It is a challenge to run this rescue ranch. I so want to provide a comfortable home for elderly animals and give them the respect and peace that all elderly creatures deserve. And I know this means that I will witness the end of many lives. I must learn to embrace the sadness of our losses and then feel the joy in their moving on, knowing that they felt loved and wanted at the end.
This winter we lost the gracious and noble Missy, a 34 year old quarter horse who had spent her life as a trail rider. In her later years she had become very thin and frail. When she came to Safe Harbor, got into a warm blanket and realized there would be a bucket of grain for her night and day, she began to greet me at the fence. We heard her nicker after she stayed with us a few weeks, finding her voice after she knew she would have enough energy to speak. She was gentle and curious and we could see how happy she was in her new home.
She was only with us for a month before her physical problems and advanced age got the better of her. I waited for hours that night before allowing our veterinarian to help her pass, not wanting her to miss a single moment of her existence.
Why did I say her passing was easier? Because I found her one morning in her sleeping place in the barn. She had passed in the night. And although I felt such deep regret that I was not with her when she died, I was relieved that she was able to leave in her own time.
So much to learn about these things. So much to observe.
Two perfect lives. And a privilege to have shared time with each of them.