When we imagine losing a pet, we typically think of a dog or cat.
Cats are so independent that they normally come back sooner or later. They can pretty much take care of themselves. A dog on the other hand may never come back – they don’t do too well when lost for long periods of time. We all know just how distractable a dog can be!
When the story of a horse who went missing came out, we knew it was going to be different – a lost horse isn’t something we’ve ever heard of!
The missing horse just disappeared one day from his owner’s yard and was presumed gone. How long would you hold out hope for your pet? A month? A year? This owner held out for 10x that and it all came together with a Craigslist Ad.
Michelle Pool is a devoted horse mom from Texas, and her beloved steed, Opie, is her whole life. She first brought him home when he was only 10 months old and lovingly raised him into adulthood.
“My old horse lived and died on my property at 30 years old,” she told Honest to Paws. “I keep them for life. They’re mine. They’re my four-legged children.”
Ten years ago, Michelle returned home from surgery with the hopes of being able to put her feet up and rest. But instead, she was faced with any pet owner’s worst nightmare.
The fence was clipped, and Opie was nowhere to be seen.
She instantly called the police before beelining for her neighbor’s house. Her neighbor, a deputy at the sheriff’s department, could help and even had some interesting information.
He’d spotted a horse trailer outside the night before and thought it was just the normal operations of their farm and they were just transferring Opie somewhere.
Someone had stolen Opie and they didn’t have any leads.
She posted flyers near Interstate 10 and knocked on all of her neighbor’s doors asking if they’d seen her horse. But sadly, despite Opie’s distinctive tan and white markings, Michelle had no luck.
“There was no sign of him…I was heartbroken,” she said. “I had to explain to my kids that there are people…who take things that don’t belong to them. They were scared one of the other horses was going to get taken. I said, ‘We’ll find him, we won’t stop looking.’”
Michelle had even filed a report with Stolen Horse International, a program designed for people in her predicament, but nobody had heard about poor Opie.
Michelle was hurt and heartbroken and slowly went about the process of healing. As the years went by, Michelle went through a divorce, moved from Texas to Arkansas, and just kept on keeping on.
Meanwhile, in Dayton, Texas, a woman named Della Brade had just posted a Craigslist ad. She was trying to sell a particular horse.
Michelle had no idea that things were beginning to come together. Deanna Bordelon saw the ad but felt something was fishy about the deal.
She was trying to buy a horse for her daughter but was wary after being sold badly-trained horses in the past. She did her due diligence and researched this horse named “War Bonnet”.
When Deanna inquired about Opie’s past, she was met with a bewildering explanation.
According to Della, she’d been given “War Bonnet” as a gift from a pastor eight years ago. That pastor had apparently received the horse from another pastor, who had apparently spotted the horse wandering down the I-10 interstate.
Deanna decided to research the incident on the I-10 interstate – after all, something as absurd as a horse wandering down such a main road would surely have made the news.
But instead of coming across any news stories, she ended up finding a picture of Opie on the Stolen Horse International website.
Deanna was shocked and realized that something was very wrong. She contacted Stolen Horse International and their team tracked Michelle down.
Soon, Opie and Michelle were seeing each other for the first time in 10 years! When they finally came together, it was like time hadn’t passed a moment over the last decade. A highly emotional video was recorded of the two meeting again and it’s enough to make you cry.
We’re so glad that Opie was reunited with his original owner, and we’re sure that Michelle is looking forward to many more happy years with Opie.
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Source: Honest to Paws