You can excuse Jared Dodington if he was a little anxious and excited Friday.
The Cape Breton boy, who is autistic, had been looking forward to returning to P.E.I. for months.
Jared and his parents came to Meridian Farms in Milton this weekend to pick up his new horse, Courage.
“We left last night at two o’clock in the morning and he’d sleep for an hour, and wake up and he’d be saying, ‘Are we there yet, are we there yet?'” said Jared’s father, Matt Dodington.
‘Courage picked him out’
The reunion had been a year in the making, when the family first visited Courage on Ron Gass’s Island farm.
When the two first met, the horse immediately headed toward Jared. The two were instant friends.
“Courage picked him out,” said Shryl Dodington, Jared’s mother. “I don’t really feel like Jared picked Courage out. I feel like Courage picked him, and I think that Jared then realized how special he was, and they just formed that bond.”
That bond was the subject of a Trot magazine article, and after a horse owner in Ontario George Leber heard about it, he took action and purchased the foal for Jared.
‘An instant bond’
“The first thing he said, if I remember, was he’s grown a lot, but he went down, patted him, and kissed him, and the horse responded,” said Brian Andrew of Meridian Farms in Milton, P.E.I. “It was an instant bond.”
Jared’s parents said they’re looking forward to their son getting to know Courage better.
It will be a good opportunity for him to learn, they said, since Jared has shown such an interest in the horse — something his parents said he’s never done before with anyone or anything.
The entire experience, they said, has been life-changing.
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