Written by Brian B. Associate of H.M.E.R Inc.
“ Don’t get attached ”
Everyone knows how it is to be around an animal and know you cant keep them or know your time with them will be limited to a short while. If you are any part of an organization that works with animals you know even more about getting to know the animal and making a little place in your heart for every one of them . The other thing you try and would like to do more often, is to disassociate your self from them more so you do not have to go through the feeling of loss or emptiness.
Now, in my own personal opinion I think it is easier to do with some species that you are not around all the time, or do not have a special little place in your heart for. This particular animal for me is the Horse! I have had animals
come and go in my life and yes it bothered me to loose them . But I never had the same feeling as I did when I lost or worse had to put down A horse that I really cared for and had a bond with. Her name was Sarah. When we put her down it
was not an easy decision but for the medical reasons that plagued her at the time we did not have much of a choice. Sarah did leave us with her 2 week old filly named Ariel. So with a new baby , I had little time to reflect on the passing of another quiet companion.
Since then horses have come and gone in my life . some having to be put down and others being adopted out to friends that never could quite get the push to buy a horse.
Now that we operate a rescue I have to see them come and go more often than ever. We recently acquired a Beautiful paint named ROCKET that was about 3 years old and had a bad injury on her left front leg. When I went to go get Rocket she was in a small 8 x 10 make shift stall made with 2 strips of 2x8's under a second story deck. She was very alert & seemed to be agitated and extremely touchy. I say this cause the very first touch from me , She kicked at me like a 10 year old healthy stallion. We finally managed to coax her in the trailer and got her home. She stayed in the trailer with the door wide open for about 2 days. Now off the trailer we fixed her a stall in the barn with lots of woody pet type bedding and loads of shavings so she had plenty of cushion for her leg. The last thing that was said to me after we put her in the stall was "She will probably not be here long, They believe the leg will never heal. DON'T GET ATTACHED." So I am like yea, Why would I get attached? I don't care for paints, Mares are messy in stalls, and I don’t have time to spend with her anyway.
Well , I learned each day that this little filly was a challenge. She hated everyone . Nobody was aloud in the barn but a select few. Those few did not like her too much because of her aggressiveness and each time I heard them say she will kick your brains in I was thinking . " hmmm . Why is it she is pretty calm when I am in the stall with her. Days led to weeks and weeks to months. I could walk in Rockets stall and she would hobble up and put her head on my shoulder. I would rub the eye boogers off her eyes. She would buck in place while I cleaned her stall and she would slobber on me when she was eating. This little paint had a personality like no other I have encountered. So in February Im thinking this girl will heal and I think I will keep her. Yes that is what I will do. So I pondered a few days and figured out how to talk to the Boss "Debbie" about keeping her. The next day before I even thought about bringing it up, She dropped the Bomb. " We are putting Rocket down." My heart fell to the dirt. Why? She is doing great!!!!! ( only in my eyes ) I saw what I wanted and believed or wanted to so bad that I swore that she could be better. The vet agreed and they set a day for the passing of Rocket. That Tuesday I took off work to be there and take care of things after she was gone. Ill tell you , When I looked out the front door of the house that morning and saw her looking out her stall . The only thing I could do was stand and stare at the barn and watch this Beautiful animal swing her head back and forth and play with her hanging apple ball. While tears just started rolling down my cheeks . The pain in my throat was almost as unbearable as the pain in my heart. Yes I got attached . She was not usable as anything we know horses can be used for. But what people don't realize is that even broken, they are, and do help us in ways that almost everyone take for granted.
They raise our spirits and show us almost all the same emotions as we show each other. They are therapeutic for the soul and make life even more fun than you think it would be. I could not watch or be around for that moment of passing but I stood in my driveway and froze while I prayed and talked to her as she went to her special place with our maker. Don’t ever think your beyond a bond. It happens when you least want it or expect it.
Thank you Rocket for the extra little smiles I got out of life that I would not have gotten If you had not come in our lives.
The title was just a quote! Get every minute you can steal from life and enjoy your companion. Human and Equine.