in rescue we draw conclusions and make decisions, plan actions (or inaction) based on what we are told, what we actually see, what we have learned from past experience..and sometimes just from our gut. the issue with rescuing animals is..there are few absolutes....most of it is simply a guessing game but pulling in clues from not only the current situation...but also the past.
don't ever sell personal past experience short...you can take some small or big thing you learned from a rabbit and apply it to a dog or a cat..or something learned in rescuing a sheep to a pig or a horse. my initial knowledge on illness and aging came from caring for humans....it did not take me long to realize that aging and illness in animals (whatever species...) shares common problematic themes.
sometimes our assumptions leads to animals losing their lives...all of us involved with ed assumed this old chow was going to be a total jerk..and honestly here at saints...we still treat him cautiously/suspiciously..nervously watching every move that he makes. but in fact, ed is a much safer and nicer dog than many others around here..he is far..far better behaved and trustworthy than jesse or phoebe. the problem is..that shared experiences has taught all of us that chows are total jerks.
i always question certain things...especially feral or wild labels simply because of how many marshmellow "feral" cats i have seen...i have had many over the years livng with me.
there is a horse in trouble, running with a herd of "wild" horses. the assumption is if he is running with "wild" horses, then he too must be wild and not safely salvagable. the doubt that entered my mind was..is the horse wild or not?...and that leads me to thinking..how many horses in that herd are born and bred wild? and how many are just discarded by humans that grouped up together into a running loose herd?
at first i didn't know the answer to this, but later i was told that someone was able to clean and trim his feet..that says..oh..not wild..this is a throw away and can be helped. next i heard..why waste time and resources with an old, broken downer with horrible feet who falls down in the snow and ice and has been driven out of the herd when there are so many more "viable " horses in desperate need...(ie rehab-able, adoptable, sale-able)?
and past experience makes me think of pops...a total waste of space, time and money...a waste of things that are important to us but were not a waste to pops...to pops they were a precious gift. luckily for pops, our mandate is not to help the "viable'..our mandate is to help the ones that no one else wants.
anyway..it looks like this horse will be getting some help from some really fine people.. i have offerred saints as a back up in case we are needed.
i think this old, falling down horse with overgrown feet who has been kicked out of the "wild" herd deserves the benefit of doubt at least. doubt keeps the door to rescue possibility open...and that is a very good thing...for him.