Recent surreal experience . . .
I've participated in well over a dozen chemical euthanasias, with horses of all ages and conditions though mostly older, and had never seen one NOT fall off the needle dead when he hit the ground.
Until last month. My old (25?) rescued TWH, whose incredible will to live had enabled him to not only survive, but thrive for four years after having been starved down to a body-condition score of 1, came up profoundly neurological as the result of probably melanoma impingement (vet's best guess). He was ataxic and seemed mentally "elsewhere." We did The Deed behind the barn on good footing on a quiet sunny September afternoon, with the tranquilizer first as always.
Vet gave him Pink Juice No. 1. He just stood there. Absolutely nothing happened. Weird. I asked if he was in the vein. "Oh, yes." Gave No. 2. Still nothing happened. Finally, the horse began to walk slowly in circles, as though longeing, to the limit of the 12-foot lead. We let him take us around 40 feet toward the fence where the vet by now had loaded up No. 3. Gave that and finally, slowly, grudgingly, the horse laid down. It took No. 4 and another half an hour before he was gone.
Guys, I thought I'd seen some sh!t, but this freaked me out so much I had him transported rather than buried--because I'd always heard those yarns about "dead" horses climbing out of a grave, and always thought they were just "campfire tales" from the old days and completely impossible until I saw THIS.
I just hope it wasn't my old guy's way of telling me the vet's diagnosis was wrong . . . DEAD wrong.
R.I.P. (please), Ollie.