Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Prickly bits


The early morning deluge of the last hours has thinned out to a drizzle and diluted sunlight is peering weakly through heavy bellied grey clouds. The birds have just started their dawn chorus although it's 0715 and has been darkly light for hours. Perhaps they have a lie-in when it's wet and miserable. A Song Thrush sat for a while, perched at the top of the glistening waxy-leaved holly tree, warming up, doing little throat exercises and scales as if in preparation for the main event.Just as I headed out in a rather fetching ensemble of spotty dressing gown and fluffy slippers, armed with my camera, he ducked out of sight. He was distracted by something in the boggy lawn and is now busy rooting out breakfast. Fortunately, given the weather the farrier visit has been deferred until next week so I am on stand down from 'Major Incident' implementation today.

Life is full of prickly bits. In the previous post I mentioned that until recently I had three horses, The Girls and Basil. Basil came to me when The Girls were young things. He had been there, seen it and done it all. A tall and beautiful grey geriatric thoroughbred, he was a gentle giant and he taught The Girls (skittish and scared babies) that there was nothing to fear in the terrors of traffic, wafty plastic bag demons that blow in the wind, man-hole covers, dogs and all of the millions of monsters that lurk in a horse's perception.
Basil never had much weight on him and a sudden and drastic loss of weight in March was very worrying. My wonderful and experienced vet assessed him and found that he had lympho-sarcoma. He was euthanised on the 1st of April, standing calmly in the field, eating mints. No gunshot or struggle. A simple, painless injection and quietly to sleep with my hand on his velvet nose. I miss him. So do his Girls. Before the vet came to assess him I wrote a poem. Click on the image if you'd like to read it.
Making the decision to euthanise a much loved animal is so hard to do, but we are lucky that there are great, compassionate vets out there to help us.
Basil was a big, kind boy and a joy to have known. I'm glad I took him on when no-one else would. He gave me so much more than I gave him. Ok so he broke my heart. I'd let him break it all over again.

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