Monday, August 11, 2014

one week.

It’s been one week since I said good bye to my big sweet red horse. Clearly I made the right decision for him and I’ve found my peace with it. But it’s been really weird since he has been gone. Every time I walk down to check on the horses I see a fat red horse, a big gray horse disguising himself as a red horse in his red Kensington fly sheet, a little palomino, and a tiny Shetland pony all stuffing their faces at the round bale feeder. I instinctively walk into the lean of the barn to check on Pistol since that is where he liked to spend his days, hanging out under the fly traps and chilling in the shade. I’ve laughed at myself for going out there and doing that. It’s just an old habit I guess.
On Saturday morning the husband and I were getting ready to head out to a Rodeo in Minnesota with some friends, when my dogs started going nuts at the front door. The mail man brought our mail up to the house because he had a package for us. Yes, my totally cliché dogs were barking at the mail man. As soon as he handed me the package, I knew what it was. It was Pistol’s tail as well as a sympathy card from the clinic staff. I carefully opened the box and there is was, all 27 miles of it. Okay so 27 miles may be a bit of an exaggeration, but Pistol had an amazing long tail. They also braided his mane into two braids and snipped those off for me. Seeing, smelling and touching the hair hit me harder than I thought it would. I was doing so well but it brought me to tears… big, sobbing, hysterical tears. To add another kick in the guts a very, very sweet friend of mine, that I haven’t seen in ages sent me a sympathy card. I was drowning in a puddle of tears at my kitchen table.

I made the right decision for Pistol and everyone that knew him knows that I made the right decision. I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off of my shoulders. I no longer worry about coming home and finding him down and too weak to stand, or even worse, having already passed away. I also no longer have to make him his special sugarbeet pulp and alfalfa pellet meals and then keep checking on him every half hour to see if he is FINALLY finished eating. He was a guy who enjoyed his food and took his time eating. I don’t have to get up extra early to get him his first meal of the day.
When I put Piney down, I went into a deep dark depression. His death was so traumatic on me. I was angry and I was sad. I didn’t have the time to say good bye to him the way I wanted to. He was taken so suddenly that I just felt like I had been cheated and robbed. With Pistol, I had a week with him. I got to love up on him every night, and stuff his face with treats. I feel differently now that he is gone. I still miss him like crazy, but I know that we made the right decision for him. Hopefully I don’t sound like some kind of monster now that I confessed that I don’t feel super depressed.   Did I love that horse? Absolutely! He was the best trail horse I’ve ever ridden! I want 26 more horses just like him. Do I miss him. Of course I do. I miss that big droopy lip of his, and the way his coat was starting to feel like velvet which was the first sign that fall was just around the corner. Okay, so now I’m getting a bit weepy over him. …..

But I’m happy that he is no longer suffering. I’m happy that he knew nothing but love from the moment he came into our lives. I’m happy that we had him. I’m happy that he was my confidence booster after Piney. And I’m happy for every single memory with him…


  1. I love the idea of keeping the tail and parts of the mane. You definitely made the right decision and he was lucky to have such a good owner! ♥

  2. When my little staffy dog got cancer, she had three months until the cancer would take her life. Those were the best three months of her life but for me the three months was full of stress and anxiety about when was the right time to put her to sleep.

    The day she was euth'd, I felt very calm and like the choice was right. She left peacefully looking right at my face while I told her what a good dog she was.

    After, I felt the same sense of relief. Relief that it was all over, she was not going to suffer or die while I wasn't there to get her help. I was very upset, yes. But the relief was all for me. I felt guilty about that at first but I really should not have. It made sense, it was a very hard few months for me.

    Three years later, I still miss her very much, just like I miss my first pony and my lovely OTTB whom I have also lost. But I am happy, just like you, that they all had good lives with me, and that is my solace.

    I'm very glad you're at peace with Pistols death. You suffered way too much after Piney and now you know that death can be a gift to some.


  3. Happy and sad together are OK. When my old Noble left at 30, it was time but that didn't make it any easier. Glad you have so many good memories to cherish.