I sleep in......I am late......I drag my feet leaving the house and then suddenly decide that I must rush and so I drive fast to the barn.
No rain today, it is relatively warm out..........I feed hay in my shirt sleeves and see that everything is drying out, the paddocks are draining and the gravel was well worth the expense.......the stalls aren't bad and so I start on them before I feed grain. Mary comes and helps me clean paddocks around 9:30am. I take everyone's blankets off so that they can have a good roll and get some air on their skin.
The vet is due at around 11......but he is a little late and so I clean the barn aisle, fill some water troughs and check the lower pastures. While I clean, I hear screaming chickens......I run out of the barn to find a hawk latched onto a chicken.......I hit him with the broom and he lets go.....flys off into the woods.......the chickens scramble for the brush. Damn that hawk.....his own personal chicken selection at our farm......
Finally the vet arrives and we take Jake out, so that we can determine his leg issue.
It is easy to see that Jake's hip on one side is dropped down.....I have suspected a hip issue, maybe dislocation,,,,,,,,but it is just a guess and I am hoping I am wrong. But it turns out I am not wrong. Jake has a partial hip dislocation and it is too damaged to ever get better. He could have fallen, done the splits.......or it could be from him trying and trying to get up when he was too weak from starvation. It was done months ago and yet it is getting worse now due to us putting weight on him. The vet explained that the more weight he puts on, the worse his hip will be. The weight will compromise his ability to walk. I am tearful. I am angry. I ask about pain and if we can give him pain meds. I ask a million questions that all have the same answers for Jake. He is in pain, constant pain..........and there is no way to make it stop.........short of taking his life. We will not be selfish.......we will do the right thing and we will take Jake's pain away and send him on to what we believe is something better. Chronic pain is no life. We love Jake enough to let him go.
This horse rescue business, well it seems that sometimes we have to make hard decisions, emotional decisions and decisions that come hard at the end of the day. We are here for the horses, not ourselves. Sometimes the kindest thing comes so hard for us. Our hearts break......our spirit quavers.......we take a deep breath, we cry and we do what is right. We have done that several times in a year......it wears on us.
To the bastard that starved Jake........may you rot in hell on a hot day.
Sounds harsh? I guess ...but too bad. If Jake had been taken care of, none of us would be saying goodbye to him now or making a decision that will end his life. Jake was not sick, as evidenced by his weight gain.......he was simply not fed....and because he was not fed, he was weak and injured his leg/hip........this is the epitome of the problem with "free to good home".......and why references should be checked, why a home check is invaluable, why continued home checks must be done........this home looked good to the casual observer, but became a death camp this fall and winter.
I cannot write anymore tonight.....too emotional.......too angry......frustrated.
Hug your horses.....