Tuesday, July 17, 2012

It was time to say goodbye

We knew this day was coming. Her arthritic knees were making it difficult for Mandy, our remaining horse, to get around comfortably. As each month passed she was spending more time in the barn and less time out grazing. She was no longer able to lay down to rest.

A year ago April, Mandy lost her three equine family members. At the time, I asked her to stay – my grief was too great to endure another loss then. We promised ourselves and Mandy that we would watch her carefully and when the time came, we would let her go. 

Three weeks ago, we knew it was time to say goodbye. I have always felt it is our responsibility to care for the animals we bring into our lives from the beginning through the end. Animals can not look past pain and suffering – that is only a human trait. It is our duty to make sure they do not have to endure too much of that.

We spent the morning with Mandy, brushing her and telling how much she meant to us. I told her that her brothers and father were waiting for her. Then I made a most difficult call to a compassionate friend who came quickly. Later that afternoon, a wonderful neighbor came by and buried her in the graveyard with the rest of our cherished horses. 

This loss is the most difficult one yet. Not a day goes by that I don’t miss her. The barn and pasture seem so empty without horses. Horses have been a continuous part of my life for nearly fifty years but I can tell that it is time to move on. I don’t plan on getting any more.  We are slowing working our way through our horse supplies and equipment. This is so much like going through the closet of a deceased family member. Some items we are giving to others, some we are selling. 

I am at peace with our decision. Mandy has escaped the constraints of her aging body and has reunited with her family members – probably at a full gallop. Thank you Mandy for remaining behind for a little while for us. 

From Fleur Creek Farm