Crossed over the rainbow bridge on May 22, 2004

This sweet, angelic horse came into my life as a just-turned 3 year old, in April 1989. My family and I had just moved to Kauai and in doing so, I could not bring myself to subject my then 16 year old morgan mare, Fanita, to such a difficult journey. So, I gave her to a dear and trusted friend, with the understanding that should we return to the "mainland", my mare would return to me. It was agreed, and so off we went with a german shepherd, a cat, one parrot and 4 cockatiels. We looked (and felt like) the Beverly Hillbillies.

About 2 weeks after getting settled into the new house on Kauai, my (former) husband suggested we start looking for a horse, as he knew having a horse, for me, was as important as oxygen and sunlight. We were referred to Nishek Arabians, a farm on Kauai that raises purebred Arabian horses. Upon going to "look" at the horses, they had brought 5 or 6 horses up from the pastures to show us. They were all beautiful, and as we walked down the aisle looking at these beautiful creatures, in the last stall stood a bay Arabian gelding with huge liquid eyes whom stretched his neck out to me and softly whickered a "hello". My heart surged at that instant, and I asked if I could see him turned out. It was love at first sight and needless to say, I lost my heart right then and there. We purchased him and took him home a couple of days later. He was the most intelligent and sensible horse I have ever had.

During our 15 years together, I took him on many "group" type trail rides and always got compliments on how careful, sure footed and sensible he was "for an arab." That always made me mad, that there are some people that make comments like that as if it were a crime to be an Arabian. The first year I had Bayonette, I was riding him bareback with just a halter. He was so gentle and always took care of me. One day we were walking through a field near our house, and we were in the buffalo grass which was taller than he was. As we were walking, we approached a big, old tree and he stopped and refused to go forward. This was out of character and no matter what, he was planted in that spot. A few seconds later, he bolted off to the right and went what he considered a safe distance and then stopped and turned around. Right then, there was a loud cracking sound and the tree fell over! He saved both of us from getting hurt, or worse. In 1992, Hurricane Iniki came to Kauai with winds over 200 MPH (measured by the U.S. Navy) and I brought Bayonette & Fanita into the house. I guess he must have figured that if it was that important to me, that he should come with me. I realized that it was a bad idea and put him outside with all the gates open. We were on an island, so how far could he go? By this time, Fanita had joined us on Kauai, since I missed her so much and could not live without her. Being the trooper she is, she came off that plane like it was no big deal, and made the trip from Oahu to Kauai (on the barge) without any ill effects.

After surviving Iniki (without the horses being hurt) and rebuilding, we came back to California in 1993 and brought our horses with us. About 2 years ago, he again "saved" me. We were cantering along a wash that had maybe an inch of water in the riverbed when we were suddenly sucked into the ground and within seconds Bayonette was buried up to his withers in quicksand. It happened so fast, I could not even react at first. My riding companion started screaming to get off, and I launched myself off his back. He did not move a muscle until I was clear and out of the way. He then got himself out of the quicksand and then stood quietly and let me climb back on. It was Amazing!!

18 months ago, Bayonette started having lameness problems with his front feet. We ran blood tests and found that his glucose (blood sugar) levels were alarmingly high. We put him on a special diet, and tried to turn things around but we were unable to save him. He foundered in both front feet and was in constant pain. I tried literally everything short of putting him up in a sling! I was there day and night, encouraging him, brushing him, resting in his stall with him, and when he would lay down he would put his head in my lap and sleep. This went on for several months and I was becoming increasingly alarmed at his lack of improvement. People started telling me I should put him down, which nobody ever wants to hear, and I decided to wait until he "told" me he was ready.

That day came on May 22, 2004. I went to the barn to check on him and he was laying on his side, when he saw me he nickered but did not get up, and I knew. I sat in the stall with him and he put his head on my lap, looked up at me and sighed. He would get up on his sternum, eat a little from my hand, lay down again and sigh. I called my vet and told him it was time. When he arrived, Bayonette had struggled to his feet and walked over to me. He came over to say goodbye, and nuzzled and licked my right cheek. We walked him to a spot where it was quiet and peaceful and as we stood there, something on the hilltop got his attention. I like to think that the Heavenly Herd was up there waiting for him.

My husband and I stood there in each others arms, sobbing as this sweet soul left this world. The amazing thing was, that we both felt a cool uplifting rush go through us, and it felt like pure joy, he was running off, tail in the air, whinnying all the way, to meet the other horses that had come to show him the way to the rainbow bridge.

I just know that he will be there to greet me when my time comes, and we will again be as one.

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