My thoughts are with LA today. LA told me last night that Spunky, her 29-year old mare, is being put down today. Spunky stopped eating and LA had the vet out yesterday afternoon. The diagnosis is that Spunky's liver is giving out. She had a rough winter last year and rather than force her to recover and face another winter, the difficult decision was made. Spunky was put in Gem's field last night, along with her special friend, another retired mare. I watched them for a few minutes. Spunky was standing, looking around at her new surroundings. But, I could sense that Spunky was "tired". Her special friend was standing close to her, almost touching, as she grazed.
I did not really have an opportunity to know Spunky well, but I will share what I know. She has lived 27 of her 29 years with LA. This means that LA was about 17 or 18 years old when Spunky became part of her life. I believe LA's father had a soft spot for Spunky and she may have been his horse. Spunky eventually became a lesson horse. Her patience made her a good babysitter, and quite a number of people learned to ride on Spunky. She was officially retired 5 years ago and has been living outside with the herd ever since. Her gentle nature and age put her near the bottom of the herd hierarchy, but she managed. She and her special friend could be seen grazing together in their preferred field, just outside the forested area not far from the barn. I would watch in amazement as she trotted across the fields like a youngster to receive her special supplements when LA called her name at the gate.
Spunky has had a good life. She has been loved, appreciated and cared for. I remember that Spunky was in rough shape late winter and LA was worried that she would have to put her down then. Routines were changed up a bit to accommodate Spunky's special needs and she was able to enjoy another summer.
Personally, I think that Spunky has made the decision not to endure another winter. She decided to take control of her destiny by allowing her body to stop working. Her liver failure has made it easier for LA to cope with the decision to assist Spunky on the next part of her journey. A gentle lady to the end. RIP Spunky.