First of all let me say how honoured and touched I am by the support I've been getting from all my family, friends and strangers. It seems that my blog post has gone out into the wider internet and has had thousands of views.
Through my blog post and through FB dozens have strangers have reached out to offer condolences. I want you all to know that it helps. It truly does. Ed and I are still shattered but the support makes it bearable.
As a result of so many people sharing my story I was contacted by two radio stations to do my story. I didn't want to. the thought of speaking about it was horrible. But I wanted to get the message out about controlling and training dogs. So I agreed. The first was last night. I was able to get my full story out and after the host called me back. He wanted to make sure that I was okay.
This is the one I did this morning: http://www.cbc.ca/informationmorningns/informationmorningns/2014/12/16/spanish-horse-suffers-disturbing-death/
It was much briefer and I thought I was composed. Turns out I wasn't. It was awful. I was awful. But if the causes just a few people to take more care with the dogs they choose and the training they do then it's worth it.
The night of Steele's death I went out to the barn to check on Irish. The barn felt colder and emptier. He was standing in his stall with his head hanging. His hay was untouched. I hadn't offered him grain but had given him alfalfa. That was untouched. He lifted his head and looked at me and I saw my sorrow reflected back. I cried again. I went and put some of his oats in a bucket and held some in my hand.
"you have to eat. I don't want you to colic"
He softly took some and chewed. I stayed out there for a while, slowly filling my hand with grain while he slowly ate. When he stopped I put it the rest on top of his alfalfa. Before I left I turned on the radio. I'm not sure if the noise was of any comfort or not but I believed that it wouldn't hurt.
After a sleepless night I went back to the barn. Ed offered to go but I needed to do it. He had eaten some hay and some of his feed. I mucked out and then went out to secure the small paddock. When I let him out he trotted to the fence, looked towards where Steele had run and whinnied. He looked at me and then spied d'Arcy, my BC. He leaped away and ran back to his stall. I realized that he wasn't seeing the dog he grew up with and who shared his paddock. He was seeing a predator and he was terrified. I took my dogs back to the house.
Ed and I went out and repaired the fencing. I could follow Steele's path: he ran through two fences and two gates. I took photos before we repaired it and then turned on the electric. I then let Irish out. He seemed to settle at first but then he started running the fence line calling. All morning he rotated between running and calling and standing there with his head hung low. I went out to bring him in and had a moment of panic when I couldn't find him. He was in Steele's stall. I closed him in and gave him hay. Which he ate. He seemed happier in that stall so I left him there. I then called the vet who prescribed some sedatives for him. Cynthia came to help and he seemed to relax in her company more than with me. I believe that we were just feeding each others sorrow. She could treat him more normally. In fact she was a balm to both of us.
Irish is responding well to the drug - he's eating and drinking but that is a short term solution. I realize that I need a companion for him. I can't even imagine another horse in that stall but it is not about me. My vet says he has a horse that could help I just need to figure out how to get him. I know I have a trailer but I feel in no fit state to drive myself, let alone take responsibility for a horse. Then there's the bills. I have a bill over $500 for the vet and I have no idea what the excavator cost. I have no regrets but because of a careless dog owner I have a substantial bill and broken heart. Steele paid with his life and I would give anything to have him back.
However we will figure it out. We always do.
I also have to figure out what to do about this blog. I'm not ready to let go. My journey with my dancing horse is over but not over. If that makes any sense at all. I wouldn't expect too much coherence. However, I don't want him remembered for his death but for who he was. My funny, beautiful, infuriating, perfect, argumentative companion. I would say that he was going to be a star but he already was. Like Achieve1dream said "I never met Steele but I loved him anyway." http://rdxhorses.blogspot.ca/2014/12/rip-steele.html
We all did. and it's helpful for me to know that.