While taking our early dawn walk around the farm fields, I saw Tag's white-tipped tail zip away from me.
"Lie down!" I yelled. I didn't want my dog chasing deer.
Then I saw that it wasn't a deer he'd found.
It was a pony, a miniature horse, actually. For the sake of this story, we'll call it a pony.
After rounding up the Border collies, I grabbed a lead rope and went to inspect Tag's find. The pony was naked, so I made a makeshift halter from my lead rope and led the little guy to the extra horse stall in the barn.
Then I called the sheriff's department.
"I found a pony," I told the dispatcher.
"Good for you!" she said.
No one had reported a pony missing. After giving her my name, address and phone number, I went about the morning chores. Surely there would be a message on the answering machine when I finished chores.
There was not.
I took a shower. I ate breakfast.
Still, no phone calls.
The procedure when finding a horse is about the same as when losing a horse -- begin knocking on doors.
Unlike horses, ponies can be tucked into little paddocks and sheds on people's properties and often go unnoticed.
I drove down the road and stopped when I found a place that looked like it could house a pony.
When I knocked on the door, a child answered.
"Do you have a pony?"
"Yes," the child answered.
Looking behind the child, I saw no adult.
"Could you check and see if your pony is here?"
The child returned with news that I expected: his pony was missing.
"Where are your parents?"
I told the child to wake one of them and let them know that I had their pony. An hour or so later, they drive up the driveway to retrieve their pony and walk the little guy home.