In our busy lives, we often find it easy to turn a blind eye to those in need of our help. So when one horse escaped a life of neglect and found itself dying by the side of the road, who knows how many people simply drove on by? However, when one young woman came across the emaciated animal, she knew it was fate that had brought them together.
Kelsey Allonge and her mother had been driving to a flea market in Central Illinois when Allonge’s mom took a wrong turn. For reasons unknown, the mother and daughter decided to go with the new route anyway. And at the time, the pair had no idea how this decision would affect their lives.
As they were cruising along the country road, though, Allonge noticed something unusual. There, on the side of the road, was a horse – and immediately animal lover Allonge noticed that the equine was not in a good way. In fact, she was extremely thin, was suffering from a swollen eye and was covered in lacerations.
It was thought that the young animal, who was showing some signs of abuse, had run away from her home in desperate search of food. “She just looked like a skeleton,” Allonge said to WMBD-TV back in 2010. “We didn’t think she was going to make it.”
Suddenly, Allonge had the overwhelming feeling that she and her mom had ended up on that quiet lane for a reason, and she felt compelled to help the desperate animal. However, after the teenager had got out of the car, the horse’s condition seemingly took a drastic turn for the worse.
In fact, Allonge had found it nearly impossible to get the horse to move – then, without warning, the animal collapsed in the grass. “We just felt so bad for her,” she said to WMBD-TV. “Just overwhelming sadness. For her to just lay there, she just gave up.” However, the kind-hearted humans were unwilling to call it a day on the gentle creature.
So Allonge duly came up with a plan of action. “We decided there wasn’t anything else to do but walk her home,” she added. Incredibly, the teen spent around four hours walking the weak horse the nine miles it took to get her to the family residence.
Along the way, Allonge named the horse Sunny. Sadly, though, poor Sunny appeared to be covered in whip marks, had a swollen-shut eye and was so emaciated that her back bone was sticking out by three inches. And even once Allonge got Sunny safely home, it was clear that she might not last much longer.
So although she’d already come so far, it seemed as if Sunny still had a long journey ahead of her to survive. “Just because she was home with us didn’t mean that she’d pull through,” Allonge explained to WMBD-TV. Nevertheless, the teen decided to do everything in her power to give Sunny a fighting chance.
Indeed, Allonge was so worried about little Sunny that she even slept in the stable with her for five nights. She wanted to be by the horse in case she slipped away. And during those long hours, Allonge got to thinking about the person who caused this beautiful animal so much pain.
“What kind of person can do that to an animal?” she asked while talking to WMBD-TV. “And willingly go to bed every night knowing that she’s out there starving?” With these thoughts, it is perhaps unsurprising that Allonge admitted she had difficulty sleeping herself during this time.
What’s more, Allonge was so selfless in caring for Sunny that even her mom admitted she was concerned about her daughter. “I wouldn’t have slept out here five nights – maybe two, tops,” she said to WMBD-TV. “I was like, ‘Kels, come on you can stay in the house.’” However, Sunny’s luck soon began to change: with Allonge by her side, she pulled through those crucial first few nights.
Before long, in fact, Sunny began to thrive in her new home. She put on weight, and Allonge began to train her. Indeed, the pair built up a unique bond – and the horse learned how to trust humans again despite her horrific ordeal.
And while it’s true that she was able to open up to most people, Sunny reserved a special place in her heart for Allonge. The teen’s mom revealed that Sunny “knows me as food but she knows Kelsey as love.” And it seemed that love just grew and grew with every step Sunny took.
Furthermore, although Allonge walked nine miles with Sunny before nursing the animal back from the brink of death, she didn’t see herself as a hero. “A life’s a life, no matter how small it is,” she said to WMBD-TV. “She needed saved, so my pain wasn’t comparable to what she was in.”
Even more amazingly, modest Allonge credits Sunny with changing her life and not the other way around. “I think she’s a little angel,” the teenager gushed. “We were on that road for a reason, I believe. I think it was to get this horse.”
However, while Allonge doesn’t believe that her actions were out of the ordinary, her story with Sunny has still touched the hearts of strangers. When a heartwarming video documenting the horse’s rescue and subsequent recovery was added to YouTube, for example, many people shared their gratitude to the horse lover in the form of comments.
“Good job girl, you are one in a million, this world needs more like you,” wrote one viewer. “Lovely to see Sunny feeling so at peace in her new home – well done Kelsey for being a true horsewoman. Horses are the best companions,” another added.
Furthermore, Allonge’s selfless actions also led to her being awarded the Red Cross youth award in her area. The prize is given to people who perform noble acts that show courage or kindness. The awards were established, moreover, in the belief that these gestures make communities better places in which to live.
And there’s no denying that the teen changed Sunny’s life for the better. After all, not only did Allonge rescue her from a cruel end, but she also taught the horse how to love and be loved. In that sense, then, Allonge did much more that just bring Sunny home on that fateful day: she led her onto the road to happiness.