One Day at a Time

So I got lost there for a bit.
Had to.
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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.”
  3. 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.

Understand this…
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.

That said…

I’m not looking for a 4th horse.
Not now.
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.

Waiting patiently for the treats in Mom’s pocket…

Cookie and Ruby

Being chased by the Jolly Ball…

Storm Paints

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.
One day.

8 thoughts on “One Day at a Time

  1. Wyldkat says:

    As Coookie’s trust was earned, so too shall the healing come – one small step at a time. Your heart is good, and it is big enough, God will tell you when the time is right. On that day you will hear or see something that no one else will, something that will resound just right.

    Until then .. {{{hugs}}} take small steps.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. kittiesblue says:

    Thank you for giving the assholes a piece of your mind. The internet is both a wonderful place to connect with those who like, love and care about you, but there are always those who think they know better and could do better, and there is absolutely nothing well-meant about their comments. And only you will know when the time is right to welcome a new family member. I can sense your heart breaking in every word you write. Remember that you gave Cookie a good home and all the love she deserved. Her cause of death is tragic, but something you obviously could not have predicted or prevented. Hold on to those wonderful memories and love snd try to put your guilt aside (it is unwarranted). Sending lots of hugs, Janet
    p.s. I’d give you those hugs in person, snot and all, if I could. 💝
    p.p.s. I loved the beautiful photos!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. thorn says:

    beautiful pics. cookie had the best life with you – sad that it wasn’t longer. sometimes dog people are like that – there is stupid everywhere.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. anne leueen says:

    Why do people think they have the right to spout off? What happened was so sad and sometimes S*-T happens. There is nothing we can do about it. I love the photos. Cookie has gone on and there will be a hole there for sometime. But carry on……!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Kathy Tedrowe says:

    I’m not sure if my weeping for you lightened your burden any, but I hope so. We are approaching the anniversary of Britt’s death and I know exactly what you are talking about going over in your mind all the treatment and the weeks leading up. I’d tell you it gets easier, but it doesn’t. We just learn to make friends with our wounds. I lost a my best dog friend when I was twelve. Still hurts.

    Sent from my very cool device.


    Liked by 2 people

  6. nadsnovik says:

    People can be horrible. It’s why we surround ourselves with animals. Even if they do leave us too soon

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Toosh says:

    I’m really sorry you had to endure mean ‘advice’ at such a fragile time. Not that any other time is good for it either. None of us can read minds. Nor can animals speak our language. So really we do the best we can to interpret the evidence/symptoms/responses/actions that are presented. We can now take out our phone and video the symptoms for the vet to review! How great is that these days! Even that can still lead to the vet saying ‘I haven’t seen that before…’. And all you can do is go through the list to ‘rule out’. Heaven knows every MCF animal is tended to and checked on to the point of ‘oh Mom, you again, you were just here a minute ago. Well since you’re here, did you bring treats?’ 🙂 Always about the food!! I like how you said you were healing, not quitting. Of course you had a zillion thoughts run through your mind. Normal. Human. Some people just don’t get it. Heartache will be with you for a substantial measure of time. Let It Be what it needs to be. For you. And yours. For as long as it needs to Be.
    We love what you do at MCF. And it means a lot to us to be included in your circle of friends, thank you for that.
    So grab a coffee, a box of kleenex, and let it all out for the expanse of the prairie to absorb. And your herd will cluck and quack and bark and neigh and yowl right along with you. You’re all in this together, and you’ll all make it through together, Each one in their own time.
    (Just leave the fart squirrel out of it—might get scared and then….eww…)
    Love you lots.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Toosh says:

    LOVE the Storm Paints.
    And the girls waiting for treats. Seriously. The expectant look. We know who is really running the show there….

    Liked by 1 person

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