Oh, what a night. At this very moment, my heart is still pounding and my mind is whirling with the fact that on this Christmas Eve, we have witnessed a miracle. A miracle of good people coming together in a crisis and answered prayers. I'm not sure I can write this and do the whole tale justice.
It all started at 3 p.m. Pete and I headed up to the barn to fix the evening meal and get all our ladies tucked in for the night. Iza met me at the gate and we headed off through the pasture. As we reached the barn we saw Misty, the 41-year-old, waiting in the barn aisle for us. Well, Jamra ran into the barn frightening Misty into a run…the next thing we knew Misty was DOWN right outside the back door of the barn. She couldn't get up and was dangerously close to getting cast and/or splitting her head open on the corner of the barn door. We called for Cassidy to come help us. Together, the three of us were able to hook rope to Misty's front and hind legs and her halter and drag her far enough away from the barn so she was safe. BUT, we couldn't get her far enough away to roll her over so she might be able to get up. Rolling an older horse over so their "fresh" legs are on the underside very often works in aiding them to their feet. Sometimes just the momentum of flipping them helps.
So, I called Pam, Super Nick and the barn fairies. Alicia answered the phone. I used very few words. "Misty is down and I need help." It must have been comical over at Pam's house. They all started scrambling looking for shoes and jackets. They were at my barn within 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, I alerted the vet and received instructions. We were to turn her over, someone having her head; someone at her tail and hopefully, that would help her up.
It didn't work. We called our Doc back and he jumped in his truck to come help. He gave Misty some steroid type shots to help boost her energy and we all tried over and over to get her up. Nothing was working. We really needed a tractor with a front-end loader that we could hook harnesses to in order to lift her. I called everyone I knew and some neighbors I had never even met before. No one had a working tractor with a front-end loader. A guy down the road thought he had a harness strap used to pick up cows and went on the hunt for it. But we still had no way to hoist her up. I called Misty's owner and told him what was going on. It wasn't looking good for our old gal.
Meanwhile, Super Nick constructed a tri-pod brace and was busy hooking Misty up in straps and a "Come A-Long" pulley device. I was amazed at how quickly and efficiently it went together. We thought for sure it would work but without both the front and back end coming up at the same time, we were out of luck. You have to picture this. Misty is a BIG girl and has gained considerable weight since her arrival here. We had people on each leg of the tri-pod to keep them from slipping and someone at Misty's head and tail. Nick was on a ladder very close to the downed horse, wrenching the Come-A-Long. Misty was stock-still. Oh, she was coming off the ground all right but wouldn't move even enough to get her legs under her. Without effort from her, the tri-pod pulley had no chance of working.
I had given up hope. Misty had been down for too long. The ground was cold and muddy. Rain was in the forecast and by the weatherman's predictions, should have already started. Misty was trying but her back end just wouldn't cooperate. Misty was NOT ready to die but it was really looking like we would be putting her down. I was mentally making plans of sitting with her through the night…. it was heartbreaking to think that Misty would be lying there, giving up before we made the ultimate decision.
Pam and I got in my truck and went across the road to see if some new neighbors had what we needed. They weren't home but while we were gone, Nick and Alicia covered Misty with blankets, even managed to get some between her and the cold ground. I kept begging her, "Please Misty, not on Christmas Eve. You have to get up."
Pam had mentioned earlier that a wrecker tow truck would have the same effect as a tractor with a front-end loader. Pete started calling around trying to find one…most in out area had already gone to flat beds. BUT, All Points Towing in Cynthiana, Ky (about 20 minutes away) still had what we needed and there was no way they weren't going to come help. They headed for the shop to get the wrecker.
While we waited, Alicia and Cassidy snuggled up to Misty. Misty was surrounded by love and had all of us comforting her Prayers were flying. Pete announced that the wrecker was on the way and said he was going down to the house to meet them. At this point in time, Cassidy was sitting on the ground next to Misty's back. All of a sudden, Misty gave a great lurch forward; it looked for a second like she was going to fall back on top of Cass. Upon seeing her hind legs go underneath her, Pam and Alicia screamed out in excitement, Cassidy was scrambling away and Misty JUMPED TO HER FEET and went running across the pasture. She came back bucking and trotting, heading straight for her stall and dinner. It was 7:15. This old horse had been down in the cold over 4 hours and all she wanted was her senior soup.
With shouts of joy and hugs all around, we got Misty into a stable blanket, medicated and all tucked in. Her owner, who happens to be sick in bed with pneumonia, was laughing and crying at the same time when I told him the good news. Our vet was amazed. He fully expected that he would be coming back out to put Misty down. All Points Towing, already on the road, were notified and were praising the powers that be for answered prayers… There will be no charge, even though they dropped everything on this holiday to come help. The neighbor down the road with the harness was equally happy.
With that, Pam, Nick and their wonderful family headed home for their dinner. We did the same.
I know I have said it before and you'll probably hear me say it a million times more. I have the most wonderful neighbors in the world.