Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Going on

As many of our regular visitors and volunteers know, September was a hard month around here.

Mike & I lost our own very old mule Churchill. It was not entirely unexpected, Church has a very difficult time last winter and was on a slow steady decline. We envisioned a departure before temperatures dropped for the coming winter, but Church set his own timetable. Even though we thought we were prepared, it was a difficult "good-bye."

Three weeks later, Oracle set her own timetable.

In another week + 1 day, Emma let us know it was time to move on. Emma's departure, like Churchill's, was not a total surprise. We had been working to identify and treat the cause of some sudden neurological impairment, were making tremendous progress, when Wham! One night our elegant belle could hardly stay on her feet. Final necropsy results are still pending, but it looks like arthritic changes in several vertebrae put pressure on her spine. There was nothing we could have done to "make her better."

Knowing we made the right decision before Emma went down for good helps ease the sorrow, but also causes frustration that something as "mundane" as arthritis is the ultimate reason for many equine euthanasias. This is the second confirmed case of vertebral arthritis causing irreparable spine damage at TREES. Our one comfort is that neither horse seemed to be in pain, something that puzzles us and our veterinarian.

At any rate, now that a couple of weeks have passed, its time to move on. Time to look to the future and make plans that will honor those who have passed through our gates. More educational programs. More community outreach.

More spiritual growth. Yes, we must learn from the past, but we must also focus on the future. Aim high to honor the past.

Honor the Wisdom.

*****Please See Below

Church (our favorite photo)



*****These three losses do not indicate that TREES has space to take in three more horses! It does mean that we had room to move those in rehab paddocks into proper turnout.

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