A Nacogdoches County teenager is going from the sadness of losing one horse to the hope of saving another. Brain Huckaby,15, has a connection with animals. He volunteered all summer at the animal shelter. He has numerous dogs and likes to ride horses with his uncle, so naturally a horse loose on the roadside caught his attention. Brian recalled, "I told my grandma it was up there loose and I wanted to go catch it. And she didn't want me to catch, but then she finally gave in to it."
Brian slowly led the little paint horse home. The young colt was badly malnourished. Brian wouldn't leave its side. He even attempted to sleep with it in hopes of getting it well. Brian said, "I would give it water and bottles and stuff like than and feed it with my hand. I kept blankets over it so it wouldn't freeze."
We put Brian in contact with the East Texas Horse Rescue and Sanctuary, but its director, Patricia Bauer, knew what had to be done. "I just knew the horse wasn't going to make it. I've seen so many. So we paid and we had it euthinized for them." Bauer suspects the horse was dumped on the side of the road. "So many people think they want a horse, but discover it takes a lot of time and money. They'll leave them in people's pastures or on the side of the road. The neglect usually catches up." Tears well up in Brian's eyes, but he knew it was the right decision. "I wanted the horse to get better, but it was in the best interest to be put down."
In recognition of Brian's compassion the East Texas Horse and Rescue Sanctuary chose to give him an early Christmas present. The next day Patricia returned with a her trailer. Inside is a young colt. Bauer tells Brian, "This is Odie. O-D-I-E. Like Garfield and Odie. He's all your's, OK?"
Bauer works hard to find loving homes for her rescued horses. Most can be adopted for a fee, but Brain's efforts led to her decision to waive the $300 fee this time. Bauer explained her reasons."The horse he was calling 'Wild Thing', he gave him four days of love. Four days of love, the last days of his life and Brian had that in his heart. He showed me he really cared."
Brian will now have an opportunity to give a Tennessee Walker a life time of care, something the horse didn't have as a young colt. Bauer tells Brian how it was found. "They were in a dirt lot eating sticks and moldy hay. It was awful conditions."
Brian hopes his story will help teach others that taking care of a horse is huge responsibility. Brian advised, "Well, any animal, if you're gonna get it take care of it, that's the bottom line. If you want it take care of it and be responsible for it." he then led Odie away for a chance of getting to know one another.