I knew that I didn’t have much time left with Toby. I had done some research on nasal cavity masses and the prognosis was only three to five months. I thought that I had at least the summer with him. It was not to be. Every day I could literally see the mass growing and every day I could hear that breathing for him was getting more and more difficult. The uneasy feeling in the pit of my stomach told me that we did not have months together, but merely weeks.
Every horse that comes into the rescue I make a promise to. Each promise is different, but the theme is always the same. In theory, it seems easy to do what is right, but the reality is that sometimes it is not. Making the decision to say goodbye is final; you can’t undo it. The decision also has a ripple effect not only on you personally, but also on those left behind.
A herd grieves the loss of a member the same way that a family does. Our herd has been no different. Maggie and Toby were close and found comfort with each other. Toby would lay his head on Maggie’s back while they both napped. With Toby gone, Maggie has become much more affectionate with me. Instead of walking away when she sees me coming to groom her, she drops her head, cocks her leg and closes her eyes.
I am keeping my promise to Maggie and Titan as I kept my promise to Toby. They will always come first. No matter what the future brings.