This morning I was getting my coffee and looking out the kitchen window. Belle caught my eye, as she so often does when the sun is hitting her coat - so much so that I reached for my camera to take the distant shot.  What I realized when I looked through the lens was that Belle, along with the other horses, was on point - ears perked and bodies stiff and ready - watching. 

I can always count on Belle to keep a close eye on things.  No trespasser - human or otherwise - can get past her. I turned my attention in the direction the herd was looking and, sure enough, something that wasn't part of our ranch family was hopping back and forth across the far fence.  Fortunately we were far enough away that the Corgi Boys didn't notice anything so I put them up for safe keeping and grabbed the shotgun. I wasn't sure what I would find because a few days ago I witnessed a couple of coyotes chasing a white cat that has taken up residence here. (Einstein the cat was still here yesterday so you can stop imagining the worst.)  

The question I should have asked myself at this point (but didn't) was "what did you bring the gun for?".  Looking back on the situation, I suppose it was a prop to make me look tougher than I am, because I have no idea if it was even loaded and am not gun savvy enough to feel comfortable checking!  (I can shoot a target - moving or stable - but apparently I am a pampered Annie Oakley since I've never loaded my own gun.  This is now at the top of my "skills to learn" list.)

I had the distance of a couple football fields to walk but
kept looking at the last spot where I had seen movement as I made my way. The next thing I knew, Belle was standing on her back legs and began a quick dash towards the woods as she came down. She stopped at the edge of the property as
quickly as she has started. She stood in that spot for a few minutes and then did what I call the "Belle Dance". It really should be called the "something is not right here and hurry to me" dance because she only does it when she's worried. 

Once I got near the horses, Belle made her way to me and did her dog trick.  She is as good at pointing as any hunting dog, just not quite as stealth.  There in front of me, just past the trees, was a precious little deer - on the ground, stuck in the brush, and terrified. 

I'm not sure if he had been playing with other deer or running from something but he was clearly stuck now and a prime target for the coyotes I had recently seen. I'm not sure who was more jumpy - me or him - but after a few EEEEEKs from both of us, I was able to loosen the hold the branches had on him and he quickly disappeared.

I gave Belle a big hug and leaned on her strong neck for a minute. Then, as if nothing had happened, Belle turned and went back to the herd who had all put their heads down and begun grazing again. Were they blind? Did they not just see me save a life? Why were they not as exhilarated by this experience as I was???

I'll tell you why - because in nature, instinct and intuition rule. Challenges and threats are part of every day and animals make decisions based on what they know instinctively to be best. They groom and guard each other. The protect their
family and their friends from predators. They are loyal and forgiving. They choose their leaders for their strength and accomplishments. The teach their young to be able to stand on their own and they respect their elders. Belle used her communication skills to let me know my part in the rescue
of this little guy. To her and the rest of the herd, there was no act of heroism, just a responsibility to another being.

So.....in true human fashion, I  humbly walked back to the barn where I told Tank and Jag about my noble feat.  (If I use the right tone, they think anything I tell them is incredibly newsworthy!) 




09/28/2012 4:31pm

I love this story. Belle could teach me a good lesson and you have captured it all in this story.

10/01/2012 10:39pm

Awesome! I'm proud of you!!!

10/01/2012 10:51pm

What a great story! And you have bragging rights for grabbing the shotgun!! Again, if you want to practice shooting...come on over, I will be happy to shoot with you!

kay spatz
10/03/2012 5:44am

What a wonderful story.you are so lucky!

10/02/2013 10:44am

You will never find time for anything. If you want the time, you must make it.

05/18/2014 7:19am

I’d ought to seek advice from you here. Which is not something I do! I adore reading an write-up that could make people feel. Also, many thanks allowing me to comment!

09/06/2016 6:11am

This is a great story and tells a lesson to others and I am so much inspired by Belle. Your story is quite heart touching and I just love to read it and your horse is so adorable.

06/05/2017 12:41am

Thank you for sharing her feelings with us in such nice words.


Blog directly relates to her inner feelings.

06/06/2017 11:42pm

Thanks for sharing.

06/14/2017 3:03am

Nice post.


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    My name is Jamie.

    I left the culdesac for the country. My life is run by two Welsh Corgis. I discuss the biggest obstacles life throws at me with a horse named Belle. My family has suggested that I consider having my camera surgically attached. I pride myself on the fact that my armchair psychology has only caused a few disasters. And I love to write. I am not certain if I'm finding my sanity or losing it. That's where you come in - YOU decide! 

    Welcome to the C-4 Ranch!

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