Cindy owned Waddle since Waddle was 3 years old. She is now 36! What great love and care she gave this mare. Waddle was in fabulous condition. No one could tell her age. Cindy feed the best Western alfalfa available while she ate meagerly herself. She gave more to her horses than herself.
It was the first time I met Cindy. She called looking for a way to get her mare up. We answered the call and ran to help. Cindy Rodeo Steedle was at the farm with her son, Roger came out to volunteer and I grabbed my 15 year old grandson and off we went. No one had this planned in their day, especially me. I planned a nice quiet day in our sunny break in the weather.
Late Saturday night, I did my usual ritual of giving Sweetie, my beloved 33 year old mare, her hot nightly mash. When I got to the door of the barn, I glanced in and saw Sweetie down in the shavings. When she gets down, she can't get up without humans, a tractor and a make shift sling. My heart sank. It was after 11PM. What was I going to do? I can't get her up myself! So I called Bobby, who is very experienced at getting her up. Thank God, he answered the phone and said he was on his way. I gathered all the sling materials, the straps, the hooks, the pads and put it all in the bucket of the tractor and drive it into the barn. After I looked toward Sweetie again, I realized it wasn't Sweetie laying in the shavings, it was another crippled, old mare, Eatie. Sweetie was standing near her favorite youngster's stall, up and happy. I was relieved that I didn't need help. Eatie could get up on her own. I called Bobby trying to let him know he didn't need to make the 40 minute ride at midnight. He was more than half way here but was happy Sweetie was OK. All night, my Chihuahua was sick and vomiting ...in my bed. I changed the sheets, gave him some medicine and hoped to get at least a little sleep. I woke up tired. I was ready for a quiet Sunday at the farm. I should know better....Never plan a day, things can change and they did. Off we went.
When we arrived at Cindy's, she was sitting on the ground beside Waddle. You could see the love and devotion for her horse. We took out our equipment, set it up on the mare and tried to encourage her to get up. We sure tried but soon we realized we needed more help. Soon Cherokee County Firemen showed up. Our group effort almost got Waddle up. It seemed hopeful for a while. Then we witnessed a few seizures as Waddled lay in the grass. Dr Marcella was called, the Milton Large Animal Fire Rescue Unit was called and everyone best efforts couldn't get Waddle up. It was now dark. It was getting cold and Cindy and Dr Marcella decided the more loving thing to do was to let Waddle leave our earth for the Rainbow Bridge. It is a heart breaking decision but letting an animal suffer is not an option for people who truly love an animal. Waddle went very peacefully. Cindy has a big empty place in her heart. We all know she made the right decision but it is the hardest decision anyone who loves an animal has to make.
Waddle has a 19 year old son who will be trying to adjust to not having his Mom around. Say a prayer for him and Cindy. It'll be a hard few days ahead.