Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Fur and Friend Therapy

Last Sunday I introduced my family to a longtime friend of mine, Claudia and her husband, Don. Claudia and I first met nearly 20 years ago when we struck up a conversation while lacing up our boots at Brentwood Rink. She was new to skating (and fearless!) while I was taking a renewed interest in the sport. We both went on to skate for Ice Rhapsody, an adult precision team, however, Claudia left the team to pursue her love for singles skating. If there's one thing Claudia has taught me it's that to live your best life you must be passionate about it. I've seen this in her work (always tops in sales), her fondness for furry things (volunteering her time with rescue groups and mom to 5 kitties and 3 dogs), her love for her family (both blood and those she's adopted as her own). If you could see her aura I imagine it would be fiery red in color set against a backdrop of woodland animals and unicorns.

In recent years she's made her lifelong dream of owning a horse a reality. Not only that but she trained hard and pursued her passion of competing in horse shows. She invited our family to spend an afternoon at her home visiting and getting to know her team which includes two, gentle horses - Spackle and Trader and a pony with a little attitude, called Buddy. Natalie (lover of all furry creatures great and small) was thrilled with the opportunity to ride a real, live horse! Noah was slightly less enthused...."Why do I have to wear pants?! I'm NOT riding a horse. I DON'T WANT TO!" he said, as we left the house. However, once he set eyes on her horses it was like a switch had been pulled and his fears turned to excitement.

"I want to ride, can I ride?!" he asked.

And ride we did! We began our visit with a bumpy tour of the property via her dumper, then both kids took turns not only riding on her gentle mare, Ms. Spackle - but learning commands and doing a sort of obstacle course with her. We brushed them, fed them carrots and even finger painted on Spackle. We passed the rest of the day catching up and getting to know the rest of her family which includes a 3-legged pup called Tre, a shy Pomeranian named Ivan, a friendly Maltese-mix called Perse and a clowder of five, senior yet lovable felines (Noah was in heaven!) Joe, Toby, Woody, Gerry, and George.

Thank you Claudia and Don for opening your home and your hearts to our family. We look forward to seeing you again soon!

"I liked Buddy the best...he liked me," said Noah.

"Mom, she said I was a natural!" shared Nat.

"She is a bit mischievous  but I LOVE her!" said Nat.

"Spackle is such a cutie," she said.

 "Buddy and I are alike - we're both lazy and funny," shared Noah.

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