They are amazing creatures.
Danny Boy is proof.
He does not want to hold on to the past. As I trigger each memory, as each one unfolds and rises to the surface, Danny Boy chooses to press through. He doesn't shy away, he doesn't lock down or disappear, he faces his fears and then races toward the solutions that are his new life.
- - - - -
When we arrived home last Saturday, I didn't do much with Danny Boy, other than allow him time to graze and get comfortable in his new surroundings. On Sunday, I took Danny Boy out and started looking him over.
His body turned the pages of the story of his life. There was the chapter on starvation; I flipped my fingers over each protruding rib, each vertebra and hip bone. There were a few pages dedicated to his lack of stamina - weak muscles, tendons and ligaments. And then there was the section on his feet - paper thin walls, pared out soles, squared off toes. But the thing that made me hurry into the house for my camera, were the scars along the outer surface of three of Danny Boy's hooves.
Armed with my Nikon, I began a closer study.
Generally speaking, it takes 9 to 12 months for the hoof to grow from the coronary band to the ground. Each of these scars grew down from the coronary band. I can't know for sure, but it appears that Danny Boy got caught in something, and judging by their shapes and depths, it was most likely barbed wire, somewhere between 7 and 10 months ago.
This led me to read deeper into the text of Danny Boy's body and here is what I found:
These scars are permanent and deep enough that my vet would use them as identifying marks on Coggins paperwork. Again, I can't tell you what happened. All I know is that something happened. I have strong suspicions, based on Danny Boy's response to anything that moves too quickly around his head on his left side.
But here's the deal - - - Danny Boy does not want sympathy and he could care less about my empathy. Danny Boy is looking for solutions, because he does not want to hold onto the past. He wants to move forward and press toward a future filled with promise, healing and hope. Right now, he requires some help to overcome his mental, emotional and physical scars but once he gets that help he will fight to the finish to move onward.
So everyday, knowing the open book that is Danny Boy, I challenge him to conquer his fear. I use equipment that scares the hell out of him. I never use the equipment on him, but I do use it around him. And everyday Danny Boy responds by moving into the light, into the new promise. Everyday, he overcomes another part of his past. He leaps ahead, refusing to remember the old and relishing the new.
Because one thing is certain....
Danny Boy knows that in this new life no one is ever going to harm him again.