The very old mule named Homer that my BO owned just passed away last Saturday. He just barely made it to 53 years of age.
My BO came home and she found him lying on the ground, and observed that he had been down for a long time. She got her neighbor over to help her get him up, and since he couldn't walk they put him up in a sling. Then she did everything she could for him. She gave him drugs and got him to eat some bran mash, and put heat lamps onto him for warmth. He was wet from lying in the mud. She also warmed up a bunch of towels in the dryer to heat up and changed them every hour. The next morning Homer could walk and she got him to eat a little. He just hung around the barn for awhile, but then he suddenly flopped over and finally died. Very sad.
He had a good, very long life though, and he spent his last years taking it easy. His favorite pal was a giant Thoroughbred, that also has recently died, unfortunately... He would go hide behind the big guy when he knew we were trying to catch him. He always liked trying to follow me and my mare around while I was riding, and was a great road block. Very good at finding the most in-the-way spot imaginable. He wouldn't budge either, not even for cars! He was the barn pet and it will be strange there without him...
Here are a couple pictures of the old man.
Him in his "winter coat".
Here he is with his last little rider, our friends baby.