An Update On (Not So) Little Chippewa
By: Dr. Marie Richardson (Dr. C)
I can’t believe it. Chippewa is seven months old. He is doing great! Although I still get asked if he is a pony or a horse because he is on the small side. Of course many people don’t know that horses take years to reach their mature size. Because of his rough start, he will probably not catch up to where he should be genetically for at least one to two years and even then he will not be at his mature size.
He sure has grown into quite a personality though. He whinnies at those he knows well and spends the afternoon peering into the hospital exam room windows so that he can be close to where the action is. In the afternoon he waits for his boy, Nathan, to come from school. He truly loves to run along the fence when Nathan rides his bike in the parking lot. As the clinic is closing each evening, he waits for his “Auntie Paula” to come visit him and meticulously clean his yard. Although he is starting to act like a young colt and bolt and jump he seems to be quite careful around Nathan and Lexi. However we are teaching the kids to be more aware. He is not the 58 pound sick foal of seven months ago. He is over 200 pounds of healthy foal and is learning a bit more of his horse senses such as to run first and ask questions later.
Each night my husband Mike, myself and the kids go back over to the hospital and put him in for the evening. Yes, he still lives in the boarding kennel at night so that he is protected from any would-be predators. He knows the way…into the back door, through the bathing room, past the cat boarding area, into the dog kennel area , and then finally into his own kennel. Once in a while he takes a detour to check out Elliot’s (the clinic cat) bowl or to look at who is boarding with us in the kennel but most of the time he just trots into his own kennel looking for his evening pellets. Soon he will be too big to continue with this routine, but for now it keeps him safe.
This little foal who has touched so many, has definitely touched myself and my family. Some may think it foolish but we are even selling our house in order to find and move to horse property (obviously still here in Estes). He has become part of our family…..he even puts up with Gus (our young, active, and maybe a little crazy Goldendoodle). For now Chippewa still calls the hospital home. I may never get the grass to grow again but its been worth it…he’s been worth it.