Yesterday,while at work,I was talking to the nurse who works the opposite end of the hall.She seemed sad and I asked her what was wrong.She told me this weekend she was going to have to put her horse,Sundance,down and could not bear the thought of it.Seems her horse started with a grass cough which ended up causing an infection in his lungs and now he has an almost emphysema like sickness which,even with anti biotic and breathing treatments,he is unable to shake off.
She told me how awful he looks in the field being hunched over,wheezing and mouth breathing.
Sundance has been with her since he was young and now at age 19 it is time for him to suffer no more.
I spoke with her for awhile and reassured her that what she is choosing to do is probably the best for him and she should feel no guilt.
She told me that her friend up the road will dig the pit for him and get the vet to do the injection and she in turn will walk him to the friends house to have him put to sleep.
Now being the nosey person I am I asked her exactly how do you put a horse to sleep, its not like a dog or cat that you lay on a table and they inject into a vein in the leg.
She explained to me that they dig the pit to bury him in and grade it so the horse can be walked into it.The vet then injects the horse in the neck and in seconds he falls asleep then passes on. After he's pronounce dead,by the vet, they bury him in the pit.
I must admit this seemed unsettling to me,I had visions of old ww2 films of the Germans shooting people and the bodies falling into the pits.But Deb explained that this horses head alone weighs 50 pounds and that she will be in the pit with him and he can rest his head on her shoulder while the injection is being given and he passes.
The only thing I can say is I have had many cats and dogs and have had to be present several times to have them put to sleep,its always a tragic experience to lose a friend who trust you fully.
But part of being a responsible pet owner is not allowing your friend to suffer.What is done is done in love and with great thought.
The next time I see a horse in a field I will think of Sundance,a good friend and companion,and will feel grateful that God gave humanity the ability to be loved unconditionally by such a beautiful and stately animal.We are truly blessed by such has these the creatures of the earth both great and small.