January 8, 2009 in Idaho Voices

Winter too much for adopted Christmas horse

Dusty died Dec. 30
By The Spokesman-Review
File photo

Mozelle Callihan leads 5-year old Jameson Wasson and Dusty, the 27-year-old horse, into the pasture behind her house Dec. 16.
(Full-size photo)

Dusty the “Christmas horse” adopted by the Wasson family of Post Falls and featured in the Dec. 25 Voices publications did not survive the unusually snowy winter.

Owner Mozelle Callihan found him dead on Dec. 30. “It looked like he just fell over and went to sleep,” she said.

Callihan had rescued the aging, malnourished horse because his previous owners were unable to care for him. The Wasson family had been looking for a way to teach their children about altruism and decided to adopt a horse for Christmas. When they heard about Dusty they knew they’d found their Christmas Horse.

On Dec. 16 the family delivered alfalfa feed and beet pulp to Dusty. The three children were thrilled when they got a slow ride around the pasture atop the gentle horse.

Julie Wasson said she hasn’t told her children the news yet. “We’re just grateful that we all got to have this experience; the kids have certainly been richer for it, as have Steve and I. We’re really happy that we were able to make Dusty’s last days a little bit better, that the kids got to love on him and maybe he knew that he was wanted again.”

While Callihan is sad about the loss, she doesn’t regret giving Dusty a home. She said, “Dusty’s tummy was full and he had his warm blanket on. It’s comforting to know he was loved by young as well as old.”

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