Tribute To "LADY BUG" And Petey - Both Special
The following is a tribute to a very special pony, LADY BUG and the special boy who loved her.
Petey was born with Down's Syndrome and at 22 months was diagnosed with leukemia. After 5 years of chemotherapy and the debilitating effects of it, he was proclaimed in remission. His love for horses was very strong by this time and along came a pony named THUNDER. Petey and his sister, Kimberly, rode him for several years but he was old and small, so they outgrew him.
Along came a small horse named PENNY. PENNY was an Appaloosa paint about 14 years old. Petey and PENNY were best friends for several years until PENNY died suddenly one night and left Petey all alone.
We saw an ad in the paper for a large pony not too far from our house, so we went to look at her. She was a white pony with a sorrel face and neck and a big sorrel spot on her behind. She definitely needed a few groceries and was blind in one eye. After much discussion, we agreed on a price and loaded LADY BUG on the trailer.
She and Petey immediately became best friends. She was 17 years old at the time. Petey took her to Rosemark Saddle Club where they were inseparable. They won many ribbons, awards and belt buckles, jackets etc. Then LADY BUG lost sight in her other eye to chronic equine uveitis, a progressive disease that gradually robbed her of her eyesight.
Petey was told but I don't think he ever did understand that LADY BUG could no longer see. Then after several months of not riding, we looking out one day and there was Petey and LADY BUG going across the field, lickety split.
LADY BUG never missed a step and on occasion, we would let him take her to Munford Saddle Club and ride her. His sister gave him JOE to ride (an 18-year-old Quarterhorse) and he and JOE did really well in the shows but when he was here at home he always rode LADY BUG. I guess, that like me, he thought she would just go on forever.
Then, on November 30, LADY BUG left us at 24 years old. Petey rode her for the last time on Sunday before she died. She was always her proudest when Petey was on her back. She will be sorely missed by all and she has certainly earned her place in horse heaven. Bye LADY BUG. We love you. We will miss you.
Petey, Pat and Everett Northup
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