It was a drizzly memorial day weekend and I had taken the day off from horses. I had a smashed foot (can’t remember why) and decided to go to a matinee movie in flip flops to elevate my foot and relax. Like a bad movie goer, I had my feet up on the seat in front of me; but like a good movie goer, I turned my phone off when the previews started.
When I left the movie, I reached into my purse to turn on my phone. It immediately started buzzing with missed calls and texts. I made space from my friends and plugged one ear so that I could hear what was going on.
The calls were distraught, from a past client and friend who had bought a horse from me a few years back. She had leased her mare out for the year and the lessors had called to tell her the horse was missing. Gone! They couldn’t find her and didn’t know what to do. The mare’s owner was out of town and couldn’t make it back that day. She didn’t know who else to call!
She gave me the name of the farm where she had been leased and that’s all either of us had to go on. Through a friend of a friend I knew Joan Ranquet, renowned Animal Communicator, teacher and author. Yes, a pet psychic. I’d heard that she’d used her unique skills in the past to help locate lost animals by connecting with them and describing their surroundings. I knew it was a stretch, after all they can’t read street signs, but it was worth a try.
I begged my friend to give me her personal cell number so I could call her on a holiday weekend. It was a deep invasion of privacy, but I assured him that the situation was life or death. Any animal lover would forgive my intrusion if it meant saving a horse from who knows what.
She graciously took my call and I sent her photos of the mare. After a few minutes she was able to share with me an image of her in a small enclosure. Perhaps a tiny paddock or stall? She couldn’t see other horses but she could hear the sound of running water. Perhaps she could see the roof of a barn in the distance. The important thing was that she was alive, not in pain, and not on the move. The biggest clue that I had to hold onto was the sound of running water.
NOTE: If you are ever in this situation, Joan now has a team of Animal Communicators that are available to help. You do not need to call her personally, there is a team to support you! Connect with people at Communication with All Life University.
Twenty minutes later, we arrived at the farm she had disappeared from. The owner and caretaker had been searching for her since yesterday. They didn’t have any answers either. The consensus was that she had run away or been stolen. Maybe her thieves were keeping her captive in a small enclosure near water?
I was ready to give in, call the police, make posters, check feed lots. But my husband wasn’t convinced. He was eyeballing the edge of an overgrazed paddock that was right at the edge of the top of a hill. On the other side of the paddock, the land dropped steeply away into a valley. The slope was covered with trees and difficult to see. The back side of the paddock was a thick hedge row of six foot tall blackberry bushes in lieu of a fence. While the rest of us talked, he was quietly looking at the bushes and he was listening.
What he heard was the sound of running water.
He said nothing, while I reviewed the search with the others. Could she have been out there? I asked. No, they told me. She must have gone through this other fence. I followed them down the path that they had searched a hundred times that day, but my husband stayed behind. He was quietly walking the back row of blackberry bushes on the edge of the hill.
What he saw were blackberry leaves, upturned and broken.
It was getting late. The possibility of finding her that day were looking slim to none. She had already been missing for over 24 hours. If nobody had seen her running down a road and she wasn’t dead, she must have been stolen.
My husband motioned me over to look at the leaves. I squinted. I did see what he was talking about. It was subtle, but there were enough broken and upturned leaves that something large could have passed through there. I stood at the edge of the blackberries and yelled “Yoossshiiii!!!!.” Then listened. Nothing.
I turned to my husband, he was waste deep in the bush but still couldn’t see anything beyond the next few feet. He extracted himself and started walking along the edge of the bushes to where they thinned outside the paddock. I trotted after him. “But Dan, we already looked down this way. The others checked it three times.” “You didn’t look right below there.” he said pointing back toward the spot in the bushes where we found the upturned leaves. “I’m going to climb down here and try to work my way back up to the other side of the bushes.”
I looked around, there was no sign that a horse had passed through in this clear spot. Where would she have gone? She couldn’t still be there, that close? I held my breath as my husband disappeared into the bushes. As I did, I heard the sound of running water. I thought about the image of the tiny enclosure. I had pictured it as a small paddock or stall. Something man-made. Was it possible she was stuck in a small enclosure of bushes or sticks? Too exhausted to hear us calling her? Or worse, no longer alive?
It was only minutes before I heard Dan calling back to me. “What?” I screamed back.
“She’s here. She’s alive.” were the words that floated back up to me. I yelled back to the others, “He found her!” Surprise echoed from above as I scrambled to get closer to them, still in flip-flops, holding onto tree roots and rocks.
I saw Dan and Yoshi through the bushes finally as I clung to a tree branch to keep from sliding all the way to the bottom of the valley. Dan had his arms around her and he was angry. “Tell them to bring hay.” he shouted and I saw why. Yoshi was a fjord horse, a breed known for their roundness, and I could see ribs and hip bones. I yelled up the request for food and water and heard people rushing to get supplies.
I slid the rest of the way to them on my elbows and butt and was shocked when I looked around and realized where we were. Dan, Yoshi, and I were the three of us standing on a sandy ledge about 4 feet wide and 6 feet long. Below us was a sheer drop into the valley below, at least 100 feet. Looking up, I was staring up the face of a cliff. 80 feet above us, I saw the back side of the blackberry bush with the overturned leaves.
TO BE CONTINUED!!!
This absolutely true story of Yoshi’s incredible cliff rescue has a very happy ending thanks to the Washington State Animal Response Team.
I now have to go prepare for our horse show this weekend from which the proceeds will be donated to WASART to help fund their amazing work. Register here for the show, bring your horse, even if it’s your first show and haven’t been practicing! It’s for a good cause!
I will have time to share the rest of Yoshi’s story at the event on July 9th. :)