|" Donnie "|
We had to say goodbye to our sweet boy Donnie last Saturday. Sometime Friday night or early Saturday morning, Donnie coliced. When my daughter came in to feed that morning, the front door of the barn was slightly open, and he was not in his stall. Somehow he'd slipped out under his stall guard. At first she thought maybe he'd just escaped, but then she saw the grooming stall where he'd pawed up some of the rubber pavers and urinated. Something was very wrong. She went in search of him found him down the hill by the indoor arena in a sheltered area laying flat out on the grass. He was in bad shape. His face was scraped and he was covered in sweat and mud, thought he mostly lay still and moaned by this point.
With an ultrasound, the vets located a "surgical lesion" in his small intestine and they decided since it was in his small intestine he had a decent chance of surviving with a simple surgery. The horse ambulance came and took him to the clinic. The surgeon found two lipomas, one of which had strangled a large section of his intestine, killing it. We were offered the option of attempting a resection, with the understanding that there would be no guarantees, a long, hard recovery, and a possibility of chronic colic to follow. Difficult as it was, we chose to let him go. He was 19-20.
Donnie has been with us since he was about four. Even as a young horse, he was always a gentleman. But more than that, Donnie seemed to genuinely love everyone around him. He was everyone’s best friend--horse, dog, and human alike. Donnie was the first one to nicker a friendly good morning to you each day. He watched out for all his horse buddies, worried about them when they were upset, and tried to help whenever one of them was sick or in trouble. Donnie did develop some issues and couldn’t be ridden, but he had lots of fun playing clicker games, longeing, and tangling burrs in his tail which would take hours of grooming to remove ;-) He was the sort of horse that was eager to learn and tried hard to please. He was pleasant to work around, with perfect manners and a friendly disposition. He was always up for a good scratch or an ear rub, and if you weren't paying attention he'd give you a (friendly) nip on the behind! It was impossible not to love Donnie. His nature made him the sweetest, kindest and gentlest horse we’ve ever known. Donnie loved affection and if you hugged his neck he would hug you back, wrapping his neck around you and squeezing. Donegal will be missed by all of us, especially Sami, his best buddy.
Donnie had a good life with us and enjoyed his time with his friends, but it’s still never easy to say goodbye to such a special horse. We are going to miss him being with us everyday. The barn seems especially empty without him, and quiet without his friendly nicker in the morning.
A Slideshow of Donnie
"Wild Horses" by Ray La Montagne