So I got lost there for a bit.
Dealing with Cookie’s death has been a challenge…
My own grief, my human family’s grief, my little herd’s grief.
My mares are having a tough time adjusting to 3 instead of 4.
They’ve lost a foundation member of their herd and it’s been hard on them.
On all of us.
So, I took a break.
Because the whole “Cowgirl up, rub some dirt in it and keep going” thing was too damn hard to do.
I needed some time to process this.
I still look for her every morning.
I miss that pretty face, that morning nicker, those grumpy ears when the hay doesn’t come fast enough, the sly hugs, that sweet breath, her sass and charm…
But, I also needed a break because…whooooaaa…horse people.
They have opinions.
Now, the folks on my FB friends list, and all y’all here (blog and FB Farm page followers), have been amazing. I’ve had folks checking in on me, making sure I’m okay, I’ve had meals delivered, I’ve had a few come out just for hugs…and I’m usually okay ’til the hugs. Then I cry and I warn ’em…hug me and there are gonna be tears and snot. LOL! I ain’t one of those dainty, pretty crying people.
Even knowing that, they still hug me.
I am so very grateful for those people.
I hope you all know that.
The ones I needed a break from were the ones with their opinions.
And I kinda didn’t want to say anything about it, but then, I kinda do, because being an asshole is never okay.
So, for the record:
- If you don’t know me, aren’t on my friends list, have never even seen me in person, you have no right to question Cookie’s care.
Or the care of any of my animals.
- Demanding to know the treatment she underwent, or demanding to see vet bills as proof that she was being seen will get you a resounding “Fuck. Right. Off.”
- Using the tired, pathetic standard of “I just care about the animals” while verbally kicking the crap out of me is bullshit.
It’s rude, it’s a lie, it’s an asshole thing to do.
I have already beat myself up over this.
If the beating I’ve been giving myself were visible on my body, I would be black and blue from head to toe. I have gone over her last day millisecond by millisecond, wondering what I could have done better, what more I could have done, how I could have saved her.
I will carry the guilt of her death until the end of my days.
Even though I did everything that could be done.
We did a necropsy.
I had to know.
It was hard and ugly and there was a lot of (my) tears and a lot of blood.
Her aorta had ruptured.
Y’know what I (or the vet, or a team of vets, or anyone for that matter) could have done to save her?
Even if we had known that it was a possibility, the only thing we could have done was put her down before it happened.
As much as I hate it, would give near onto anything to change it, it was her time.
And when I look back at her last 15 months, look at the patterns of “not herself” moments, I realize, it’s been coming since her very first colic in June 2016. She had been a walking, trotting time bomb that could have blown at any time. I am so damn lucky to have gotten the extra time with her that I did…
This whole time, since that day, I have been treating an arthritic mare with an underlying condition…
And while we all understand that this is something more common (though even then, rare) in older stallions, it’s not unheard of in other horses…and my Girl was anything but a typical horse.
Leave it to her to have something we couldn’t know about until after her death.
Reading the symptoms tab (under my role and things I might observe) I found things that I chalked up to the arthritis…going off her feed for no reason, lethargy, her general “meh” about everything some days…the signs were there, but there was no reason for any of us humans treating her to suspect it.
Hell, it’s not something doctors jump to diagnose in humans either.
Not until ruling everything else out.
And, we all thought that we were treating arthritis…we were.
We just didn’t know there was more, and there was no reason to go searching for more, because she was responding well to the treatments she was getting.
Bear in mind, every where I say “we” I’m including our vet team.
Seriously, it took a team to treat that horse.
And now, for the well-meaning (I hope) ones….
I’m not quitting.
I still have 3 horses who need me and need to be cared for.
We’re not selling them, or the Farm.
We’re not giving up.
I’d be lying if I said it hadn’t crossed my mind. The idea of running away from it all, going back to the city, and protecting my heart from this happening again…
But, see above.
I still have 3 horses who need me.
I made them a promise, and I’m not going back on that.
‘Til the end of their days, they are here.
At Midnight Calico Farm.
I’m not looking for a 4th horse.
Please don’t send me ads, pictures, links.
Like some seem to think they should…
When it’s time, it’s time.
It’s not time right now.
We’re all still hurting, my little herd is in flux, trying to figure out where everyone stands without their 2nd in Command.
Ruby’s confidence is shaken because she doesn’t have her backup.
And her friend.
They were together the longest, from the Rescue, to here.
They were The Paint Alliance, the Painted Ladies for years.
When the time is right, and the Girls have settled, we’ll consider a 4th.
Our pasture can hold and support 4, and so, it will.
We’ll save another from going on a plate or in a dog food can.
Maybe it’ll be another ex-broodie who needs a soft landing and a little (lot of) love…Goddess knows, I have a soft spot for them old gals. ❤
But maybe it’ll be a gelding who needs some TLC.
Or it’ll be a baby.
When the time is right, we’ll know…and we’ll know who.
But not now.