Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Final Chapter; Suzie



This is an exceptionally difficult post for me to write.

Before we get into it, I want to start back a few months.

This summer has been exceptionally difficult for Suzie - I noted her pain management regime started to become insignificant and the shine she once had in her eyes started to waver. She never completely lost her zest for life and on most days, she had a little sparkle gleaning in the corner of her big brown eyes. But, on the bad days, she looked dull and tired.

I had made the final decision a few months ago, but was casually optimistic I wouldn't have to "actually" go through with it. In the back of my mind, I knew I was setting myself up, but couldn't help but try to claw the bad feeling I had in my gut away.

As the Summer progressed into Fall, I just knew.

A line in the sand had been drawn and we were painfully close to it's wall.

There were still days I questioned making the appointment, but there were more days I knew it was the right choice.

But it really didn't make it any easier.


My best friend, and photographer, captured a
really candid shot between poses.
This is a mare who is ready, and an owner
who is doing her damndest to try and let her go <3

As the appointment grew closer, I became more agitated and sad. Making all of the arrangements and organizing things (like the machinery ie. excavator) is not fun. Trying to segway a conversation into, "Hey, I was wondering if your company could come dig a hole for me? Oh why... uh... because my horse is being put down." is awkward and made me want to crawl into a hole. I am thankful for the Boyfriend for organizing that portion of the whole thing without me even knowing. I was surprised when he mentioned he had already lined up everything and to not worry about it.

But even so, the whole process was very carefully orchestrated and everyone did their best to ensure the most idealistic situation. Initially, I had considered burying Suzie at the BO's property, but Boyfriend (bless his amazingly sweet heart) told me I should reconsider and bury her on our land. For those who do not know or remember, we own about 5 acres of undeveloped land that will one day have a barn, riding arena, and house on it.

I chose to bury her at the base of a large cedar tree. My little mare radiated strength, perseverance and wisdom beyond her years. I wanted her burial placement to reflect that.

One of the strongest horse's I have ever known.
Both physically and emotionally <3
She never complained or showed just how much she
was hurting. 
On October 16, mid-morning, we loaded Suzie up into the trailer and made the 10 minute drive to our property. I was uncertain about bringing one of the other horse's with me, as I had heard conflicting information in regards to how horse's process loss. A friend had suggested to leave Annie and Spud at home, as the confusion and energy in a new and unfamiliar place may not be the best situation to put them in. I somewhat agreed, but was skeptical about how Suzie would process being on her own when she passed. I mean, a handful of humans would be there, but horses are herd animals first and foremost.

Working at the Animal Shelter and Vet Hospital I have seen my fair share of euthanasia's. I have seen the perfect textbook examples of a euthanasia, and I have seen the not so great ones. Animal's responses are a tricky thing and even an involuntary reflex may look painful or leave a negative perception in the owner's mind.

I had never witnessed a large animal euthanasia. And I knew it was going to be very, very different.

My very last "ride". She was stoic as hell.
The Vets took absolute care and I appreciate their efforts very much. The entire process was oddly peaceful and I can say without absolute uncertainty that I am very confident and at peace with my decision. Although, as I had said before - it was never my decision to make. Suzie was ready. Ready to be free from pain and ready to run barrels in the clouds.

October 16th at 11:40am, Suzie took her last breaths and a very big piece of my heart. I had always heard that when we say our final goodbye to our horse, we gain a big, black hole in our heart from missing them. I can, without a doubt, say that the large empty space is very real. I watched as a large sliver of my heart quietly spilled out through my tears and disappeared with Suzie, to wherever it is the good horses go.


I miss you beyond words, my feisty red-head. Give 'em hell up there.




49 comments:

  1. I'm so, so very sorry for your loss :( rest in peace, without pain, sweet Suzie.

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  2. I am so sorry. I'm just gutted for you.😢

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  3. so sorry, you and Suzie had a very special relationship :(

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  4. I'm so sorry Cathryn. Rest easy sassy mare

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    1. Thank you, Renate <3
      I am sure she is already tearing around some barrels up there.

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  5. No words for how sad I am for you. What a lucky mare to have such a great owner to live all those years with.

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    1. Thank you, T <3 It was incredibly hard letting her go. I certainly was not ready.

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  6. Oh no. This puts a pit in my stomach and tears in my eyes. I'm so so very sorry. She was indeed special and so well loved. Thank you for sharing her with us.

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    1. Thank you so much for your kind words, Alyssa.

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  7. Tears here. I know exactly what you are feeling. Such a hard day. Hugs!

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    1. I take comfort in the fact a lot of good horses were there to greet her <3

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  8. Reading this has broken and healed my heart all at the same time. Your love for her shines in every word and photo. The care you have taken of her speaks to the kind of person you are. I know that this is hard and you will mourn. You should mourn- she was a special horse and deserves to be missed. Give yourself the time you need to process this. I love that you brought her home. I love that your boyfriend helped with the details. I love that you were there with her and understood that it was time. ((((HUGS))))

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    1. Thank you, Teresa. She was ready... but I really wasn't. Thank you so much for your kind comments.

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  9. you did the right thing if she was ready she was ready. the best thing you did was ease her into sleep on your terms and hers. We all should be the very best owners we can and you my friend are a wonderful owner. Hugs to you and everyone who knew Suzie but she is pain free now and you will always remember her!

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    1. Thank you <3 It was really hard to do - but I promised her that when she was ready I would do right by her.

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  10. I am so sorry <3 Sending big hugs.

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  11. Oh I am so sorry. What a neat horse and beautiful mare. Hope you're doing okay, and glad you're at peace with your decision. Love that she's buried on your land.

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    1. Thank you, Austen. I am glad she is "home". I can't wait to have my barn built and be able to "be there" with her.

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  12. The photos are stunning and are a beautiful tribute to Suz. I've been crying on an off for you all week. You are so strong and Suzie is so blessed to have had you as her final stop.I dread this day with Nakai, but I like to think there will be a certain red head greeting him at the gate.

    All of my love (and hugs) <3

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    1. <3 Thank you Lindsay.

      Your words made me cry, but in a good way. Please don't stop sharing all of your Nakai-man. I love seeing his pictures and personality on my newsfeed <3

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  13. I'm so sorry for your loss, I'm sure she was very thankful to have you by her side.

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  14. I’m so sorry. Thinking of you.

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  15. Oh Cathryn, I am so incredibly sorry. I haven't been checking blogger much lately, so my response is a few days delayed, but know that I'm thinking of you.

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    1. I appreciate you took the time to comment <3 Thank you for your support

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  16. Beautifully written. I am so incredibly sorry for your loss. She was an incredible mare <3

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  17. So very sorry. The cedar tree sounds like the perfect spot <3

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    1. Thank you, Liz. And yes, I think a cedar tree as her "head stone" was a good fit :)

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  18. Oh, Cathryn. I'm so so sorry. I know my time with Rusty is coming to a close soon and I can't stand thinking about it. Suzie was really special.

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  19. I'm so sorry to hear this. I haven't been following along as I should and it took me by surprise. Suzie was a special mare with a special place in your heart. It's sad to lose our best friends that we've loved with all our hearts. Give 'em hell up in horse heaven Suzie, you were one fiesty red head!

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