Patrick Saunders, an 87-year-old man, had one dying wish. There was one thing he wanted to do before he parted from this world. That one thing was to feed a horse carrots, so his hospice teamed up with the local equine center and made Saunders’ wish come true.

Saunders, who had grown up with horses in his life and worked in a stable, lit up when he saw the horse approaching his bed — which had been moved outside. The stallion named Victor was very patient and gentle. Saunders delighted in feeding him carrots, apples, and mints. Victor was just as happy to have the tasty treats.

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Horses are truly wonderful creatures. There are so many misconceptions about them. Among those misconceptions is one in which people think horses need some kind of specific purpose when, in reality, not all horses are used for riding. Some are treasured friends and companions and nothing more. Spending time with horses is a wonderful experience and is even healing for some. Too often people forget about horses and all of the cruelty, suffering, and injustice that they face. If Mr. Saunders showed anything in his encounter with Victor it was that horses are extraordinary creatures that deserve our love and respect.

Victor brought Saunders great joy, only three days before he would pass away. While it is heartbreaking to lose someone, it is wonderful that Mr. Saunders got to have his final wish granted. His smile will forever be remembered by everyone who knew him.