Moki the Disabled Horse of Amazing Grace Equine Sanctuary

Today I met Moki, who sadly has had a rough life and he is only seven years old.  As you can see in the pictures his front legs are severely deformed.  Erin, of Amazing Grace Equine Sanctuary  rescued him just this past December after years of living in a very small penned in area, and suspicion of being taunted and teased by a young boy and never being properly taken care of.

The sanctuary is new to the small town of 1200 that I live in.  Finding out about them and Moki I contacted Erin to ask if I could write a story about the sanctuary for our local paper to hopefully bring attention to her beautiful mission in rescuing unwanted, abused and neglected horses.  I especially wanted to meet Moki, since my heart gravitates towards animals with disabilities.  We set a date of Feb. 20th for me to come out to the sanctuary and interview her.

Well, two hours later that same day I received an email from her that Moki’s recent diagnoses from the vet was not good.  He has severe arthritis in his legs and is in extreme pain.  Erin was advised the humane thing to do is to euthanasia Moki.  Erin, understandably beside herself, said she would understand if I didn’t want to do the story now.

Well, I could not get them out of my mind.  Not wanting to intrude on her precious time  left with Moki, but feeling this knowing that I had to meet both of them, I emailed Erin the next day asking if I could still meet Moki.  She was grateful.

So 15 degrees, but sunny today, I dressed in layers and headed to the sanctuary.

Moki was out in the pasture and Erin and I were inside in front of the stall.  Erin called for him and told me he is very afraid of people and would run in the pasture if we came out there.  Soon enough he peeked his head around the corner and cautiously approached.  Erin had a bag of carrots waiting and she handed me one to feed him.  I was so happy he approached so close, but I remained still so as not to frighten this poor, sweet horse who really trusts no humans.

To look at Moki and his large black eyes and his soft winter coat, and oh, so tall, I wanted to hold him in my arms and apologize for all the wrong that was done to him.  A few moments later, after a handful of carrots he trotted back out to the pasture.

Erin and I made our way out to the pasture a few moments later to see the other horses.  At one point I looked to where Moki was standing to see him standing so proud looking out into the field… and I wondered what he was thinking.  But I could just feel his pride in who he is, standing tall, despite his crooked legs.  I had to squeeze my eyes shut to keep back the tears.

Erin struggles with having to let him go, never having had to put a horse down before… wishing she could have saved Moki as she said in an email to friends.  I told her I do believe God sent Moki to her to save him, just not in the way she had planned.  His body is wracked with pain and his mental state is not stable because of the neglect, so he lives in constant fear.  To let him go, to run free without pain, will be the way she will save him.  So as her heart breaks, she knows this is the right and best thing to do for Moki.  As we discussed, along with having an animal is the responsibility of saying goodbye, and for the animal letting them go with grace and dignity.

Please send your love and prayers in thought to Erin or via her email through her website.  I know she would appreciate the support…

Stay tuned in the next few weeks as I will bring you the full story of the sanctuary…

The Gift of Second Chances- Occasional Paws Feature Story

It is my belief that everything that happens, happens for a reason.  I may not always like some of the changes that occur, but when I look back, I can usually see the divine purpose that was my guide in helping me learn something new.

So it was with Ted.  While at a car show in Beaver Dam with his wife Dianne, Ted was not feeling quite himself.  As they were about to leave for the day Ted said, “I just don’t feel well.  I need to get out and walk around.”  As Ted got out of the car he fell over.  Dianne went into shock and everything around her became surreal.

Ted was not breathing and had no pulse.  Lucky for him his guardian angels swooped in and saved his life.  Near-by participants were able to resuscitate him.  Ted was rushed to the hospital and had bypass surgery.

Recovering at home Ted was feeling a void.  When they moved to their new home in Glenbeulah a few years ago, their dog Muffy, a Springer and Basset hound mix made the move with them, but passed away a few weeks later.  Thinking a dog might be the answer, Ted began his search for a new furry friend to bring into his life.

He went from pound to pound looking for that “special one.”  He ended up at the Fond du Lac  humane society where he met Ruby. Though she was skin and bones and only weighed 55 pounds, he felt a connection with her. 

I asked Ted what made her stand out.  “She was not barking and was very calm.  She was so docile and her colors were beautiful” he said. Ruby had been there for eleven days.

The volunteers took Ruby outside as Ted watched.  The girls were hugging and loving Ruby and she ate it up.  Some people may be hesitant to do this because of the stigma placed on certain breeds.  Ruby happens to be a Doberman.   She is chocolate in color, with lighter shades of chocolate mixed in, and one of the most beautiful Doberman’s I have ever seen.  And there is just something about her that draws you right into her soul.

Ted was pretty sure this was the dog for him.  He went home and told Dianne. They decided to bring Ruby into their life.  When Ted went to pick her up he was handed pedigree papers for her, which surprised him. How did a pedigree dog end up in the pound?

During a baby shower at their home Ted watched as a young child pulled and tugged at Ruby’s ears and neck.  She would whimper a bit, but never growled and remained the same sweet, docile dog Ted observed a few weeks earlier.

That is when it occurred to him that Ruby might make a wonderful therapy dog.  He had wanted to give back ever since his life was saved.  Now that he and Ruby had been given second chances, he felt this was what they were meant to do.

Since Ted had the pedigree papers he was able to contact the breeder of Ruby.  Now call it coincidence if you want, but the breeder happened to live in Beaver Dam.  As he talked with her he learned her dogs are registered therapy dogs.  She also told him that Ruby was the pick of the litter.  As a puppy she gave Ruby to a girlfriend for a show dog.  A year and a half later that girlfriend gave Ruby away and that was how she ended up at the humane society.  A divine purpose was at work as Ruby traveled many roads to her final destination with Ted.

There was no doubt Ruby’s purpose, and soon she passed her Canine Good Citizen award. Ted then went to a therapy dog testing site one day simply to observe what had to be done to have Ruby become registered.  He had no intentions of doing the test that day. But as he watched the other dogs he decided on a whim to try with Ruby.  He had a hunch she was a natural, and indeed she was. She passed with flying colors.

Ted and Ruby now visit nursing homes two to three times a week.  They have made visits to Rocky Knoll, Arbor view, Pine Haven and Prairie Crossing.  Many of the residents eagerly await their visit and won’t go to bed until they see Ruby.  She also made the day of kids at a daycare in Plymouth, who welcomed meeting the large, gentle giant.  Since June, Ruby and Ted have made over fifty visits!

“Ruby knows she is priceless and we call her Diva” Ted said.  Final proof of that is the night Ruby would not let Ted sleep.  Ruby normally sleeps downstairs, but woke Ted with a constant pawing at the side of the bed.  She’d leave after Ted’s scolding, only to return again and again.  The last time she returned she put her paw on Ted’s chest intent on getting his full attention.  So Ted finally got up, went downstairs and discovered the slow beep of the smoke alarm.  As soon as he put in new batteries, Ruby was content to let Ted head back to bed, as she also snuggled in for the remainder of the night.  Yes, I would absolutely agree that Ruby is priceless!

If you wish to use this article on your web site or in your E-magazine, you are welcome to, as long as you include this bio with it: 

Barbara Techel is a local resident of Elkhart Lake and the multi-award winning author of Frankie, the Walk ‘N Roll Dog & Frankie, the Walk ‘N Roll Therapy Dog Visits Libby’s House.  The Frankie books are true, inspirational stories about Frankie who became paralyzed and was custom-fitted for a doggie wheelchair.  Despite Frankie’s disability, her exuberant spirit and spunky personality earns her friends wherever she goes.  Frankie teaches us that no matter what, we can always have a positive attitude and give back to the world in our own unique way, which has earned her the titles of Wisconsin Pet Hall of Fame Companion and Mascot for National Disabled Pets Day.  Learn more by visiting Barbara at www.joyfulpaws.comor