Beam me up, Scotty...

Posted by Sharon Labels: , ,

This is a difficult post to write. I almost didn't, but since Ridin'. Reinin' and Writin' is supposed to be a bit of a snapshot of my life, I knew I must. Here goes...

There are bumps in the road of life for everyone, I know, and we all hope the bumps are only little ones. I have had some rather large bumps (more like craters...) along the way but, as my brother once told me, "You always pick yourself up and start over." In the past few years, after my husband walked out in 2004, I did that again - I started over. As always, the thread that had connected all phases of my life for all of my life remained - my animal friends. My female Samoyed, Kirby and my horses were my anchors. In the ensuing years, I willingly 'gave' all of me to them and they have returned to me more - a reason to be, deep understanding, loyalty and joy. With their help, I healed.

I knew I would be tested, however. It was just a matter of when and how. As last fall turned to winter and winter to spring, Kirby failed. Although I knew the logical decision was to take her in to the vet, I procrastinated. Although she could barely walk and was almost blind, she was not in pain. I carried her in and out; at times, I hand-fed her. She could still hear and that alone made her life livable for she heard my footsteps, my voice, the tractor, the horses - all the things she had heard all of her 13 years. Eventually, she lost her battle. She died the evening of May 12th.

I had been prepared for Kirby's passing and was grateful she had died at home. Even so, as I threw that first shovel of dirt on her lifeless body, I bawled like a baby. My loyal, loving companion was gone.

That night I slept in the tack room of my barn beside my mare, Peppy Del Cielo (Prima). She carried a foal by Wimpys Little Step and I had allowed myself to dream a big dream for this foal. If the foal arrived that night it would take the sting out of losing Kirby. 

At 4:00 AM on May 13th (that's Friday, the 13th!), I knew the mare was going to foal. A few minutes after 5:00, the foal was born - a mahogany bay colt with a snip on his nose and three socks - but he flopped in the straw limp and lifeless. Frantically, I checked his mouth and nose for mucous an, finding none, tried to hold him upside down to drain his airway. I could not get him high enough so I draped him over the water bowl. When nothing drained, I laid him in the straw and started CPR but no amount of air from my lungs was going to bring Baby Wimpy back to life. He did not draw one breathe. He, like Kirby, was gone.

Over twelve hours, I had lost my dog and a foal in which I had packaged my hopes and dreams. At first I did not know how I would be able to cope but of course, there were things to do - feeding the rest of the horses, weaning Prima (still licking the baby in hopes of reviving him) away from her baby, choosing a location to bury the foal, digging another grave...

So, by the fence in my house yard, under two small poplars that would someday shade Baby Wimpy's grave, I dug a resting place for the small innocent body one shovel-full at a time, tears mingling with sweat. I transported his lifeless body in the bucket of my tractor, laid him in the grave and kissed his cold, sweet nose, the same one I had tried to breathe life in to. And when the first bucket of dirt, tumbled over him, I collapsed over the steering wheel of the tractor, great gasping sobs racking my body. So final. Sooo.... over. First Kirby, then a wee foal that had not yet had a chance to live. I hope they are romping together in a green field...

With one more mare left to foal, I feel like I have nothing left to give. Beam me up, Scotty! I want to come back when it's better.


  1. 100 Mile Sliders

    Ohh, Sharon-I am SO SORRY...I could see when we were out last year how attached you were to Kirby...and then to lose the Wimpy baby. I know that you are a strong woman..but know there are friends out there thinking of you...

  1. Cordy

    Sharon my greatest sypathies to you, but stay strong, I know you can get through it. I too had a rough week a few weeks back when my 8 month old cow dog I was starting unexpectedly ran under the tractor from behind and in front of the rear wheel, and I ran her over. It was awful. Sadly enough, the day before a young 2 year old cow had died when some big cows pushed her down in front of the tractor when I was rolling out bales where there was no way I could see her, and she met the same demise. And yesterday on the last day of our branding Evan Howarth's young grey horse ripped something in his insides and there was no way way to save him so he is now buried at the top of the ranch overlooking the valley. So yes I understand your sorrow and helplessness, and want to give up - I wondered if I was being punished but the more I thought about it I realized that the old saying holds true that everything happens for a reason, no matter what happens and I am sure they are both watching over you. xoxo Cordy

  1. Sharon

    I, too, live by the "Everything happens for a reason" rule, Cordy but sometimes it's freakin' hard, isn't it? I know all animal lovers understand what I am going through right now and you have just had a reminder. I can imagine only too well what your felt and I am sorry for your losses. Sometimes it gets really old being strong, doesn't it? I, too, wondered if I was being punished, but more likely just reminded - reminded not to get complacent or think that I can "fix" everything.
    I think I'll hold on to your last statement - that they are watching over me. As you can imagine, there are other animal friends of mine there too. Hopefully there is a big group watching over me 'cause I need some angels. Thanks Cordy for your comments.

  1. Verna

    Wow Sharon - we all need a little shot of what you are made of!!!!

  1. Jeniffer

    Oh Sharon I am so sorry for your losses. Critters are so precious and they enrich our lives in so many ways. Only the gift of time can begin to heal the pain and emptiness. My heart is with you through this difficult journey.