July 26, 2012

MEET DOC


A White Colt that Isn’t Really White,
And His Owner, Dana Hickey


by Molly Noble Bull   





Doc is the beautiful blue-eyed, white animal in the photo above, and his mother is the mare in the photo with him. On the day the photo was taken, Doc was only four weeks old, but I think he looks a lot older.
According to the Book of Revelation, Jesus will return on a white horse, and his saints will also be riding white horses. Will these horses be a lot like Doc? Nobody knows. But we can know about white horses in general.
Albinism in humans or animals means a lack of normal pigmentation. Often, this defect is accompanied by other congenital defects as well. I thought Doc was an albino.
I was wrong.
In South Texas where we live, horses with so much as white socks on their lower legs often get a painful ailment on the white area that ranchers around here call sandburn. I worried that Doc might get a bad case on the entire surface of his hide. Horses in warm climates with white feet are often sold and sent to a colder climate where sandburn in horses are not normally found. 
However, Doc’s owner, Dana Hickey, explained that Doc was not an albino but a Cremello, and Cremellos don’t suffer from sandburn because the albino defect is not normally found in horses. Doc’s coat is cream in color, meaning he has pigmentation. In fact, the only white on him anywhere is the star on his forehead. 
To learn more about this interesting topic, click below.
Now my friend, Dana Hickey, is going to tell us more about Doc.
Dana lives on seventy acres near Kingsville, Texas with her husband and college-age daughter. Tell us about your country home, Dana, and about the dangers Doc went through just being born. Then tell us a little about the mare that bore him.  

Dana:
 I have loved cream-colored horses all my life, including palominos, buckskins, and creams. When I was a young girl my father took me shopping for a horse. We went to look at a beautiful white (cream) horse with blue eyes kept in a farmer’s barn. The horse was the right price, and I wanted him.
My father was ready to make the deal; but the owner said this horse has blue eyes so we could only ride him in the evening because the sun would hurt his eyes.
I felt so sorry for the horse. Something deep in me didn’t believe the sun would hurt his eyes, and the horse honestly looked sad.
My father declined the purchase. He said he wouldn’t own a horse you couldn’t ride at all times during the day. 
I never forgot that horse. I am now proud to say that we have a horse on our place that looks just like that horse many years ago. 
In 2002 my two daughters and two horses moved back home to South Texas.
In 2003 I bought a quarter horse which was a champagne cream stud horse to breed to my sorrels (red) and bay (brown) horses. 
The genetics for this type of horse gave us a 75% chance producing palominos, buckskins, creams, or even maybe a cremello.
In 2004 the American Quarter-horse Association, AQHA, made it official. I could register my unusual colored horse. I sold that same stud horse this year. His last mare to have a colt is the one mentioned in this article, and the mare produced the only cremello we have ever owned. The cremello produces 100% color when breeding to sorrels and bay colored horses.
Both my daughters started showing horses in western pleasure events, and they had lots of fun and even won a few buckles. They are true horse lovers, and they each own horses. They will not let go of them.
A couple of years later my ex-husband (father of our girls) came to visit, and he fell from a trailer. After shattering his knee and breaking a few bones, he stayed at our place to mend. One thing led to another. We remarried; funny how the Lord does things.
My oldest daughter graduated from Texas A&M Corpus Christi, and she is married. Her English bred horse, Jazz, is the mama of this baby, named Doc—after the vet saved the animal’s life.
Jazz, in the picture, lost her last foal, and it was heart breaking. We saw the foal trying to come out of the mother, but we could not pull the baby from her. Within an hour, we had Jazz at the vet. It was midnight by then. The vet delivered a dead foal. However, he stated that Jazz should have no problem with her next foal.
I had feed Jazz very well when she was pregnant. I blamed myself for overfeeding her and getting the baby too big for delivery.
We waited two years before we bred again. This time I did not over-feed the mare. Jazz ate only grass, and she was very healthy looking. My girls and I prayed for the health and safe delivery of this next foal. I never ask for prayers for horses, but I felt I needed to include Jazz in a prayer from our small prayer group. On a Saturday morning my husband left to tend to our food bank distribution for our community, and I was out of town attending the Republican Convention in Fort Worth. My younger daughter had only been home a few weeks from college.
She checked on Jazz and could see that the mare’s water broke. She knew she had to get the foal delivered. The water was already dry which is not good. Once the bag breaks on a foal, you have twenty minutes to deliver a colt. Every minute after that means possibly losing the baby animal. I’d found this out when our first colt couldn’t come out. 
On the telephone talking to the vet, my daughter was told to give up. The foal was probably already dead or close to it. She’d called every vet within 20 miles, and of all days, none were in the office. The only one she could reach stated that the foal would probably die. One vet said to call the vet in the next county but that there was no rush. 
My youngest daughter called her sister who is an hour’s drive away. She came to help and loaded the mare for the sad trip to the vet. My brother was in the area, and he also helped with the ordeal. Both my girls were upset because they never wanted to see this ordeal again. 
They arrived at the vet about three hours after Jazz was found that morning. The vet went to check on other horses and was in no hurry to work on ours since the verdict was not good.
When he put his hands into the mare to check on the colt, he said he was shocked. “This foal is alive!”
Apparently, the sac wasn’t broken completely after all—that or God healed it 
Nevertheless, my girls tried not to get their hopes up.
The foal could not be delivered by pulling, so chains were used on his legs and head and mouth in order to turn the head in proper position, with three people pulling. If you goggle this type of delivery, it generally produces a dead colt.
This process damaged the foal’s mouth, making him unable to nurse. His legs were so weak, he could not stand once he was delivered, but at least he was alive. The vet also said Doc, the colt, may be “dumb” due to lack of oxygen.
The vet worked on Doc for some time. The foal required around the clock care by attendants for 48 hours. The vet had to milk the mother and pour the milk into her colt. Doc actually started nursing about the second day on his own. His legs were swollen from pulling, and the vet was not sure as to the level of damage Doc suffered, plus the next fear was systemic infection, which is not uncommon under the circumstances.
We brought the foal home on the third day, and that was when we finally decided to name him Doc after the vet who saved him.
The vet called me the day after we brought him home and for the first time he said, “You know that colt should not be alive.”
I said, “Prayers were answered.”
So doors were opened for us to discuss the love of the Lord with the vet. Funny how the Lord opens doors. 

Molly:
Now tell us about your Christian walk and about the sign on the highway that fronts your land. What does the sign say?  And how has it changed you and others who see it? 

Dana:
I love the Lord, and my family went to church on Sundays when I was a child. I thought everything was great. But I experienced some real evil in my life that I didn’t know was possible. Don’t ever think you are alone when you get hit with everything that is as bad as it gets and you feel so low you want to disappear. I’ve been there. I started a journey looking for a deep relationship with the Lord and discovered it is a life long journey. It isn’t just about saying the sinner’s prayer and going to church one day a week. A close relationship with the Lord is a daily decision that you make each day to follow the Lord. Jesus said we are to take up His cross daily and follow Him. I found out about the Armor of God in Ephesians 6:10-20.
I wear it.
I learned to read the bible slower and mediate on His word. I learned to pray much more often. I learned about tongues and the importance of praying in the spirit. The most important thing I have learned is that it is all about HIM. All Glory to God. When I do anything good, it is because of the He in me.
I have had the wonderful opportunity to meet some really great people though the Lord.  One of my friends told me the Lord told her the reason He made people in different colors was so we would learn unconditional love. (Isn’t this great?)
Another friend told me that the Lord shared with her that we are to read all the Word, (The Bible) and not to pick and chose. All of the Passover lamb was to be eaten and not just certain parts of it. In the same way, all of the Bible was to be read, include those chapters and verse we might not find as interesting.
The Lord gives little words of knowledge to all His people. I think this is so we will lean on each other and appreciate the love of Him in each of us.
The sign on my property states, “Jesus loves you, repent, pray, read the bible.” 
I need these words just as much as anyone else, traveling down the highway in front of our place.

Molly:
Thanks for stopping by Dana and for telling us about Doc.
I don’t know the breed of horse that Jesus will ride on when he returns to earth at the second coming, but I know he will return riding on a white horse because the Bible says so.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

enjoyable story, I love to hear how Jesus watches over all of us including our animals.

Molly Noble Bull said...

Thanks for writing, Anonymous.
Molly

Janet Chester Bly said...

Interesting info on white & cream horses. Love the photo!
Blessings,
Janet

Molly Noble Bull said...

Thanks for writing, Janet. As I think you know, I live in the heart of Texas ranching country, and I love to write about my area. In return, I love to read your articles too.
Love,
Molly