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When Rosie met Beretta: The story behind a puppy's encounter with a horse

A reporter and I were at Clarity Riding in Davidsonville last fall for a story on the Gaited Advocate Intervention Team, which rescues horses that have been abandoned or are in danger of being shipped off for slaughter. As trainer Elizabeth Farina walked us through the stables, a small brown labrador puppy named Rosie came tumbling along with us.

As we walked out to a field to meet some of the rescued horses, Rosie escorted us like the farm was all hers. A beautiful dam named Beretta and her just-born foal, Saffie, trotted over to investigate the visitors. The foal ran circles around us, and the trainer put down a bucket of feed for Beretta.

Rosie, seeing that someone was eating, walked over to check out the feed bucket. And there she came nose to nose with Beretta. I saw the moment and dropped to my knees in the field, snapping two frames: this frame, where the two creatures regard each other, and one more, where a snort from Beretta's nostrils startled the pup, who turned tail and, deciding discretion was the better part of valor, retreated behind the trainer’s legs.

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