Inspiring Kindness and Compassion towards Animals, Our Planet, and Each Other
Inspiring Kindness and Compassion towards Animals, Our Planet, and Each Other

Read Blue's Story (In Memoriam)

The first time we saw Blue she was in a back stall with her head to the wall at a rescue facility in Ojai, Ca. We were giving carrots and apples to the other horses but Blue was not interested. She stood with her head down and her eyes closed. She was the saddest creature we had ever seen.

We were told that she had been a kid's horse and had many homes over the years because kids quickly move on to college, the opposite sex, or just lose interest. But her last 5 years were spent in a pasture with another horse whom she adored. When the little girl who cared for them grew bored she gave them both to a horse rescue. There the other horse found a home and left Blue in the rescue alone and miserable. Because of her age, in her twenties, she probably would not get adopted and would spend her time there at the rescue.

We were haunted by her sadness and the next day made arrangements to have her brought to The Gentle Barn for some cheering up. But no matter how hard we tried, no matter how many carrots we offered her, no mater how long we waited, or how many hours we groomed her, it made no difference. Blue never changed from being despairingly depressed.

Six months later we were told that Blue's lost love had been returned to the rescue. At last! A chance to cheer her up; we had to reunite them, and this time for good. When Blue saw the other horse, Sasha, we could hear violins playing. They whinnied and groomed each other and raced around in joy. It was the very first time we had seen Blue truly alive.

As tears streamed down our cheeks we knew that we had done something really wonderful for these two best friends.

At that time we were just beginning our move to our new property, so we left both horses together at the rescue, until we moved and built a pasture for them. The day we closed escrow we went to work building our pasture so we could bring them home to The Gentle Barn for good, to live out the rest of their lives together. Finally the pasture was ready and we made the long trek to the rescue to pick them up. We loaded them on to the horse trailer without a problem, got them home, fed them dinner, which they ate with gusto, and kissed them goodnight. They seemed like they had been here forever, they looked so happy in the pasture.

In the morning we awoke first thing to feed them breakfast, but when we got down to the pasture, Blue was lying on the ground, Sasha standing watch over her. We called the vet right away and he told us to get her to the hospital immediately. When we attempted to put Blue on the trailer Sasha started to go crazy. We decided that there was no way we could leave her behind, we had promised never to separate them again, so we loaded them both into the trailer and rushed them to the equine hospital.We were told that Blue needed emergency surgery, that there was something wrong with her intestines. When we went to take Blue away to surgery Sasha was so upset the vet had to tranquilize her three times. It was like a scene from The Black Stallion. Sasha was rearing and kicking so hard we thought that she would break the door down. But as we took Blue over to her stall to say their goodbyes, they whinnied to each other and kissed noses, as if they knew that that would be the last time. Blue had a tumor wrapped around her intestines. She died on the operating table leaving all of us inconsolable.

Life is so mysterious and so hard to figure out sometimes. Here we had this wonderful plan of how these two horses, who could not live with out each other, would finally be allowed to retire together for the rest of their lives. We worked so hard to make it happen and they were finally happy. Why?

After months of being sad, angry, bitter, and then sad again we came up with something that made us feel a little better. We figured that if we had not met Blue we would never have adopted Sasha. She was younger, healthy and adoptable. She did not fit the description of who we generally rescue. Maybe Blue was dying of this tumor for months but held on to stay with Sasha. Maybe when she finally arrived at our place she could let go, knowing that Sasha would be safe and well cared for. We have made a vow to take care of Sasha for the rest of her life, for Blue (and for Sasha). Now we have a deep bond with Sasha, because we were all in love with Blue and miss her terribly. Sasha is doing very well now. She is very close with our other horses and has, after a very hard time, finally been able to find peace here. But every now and then she will have a sad far away look in her eyes and we tell her, "We know, we miss her too."

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