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Charlie, I’m Sorry

October 29, 2017

I cannot carry on with what those fucks did to that poor baby.  I’ve tried.  I have nine, yes nine different drafts of things I was going to say but fuck it.  My blog, my perogative and I guess I really just can’t when it comes to kids.  Sorry.  Lets just get to the point succinctly.

The boy is dead.  He suffered unbelievable pain and degradation before he died and all of you thank whatever god you believe in that he was finally and mercifully released from the hell that was his life.

I hope the pieces of shit that did it get the death penalty and I hope they somehow fuck the drugs up and they feel immeasurable amounts of pain before they die a thousand years from now because the justice system is a piece of shit.  It’s all we’ve got, on both sides of the border, but it’s a piece of shit.

Instead, I’m going to tell you something personal that happened over the last couple of days.  I don’t want sympathy, I want you to understand why my psychiatrist hooked me up with therapy horses and why sometimes even the best intentions are not enough. Not by a long shot.

A7221 came in the second day I was at the farm.  I remember  because I was giving a sorrel mare a beauty treatment at the time and was told to put her away and clear the aisle for this mare coming in.  And boy did she come.  That girl had murder on her mind and she didn’t care who it was. She had come in, in foal.  Newly in foal but in foal.  Now, the owner of the farm is a good man.  A genuinely good man.  He has human faults like every other person, but he absolutely hates to see an animal in distress.  In the day I had been there he had seen me calm a very freaked out horse and asked if I thought I could handle A7221.  With all he confidence I could muster, because being that the farm owner is a man I was afraid of him, I said sure.  He gets that I can’t be around people, he has never been weird about it, he always makes sure I have an out somewhere and that he is never to close to me and he just gets it.  He also gets that I am some weird fucking horse empath or something.

Well, the very first order of business once I got her into a stall was a name because I am not calling a horse by a number like it is in Auschwitz, and after watching her for a bit I called her Charlie Brown.  Charlie brown because she had obviously had the football pulled out from under her one to many times.

Charlie had been bred and born to be a show horse.  Unfortunately she did not have the look and she had long cannon bones and a popcorn lip.  None of these things are good if you are looking for a show horse.  I have no idea what went on in Charlie’s life up to the point she showed up at the farm.  I can tell you that she was so afraid for her head that she would get violent if you tried to touch it.  That tells me she was hit about the face, a lot.   Her skin would actually walk across her back if you managed to touch her without getting swung on in those first couple of days which tells me she got hit about the body a lot.  the scars on her flanks told me she’d been spurred into submission when being ridden as did the scars at the corners of her mouth.  The farm owner picked her up in the states at a meat auction because she was pregnant and he just could not bear it because that is who he is and luckily he can afford the largess of being that guy.

Now, I can come and go as I please but once “Charlie showed up I found myself spending hours trying to get her to just take a piece of apple out of my hand.  The owners wife, who is another wonderful person commented on it, wondering out loud if she ever would trust me enough to do it.  I had my doubts.  I’d just hang in her stall for the first while, far away from her and talk.   I told her I got it, that I knew what it was like to be that afraid, that sometimes the only thing you could do was fight, but that she didn’t have to fight with me because I wouldn’t hurt her and if she’d let me I’d protect her and the little life growing in her.

I told her about my life, told her about you guys and the no kill shelter and how you had helped me come back to myself at least a little and that everybody needs a friend.  Maybe not a lot of friends, but just one that you could count on no matter what.  I told her about my dogs and my kid and that there were lots of other horses she could hang out with if she would just calm down a little.  I never faced her when I talked to her.  I made sure I could see her out of the corner of my eye just in case, but I never looked at her straight on.

So one morning I was telling her about my car being a piece of shit and acting up and I suddenly felt a muzzle on my hair and I thought fuck she’s gonna take a bite, but she didn’t.  She nuzzled my hair for a second and then she just stood there.  So I turned about an eighth of a turn and waited for her to bolt to the other side of the stall.  But she didn’t.

I fished the fresh piece of apple I brought every single day and put it out flat in my hand.  Charlie contemplated that apple for probably five minutes and then she looked into my eyes as she took it.  And ate it.  Her eyes were not bulging like they had been since she came, and she had he softest eyes.  and the saddest.  Like she was waiting for me to pull the football away.  I reached a hand out close to her neck, nowhere near her face and she let me pat her neck.

The next morning I went back.  I said good morning to all the horses and was greeted with the nickers of hello which is how they talk.  Charlie was way at the other end of the barn so it took me a minute to get there and she stood facing the rails for the first time since she’d come and she nickered at me.   This horse had not made a sound since the day she’d come into the barn and she had just said good morning.  I opened the door to her stall and instead of heading to the back corner with her back to me like she always did, she stuck her face into my sweatshirt to see if I had another apple.  Of course I had an apple and that day, she got to eat the whole fucking thing.

I went and grabbed some grooming supplies because she desperately needed to be groomed but it was with much trepidation because Charlie had been hit by things and I had no idea what those things may have been.  I let her see the brush and smell it and bite it and when I thought she was ready I but it on her side.  She flinched but she allowed it and I brushed her till she glistened.  I brushed her to sleep actually.  Now, Charlie was never going to win any beauty awards in the horse world but she was far from hideous.   A little muley in the face maybe but in a cute way.

I’d gotten her tamed down enough so that it was safe to move her to the pasture where the pregnant mares go and I did.  we had some geldings out and when they ran the fence to see the new horse she freaked a little and gave me a scar on my Achilles tendon I will have forever, but it was fear not maliciousness and I limped up the rest of the way to the paddock with my heal bleeding pretty good and when I got there I told her what a good girl she was and patted her neck which had become her favorite thing.

Charlie had to have needles sometimes and the first time I had to catch her to give her one, it took me an hour and seven minutes.  I had done something stupid and let her see the needle.  I might as well have shown her a harpoon.  She thought I’d let her down, I know it.  But I caught her eventually and calmed her down and she never even knew she got the needle.  After that it was cake.  She came when I called her and she always got her apple when we were done doing whatever.

There is a picture on one of the owners phones of Charlie with her head on my shoulder standing in the middle of an acre of paddock.

Charlie turned up sick Friday.  Colic.  Pretty much a death sentence but I tried.  I tried, I swear to god.  I walked Charlie for hours and then I walked her some more.  I never stopped talking to her,  I never stopped praising ever step she took.  And the whole time her belly got bigger, and bigger and I knew it was a torsion but I refused to let my brain process that information.  I told myself it was food colic and we could oil her and get stuff moving and she’d be fine.  And the vet did.  The farm owner was beside himself and said do whatever the vet could do to save her.  She stood for me while we tubed her and poured a gallon of oil down into her stomach, she stood for me while she was injected with pain killer, she stood for me resting her head on my shoulder so she wouldn’t lay down because she really wanted to lay down.  I was still walking at 830 Saturday night.  The owner spotted me and said he and his brother would take the night shift and if I wouldn’t mind coming to walk her early in the morning they would appreciate it.  I was there at 6:15 am.  Charlie died from a torsion soon after I left her.  There wasn’t anything I could have done or the vet could have done or god himself if he was a thing could have done, as soon as her gut twisted, Charlie was on borrowed time.  She hung on long enough so that I didn’t have to see her die and I believe that as much as I believe I am sitting here writing this blog.  She walked for me because I asked her too.  She hung on for me because I asked her too.  And she was still walking so that I could see her walking when I left so that I would leave and I didn’t have to watch her die.   I found her of course and I gently wrapped the chains that needed to be wrapped around her hocks so that we could get her out of where she was.  Someone else offered but I refused to let anyone else touch her.  I did it and made sure it was right so we could get her up into the bucket without banging her around to much because even though I was well aware she was quite dead, I didn’t want anyone to hurt her ever again.

I hope where ever Charlie is, there is a nice woman who looks like me that brings her apples everyday and tells her not to listen to the other horses if they say she is ugly because they are just jealous.  I hope she get brushed to sleep a lot and gets talked to all the time. I hope she follows that woman around a field and as often as not puts her head on the woman’s shoulder and that she nickers hello because she wants to be friends with people now.  I hope she gets told how awesome she is, because she was.  Awesome.  Broken, but awesome.  And I hope that fucking number is no longer on her beautiful haircoat.  She isn’t A7221 she is Charlie Brown and wherever she is, they better remember that.

 

ReallyBigMeanDog Peacing the fuck out

 

 

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