I'd like to pay a tribute to my beloved horse, Jack, who had to be put to sleep on Wednesday, January 30, 2008.

My mom had adopted Jack a few months after the death of our last horse as a pasture mate for two of our other horses. We'd been looking around for horses for a while and my mom decided to check out the Hooved Animal Humane Society to see if there were any horses that she'd like. As soon as we all saw Jack, the little halflinger pony, we fell in love with him and just had to have him, but we learned the story of how his life began really wasn't great at all.

Jack was found running wild and he really didn't trust people. We figured we'd have the time to get his life back on track and we promised him a better life than what he'd previously had. It took time and a lot of treats, but we finally started to see a huge improvement in him trusting us and learning that humans are okay. Little by little he would get excited to see us every morning and he would even allow us to lean in his stall to give him a little kiss on his nose. My friends would come over and he would greet them with a little nicker and a toss of his head, they all fell in love with him.

It was just when he reached his most trusting point when he got sick with founder in the beginning of this year. Walking got hard for him, and one painful day, our neighbor found him cast in our lean-to. She figured nothing was wrong, and that he'd just slipped and fell. The next time I saw him, he seemed okay, he was playful and full of life. He ran, he kicked and he nickered, so I figured he would be alright. The weather was bad that night, so my mom asked me to go bring the horses in, but only two came down to be let in. I called my mom, telling her Jack wasn't coming down the hill, and I couldn't see him. She told me to call the neighbors for help, Jack was down again. My neighbor's boyfriend came over and got him up and to his stall, and my mom had just gotten home and called the vet. Jack was sick with colic, and the vet told us to see how he was through the night...if he made it. He had made it through the night, but no improvement was made, so my mom made the most difficult decision ever, it was time to say goodbye to our beloved Jack. With a heavy heart I headed out to say goodbye to him one last time. It was hard letting him go, but it was so much better than him suffering and being in pain.

Each day the pain goes away a little bit, and his memory will live on forever, but it's still hard going out to the barn and realizing we'll never hear his nicker or see him again. We miss you Jack, and we love you always. You're in our thoughts forever and always.

Katie Anderson

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