It’s not raining anymore…at least, not outside of my own head. Inside, however, is muggy and rainy. My senses feel dull and my mind sluggish, as if I’m perpetually coming out of a drug induced sleep.
Due to the holiday, my very kind supervisor “kicked” my coworker and I out at about 1 on Friday. I chatted with Dr. McGee all the way to the barn. I played phone tag with Dr. McGee a bit this week and when I was finally able to talk to him, he concurred that outside of drastic, expensive testing that wouldn’t yield a 100% diagnosis anyway, this was the best option. Having the vet on board was what finally settled this into reality in my own mind, if it wasn’t already real enough. It weighed me down enough for me to brave the heat and proceeded to give Image a bath, simply because I needed to be with him. Okay, maybe it was partly an excuse to play with the hose because holy crap was it hot! He stood there and allowed the water to cascade over him…and even went as far to stuff his face in the hose. The water poured over his face and he stood there, ears flopped out to the side, eyes closed with pleasure. It was painfully adorable.
When I brought him into the barn to dry him off and get some coat polish on him (which, I noted sadly, I could put over his saddle area now because there would be no saddle on his back ever again). While he was drying, I sat down in front of him on the mounting block that I had dragged in for that exact purpose. We were together like this for quite some time, his hind leg resting and lower lip drooping. me occasionally reaching up to rub his nose. It’s probably dangerous (or, more dangerous than usual, anyway) to be sitting in front of a neuro horse, but I’ve stopped caring at this point. At one point, he dropped his head down and snuffled my face. I batted at his nose because I wasn’t prepared for the sudden surprise and whoosh of air. He lifted muzzle from my face, and then plunked it on top of my head, his upper lip wiggling around furiously, mussing up my hair. I giggled, as this was pre-muzzle clipping, so it tickled. He paused at my laughter, and I took that moment to lean back and look up at him. His ears were pricked and his eyes were soft. I kissed his muzzle and he lipped my nose in response. It was a moment I won’t soon forget.
|Munching grass after his bath.|
Saturday, B and her husband came out to see us. It was a bittersweet visit. I adore B and K, because our thought processes seem to match up relatively well when it comes to horse ownership and management. B, only having my words and blog posts to go off of, needed to see Image for herself. I don’t blame her. I would have done the exact same thing. I picked this horse up six months ago with a careful clause of “he’s got issues”, not “he’s a ticking timebomb”. I’m certain that they had no idea that Image’s physical health was questionable, so this was as big a shock to them as it was to me. Granted, I had an idea that *something* was up…but never, ever expected to be in the position I am today.
Image clearly remembered B — although, it may have been the ginger snaps she was holding! He was quiet — borderline subdued, which is not like him either — as we stood in the barn and talked. I explained everything I could about what the vets had said and what I had been seeing…and, thankfully (which sounds weird, but I was nervous that he wouldn’t have shown them any of his symptoms at all!), they quickly noticed the disconnect between his front and hind end. The two of them had come, I think, hopeful that they would find something that would be able to take us down a different path…hell, part of me was hopeful that they would point out something that I miraculously hadn’t seen. It was both comforting (because it means I’ve exhausted every possible avenue) and disheartening (because now this is REAL) to have B turn to me and say that I was making the right choice. I could hear the sadness in her voice and saw it in her eyes. This was not what either of us wanted for this wonderful little horse.
I know I’m doing the right thing. It doesn’t make it any less painful. I know he’s not well, and is just going to get worse. It doesn’t make me any less sad and angry at the loss of our future together. However, I try not to dwell on any of that and just live in the moment for now.
I will continue blogging, I think, once he’s crossed the Rainbow Bridge. I don’t plan on being horseless again for so long. It feels completely wrong to be doing so, but I am already putting out feelers to try and find my next partner. I need SOMETHING to focus on, to keep my head above water.
So, let that rain come down, for it’ll make a brand new ground: