Wednesday, January 28, 2015
frederik served very well all summer as summertime's trusty companion. we borrowed him from a neighbor so that summer didn't have to be by herself, which she would have hated. he was an older pony and had a rather serious and incurable asthma problem. he got along pretty well during the summer when the air was warm and dry, but with our rainy winter, the air has been cold and heavy and hard on his lungs. there wasn't anything that could be done about it except to give him warm mash when he came in at night and not put him out on the coldest days.
we live about ten minutes from a zoo. a lion park, actually, where you drive through and see the lions for part of your visit to the zoo. you can donate your horse to the zoo to feed the lions if, like frederik, you know that he would be better off being put down, but that the horse isn't so sick that you can't wait for your turn. we signed frederik up some months ago. it seems weird and a little bit cruel to sign a horse up for its death, but we knew that it would be a worthy end for him. he wouldn't suffer anymore with his bad lungs and the lions would have fresh meat, so we decided it was the right thing to do.
on monday, we loaded him up and husband drove him to the zoo (i'll admit, it saddened me enough that i couldn't bear to go along). they very humanely put him down and he is no longer suffering with his weak lungs in the cold, wet weather. i think it's a pretty unique situation to be able to contribute to a wild animal's well-being in captivity and also do what's right by your horse, so that he doesn't have to battle for each breath against the cold. he was a gentle and sweet pony and a very good companion for summer (she has a new companion, betty blue, so don't worry, she's not alone). thank you, sweet frederik for being her friend when she needed one. i hope you are frolicking in greener pastures now. may you rest in peace.