Esther loved to get a feed bucket because it was a special treat and of course it served to get her medicine into her system.
I phoned the vet for advice even though she and I knew what the outcome would be. She came as soon as she could and she examined Esther. I stroked Esther's nose to reassure her and Mike stood by just watching. I knew what she was going to say as she spoke, "perhaps we could try....but.....concerns about.....no sounds in her stomach", then the words I was expecting "perhaps it's time...." and I felt the tears I'd been suppressing well up in my eyes as I turned towards her and replied that it was OK, I'd been expecting that option and yes I did believe it was 'time'.
Arrangements were made with the same man who'd visited us just 4 short months ago when Kizzy had to leave us and at the appointed hour I started to lead Esther across her field and into the next one which she'd never been in before. Mike followed on together with the vet and her assistant. We were worried that the ground would be too soft to get the vehicle onto the field but the man said it would be OK and not worry and so we took her near to the gate and stopped.
She stood quietly as I stroked her nose and the vet shaved through her lovely thick coat to find a vein. I spoke to her softly about things shared only between us and I looked deep into her beautiful brown eyes as the vet administered the drugs to make her drowsy. As the drugs began to do their work Mike asked me if I wanted him to hold her for the final injection but I needed to be there to reassure her, to say goodbye and to say thank you. I was aware there was blood pumping out of the artery as the lethal injection was administered but I just carried on looking deep into her soul and watched her drifting quietly away.
Then she was gone.
I cried and Mike hugged me then I walked back to the house with the vet whilst Mike stayed with the man who was taking her away. When the vet had gone I went to sit by the pond and I sobbed, great big fat uncontrollable tears. This was truly the end of an era. I've had horses in my life for so long.
When I'd cried enough I started to walk back to the house and saw Mike coming back across the field. He'd been trying to phone me but of course I was outside. The driver had got his vehicle stuck in the field and needed a colleague to bring a winch to help him get out. Oh for goodness sake! By this time it was dark and so Mike headed back out with flashlights to help. Apparently the field has been churned up but I haven't felt able to go and look, not just yet.
So that's it, our 2 lovely ladies have gone to pastures new and we enter another era.
One of my friends sent me these beautiful words:
If it should be that I grow weak and pain should keep me from my sleep, then you must do what must be done, for this last battle can't be won. You will be sad I understand, but don't let grief then stay your hand. For this day more than all the rest, your love for me must stand the test. We've had so many happy years, what is to come can hold no tears. You don't want me to suffer, so, the time has come, please let me go. Take me where my fears they will tend, but please stay with me till the end, to hold me and to speak to me until my eyes no longer see. I know in time you will agree, it was a kindness done for me, from pain and suffering I am saved. Please do not grieve that it was you who had this painful thing to do. We've been so close we two these years, don't let your heart hold any tears.
Well that brought the tears back I can tell you! Thanks Sheila xxx