January 2017 – Dr. Frost’s Observer Today Article

Each has special gift, memory

By Dr. Rebekah Frost - OBSERVER Columnist

Dr. Frost and Chili

There are many pets that come and go in our lives and we will never forget or replace these pets. They will remain in our memories forever and I am certain that we will see these pets again. I know for a fact that when I walk through those pearly gates at the end of my life, I will have an entire farm of animals waiting for me on the other side! I was fortunate to be raised on a farm and to be raised with many different pets. Having these pets helped shape my life by giving me responsibility and teaching me a strong work ethic. These pets also provided companionship and love as I grew and went through many different stages in my life.

“Angel” was my first cat that I will never forget. She was a tortoise point Siamese kitten that we acquired when I was only three years old. She attached to me and became my constant companion.

She would snuggle under the covers with me every night, and even went to veterinary school with me. When I stayed up late studying for exams, she would head into my room and cry when it was bedtime. She lived until she was 21 and passed away from kidney failure. She was my one special cat that can never be replaced.

“Babe” was a golden palomino gaming pony that was handed down to me from my sister when she lost interest in the animals. She was a spirited horse that loved to ride. In my early teen years, I rode her almost every day over the summer with a group of friends. I would hop on her bareback and head to the back fields. With just a little movement of my body, a slight loosening of the reins and a good grip on her mane, she would take off at full speed. She loved to run and I will never forget that feeling of freedom when I rode her.

“Foxy” was a red and white Papillon dog that was given to me when my mother retired her from having puppies. She was the sweetest and most gentle little dog and was a wonderful apartment dog for the four years I was in veterinary school. She loved to ride in the car on the long trips back and forth from New York to Illinois and provided someone to talk to and care for on those long trips in the days where there were no cell phones! She eventually passed away from heart failure and I am saddened that she was never able to meet my children.

“Beauty” was a bay and white spotted saddle horse pony who was blind in one eye and had most likely been passed from home to home because of her spunk and her disability. Her blind eye never affected her on our trail rides and she really enjoyed her job and the new home she was in. She had short little legs, but was always way ahead of all the other horses with her quick little saddle gait. She was a blast to ride and I will never forget the many years of fun trail rides on her.

“Jake” is an obsessive compulsive Border Collie that I brought home as a puppy when I was nine months pregnant with my third child. His energy is never ending. He could run all day and night and play fetch for hours on end. He is attached to my hip and is the alpha dog in my home. Border Collies are special pups that need jobs and exercise. He fits in quite well with our active family. He loves running along side me when I am hiking, biking, snowshoeing and horseback riding.

“CJ” is a retired little bay Standardbred racehorse that stole my heart the minute I saw him. I tried him out one day when I was looking for a riding horse for myself. He was just a plain brown horse with a scar over his left eye. He also had a scar over his nose from growing too quickly with a tight halter on. I walked over to meet him on that day I tried him and took one look into those kind eyes and saw a little horse with huge heart. I took him on the trail ride that day and immediately bonded with him.

Because of him, I have now taken in many standardbred racehorses post racing and helped transition them to riding horses. They are an amazing breed of horse that can be used for any discipline after their racing careers. I will never forget the day that my four-year-old son Colton was only two and had wandered off while we were in the barn. I was frantically searching for him, when I looked into the pasture and Colton was petting CJ. CJ had his head dropped right to the ground letting him pet his head, and was as gentle and kind as he could be with the two-year-old toddler.

“Claire” is a feisty little three-legged Pitbull that joined our family a year ago. She was beaten and abused and came to me with two broken and abnormally-healed legs. She was thankfully surrendered to the Lakeshore Humane Society and we were able to amputate one of her very painful abnormally healed legs. She was a foster failure in our home and she is now an energetic little girl who can keep up with my other pets, even with her disability. She has survived so much and has found her perfect place in our home.

These pets all hold a special place in my heart. I feel that we lose many of them too soon, so that we can make room for more and help care for these special creatures. I have adopted and loved many pets and will continue to adopt more. There are always pets in need of homes and I feel it is important if you have the ability and the special love for animals to support the shelters and rescues and bring some of these pets into your home!

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