I think I'll start with right now...I am looking at pictures from today and reflecting that I, and Diamond, have traveled a long, long way over the past week.
Diamond's story - the Coles Notes version - is that he was sold down the road...reasons have been given, but the key motivation was simple profit.
How was he saved? By one person who had a keen eye for a good horse, and by a group of people who believed in one common goal: to make sure that this horse, on this day, did not go to slaughter.
Diamond's life actually overlapped with mine about a month ago. A good friend of mine knew that a few days before Christmas, we had suddenly lost Boo, the TB gelding who had been part of our lives for 18 years. We know that horses get older, and that a time comes when we must only hold them in our hearts. I think that Robin understood the emptiness we felt...we have two other lovely geldings, but Boo...he was something else. Robin tried to persuade me that I should go look at Diamond, and another friend, whose opinion I value highly, echoed the sentiment that he was a special horse.
We had decided, though, that despite the empty stall, that we were going to wait a while to fill it...that the right horse would find us when it really needed it. What we didn't know, a month ago, that Diamond was that horse.
I learned that he had found a new home, and was happy...that is, until I came home last Wednesday to a message that he was in serious trouble. The "good home", who picked him up on March 3, had taken him to OLEX - the Ontario Livestock Exchange - and he had been purchased by a kill buyer.
The only word to describe the reaction of his previous owners, and a number of others, is horror. How could a horse as nice as this fall through the cracks? It has happened so many times, to so many horses - but this time, a network to save Diamond was forming. Over the next several entries I will explain this in greater detail - but these are stories for another day.
When I read Robin's message, I told Paul, and I asked if we could offer him a home. His comment was that a horse does not cross your path twice - and if one believes in omens, or signs, or a slap up the head from the Divine...this was it.
I messaged Kelly, the owner who had taken him from the track...now you have to understand, she didn't know me from Job's off mule at this point. I don't know what I said that allowed her to trust me, but I told her that if they could find a way to get Diamond to me, that he would have a forever home.
Now Facebook can be a royal pain with political rants, off colour jokes and things that really deserve a visit with Snopes - but it can also be an amazing tool; and this is how Diamond was saved.
ONE person realized that Diamond was in trouble and sent it out into the ether on Facebook - and one person, through good luck, serendipity or the Divine - recognized him and set his salvation and redemption into motion Are those strong words? Yes. But they are appropriate when a horse finds himself in a situation where his life is in peril.
So now that I've outlined the beginning of his story - and there are many more good parts - I would like to say goodnight with a huge thank you to the first person: Barbie.
Myself, Diamond and Barbie in the holding area at OLEX.