There was just something magical about Choco, the overo chocolate paint with the soothing eyes of a wise old man. Everyone saw it.
My husband is always the one pulling hard on the reins every time I beg to take in “just one more,” but this time it was Danny doing the begging.
Every story begins the same: We were too full to pull another kill pen horse, but Choco’s deadline was drawing near, yada yada… Besides, some guy was FOR SURE going to adopt him right away. Practically guaranteed. We won’t even notice him. Danny pulled out all the stops trying to convince me. Long story short, we rescued Choco and brought him to our crowded little sanctuary. (The “sure-thing” adopter was gone like flatulence in the wind.)
Everyone, and I mean everyone, fell in love with Choco. What an amazing creature. You could literally feel his spirit wrap around you like a fluffy old robe.
How in the hell does anyone betray a faithful companion like this? We heard it a zillion times (I realize “zillion” is not a real number but you get that we heard it… well, a turd-ton). We can waste our time lamenting the heartlessness of some humans, fret over how one could be blessed with the gift of such a well-mannered, well-trained, soulful and loyal companion; or we can do our best to make sure he’s never betrayed again.
When God dropped Catherine and David in our laps, we knew where He wanted our energy focused.
Finished being sad
We’re finished being sad for Choco, because the life he’s living today is a zillion (see? It works!) times better than any life he could ever have lived prior to being dumped for slaughter. Not only does he get to serve our great nation by spreading goodwill about the U.S. Marshals, but he’s loved, cherished and pampered every day of his life by adopters who see all the way through to his soul.
Teaching new generations to honor horses
Grateful for the many blessings in her life, Catherine is keen to share her trusty steed with future generations. When he’s not building his parade fan club, Choco patiently and gamely carries young riders around on his back – teaching the rare and indomitable lesson of humanity.
When Maddox turned 8, he announced that he wanted to learn to ride horses, so now Catherine and Choco are teaching him how to care for and enjoy a companion 20 times his size, that could live until Maddox is old enough to have children of his own.
Little Briley is also a member of the growing Choco fan club. She too is learning responsibility and compassion; but these young riders are also experiencing the depth of these exceptional companions’ loyalty.
Even Catherine is still amazed by Choco’s faithfulness and intelligence, as she explains when she describes a near calamity with another young rider, Essie.
“One time Essie got the wrong lead and Choco slipped. I’m telling you, Choco kept her in the saddle and recovered,” she said. “It may sound crazy, but I saw it with my own eyes. He is a loving, witty, kind soul…”
Essie, Briley and Maddox are learning at a young age to respect and value other living creatures, which makes them more likely to grow up to be responsible owners and strong animal advocates. Choco may be helping to shape the future for other horses, so they won’t find themselves betrayed and abandoned on kill lots, awaiting cruel and inhumane slaughter.
We all knew Choco was special. Now a new generation will help share the tales of the remarkable horse that cheated death to make the world a better place.