Sunday, December 21, 2008

And now I lay you down to Sleep...

I know that with the holidays upon us, that this is going to be a tough one to swallow. But death sleeps for no one...I know this because my family and myself have been involved in the funeral/cemetery industry for years. But life and death happen...

When we own animals, any animal, we play God. WE decide when they eat, where they sleep, and when they die. Today I received an email from a very dear friend of mine... and this was one of the paragraphs in it...

"All the pukes who keep an animal live, even though it's suffering, for the sake of the human, not the animal, need to be on the asshat bus stop route. I put down a sweet little pony, who was great with the kids, and the kids loved her, because she was in constant pain. Manageable, sure, but only with medication. She was never going to be pain-free, and that, my friend, just ain't fair. People who put themselves before their animals need the asshat beatings! She hurt, got a shot, and went to sleep. Done, no more pain. Prolonging her suffering for the sake of my, what, sadness? guilt? (selfish guilt, as in, the loss of the kids' pony).. not wanting to make a difficult decision? That's all about me, not about her."

Those are VERY strong words from a woman who is PASSIONATE about her beloved animals. And to that I say I'm sorry for your loss, but thank you for your decision. I find a lot of people, when faced with choice of life or death always want to choose life. Sometimes for their own selfish reasons. But we need to understand that no matter how badly you don't want to let go of your pet, that No amount of painkillers, surgery's or "miracle treatments" are worth it their pain. We need to be brave and loyal to our horses as they always were for us...

You know what? Being a trainer, I've seen way too many horses lose their lives. Sometimes, I have to make the call. And I cuss and throw things and scream. Never while anyone is around... but I do it. When I have to make that call the first thing that ALWAYS runs through my mind is "What the Fuck gives ME the right to take this animals life??" I am NOT God. Why? Why should I have this much control over this animal to say whether it lives or dies. Well boys and girls, it's a MUST if you own an animal. It is NOT optional. Being in pain, or drugged up for the rest of it's life so YOU can still USE the animal... is CRUEL... it's no quality of life that's for sure. So yes, I'm sorry but someday you will have to make that call. And you need to know that it will be the right choice. As hard as it may seem at the time, your animal will thank you.

When it comes time for to lay your beloved down to sleep. ALWAYS remember and NEVER forget! That is the greatest gift you can give them. Especially when it ends so peacefully...

This is from the Thanksgiving blog I wrote, and it rings so very true.
"I'm thankful for that velvety nose that brushes the side of my cheek. That "where are my cookies, candy, carrots, treats, anything!!" look. For teaching me how to not be afraid. For teaching me to love unconditionally. For teaching me to lose and win. For teaching me to live. For the kisses and the hugs. I'm thankful when you try to shake water on me after a bath. I'm thankful for you when you paw or nibble at me and then when I turn around to scold you, you look around as if to say "What? It wasn't me!" I'm thankful for the games we play, that we have bonded and know each other so well. I'm thankful that you make me feel like I'm flying and when you put the wind through our hair. I'm thankful I can sit for hours and just watch you run and play and spend time with you. I'm thankful for ANY color of ribbon we get together. I'm thankful that you have bucked me off for It taught about pride and humility. I'm thankful you've taught me patience and understanding. I'm thankful for the arguments and bad days for they've all taught me valuable lessons. I'm thankful for the good and great days, for those I'll never forget. I'm thankful that I've met you. I'm thankful that I know you. I'm thankful that I have you to love. Most importantly, I'm thankful that you love me right back."

21 comments:

2toads2luv said...

Thanks dude, even though you made me cry again, ya shithead! ;-)

I hope that through this post it gives others who might be in a similar situation pause to stop and think about what's best, and for whom. And strength, to make the right decision based upon fact and rational, rather than emotions.

Life sucks sometimes, but in the end, I sleep knowing I made the best decision for sweet little BB. And you know what? That's called life.

There will be others. That's called hope. Tis the season...

Trainer X said...

I agree, it's one of those hard facts of life that we all must endure...

2toads2luv said...

P.S.

Thanks for the advice, support, and words. It's been greatly appreciated!

Trickery said...

I'm so glad someone has made the effort to try to get through to the people out there that keep their animals alive for themselves. I have worked at one place in particular whose owner had/has 2 horses who are in constant pain. Surgeries and drugs aplenty for both animals, and years and years of pain. Finally she put one of them down, but only because it had 2 legs to stand on and had blood poisoning. The other lives on bute everyday.... How do you get through to these people?

The thanksgiving grace is beautiful and so true.

Trainer X said...

2Toads~ Anytime my friend...

Trickery~ Ugh sometimes there is no way of getting through sadly enough...we try to educate them and their own selfishness gets in the way...
But we never give up...

Trickery said...

Ironically I just found out about another horse's plight because of a stupid owner.
Little pony went septic, 6 days it was very sick, on a drip ( apparently enough fluid to pretty much replace his blood twice over) multiple seizures, and still no release. Blind in one eye and stroked out, the last one actually killed him, the owner could not let it be like that and resuscitated the poor pony. Someone restrained her and the little guy breathed his last breath.
It made me sick to hear about it, and I wish there had have been a sane person around to just let the pony go. I know the vet that was involved and I know he would have been pushing the owner to pts - but without owners consent what can they do?
2toads you are a good, no GREAT person to see the situation for what it is and take the higher road for the horse.

Still feeling sick about this.

Justaplainsam said...

Yup made me cry too. Its a tough choice. But its what happens when you 'have' an animal, horse, dog, cow whatever.

Im usualy the one supporting everyone else when a horse needs to be put down. My worst memory is seeing an old lesson horse/broodmare not get up after colicing for 3 hours, surounded by lesson kids and not a parent in sight. Its hard to tell 10 year olds that tomorrow this horse wont be in the barn and its for the best.

Trainer X said...

Yes, there are some very sad stories out there of people who won't let go. and obviously in the case of that pony, the owner was way wacked out. Ugh and those poor faithful lesson horses, it's so sad... telling children is the worst!

2toads2luv said...

Yep, I just heard one... I know a gal who has a pony, not sure if it's laminitis or navicular, but from the very brief description I got, sounds like laminits. Anyhoo, the pony won't hardly move, even in a stall with a mountain of shavings underfoot. Food and water are being placed directly in front of her.

I don't get it. Who's benefitting from that? The pony? NOPE. The humans, and for what? I mean really, WHAT???

Mikolaj said...

OH DEAR GOD, THANK YOU!

I don't think there are many things in this world that make me angrier then moronic dipshits justifying keeping an animal alive because they "love life". Give me a break. What is with humans and finding it so neccesary to place OUR emotions on OTHER creatures?

I belong to the group that would never in a million years fix my horses broken leg. I do not believe for an instant that she would believe I was "saving" her. Think like a horse sometime - lose your logic and reason. That horse doesn't know it's being saved. What it knows is that it's being suspended in a dark enclosed space for a ridiculous amount of time in pain.

Obviously I don't mean this for EVERY case - I'm welll aware many injuries and even breaks now can be fixed with minimal care. But if your pet has to be in a body cast - PUT IT TO SLEEP YOU DAFT BASTARD.

Trainer X said...

Death is apart of Life and holding on to someone or something that has zero quality of life left is as cruel as starving or beating your animals...it's abuse in it's own form.

CutNJump said...

I didn't read the whole post. Sorry, but I will go back and do so later.

What's good for the animal isn't always what is good for us.

This is a phrase commonly used around our place. We have two horses buried out back. One is my mare, one belonged to a client. One died on her own, the other, in constant pain, was euthanised by the owner.

Neither horse suffered because of the selfishness of those who cared for them. Soon those two shall be joined by two more. They too, have had a good run in life, but that good run has turned on them and is fading fast.

The vet- he absolutely fucking HATES putting horses down. Even when it is best for the animal, he does it, but still hates it. His tough guy persona- right out the window as the tears well up and he has to "go get something out of the truck".

Then there is the other vet, who in the owners and animals greatest hour of need, refused to show up! Thanks for nothing, you fucking moron! Hubby placed a catheter & changed IV bags on a friends dying horse because this prick couldn't or didn't want to be there, knowing the horse was clearly dying.


We lost a beloved pet, who was more a family member for the 15 years of her life, in December, two years ago now. Not a day goes by, she isn't missed.

The holidays aren't always happy for everyone. For some of us, they are a dim reminder of the end of the life that brought such happiness to our own.

RIP- Rounder, Sassie Jean, Mo, Punkin & Serena

brat_and_a_half said...

We had to put 2 horses down at the farm this year. We had made arrangements to have them put down in a couple weeks, but the pony was found bleeding out her anus, so had to make the call that day. The pony was diabetic and was slowly losing condition throughout the summer. The vet (from out of town, the one in town refuses service to over half the horse community) suspected she had tumors too. The other was my coaches first horse. She was 34 and had a difficult winter last year, and hadnt picked up over the summer on the pasture like she usually does. She had bad arthritus (which got bad last winter and barely got better in the summer) and it would have been crule to make her go for another winter.

SoozieQ said...

On my way out the door to put my cat to sleep right now. This post couldn't have had any better timing. I worked for the the vet industry for years and it is always easy to tell other people when it is time...but I always struggle with my own pets.

It came down to if he was someone else's cat I know what I would tell them to do.

Doesn't mean it doens't hurt like hell and that I'm not heartbroken though.

Thank you for the perfect timing...it helped.

Carin said...

As a 10yr + veteran of the veterinary industry, thank you for using your blog to educate. I see way too many horses suffering due to their owners' selfishness or guilt. And in my own family, we are trying to educate a grandmother about giving the gift to her dieing dog. It's definately a no win situation.

ezra_pandora said...

I think there's a saying about better to have loved and lost than to have never loved before. If you really love them, you have to let them go. Maybe they will be reincarnated into a future horse that you get the pleasure of having.

You have to figure it's the facts of life, unfortunately. But you know what? If I'm in constant pain and have to have constant medications to keep me even somewhat comfortable, I would want someone to play God and let me go. Unfortunately too, that is agains the law as Jack Kevorkian has discovered.

WhatTheHay said...

I agree wholeheartedly. Anyone who disagrees with you either has been fortunate enough to not have to make that difficult final decision, or they are too damn selfish to get past their own emotions to do what is right for the animal.

Even my 12-year-old daughter is realizing that it's ok to turn to euthanasia in order to end her pet's pain and she doesn't have to feel one bit guilty about it.

2toads2luv said...

I have succumbed... I started a blog.

http://pony4toads.blogspot.com/

Smurfette said...

Not sure I completely agree with this one (but its your blog). My "had to put down horse" story. My youth mare carried me to many, many shows, and rewarded me with many wins. At about 15 yoa, she came down with degenerative suspensory ligament disease (DSLD). Didn't know about it at the time, but I can recognize it now. She was in pain that last 7 years of her life. BUT, she still had light in her eyes, she still nickered for me every morning, and she still meandered happily around the pasture.

THE DAY the light went out in her eyes, I called the vet.

Trainer X said...

Smurfette~ thanks and that's a great point too! I mean if someone has the means to keep an animal comfortable, then sure go for it...But yes, once that fire and life in their eyes is gone, they're telling you it's time...Good post

GoLightly said...

Do any of you remember "Mustang Wild Spirit of the West" by Marguerite Henry?
The "Old Horse's Prayer"?
I gave the book to my nephew, mistakenly thinking he might read it, and I loved that prayer. It started
"Dear Lord, I stand here on tattered legs..".

and it ends
"Please Lord, of your goodness, grant me a gentle death".

It's a beautiful work of word art, and I would like to remember the whole thing again, in honour of this post. Maybe post it all over the place....
Trouble is, I can't:(

To gentle, kind passings, all living sentient creatures deserve this one simple thing.

When they're ready. And they do let you know.