“End? No, the journey doesn't end here. Death is just another path. One that we all must take.”― J.R.R. Tolkien
A tribute to Hunting Blue, my beautiful baby, whose life ended way too soon, and all those who have been someone's heart horse.
Yesterday I transported a client’s horse to his final resting ground. This sweet boy – a favorite at the barn - followed me willingly into the trailer and quietly cropped the grass under the shady willow trees at Omega Farms as we waited for the vet. Without stress or fanfare, surrounded by the people who loved him most, he peacefully drew his last breath.
Tolkien wrote, “I will not say: do not weep; for not all tears are an evil.” The tears we spill for our beloved companions, whether they be equine or canine, are tears well spent as we mourn lives that have touched ours in profound ways with their uncomplicated generosity of spirit and devotion.
In many ways, making the decision to put your horses down because of illness or complications related to old age, might be the most unselfish, courageous thing you ever do. I think it is one of our responsibilities as horse owners to ensure that the end of our equine partners lives are filled with the same quality of care that we lavished on them when they were still able to serve us. There are many types of abuse and sometimes the worst perpetrators are those who have good intentions but act out of ignorance. There is nothing quite so sad as driving by a field and seeing an old, emancipated horse, neglected, and forgotten, as he slowly starves to death “enjoying” his retirement years.
I don’t know whether there is a place in heaven for our animals, but I do know that the God I believe in is a God of infinite love, both for people and for the incredible world he created. In fact, he cared so much that he gave human beings just one job to do – to take care of and steward his creation (a job which we have failed miserably at!). Not only does he clothe the flowers in all their splendor, though they are here today and gone tomorrow, but he also takes note of every tiny sparrow that falls to the ground. Now, I don’t know about you, but that gives me hope that he has a special place prepared for our faithful friends.