I want to go pull the covers up over my head and it’s just three in the afternoon.
Cinnamon, the ancient horse who has graced our back yard for two years now, colicked last night. My sister the horse expert came over, the vet came, lots of medicine was administered. We were up with her until very late, but when she was comfortable and seemed OK we slept for a few hours and then got up at seven for today’s dog show. At seven Cinnamon was down again. I called my sister, my mom came over, we called the vet. It looked like nothing was an emergency so Doug and I dropped the three older kids off with another of my sisters (I have six sisters, so no matter how many I mention you can count on there being two or three others in the wings) and went to the dog show.
Once we were there everything just seemed to be super. The dogs were perfect, I got a much-needed lecture on my handling that improved my performance a thousand percent, and they both did beautifully. Bronte went WB for two points (she now needs four singles to finish) and Clue went BOS over a special. It was a NICE morning.
Back in the car, the news from the home front was not great. And so we drove home as fast as we could and began that terrible and garish process of preparing a thousand-pound animal for death. It involves hours of setting up trucks and chains and hideous conversations about where to drop the horse “where the head won’t make that sound.” The sleet falling everywhere and you worry if the horse is blanketed enough, and then feel stupid because really, what does it matter. And then, finally, the obscenely named “Fatal Plus” in the giant syringes, and the shocking speed at which everything ends. The horse is standing, looking around, and then shakes her head once and just simply falls over. They go from alive to dead in the space that it takes you to draw a breath to ask “How quickly will it go?”
And no, thank the God who loves horses, her head didn’t make that sound.
They leave and we are so unprepared for it. She was so old and it’s still something that makes you gasp from the shock of it. There’s a bucket of beet pulp still soaking in my bathroom, for crying out loud.