Godspeed, Jewel - April 9, 1986 - November 1, 2012
The grief is raw, and new, yet not unfamiliar. How does one know when the time has come to part ways with a noble creature, when there is no voice to say, “I’m ready?” As Jewel stood there, shifting her weight to legs that could no longer compensate; as she stood there, her knee buckling, her body shaking, no interest in grazing; as she stood there, removed from the herd, unable to move without great, struggling effort; as she stood there, I knew. She told me in her own way, unmistakably.
Knowing this, however, doesn’t lessen the grief, or the hurt, or the memories that come flooding back, and the questions playing over and over in my mind. Could I have done more? Was there anything else we could have tried? We'd done the daily Previcox, the every-other-week Legend, the supportive shoeing, the wrapping at night with Surpass, the Jiaogulan/AAKG, the magnesium supplementation. At first, it all slowed the progression... until it didn't.
Her heart was strong, fighting till the very end, till the very last breath. She was always stoic, always maternal, always patient; she was my sweet, sweet girl. She was the barefoot four-year-old I found in a pasture; she was the trusty Pony Club mount; she was the hunter-jumper champion; she was the devoted mama; she was the steady therapeutic riding horse; she was the content retiree. And then the fetlocks dropped, and the weight melted off, and her skin and coat deteriorated--all as a result of DSLD/ESPA.
Yes, it was time. Yes, she was ready. But damn, it hurts.
Canter off into fields perpetually green, dear girl, joining Dew and Elizabeth… three redheads, together again.