The need for love and comfort transcends across all species. Many of us may never forget the Dr. Seuss book, Are You My Mother, having a profound influence upon us as children. The premise of that title was that the little bird, without his mother present, had to go out in search of a surrogate mum. Each animal he ran across, he would ask yearningly, “Are you my mother?” only to be rejected by all varieties of life, and even by one construction crane. In Devon, England, a one-week-old pony was found motherless and wandering around, ostensibly seeking his mother, or at least a caring being of some kind. Lacking in the necessary vitamins provided through mother’s care and milk, the adorable pony was first found sickly and weak. After veterinary care and antibiotics, it does appear as if this little pony is on the mend. One of the curatives seemed to be a large teddy bear that was placed in his otherwise hay-filled stall. The pony sleeps on top of the stuffed bear in an endearing and darling affectionate manner. Tracy, an assistant at the animal center has noticed the pony making a slow and steady recovery, attributable to the medical care as well as the surrogate affection-provider.
In order to do right by this little equine beauty, the center should feed her forage grass, pony nuts, carrots, apples, and certainly clean water. Since horses have small stomachs, it’s preferable to do several small feedings a day. In addition, Brownie needs to be brushed and groomed once she starts moving around outdoors, but leave the horses natural oils intact as well. They protect her from bad weather. Also, hoof picking is essential. Make sure her stable is clean and fresh by removing old beddings and droppings. Our sweet Brownie may need her Mama Bear replaced someday if it gets too dirty. The best bet would be to transition slowly from one to the other without abruptly removing her first bear. In heat, a horse will need a good wet sponge bath, maybe even using a sweat scraper and a flysheet. If a horse is heated, though, avoid giving too much water at one time. Instead, opt for a few small cool sips at a time. Two areas that are especially sensitive in horses are their eyes and mouths, so when you are sponging off the horse, be especially tender when it comes to these areas.
Back to Devon, our little brown horse has found a home, at least temporarily. With the love and care of the medical personnel, and the imagined or genuine affection of the inanimate, yet soft and cuddly teddy bear, little Brownie is sure to flourish.