I was afraid that I was getting immune to saying goodbye but I'm not. I guess that's a good thing. I guess that means I'm still human.
I let Rabbit out to graze in the yard this morning because the pasture isn't nearly as lush, what with having Bo on the pasture for the past month. I gave Rabbit her final meal of grain and groomed her to get rid of every speck of dirt. She was such a gorgeous girl. She looked every bit a healthy horse if you didn't watch her walk. Her eyes were doing ok and her breathing wasn't bad...until after her grain. I think she was allergic to some of the grains as well as having summer allergies.
I did do a short video of Rabbit eating but haven't uploaded it yet. The computer wasn't working and I've no energy yet to upload it. I'm afraid I'll burst into tears.
The appointment was scheduled for 9am and I wanted to have Rabbit loaded shortly after 8am so I wouldn't be late and could take my time. Rabbit had other plans. I forget that not everyone is an easy loader. Lightening keeps reminding me of that. I'd only had Rabbit off the place one other time and that was to have her teeth floated when I thought that was the reason for her weight loss and dropping grain. It wasn't, she had good teeth.
I'm sure I spent 20 minutes trying to get her loaded and was so frustrated I didn't know what to do. I played my final loading card and loaded her through the emergency exit on the stock trailer...or whatever that little door is. She loaded like a pro that way. I can't figure out that with horses that won't load through the big stock trailer door will load through the tiny little door that barely fits them. I know I've banged my head on the top of that doorway a number of times.
But Rabbit did load and off we went. I felt bad for her. So many different sounds and sights. So much to take in. Even when we arrived, there was a horse inside the clinic whinnying and she whinnied back. But so much noise compared to what she was used to. I felt bad. Lots of extra stress for both of us.
As always, our vet is quiet, patient, and understanding. He performed the procedure quickly and left me and Rabbit alone afterwards. As he said, the healthy horses take a bit longer to cross over. And apparently Rabbit was healthy. That made me feel a little better. Her shoulder is what ended her life but not taking into consideration her allergies and eyes, she was in really good shape. I'm so used to seeing horses where their bodies can't maintain the weight and they simply start to shrivel up before your eyes. So seeing Rabbit looking so magnificent with such beautiful weight made it even more difficult.
I know I made the right choice but I still wonder. I still question. I still regret.
She had been a castoff from her previous owner, a byproduct of a baby maker like so many other broodmares, but for almost 6 years she was a part of our lives and always wanted. She was misunderstood and had so much to give. She really was a very gentle horse with a genteel demeanor. I feel bad I hadn't recognized that demeanor sooner. Regrets all around I suppose.
I had so much I wanted to do and yet this loss numbs me. Every loss takes a piece of my heart. I am questioned why I would open a Sanctuary and go through such losses willingly. And I always say, It's better to have my heart scattered to the winds than to leave this earth with a whole heart. When my time comes, I hope that I will have done enough, loved enough, and given my all to those I have cared for and hold near to my heart.
It was an honor to care for Rabbit. I can only hope that we gave her the best retirement that a horse could have and that she will no longer feel pain. Run free my genteel Rabbit. We will meet again some day.
|Rabbit enjoying her final pasture time|
|Rabbit Choker Nikki - Born 1993, Sanctuary member September 2011, died May 25, 2017|
Goodbye Rabbit. Until we meet again.