Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Goodbye, Daisy

In August 2006, we came to know a lovely, grey Arabian mare named Daisy and on Tuesday, April 14, she left our Sanctuary for good.

Daisy came to us as an older gal with arthritic hocks and an old eye injury. Like most mares, Daisy had her good days and bad days ~ days when she would easily win over the hearts of those who met her and days when she would stomp and squeal and make her ill feelings known. Incredibly, Daisy was one of the only horses that showed no fear to Ferdinand, our gigantic steer, only heels and squeals. Other horses could force Daisy from her ration, but not Ferdi, even with his imposing presence.

Daisy arrived with an Arabian gelding named Fritz, but Fritz crossed the rainbow bridge on 10/22/07. Shortly thereafter, Big Cloud arrived and claimed Daisy as his girl. While I don't believe the feeling was mutual, as Daisy was always eager to check out new geldings, she had a true and forever friend in Cloud.

Daisy also had a good friend in Steven from the Easter Seals HTR program. Steven took good care of the old girl on multiple visits and she relished his attention.

Daisy's weight would fluctuate, even when food (rations designed for hard-keepers) was made readily available. She was always anxious to eat but would sometimes leave food, which is a rare happening around here! After our recent visit with an equine dentist, I realize those fluctuations were probably due in great part to the shedding of molar teeth. The dentist came in late March approximated Daisy's age at right around 30.

Daisy's end was not a surprise, of course. Throughout her stay at the sanctuary, she would have challenges rising once she lay down. We would awaken to find her down and usually be able to assist her back up and moving pretty quickly. Daisy seemed to always have sores on pressure points.

In February, Daisy had been down for a while in a cold, wet spot and we struggled to get her up. Her attitude and appetite were great - key markers. We fed her grain to bolster her strength got her up after nearly two hours of effort. This photo was in our back yard, where I proceeded to gently bathe her with warm water from our bathroom sink. Warm and clean, jacketed and fed warm mash, Daisy was good to go again.

This time, however, while she still was happy for grain, she was not helping us to help her rise. The sweet old girl was tired. Incredibly, Big Cloud stayed by her side through the euthanasia, the pick up by Sacramento Rendering and all the time in between. Daisy was his life. We have a sad Thoroughbred on our hands, but know beyond the shadow of a doubt that a beautiful angel just received her wings, at last free from her failing body.

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