Tribute To Lilly
Lilly, my little darling,
four months have passed since I lost you and I still miss you so much that
I don't know how to cope with it. You had so many hard times in your life,
but you were a true fighter and always the light of my life.
We first met when your mum
had to be euthanized because of recumbency in the wake of strangles (bastard
strangles, neurological form). You were a little two week old foal and I
nursed you through your first months of life. We had so much fun - you always
playing and running freely in the stable yard and I trying to work, but
occasionally interrupted by you. You even seemed to be able to talk, I thought
I heard you say, "Scratch me here!", or, with a stubborn face, "I don't like
rain, let me in!".
I gradually introduced you
as a weanling into a mixed herd and all seemed well. You joined the group
and played with the other horses heartfully, but our bond persisted. When
you were two years old, an accident changed our life. A horse had kicked
you and opened your antebrachiocarpal joint, inducing very severe septic
arthritis. I found you three-legged with a swollen joint and my heart nearly
broke. I took you to surgery and after three arthroscopic lavages and weeks
of antibiotics, the infection resolved. A low-grade degenerative joint disease
remained and they said, there was no chance for you to be ridden, but all
I wanted was our friendship and a happy life for you.
After the long recovery, I brought you to a very large pasture with
only nine other horses where you could live in peace. You found new friends
and after a while our lives settled again. Your leg throbbed only occasionally
when it was cold and wet, but most of the time you used to run around just
for fun and without any discomfort. The other people laughed at me because
I didn't want to ride you even though you had made such a remarkable recovery.
But I was anxious it would hurt you. I was happy when I called you and you
cantered to me with a loud whinny. You even knew my car, and when you heard
it, I had to be quick to get to the door or you would become angry and try
to break the fence to greet me.
Four wonderful years passed like that, but then the disastrous disease came
in your life. Suddenly you developed a severe bout of laminitis and white
lyme disease. You were diagnosed with metabolic syndrome and we tried everything
to fix it. I had to separate you from your mates and stable you fulltime,
put you on a weight loss diet and filled you up to your ears with drugs.
Although you were such a brave fighter, the light in your eyes gradually
faded. After six months of pain and suffering (not only of laminitis but
also a worsening of the degenerative joint disease due to the stable rest)
you lost your stamina. When I was with you, you seemed to get better, but
I saw your true behaviour on the video surveillance system. Despite all the
treatments and medications you never had a painfree minute, lying down a
lot, groaning, and shifting weight constantly when standing. Although it
broke my heart, I decided to let you go.
Now you are free again, my baby. Run with the wind and play with the
other horses, but please wait for me, when my time has come to cross the
rainbow bridge. I will always love you.