Saturday, November 20, 2010

Broken Heart

It is with a heavy heart that I write this.

After much debate, and "what ifs," we have decided to let Denali go.

We sat down with the vet last night for and talked about options for a long time. It is the most heartbreaking thing I have have had to do. She isn't going to get better, and I finally understand that.

It is not fair to her to bubblewrap her, and put her in a stall for the rest of her life because her suspensory failed her, and the EPM took her ability to balance. The vet said there is a very slight chance that after treating her for EPM, and 6-12 months of stall rest that she could be turned out again, but that her hind legs fail her again. If it was just one thing wrong, and not 3, we would have had a better chance. This is the second vet to tell me this.

We don't have a date scheduled, but before December. This is when I wished that I owned property so she could have a proper burial, but no, I need to scheduled the truck to come pick her up, and I think that is what breaks my heart the most. She deserves better than a truck.

She is my baby, and I love her more than anything. I just can't keep her in a stall to keep her safe, when even that might not help her. That is no life for her, and it becomes about me, and not about her. She deserves better than that.

For now I am going to continue to spoil her, groom her, soak in her smell, and love on her. We're going to let her be a horse, with the understanding that it may need to happen sooner rather than later if she gets hurt and we are not there.

She deserves so much more than I was ever able to give her and that breaks my heart.

Hug your horse today.


Anonymous said...

I am so sorry - that is heartbreaking. I'm glad you'll get some time to be with her - and please don't ever thing that she deserved more than you gave her - you gave her what she needed which was your heart and I'm sure she knows it.

brigit r said...

I am so, so unbelievably sorry. I don't have the words to express my sorrow or to have anything more to say that could help. I hope you have a great last bit of time with her and that she can know that you loved her so so much. I'm so sorry.

Mrs Mom said...

Thoughts and prayers continue from our corner of the world for you, your family, and Denali.

It IS the hardest thing, but you are right- sometimes the best thing. Keep her in your heart.

You're a brave, strong woman. If that wonderful, beautiful Denali mare could talk, I'm sure she would tell you the same, and more.

Just know you are not alone.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure that there are many horses that would love to have such a selfless owner. You are a very strong woman. Denali: you will be missed, I've grown to love you over the internet. Thank you is what Denali would say if she could talk. I'm so sorry.

Dom said...

I am so very, very sorry.

Now That's A Trot! said...

*hugs* I am so sorry... What a tough decision! But at least you [hopefully] have the opportunity to say goodbye on your terms, and to plan everything out, before being left with no other choice.

The folks at Special Horses put together a heart-wrenching video that features the quote: "Better when it's hard for us than hard for them." We as humans have the amazing power to take away suffering. (The link is here if you want to watch, but I warn you, it will make you cry!)

You went above and beyond for her... Don't ever feel guilty about trying. She certainly had a much better life than that auction lot ever would have given her.

Keeping you both in my thoughts... ♥

Karen said...

I am so, so sorry. There are no words. You are incredibly strong to think things through and do what's best for your horse. *hugs*

Kelly said...

thinking of you.... You are making a very hard choice, but what is important is you have Denali's best interest in mind.

She loves you for that.

Frizzle said...

Aaaawww, girl, that's heartbreaking.
I know that nothing we say can take away your pain, but please know that there are a lot of us out here thinking of you and your sweet mare.
You did absolutely everything that could be done for Denali; unfortunately, sometimes even our best efforts aren't enough. But please take comfort in the fact that you gave Denali an amazing life, and you fought for her every inch of the way. Sometimes the kindest thing we can do is take their pain and make it our own. You are being brave and selfless by keeping Denali's best interests at heart.
As for practical matters, can't you leave that up to your vet? I know I did when my lovely boy passed away. And, PLEASE, don't stay when the truck comes. I have seen a lot of horses taken off, but I left the barn as soon as they came for Mac. I just didn't need to see that. Sorry if this is upsetting, I am just trying to spare you some small amount of pain.
Also, I don't know if you've thought of this, but you might want to take some clippings from Denali's mane and tail. I did this with Mac, and plan to have something made out of them by Treasured Tails ( I also had my vet pull one of Mac's shoes for me; I just wanted some little piece of him to keep with me.
*Hugs* to you and Denali. Please enjoy every second that you have with your girl.

Cashsmom said...

This is the hardest thing you will ever do, but know in your heart its the best thing for Denali! You will remember her forever and the pain while unbearable now will lessen with time. All our love to you your in my prayers tonight!

Lisa said...

You and Denali have been such as inspiration. After stumbling across your blog last year, I looked forward to every update to see how you all were doing.

Even though we have never met, please know that you have friends in Texas who care about you and Denali. You are so lucky to have had each other.

Weaseldancr said...

I'm so sorry. I know it's the hardest decision we can make, but sometimes it's the only one we can make.
I want to let you know about a company called perpetua, they make beautiful jewelry from our pets dna. I have 3 so far of my babies and odd as it sounds it helps to think they are with me. If you can't find them online you can type in zoogen, they are a veterinary dna service that's the parent company of perpetua.

WishIHadAHorsey said...

I am so, so sorry that it came to this. Please do what you need to do to maximize your time with Denali but know that so many are behind you in your decisions. I wish I could do/say more, just know that many are behind you and support you.

Many more hugs (hoping the people vet was able to help you some).

smazourek said...

It is so, so hard to let them go, but every horse leaves of piece of themselves in your heart that you can go and visit whenever you want.

I hope you and Denali can make the most of your remaining time together.

Ashley said...

oh I am so sorry. I have an ache in my stomach just reading this so I cannot even begin to imagine how your heart aches. I am praying for you every day.

What a blessing Denali has been in your life. You have had so many great memories with her, try to hold onto those happy times during this time of pain.

And just like everyone has said, don't ever doubt that you didn't give her everything she needed or even could have asked for. You rescued her from an auction and gave her the life of a princess. You have been an outstanding mom to her, one that I would trust both of my babies to.

Praying for you in these times, I wish I could take it all away from you.

Muddy K said...

Oh, my god. I am so, so sorry you are having to go through this. I know your kindness is what is giving Denali the best care she could ever have, all the way up to and including making what you feel is the right decision for her, but none of that changes how hard it is for you and your husband. Please don't ever believe that Denali deserved more than you - you were her lottery prize and greatest advocate and you will be until she's gone.

Jen said...

Oh my dear. I'm so sorry that this has to happen to you and your wonderful mare. Just know that you were probably the best thing that has happened to Denali and she will impact your life for the rest of yours. You did everything you could for her, but unfortunately, life is cruel.

I agree with Frizzle, take some of her mane and tail before her time is up and get something made from it. I did that when my 2-year old died. I had no chance of saving him, you tried everything.

Prayers and hugs

Nicku said...

Oh no no no. My heart just broke into a million little pieces for you. I am praying for you.

Sydney_bitless said...

I am so terribly sorry. I have had to put horses down before and it's the most lonely feeling in the world.
Remember to get some of her tail/mane hair. If in the future you fancy getting it made into a piece of jewelery or other memento send me an e-mail.

allhorsestuff said...

SAD,Oh lovely Danali mare and you must be broken up. She is so, so very fortunate to have you for a caretaker..youv'e done your best and all yuo could. My prayers are for you and she and all involved. I really wish there were another way..
You are making a good decision...when it is for her.

Anonymous said...

I am so, so, sorry. I never comment, but have been following your blog forever because Denali and my little mare are so much alike, and I love her for it :)
You've done so much for her. I can't believe what a strong person you are, always making the right decisions for Denali, even when it's not the easiest.
I remember reading early in your blog that when you went to the auction, you had an instant connection. I really think everything happens for a reason, and I think you've been the best thing that could have ever happened to Denali. She's one lucky horse to have you. I'll be thinking of you and wishing you both the best over the next while. Thanks so much for sharing Denali with us via your blog... I'm pretty sure she's wormed her way into a lot more hearts than mine :)

Snowhawk Przhevalsky said...

I am so, so sorry... I really, really hoped she'd improve.

She has an amazing, selfless owner though. I think any horse would love to have you.

Carol said...

Don't say she deserved more than you could give. You gave more than most - planting grass for her, massage, fund raising, vets, etc., etc. You went way above and beyond and made her life happy.
I'm so sorry to read of this. You're doing the right thing for her again.

Becky said...

Nothing anyone says can stop the hurt - but know that you have a whole community of horse lovers rallied around you & Miss D right now, wishing the both of you all the best. How heartbreaking it must be for you, I am so unbelivably sorry. You are doing what's right for her, and you have done EVERYTHING you could do. EVERYTHING that ANYONE could do. You gave her everything you could, and everything she deserved. There was such a huge possibility her life would have ended far sooner and far more painfully had you not bid on her. You know as well as anyone else, most auction horses don't end up in homes with horse mom's who are willing to go to the lengths you have for Denali. She is so lucky to have you, a mom who is willing to put her own emotions aside to do what's best for her. My heart breaks for you. Prayers are headed your way.

Lacey said...

I loved hearing your stories with Denali. You and Denali helped me keep up the hope when my OTTB was acting silly and crazy. I knew we weren't alone and that I wasn't crazy for keeping him! I'm so sorry that this is happening. You've done a great job with her and she was lucky to have found you...
Take care of yourself.

in2paints said...

No words from me can make this any better, but know you're in my thoughts and I will pray that God gives you strength during such a difficult time.

Denali knows you love her and you have gone above and beyond for her, so please don't be so hard on yourself. I know that's easier said than done, but you have done great things for her.

I agree with a few other posters here about taking a little bit of her tail... It's something you can cherish for a long time.

I'm so very sorry.

Amanda said...

I am so sorry for you. You are doing what is best for Denali. You are being selfless. I know someone who kept their horse around because they didnt want to deal with the heart ache of letting go, watching that horse suffer killed me. Know that you are making the right choice for her. No horse should have to hurt all the time, or spend so much time in a stall, only to possibly not get better. You are in my prayers now more than ever. I am so so sorry =(

Mare said...

I'm so, so, so sorry. That's so incredibly sad. You gave Denali the best gift of all, though. Even through all the rough parts you loved her and that's sometimes the best we can do for our horses, love them with all our might. Many hugs to you and Denali!

Kristen Eleni Shellenbarger said...

Just know that Denali is a very lucky girl to have been loved by you (and your husband).
You have done all, and more, for her and sometimes it's best to let them go before they are begging for it.
I'm so sorry.....I'm here for you if you want to talk/vent/scream/cry, etc.

Andrea said...

Oh no :( :( I so so so so so sorry to hear this. This is a heartbreaking time in your life, but you have always done the best for your mare, and are still doing the best. If she had ended up in someone else's hands, who knows what prolonged suffering she might have had to endure. You are giving her freedom and peace, no matter how much it hurts right now. Denali has two of my goofy geldings waiting up there to go play with... you tell her to say hi for me.
And hang in there. If you ever need anything, please reach out to any or all of us. We are all here for you through this.

Megan said...

I am so sorry to hear that you are having such difficult time with the EPM. I don't know if this will help (or maybe you know about it already) but there is a company called Photonic Health that distributes the Acu-Light system. They have a great website with lots of testimonials and I am sure you could give them a call to see if they think that EPM is something that this could help. Their website is I don't have any ties to this company, I have just heard good things about it. Parelli's use it a lot. Good luck!

Rising Rainbow said...

I am saddened to hear this. Having just made a smiliar decision myself, I know what you must be feeling.

I might add, I must also deal with "the truck." It is against the law in my county to bury a horse on your property. Lots of people do it, I'm told but not me. My property is mostly wetlands and to do so would be irresponsible and put the rest of my horses in jeopardy so I must deal with that truck and I, too, feel like it makes things all the worse.

Life just is not fair sometimes no matter how hard we try and it sucks. I'm so sorry you're having to go through this.

Val said...

I am sorry. You are an admirable horse woman, thinking of your horse to the last moment.