Friday, February 3, 2012

This is Lucy.

She is the horse I wasn’t going to meet when I was asked to come to the horse auction facility. It was the blind horse, a mare, that the owner of the local auction had on his farm. Herman was closing his auction doors after 17 years of selling and trading horses to anyone with the cash to buy. He knew he could get rid of his last few horses and sell them for slaughter but he also knew that is was illegal to sell blind horses to slaughter. It is a federal law but rarely enforced. Not because of a lack of inspection, but because a blind horse has to survive and quickly figures out how to move with the herd. Horses, being animals of prey, have wonderful survival instincts. People may own a horse and not realize it is blind. A famous trainer had it happen to him. His horse was so well trained and so tuned into his cues, he rode his horse and trained others about horsemanship using his horse, who he later realized it had been blind.

Now Herman must has thought I knew he had a blind horse on his property. He never offered to give me the time of day, most times we were in the same room. He did know that there was a 3 legged horse, not actually a horse missing a leg but a horse with one leg so badly injured or broken that it could only walk on 3 legs, that was sent to Villa Rica, GA to be transported to slaughter. I had seen the horse here in Cherokee County. He looked like he had a broken leg. I tried to buy him but his owner, an old horse trader named Courtney, said he wanted $1500. That wasn’t going to happen. Well, I ended up causing some trouble and the horse didn’t get sent on the slaughter truck. I will get to that story at another time. I think Herman figured to avoid trouble and avoid me causing any, he generously give me the responsibility of caring for the blind horse he must have felt stuck with. While I was meeting the blind mare, I saw another horse with one beautiful blue eye, good weight, flowing mane, and one seriously injured eye. Herman explained that she was in the back pasture and some ‘Stupid-a*#! Bow Hunter’ shot her in the eye. He said it was getting better. Obviously, that was a lie. Herman often praised himself for being a great liar. She had no medical care, except the maggots who were eating away the old flesh. I wanted to say many things but kept my true feeling in my head. I offered to buy another horse that was in good condition and asked him to throw in the bad eyed horse and it would be a deal. He agreed.

The mare with the bad eye was an Appaloosa. He said her name was, Lucy, of course, and she was 12 years old. He brought the horses to my farm. Some of the volunteers were angry that I let him step foot on my property. They know he actually told people he came to my farm every Wednesday to pickup horses I didn’t want and he sent them to slaughter. Can you believe that? Herman said that about me! People that know me or know the rescue know we have a wonderful well respected reputation for saving and caring for horses. I really didn’t feel a need to defend myself. Gosh, I don’t have the time. We have more horses buried here that the local cemetery.

I took Lucy to Dr McGrueder in Cumming, GA to look at the injury. He said it looked like cancer to him. He did a biopsy of some of the tissue. Two days later, it was confirmed, it was Squamous Cell Carcinoma. It is a sad diagnosis because it is a fast growing cancer. I don’t think it was caused by a ‘Stupid-a*#! Bow Hunter’.

We decided to keep Lucy as happy and comfortable as we could. To get a second opinion, Dr Duvall came out but offered little hope. She agreed to cut away some of the growth that had doubled in size since the biopsy. It did help but only for a short period of time. Lucy would eat hay and grain and kept her weight. Volunteers cleaned her eye daily. It would ooze and smell but it was vigilantly kept clean. Lucy had a great attitude and let volunteer do whatever was necessary. She helped volunteers form strong bonds with of friendship with each other. I think God sent her to us to learn and to heal both the humans in her life and to heal her heart, give her love and let her die with the dignity she and all horses deserve. She was humanely euthanized and is buried on the farm. Lucy will stay in our hearts. RIP Lucy. 

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