I have been farm sitting for my friends this week and taking care of the horses while they are on vacation. I keep Harley on their farm free of charge in return for the care and working of thier 3 horses. So in the past couple of years I have really become attached to every one of them but especially BoAnn. She is a 27 year old reg. Polish arabian and a complete sweet heart. Her momma has owned her since she was a yearling and personally broke her out. They have countless miles together and rode constantly untill two years ago when BoAnn started having some problems with her left knee. Arthritis set into her knee and has steadily gotten worse as the years have gone by. Last fall she was not in very good shape since we had a dry summer and the pastures started to give out early and we had to start feeding hay in sept. So I talked to her mom and dad and asked if I could play with her feed some and see if I could get her to put on some wieght. They agreed and it worked... she put on about 50 pounds through the winter and this spring she was looking great and would even trot occasionally across the pasture to come see me and get some treats and petted. With daily grooming and all of my work she had a made a huge turn around both physically and socially.
Well this morning I went out to feed and found BoAnn laying down in the barn. She was unable to get up and had been struggling for a while. So I called her dad and let him know what was going on and the next call was to the vet, all while getting a halter on her and trying to get her up. After about a 20 min struggle which included alot of crying and pleading while trying to get her turned around she finally got up and walked around and drank a little bit. But she couldnt stand still for very long with out her back legs trying to give out on her. She would back up against the wall and kind of brace herself to help her stand up.
The vet finally arrived and checked her out, vitals were low, as were her intestinal sounds, but no sign of colic or anything else that would be causing these problems other than her age. The vet said that he could give her some meds in order to ease her pain and try to keep her alive until her mom and dad came home but even then he didnt think he could keep her alive till Sat. When they are scheduled to return. I called back and talked to her dad and he said they trusted me to do the right thing by her. (They couldnt bring themselves to make the decision) The vet and I talked for a little while longer and after discussing all of my options and the heat wave coming in tomorrow with temps jumping into the 100's we decided that the right thing to do was putting her down. It was the hardest decision I have ever had to make and couldnt even tell him to do it. I just cried and shook my head in agreement. I feel so guilty that her mom and dad were not here to be with her during her passing. I just hope and pray that I did the right thing.
BoAnn had a great life and I was blessed to have her as a part of mine for the past couple of years. It brings me comfort to know that she is no longer in pain and can now gallop across the green pastures at the rainbow bridge while she is waiting for us to join her.
Sorry this is sooo long, but I had to get it off my chest.