I got into a conversation about end of life issues with horses this weekend and I thought I would share a little story of this lovely Arab mare, Lallie. She's no longer with me but I will never forget her.
Her fancy registered name was Commons Lalique, but to me, she was just Lallie. Like "my girl lollipop" which I sang to her as a greeting.
She and her herd mate Beau came to me by way of their own retirement of sorts. Their "family" grew up and out of interest with horses. I was just getting back to them after 30 years without a horse in my life.
They had to go as a pair--and at 13 and 15 years, they weren't spring chickens. In fact, Lallie had a sore knee and a noticeable limp but I was not to be deterred by some silly little affliction. I willed those horses to be mine and after the owners were sure I was going to provide for them I rounded up a guy and a trailer and took them to a friend's farm where they would live until Don and I had a country place of our own. I made the 12 mile drive each morning before work to feed and again after work. I relished every moment I could spend with them.
When the time came to move to our forever home at Catfish Corner I decided I would bring Lallie the 100 mile trip south first. She would be more comfortable in the trailer by herself with her gimpy leg. We arrived on a Friday and I planned to go up Monday after the weekend traffic to get the other two.
Lallie did fine on the trip, but when we got here she was noticeably upset that her friends weren't with her. After some calling out and running around looking for them, she settled in--for a while. I heard her whinnying over night....she was hanging at the north end of the field....just watching. Saturday was a long day for her. I just kept telling her her friends would be here soon. But my consolations weren't enough. She was so sad!! By Sunday she was despondent.
Monday morning I led her out to the pasture down the lane. She had the big grassy field to herself and sure enough, she ambled out to the northernmost part and looked for her friends. I got myself up to Frederic and picked up her buddies -- it seemed they were feeling anxious to go, too. The nearly 6 hour round trip went by quickly as I thought about the happy reunion that was going to happening soon.
As I led Ranger and Cerra into their new pasture there were squeals of delight! They couldn't wait to see each other. I have never seen happier horses! But what happened next was above any expectation..........
The three amigos set off to frolic in their new pasture when Lallie abruptly stopped about 30 feet into her joyous reunion. She turned away from her herd and walked straight back to me and buried her head into my belly. I just loved on her and said, "I told you I was going to bring them!" She told me as plain as could be--"thank you so much". She let me pet her a little longer and then she turned back to her friends and trotted off.
It still brings tears to my eyes. And for once, a horse story with a happy ending.
It has taken days and a trip to the chiropractor to get the 20+ inches of snow moved around here. I finally just needed to stay in and BAKE something. Don had been craving fudge, and I really wanted to get some holiday goodies made. I should have just taken a nap.
The baking gods were just not with me! The fudge turned into a brick of solidified lava. I needed an ice chisel to remove it from the pan.
Likewise, the sunbuckles decided they didn't want to pop out of their tins! I have never had this happen before so I'm redesigning the crumbly remains into a crust for a vanilla pudding dessert.
At least it was a cooking disaster that still tastes good!
What a rotten weekend. 20" of snow in a REAL blizzard, frightful winds, and then all of this. Sunday was a day of grief--on top of grief. We were so sad about losing our Helga, when even worse news was just around the corner.
Friend Lois's daughter had delivered a stillborn little boy, Drew, earlier that morning. Everyone was so happy waiting for this little boy to be born and to have such a horrible turn of events was cause for overwhelming grief.
Helga's condition is about the same---so we are being very patient about her condition. She takes prednisone twice a day, another pill to protect her stomach, three vitamin K's, a dose of thyroid medication and a twice a day Amoxycillin. Yuck! That's enough to turn my stomach!
But she's such a good trouper. She knows she doesn't feel good and seems confused about what's happening to her. She is able to go about four hours between trips outside now, so everyone is getting to rest better.
The prednisone is to turn off her immune system which was attaching itself. She will have another blood test and Wednesday and we'll see if Dr. Gilbertson is comfortable reducing her dosage. It will take several weeks to wean her from the original 4 pills, we are at three now, down to zero. At that point we hope her body will have had a chance to reset and that it doesn't detect a threat it needs to defend. All this while testing to make sure her liver isn't getting killed in the process. It's a balancing act.
So.....like I said, we are just being very patient and hoping all will end well for our dear Helga. Thanks for all the concern and kind wishes...... they are so very much appreciated!