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About Judy's Pet Pals

Kody, the Mutt of The Mutt & The Mustang - ten years old

   I am part poodle and part schnauzer but don't ask which part is which. Sometimes I look scruffy because I've never been to a groomer. Judy is the only one I let cut my hair.
   I was raised by a German shepherd who let me take her toys and food so even though I only weigh 10 pounds I'm not afraid of anything.
   For fun, I ride in the car, go on walks, bark at coyotes, steal Cheyenne's stuffed bunny, hump Cloud, the white cat and ride my horse.
   Judy thinks Raven, the Mustang, is her horse but he bucks everybody but me off so I think that makes him my horse.
   Judy lifts me up so Raven can rub his head on my face than she puts me on his back and leads me around the arena.
   I fell off once but I got right back on.
   I told you I'm not afraid of anything.
   Sometimes when Mustang is laying down, I hop on his back and pull burrs out of his mane.
   Judy has written a picture book, The Mutt & The Mustang, with beautiful illustrations about my friendship with Raven, the Mustang. If you want to know more about it, contact her.

Cheyenne - Five year old 100 pound German shepherd

   I'm a working dog but since Judy didn't have any jobs for me, I came up with my own.
   Every morning I walk down the driveway to fetch the newspaper.
   I bark when the cats escape the fenced yard.
   I have such a beautiful voice that sometimes I bark at deer and elk too but Judy doesn't like that.
   Around the horses, I hold Kody's leash in my mouth so he won't get stepped on. Then I run him around the arena until we are both tired.
   I have a horse too. Judy thinks Rio, the paint belongs to her because she rides him but I can tell Rio loves me best because when I hold very still, he licks my back and face.
   Cloud, the white cat loves me best too. Cloud won't let Judy cuddle her but she rubs against my face until I kiss her. I guess that makes her my cat.
   I can't take long walks because I have a six inch metal plate in one of my back legs but I don't limp anymore.
   It's a good thing I belong to an old broad like Judy instead of a young person with lots of energy because I wouldn't be able to keep up.
   I love playing with Kody or the cats and sleeping on the sofa or the deck but my most favorite thing is to visit the horses in the corral and let Rio kiss me.

Cloud - female cat - age unknown - 8 years plus

   I'm a beautiful white cat who loves dogs better than people. Maybe that's because I spent so much time at animal shelters.
   I get by with only one eye but that kept lots of people from adopting me until 3 years ago when Judy came along and took me because I had only one eye.
   My best friend is the big dog, Cheyenne - she is the only one I purr for.
   After Cheyenne licks my face, I clean her ears.
   I tolerate Kody who tries to hump me. I have my claws so I could scratch his face but he is just trying to show me he likes me so I put up with it.
   I'm the good cat - the one who stays in the yard. I've lived in so many homes and shelters that I'm not about to leave Judy and Cheyenne.

Raven, the Mustang - 26 year old black gelding

   I was born in the wild and galloped free with my wild horse herd.
   When I was only a year old, I was torn away from my mother and friends - chased by helicopter into a corral. Terrified, I was snorting and shaking. I whinnied, "help me" to my mother but she couldn't save me.
   I was loaded into a big trailer with lots of other horses and taken to a place with more humans then horses. I hated it.
   I don't know what happened to the other horses in my herd who were captured but one by one they were taken away. As they left, I ran along the fence screaming for them. They whinnied back but I never saw them again. I missed my mother. I missed my friends. But most of all I missed galloping across open meadows.
   Eventually, I was "broken," to ride but the cowboys didn't break my spirit. I never let them pet me or comb my mane or tail. Humans can make me give them rides but they can not make me like them.
   For many years I worked at a rental stable carrying strangers on my back twelve hours a day. Most of the other horses at the stable didn't like me. Maybe it was because I was a little bit snotty about being a mustang. If it hadn't been for a big white draft horse named Bones and a buckskin named Joker who let me share their hay, I wouldn't have had much to eat.
   The wranglers at the stable yelled and threw rocks at me. Sometimes they hit me. Maybe it was because I wouldn't lead and kept running away. I would jump into the river, throw the wire fence over my head and eat grass like I did in the wild. I always came back to the stable because I would not leave Bones or Joker.

   When Judy bought Joker she knew I'd have a hard time at the stable without my best friend so she bought me too. I was so relieved to leave the wranglers who hit me that I jumped into the trailer. At Judy's farm we have plenty to eat and lots of room to run and I don't get rocks thrown at me anymore - even if I'm naughty. Because I have a bad back from all those years working at the stable, I buck people off. No person is ever going to ride me again.

Raven & Joker

   A couple years after Judy bought us, Joker died. I stood over his body all night long. After Joker was buried I galloped through the pastures, arena and corral screaming for him but he never came back. Joker had been my friend for 15 years so I really missed him.
   To keep me company, Judy bought Rio, a paint horse but it wasn't the same. That's when I made Kody, a little dog my best friend. Kody stands on my back and pulls burrs out of my mane with his teeth. He licks my face and jumps on my legs. Because Kody has become my new best friend, I give him a ride around the arena every morning.

   I never had a person of my own before so it was hard for me to trust Judy but now I do. I let her lead me, pick up my feet and stroke my neck. I won't let her worm me but I rub my head on her shoulder and when she walks up to the corral, I whinny, cause I'm happy to see her.

   I've lived a long and varied life. Sometimes when I'm asleep I dream about galloping free with a wild herd again. If Judy could, she'd turn me free but that isn't possible. She did promise to take care of me for the rest of my life. Plenty of hay and grain, a warm barn, fresh bedding, space to run, a horse to boss and a dog friend.... that's the best an old horse like me can hope for.

Rio - 20+ year old Indian Paint

   I'm a good looking horse now that I've filled out again. I was living on an Indian Reservation in New Mexico where humans treated me well but they didn't have enough money to buy hay so my ribs were poking out of my body.

   When Judy bought me from a horse rescue, I was pretty skinny but now I've fattened up. Raven, the horse I live with bosses me around. I don't mind because I can tell he really likes me. Whenever I give Judy a ride around the neighborhood, Raven whinnies for me but I don't pay any attention.

   My one bad habit is dipping my hay into the water tank which makes Judy change it every day. She doesn't mind doing it in the summer but in the winter when the hose freezes and she has to carry water several hundred feet to the corral in rain, wind and snow she gets a little testy.

   Sometimes when Judy is late with the hay, I'm so worried about being hungry again that my mouth opens and closes involuntarily.

   Once I touched noses with an elk but my best friend is the big dog, Cheyenne who lets me nibble her back and lick her face. I like Judy too. Whenever she comes to the corral, I follow her. I'm easy to catch, love to be brushed and will do darn near anything for a carrot.

Skye - female Siamese mix - age unknown -5 years plus

   When Judy adopted me from a shelter two years ago she named me Skye because of my beautiful blue eyes. I keep the house free of mice and the yard free of moles and voles. Because of coyotes and hawks, I'm not supposed to leave the yard but I take great pride in being an escape artist - I have climbed the fence, the house, trees, the roof. I only stay in the yard when I want to. I ran away from my last home then lived on the streets until captured by Animal Control.
   Sometimes I miss the excitement of living on the streets - but I've gotten soft because I no longer go outside in the dark or when its cold, rainy or snowy.

   I wear six bells around my neck so Judy can find me but I don't go far. I visit the horses or hunt gophers but mostly I sun bathe on the deck with Cheyenne. In the house, I let Kody chase me and love to bat Cloud's tail. I also enjoy sleeping on a pillow beside Judy's desk while she's working.
   I'm afraid of all people except Judy. When anyone comes to visit I hide. But I'm not afraid of dogs or horses so I get along just fine in my forever home.

Bucks sparing outside my kitchen window.

About Judy - Author - Art Consultant - Animal Lover

   An animal lover all my life, in the 1970s I started one of the first wildlife rehabilitation places in the country on 150 acres in the Siuslaw National Forest of Oregon where my then husband and I took in injured and orphaned fawns, raccoons, foxes, owls, hawks, skunks, songbirds and other wildlife. After treatment, they were released on protected acreage.

   I've served on environmental boards, including the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in Minnesota and testified at Oregon and Minnesota state legislatures regarding animal welfare.

   For more than twenty years I wrote feature articles and columns for Wildlife Art Magazine, which unfortunately went belly up in 2008. One of the columns I wrote was On the Wilder Side keeping readers informed of animal issues. I've had nearly a thousand articles published in magazines including Wildlife Art, Southwest Art, Equine Images, Art-Talk, and Western Styles. I've had a non fiction paperback adventure novel based on saving wilderness published (out of print) and a book about my experiences rehabbing wildlife published. (out of print)

   I've worked as development director for the University of Minnesota's bird of prey program and education/legislative director for the MN State Humane Society.
I've lived in California, Oregon, Minnesota and presently Colorado where I was the director/curator of the Colorado Governor's Annual Art Show for ten years which features 57 of the state's finest painters and sculptors at the Loveland Museum every spring. I also coordinate the Artists' Charitable Fund, which provides financial assistance to professional artists facing medical crisis. www.artistscharitablefund.org

   My pet pals and I live on three acres in the Colorado Rockies where deer, elk, coyotes and bear are frequent visitors. I have written a children's picture book - Mutt & The Mustang which is about the special relationship between my poodle mix and his horse, Raven who he rides every morning.. This book features beautiful illustrations by Patricia H. Greenberg. Available 6/11.

Visit my blog which will update readers about what my pet pals are doing. Please tell your friends about The Mutt & The Mustang. Thank you.

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