Harry and the Snowman

My dog Susie says

When you rescue someone... you never know...

Now for y'all who haven't been following my blogs up until now, my name is Susie and I was rescued three years ago by Sandy, who's now my mom. I'm a Border Collie who likes to write about what I see going on from time to time. We live in a small village in the mountains of the South and spend time in L.A. where mom is from. Whether we're running on the beaches or hiking in the forests, we appreciate and love each other. Sandy says that we rescued each other because when we met, her mom was suffering from Alzheimer's which made Sandy very sad. She says that my crazy antics make her smile.

A few months ago, I met a horse from Texas that was pulling a covered wagon. After traveling over a thousand miles they ended up in our quaint village. He didn't have a name, so I called him the horse with no name. Before leaving, he told me that he had a once famous grandfather horse who lived in Virginia. It seems that a farmer was going to town one wintry day in 1956, when he saw a dirty and thin plow-horse headed straight for the slaughterhouse. The farmer looked into the horse's eyes and they immediately bonded. He bought the horse on the spot for eighty dollars which was his value as canned dog food.

Canned dog food from horse meat...gross...thank God, Sandy feeds me mostly fresh food from the grocery store with vegetables and such. Every once in a while, I get some chicken liver from the butcher. Maybe I'll become a vegetarian. Anyway, here's the rest of the story. The rescued horse was named Snowman and he turned out to become quite a guy! The farmer was named Harry de Leyer, who was an immigrant originally from Holland. They sort of rescued each other. Now here's where it gets interesting. Even though Harry was considered lower class and his horse just a clumsy plow-horse, they eventually found themselves entering horse jumping contests. Now these contests were for the super rich only! When Harry and his wife came to America, he only had $160 to his name. He worked on other people's farms just for food to survive. But they now had a horse named Snowman with determination in those eyes. Something magical happened the day Harry met the Snowman.

A few years later in 1958, the farmer and the headed-for-the-slaughterhouse- horse entered the most prestigious horse jumping contest in America, "The National Horse Show," in New York. Upon entering the ring at Madison Square Garden, thousands of the spectators and numerous other competitors laughed at the unlikely duo. However, Harry and Snowman would show the snooty audience in the end. Snowman was crowned champion. A champion that cost only $80. That led to them twice being in "Life" magazine. That led over the following decades to Harry and his wife building a horse jumping empire and owning 40 or more horses at any one time. It changed his life. It changed his childrens' lives. It changed his grandchildrens' lives. You see, they are all involved in the horse jumping industry.

So the moral of the story is when you rescue someone, you never know how many different lives, human or animal, will be positively affected.

Catch you later,

Susie and Sandy

P.S. Harry recently said, "Meeting Snowman was my luck and too good to be true. Nowhere else can this happen but in America."

For more "Susie says," blogs go to: www.sandy-steele.blogspot.com

For more info on Sandy Steele go to: www.sandysteele.com