**Under Construction..Pics not working**
The story as told by several and enjoyed by hundreds! This is the fairy tale story of reuniting two horses who were brothers and split apart one terrible day after their owner passed away and several people’s hard work and the journey to reunite these two boys for the remainder of their lives.
I want to give a HUGE THANK YOU to all of you who have helped with the making this reunion happen!. Huge thanks to Anon-e-mouse who gave the funds to purchase Duke!! Also, many others who helped with funds to get Duke transported and also the girls who made the fun filled trip all the way to Arizona to go and get Duke. This reunion was VERY heart warming and well worth everyone’s efforts!
Right: Prince the day Duke arrived April 2005
Prince and Duke Drinking together
Prince and Duke hangin out together
(Left)Tee-Hee look at Duke’s tongue hangin out
(Right) tee-hee Now Prince has to stick his tongue out
The “STORY” as told by Jessica who was Prince and Duke’s angel in April 2005 when the BIG reunion happened!!
OK, I guess its about time I give you all a Duke update. First of all I would like to thank ALL that donated to the Duke fund, without you we couldn’t of made this happen. OK, So lets see. Maybe I should make this into a little story for all of you to read. Let me tell you how this all got started…..
Last year, in March of 2004 my family and I moved our horses from the Rancho Santa Fe area out to Lakeside. When we got there I noticed a few weeks later the most gorgeous Palomino Saddlebred in a stall across from our barn stalls. I also noticed that no owner ever came out to see him. Now I say this horse was gorgeous, but he was WAY under weight, very sore on his feet and didn’t want to have ANYTHING to do with any human. I started to ask about him and found out that his name was Prince, boy did that name fit him well. Well my mom and I started to visit Prince each day and started inquiring about him. It didn’t take long to find out all the different things that were wrong with him and that some at the facility thought he should be put down and he wasn’t worth the money to rehab him (and he was only 13 years old). So, how did he get in the shape he was in? And how long had he been at the Lakeside facility? Well from what I know he had been there only months, maybe 6-8 months. Before that he came from a home with a brother who was a year older and some other horses. They came to the Lakeside facility who were in the business of a “Rescue.” So of course right away I asked, “What happened to his brother?” Well I was told he was sold for $500.00 dollars. And that later they said he was killed in an accident, very sad I thought. Well as the months went on there was more and more talk of just putting Prince down because the “rescue” wasn’t going to pay to rehab him and they had already been feeding him for months and no one would ever want a horse like that. So, of course I couldn’t stand by and let this happen so I went crying to Courtney (UAWR) that I needed her help and that she had to take in this wonderful horse. After about 2 seconds of her saying, “I cant, I have too many horses” she finally said “OK, when can I come get him.” LOL It doesn’t take much, she has a HUGE heart. So, next I went to contact the rescue here in Lakeside and told them instead of putting him down, they could just give him to me and I would take him off their hands. So, now I am giving them what they so badly want and they turn around and say, “OK, but we want $500.00 for him.” LOL I couldn’t believe it. I couldn’t believe that someone that calls themselves a rescue, who is supposedly in it for the horses turns around and wants me to pay for a DEAD LAME, FOUNDERED horse that is going to need TONS of rehab and money put into it. So of course I had to ask, “WHY?” They told me that they paid a lot for vet bills for his brother and the other horses that came in and they had been feeding Prince for a long time now and they needed to make back some of that money. LOL I almost fell over laughing. If they knew how much money Courtney puts into horses at UAWR, and then turned around and adopted out for a few hundred bucks they might die. If we tried to make all the money back that we put in, we would be stuck with 1,000 horses right now. Its just not the way it works, its about the horses, its not even close to being about the money because a true rescue doesn’t make CRAP for money…we are lucky to just keep floating along. So, after I got done laughing, crying and being really pissed off, I went out in search of donations. After awhile I finally found someone that was willing to help us rescue this horse and thank you again to those people, without them Prince might not be with us today.
So, we finally get Prince and took him home to UAWR. We drop tons of money into this horse and start to fix his feet, his attitude and he starts to learn to trust people again. So, a few months go bye and all of a sudden a girl at my facility found Prince’s brother Duke on the internet for sale. We all freaked. Now just to clarify, Prince and Duke are FULL brothers. Duke was born in 1989 and a month later his mom was bred back and Prince was born in 1990. They have ALWAYS been together and someone said when they were separated, they both became depressed. So, first thing I do is go crying to Courtney again, telling her we HAVE to get these guys together again and would she be willing to take on another horse if I could get the donations for their upkeep and support. Of course she said YES! So, I started soliciting for donations and I remember one donor very clearly, she said something to the effect of “I buy, you fly, now go get that horse.” Of course I set out right away trying to get this horse. Now the horse was in a home with a known “Horse trader” so we knew we needed to get him out of there quickly. We started communication and tried to make a deal with the “horse trader” but after many emails and phone calls the deal fell through. Not sure why, but it did. The “horse trader” selling him said she sold him to someone in AZ. Of course I tried to find the new owners but I couldn’t. So now months go by and Courtney and myself still check the internet each day in hope to find Duke for sale somewhere but no luck. Then one night Courtney and I were talking over the computer together and some how we got on the topic of Prince and Duke. We started talking about how sad it was that we couldn’t get them back together and that it would mean the world to both of us if we could of done that. So, as we are talking I just decided to do a quick search on the internet. I remembered the last owner telling me she sold him to someone in AZ so I did a quick American Saddlebred, in AZ, for sale search. The ONLY thing that popped up on my screen was an add for “Golden Ledgers Duke.” I almost fell out of my chair and I swear I got chills up and down my spine. I sent the add to Courtney immediately and I think she fell out of her chair because she didn’t say anything for like 5 mins. 🙂 Of course as soon as both of us calmed down we started trying to figure out right away how we were going to get this horse. So of course, MANY of you know how we got donations for the horse, the trip, and his vet bills to cross state lines. And if it wasn’t for all of you and one EXTRA special donation from the one who said “I buy, You Fly”, we wouldn’t have Duke today. Sometimes I am amazed at how quickly people respond. I send out an email that we are in DESPERATE need of donations and all of you respond with no hesitation. You all amaze me to this day, I don’t know what we would do with out all of you. So, soon after I receive confirmation on donations I make contact with his owner and we work out a deal. Only thing left….The trip to pick him up!
So, picture this…its around 4am and another volunteer of the rescue, Michelle, picks me up, we head out to Lakeside to feed all of our horses (9 between the two of us). We get everyone feed and hook up the trailer and we are off to AZ. We head out east on Interstate 8 and the wind is blowing like CRAZY! The trailer is whipping around and we are making HORRIBLE time. After a long 5 and a half hour drive we finally make it to Phoenix. We first have to find our way to the vet to pick up paperwork so that we can transport across state line. After that we make about another 15 minute drive to find the residence Duke is staying at. We finally get there and they are waiting outside with Duke for us. Now remember, this is the first time I have EVER seen Duke but I know Prince very well. When I got out of the truck and saw that horse I thought it was Prince! These two horses look so much alike and have so much of the same personality. We look Duke over, get him in the trailer and head inside to handle the paperwork. While we are all inside talking about Duke and filling out paper work, I hear something outside. Has anyone seen Jurassic Park? It sounded like something from Jurassic Park was in the trailer and when we looked outside it looked as if what ever was in there was also rocking the trailer quite nicely. Michelle, as wonderful as she is, went outside to try and calm Duke while I finished paper work. I think Duke gave us about another 2 mins before he said it was time to go or he might take down the trailer. So, we finish all the paper work, say good bye and off we go to San Diego. I think about this time we had both been up coming on 9 hours and we were both looking forward to getting home ASAP.
OK, So we made it home this time I think in 6 or 6 1/2 hours, I don’t remember. A little extra time because we were so tired LOL and we had to stop and water Duke every hour, which he refused to drink anything the entire trip home. We made it thru state lines and back into Lakeside around 730pm. We unloaded Duke and he was calm as could be. It was almost as if he remembered being there. We turned him out for awhile and let him stretch his legs in the arena while we feed other horses and got his barn stall ready for bed. We walked him into the barn and I believe Michelle said we put him in the same stall he had been in the first time he was at the ranch. He settled in and had dinner, he seemed great. Michelle and I left to go catch a few hours sleep before getting up to take Duke up to UAWR in Phelan the next morning.
The next morning we got up around the same time, 4am fed all the horses, loaded Duke up and away we went to Glendale. We headed up to Glendale to pick up another rescue to take up to Courtney’s in Phelan with Duke. After 4 LONG, LONG, LONG hours in traffic we finally made it to Glendale. We picked up the rescue horse named “For Pete’s Sake.” After we loaded him up we were off to Courtney’s. We got to Courtney’s and she was waiting for us outside. We pulled in the gate, and pulled back around the house near the pasture where Prince was. Now there was Prince, in the corner not really caring about what was going on, that was until we pulled in that day. Duke started calling out to see who was around once we stopped and that’s when Prince kinda perked up a little. He looked at the trailer and gave a little call himself. We opened the door near Dukes head so he could look out and Prince kinda looked at him, like he was saying, “NO WAY, that cant be him.” LOL Duke called out again, Prince kinda responded and we all were getting a little excited. I unloaded Duke and took him right over to the pasture. Now the pasture Prince was in, was just him and TJ, a little pregnant mare. So that little mare belongs to PRINCE and no one else. So we walked Duke over and let him in. Duke ran right over to Prince. They did a little thing Michelle likes to call the S.S.P move. The Sniff, Squeal and Pin (pinning of the ears). We all laughed. Duke was trotting around checking everything out and I think they were looking at each other as to say, “Where have you been? And how in the heck did you end up here?” Now Prince seemed like he really wanted to be with Duke but he was still very protective of TJ, which who could blame him, she’s a little hottie. After awhile Courtney took out the mare and just left them in the pasture alone together. Prince and Duke ended up spending the rest of the day with each other getting reacquainted. Now of course this brought tears to all of our eyes and warmed our hearts beyond belief. I feel so lucky to have been part of this and actually got to see the horses reunite after all this time. I wish we could of caught it all on camera and had all of you present with us. Again, NONE of this would of ever been possible without a lot of you. There are no words to express how much I, Courtney, and everyone at the rescue appreciates everything all of you do for us each and every month. Again, without you we would never be able to do half the stuff we get to do. Also, I would like to apologize for this update taking so long to get out to all of you. It seems as if my life has been a little out of control since Duke got home. For all of you that don’t know, our baby clydesdale got sick right after Duke got home. It was weeks and weeks of hospital care and vet visits and sleepless nights trying to get this horse better. We are now on the way to recovery and I am just starting to catch up on everything. Anyways, Thanks again for everything. ~Jessica~
UPDATE: July 18, 2007 – It is with great sadness I share with everyone that Price was euthanized today after a long battle with Founder. He was quite the fighter and sure gave us all a roller coaster of emotions in the process. We all consulted together along with our veterinarian and the decision was the kindest thing we could do for Prince would be to help him cross over the Rainbow Bridge so he no longer had to feel pain. With a long battle and many ups and down this was one of the most difficult decisions we had to make I personally was there with Prince until the very end so he had someone he knew and loved all the way till the end which is what we wanted most for him. Below is a letter from Jessica who recounts the whole story of their move up here to UAWR, the colic episode of both of the boys, and finally the euthanizing of Prince.
I want to give a HUGE THANK YOU to all of those who helped physically, emotionally, and financially with both these boys through the past few years. I also want to say thank you to those who continue to help with Duke so we can continue to love and care for him.
Under the Angel’s Wings Rescue, Inc.
Letter From Jessica:
It’s with deep, deep sadness in my heart that I write to you today to advise you that Wednesday on July 18th, 2007 that Prince crossed over the rainbow bridge. After a long battle with many issues with his legs and body it was finally time for him to go and run free in the heavens, free of pain with his mane and tail flowing in the wind.
For those of you that don’t know, on Tuesday July 17th a friend and I took Prince and Duke back up to UAWR in Phelan, CA. They had been back down here in San Diego with me for the past year. We are currently moving facilities down here and during the transition we felt it was best for the boys to go back up to UAWR while we got settled in before winter. The morning of the 17th we were all a little nervous to see if Prince would actually get in the trailer, if it would be too much for him to put all his weight on the back legs, if we were going to need a trailer with a ramp or what was going to happen. Needless to say I walked Prince up to the trailer and he jumped right in. Just like a pro on the way to a show! He actually seemed a little excited to be going somewhere. After that we loaded up Duke and of course he thought the trailer was a monster about to eat him and Prince; but after a few minutes of trying we had them both in the trailer and we were all on our way to Phelan. After we got there and unloaded the boys they both seemed to be doing fine, after getting everything in order there my friend and I were off for San Diego again. We got home on the evening of the 17th and Courtney called to advise me Duke wasn’t doing so well. He hadn’t been eating and was a little dehydrated, maybe from the trip. She started to administer some meds and watch him thru the night. On the other hand Prince was doing fine and eating and resting off and on from the move. The next morning when I spoke with Courtney she advised me Duke was still not feeling well, not eating and had no gut noise, which for all of you horse people we all know that NO gut noise is not what we wanna hear. So later in the day Courtney called to advise me she thought it was best for the vet to be called out for Duke and Prince as they both were showing signs of colic. I made some calls, she made some calls and it was decided the best thing was to load both of them in the trailer and head off to the Equine hospital in Apple Valley. Shortly after getting there Courtney decided to x-ray Prince’s back feet to see how it was doing. He was due for another set of x-rays and he had been showing signs in the last month or two of discomfort and some pain in the back legs. Shortly after they took the x-ray it was decided that the most humane thing to do for Prince was to let him go. Of course it was a decision that several of us made together and one of the toughest and most emotional decisions I have ever had to make. Basically what the vet told us is that the one foot that he had the most problems with had 40% bone loss and the other foot had 30% bone loss and it was simply due to dieing off blood vessels that support the bone and therefore ended in the bone dying off and there was nothing we could have done for him. Of course we are all deeply saddened by the loss of Prince and we will all miss him greatly but I am happy he is no longer in pain and able to run free in the heavens with the rest of the horses and I know I will see him someday soon.
So, now for Duke….Duke we found out has a large amount of Sand in his belly and had a very bad colic. We got him oiled and all the meds we needed to hopefully get him thru the next few days and then on a long battle of getting all the sand out of his belly without surgery. So, we are looking at a couple months of psyllium treatments and hopefully no more colic’s but another colic is very possible due to the pain that is caused by him passing the sand out of his body.
So as of now Duke is doing well, doesn’t seem to have any depression issues yet with the passing of Prince and no more colic’s so far. We are looking to get him started on Psyllium ASAP and looking for donations. It runs us 45 lbs = $110.00 plus S&H and we will probably go thru 45 lbs a month at least at this point. So, if we could get 90 lbs of it that would be great and should give us more than enough. As for all the supplements we had purchased for Prince we are now giving them to Duke as he could desperately use them to get him going and get back on track. Any questions or concerns about Duke please let me know and I would be happy to answer any of them for you.
OK, So I think that’s about it for now. I just want to take a moment to thank EVERYONE that has helped with Prince, financially, emotionally, and physically! A lot of people have helped with him over the last 3 years to make his last years the best possible. Without all of you he would have most definitely ended his life in a horrible manner never understanding the true power of love! Lots of people over the last few years have come to meet prince and of course fall in love with him immediately. There was something about this horse, the way he looked at you. If you ever met Prince in person you would know that he had the most amazing eyes and when he looked at you it was almost as if he was looking deep into your soul. He was the most loving and understanding horse and he tried with all his might to do what ever I asked of him. Each day I came to see him, no matter if he was in pain or not he would try his best to come over, get some loves and look for his carrots and treats! Also, I know Duke will miss his brother, but I am sure he knows his brother is in a better place and someday they will run free together again. We will all miss Prince and again I just want to thank everyone for all of there help over the years with Duke and Prince and hopefully one day we will all see them together again. Thanks again for everything!
Update May 1, 2009
Here is an updated picture of Duke I thought I would share with everyone. He is doing wonderful and has many new friends he enjoys handing out with.
Update April 16, 2011 – It is with great sadness and many many tears that I have to let everyone know that Duke has crossed over the Rainbow Bridge today!! We found cancer on his sheath and his man parts way up inside of him and with the location of the cancer and his age surgery was not an option for him. That only option was to allow him to continue on as long as he could but our vet said generally most things of this sort are ok during the winter but with the summer months coming the flies tend to get up inside there and will lay eggs and once they hatch the will literally start eating away at his flesh. THAT WAS NOT an option to allow that to happen so the decision was made that now rather then later was the right time to let this wonderful horse go with dignity and before he was suffering from what would have come. He touched all of our lives and it was time….. time for him to once again be REUNITED with his wonderful brother Prince for the last and final time!! They are now at the Rainbow Bridge and in Heaven TOGETHER FOREVER!!! They are free from any ailments that over took their bodies here on earth and Not founder, Not Cancer, NOTHING can stop them now!! ~ Courtney Hobson, President/Founder of Under the Angel’s Wings Rescue, Inc. ~
Good Bye my boys!! I will MISS you dearly and we all will NEVER FORGET you!!