"One Step, Two Steps, Breathe." Don't focus on the fact that my partner is in pain, don't obsess about the horrible outcome that could arise if this didn't resolve itself. Just focus on walking, breathing, and talking to Cupid.
Sunday started like any other Sunday for me. I woke up, made some tea and a bagel, and left for the barn. I arrived at the barn around 8:30 and took a minute to watch a pair of woodpeckers on a light post. Their little feet quickly moved them around the post as they investigated it for potential food sources. Eventually they fluttered away towards a tree in search of a better meal than the light post provided. Watching those woodpeckers in a memory seared into my mind. Just the peace and simplicity of seeing the joy they took in climbing that post.
I got the girls fed quickly and set about doing basic chores while they ate. After about 10 minutes I walked over to their feeding stalls to find Cupid performing a Flehmen response and pawing at the ground. Instantly, I knew something was wrong and let her out of the stall. She walked over near the paddock gate and laid down. As I saw her go down I felt my heart stop.
|The droopy ears and flared nose killed me|
We walked for what felt like hours waiting for the Banamine to kick in, waiting for her stomach to start rumbling, waiting and hoping and praying that I would not have to make the call that every owner dreads. I had called the vet and we decided to try a dose of Banamine with hand walking and seeing how she was in a few hours. The vet was confident from my description of Cupid's behavior that we would be successful with that treatment but her confidence did little to resolve my worry.
With each step I had to keep reminding myself that as long as she was standing, as long as she remained aware of our surroundings then things were alright. I spoke to her as we walked, talking to her about everything and anything I could think of. How stressed I was about the way things had fallen apart with a boy, how I wanted to succeed at my job and become a valuable team player, how excited I was to have her as my trail riding partner at my parents home, anything and everything that crossed my mind as we walked.
|Investigating the stall for any food remnants while we took a walk break.|
Seeing that my friend was going to be fine I placed her in a stall to wait for her to pass manure. This was the longest 2 hours I could have imagined. Cupid was downright furious that she was being cheated out of a hay ration, and spent those hours flinging anything she could grab at me. Salt lick pan - flung all over the stall and scraped against the bars. Jolly Ball - stomped on until it resembled a pancake then thrown out of the stall. Water bucket - dumped several times and would have been thrown if I wasn't monitoring her. I think we were both relieved when she finally pooped and could go out on grass for a few minutes.
|"Mom, please let me out of the stall."|
|Pissed off because she realized she's stuck in the barn for the night|
|Watching me walk up the next day. The spark back in her eyes.|