SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — There are two adopted additions to the Nielsen family — Moose and Chloe.
Moose is a 12-year-old thoroughbred and a retired racehorse. Chloe is a 4-year-old Spaniel mix I adopted from the East Bay SPCA in Oakland.
Moose isn’t a rescue – he’s more of a recycle. Let me explain. Moose first came into my life in 2011 when I was an exercise rider at Golden Gate Fields in Berkeley. His owners, Audrey and Vincent, lived in Southern California, but they put Moose in training in Northern California, and I was assigned to be his rider.
Moose and I got along from the first day I rode him, and he instantly became my barn favorite. I had the chance to get to know his owners because they would often come to his races. I told them I would love to give Moose a new home when he was ready to retire from racing. They told me they’d had him since he was a yearling and were very attached to him, so they planned to retire him at their ranch.
Two years later when it was clear Moose’s racing career was over, they indeed took him back to their ranch in Southern California, and I was heartbroken.
A few months later Audrey called me and said she knew how much I loved Moose and she wanted me to have him. She sold him to me for $1.00 so we could have an official bill of sale. Moose and I have been inseparable ever since.
I retrained him to be a show horse and we participate in jumping competitions around Northern California. I’ve also taken him to Montana twice in the past few years to a 5th generation working cattle ranch to help in the fall with round-up and sorting. I love and adore him more than words can express.
Chloe’s upbringing wasn’t as fortunate as Moose. She and 9 other litter-mates were found dumped in Oakland when they were only a few weeks old. They were brought to the East Bay SPCA where they were placed in a foster home to be bottle fed until they were old enough to find permanent homes.
Chloe joined my family when she was 5 and a half weeks old, and it’s been a non-stop adventure ever since. She absolutely loves going to the barn and hanging out with Moose, especially around feeding time when she can eat the grain that falls out of his bucket. She’s a bed hog and a pillow hog, and loves carrying her toys around the house.
Her favorite is a yellow stuffed duck we call Yucky Duck. It’s the first toy she ever played with, and despite multiple washes, it looks pretty yucky 4 years later – hence the name.
I’d love to get credit for rescuing Moose and Chloe, but the truth is, they’ve added more to my life than I ever added to theirs.