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(Level: 10.5 - Posts: 110)
Fri, 24th Nov '06 6:54 PM
SAYING GOOD BYE TO OLD FRIENDS
You would think that it gets easier, but it doesn't. I guess that was rather cryptic. I have or I should say had 7 horses and ponies. My oldest and dearest of my friends was Open Gates Sue. She was a 1972 Section B pony. She has taught thousands of riding lessons. She has been to horse shows all over the southern united states. She even went and competed at the Regional ACCORD games at the age of 27 years old. She taughter her last and most prescious in my eyes child to ride over the last two years. In fact, she was saddled for the last time less than 6 weeks ago. I have known for some time that the time would come when I would have to make the right decision. I kept hoping that Susu would give me a sign that the time had come for me to help her across to the other side.Today, I was given that sign. I went to feed when I got off of work. I had swapped out shifts so that I could have sunday off.. so i worked last night, different shift,got off at 0600. Went straight to the farm, it was still dark.. and there was a fog.. but susu was snow white just like her field mate.. fancy.. I saw facny in a far corner looking like there was a pack of coydogs or a wild cat/coyote in the pasture.. now these things have happened.. but only during hurricanes.. or severe drought.. never in normal times.. I start counting heads as is my habit( when you have multiple horses over the age of 30 you tend to know that someone will be dead or dying at some point) and there she was, it was apparent she had been struggling for some time.. and that she was down when the dew dropped.. which meant she had been down for some time.. poor old girl was still struggling to rise, so i checked to make sure we were not dealing with any kind of catastrophic injury, which there was none. So I attempted to help her rise, it was easily apparent once I put a pull rope and moved her around to where she was headed down hill rather than up.. that it was time.. so I placed a call.. well today is the day after thanksgiving, my vet is in colorado.. called my backup, out of state as well.. so called animal control.. closed.. oso called my first vet on his cell phone rather than the office.. he got in touch with another vet and sent him out, problem, he was over 2 hours away.. so i had to sit with my old girl, who was not in any pain, just scared because she could not rise.. until he could get there. While I am appreicative that he came, he was not the nicest fellow.. first he wanted to see if we could treat her, he was like we can give her fluids, acth, pain relievers and get her up, might buy her a few more weeks or even months and I looked at him like he had lost his mind. She would be 35 in 6 weeks. She lived a full life. I think he was surprised that I wanted her put down. It was the correct and humane thing to do. She was fine up until yesterday, great appetite, sassy, full of life.. she even ate while I sat with her this morning.. her spirit was stronger than the body. She was a really neat old girl. She can be seen in national geographic, nature. . the one about carousel.. she was working for me, as a therapeutic riding pony when they filmed, while it was not about her, she can be seen. She has made the newspaper on more than one occassion. She is the end of an era. She was the last of the ponies that I took lessons on as a child and teenager. She was the last pony alive of all the lesson ponies my instructor had. 9 years ago I was asked to care for susu for her last years, no one thought that she had almost ten years left.. but she did, and I was blessed to have spent the last 9 years with her. She taught my daughter to ride. IN fact, she died on my daughter's birthday. This will be the second animal to die on my daughter's birthday, my old german shepherd who was absolutely attached to my daughter gave up 2 years ago on my daughter's birthday, around the same time, sunrise.. and i was blessed that i was able to meet my vet at 0630 and let her slip into the wind...
My daughter understands death, but since she is at her grandparents for the weekend because i worked last night, tonight and the following night.. i wont tell her until after the weekend
anyway, hug your animals and your kids today
(Level: 162.6 - Posts: 565)
Fri, 24th Nov '06 8:20 PM
It's always very hard to lose an animal companion and very difficult to decide when the time is right to let them go. I'm very sorry about your loss.
(Level: 41.0 - Posts: 241)
Fri, 24th Nov '06 8:41 PM
I've found myself starting to respond to this four times now. Everything I had typed sounded so stupid. All I can say is I'm very sorry for your loss of a good friend. She's pain free and running like the wind in God's pasture, you'll see her again after you cross the rainbow bridge.
(Level: 168.3 - Posts: 1553)
Fri, 24th Nov '06 11:12 PM
No matter how old they are, or in some cases, young, it is hard to lose a close four-legged friend. May you have nothing but good memories of your wonderful horse. Put an album together of her, if you don't have one already, and think about the great times she gave you and others. So sorry....Claire
(Level: 75.0 - Posts: 3640)
Sat, 25th Nov '06 2:07 AM
It was just a few months ago that my friends here at Sploofus consoled me on the loss of our old horse, CeeCee, who also taught many little girls to ride. I pulled that old guy from the clutches of death many times, refusing to let him go. But eventually his body began to betray him and although I was out every morning and every night mixing his mush (he no longer had enough teeth for hay), his body started to shut down and one morning he was gone. My husband tried to hide it from me but as soon as I heard the tractor start up that morning, I knew. I looked out every morning and every night expecting him to be gone but was still not prepared. Nor was I prepared to tell all of the people who's lives had been touched by that old guy.
I have always felt there's a special place for the patient keepers of little girls and that's where CeeCee and SuSu are now.
(Level: 10.5 - Posts: 110)
Sat, 25th Nov '06 9:34 AM
Thank you all,
it was the first time in the last 18 years that I have not lived with my horses.. the last 3 years my horse property and my house are in two different locations, so usually i go to check on the horses in the morning or during "lunch" around 0030.. my next door neighbors do water and hay in the afternoon. i am planning on building out there next year,..
I am going to finish out the true end of the era.. long story but here goes.. I took lessons from Vanessa vaile.. she is one of the foremost authorities in the country and has had some of the greats in the breed.. susu being the granddaughter of marsh silver cities.. anyway, all of the lesson ponies that I rode have passed on, susu was I thought the end of the era.. little did i know that a pony that i ahve been conspiring to get, clyde, a 21 year old welsh pony, was the actual last lesson pony that she bred, started under saddle and used.. he has shown all over texas and the south in A level hunter shows and in fine harness.. he was used the year i graduated from high school and moved away, so i did not know he was one of hers.. i found out when i emailed her in new mexico.. she may have told me when i talked to her about him, as she is the one that had put me in touch with the owner, but i thought it was just related to her lines and she was trying to help place a wonderful older pony.. little did i know..
but i also have a granddaughter of susu in my pasture as well as a closely related stallion.. although not a direct descentant.. i owned the daughter of susu for several years when her owner could not keep her, she was a little brat at times, the pony. I bred her during that time.. and I have tink..
so, while an era has drawn to the close with the death of susu, all of the original lesson brigade has passed.. then there is one little light named clyde who will be the final chapter, but considering the lines involved, he should be around for at least another 8-10 years.. he is 21 years old right now
I truely appreciate the thoughts
susu was certainly not the first that I have lost, nor will she be the last..
i would drive up to the farm and count heads.. i knew before i got there.. something wasnt right, as it is a clear shot to see to the fields from about 1/2 mile away.. and well she was such a piggie about food that for her not to get up when she saw the hay on the truck.. despite being almost toothless ( she got free choice bermuda, chopped alfalfa, alfalfa cubes free fed and a 14% protein 6 % fat soft pellet locally milled)
interestingly she was down on top of my old german shepherds grave... who was sent to the bridge two years earlier after a 2 year battle with autoimmune hemolytic anemia and a 1 year battle with cancer.
i can say that i am glad that i got to say good bye while it would have been easier but part of animal ownership is not about easy, it is about having to make choices..
thank you all
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