Pet of the Day

November 1, 2009

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Deacon, the Pet of the Day
Name: Deacon
Age: Deceased, Five years old
Gender: Male
Kind: Paint cross Horse
Home: La Crosse, Wisconsin, USA
   Deacon (show name Decadent) will always be very special to me. I did not own him, but I had a special bond with him. He was a sale horse at the barn I work at. When I first met him, I wasn't so sure that I liked him. He was kind of green and really sluggish. Soon I was riding him every week, and I fell in love with him. He gave me some problems and I fell off him a lot. When I was getting him ready for the show season, I pulled his mane so short by accident that it stuck up like a mohawk!

    Eventually though, we just clicked. I bought him a sparkly pink halter and a matching pink lead rope that we all thought he secretly liked more than his other halters. We would say he really wanted to be a musical theatre star, and that we'd get him a part in The Lion King as a zebra in the chorus. Throughout the summer our bond strengthened, we smoothed out most of our problems and were able to do some really fun higher courses with tighter turns that unfortunately weren't taped.

    We went to lots of shows this summer and won a lot of ribbons, including Champion in our division at several shows. I already knew I'd have to leave him when I went home, but I was not quite prepared for what happened.

    One Monday he started to colic. It was one of the worst cases I had ever seen. Colic can be mild and cause no lasting problems at all, or it can be fatal. I was really scared, and we weren't sure if he was going to make it through the night. When he did, I was so happy I cried. I thought the worst had to be over. With regular doses of medication, he seemed to be getting steadily better. On Wednesday morning, he seemed stiff but almost back to normal, although still not eating much. I went on with the day like usual, teaching lessons and working with the young ponies. I was about to leave for the afternoon when I thought I better go check on him one last time, but I found him grunting with every breath and very unstable on his legs. We took him out of his stall and right to the arena, where he collapsed in the doorway and seized up. He looked very much in pain. I knew he wasn't going to last long then, and so I just sat there stroking him until past the point I was sure he was gone.

    As I have been typing this up, I've been smiling and crying, but I feel like writing about it helps me cope. Deacon was very special to me and I even talked about trying to find a way to buy him even though I don't really have the resources to buy a horse right now. But he will always be loved.

Deacon, the Pet of the Day

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