Sunday, November 18, 2012

R.I.P. Susie

My days at the barn have been awesome - nothing short of ear to ear grin.  All the horses have their personalities and all of them love to be cared for.

Yesterday, I groomed and bathed Susie.  The old Percheron with the sweet as can be personality stood for me in the cross ties, but something was different.  The barn paid help said she was having a bad day.  After bathing her, she was not really doing well then, I took her back to the stall for feed time.

And then I left.

As all Sundays go, I came out today to give her an apple, brush her, and give her some love.  See, I'd been looking for a place to buy so I could take her with me, the barn had recently told me they'd allow me to.

After about 1/2 hour today, things started to look very different.

Susie looked drunk.  Her back end with the leg that has ringbone, seemed to cave underneath her, she fell hard against the box stall, snorted, then got back up.  The paid barn person asked what happened, and I told her.

Get her out of there, put her in the pasture.

Susie stood for me patiently while I tossed the halter over her head and led her out.  She stopped a little on the path, looked around, legs wobbling, and then gained her balance.

A few more yards, and she did the same thing, only this time she leaned forward, and then back, and then fell again.  And then she got up...

and fell again.

At this point the barn person was very scared and pretty freaked out.

Everyone loved Susie.  And watching her flail and panic and fall again was agonizing.  Eventually, I got her to the pasture where it was softer, she fell again; I got the halter off.  She got up...

And fell again.  This time the lead of the barn was on the phone and asking me what was transpiring.  Vet was on the way.  In seeing the stricken, panicked face of the barn person, I told her to go back to the barn, tell the teens that this was probably not going to end well, and she did.

Sadly, the vet never made it.  Susie got up one last time, walked a few yards on her own, got wobbly, bumped into the hot wire, tried to rear away, broke a post and with a thud, it was over.

The horse I quickly loved, groomed every weekend, loved all the time I was with her, was dead in the pasture.

And her hopeful adopted mom too stunned to say anything but wander back into the barn to let the person know Susie had died.

I don't regret a single moment I spent with her.  In my own mind, I hope she knew I cared for her and she was safe when I was around.  She'd just started to bring her head down for me to put the fly cream on her ears without any hesitation.  She'd stand for me and do whatever I wanted, I'm hoping that meant she trusted me.

What did I learn?  It's okay to let those whom you know will not be with you long:, that you care and that you will keep them safe.  Whether canine, equine, or human we all need to know we are loved and safe.

R.I.P.  Susie Q.


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