From the Editor
The End of An Era
The feed supply store man had said, "What, are ya just keeping him alive?" when I told him P-pot had turned 47. As I envisioned breathing tubes and white sheets surrounding my horse, I laughingly replied, "No, but the day he doesn't come nickering up to me to eat is the day I'll consider putting him down."
Well, that day has come and gone. It marked the end of an era. After multiple family emergencies and recoveries, and the preparation of this delayed issue, through all of which P-pot thankfully stayed with me, his last day on Earth was Monday, August 18. He was euthanized about 7:30 am . On Sunday morning the day before, I found him down and summoned helpers, but on his first attempt he went back down. Then he didn't put much effort into trying to get up so we left him to rest awhile, which was what he often wanted so he could get his REM sleep (typically after which he would be helped to his feet and off he'd go for another couple weeks). An hour or two later he was helped to his feet, but his walk was weak and wobbly and he didn't stay up for long - he soon fell again and as much as we tried, we couldn't get him up again.
I called Kathy George, who helped with our communication, and P-pot was very upbeat and accepting of the situation ("silly old body"), but was adamant about not being euthanized, because he wanted to "do it my way" - his passing over was something he was excited about, and it meant more to him than his "whole life", and he wanted to NOT be helped, not now, not today... he always was a determined fellow.
I gave him homeopathic remedies, one of which, according to Kathy, he said would help him for a dizziness he had had for a few days. Kathy verified that it really helped him. But his hind end just couldn't get or keep him up anymore; he reported that he felt tingly in the hind legs and didn't know if he could stay up should we be able to get him upright again. My husband and I gave him water and food, which he had an appetite for, but his intake was very limited. We spent the day with him - rubbing and therapy-ing and just loving on him, offering food, treats, and remedies, and rolling him over once or twice for comfort.
I (and Sweetie the cat) slept beside him out in his field that night, and he tried several times to get up but just couldn't. When I offered help, he quit trying. By morning he was much weaker yet still eagerly eating small amounts. I believed that by then his attitude would surely be more accepting of me 'helping' him with euthanasia so we did. He did not seem to object and died peacefully.
I'm happy for him, and I am reminded of all our other departed animal friends he is now with, and everybody's departed friends. What a welcoming committee there must be! Many thanks to all of you who have kindly written, phoned, and emailed your condolences. And millions of thanks to all who have known, loved, and helped him during his long life. He is certainly missed and we will feature him in the next issue.
He had 47 great years here on Earth. It was truly a privilege to have been his caretaker for the last 23 of them.