Pet Tips 'n' Tales©
Horse Lovers Rescue a Child
Cottage Grove's Community Services Director, Peter Barrell, and his 14 year old son, Mason, are hometown heroes who credit their love of the outdoors and horses in helping them find a lost child in the wilderness. Here they are with their 32-year-old horse, Jasmine.
The summer of 2010, Pete and Mason discovered Isaak Glen, a lost 5-year-old lost child in Oregon's Coastal Mountains, twenty-four hours after his disappearance and ended up on national TV recounting the event.
The rescue gave Mason an awesome story to write about for the proverbial English class question, "What did you do during summer vacation?"
"Mason and I often go to the coast swimming, hiking, kayaking, fishing, and beachcombing so we volunteered to search for Isaak," said Pete. "We found Issak on a steep forested slope in a deep canyon. Handing Isaak back to his parents is one of the most memorable moments of our lives."
Pete, Mason and little Isaak at their reunion this month.Everyone LOVES a happy ending!
Due to Pete's vast experience in the wilderness, it is not a surprise to those that know him that he followed his instincts to discover the child.
When Pete was 8 years old his parents bought him "Katie", a Quarter Horse bay mare.
"Katie and I spent endless hours riding the woodlands, oak savannah, and canyons of the Gold Country in Northern California's Sierra Nevada Mountains. Katie had several foals and one year, a rare set of twins.
When I was 19 years old, I felt the need for adventure and took a break from college. I moved to an 80-acre ranch in the Sierra's and began a career as a wilderness guide leading whitewater rafting expeditions," said Pete.
Pete found himself rafting rivers in the West and Southwest and even worked in Africa on the Omo River of Ethiopia.
During this time, Katie had Jasmine, a beautiful mare of Quarter Horse and Morgan bloodlines. Pete kept Jasmine as Katie's final offspring.
"When Jasmine was a few days old, I walked out to the barn and saw something funny sticking out of her mouth, it looked like straw or hay which at her young age she should not be eating.
As I got closer, I saw that her lips were filled with porcupine quills! They were sticking out in all directions! I'll never forget holding Jasmine in my arms while the veterinarian removed the quills. Throughout the ordeal, her calm demeanor made me realize what a wonderful and special horse she would grow into.
In my twenties, I made a commitment to my horses to care for them "forever". I promised not to sell mother or daughter to the slaughterhouse when they got old.
As Jasmine grew so did our adventures through the Sierra's. The only problem with Jasmine was when a rattlesnake rattled nearby, she would suddenly jump six feet directly away from the snake! I always managed to hang on during her unexpected changes of direction. Jasmine's fast reaction is what most of us would do if confronted with a poisonous snake!
Once, on a rafting trip, I rescued a stranded puppy high up on a remote rocky cliff, deep in a canyon. To rescue him, I climbed up the face of the cliff, retrieved him, then with him in my arms, I jumped into the raging river below, my rafting clients in the boat, watching in awe. "Snowshoe" was worth rescuing; he became one of the greatest Golden Retrievers that ever lived.
After a wonderful decade of guiding, I loaded up my '66 Ford pickup truck and horses and moved to Eugene to attend the University of Oregon. I always kept my horses nearby.
Soon after moving to Eugene, Katie passed away at the grand old age of 38! Even at her advanced age, she was a healthy horse. Sadly, she died after being run down and killed by a pack of dogs.
Jasmine has been a wonderful horse and friend over the past 32 years, and though she is a thin old lady now, she remains healthy. I fully expect she will live for many more years. Over the span of my 52 years, 44 of them have been filled with wonderful experiences with Katie and Jasmine.
Caring for the 'ladies', bucking hay, stacking it in the barn, rides through the magnificent landscapes of the west, cleaning stalls and feeding them treats of apples and carrots has been a memory-filled journey.
Sharing the joys of owning and caring for a horse, with my son, Mason, has filled us with memories and experiences that we will cherish forever."
Presently, Pete and Jasmine need a bit of rescuing themselves. Pete is looking for a safe pasture and simple shelter near Cottage Grove, where he can stop by to feed, care and continue to spoil her. If you can help Pete with a home for Jasmine: firstname.lastname@example.org or 541-556-8506.
"Salt mineral blocks are important to every cell in a horse's body," writes Tips 'n' Tales reader Trish in Sisters, Oregon. "Every time you ride a horse its minerals need replacing. Pet rodents have mineral wheels in their cages, and horses should have mineral blocks."
Mary Ellen & Miss Wings
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