Pepsi is currently in North Dakota, waiting for the shipper (coming January 4th, 2011). She will then cross the country to come live with ME (and Tango, and Corky also!). I can't wait to meet her...
This story is worth repeating (for those who haven't been following for the last billion years). This is a story about true friendship, kindness, and just plain nice PEOPLE.
I met Kerry years ago. I am not sure, but it was a long time ago. I had seen videos of her stallion Joe and really liked him. We chatted online about him. I believed in him and bred my mare Fruit Cocktail (the dam of Corky) to him in 2005. I believe Kerry and I met the first time at Congress in 2005 when I was showing Corky in Longe Line. She sat with Kevin in the stands in the Celeste and cheered me in in the class.
Tragedy #1 struck when Fruit delivered a full-term stillborn bay filly by Joe in the spring of 2006. I was devastated. Fruit passed away from colic a month later. Suddenly my breeding dreams were finished.
A few years later Kerry sat with Kevin again and cheered Taylor and I on in our showmanship classes at the 2006 Congress. At the time we talked often about how it would be great to breed Taylor to Joe when I retired her from showing. This came about in 2008 when I did finally officially retire Taylor. Taylor was bred to Joe in the spring of 2008, and had a gorgeous bay colt in 2009 named Lazlo. Tragedy #2 happened one day before Lazlo's 1 month birthday. He had a terrible umbilical stump infection that we treated, but ended up hauling Taylor and him to the OSU Veterinary Hospital where he underwent a risky (and expensive) surgery to try and resection his bowel to remove the infection. I knew it was a huge risk but I was not willing to give up on him. Sadly, Lazlo passed away a few hours after surgery.
Kerry and I kept in touch and talked via e-mail often that next summer, while Taylor was in foal to Thanks For Com En. I was determined to have myself a Joe baby, and she was equally determined to make sure I got one! We made plans to re-breed Taylor to Joe that spring after she foaled. Knowing my paranoia at this point, Kerry told me not to sign the breeding contract or pay any money until after the foal was born and healthy, just to make sure everything was OK. Tragedy #3 occurred in the worst possible way, my worst nightmare. Taylor was hemorrhaging inside after a rough foaling (though thankfully the colt was healthy!). I rushed Taylor and the colt Tango to OSU where the surgeon determined what he thought was a uterine tear in Taylor. The surgery was very expensive, but it was a no-brainer. I'd sell an organ to save her! Sadly, when they performed surgery, they found not a torn uterus, but a ruptured colon. She was unable to be saved. I was devastated.
I had Tango as an orphan who needed care, and I had to hunt for a nursemare. The bills were mounting into the 5-figure range. Kerry rallied some friends together and held an online auction on her website to help me with some of the bills. It was incredible, the people who stepped up to help will always be incredibly special and dear to me. Taking a year off of showing and training (plus doing a LOT of artwork), I was able to get financially back on my feet. Sadly, after 5 years of trying, I still had no Joe baby.
When Kerry heard that I was looking for an inexpensive weanling to raise and train along with Tango, she immediately stepped forward and made it possible for me to afford a gorgeous brown filly by her stallion TheCrowdJoesWild, a son of Hot Diggity Joe. Thus the story has come around full circle, and barring any more
tragedies (I hate to even consider it!), "Crowd Favorite" (Kerry even let me name her!) will be here in early January, 2011. Kerry has been faithfully snapping pictures and taking videos of her so that I can watch her every few days and keep up with what she is doing. I bet she'd even let me Skype with her if I asked (but that's a little weird even for me, though don't think I haven't considered it LOL!).
It just goes to show - good people are everywhere, and sometimes you don't even have to look very hard to find them - they find YOU!