Collared - Baltimore Sun readers' pets [Pictures]
TELL US ABOUT YOUR PET: We're interested in cats and dogs, but also hamsters, hedgehogs, turtles, horses, chickens -- the whole pet gamut.
Email the following information to email@example.com: pet name, owner name, how you met, pet's age, hometown, breed (or best guess), favorite activity, favorite food, funniest moment or sweetest story. Feel free to add your own creative categories, too -- anything that will shine a light on your pet.
• Unleashed: a blog for animals and the people who love them
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Ellie( Lloyd Fox, Baltimore Sun photo / May 30, 2013 )
After Paul and Sarah De Santis bought a farmette in Freeland, they let its previous owners board horses there while a barn was built at a new home. When the previous owners' new barn was finished and their horses left, the De Santises missed their hoofed tenants and decided to look for a horse of their own. Paul agreed to visit the horse rescue Gentle Giants, and meet with Ellie, an older Amish plow horse who had some fear issues. But he had no plans to adopt her.
"My intent was really just to help out with some training suggestions because a large, fearful horse seemed out of my league," says Paul. "But we took to each other."
After adopting her, the De Santises used clicker training to get Ellie, who's a Brabant mare, to start listening to simple commands without fear. Once they got to know each other a bit, they switched to her favorite thing -- belly scratches. "That helped me teach her to lift her hooves and do other necessary behaviors," says Paul.
Now about 20, Ellie has settled into the family nicely and no longer needs much training. She still is not a fan of having hands waved near her face, but she's quite relaxed and even nudges strangers to scratch her tummy.
"That fear is gone," says Paul. "And she gets to live out a nice, quiet comfortable retirement, which is what she deserves."
To have your pet - including hamsters, snakes, horses, guinea pigs and the like - considered for Collared, email information to firstname.lastname@example.org.