Friday, July 16, 2010

Letting Go



Rugby hasn't much strength left. Last night when I went to see him, he was standing in the stall, looking out his window, staring out into the grassy place in the yard. When I said his name he turned to look at me and nickered. I was shocked, he hadn't done that in a long time. I put on his fly mask and halter and took him out to graze.

He walked to the grass with a purpose and was eating greedily but he's begun to drop weight again and now he's very unsteady on his hind legs. Instead of walking on them he lifts them with each step and slowly paddles the air a few inches above the ground before placing them down. Sometimes they buckle and he has to right himself. He's weakening and I can see it is only a matter of time before he just goes down and I don't know if he will be able to get back up.

I let him graze for a long while then slowly led him home to his stall. He walked in carefully and tried to find a comfortable place to stand. I took off his halter and fly mask and he gently rubbed his head against me. Then he did something he hasn't done since before he got sick. He put his head over my shoulder and arched his neck to pull me towards his chest. He used to do this all the time - it was his way of hugging me.

I choked up as he turned and went back to staring out the window. I offered him some of the soft, sweet timothy hay that just came to the barn and he was happy to have it. He was still shifting his hind legs awkwardly and I thought for sure he wasn't going to be able to stand the night. But this morning he was still up and out in turn-out.

I took him out to graze and he's still bad in his hind end. There were two times I feared he'd lose his balance and go down. And I knew it's time to let him go. So I called the vet's office and have asked that they make him comfortable today and tonight, offer him whatever he can eat and tomorrow to have him put down.

I knew why he'd hugged me last night, he was saying goodbye.

25 comments:

Rachel said...

tears and hugs for you.

I'm so glad he was able to let you know that he was ready to go.

I am SO sorry.

Nicku said...

Oh my, I am so so so sorry. My prayers are with you and your beautiful horse.

Mrs Mom said...

I'm so sorry SM. My thoughts, prayers, and tears are with you and Rugby, and the family. Please know we'll think of you often. And I'm here if you need a shoulder.

jill said...

*hug* :-(

English Rider said...

Shared tears are all we can offer. xxooxx

Jennifer said...

thoughts and prayers are with you.
I'll tell Ransom all about Rugby tonight, and think of you while I'm hugging back..

So sorry for you...

OnTheBit said...

I am so sorry it had to end like this. I promise I will never horse hunt for you ever again. I can feel the sad resignation coming from your post. I am sorry. I am just so sorry. I hope Rugby has a great night and that he feels well enough to at least pig out tomorrow...

And get some of that tail so you can get something made out of it so he will always be around.

Kate said...

I am so, so sorry. But you can take comfort that you are taking care of what he needs when he can't. I'm glad he and you were able to tell together that it was time.

Dreaming said...

It is so hard to write this with tears streaming down my face. What a wonderful, sweet horse. He's gone through so much. How brave of you to let him go.
I am so sorry.

Marissa said...

I share in everyone else's tears for your big beautiful horse, but I know you are doing the right thing if that's what Rugby is telling you. I am so very sorry, and I hope that you can find some peace amidst the grief.

Stephanie said...

So sorry. Sending you are best thoughts for Rugby, you and your family.

Breathe said...

With you in prayer. I'm so sorry.

Karen said...

I am so sorry. How heartbreaking. My thoughts and prayers are with you and Rugby.

STB Eventer said...

I am so sorry to hear about Rugby. You have been a good horse mom. Prayers to you and your beautiful boy. <3

Grey Horse Matters said...

I'm so sorry to hear this and wish you the best. Goodbye Rugby.

tagnrocky said...

(((HUGS))))

Jean said...

I am crying as I type...I am so sorry you have to face this with your beautiful, beautiful boy.

I will pray for you both. You are doing what is best for Rugby and I am sure he was telling you he was ready to go. Be at peace with your decision.

I am so, so sorry. *hugs*

Wolfie said...

Really sorry to read this. You and Rugby are in my thoughts.

Story said...

I'm so sorry. I share your tears.

Leslie Sealey said...

I'm so sorry. My thoughts and prayers are with you and Rugby.

LiveToFly said...

I've been following your story for a while now although I haven't commented until now...my heart breaks for you, a million times over again. You and your amazing horse are in my thoughts and prayers.

Mare said...

My heart breaks for you...I'm so sorry...

Once Upon an Equine said...

How sweet of Rugby to give you a hug. I'm so sorry he couldn't recover. I can't begin to imagine how difficult this has been, but there are tears in my eyes. I'm very sorry.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Awwwww, sweet, loving Rugby. Such a special moment he shared with you.
I'm so glad you were able to have this time with him to know he was saying goodbye, and to always have such special memories shared together.

(((((hugs))))
~Lisa

Merri said...

I just found your blog, i'm sitting here with tears in my eyes at this post.
- The Equestrian Vagabond