In honor of Sadie and what our beloved animals teach us

I write this in honor of our beloved paint horse, friend and herd member, Sadie.

She was laid to rest in the green grass by her favorite west pasture, the one with the hill where she liked to stand and overlook the ranch.

sadie hill

My heart aches and the tears come in waves.

Sadie told us, in her own way, that her quality of life was no longer there. The longtime laminitis and arthritic medications and treatments were only helping so much…she was still in pain.

She could no longer walk or stand comfortably on four hooves, which is everything for a horse’s well-being.

Her human or “owner” as some would say, had to make the toughest decision there is when responsible for an older furry family member. The heartbreaking decision of when it’s time to cease their pain so they may be at peace.

Circled around Sadie, we shared our favorites memories and laughed and cried. I said my goodbye and the hardest part was looking into her eyes, stroking her mane and feeling her soft muzzle as she gently nibbled carrots out of my hand.

I had to look away as the vet compassionately went through the process.

After, I could tell she was at peace. The physical pain was gone. Her spirit had soared on. The other horses knew it too and so did the ranch dogs Namo and Layla, who sat quietly beside us.

Sadie had a huge heart and loved young people. She was very independent and taught people to do things their own way. To express themselves and not be afraid to stand out and be a “horse of a different color”, as she was. To always follow our heart and not the status quo.

She was a wonderful teacher, wise friend and beloved member of Beyond the Arena.

Through tears, I asked the vet “Why don’t we get more time with our animals? Why did nature set it up so animals live shorter lives than us?”

She looked at me with empathetic eyes and said “It’s because they teach us to live in the moment. To cherish everything we’ve got, right here, right now.”

She is right.

I don’t know where I’d be without animals in my life. Maybe you can relate.

Animals enrich our lives in so many ways. They effortlessly bring us joy and know when we are sad. No words are needed. They intuitively know. They sense our pain, our happiness and everything in between. They teach us about unconditional love, relationships, responsibility and play. They are our companions, friends and confidants.

I’m grateful for the sacred time I had with Sadie and to witness the difference she made in people’s lives. She especially loved teens and they loved her right back. Kindred spirits in every way. I weep when I think too much about the girls that I have yet to share this news with. She left hoofprints on many people’s hearts. She is and will forever be deeply missed.

In this moment, I’m overcome by how precious life truly is. That we’ve got to live and love as much as we can. To cherish those around us and let go of our petty worries and drama. Life is about being in the moment. Appreciating what we have here and now. That’s what Sadie taught me and was what she shared with every life she touched.

I feel raw, open, sad, loving. My heart goes out to everyone and everything. We are all connected; humans, animals, nature and beyond. We are not alone.

Have you ever had to say goodbye to a beloved animal? I don’t think there’s any way around the raw hurt of it. Only through it. Please share in the comments below if any of this resonates for you, it’d mean a lot to me to hear from you.

Devon

10 replies
  1. Denise
    Denise says:

    Oh, my, Devon. I have tears streaming down my cheeks right now. Yes, I know the feeling well. We put our lab down three years ago…I cried for a month. Everytime I drove up to our house…and looked to Keeley’s favorite spot on the patio overlooking our driveway, I would cry. Or her bed in the corner of our family room, I would cry. What a lucky girl Sadie was to live on such a beautiful ranch surrounded by her friends…Betty, you, Detail, Blue and the other horses. Hugs from Evergreen!

    Reply
    • admin
      admin says:

      Denise, thank you for your beautiful heartfelt comment and I greatly appreciate YOU. Your story about Keeley touches my heart and I’m so so sorry you had to experience this painful place too. There’s no easy way around it. Especially not when we are reminded of our beloved animals favorite spots as you had mentioned. I experienced that last night feeding the horses grain and I only had to fill 5 buckets instead of 6 which brought more tears. I’m so touched by what you shared about your beautiful soul connection with Keeley that continues to live on forever. Ranch hugs right back to you and all of us here appreciate your Evergreen hugs. Thank you for sharing, it means a lot.

      Reply
  2. Katherine
    Katherine says:

    Hey…I’m so sorry about your sweet friend. It’s always devastating and so painful. I lost my one Arab mare 2 years ago and instill can’t talk about her without getting choked up. I saw a saying on a t-shirt, “Thunder is the sound of hoofbeats in heaven.” That always brings me peace……

    Reply
    • admin
      admin says:

      Katherine, I appreciate your comment so much and I’m so sorry to hear about the loss of your beloved Arab mare. My heart goes out to you that you had to go through this too. Thank you for sharing about the t-shirt and “Thunder is the sound of hoofbeats in heaven.” That brings warmth to my heart and resonate tears to my eyes because I believe in that saying. Thank you for sharing here.

      Reply
  3. Noriko Fujihara
    Noriko Fujihara says:

    Devon,
    I am very sorry for your loss. I lost one of my mares last November. She also had chronic laminitis. The strong medications led her to kidney failure, then she suffer with colic. It was very, very hard to let her go. I held her for hours sobbing… Guilt, sadness, emptiness, and anger lasted months after months. I am still coping. As I write this message, I have to stop typing to wipe my eyes… Elegante De Oliviera was my sweet, intelligent, and special child. I miss her so much. Thank you for sharing your story. It was beautiful, Devon.
    Noriko

    Reply
    • admin
      admin says:

      Noriko, thank you for your beautiful comment and sharing about your beloved Elegante De Oliviera…I can FEEL the special bond you too shared and your story touched MY heart. Chronic laminitis is horrible and it’s so so hard to watch our cherished equine friends go through it. I appreciate your kind words and the beauty of your love and connection with your mare that continues forever more. Thank YOU for sharing.

      Reply
  4. Delora Comfort
    Delora Comfort says:

    You touched my heart with what you wrote. Yes, I have had to say goodbye to several special animals and have had to be the one to decide when it was time. Each time my heart has been broken and they are never forgotten just missed. She was blesssed having you to care for her especially as she started not feeling good. She is free now. Love you

    Reply
    • admin
      admin says:

      aww Delora it’s so tough to make that decision and I’m sorry you have had to go through this too with several of your special animals…that is beautiful what you shared about that they are never forgotten, just missed. You’re right that she is free now, I have to keep reminding myself of that one, whew that brings up tears. Thank you for your heartfelt comment here, I love you too.

      Reply
  5. Holly Heartso
    Holly Heartso says:

    The tears aer flowing down my face reading this. I’ve never met you or Sadie, but I can relate to the deep connection we have with our animals, especially horses. Thinking of you all.

    Reply
    • admin
      admin says:

      I appreciate your heartfelt comment Holly and it sounds like you resonate with the animal connection for sure, especially with horses. They are extraordinary partners in our lives and I thank you for sharing here, fellow horsewoman.

      Reply

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