Remembrance: Someone’s Always Dying

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It’s that weird week between the holidays. I never know what day it is so I mess up scheduling around Christmas, only to follow through and mess up the same exact way one week later for New Years. Squinting at the calendar doesn’t help tether me and everyone seems immersed on a remembrance vacation. There are the best of lists of movies and books and anything else we give awards for. Those achievements are followed with a memorial for the famous people we’ve lost. It’s a long list this year and it’s all that anyone talks about. It’s like an end of the year emotional profit-loss statement.

I do the same thing here on the farm, with less fanfare and more wonder. This year the Best Geriatric Come Back goes to Lilith, the carbon-dated foster donkey. She gained weight, shed out years of steel wool, and went on Previcox for major lameness. Her physical quality of life is a complicated question, but she’s loud, cantankerous, and she can land a decent kick now. Her life had been fighting coyotes before her rescue; sometimes I wonder if she just can’t find a way to rest. Either that or this warm mush diet rocks.

Most Improved Dog goes to Moose, the corgi, also a foster. He came off his puppy Prozac, his collar still frightens him, even though we stopped the electroshock therapy, and he’s detoxing from his strong meds and over-correcting people. The darkness is slowly getting lighter. I no longer have to lock myself in the bathroom to put my socks on. Rehab continues; he was doing well but then relapsed when we had workers in the house for a couple of weeks. He tore the linoleum off the bathroom floor. That was fair. They made me crazy enough to have a relapse myself.

It was a hard year for losses to our home herd. We said goodbye to Hank, the elderly toothless cat who fought vermin and intimidated dogs well past his prime. And Walter, the Corgi rescue with an operatic bark and a lure coursing title, whose short life was surrendered to chronic liver ailments. To the Grandfather Horse after thirty years of excellence, carrying me over rough ground until I had my footing. It’s easy to see how fortunate we are here, isn’t it?

It’s common sense that with so many animals, we’d have more frequent passings, as well. You’d think that it would get easier to say goodbye. I can remember a time, a perfect summer, when every animal on the farm was young and strong, and I had a season of almost invincible confidence. Even then I was aware of the fragility of life and grateful for every sunset.

In truth, I think the process of dying is a constant and not a special occasion in any way. I’d do better to make friends with it. After all, there’s a twenty-two-year-old llama in the south pasture that’s bound to slow down one of these years and a fifteen-year-old dog sleeping under my desk as I write.

Most of us are linear thinkers trained to see time as a beginning, a middle, and an end, with a straight flat precision. I prefer Vonnegut’s concept of being unstuck in time. I want to think all the moments happen simultaneously, so as the Grandfather Horse drew his last breath, we were galloping the old airstrip when he was five. It doesn’t take a fleck of the pain away, but I do it for selfish reasons. This way the last moment has less power.

Yes, mourning is a good thing. Our beloveds deserve that affirmation that they’re loved and missed and worthy of our tears. And after the cards and condolences, after our friends forget, the beloved memory lingers. There’s a hang-time for loss. It can circle around and ambush us when we least expect it and then the smart thing to do is just give in and have a good screaming cry. Nap during the day. Feel sorry for yourself. But beware: it’s just in this moment that we must be the most careful.

Because if we let that moment of loss have too much power, then death gets as loud as an overbearing house-guest and we can become afraid of having an open heart. Afraid of rescue puppies and cranky old donkeys and our own mortality.

“What good are they if they are just going to die on us?”

What a stupid question. What good are your parents, then, or great philosophers or authors or artists? Religions can debate terminology but the spiritual truth is undeniable: Life is a continuum and even when the landscape appears barren there is life everywhere.

Walter 1

Most animals do have shorter lives than humans, but what if that isn’t wrong? Not just that the design of this Circle of Life isn’t wrong, but also that death isn’t the villain. It’s like railing against gravity.

Then, by adjusting your perspective and making a conscious choice, experiencing loss can be a path to insight and even inspiration. Wouldn’t that give purpose to the lost life as well as our own?

So now I reserve the warmest run in my barn for a lost elder who needs a soft place to land. I do it in memory of my Grandfather Horse but I’m the one who benefits by staring down death and loss. When you screw together your courage and look it straight in the eye, it just doesn’t deserve the same respect that a skanky old donkey does.

Maybe the problem is that we’ve lost our sense of proportion. None of us humans are getting out alive either. There is nothing remarkable about death. It’s sad and ordinary and as common as dirt.

Yes, it’s been a rough year. Winter encourages us to contemplate the dark and the landscape chimes in with agreement. But even now the days are getting longer and the sun is coming back to us. Death will always be a part of life, but we can put it on stall-rest and get about living life in a way that honors those who have gone ahead.

As long as we breathe, there’s promise in a New Year and that’s worth celebrating.

….
Anna Blake at Infinity Farm
Horse Advocate, Author, Speaker, Equine Pro

113 thoughts on “Remembrance: Someone’s Always Dying

  1. Linda

    Tommy will be 14 on 1/29…born in 2003…don’t be making that special girlie older than she is…..SIGH how the time flies, seems like yesterday we were waiting for her mama to hatch them out

  2. Sandy F.

    I lost my heart horse in July. We were together almost 20 years. I’m still struggling to get past those very dark moments when the grief takes over and I just want to crawl in a hole. I have to grab onto the memories of the good times we had, and the many things she taught me about training, rather than commanding. I know it’s good to let it out, but it can be disconcerting to dissolve into the “ugly cry” in the middle of a yoga class. 🙂

  3. Beautiful writing. Beautiful thoughts.
    I’ve got a 37 year old grandpa horse myself,
    an 11 year old very arthritic Rotty,
    a 17 year old hyperthyroid skin and bones cat,
    and my beloved 21 year old dressage mare who has colic episodes.
    Why can’t I simply rejoice in the time they are here?

  4. Kim Beans

    Just forwarded this to Michelle at 1Fit Widow.com. Your writings and hers too, help me keep my perspective clear and positive. Thanks for your inspiration.

  5. Damn leaky eyes. I’ve already started letting go of my red puppy. Oh, nothing overly dramatic, but every now and then when the chaos dwindles down to a dull roar I’ll catch myself looking into his eyes with a wistful smile, stroking his velvety ears and trying to ignore my heart as it reminds me nothing lives forever. Not even him. I may not have learned much, but I know that is true. Fact is, every year holds both promise and loss. And sometimes losses are good, like losing an old way of doing something we’ve always done wrong or poorly. When I think about how many people you’ve helped learn a better way, the sting of letting go seems less painful. So yes, let’s celebrate our losses, because sometimes loss is an important part of growth.

    1. Cheryl, you and I are sisters. I remember the first time I cried about Spirit dying one day. He was 6 mos old and I had owned him a day. I was devastated. Oy, what celebration we shared.

  6. Maggie Frazier

    Another wonderful thoughtful writing. Now have “youngsters”! My dog & my cat are nine years old – am hoping that the wild male pheasant that has moved into the brush below my yard will continue to luck out (& not get taken) for some time to come. Have no idea where he came from but hes been here for about 3 months now. Comes out to have breakfast in the morning with the birds-squirrels-rabbits and sometimes deer. No horses anymore – but the wildlife help to fill the void. I guess we all might better love the ones we’re with, right??

  7. Anna,
    you keep hitting the high notes and the low notes and the notes in between to create chords that are pure harmony. Keep it up — your audience is growing by leaps and bounds!

  8. Thank you so much for this; the timing was incredible. Said goodbye to our lovely 17 year old rescue schipperke two days ago and the daytime naps and awful cries are giving way to funny stories and great memories of chasing down that little Houdini on her many escapades. Appreciate your perspective so much.

  9. Anna, thank you for this post. I have been having a tougher time than “normal” with the concept of death and of passing. My family lost a friend of over 25 years two weeks before Christmas. But while our loss was hard. The loss her parents, husband and two young sons are feeling is immeasurable.
    Then there is my old Thoroughbred. His knee will not get better, only worse with time. All I can do is manage his discomfort. .. and hope we have more good days ahead of us than bad. But that moment is looming. And I am thankful for each one we have together.
    Which brings me to my own mortality. Seeing then musicians and actors and actresses of my youth passing, from old age, drugs over doses and other causes has put my own death in my face once more. While I am no stranger to passing; I lost my father when he was 57 and am well aware that there is no escaping it. My health also is not improving. Despite the drugs, doctors visits, diet changes etc etc. My husband knows how I want my body to be handled when I pass. He knows that “if” I pass before my horse that I want my boy humanely put down and his body cremated as well. Respect for every living being is something that I insist on.

    I don’t know what the new year will bring. But I am certain that there will be changes. Additions to my family, all additions will be the furry kind 🙂 And there will be deaths as well. Probably both human and animal, as none of us are getting younger. Thats not how time works.

    My dad told me, when I was graduating from high school. “Now that you are done with this part of your life. Time will go faster. Even faster when you have kids” It is one of the things he told me that I remember the “when and where” we were when we were talking. And it is yet another thing that he was so right about.

    I hope you and yours have a blessed 2017.

    1. Thank you for this heartfelt, bittersweet comment. The future is a bit more precious (and sometimes scary) every day. But there is honor in honesty, and I wish you and yours the very kindest New Year. Thank you so much.

  10. Thanks for this Anna. Loss has been pretty rugged for me this past year and more. I’ve had the privilege of holding a beloved and very elderly dog as they breathed their last. I’ve been with family members awaiting that last breath and it has been a deep honor. In a way it is a different kind of birth, a birth into a pure state of energy, casting off the mortal coil. We do not really know what happens after the shell is left. I know the living can be hard, sometimes the dying can too. Yes, it does come to us all and that is something else we share with each other and our animals. We all came to birth in this physical realm and we all leave it. I have found that remembrance is a gift, to those who are gone and to ourselves. I think it is the old ones in our lives who teach us the most important lessons. Death is not something to be feared, it simply is, part and parcel with birth and life.

  11. Anne Sieling

    Thank you for your reassurance that unexpected grief attacks are not unusual, and that we should not stop enjoying life because we’re afraid of death.The only problem I have, is that as I grow older, the animals will be living longer than Me, and I worry about what will happen to them. Cats are not everyone’s favorite thing and it’s hard to find good foster families.

    Sent from my iPhone Anne Sieling

    >

    1. Maggie Frazier

      Cats may not be everyones favorite – but boy, do those people miss out! I have very little time (at this time of my life) for anyone who does not care for animals – ANY animals! Sadly, thats how the very greedy, profit-driven people, government agencies & corporations are able to get away with destroying the habitat & environment our wild animals live in and putting forth the attitude that animals are throw-aways.
      Sorry I ranted – but this is how I feel. And at 78 – I darn well say how I feel!

    2. Anne, I’m making those plans myself. I think my days of puppies and kittens is over, but there are cantankerous old girls of every species, I’m pretty sure. You’ll do fine and so will the cats. Thanks for this thoughtful comment.

  12. Miss Anna, you will be happy to know that in the eternities it is exactly as you hope- all things happening simultaneously. Liner time is a human concept we have developed so our brains don’t explode while on the mortal coil.

  13. How timely, a good friend just let her old Whippet go. She had graciously taken the old girl when her owner had to move over seas and felt it would be too hard on an elderly dog to go with her. She misses her so, even with 2 younger dogs in the house. I’ve found it usually takes me about a year to turn the grief to good memories and remember that I was lucky to have these wonderful beings in my life. When I combine it with this time of year, I find myself clawing my way up out of sadness sometimes. Eventually it all comes together, all I have to do is wait the length of time for it to do so.

    Cheers to you Anna, and I hope the New Year brings more satisfaction that not.

    PS. give that good Corgi boy a treat and a scritch for me.

    1. We all do this in the time it takes… but as I get older, I go faster. It isn’t that it’s easier, it’s just if I didn’t a certain donkey and a certain Corgi might still be wandering… Great comment, Holly. Thank you.

  14. Anna, you have lent words to such a wordless truth it is awe-inspiring.
    thank you…and to all here…and to all “not here” who are here!

    expansive New Year to you all,
    with love,
    Sabina

  15. You’re right, it never gets easier. Personally, I think death sucks. I don’t fear it, but I do hate it. My personal belief is that death was never part of God’s original plan…someday, in that beautiful place we think of as heaven, death will be no more. I know this in my soul, and I also know that our beloved animals will be there. We will be given the desires of our heart, and because I believe that our loved ones are but resting until that day when we’ll all be united, I can have a measure of peace. I know that they’re alright. This amazing circle of life that we all experience is incredible. There is beauty and a unique quality to savor for each phase along the way to its’ completion – whenever that may be. We just need to seek in order to find.

    On December 7 I lost my most cherished old grey Appaloosa mare. She was truly an angel, and was one of my greatest blessings. My beautiful Kadie, was best described as being perfect. Well, except for that time she tromped on my toe in her insistence to get through the gate first. 🙂 I guess no one is truly perfect right? But she was as close as anyone ever gets. She carried me through all kinds of mountainous terrain for so many years, and in all that time, I never, not even once, doubted her trustworthiness, her good sense, or that if I just allowed her to pick our course, would take me back home, regardless of how badly I’d gotten lost. I never felt fear with her, not even a moment of insecurity. She was the best horse! I will love her always and forever, and will miss her so much. But I know in my heart we will be together again. I told her on that glorious day, she was to come and find me – knowing full well that she’d know her way much better than I ever could. If she had lived until May, she would have been 35 years old. She never knew a bad day, and for that, I will forever be thankful. She was a surprise gift from my husband, and my first thought was that, “that is not the horse I would have picked”. Just shows what I know. She was 7 years old and had never been ridden. A very old guy had raised her, and he did a wonderful job with her groundwork. Within days, I climbed aboard and we just went for a little ride. Steering was our greatest challenge, so we found a Christmas tree farm and picked up a trot through the trees. Within minutes of maneuvering around the trees, she had it. She was so smart, but you had to give her a good reason for your requests.

    Sorry to leave such a long comment, but it’s so hard to not go on about a treasure. I could tell you so many stories…what a book that would be! 🙂 Even now, with the pain of loss so fresh, I cannot think of her without smiling through my tears. I am so blessed to have had her in my life for almost 28 years…even so, I wanted forever. If I had one wish right now, I’d choose a do-over in a heartbeat. No matter how much pain I feel at her loss, she was so worth it. All of the amazing horses, dogs, cats and a crusty old llama were all worth any pain I’ve felt at their loss. I simply cannot imagine life without these glorious creatures in it.

    1. Maggie Frazier

      As happens often, in reading this blog & the comments – I sit here with tears falling down my cheeks. And you are so right – without all the creatures I have loved & the ones I still do – that sure wouldnt be life as I want it.
      SO sorry about your mare – they are with us for such a short time.
      Why NOT write a book – I’d read it!

    2. Oh Lorie. Such a beautiful, heartfelt memory. Thank you so much for this marvelous comment and for sharing your good mare with us. By the way, did I mention that my Grandfather Horse was an Appaloosa? Take good care of yourself.

      1. Yes, I do know that. He sounds like a prince among horses to me. I’m sure I would have loved him too. And your lovely mare Windy, always being patient and taking care of everyone – that was like my Kadie. Such wisdom and kindness there. Aren’t we the lucky ones? Thank you Anna.

    3. Jennifer Canfield

      I loved your beautiful story and very touching comment. I totally understand, especially because I wish for the same reunion when I cross over. Your horse must have been an angel. Thank you for sharing.

      1. Dee Morris

        Heh heh heh! Some of my own most sterling thinking about 2016 has been retrospective. I’m going to stretch for real time next year🤔

  16. “Because if we let that moment of loss have too much power, then death gets as loud as an overbearing house-guest and we can become afraid of having an open heart. Afraid of rescue puppies and cranky old donkeys and our own mortality.”

    Thanks, Anna, for this and for all the rest, too.

  17. Chaz

    Peggy said “don’t miss this…it’s one of Anna’s best”. She was so right. Worth multiple readings and sharing.

  18. Patti Tautenhan

    Thank you for your words, Anna. All true. I am very grateful to you for sharing your thoughts.This was a tough year, I can’t deny that. But I am choosing to turn my face to the sun. I am grateful to be here and getting better at understanding the circle even as I sometimes curse it. Right now, I am wholeheartedly loving my new pup. I am certain that the good dogs who have gone on before are looking over us and helping her along. Thank you again. Hope 2017 is a good year for you, and all of God’s creatures.

  19. Judy Shaub

    Thank you for this post. I love the elders. I like the part about keeping the warmest stall ready. You have given me much to think about and to look forward to in the new year.

  20. Michelle

    You navigate the process of grief beautifully Anna. Thank you for this! Whether loved animal or loved human is lost to this world, grief is grief and so much growth can blossom in its wake.

  21. “Because if we let that moment of loss have too much power, then death gets as loud as an overbearing house-guest and we can become afraid of having an open heart. Afraid of rescue puppies and cranky old donkeys and our own mortality.” So hard to do.

    It takes courage to love….

  22. Jennifer Canfield

    So timely Anna. Your words are helpful to those of us who dance with all these questions swimming around in our heads. I call all of my animals heartbreakers because I know their lives have the potential to be much shorter than ours. Despite many losses over the years, despite the pain which dwells in my heart, I keep going back for more. Then I beat myself up all over again. But it is somehow reassuring to know another’s humanity. And you have said it well. Thank-you.

  23. Susan

    It’s true, death is ongoing, heart-wrenching, and like no other loss. It makes it difficult to remember what purpose life has. I detest this time of year; everything seems amplified, especially loss and loneliness. But I know, this too shall pass.

  24. Sherry Walter

    I read somewhere, (prob. on facebook haha) where a little boy was present when his old dog was euthanized. His parents were fearful that this would mark him forever but the little boy said he understood. He said it took people a long time to be good enough to get into heaven but dogs were born that way so they didn’t have to live as long. When I lost my old guy 7 years ago I was devastated. He was out of my dad’s mare and my dad gave him to me the day he was born. My dad had been dead 5 years then and I felt like I was losing my last physical link to my dad. But you know what? Both my dad and Taki are still here, just out of sight. Several years ago my nephew’s little girl asked if animals go to heaven. I told her since heaven is everything you ever dreamed of and loved, and you loved your animals, then of course they’d be there. I know that one day all the animals I have loved and lost will be there, no longer just out of sight. In the words of Agnes Sligh about dogs, their only fault is that their lives are too short.

  25. eremophila

    Beautifully expressed Anna, a post I’ll need to return to time and time again to fully absorb the wisdom in it. Thank you.

  26. This was perfect as I return from a visit home to Rio and the parents. It was one of those hard visits that you appreciate having had the opportunity to experience. Thank you, as always, for your impeccable timing. We are breathing here.

  27. Susan Bonner

    Beautifully written and right on the money, as usual. I’m sorry you lost your Grandfather horse. What a wonderful life you gave him, though. We are the lucky ones, I think, to be able to love over and over – knowing full well that we will pay the price when we outlive our animals.

    1. I know I kind of famously “think too much” and have become one of those older storytellers, but my memories of animals I have loved are so valuable to me… we are the lucky ones. Happy New Year, Susan.

  28. Lisa Mirhej

    Dear Anna, I found you because the title of your book Relaxed and Forward spoke to me. While reading it I totally connected to the practical information and your philosophy of living with horses and living in general so I signed up to get your blog. Your thoughts are so inspirational and seem to be very helpful with what I am dealing with at the time. Your last blog about animals and people dying made me think about a short film I saw recently about a couple who take in animals and try to give them a better life. In the film they also talk about when those animals die and I think they have a very healthy and excepting take on that part of the life process. I really hope you can see the film. It’s called “Pickle.” Thanks again for sharing your thoughts, Lisa

    ________________________________

  29. Lynell Abbtt

    Seems that 2016 has not been too kind to Appoloosas as I too lost my 29yr old Cappy to colic 2 weeks ago.
    I was really worried that Dover, his buddy of 20 years, would not be able to cope. They had been very close–thick as thieves as they say. So I was surprised that Dover never cried out. However, I’m sure he knew how serious Cappy’s condition was. I think he must have said his good-byes beforehand. And it has only been in the last day or two that he seems to have perked up–rejoined the land of the living as it were. So it is as true for animals as humans that all of us left behind need to keep “going.”
    Anyway thanks Anna for providing me and all of us this space to say our peace so that we may heal.
    Happy New Year to you and all of us on this blog!🥂

    1. Oh Lynell, I am so sorry for you and Dover… I always know how much the herd knows; I sure saw it here. But so what? It’s just sad. Keep breathing my friend and I hope that this shift creates something wonderful, along with this saddness, in the New Year. Thank you, Lynell, for sharing this with us, and also for all the commenting you have done. Here’s to a better New Year.

  30. Yep…This year was a bad one for the various animals in my life. Mostly due to having several old animals at the same time, but there have been some young ones as well, and a cat that I’m still hoping is just out satisfying his wanderlust.
    I have plenty of days where I just want to stay in bed, but then my 2 young dogs jump on me, and lick my face to get me up, or I go outside and the 3 month old kittens come running and climb my legs…Trying to keep an open heart even knowing that, even if they live long lives, they still won’t live nearly as long as I want them to.
    It’s always good to find people who understand this. One hard thing about dealing with the grief in a healthy way is feeling alone, because people don’t understand so much sorrow about “just an animal”.
    Thanks for the article!

  31. Deb

    Love this Anna. I’ve lost three elderly horses this year. Many ask me how I am bearing it ? I am practical to the core and say What do you expect with 5 horses over 25 with three over 32?
    Instead I had a party for the then turned 30 year old Tennessee Walker whom I have nursed thru many metabolic issues that most would have given up on. His time is limited but figured it was more important to celebrate his life .
    There are so many of us over 60 .. baby boomers remember? It is not surprising that we are starting to
    Loose some. I lost a good friend at 62 of heart issues in October. A shock? Yes, but it is just the start of many losses to come I remind others.

    1. My condolences, and this is what I mean by making friends with the process. We have lots of practice ahead of us. Thanks, bless old horses and you, Deb. Thanks for this heartfelt and sensible comment.

  32. Anna, as I approach my 76th birthday in March, I think about death a lot. Not that I am worried about me, but I realized one day that my two mares were most likely going to outlive me. I went home and told my wife we need to sell the horses. When she asked why, I said, “because I am going to die before them and it is not fair”. She laughed and said, “OK but let’s worry about that in ten years from now.” So I ride, I play, I train, I muck and occasionally I ask their understanding for how an old man like me ended up being their protector. My five year old filly just laughs. Her mother, my nine year old mare always looks at me like, get over it pop. I usually get a neck hug before she wanders off. I am pretty certain it has been these five years with them that has kept my so happy. So I love my two cats, 15 and 16 year olds, who usually sleep on my side of our bed and every morning I wake up and realize that I am one of the luckiest guys in the world. I am not in a hurry to leave but while I am here, I am loved. And it doesn’t get any better than that.

    1. Lynell Abbtt

      Fred. Listen to your wife. You have miles to go before you sleep. I have ridden with a 90+ year old friend. You’re just a spring chicken compared to him!
      You are lucky to recognize and be grateful for how lucky you are! Happy New Year!

    2. Oh Fred. Nice to hear from you… you are a rare breed. You and your mares have done it your way and come out on top. You’ve married a woman who is clearly a genius. You’ve got a couple of feline heating pads for cold nights and we all know how particular the old ones are….and you are loved by a few of us here, too. There’s a quote by Tennessee Williams: “Luck is believing you’re lucky.” Fred, THEY are lucky, too! Happy New Year to your wife and your cats and your mares (even the young one) and most of all, you, Fred. I’m betting there are a few more surprises ahead yet. Thanks for keeping us posted.

      1. Thank you both. I agree about my wife and partner for nearly fifty years. She is a genius. However, I am not so certain I have done it “my way.” I started with a growing love for animals as I have aged. Finding a four day old filly was just a happenstance. I had ridden horses now and then but knew nothing about them and I assumed I would just take her to a trainer. But when I fell in love with her mother who was a bucker, I really bit off more than I could swallow. However I knew that I loved her and decided over a few months that we would work it out. I attended every clinic I could. I read and continue to read books that make sense, including yours Anna. I rejected Clinton Anderson, and listened carefully to those who shared my love and appreciation for the animal. They were not hard to find. My way? I listened to the people who came out of love and rejected those who spoke from a control, dominant voice. It wasn’t easy especially when some of the people at the ranch where my horses are boarded were talking behind my back. But it has worked. They are both loving, caring horses and we are not done. But it is all about trust, trust, trust. They know they can trust me even if I do not know what I am doing, although every day I learn and grow, Yes it is good life and I hope I can ride until I am 90 or more. I love you Anna

      2. This is a great comment. It’s so true that training with compassion is frequently frowned on, which might be how your mare became a “bucker”…I know it isn’t easy… but it’s right. You’re my hero, Fred.

  33. Lyn Chambers

    And so the tears flow…..as they often do when I read your blog Anna. Yes, I have lost a few. My first horse died in utter luxury, I sold him when I moved to the USA from England and the new owner, who knew just how much I loved this horse, kept me fully appraised of everything he and Victor experienced together. My cat Izzy who was taken, quickly and painlessly by a coyote well before her time. My second horse Pharaoh, I owned since 3 years old whom I lost to colic months before his 20th birthday. My 15 year old dog Buster who had congestive heart failure, my young Border Collie Jess who had to be put down at just 8 years old due to spinal issues. BUT………………BUT…………..THAT PHOTO……………..of the Corgi…………..that just has to brighten the day of every soul who lays eyes upon it. Pure JOY!! That just made my day. Thank you as always. 🙂

    1. Maggie Frazier

      Lyn – just take a moment to think how empty life would have been without all those wonderful creatures All of us who are owned by horses, cats, dogs & even a few ducks & chickens are so very lucky. People who, as Fred (above) wrote, “talk behind our backs”? How sad they dont even understand what theyre missing, do they? But we sure do.

    2. It’s always a good news- bad news story with animals. That Corgi was euthanized at five. But this moment of him running lives forever. I’m sorry for the tears, but most of all, congrats on your wonderful family of animals. Thanks, Lyn.

  34. Lyn Chambers

    Rarely tears of sadness Anna. Sorry if that’s what it sounded like. You writing just moves me is all I meant. I love those kind of tears. It reminds me that being human isn’t really so bad and that there are still some really really good ones out there.
    I still have lots of beating hearts currently in my life. My ‘new’ horse of 4 years, Dooley. My three dogs Bella, Cricket and my newest addition…………..Bonzai……….EEK! Thank goodness I was already aware of the JRT personality!! (JRT/Dachshund mix is not for the faint of heart). But he is the happiest of dogs. A rescue lady actually saw him dumped out of a car and watched as the car pulled away and the dog ran as fast as his short little legs would carry him. Luckily she got him before he got run over. Sadly she did not get a license plate. I am sorry the corgi had such a short life…………but no matter how short, he experience pure JOY in his lifetime. Something sadly many animal don’t ever get to do. My philosophy is that no matter how short the life of any animal I own is, when they are with me they are spoiled rotten, and when they leave they are just making room for another abandoned or unloved animal to come and join us for their few years of bliss. 🙂

  35. Patricia Edwards

    Anna as my 15 year old dogs decline I found myself shutting down and becoming fearful of what life will be without them. Then along came Ricky a lab pitt mix foster puppy. Your writing helped me do just what it was intended to do, look at death from a different perspective. Thank you for helping through this difficult time. I adopted Ricky on Tuesday and while I know that he will not take Michi or Max’s place he allowed me to love again. Thank you! Pat’e

  36. Pingback: Remembrance: Someone’s Always Dying – Equine Assisted Solutions

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