Sometimes life just surprises you. Sometimes it is good – and sometimes, well you just wish you could go back to bed.
Three years ago we purchased this awesome belgian draft horse for our son Anthony. His name was Jack at the time but we changed his name to Thor immediately. He just never seemed like a Jack. Some of the young children gave him the nickname of Big Foot.
When we purchased Thor, we also purchased Ace – a belgian/appy cross. They were very bonded and best friends. The last 3 1/2 years have been great with these two. No one has really ridden Thor for the last year. His age has been beginning to show but we LOVE him and adored him. Other than age he had no real disabilities.
Saturday started out like any other weekend day. We ran to Tractor Supply for grain and bedding and then to the barn. Usually we are at the barn for a couple hours or so on a Saturday morning but this particular day we decided – you know what – let’s try to catch a movie. We fed the horses, gave them hugs and kisses and went on our way.
As soon as the movie started I received a dreaded phone call. That call that is just as hard to make as it is to receive – something was dreadfully wrong with Thor. No one knows what but he was eating one minute then he collapsed. Within two minutes he was gone. Was it a heart attack? A stroke? Seizure? Aneurysm? No one knows. Doesn’t really matter.
We have lost a truly gentle soul who has been by our side through more than one difficult time in the last three and a half years. He has listened to many sorrows and just let us hang on him through our tears. Sure he had his personality that sometimes was strong but other times he was like a little baby and I had to sing to him to calm him through storms. But now he is gone.
It was bound to happen at some point – he was elderly. And honestly I dreaded having to make a decision and how would I know when that time was the right time. The good news is it was fast and he didn’t suffer. But he is gone. Our lives are forever changed.
Now we have an empty stall; now Toni is in the paddock with Ace because he needs a friend – horses are very social; we have his saddles, tack, buckets and more… I know which of our brushes he preferred; I know which treats he didn’t care for and which he did. I watched Ace grieve for his best friend… We weren’t ready. Who is ever ready?
The kids were able to make their own memorial markers. I am so thankful for that small luxury. It gave them closure and allowed them to feel like they were a part of the process. There is no easy way to say goodbye – but in our small way, I think everyone will be able to move on and keep Thor in their hearts forever.
There have been so many people that have expressed their condolences. We totally appreciate it – they all know how important our horses have been. We are now focused on our three remaining horses and helping them through this process too.
Thank you everyone