Bootsie and Roarco the Pony

        I don’t know what inspired me to write up this post except today a patient told me about their favorite pet they had as a kid.  So, I thought I’d tell you about mine.  If you had a favorite one, I’d like to hear of them.  I write this at the risk some of my readers might label me as the “Syndicated Sap of the South,” but I am serious.  I had several I thought of as family. 

        The first was Bootise.  She was a little dog who was part Cocker, part Pekingese and Lord knows what else.  I don’t remember how I came about Bootise, but she was my first pet.  When I went off to the first grade we had to lock her up every morning, cause she’d follow me to the school house. 

        One day my mom let her out too early, and she took off through the woods.  There was a shortcut there we’d take to play ball on the weekends, and it was a faster route.  Anyway, when I got to school there she was right by my desk.  The principal, Mr. Wilson, came in the room and tried to get her to leave and she bit him on the leg.  This didn’t go over well with my mom, and we had to take the dog out to grandma’s farm to stay.  I was gonna get to visit on the weekends. 

        We stopped on the way home to get a bite to eat, and when we got back to the house the dog was sitting right there on the front steps.  Mom didn’t have the heart to take her back out to the farm, so she got to stay.

        Sometime after Bootsie, I got the notion I needed a pony.  I had some grandiose plan I was gonna ride in the County Fair and win the pony race, which was beyond absurd for a little boy.  I nagged everyone so long we ended up with one.  I named it Roarco.  I have no idea why. 

        The plan was the pony was gonna live out on the farm and my cousins would ride it weekdays and I’d come out with my folks on the weekend.  My grandfather would take care of it and my dad would buy all the feed and supplies.  It wasn’t much of a deal for anyone but me- all I had to do was ride.

        Boy did I love that pony.  If you’ve never ridden one, Roarco might have invented the phrase “a horse headed for the barn.”  That animal was plum sluggish as we went out, but when we got to the south end of the pasture I’d turn her around and she’d take off headed for home.  You had to watch out for the clothes line- if the sheets were out she wouldn’t go through there, but if they weren’t she’d try to run under the clothesline, and I had to work to be sure she didn’t go that route.

        It all went along fine for a while but my cousins lost interest and my folks couldn’t get out there every weekend.  She got to where she wasn’t used to a rider and got rambunctious except with me.  One day my Uncle Jimmy decided to go for a ride.  I tried to tell him, but he got on anyway, and she ran him into the mailbox then threw him off and he broke his femur.  After that she got foundered.  The next thing I knew Roarco wasn’t there anymore, and I never was told where she went except Uncle Jimmy said something about the glue factory in the sky.  Even at that age he warn’t fooling me, but I got over it in time.

        Maybe those animals have to do with why I wound up so idealistic as an adult.  How many little boys dream of a pony and wind up with one?  My guess is very few are so lucky.  I’ll have to tell you though I never see a tube of Elmer’s without thinking of ole Roarco.  She was a fine pony.  I wish they hadn’t let anyone but me ride her though- I was the only one she trusted.

Dr. B

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12 Comments on “Bootsie and Roarco the Pony”

  1. Cindy Carter Says:

    Those weren’t pets! They were friends. I had a friend named Buster. He went everywhere with me. My mom took a picture of me and Buster on the floor in front of the TV. His front leg is draped over my sholder while we watch.

    My other true love was Abbie. She stayed with me the longest. She was a calico cat that was abandonded (hence the name Abbie). She would roll over and sit on command. But, only for me. She told me about her day when I got home from work.

    Now, I have Ranger, thief of hearts and so much more. He is just 9 months old. And, he weighs about 75 lbs. But, he climbs up in my lap every day to tell me that he loves me. We explore the farm together.

  2. mrschili Says:

    I grew up with a part lab, part Newfoundland (part horse) that my mother, for reasons known only to her, named Pickles. He was GINORMOUS and sweet and would walk me to and from school (I was left pretty much to my own devices as early as kindergarten, so the dog came in handy). He had to be put down after he developed seizures. I’m pretty sure they were the result of a beating the dog took at my father’s hand, but I can’t be sure of that. Regardless, I fully expect to see him when I cross over – I’m certain he’ll be waiting for me.

  3. drtombibey Says:


    They were friends! That’s exactly right. Everyone ought to have a farm and animals somewhere along the way.

    Dr. B

  4. drtombibey Says:


    I’ll bet Pickles was a good old pal. I always had a dog too.

    Dr. B

  5. Cindy Carter Says:

    We just got in from weeding the garden. Ranger thought he was helping. Well, we will let him think that. I caught sight of him cooling off in a mud puddle. So, I had to hose him off when we got back to the house.

    He has trained me that when he steals shoes, I give him a treat to get them back. Hence the thief of hearts and so much more!

  6. drtombibey Says:

    Ms. Cindy,

    My dogs have trained me well too. And we also have one that thinks of a mud puddle as a spa.

    Dr. B

  7. pandemonic Says:

    I had a pony, but she was a major pain. My father got her instead of money for fixing some guy’s car. We thought we were the luckiest kids in town, until we got to know the nag. She was the nastiest animal on earth. She’d turn around just to kick you better.

    One day, I attempted to make peanut brittle. (I think I was 15 or so.) I failed miserably. It was far from brittle as you could get. It was a gooey gloppy mess. So I rolled it up on the pan, wondering what I should do with it.

    I fed it to the pony, and it took her all day long to chew it down. She was so stymied, she didn’t kick. I never had so much fun in my life.

  8. drtombibey Says:

    Ms. Pande,

    The thought of a kid teaching that pony a lesson with failed peanut brittle makes my day. I can just picture the animal trying to gum down the goo.

    Dr. B

  9. keepbreathing Says:

    Pets are always good friends. We had a mutt when I was a lad who we had named Bramble. She was a good dog but she was as dumb as a brick. She was strong as an ox and as enthusiastic as anything in the world. She was a great dog and a fine companion. We also had a cat who enjoyed teasing the dog; he would rub up on her legs and purr, and when she got excited and tried to befriend him the cat would swat her on the nose and go hide in the basement for a few hours. It was always entertaining…

    Animals certainly are good friends and fine companions. Sounds like you had some good ones as a child!

  10. drtombibey Says:

    Hey K.B.,

    Enjoyed both your blog and your comments. I thought your disclaimer was excellent and patterned mine after yours.

    Dr. B

  11. amberfireinus Says:

    I dreamed my entire life of having a horse. I realised that dream when I was in my mid-20’s. I took English riding lessons and learned basic jumps and dressage techniques. Her name was Ginger.

    There is a peace whilst riding a horse like no other. Being one with an animal in that way is a very spiritual thing. Just brushing her, I could feel my blood pressure go down immensely. Funny that, caring for something else, was actually caring for myself.

    Anyway, Ginger was in her stall and got spooked by a rabbit that hopped on in looking for something to eat. She kicked and kicked her stall till finally she broke her navicular bone (for those who don’t know it would be a femur in a human). Of course for a horse, this means having to be “Put Down”.

    Shortly after that happened, I got sick and I could no longer ride. I still can’t ride because of my condition, but I miss it. I can only imagine how much you missed your Pony.

  12. drtombibey Says:

    ms. Amber,

    Humans and horses, like dogs, go back a long way. I hate you lost yours, ’cause I know the bond is special.

    Dr. B

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