Monday, April 5, 2010

The Final Chapter

I have been putting this off so guess I had better finish up the story.  I love this picture of Miss T feeding carrot sticks to the two ponies.  She wasn't very big then and got such a kick out of them, I don't know if you can see the expression on her face but she is just loving it that the boys want a carrot and Skip is sticking his head out through the fence.

I don't know if it was because he didn't have a lot to eat back before we got him or what but he had a habit from day one that we got a kick out of.  Each morning when I would feed everybody and then turn them out he would sneak back around and come in the back door and go in each stall to check to see if there were any pieces of grain left.  Nick has a habit of eating his grain while standing with his head out his window so some always falls on the ground so Skippy would check that out too.    He didn't want to miss out on one speck of grain.

For being so skittish about some things he was very sensible about others.  One day I STUPIDLY grabbed a lead rope with a chain on the end and looped it through the ring on the halter so that there wasn't so much chain dangling.  (I have never used a lead rope with part chain since btw)  I brought Skip out to graze on the lawn and to visit with my parents who were sitting out there enjoying a nice summer evening.  Now anyone with any brains would have known what was going to happen but sometimes the brain department isn't my strong suit.

When Skip leaned over to graze the chain loop was on the ground so when he stepped forward one of his hooves went right in the loop!  He brought his head up really fast and I thought oh no this is not going to be pretty as I figured he would freak right out and maybe even go over backwards.  Nope, it didn't happen.  He just stood there looking at us with his little hoof in the loop that was holding it up off the ground and didn't move!  We walked up to him, took the hoof out and back on the ground and no one was worse the wear. I think some of my other horses would have chosen that moment to really put on a show and go all to pieces and I wouldn't have blamed them!

Our first few experiences with the farrier were rather challenging.  We have had the same farrier for years and he is really good with the horses.  When we brought Skip out the first time to be trimmed we explained the situation and let him take it from there.  Skip was afraid of him and just kept backing up and rearing a little but Kevin quieted him down and just began to rub his back and then go down his legs.  He didn't touch his feet but kept getting closer and closer and talking to him all the while.  I don't think he even trimmed him the first time but came back and started in again with the back rubs and talking.  In the mean time I did the same thing several times a day and finally could touch his front feet without him coming right off the ground.

Finally he was able to pick up his feet and trim them and even put front shoes on him a time or two as at that time we were doing a lot of driving on pavement as we didn't have our carriage roads.  It took patience on Kevin's part which I am thankful for.  He didn't try to bully him around just because Skip was little.

We decided to put him in training with T's riding instructor for six months.  She is a tiny gal so small enough to ride a pony.  She had him going so well, he really had pretty good gaits for a pony, it wasn't like being on a pogo stick.  She rode him western as that was what we were going to use him for and I wish I had gotten some pictures but didn't. 

Anyway a couple months ago I got a call from the stable that he had had some kind of spell in his stall so I rushed up to see what was going on.  I called the vet first and he said to bring him in asap so we loaded him into the trailer and off we went.  He seemed fine in the trailer and was fine at the vet's office other then his feet being a little sore.  What was up with that?  The vet trimmed him up a bit and took blood to run myriad tests and we came home.  He put him on a tiny bit of bute for a couple of days and after that he seemed fine.

He had no idea why he had the convulsion in his stall.  The stable owner was right there and saw the whole thing, one second he was standing there with his head out over his door and the next one he was on the floor.  I will spare you the details.

All seemed fine until a few weeks ago.  Again I will spare you the details but we knew we had to make the decision to have him put down.  Actually the decision was made for us,  his condition was such that there was nothing that could be done for him.  My vet put him on pain meds until arragements could be made which was just a few hours later.  At 10:30 in the morning I had a pony and at 3:30 in the afternoon he was in the ground. 

I did get time to spend with him while waiting for preparations to be made.  I put ribbons in his mane like I did Buddy's and fed him almost a whole box of sugar cubes.  He wasn't in pain and very much enjoyed all the attention and the treats that he normally would not get in such abundance.  We still don't know what happened and never will.  Sometimes there just aren't any answers and our vet said this was one of those times.

He is up in the field beside Buddy.  Sometimes it still doesn't seem real but I am so happy for the seven years that we had with him and made his life better.  I know all things happen for a reason and in this I take comfort.  I still miss him and always will but things are better.   It's been almost a month.   We are going to use his stall for a hay stall as I don't like seeing it empty. Maybe there will be another rescue in the future who knows.  Thanks for listening.


Valerie said...

Oh this is so sad. I am so sorry. I am glad to hear the whole story though. I think that is why I don't have an animal now. Sometimes it just hurts too much. I know you are so heartbroken. People say it takes time but you will never ever forget. Thank you for sharing.

Julie Harward said...

I don't know if it's my hormones and the after surgery thing but I am sitting here bawling! I have come to love this sweet horse...I'm am so glad he found you to be so kind and patient with him and to just love him...thats all he needed all along, that all they all need and us t I guess. Like I mentioned before, we have been through this twice now and it is so heart breaking. God bless and heal all will be with him again one fine day. Come say hi :D

Happy Cottage Quilter said...

Thanks so much for sharing this sweet story. You and your hubby did such a wonderful thing taking in Skip and giving him a happy life. You will always be happy that you did that.


Needled Mom said...

It is so wonderful to know that he rests forever with Buddy and at his home where he was so loved. I know how much you gave him and I am sure what he gave you in return will offer you many years of memories. I know that it will be difficult when you bring the other guys home for the summer so was glad that you are putting his stall to good use.

It was a wonderful story and I am glad that you shared it with all of us.

Hugs to you, my friend. xoxox

Terri said...

You did Skipper proud. He will live within all of us because you found the courage to tell his story.
Healing Love,
Terri Baker

hippo chick said...

What a beautiful story. It reminds me, in many ways, of my dear boy Frazier who I miss mightily.

I know that animals don't have souls, but wouldn't it be nice if they were waiting for us in heaven? I know it would be great joy for me to spend eternity with my boy. Silly, I guess.

I'm still counting on a mansion by the ocean though. LOL

thanks for sharing this precious story. What a special life you gave this special pony.

~hippo hugs~

Terri said...

You did Skipper proud. He will live within all of us because you found the courage to tell his story.
Healing Love,
Terri Baker

sue said...

Ok. so now that I have the tears under control, maybe I can write something profound... I know you thought you had the best with Skip, but he was very lucky that you came into his life and I bet he tells the Good Lord "thank you for letting them be my family"... I really enjoyed reading his story and thank you for being so brave and sharing it with us....

palmtreefanatic said...

I am so sorry! Thanks for the wonderful story!

Kerri said...

What a wonderful story you've told. Thanks for having the courage to share it with us.
My heart aches for you, dear friend.
Sweet little Skipper was so blessed to come live with you and your family, where he was lavished with love and attention after enduring such a miserable existance.
Your heart is full of compassion and kindness.
I'm so sorry for the loss of your little friend.
Sending big hugs your way. xoxo

Ora said...

Hi...If my mother was here she would say and I quote..."there is a special place in heaven for folks like you all"...and I believe takes a special kind of patience and love to do what you all did...and I know Skip was a happy camper..opps...pony LOL...and is happier now!!!! what memories...and I for one hope you find another "rescue"...God Bless and thanks for sharing this story...hugs from Ora in KY

Rising Rainbow said...

This strikes a particular chord in me since I am nearing the time I must make a similiar decision of my own. While I've had to do this before, it never gets easier, only harder.

I can imagine how you feel. These losses are relatively close together for you and that only makes it harder I'm sure.

Sonny was so lucky to be rescued out of that misery into a happy happy life for the time he had. What pony or horse could ask for more?

Sharon said...

I am so sad to read about Skip but it sounds like you gave him a wonderful home.
Thank you for sharing such a beautiful story.
Prayers for you all.

nancygrayce said...

Oh, that brought me to tears! I've never been around horses much, but I love all animals! Bless your hearts!

Callie said...

Oh, I've been out of the loop so long now, busy ourselves. I'm so sorry........I really am sorry your loss of Skipper.

bj said...

I know this is heart breaking. I'm so sorry.
I love your sweet spirit, MidLife Mom...