It has to do with my #16: i fell in love with horses in 5th grade and after much begging I got one on July 7, 1998 after finishing 8th grade. I still have him today, his name is Jazz. I love him to death and has been a staple in my life since then. I have the best memories of afternoons and summer days at the "barn" just riding my horse, or brushing him and doing super stupid and dangerous stuff.
The thing is, after 7:25pm this evening I don't have him anymore. He has been not doing well the past 3-6 months but I attributed it to his old age. He collapsed this afternoon (I have no idea how long he was down for, my neighbor alerted me of his state, as I was busy with Ellie inside and Thomas was still at tennis). I had to call the vet for an emergency call/visit. I had tried giving him water and getting him to stand. He nickered at me but was unable to lift his head or get up for that matter. He wasn't doing well. I knew this was the end.
Finally the vet arrived and assessed Jazz's condition. He deduced that Jazz has been suffering from some sort of neurological disease for a while after hearing about his symptoms over the past 3-6 months. And that was most likely the cause of his collapse. He really didn't think that there was anything we would be able to do to help him. We could do bloodwork but that would take a while (and be super expensive) and we still might not be able to do anything. All three of us, Thomas, myself and the vet tried getting Jazz to stand up but my boy just couldn't get control of his legs to pick himself up. [If you aren't familiar with large animals it is pretty crazy to see them so helpless. These majestic creatures unable to control their bodies anymore.] we couldn't do it. He couldn't stand up. And there was really no point I dragging out his misery an discomfort for some bloodwork that probably wouldn't help is anyways. Especially since we couldn't get him to stand up.
So I had to make one of the hardest decisions of my life. The one I have been dreading for the past 4 years but knew was inevitable. I had to put down my best friend. Putting down a large animal isn't like a dog or cat. The vet has to come to you. They insert an IV and then do two large syringes of the euthanizeing agent and then it takes just a few seconds for them to go. But since they are so big the continue to have muscle spasms and gas (burping) for a good 5 minutes. Then the vet gives you the $360 bill and leaves you with this giant animal all to yourself for removal. So I am having a company come out tomorrow to remove and dispose of my best friend, for another $265. It's heartbreaking. But I knew it was going to happen at some pout. I was just hoping it was going to be later.
It's incredible how helpless you can feel and how your life can change in the matter of minutes. That horse has been a part of my life for longer than he hasn't and now he's gone. He was my confidant. He taught me so much and grew my character like no one else could. I learned patience, persistence, determination, failure, disappointment, celebration, success, fulfillment, love, and acceptance. He got me through so many tough times (bullying in high school, breakups, and really low moments). He grew my confidence and self worth. He gave me a way to escape and taught me to focus and relax.
Even though horses are dangerous, expensive, unpredictable wild animals they are able to teach their girls (or boys) grace, money management, and to prioritize your time well. I love this horse. "Manners" as we was affectionately called mainly because he lacked them, ha! But also because he was my main man for many years. Horses are something special an I hope that Ellie will get to grow up with their embrace.
Rest is Peace my dear Jazz.
July 7, 1985 - March 20, 2014