Ever had pets that both you and others treated as equals?
One day, when I was 16 years old, I was riding my horse, Lightning, when someone yelled to me that they were selling homemade ice cream at the new Haiti mission Bible school cafeteria. I immediately cantered over there.
Lightning was a Haitian mustang stallion that I rode without a bridle or saddle
The new cafeteria had a concrete base, four feet high, wide access steps, a tin roof, and an enclosed cooking area in the back.
Rows of long tables and benches covered the open area and there was a counter at the back where people picked up their food.
When I arrived, lines of customers had already formed, but I rode Lightning up the steps without a qualm, having regularly ridden him up our high front porch steps at home.
The cafeteria was so crowded, I slipped off, letting Lightning fend for himself while I shouldered my way to the front of the crowd, and ordered a dish of ice cream.
But Lightning soon pushed his way to the front also, ears pricked eagerly at the sight of the food being served.
Soon, someone bought him a scoop (5 centime), plopping it directly onto a table, where he licked it up politely next to where I was also eating with my friends.
Nobody seemed to think it strange, including me, that there was technically a loose horse (and a stallion, at that) joining humans at a table to eat ice cream.
He was accepted by all of as "people" also.
When we were done, I slipped back up on his back, rode down the steps, and left.
I am not speciesist. Miss P, my beloved whippet, is my companion. I don't refer to her as my "pet," finding that demeans both her and our relationship. She is an intelligent being with rights, wishes, and a definite mind of her own. I make sure she has health insurance and health care, a good diet, sufficient exercise (weather permitting), and have made arrangements for her continued care, should somehing untowards happen to me.
Studying for my A-levels, I'd go to the woods with my collie and slip him off the leash. While I read my books alone and sunned myself for a few hours, he'd go fossicking in the forest. He'd check in on me every once in a while and when I was done I'd call him, pull out the burrs and we'd go home together, back to 'domestication'. It was probably his only, and my first, taste of real freedom.
I have set up my dog on a bench at dinner table for Thanksgiving dinner. I let my dog sleep with me. They are clean and don't smell because I feed them people food, meat and fat. My dogs are on a ketogenic diet. They hardly ever need to see a vet so the money I spend on food is a good investment. Dogs offer unconditional love. We have so much to learn from them.
Have always treated my dogs as equals. Even my bank gives out dog biscuitsif they ride with you at the drive thru. My ex and I always brought our German Shepherd Aussie into Home Depot with us which was quite often. When the ice cream truck came by Aussie always got her own Hoodsie cup. She also went to work with him every day.
I had a cat who thought he was a parrot - does that count? I rescued a very young kitten with his 2 brothers and sister, but he was the smallest and really attached to me. He would climb up my jeans to my shoulder and just perch there watching everything around, even if I was sitting or walking. Whenever someone came up and started talking, he would reply to them! It was really funny.
Great story, I am curious why you didn't tie him up somewhere?...and If you knew you didn't, why were you surprised that the horse was 'technically loose'. But the part that gets me the most about your story is that a stranger would buy a horse ice cream and then let a little girl ride off on it. I thought all dairy products were bad for horses, especially chocolate ice cream, the toxic chemical found in chocolate called theobromine has been known to be fatal to them. Sugar is bad for them and grown horses are lactose intolerant, causing diarrhea and in extreme cases seizures.