Monday, May 3, 2010

The Harshness of Country Life

This morning we noticed one of our two horses was laying in the field and she didn't look well.

John called the vet and met him out in the field after Seminary. I didn't stay to watch although John said it was... for lack of a good word... interesting. The vet 'examined' the horse from both ends. Yes, I am talking about a glove that goes up to your shoulder. Poor Splash (that's our horse's name). The vet then put a 6 foot tube down her nose into her stomach. He did this because apparently horses cannot throw up. So he emptied her stomach (think giant straw) then put mineral oil back in. The vet thought she would either improve right away or if she didn't, it would indicate a kinked intestine (a usually fatal condition).

We checked on her several times throughout the day and although she looked terrible, she stayed standing and even ate some grass. She seemed like she might be all right. Elise called me from school to see how she was. I tried to be honest but gentle. I told her she was not well and she might die, but we were hoping to know soon so she wouldn't suffer.

Tonight the vet called to check up on Splash. John went down to look for specific things (if she is eating or pooping). When John went down, it was not good. Splash's heart was racing and he called the vet (who was really terrific BTW) who met John in the field. He said he did not think Splash would make it through the night and she would suffer until she finally died. The vet said he could chemically euthanize her, but she would have to be buried right away. He also explained that a bullet can be very humane. John thanked the vet and told him he would take care of it himself.

The three oldest kids wanted to be there with Splash. John put her down (this is the nicest way we can say it here in the country). The kids were very solemn and there were some tears. I am glad our kids got to be there. What better way to learn about the fragility and sacredness of life? Or the power of guns? Or the beauty of God's creation and respect for those creations. Or the finality of death? All of these lessons and more were taught in a very real and concrete way tonight.

I am grateful for the knowledge we have about life and death. I am grateful for a good husband that can teach compassion and respect for life and God's creatures. I am grateful we live in the country--even at it's harshest--especially at it's harshest.

4 comments:

meegz said...

I don't know how you do it out in that there country. I know it would be tough for me -- in more ways than one.
I remember we were driving in SLC somewhere one time and John suddenly flipped a U turn and pulled over....RAN across the street and took a cat by the back of the neck and..."put it down." It took me a long while to figure out what was happening. After seeing the blood on his shoes I realized he had killed the cat. It didn't make any sense to me.
FINALLY I caught on (i'm pretty slow) The cat had been hit by a car and was going to die but was suffering. John ran to it's rescue. I was proud of my uncle!:)

Kindof a weird thing I know -- but those country boys know how to take care of that stuff. Us city kids -- we don't even know there is a cat on the street.:)

Good job teaching those kids those tough lessons early.

Keryn said...

Oh, now I'm crying, too!

What a tender time. It's good to know that God watches over all of His creatures, even the sparrows. And the horses, kitties, turtles, and goldfish, too.

(And this is why we will never have a pet.*)

*Not really. And we probably will have a pet someday. When my children are all teenagers. Maybe I'll get them a pet ladybug or something.)

Lori said...

I'm so sorry to hear about splash. Certainly a hard thing to go through for all. I think that what you wrote was so great and I even teared up, I'm just an old softie. Thank heavens we have our memories

Mimi said...

Everyone tears up when they read a story like that. You do such a good job of expressing things Michelle. Lots of "putting downs" in all our lifes but then lots of love with all those animals too. Wouldn't trade that:)!