#1 NYT bestselling author Linda Lael Miller

Sacred Contracts

I have sacred contracts with all my animals, dogs, cats and horses. Once an animal becomes a part of this family, they STAY a part of it, come what may.

Years ago, when I bought my horse, Buck, I knew he was already pretty old, and he’d had a hard life, as a working ranch horse. There were many signs that he’d been abused, and when he came to live with me, I promised him he could be a pet from then on. He was officially retired, and entitled, to my way of thinking, to live the high life. Since then, Buck has been the grand old man of the barn. He gets his feed pan first, among other little perks.

Now, he’s showing signs that age is catching up with him. He’s slowing down, and he’s arthritic. Still, he’s up and around, and he’s eating, wandering around the pasture with the other members of my little band. I guess what I’m getting at here is that the time is coming, maybe sooner rather than later, when I will have to honor another part of my soul-agreement with my old Buckaroo, and that’s the hardest one of all.

Letting go.

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The Pony Express was in operation for only nineteen months from April 1860 through October 1861.