Saturday, October 04, 2008

Farewell Dusty

Sadly, John and I had to say goodbye to our good friend and companion, Dusty, this week. He went by many names, including Dustbuster, Mook, D-man, Big Dawg, and my personal favorite, Dammit Dusty!!! He was born in April of 1974 making him 34 years old this year. He never lost his spark or his sense of play.

He came into our lives at the ripe old age of 19, given to us by Lisa Tigert who got him from her closest friend, Shelley. We soon found out that a free horse costs just as much as one you pay for. Within 12 hours, he smacked his head and needed stitches. A mere 12 hours later, he cut open his chest on what-we do not know.

"What did we get into here", John asked me. Well, unbeknown to us at that time, 16 years of companionship and a horse that made us laugh. He taught me many things in the years we had him, especially what NOT to do on a horse. He was a wonderful ride, but did not put up with incorrect signals. His attitude was get it right or get off!!! He started out on the track in Mexico at Agua Caliente. In fact, in the movie, Seabiscuit, there is a scene where you see the ride board for the day and his racing name is there, AlottaDust. Now of course he was not around back then, so why his name is there is any one's guess. After a not so stellar career on the track, he went to auction where Shelly bought him. Together they won medals and ribbons galore. Dusty was a dream come true in the ring. I know that he packed me around the ring and the ribbons we won were all his doing.

He was my third horse and my husband's first. In the early years of our marraige when we had no money, our entertainment was to go to the stable and groom him and play with him. We knew that it was better to be with him than at any fancy resturaunt or movie. John loved to sit with him and unwind after a long day. They used to play tag together in the arena, he would chase Dusty and slap him on the hind end then turn around and run and Dusty would be in hot pursuit, throwing his head and bucking. It was so funny to watch. They had a very special relationship. He was many things to me, a stress reliever, a teacher, and a shoulder to cry on when I needed it.

We will miss him so much and sometimes it is hard for me to believe that he is not here anymore. He was a blessing and had a huge heart. I don't know if I will ever come across a spirit like his, I think he was truly one of a kind. Our thanks also goes out to Kevin and Kirk, our trainers and friends, who were so good to him and us. His last days were good ones because of them.

Here's to you, D-man, I hope you are rolling in green pastures and making that groaning noise that only you could do. I hope to see you again someday.

1 comment:

Lisa Tigert said...

Great Farewell Message V.

Dusty was quite a character for sure. Between you, Shell and myself, you had him the longest - you're a patient woman!

The 5 years I had him we showed locally quite a bit where he earned me quite a few ribbons as well.

I'm just thankful that he had such a loving family with you and John these past 16 years.

oxoxo Lisa Tigert