It's morning and it's time for yet another dose of medication. Antibiotics this time. I have crushed 12 large pills with sugar using my coffee grinder. I then add in a little maple syrup and some water. It still tastes awful.
Quaid sees me coming in the stall, eyes the syringe and tries to run away from me. It's heartbreaking to watch him struggle on 3 legs in a small space. I go back out and grab his halter. Up until now I haven't needed it. But after repeated doses of awful stuff (four times a day) he is done with this crap.
I stand in the stall holding the halter while he eyes me warily.
I know, I saw softly. this stuff is shit and you hate it. Those are totally valid feelings. And you need to have this.
I stand waiting, not approaching, not feeling anxious. Just breathing.
After a few minutes, he gives a big sigh and comes over, gently touching his nose to the halter. I slide it on and fasten it slowly, murmuring quietly. I uncap the syringe and put in his mouth giving him the medication. I rub his neck telling him what a good boy he is.
He swallows and again gives me a reproachful gaze. I drop the syringe in my pocket and offer him an apple piece. He takes it gently and then returns to his hay.
In the past I would have rushed to get it in. Now I know better. Rushing a horse will only add to the stress. He has no idea what this is about and it reminds me of when I had to force medications into my children when they were young. It's hard- physically and emotionally. But it's necessary.
I don't know what this will do to our relationship. I honestly don't. I do know that when he comes home I will be spending a lot of time just being with him and re-establishing the bond we had before all this hell.
Horses are resilient and he will respond. I know that.
It's just hard.