Monday, April 5, 2010

5 In The Morning

There are times on the farm that are really hard, and you sometimes have to make decisions that you don't want to make. And not wanting to make those decisions, makes it even harder to do.

To point is a steer we have, he somehow dislocated and broke his right hip. Rather than put it down, we realized that the steer could still maneuver its way around, and was still gaining weight, so we kept him and he will soon be hamburger and steak in the freezer.
These past two years we also ventured into raising bottle calves, weaning them, castrating and dehorning them, and then selling. Somehow decisions about steers and cows is something that is simple to make.

Raising miniature horses, and this is our 12th year of it, we have had some great colts, excellent fillies, and we've had some pets that would never amount to much in the show ring, but are excellent around children and the elderly.
We have been blessed with healthy horses that made them easy to sell when they got to be of age.

But one of the hardest decisions to make is when you consider the quality of life an animal is going to be facing from here on. A couple years ago, we were faced with an extremely hard decision concerning our Morgan Mare "Babe" ....

at age 24 she was so laid up with arthritis, she could hardly move, and at times we fed her where she was laying because she couldn't get up. But dealing with Babe, who had her prime and was allowed to live as a horse should in later years made the decision an easier one.

And as always, having a Vet that isn't afraid to ask questions and venture an opinion, whether we like that opinion or not. she is honest and trustworthy.

But dealing with "5 in the Morning", a week old filly, that is so cute and adorable, who looks at you with eyes that say "make the pain go away", decisions are the toughest a man can make.

For the past week, we have been nursing "5" trying to get her lower rear legs to straighten out. Then coupled with the "bedsore" ulcers that developed, along with some infection.... well life is tough.

We worked with her, trying to get those little legs straight and where she could walk again. Day and night for 8 days.... bringing her into the kitchen and washing her legs and wounds at the kitchen sink... using the dining room table as a splinting station... sitting with her in the sun....

Yet everytime I looked into her eyes, I could see the pain..

Tonight we learned that her joints in the rear legs were deformed and that she would never walk unaided. Looking in her eyes you could tell the pain was becoming unbearable as every day passed.

At what point do you stop trying to improve the condition of the animal, knowing all along that her quality of life would be terrible? Do we take her to OSU and see if they can cut away bone in the joint so at least the joint would straighten? Do we put "5" through the pain and agony of several operations trying to do something that we "deep down in our hearts" know will never improve, and she will be with pain the rest of her life?

At 5:30 pm this afternoon, with Jaycee, Viola and I in attendance, our vet euthanized "5 in the Morning".

She was born around 5 AM in the morning on Sunday, March 28, 2010.

8 days and 12 hours later she slipped into unconsciousness and died pain free.

She will always be remembered at our farm because of her strong will, painfully standing to nurse, rubbing her head and neck against your leg.

I leave this post with a simple picture of an animal completely painfree and in peace, going whereever it is that you go when you leave this world.

We were blessed with her for 8 days, and will stand up and carry on, no matter how hard it seems.

The agony of the decision is met only with the agony of writing this post. A way for me to put closure to a little filly's life.

So go about your daily events.... but remember....

Celebrate Life while you have it.



Lil Mom said...

I read this with tears in my eyes only imagining the pain of what you know was the right thing to do. I'm sorry for your loss

auxarc said...

Being free of pain an suffering is tough decision to make for another but it is the right one. Sorry for your sadness.

Sara said...

Bunch of hugs!!!

d5thouta5 said...

The pain you feel in your loss is felt by all of us that follow your life. When expected, death is welcomed. But when it takes something so young and innocent as a baby, it can very hard to accept. And harder to rationalize.
I am sure there is a special place on Haven Lee Farm that will always be referred to as "5intheMorning".