Wednesday, August 1, 2012

A Box of Memories

As I walked toward the back door to the house, I saw a package the mail man dropped off. It was just a plain cardboard box. The label read, from the University of Georgia. 
I picked it up and put it aside. Seeing the label brought back memories about Sapphire. We just lost her after a 2 week stay at the University hospital. She was so chronically ill and even the necropsy couldn't give us enough answers as to how or why or how long this was going on. She was such a trooper. She never complained, never was mean or angry. She was a sweet horse and everyone at the rescue has wonderful memories of her. She came to us in deplorable condition. Malnutrition and hit buy a car. Was her problem started then? It sure didn't seem like it because she gained weight well. She was hurting bad on one of her legs. She would get locked in place in the pasture. It would take 4 or 5 of us to get her moving but then she be good after the first few steps. At my age, I am like that too! Dr Kimberly Parker, DVM, who does equine Osteopath worked on Sapphire and few times then she walked without pain. We took her in April of 2009. We never rode her because of what she went through. With horses, there can be pain you can't see. We are here to help the horses, riding is so secondary, we just want horses safe and happy. 

The next morning I looked at the box, grabbed a knife and opened it. I took a deep breath when I looked inside. Tears just started streaming down my face. In the plain cardboard box were Sapphire's memories. Her halter, her lead rope, a very kind card signed by all my wonderful friends, doctors and students at UGA and they cut and braided a piece of her hair. It was a bad experience at UGA because we, with all our love and care, couldn't save Sapphire but it was a wonderful experience at UGA at the same time because we all became 'one' trying to save her and care for her and sharing our thoughts and concerns for her. My special thanks to Dr Erin McConahie, who lead me though daily talks, helped me make decisions and kept me very informed about Sapphire progress and regress. It was a roller coaster ride that I hope to never got on again. Also thanks to Dr Leah Patipa Beccar Varela for having the Sapphire's bast interest at heart since she first met her in February and for being patient with my many questions and her friendship. 

Thanks to all Jan Hester for fostering Sapphire. Thanks to all the volunteers and friends who knew and loved Sapphire. For all your prayers, good wishes, donations and time, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. You give me strength.  That plain brown box was filled with all of our memories and all of our tears, too. 
Sapphire is now running in greener pastures. She took all of our sadness with her. Her work is done here. 

Rest In Peace Sweet Sapphire! 
Horse Rescue~ People Rescue!


Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing! we all love you and sapphire!

Sue said...

I never had the honor of meeting Sapphire, but I followed every word of her status while she was at UGA. Cheryl understands that each and every creature on this Earth is valuable and worthy, and Sapphire was truly like the gem after which she was named. Sapphire put up a brave fight, and lost her battle knowing many humans cared and gave all they had to help her. God bless everyone who waged their own personal war on her behalf.

Anonymous said...

She meant so much to so many. Our Black will never be forgotten

Kathy Britt said...

I believe Sapphire was one of the first horses I ever met at the rescue. She would come right up to me, as to greet me with love and compassion. I thought she was so beautiful and had such a sweet personality. I remember how she and Roy were inseparable. I can only envision her brave and sweet spirit running across the Rainbow Bridge to be with her friends that passed before her. Now she can run free and out of pain! God Bless you Cheryl for your strength and love for these animals! She knew she was loved by so many. RIP sweet Sapphire.

Anonymous said...

Funny how now she is just the sweetest horse ever. I do remember her walking up to people and fully expecting them to get out of her way. Sapphire did have a high opinion of herself. This is what got her thru her starvation in the first place. She knew she was important and Roy had nothing to say about it either, she demanded to be with him at all times. Sometimes Roy would go into the picnic area and lean against the gate to keep it closed, so she could not come in. A while later they were together again.

Janet Flanigan said...

What a lovely post. The work you do is invaluable. Over the last couple of years, two of our Morgan mares had to be put down (one to old age 30 yrs, one to cancer 23 yrs) and I needed to find another horse as a companion to our Morgan gelding as well as for trail riding. I checked with your adoptables but the Lord put someone else in our path. A friend who was doing construction for us had a beautiful Quarab mare that he had seen at a neighbor's house and wanted her to find a new home. She was not "abused" but definitely mistreated and malnorished. Needless to say, a year later, she has flourished, and we have a new horse today. Rest in peace Sapphire. You had a wonderful end of your life. Praise God our Gracie came to us early in her life and she'll be able to enjoy the rest of her life in love and comfort.

Rhonda Watson said...

Thank you so much for sharing this, Cheryl!

I will never forget Sapphire, nor will Sydney, my daughter. Sydney was just 3 years old when we began volunteering at Save the Horses. We met Sapphire our first day there - in a way that would change our lives forever.

We were so new but we wanted to help and were helping to move a one of horses out of one of the fields - careful to keep Sydney in a safe corner area out of the way of some rowdy horses excited by the attention they were getting. The gate opened and a couple of the horses attempted to leave with the one we were bringing out. Sapphire always vigilant, I believe, saw this danger and from my perspective, purposefully placed herself between Sydney and those other horses.

I will never forget that selfless act by Sapphire as she stepped in to help us 'protect' our baby girl. As ornery as Sapphire could be, she was also gentle and loving especially with Sydney. She would follow her around - hence the hat Sydney always wears - because her hair looks like hay!