Friday, June 10, 2011

Fred Leaves Us

Drift and I had an exceptionally fine ride today.  It was chilly, windy and misty, and for a while Charisma was lungeing in the ring, and he worked well while she was there and then she left, but he kept working right through it all despite his mare obsession.  We did walk and trot, and halt and back, and lots of other transitions, including back to trot, and he did them all perfectly - not a single trot-a-lope or balk/spin.  I was delighted with him.  After our ride, I led him up the trail a few feet towards the goat pen - he did one big spook (not coming anywhere close to me) and then looked embarrassed and stared at the goat for a while before we led back to the barn.

Pie and I also had a really nice short trail ride today.  Later he had a visit from our wonderful chiropractor, and got a clean bill of health - no digital pulses, nice cool feet and no serious muscle problems.  We're going to put him on a trace mineral supplement, starting out with a small amount and working up to free choice, to help him with his poor tolerance of heat and humidity.

Poor Fred was euthanized today - he was 25 and had struggled with degenerative desmitis in his hind pasterns - his pasterns were almost horizontal, and recently he developed pain in his front left foot, which put extra pressure on his hind legs.  He could barely stand or walk, and would rest in his stall with his butt leaning against the wall - he was clearly very uncomfortable.  He'd had a few days where, with lots of bute and Banamine, he was able to walk out to a small paddock to graze, but it was time.  His owner came out to see him on his way, and his passing was easy - the vet helped her lay him down in a gentle manner.  She'd known him since he was 8, and he was a very sweet horse.  He got a nice day grazing out in a small paddock and lots of treats and love to see him on his way.  I think helping our horses with their passings is one of the greatest gifts we can give them.  Here's a few pictures of sweet Fred (he's on the right in the first two pictures - that's Fritz next to him:




And her other horse, Fritz, who is over 20, is now on stall rest - he's had a swollen knee, which may be due to a kick injury.  He's been getting around well, but rest is best to heal the injury - he's had a 30-day tranquilizer so he'll deal well with the stall rest.  She'll be taking it week by week to see how much stall rest with hand walking he can tolerate.

Our equine - and cat and dog and other pet companions - test our compassion and our kindness by asking us to help them with their ends.  It's a great honor and burden at the same time.  Please send kind thoughts to Fred's and Fritz's owner on this difficult day.

24 comments:

  1. Fred was a very beautiful boy. It's not easy to make those tough decisions, but it sure sounds like the owners did the right thing. Please pass on my condolences. Hopefully Fritz will recover quickly.

    ReplyDelete
  2. May Fred rest in peace... he looks like a very sweet boy and I'm sure he will be greatly missed. As the old saying goes, "a day too soon is better than a minute too late." It's always a difficult decision but she did right by Fred for sure.

    Hugs to all who loved Fred.

    ReplyDelete
  3. My condolences to Fred's owner. I know she - and all of you at the barn - will miss him. It sounds like he had a great life though :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Very tough decision, but definitely sounds like a humane and respectful thing to do for him. I love that she was there with him at the time. I think that's a great act of friendship as he passed, and I'm sure it made his last moments more peaceful.

    ReplyDelete
  5. What a sweet story. How wonderful that she owned Fred for so long and he had such a good life. Even though it was the right thing to do- I'm sure this was a tough day for Fred's owner. I am thinking of her. Bless her.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Poor Fred he looked like a very special horse. My condolences to his partner. These decisions are so hard to make but we must do what is best for them in the end. I'm sure Fred enjoyed his last days and he will be missed by all who knew him.

    ReplyDelete
  7. My thoughts are with Fred's owner -- even when it's time, that's a hard decision to have to make. He looks like he was a sweet boy, and he was awfully lucky to have the same caring owner most of his life.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I have a great deal of respect for horse owners who make the right decision when the horse is in pain. I know it's not easy, but in the end it is best for the horse.

    We have an older gelding (26), who isn't really rideable anymore due to sway back. He's also blind in one eye now. We know the day is coming, and it's been decided that I will be the one to be with him. Rather ironic, as the old coot has never really cared much for me.

    ReplyDelete
  9. The simplest responsibility, the greatest responsibility. For them, we have to let go, never ever for us. Thank you for writing this post.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I was just reading a little bit about Fred on your older blogs, he sounds like he was quite a character, and very loved. RIP Fred! Of course I teared up too, but that's to be expected by me.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Please pass my good thoughts to Fred's owner. Thank you for sharing such a nice tribute to him.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I'm sure Fred appreciated the love & kindness given to him in allowing his passing on over the rainbow bridge. No more pain now, he's probably enjoying a good frolic in lush grasses as I post.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Rest in Peace, Fred. May your spirit gallop freely over the green grass of heaven, where love abounds.

    Please extend my sympathy to Fred's owner. I know how hard it is to say goodbye to such a sweet companion, but you have given Fred the greatest gift--freedom from his suffering. Bless you for being there at the end. It's hard, I know, but that last "I love you, Fred," was a precious moment for you both.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I love that last photo, such a soft look. My sympathy to his owner, I know first hand how difficult it is even when you know it's the right thing to do.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Please pass along my kind regards and sympathy to Fred's owner. Never ever an easy decision.


    I am chuckling over the "embarrassed" expression of Drift spooking at goats! I can tell just from reading that you've made wonderful progress with him since his spook did not put him anywhere near your space. Hoorah for Drift!

    ReplyDelete
  16. It's great to hear you are making positive progress with Drift :-)

    My condolences to Fred's owner. His passing sounds just like the one I will hope for for Griffin when the time comes.

    Having an understanding and compassionate vet that will help you keep the horse as comfortable as possible through the process (i.e. laying them down gently) goes a long way in making it just a tad bit easier...and easier to accept.

    I also hope I will be able to give Griffin some of his favorite things when that end comes and he will now just how much I really love him.

    Working for small animal vets over the years, I could never quite understand owners who would just drop their pets off to be euthanized...so sad :( I could NEVER imagine NOT being with any of my animals during that final passing...it truly is the kindest thing a person can do.

    I hope if there is a heaven for horses, Fred is there running on sound legs and eating all the velvety green grass he can get his lips around....and looking down knowing how much his owner loved him :)

    ReplyDelete
  17. How wonderful that Fred's owner recognized that the quality of life was compromised. It is such a tough decision, no matter what the situation.
    Thanks for sharing and for caring!!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Condolences for Fred's owner.

    And prayers, positive thoughts and healing vibes go out to you. I just read over on Buckskin and Bay about your fall and injuries.

    Thinking of you,
    ~Lisa

    ReplyDelete
  19. I've had to help make this decision more than my share and it is definitel a gift to the animal and a huge burden to the people involved. My condolences to Fred's owner, he was a very cute horse. I hope Fritz heals up nicely.

    ReplyDelete
  20. There the grass is greener, the mares are willing, and the aches are gone. Our thoughts are with his owner.

    ReplyDelete
  21. That was a nice send off for Fred. It's so hard to let them go even when we know it is time. Rest in peace, Fred.

    ReplyDelete
  22. what a sweet soul. It has to be the most difficult thing to decide on when, but also the kindest. Please let your friend know I'm sending HUGS

    ReplyDelete
  23. Glad you had a nice ride.
    Fred was a very pretty horse I must say. So sad for his owner.

    ReplyDelete
  24. It is never easy to let a pet go, no matter what the circumstance. I feel for Fred and his family.

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for commenting - we appreciate it. No spam or marketing comments will be published.