June 23, 2017

A Perfect Send-Off

Posted in Haven Blog tagged , , , , , at 10:18 am by havenoftheheart

Norman was a majestic show jumper that got injured and was retired. He spent 5 years as a ‘riding for the disabled’ horse but unfortunately he became totally lame and was to be put down, at which point I took him on and brought him to the Haven. That was 7 years ago.

In happened one faithful night on June 20, Norman was fine until he decided to roll as he always did, but as he pushed off with his hind legs to stand up, his stifle joint and patella ruptured so once standing he was unable to move. Unable to walk to the barn with his friends for his dinner, we brought dinner to him which included a dozen carrots, three scoops of senior grain, a large bucket of soaked Timothy Alfalfa cubes and two flakes of hay, not to mention the two apples since this would be his last meal.

By the time the vet arrived it was about to get dark and I asked her to give him a strong dose of pain med. Dear Norman was so thoroughly enjoying his food that I did not want to interrupt his pleasure. I asked Dr. Mulder the veterinarian if she would mind waiting until he finished his meal. Two hours of steady munching he was still working away at his ration. It was now approaching 11 p.m. and we knew a final decision had to be made, but not before I drove back down to the barn to bring bales of soft bedding so that he might land softly once the deed was done. Some pre-euthanasia sedation. Norman still nibbling away. Some more sedation but his appetite continued. As midnight drew near a catheter was put into his vein. A series of 60 ml syringes filled with pentobarbital were neatly placed side by side. As I stroked his forehead and kissed his eyes and nose he nudged into me as though he couldn’t get close enough when suddenly he went limp and sat back to drop gently onto the bedding prepared for him.

It was a perfect ending to a perfect retirement for one of the most noble beings I had ever known.

I was very lucky that the vet who arrived was patient, kind and caring. I knew that euthanasia was the only option for poor Norman, while many people just want to get on with the job and get it over with, I felt that Norman had a right to live his death as peacefully and calmly as possible. He too had to resign himself to the inevitable and wind up his life with tranquility and pleasure in a world where he knew he was loved.

So Dr. Amanda Mulder waited patiently, reassuring me that there was no alternative outcome. She treated Norman with the utmost respect and kindness and delivered a smooth painless death with dignity. For that I am truly grateful.

– Ursula


Norman had always loved his food


Norman and Quincy – Best Friends Forever


A video of Norman is on Facebook.


1 Comment

  1. thepeepers said,

    That was very moving.

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