When Is It Time To Mourn? Val's Story

| 11/13/2012 10:57:33 AM

Milk MaidAnyone that’s had animals, no matter what species it is, has had to deal with letting that beloved pet go. Ya’ll know what I’m saying. Having animals on the homestead, it’s a given. Just like us, if they are born, they will die at some point. Being in my 50s, I’ve seen plenty of it in my life. I can’t count how many of my personal pets and livestock have come into this world, gave me plenty of laughter & affection, and then their lives were over. Some died way too early to the point that I felt cheated cause I expected them to be with me for many years. Others have lived very long lives and even though I had to make the choice to end their pain, it still slapped me in the face when I had to say goodbye.  

I’m writing this the day after loosing my 23 year old Arabian mare, Val. She’s not the first horse I’ve had to put down, and won’t be the last as I have her only foal. Darlyn is a 13 year old and has her buddy Lacy, who is a Paint mare and a Mac truck in build.  I’m sorry if this should cause pain for some but if you have animals & have never gone though this part of life with them, believe me, that day will come and I hope this helps you to see it in a different light.  

There are those animals in our lives that grab & hold onto our heart. It being their personality or they just bring you laughter, consol you when you are feeling down, the one that no matter how much you tell them to go away, they understand you are feeling sad and they want to help you by allowing you to pet them. It is very good therapy and you don’t even know it. But they do. They let you cry harder while hugging them and you get it out of your system.  

Two weeks ago I was looking for a New Zealand rug (winter horse blanket) for Val as I knew the winter weather would be harder on her this year and I sure didn’t want her being cold. She was the one that I could do anything to without having to put her halter on. When I called for the horses to come to the barn she would answer me and the sound of their hooves pounding the ground was music. Now there are a few notes missing. She told me every year how our winters would be depending on her winter coat. If it started in August it was going to be a cold one.  

 Val at 21 years old in 2010 

Val at 21 years old in 2010 

11/14/2012 3:38:10 PM

Hi Dave & Mary, This is the part of having livestock that I don't like but we still have to go through it. Mary, I've had BC's also and have a red year old male now. Whenever I have had to get another dog, I've always looked at it this way, I'm not replacing the one I lost but filling the empty spot in my heart. I'm glad you have filled that spot with the hooligans. Dave, I don't know what I'd do without animals in our lives. Right now we have a mini lop rabbit that has the run of the house when we are home and he's litterbox trained. That comes in handy. LOL

Mary Carton
11/14/2012 5:22:32 AM

I had to put my Casey, a rescued Border collie/Aussie mix back in 2005. I had her 16 yrs. I didn't get another dog for 6 months as I was working long hours at a hospital. One summer day while working in the yard, I realized I really missed the interruptions by my dog to play. Now I have 3 more rescues I call my hooligans.

11/14/2012 2:49:13 AM

Suzy, pets do become part of the family, don't they. Over the course of the years, I and my family have had just about every domesticated pet imaginable. Dogs, cats, gerbils, rabbits, fish, and guinea pigs are just a few. My sister even had a horse named Judy. It's sad to let them go but they do leave us with allot of wonderful memories. I hope that all your young horses live just as long or longer than Val. Have a great horse day.

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