By HEIDE FOGAL

Rantoul Press columnist

DEWEY — Thank goodness March has arrived. After weeks of cold, wind, snow and rain we can hope that spring is almost upon us.

I actually saw my first robin today, so there is hope. Society for Hooved Animals Rescue and Emergency is so ready for some sunshine and warm weather. Horses have been patiently waiting for spring. We also need some good things happen to SHARE.

When you have a rescue facility, unexpected things can occur, and it’s always difficult to deal with. Within the past couple of weeks, we lost two very special horses so quickly and unexpectedly.

One was Baker, an appendix quarter (cross between a registered thoroughbred and an American quarter horse), in his late 20s.

He had a gray color and was such a gentle animal. Easy to work with in his stall, he enjoyed a rub on his nose.

Baker had cancer for a long time, but with medication he still had lots of energy. Even his vet doesn’t know why he died.

Our pretty Lady was a BLM (Bureau of Land Management) mustang, age 29. I don’t remember where we rescued her from, but she was a great addition to SHARE.

She had this chocolate color and was an elegant, energetic horse. We had no clue she had medical issues, and the vet is still trying to figure out what happened. Colic was ruled out.

We have 47 horses, including ponies, and we know each horse and their idiosyncrasies. Some are a little easier to work with; some are a bit on the stubborn side.

The volunteers know which horse really enjoys grooming and which ones don’t want to be messed with. All of our animals mean a lot to us, so it’s sad and hard on us to lose any one.

SHARE has some wonderful volunteers. Even windy, cold weather brings them out to spend time with the animals.

Sunday mornings at 10:30 is groundwork time again. It has been on hold because of the freezing temps.

Ponies Jude, Levi and Nick got a good workout and some got great grooming last Sunday.

A big thanks to Sherry, Katie and Ethan for coming out and having a good time.

If you would like to join us, please do so on Sunday mornings at 10:30.

We work until about noon, but you can stay as long as you like. Volunteers of all experience levels are more than welcome.

Heide Fogal, a Rantoul resident, is volunteer coordinator at SHARE.