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A Tribute to Winnie

Winnie was laid to rest this past Thursday afternoon. Rationally, I understand that this was a merciful decision for her, as her pain-free days were increasingly outnumbered by her pain-full days. Regardless, I am left weeping in her absence because my heart cannot make sense of why I would choose to put myself through such pain. The choice was mine, and it was either pain for me, or pain for her. She did not deserve to suffer, period, and to force her to suffer any longer so that I could continue to love her physical body was too selfish of a choice for me to live with.

Winnie and I had a connection that was undeniable from the first day I met her. It was so obvious that the woman I bought her from was actually not looking to sell her at all; only lease her – but could see there was something there between us. I had lost my first horse to tragic circumstances not long before, and really wasn’t interested in buying another. But, I fell in love with her right away, against all odds. She was destined to be in my life, and though our journey together was filled with struggles due to her illness from the very beginning, I have no doubt that I was the one meant to help her through it. Together, we fought valiantly for over a decade with many stretches of happy, healthy life in between; with hope and love our lifelines. I had every hope and intention that we would find a permanent solution for her. In the end, I was unsuccessful in my attempt to help restore her health.

Throughout our journey together, she reminded me of myself a lot. Resilient, stubborn, with an insane sweet tooth, bossy sometimes, but also sometimes a pushover. She was one of the kindest souls, who would never intentionally hurt another. She easily made friends with all humans and all other horses. Food was her favorite thing to think about. Mother like daughter.

I thank you all for your kind words, your support, your understanding, your warmth, your hope, your prayers and your love. I spent as much time as I possibly could with her before I had to say goodbye, and I know for a fact that she was happy, her stomach full of her favorite snacks, and felt loved. I am grateful for having the help of my family, different farriers & vets, and the owner, staff, and members of the stable she stayed at to help us on our journey along the way. Most importantly, I am grateful for the memories that she allowed me to have by being in my life. I am grateful that she fought with me, and gave us both more time together.

Goodbye, Winnie.
I will miss you. My heart is yours.

Jacob - I know she was your best friend, even before I knew you. I remember coming to see you ride. I have wonderful memories of going and feeding her little carrots and scrounging up bits of hay for her to snack on. She loved you dearly,as you loved her. you fought so hard to keep her well. I remember the frustration of trying to soak her foot in a bucket, much to her dismay. Tenderly caring for her foot, applying medicine, wrapping up her wounds, and giving her medicine to dull the pain. I know with this loss, part of your heart left with her. You gave her your all and despite your best efforts,you had the strength and resolve to selflessly do what was best for her. there is no doubt she was just like her mother.I’m incredibly sorry for your loss I know how incrediblly important she is to you.

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