As you, Dear Readers, know, I have been grappling with the debate of what to do about Wildflower, my daughter’s elderly horse. He spent 9 years in retirement at a total cost of over $46,000 during that time. If you want to read about my earlier turmoil over this, click here and here.
Now Wildflower took care of things for me.
He’s an old gray horse and gray horses are prone to a weird thing called equine melanoma . It’s usually benign and he had this throughout the time we owned him. This week he was lying down in the pasture one morning, got up for breakfast, went back down and couldn’t get up. The vet showed up and said, “it’s time”. Within two hours of me being notified, Wildfire went to a better pasture.
I texted Taz that he was down, then within the hour asked her to call me. She knew what was happening, but she was OK and very understanding of the decision. Wildflower had been part of our family for 21 years. She got him when she was 6 years old.
I was moved because his passing came the day after my mom’s birthday. My mom, Taz and I bonded over this horse. The horse shows, days at the barn, all the horsey stuff was what glued the three of us so tightly together. Wildflower was loved by all three of us with a passion.
When I talked to Taz later that night, we shared a couple of funny memories about him. I told her that I didn’t cry when she and my son went off to college, but I bawled like a baby when Wildflower left for retirement. She laughed hysterically and said, “you always loved him best. He was the third kid.” She’s right. That’s why I could never put him down just because of the money.
My Ex posted a nice note on my Facebook post of Wildflower’s passing. I have been thinking about the good times that Wildflower gave all of us. The time he tossed my Ex into the water during a beach ride (wonderfully delightful), the many ribbons he won for Taz, the many long summer days she spent at the barn rather than the mall or some other non-productive venue.
I also thought about how it tied into my mom’s birthday. She loved that horse fiercely. Taz was remembering how my mom had shirts with his photo, hats with his name, canvas photo bags, a chair just for horse shows with his show name — she was his biggest fan. And the photos. My mom was never without her camera trying to capture every single minute.
I know that my mom was waiting for Wildflower. She is standing in a beautiful field with him, brushing him and talking to him. He, of course, is being silly but at the same time he is at peace and loving her right back.
I am glad that I did the right thing. It wasn’t easy, but sometimes doing the right thing isn’t that easy. But I also have to say that I had a smile of relief because now I don’t have to write another check for May. RIP Wildflower. You were a truly one-of-a-kind.