I have no landscape for you today, and Patrons I promise I'll make up this week's posts. Here's the comic link.
This week my good friend left me to rejoin the love of her life.
Morrigan Winifred who I always called Fred...the day we brought Jody home four years ago, she fell in love with him instantly. And I didn't know how deeply until much later, it was a love that never faltered, never ended. It was the happiest year for all of us. We would go riding on these two enormous Clydesdales up and down the quiet country roads, 9 feet in the air. She was the first horse I'd ever taken to high school level, and she thrived at it, she was a genius. She was my levade horse, with a passage like floating on a cloud, and when she wanted to misbehave and not follow a simple command, she'd break into complicated piaffe. She gave me a steady ballotade and even a capriole if she felt confident. Her balance was perfect, she could gallop around a 6 foot lead rope, just slightly over half her body length. She was enormous, 6'2" at the shoulder and Jody was even bigger. Even a pirouette on such a huge horse, it was as smooth as a walk. Jody would watch, presumably with amusement, from a much simpler level of training...but he thrived in the classical school to and a lifelong carriage horse gradually learned to relax his powerful body and become a riding horse.
But Jody was ill, and the illness got into his joints just a year after he came. He struggled on as much as he could, while we didn't know what was happening. One day he went down out by the street, in pain, a crowd gathered, the cops were called, we were at work and got a call saying they were going to shoot him on site. I begged the guy to hold off and we raced home, dragging a vet along with us. We talked them out of it. But that spot where he went down that day, Fred would remember for the rest of her life. Jody limped along for another week, and after the signs didn't show the improvement the vet hoped for, an x-ray confirmed the terminal nature of the infection. We took him out behind the garage and put him down before he had a chance to founder and die in terrible pain.
She screamed for him. She screamed for three weeks. Day and night. It broke my heart. She looked for him. She searched every single day. Every single day that she walked by the spot he died, or that spot he went down, she would get down and lay there, smelling the ground, trying to find him. Every day for years. She was inconsolable. We gave her another horse, a daughter Pi, but it wasn't his child. She loved her foal, but not like she loved him.
On Saturday, she was ill, she had a fever, wouldn't eat. Thinking colic, I walked her around the yard a few times...just as I had done years ago for Jody. She seemed to feel better and started to eat again. When she was free, she stood on the spot Jody died and didn't want to leave it. That night, we couldn't find Orange, we realized that we hadn't seen him all day...we'd been trying to help Fred. When we found Orange, he felt like a corpse to my touch, cold, dehydrated, lethargic. I got some fluids into him and took him to the cat vet first thing Sunday morning, but when we got back on Sunday, Fred's fever got rapidly worse, and still she just wanted to stand where he'd died. We did everything we could for her with the horse vet, for hours and hours, ivs, medicine, I had no way to transport her to the vet hospital so we made one in the field on the spot, and if she'd lived through the night I could have found some way to move her. She didn't though, she died very suddenly only a few hours after the vet left. Just after her fever broke. I still do not know what it was, and I'll probably never know. Orange lived through the night, and he's made it through two more, gradually improving, though I'm still very worried about him. He's drinking well, and starting to eat again. The vet had no idea what was wrong with him, and I'm thinking some kind of virus. It all happened so fast.
She stayed on that spot until the end, the place where he'd died all those years before. And I can't help but wonder if he was on her mind, that even in death she was still searching for him. Because she never gave up looking. Not a single day went by that she didn't go look for him. I believe that she found him.
And so, although my heart is utterly broken, -- my friend, my teacher, my special girl is gone, the biggest heart I've ever known stopped, the kindest soul, the wisest horse I've ever known -- I have this deep sense that a vast sadness in the world was put right.
Godspeed, Fred and Jody. I wish you every happiness. May we all meet again in a better place. I promise I'll teach Pi everything you taught me.