By Katie Dodd

I know every animal loving family sees the weird quirks in their pets; they can time when the dog will suddenly start barking for no apparent reason, or which cat cry is which.

Everyone with a horse knows the same, just it’s a 1200 pound animal so it makes the quirks a whole lot funnier. I’ve discovered some of Jake’s and Jolene’s quirks through the months that I’ve had them but, the most recent were the best.

It’s finally been snowing and ice is covering the roads, meaning no one is going to be driving. I live on the bottom of a steep hill, so naturally we (my dad and two siblings) all grab our boards to go sledding. Of course, it’s fun and we’re all having a blast. Even crashing into thorn bushes doesn’t deter us from the fun, but at the bottom of the hill behind barbed wire is Jake, just staring at us. He doesn’t twitch or seemingly blink, just stares. While that’s unnerving, in the background you see snow flying in the air because someone wants to play. Jolene for some reason gets excited anytime we sled. She runs back and forth with us sometimes neighing but mostly just running in circles, which would be cute if there wasn’t ice and her potentially killing herself.

Even locking her in the smaller pen doesn’t work and it gets worse since we take her away from where she can watch. I’m not sure if it’s just us seemingly going fast or us yelling that gets her moving, but no matter how calm she seems to be, as soon as the first person sleds she’s darting around. Afterwards she’ll continue to run around and follow us back to the house and then take off again. I’d say it’s to warm her blood up but she doesn’t do it until someone starts sledding.

All my animals have weird quirks, but Jolene and Jake’s always get my attention.

Like Jake eats slow no matter what it is. Then after eating he must go roll in his dirt spot, then go scratch on his favorite tree, and when laying down he looks like a dog going in circles until he just plops down.

Jolene is different. She has to gobble all her food down so she can try to eat Jake’s food, then she’ll follow me around trying to weasel treats out of me. She likes to take off for a run or two, and she then chases neighbor dogs away though she hasn’t gone after our dogs. When she sleeps it’s never standing, not once. She likes to lay down in lamb position or like she’s dead, all spread out (that used to scare me every time I saw it).

I’m sure there will be more quirks to find out, especially during the summer. I can get a good laugh from just watching them. They’re like giant children with their playfulness and tantrums. I’m looking forward to spring and summer.

~Katie Dodd

About the Author:My name is Katie Dodd I’m 17 years old, and live in Clifton, Tennessee. My hobbies are reading, writing, walking, occasionally riding horses, and a lot of other activities. My passions are animals first and then comes writing. I love making random stories up or writing poetry to express feelings. I have a lot of goals in life like finishing college, and opening my own vet clinic and animal shelter. I also want to get one of my stories published. I can get very passionate about things like the government and my beliefs. I like debating, and just sharing what I know. Out of all the subjects in school I’d say History is my favorite, it may be the past but it’s what shaped the world and changed a lot of things.”

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