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Izzy is an elder gray mare who came to TJP in 2011, shortly after she was born, when her then owner realized she was 95% blind. The owner was planning on taking her and her mother to live up in the mountains. Dawn convinced him to leave Izzy with us so that she wouldn’t be in danger of possibly falling off a cliff or be injured by other animals up there. Izzy earned the name Izzy from ‘izquierda’ – the Spanish word for ‘left’ – as she was always moving to that side to compensate for her completely blind right eye. Being blind and away from her mother, this young filly was quite nervous. Just reaching a hand out to her would send her running and crashing into a corral wall or gate.

In attempt to desensitize Izzy, and to offer her a seeing companion, we introduced her to Agustín. Agustin and Izzy had arrived just days apart and seemed a good match in size and age. Agustin required a lot of medical treatment and therapy, and many caretakers were in and out of the corral he and Izzy shared. There was lots of love and conversation going around, and soon Izzy didn’t flinch as much when someone reached a hand out. Whenever Izzy would get nervous, she’d whinny and Agustín would hobble over to her. Resting her head on Agustín, Izzy would immediately relax.

When it came time to venture outside, it was Agustín, not her humans, that got Izzy to come out and play. Never too far away, Agustín would lead Izzy to food, water and safety. A year or so later, Agustin was adopted and moved out. Izzy seemed comfortable enough on her own and had come to enjoy human touch. She made friends with Zorro and was with other horses until she got injured from running through a fence. We learned that she would be safer within her own private boundaries, without any other horses to spook her. Although Izzy will always be visually challenged, she is absolutely living a happy and fulfilling life. You can call her from anywhere on the ranch and she’ll always answer. We have a few volunteer angels who make sure she is well groomed and has her share of the horse cookies and carrots.

Izzy’s current companion is Chaz, one of our goats. Chaz can easily (and miraculously) jump the fence around Izzy’s pasture and escape to wherever he might want to go. Once in a while he does venture out but he always comes back to be with Izzy. Chaz hangs close to Izzy and he literally looks after her. He is quite the character, and a loving friend to Izzy.

Not all animals come to Tina Jo’s Promise old and broken, some come to us as youngsters and grow up here. And in Izzy’s case she was actually born at the rescue.

Izzy, was born blind and suffered from a neurological disorder, epilepsy, yet she had 13 years of love, fun and happiness at our rescue.

Our sweet Izzy, had four grand mal seizures back-to-back yesterday. It was at this time, along with our vet, Dawn Stephens and I made the very difficult and painful decision to help her pass before she incurred more serious injuries and suffered.

Izzy, was the best friend and confidante too many, including her goat corral mate, Chaz. She will be missed dearly, yet we are glad to know that she is at peace now.

With a heavy heart,

The Stephens family and support team at Tina Jo’s Promise.