Sunday, June 6, 2010

Families Come In All Sizes

Remember I said I'd tell you about the horse family? It's a good story, I think, and worth having Blog Mom type it up for you all.  It started with the Willow Rock  people buying Dolly, a miniature mare, from some Amish people in Pennsylvania. They moved her to Long Island and even gave her her own little house.

That's Dolly on the right. It's not a great photo of her but she wasn't so interested in posing. We arrived just as they were having a Memorial Day brunch by the looks of it. In the middle is Derby Belles and on the left is William, AKA Sweet William, a name that most definitely suits him. He has retired from his first career as a show jumper and is now living a lower key life and just being ridden by his owner, a very nice, pretty lady, for pleasure.

This is Dolly's house. It's right next to the paddock where William hangs out, which as it turned out, was one of those little details that change lives.

Not long after arriving at her new home, Dolly began to gain weight. People began to wonder if she was expecting. Back home in PA she'd spent some time in a field with a stud, but no one was aware of any mating. Debate ensued. The vet thought she was pregnant and she shoudn't be allowed to carry to term because they   couldn't be sure the foal wouldn't be too big for her. Others thought it was just weight gain. New feed, new place. It could happen. Anyway, while they were figuring this all out, Dolly took  no notice and gave birth to Derby Belles one night, thereby putting an end to all speculation.

No one knew she was about to foal that night, so there was no one with her except that William was in the paddock adjacent to the little house. Being a full sized horse, all William had to do was lean his head over and he could look right into Dolly's stall. What I figure must have happened was that William was standing around, as horses are wont to do, and heard Dolly cussing up a storm and saying things like, "You did this to me you son of an ass! Don't ever come near me again. I swear I'll bite you if you do." You know - all the types of things ladies of most species say when giving birth. Especially when you're giving birth to something with hooves. Ouchies! Anyway, being the only one around, William probably thought she was talking to him and looked in to see what the problem was and immediately concluded it was time to give out cigars. So I figure he didn't take the cussing out personally and said encouraging things like "Not yet. Hold on, you can do it. Breathe! Now! Push now!" . That's how I think it must have gone down, but even if I'm a little off the end result was a beautiful, healthy bouncing baby girl and William assumed he was the happily married father of one from that day forward. Dolly did nothing to disabuse him of this idea, either. While Dolly was recovering from giving birth and getting the baby started in life, William could hardly be persuaded to take his head out of her stall. He was entranced by the whole fatherhood thing.

Belles as she looks today. She was more amenable to
posing for the flashy beast than he folks were.
 All of this does indicate that William wasn't in full posssesion of the facts. Besides the size difference making the whole thing impossible at best, deadly at worst, William's a gelding. Don't tell him that now, though. None of this made a whit of difference and Dolly and Belles started finding ways to sneak into William's enclosure. The first time that happpened it was at night, too and the humans had a fit because male horses are generally kept away from foals anyway, let alone full sized males and minis. There was, in this case, nothing to worry about. William stood bravely in front of his little family, protecting them from the over-excited humans. That was a couple of years ago and they're all still together and very happy and the fence between Dolly and Belle's enclosure and William's has long since been removed.

 William tries to think of everything. While they're dining en famille he makes sure to toss out plenty of hay for his diminutive family. He may be a gelding, but he's a great Dad. I hope someone has told Dolly and Belles that Father's Day is coming up soon.

So that's the family. And I guess that once again, four leggers demonstrate that it's love that makes you family, more than anything else.


  1. What a great story... Sweet William is such a sweetheart, taking care of Dolly and Derby Belles with such unconditional love... I guess everyone can be a father but it takes someone special to be a dad. Thanks for sharing the story with us, Lola... in this Father's Day.

    Licks, hero

  2. What a cute story! Mom grew up with horses and she said that the foals that were born on her farm were all sort of snuck into the world by their sneaky broodmom who wouldn't ever have them when people were around. They look like a very happy family!


  3. Hi Lola,
    what a beautiful story! Thanks for sharing with us =)

  4. Hi, Lola!
    Thanks for sharing the story.
    You are so right. It is love what makes a family!
    Kisses and hugs

  5. what a sweet story! thanks for sharing.

  6. I see the family lives very well! How nice to get a chance to say hi - I miss living near horses...

  7. What a beautiful love comes in all sizes and shapes and when we least expect it.
    Madi and Mom

  8. Oh, Lola! That has to be one of the bestest, sweetest luv stories I've ever heard! What a good daddy he is and what an adorable little family they are.

    And I laughed a LOT when you were talking about what you think happened when Dolly gave birth.

    Wiggles & Wags,

  9. What a nice story! Thank you for sharing it with us.

    Woofs and Licks,
    Maggie Mae

  10. Awww Lola, your story made momma all leaky. That's just the sweetest thing ever! People are so silly when they get their panties in a twist! LOL!

    Stella, Gunther and Betty

  11. Awwwwe... that was just da tenderest love story evers. It's these kinds of things that happen that really makes you believe about da mitacles in and of animals.
    My mum says her remebers saying some of those things when her was in labor withs my hooman girl. No, not really...hers was all drugged up and went to lala land.

  12. What a great story! Thanks for sharing it with us! - Abbey

  13. Very very sweet story there, Lola. and with a happy ending too. it just goes to say we four leggers are much better at loving, accepting and staying together.
    so sorry we came in late. mummy hasn't been feeling very well and we couldn't post o read anything over the weekend. hope your bump thing is gone and you are just fine.
    btw, u look great in your bandana.
    u don't know how happy mummy was to see u and blog mom in her own blog. she is so so neglecting her page.
    (here's a note to Pat from our mummy: dear Pat, thanks a ton for visiting my blog. i am glad to find u share my craze for AC. of course, i am sure the world is full of the likes of us.isn't it great that a writer who has been dead for so many decades now is still the best selling?
    hope u will drop by again.)

    take care Lola,
    and say hello to William and family when u meet them,
    Bud n Gin

  14. We just LOVED this post, Lola! As you know, our #1 has a giant soft spot for (giant horses). or future reference, she would also like to set your mind at rest. Foals' hooves are soft when they are born! They harden very quickly once they are out in the open.

  15. Hi Lola, what a furry, furry nice story! :-)


  16. What a pawsome story! I imagine your theory on the birthing conversations was pretty accurate! BOL!


  17. What a great love story! It's great to know that all kinds of animals can recognize family bonds.

  18. What a heartwarming story! Thanks you for taking the time to share that with all of us!

  19. That is the best story ever!

    And you tell it so well! I want to read it again. And I will! :)

  20. miss lola!
    me and asa just got home from summer camp, and what a way nice story to come home and read and get warm fuzzies over! :)
    that mr. william is a grrreat daddy for sures! if i didn't have a daddy already, i'd want mr. william to be my daddy. and i think that he and miss dolly and miss belles make a super excellent family. you are so right that love makes a family!
    the booker man

  21. That's a wonderful story! And beautiful horses! Dad would like a horse, but Mom says they have their hands full taking care of all of us!
    The Road Dogs

  22. Hi Lola
    Mom is going to reply to your question about 'the look'!!
    Lola I will probably date myself here but anyhoo I calls this look Madi's 'I made you look you dirty crook, I stoled your mama's pocketbook' look.
    Madi has appointed herself toll taker at the fridge.
    Madi and Mom

  23. Awww that is such a great story! What a sweet Daddy William is. Thank you for sharing that with us. We are so happy to be able to read it!
    Purrrs, Keiko, Kenji & Pricilla

  24. Just goes to show that being a father is not just about DNA. Dolly and Belle are sure lucky to have Sweet William in their lives. He is a better dad than some humans for sure!


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