I thought it might be worth mentioning an event that happened recently pertaining to the natural dangers that lurk in our fields and woods.
Oct. 30th of 1990 at 3pm, I joined Jerry and our Catahoula Leopard hound, Sheba, on their evening walk of our farm, an event I never infringe upon normally. Sheba circled our 250 acres and back again always checking on us to see where we were and always bringing us back a treasure, one treasure too many. First she dropped a box turtle at our feet and another time we snatched the stem of a mushroom out of her mouth, the only piece left as she had obviously eaten the rest. Now Jerry had seen her eat the small white mushrooms up around our home near our pastures, but his was evidently a swamp mushroom unlike the others. She seemed to be all right and just happy to know we were with her.
Gliding over the fields covering more ground then I thought possible by any dog we at last had to return around 5:30 to go back and feed the horses. After caring for the horses we passed by Sheba saying our good nights, bedded down in her kennel with her dinner.
The following morning Jerry was not greeted as he normally is by Sheba on his way to feed the horses and when he returned to let her out for her morning run to clean the kennel and put down her breakfast no good morning from Sheba.
Jerry came and got me looking like he had lost his best friend. We laid Sheba to rest along side our 13-year-old cat, Tigger in a peaceful Pine Grove on the farm.
Sheba had passed away on her bed that evening from mushroom poisoning, as we found mushroom skins all over the kennel.
Our vet told us that some mushrooms can be a vaso-constrictor and hallucinogen and perhaps we could have saved her by pumping her stomach if we had known-then again
Perhaps it was already too late. The best we can do for Sheba is to pass this information on.
Our vet says puppies will try and eat just about anything. Most horse people tend to be dog lovers too so for Sheba, “some mushrooms can be hazardous”.
The following day Bob and Sara Burnside, caring people that they are, offered Jerry a wonderful little Jack Russell, which he did not take feeling it was too soon. However,
“Amos”, a year old Airedale has joined our family and will now travel with Jerry on his walks. Amos’ owner has also offered Jerry a pup from the litter by Sheba’s parents. Although Amos will not replace Sheba perhaps in time he will fill the void.
The greatest contribution Sheba has given us, besides her love and zest for life, was this knowledge: any mushroom that pokes through anywhere near our horses is gone the minute we see it. Perhaps she has saved the life of one of our minis as we are all aware of the curious nature of our little equine.
This article was published in the Miniature Horse World for the February/March 1991 Vol.7, No. 1 edition
All rights are reserved and no part may be republished without permission from the editor.
Carolyn Miller of
Miller’s Miniature Horses
1822 Monterey Rd.,
Abbeville, S.C. 29620
*This article is subject to error and or omissions