Last week saw tragedy occur during a chuckwagon race at Calgary Stampede. Driver Chad Harden lost three members of his team when his left lead horse went down because of a ruptured aortic aneurysm.The horse’s collapse resulted in the rest of the team going down, and one outrider and his horse, who were behind the wagon.
As I read the news that next morning, tears filled my eyes. Loss of life always causes grief, and I couldn’t imagine the pain Mr. Harden and his family would be feeling having lost three of their equine family members.
An article later that day shared the stories of several wagon horses, and it brought back a flood of memories.
Every animal I’ve ever owned has had a special place in my heart, even that one kicking (expletive) of a steer I had my last year of 4-H. They all have a story I could tell. Were they a source of income? Yep, you bet. And I loved and appreciated them for it, providing for each with the same care as I would someone who works for me.
Every animal is special, but we can’t forget they are animals, not humans. It’s our responsibility to care for them in such a way that allows them to serve the purpose they were put on Earth for, be it to provide companionship, service or nutrition. Because the greatest honour any being can leave this life with, is the knowledge they have fulfilled their life’s purpose.