Saturday, October 10, 2009

And Then There Were Three

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Our beautiful, mischievous half Percheron Half Pint went on his last adventure yesterday, leaving us for the Rainbow Bridge and heavenly pastures free from pain.

A former PMU foal who had a rough start in life, Half Pint struggled with many health issues during his short eight years of life. From colic surgery to chronic lameness to his final bout of illness, Half Pint was a frequent flyer at UC Davis and Pioneer Equine Hospital, earning from us the begrudging nickname "our $18,000 free horse."

Of course, the $18,000 free horse won our hearts a long, long time ago.

Half Pint had been sick over the past month, but in his usual stoic way, he was brave to the end, fooling us into thinking he was not very sick. It is suspected that he had lymphoma, abdominal cancer that filled his abdomen with fluid and exhausted his heart. He was, as the vet so bluntly put it, "trying very hard to die." We, of course, helped him out, and he crumpled to the ground with the greatest of relief, free at last.

His passing leaves a huge void here at Watermark Farm, for he was more like a person than a horse with his sense of humor (stealing tools and sweatshirts), destructive ways (his record being two 2x6s in a weekend) and larger-than-life personality (visitors always wanted to meet him). Half Pint was also the head of his little herd of four, which are now a sad-eyed white trio who are lost and adrift tonight without their 'brother.'

Argus, Ridge and Odie stood nearby in their paddocks, watching everything. Knowing. Half Pint, his heart raging at 90 beats per minute, lumbered slowly into the pasture with me. I cried and told him what would happen, and how much I loved him. Then the vet came to give Half Pint his gift of a humane death. Half Pint slipped away peacefully. Then I turned Argus, Odie and Ridge out with Half Pint for a final goodbye.

The pictures say it all.


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Half Pint
2001 - October 9, 2009
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51 comments:

cdncowgirl said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. But I'm sure if he could Half Pint would thank you for being strong enough to let his suffering end.

dinah said...

I'm so very sorry to hear about Half Pint. I loved reading your posts that involved him-- I've got a huge soft spot in my heart for drafts. He led a wonderful life with you and the rest of the ponies. Thanks for all you did for him and all you do for the others.

FlyingHorse2 said...

So sorry for your loss and bless you for being selfless enough to let Half Pint go. Half Pint has his wings now and God has a new rose in his garden.

Mikey said...

So very sorry for your loss. I know it's like losing a member of the family, and you gave him a long wonderful life with you. May he rest in peace.

Rose said...

Katie,
Thank you for sharing this painful time with us. It is a reality. I'm so glad you were there for Half Pint and gave him a good life.

maiden53 said...

I am truly sorry for your loss and admire your strength to right for Half Pint...

EMac said...

I am so very very sorry. Thank you for all you did for Half Pint, and for your loving nature that not only did what was right for *him* in the end, but gave his pasture mates a chance to say good bye and understand.

Blessings.

EMac

Anonymous said...

My heart grieves for you, your family and the 4-leggeds who will miss Half-Pint. It is a hard thing to love them enough to let them go. Hugs to all of you and bless you for letting Half-Pint be a loved horse for his short life.
KarenTX

Anonymous said...

I love coming here - even when the news is sad - and am sorry for your loss but wanted to express my gratitude for your courage in publishing the pictorals of a decision fraught with such emotion. Sometimes folks don't realize animal companions need to have access to their deceased pals to move their grief forward - the human equivalent being a wake - You've expressed that perfectly in the photographs.

kbryan said...

Ahhh, as with everyone else, I am sad for his passing, but glad that he will suffer no more. The photos were a very touching tribute to him, and what your little herd thought of him. Hang in there.

FullCircleEquine said...

God bless you for being his friend and allowing him to pass on with dignity and respect owed to all living beings.

phaedra96 said...

That news is so sad. Half-pint had not even lived half his life--but what he had was good for him.

Holly said...

God Speed Half Pint. Loved to the end and cared for by the best.

*raises hand in wave to the distance*

Bo Delmont said...

I'm so sorry to hear of you loss. His story is so similar to my Zeus. I'm sure he will be missed.

barrelracingmom said...

Nothing i can say will make you feel better, but know we share your grief.

excaliber813 said...

Katie,
I am so sorry to hear about Half Pint. My heart aches for all of you, especially his "brothers." I remember Half Pint being in the "fatty paddock" and Agrus torn between staying with Half Pint or grazing with Ridge and Odie. So many wonderful stories we have to remember. Thanks for alway's sharing your heart with all of us.

Healing blessing to all @ Watermark Farm

Doe

RooWalk said...

Miss Katie, I am so very sorry for your loss ... and the sadness that fills the hearts of Argus and Ridge and Odie ... words are just not enough.
Half Pint was blessed that you had the strength and the courage to give him his release after taking such grand care of him in life.
~Anne

Sydney said...

I am so sorry. That is the loneliest feeling on earth, having to euthanise a pet. Even if it's for the better it still hurts.

Mom said...

My heart goes out to all of you. He had the best life he could have had with you. You had the courage and the kindness to let him go. Thank you for letting us in to share this hard time with you. May God ease your heart.

Hannah said...

Half Pint was such a sweet horse, and I'm glad that I have known him. Dallas will surely miss his first horse friend or at least the only horse that didn't think of him as a nuisance.

Anonymous said...

So very sorry to hear about the loss of Half Pint. It is never easy to loose a friend. I haven't been reading the blog for a long time and was catching up. Glad Argus is well. You have done a wonderful job with all of these lucky horses. The last gift is the hardest one. God Bless.

birdie said...

I'm so sorry.

KD said...

Very touching....thank you for sharing your private moment and your Half Pint with us.

Sage said...

I am sorry for your loss, half-pint was more than just a horse, he was your friend and you did the best you could for your friend... {{hugs}}

Seabiscute said...

Oh, dear, I am so sorry...but I can completely identify with you: the day before Half-Pint, I put my wonderful, beloved, cute, talented Morgan gelding down for lymphoma, too.

It surely is the right thing to do, to end or forestall their suffering, but, oh lord, it hurts so much.

buckpony said...

Oh, Katie, I am so, so sorry for your loss. Only knowing your horses through your blog, I am still weeping for you. You are so kind to allow Half Pint to pass with dignity and grace and without pain. May time ease the heavy hearts while you keep his memory alive. May God bless you for what you do for these animals.

Anonymous said...

Oh dear, poor Watermark farm, collective.
More big tears on my keyboard. It was the expression in Odie's eyes that busted me.

icehorse said...

So sorry Katie,
Big tears over here too. I remember seeing Half Pint trot around the field and being so impressed. He was magnificient and I know you had such high hopes for him. So sorry.
Cynthia

topcterv said...

i am so sorry for your loss... i too loved reading about half-pint and the fatty paddock... always brought a smile to my face. if i remember correctly he was andy's favorite?? and i am sure andy was waiting at the bridge to see his old friend!!! hugs to all as i wipe away the tears, you are brave and very generous to share your most emotional moments with those of us who feel as if we know you so well through your wonderful writing!!!

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry for your loss, wishing you and the herd peace and healing.

autumnblaze said...

So sorry for your loss... it's a blessing though that you knew when it was time for him. My condolences to you and yours.

Anonymous said...

So sorry to hear about Half Pint! He was lucky to have you in his life as you were lucky to have him ... even if for only a short time. I am sure that Andy and Half Pint are together again ... both healthy and strong!

Lori from KY

I need orange said...

Aw. I am so sorry. It is so hard when we have to help them go on without us.

He was much too young.

Geez.

Lori Skoog said...

I had to put down two horses this past summer. The second was our daughters 26 yo beautiful thoroughbred gelding. When the vet got here, I brought him in the indoor and all the horses came in too. They watched the whole thing...I am so glad we did it that way. Very sorry about your loss and SO GLAd you saved Argus. You have to be a very special person.

Anonymous said...

Katie,

I've been a follower of your blog about Argus and the rest of your herd for quite a while now. You are a truly gifted writer, and I thank you so much for sharing your experiences with Half Pint, Argus, Odie and the rest...

Please know that all of us out here who read your blog daily (yes I check every day to see if there is an update) are so very sorry for your loss and also so grateful that there are people out there like you who are so caring and willing to bring these animals home and give them the love that they deserve. You are doing a wonderful thing and thank you for sharing that experience with all of us.

PaintedPromise said...

i'm so sorry to check back in and see this news. my heart goes out to you and your horses. big hugs to all.

Joy said...

Thank you for opening that window into your very personal grief. I don't have the words to offer.

Heila said...

I read your entire blog from start to finish over the last couple of days and just wanted to tell you that I admire you for the work you do and I'm now an official Argus fan!

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry for ypur loss. I saw this video and immediately thought of you and the wonderful life that you have given those under your care.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3psSyshVbh8&feature=player_embedded

Dakota's Momma said...

I am so sorry for you! I don't know what I'll do when I lose Sport and Dakota. My prayers are with you.
Sport and Dakota's Mom

kbryan said...

Hope you are all well. Are the horses getting their winter coats? Thick or thin - what sort of winter will be have. Does Argus need anything?

When you have time, please give us an update.

Have a good week!

K.

Karen V said...

I'm so very sorry. Bless you for loving him enough to end his suffering.

Nina said...

I heard a rumbling in the sky last night and I bet it was Half Pint having a wonderful gallop around with my best mate Strides!

coloradobecs said...

I just stumbled across your blog, and have read quite few of your entries and then I read your latest one, and I literally was in tears. It is the worst feeling in the world to say goodbye to a friend, and those pictures just touched me more than I ever would have thought. I hope you are getting on, but remembering that gorgeus horse.

Rude1 said...

Neither I nor anyone else can say anything to ease the pain of having to put down one of our dear friends. I had to do it in Feb and it's still hard to deal with. Even though we know in our hearts and minds that it's the right thing to do. I know Half Pint is in a better place now; hopefully my JT is there to show him around the endless green pastures.

Anonymous said...

I'm so, so sorry... :-(

Schnitzie said...

Oh Katie, I just read about the passing of Half Pint. What a sad departure. I am so sorry his life was so brief, but I so glad that he got to spend so much of his life with YOU...in the Heaven on Earth you've provided for him, Argus, Ridge and Odie.

My heart goes out to you all. Godspeed dearest Half Pint. You had many more friends than you know.

kbryan said...

Thanksgiving - I am thankful for all the love you have shown Argus and all the other critters (and family too!) on your farm.

And I would be very thankful for an update on all of the above! :)

Thank you for all you do.

Half Dozen Farm said...

Today is Argus' 2 year "Freedom Anniversary"!
Would love an update on everyone at Watermark.
And, by the way, has anyone else noticed that Argus was meant to be at Watermark Farm, since he so obviously HAS a watermark (a.k.a. his "bloody shoulder")?
Hope all is well and you are getting ready for the Christmas holidays.

Pony Girl said...

R.I.P. Half Pint. Breaks my heart to know that this guy had such a short trot here on earth, but even his short stay was for a reason.
Seeing his herd say goodbye was touching. The photo sequence was sad (I'm crying), but very real.

Kristen Eleni Shellenbarger said...

wow..i just found your blog per suggestion. How difficult and brave to take those photos, Half Pint seemed very special-I'm sorry for your loss.