was never sure what kind of dog Toby was but in retrospect, I think he was probably some sort of pit bull mix. He had that beautiful brindling and a very muscular build. He was protective to a fault, too! Lord help anyone who came into the yard without permission from my grandparents! I never saw him bite anyone but that growl and the raised hackles clearly said, "Step away from the family!" One word from Grandpa, however, and Toby would be as friendly as could be.
Toby and I wandered all over the place together - through the woods and meadows around my grandparents' house; down to the brook on hot summer days.........I once heard my grandmother say that if they couldn't find me, they just called the dog. He'd come running with me not far behind.
Toby was at least 18 when he died. I remember that my family was surprised at my seeming lack of sadness at the time. Of course I was sad but I couldn't tell them that I knew Toby was going to go; I knew his time here on Earth was up. Toby told me that himself! I was prepared. He didn't want me to wail and gnash my teeth; he wanted me to let him go in dignity and serenity. He wanted me to know that he would always live on in my heart. I was afraid to say that aloud. In fact, this is the first time I've told anyone that Toby spoke to me.
I don't know why I'm on a roll about passed pets this week...............Maybe they're all visiting me or something. I know this, though....once you've loved an animal, it's part of you. Forever.

For those who love dogs, it would be the worst form of a lie to call any place where dogs were banned "Paradise." Certainly no loving God would separate people from their canine friends for eternity.

Stanley Coren, dog psychologist

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