When Happy the quarter-horse decided she hadn’t had enough attention from a human visitor, she decided to bring the attention to herself—by walking into her owner’s Great Central Lake living room and demanding it.
Happy, just three months old, only joined the Galloway family of Port Alberni a couple of months ago, from a farm in Manitoba. Rather than acting like a typical horse, Happy is more like a lapdog—a 300-pound lapdog, says owner Terry Galloway.
A friend of the family had given Happy a pat in the backyard when she realized she had forgotten something in the house. “My friend walked in the house, up the stairs, down the hall and into the living room, and the horse did too,” Galloway said.
“It took Happy less than three seconds to get up those (seven) stairs.”
Galloway didn’t know what to do about the horse standing in the middle of her living room, so she called 911.
“The dispatcher said is the horse panicked and I said the horse is having a nap. She’s standing right where she came up.
“It was hilarious in a way, but so scary.”
The rescue was one of a kind for Sproat Lake Volunteer Fire Dept. firefighter Dallas Cann and her colleagues too.
“It was a fairly unique situation for us to be paged out on,” said Cann, who is also a farrier—someone who trims horses’ hooves and fits them for horseshoes.
Cann is off work at the moment with a broken leg, and isn’t able to go out on fire calls. However, SLVFD duty officer Chris Wynans called her when he heard there was a horse involved and asked if she could at least tag along. She was one of four firefighters who headed out to Galloway’s place.
“None of the other people in that hall, or even the whole fire department have experience with horses,” she explained.
The challenge once they got to the house was how to get Happy back down the stairs and out of the house. Horses can handle obstacles like stairs, Cann said, if they aren’t panicked.
Firefighters along with the help of Mike Hobson, an experienced horse handler, wrapped a rope around the front of the horse in case she needed assistance. “She made it down by herself,” Cann said.
“I don’t know if was easier for her or scarier for us to watch.”