Sunday, September 15, 2013


I said to Mike, "This is a test and it is Pass/Fail." 

He said "Okay..."

I asked, "If I die, what do I wish for you to do with my horses?"

He said, "First of all, I intend to keep them.  I'll feed them, deworm them, have their feet trimmed. I will keep them the same way we are now.  BUT... if I have trouble, either physically or financially, Bullwinkle will go to Cathy, Jazzy and Cappy will be euthanized, and I will do whatever possible to keep her.  If I can't keep her, and I can't find one of your friends that I know you trusted, Angel will be euthanized as well."

I was surprised.  I had expected a four word answer, not a detailed answer.  And he didn't have to think about it.  He just KNEW.  And, he was right.

Now for the back story... A friend on Facebook posted yesterday that she had unexpectedly lost a dear friend.  After I expressed my sympathy, she sent me a private message asking me to call her today.  When I called, she told me that her friend had an 8 yr old, well broke gelding that had already found a home, but there was also a 32 yr old, toothless mush eater that "the family" was wondering about what to do with. 

I asked if keeping was an option.  The answer was "no" - the friend's husband had just found out his cancer had relapsed, and the only child had health issues of her own.

My answer was "I believe the kindest thing for the horse would be euthanasia."  Some people would absolutely come apart at this suggestion, so let me explain.  The horse is old and has special needs.  There are not a lot of homes open to these types of horses.  Kill buyers send their wives and kids to pick up these old free horses, then ship them straight to the slaughter house in Canada or Mexico.

Were the husband and adult child in good health and enjoying financial security, my answer would be different.  So.. euthanasia would be safer for the horse, and would remove one more financial and emotional responsibility for the survivors, letting them focus on dealing with her death and fighting their own health issues.

If this were you, does your spouse know your wishes?  Does your family?  If you expect your friend to take your horse(s), dog(s), or cat(s), do they know?  Have they agreed?  it would kind of suck if I told Mike to give Jazzy to Christy, then have Christy say "I don't want that crippled, bitchy mare!"

Along the same lines, what is your plan for rapid evacuation due to fire, flood, or other disaster?
Who would have thought those cities in Colorado would be under 6, 10, 15 feet of water? 

I see the picture of the horse standing belly deep in the corner of the pasture, flood water all around him.  Someone cared enough to put a fly mask with ears on this horse, yet when they evacuated, they left him.  Why?  Did they wait too long before they left?  I would like to know the story.  I would like to know so I can pontificate and say I would never do such a thing.

The truth is, it's easy to say what I would or wouldn't do, but it isn't me who is facing that situation.  perhaps the flood came in the middle of the night and they couldn't find the horse in the dark, or the horse was spooked and they couldn't catch him.  I sincerely hope the horse survives.

There is another story coming out of the flood.  My daughter used to live in Fort Collins.  She called her former boyfriend's mother to check on her and see how everyone was.  Apparently the apartment building that my daughter used to live in was evacuated.  Boyfriend's mother said "I left the cats.  I hope they'll be ok."  This made me very angry!  Did she fill the bathtub with water?  Did she put out extra food?  Did she put extra litter boxes on the kitchen or bathroom counters? 

The apartment is on the second floor, but what if the apartment collapses?  Those cats are trapped, instead of being confined to a crate in the back of a truck or car evacuating to higher ground, yowling the whole way.  I hope the water recedes and she can get in there to either care for the cats or evacuate them to her house.

Make your plan.  Express your wishes - verbally or written.  Make sure EVERYONE involved is on the same page.

Texas Chili update coming later.

1 comment:

mrscravitz said...

Super good post! I know I have told hubby a time or two, but I will ask him the question and see if he remembers! I think about evacuating all the time, and what I would do. If I did not have much time I would load Libby and Peaches and haul to safety, and the donks I would open gates and pray for the best. I don't think any amount of preparation will solve all the "what if's".