Grieving for Smokies Love

I am finally strong enough to write about losing one of the finest horses I have ever known. On Tuesday, May 25 at about 9 pm Smokies Love left our world. She was 33 years old. She is buried next to Jamra.

I spent the day yesterday pretty numb with grief, knowing I did the right thing but regretting it anyway.

Smokie was one of the very first ladies to come here. She grazed beside Our Mims, Lucy and all the rest. Goodness, we celebrated our 8th anniversary last month. I feel like I have lost my connection with all those other horses. That she and I had a special bond because we lived with all of them, grieved for all of them then greeted the next.

Smokie greeted each new horse that came here. She'd graze with them outside the herd until she chose to bring them in. I always wondered if they were talking.

She had SO MANY close calls over the last couple years. Last fall she actually stopped breathing twice. She had been down for about seven hours, unable to rise. I finally called the vet. During the time between the call and his arrival, her breathing became very labored and stopped. Then she'd gasp for air and we'd start all over again. The vet arrived, she raised her head to see his truck, listened to his footsteps coming…then GOT UP AND WALKED AWAY!

Smokie told me time after time she would make her own decision. I feel bad for making it.

But, the last two days she deteriorated from an already bad place. She could stop herself from spinning in circles and was banging herself up in her stall. She was scared.

I had to do something.

Smokie cheated death five times in the last five years. She nearly skinned herself alive trying to jump in with the stallion at age 29 and a half. She tore have her teat off and we fought infection. She somehow gored herself in the belly deep enough that we actually couldn't find the end of the hole. We waited to see if she nicked any vital organs, then fought against infection. She had several strokes…she just kept fighting. She was a survivor. I thought she'd live forever.

I was very much expecting that she would be up and walking around yesterday morning.

Ah well, she will be waiting on the other side. This pain I feel right now will subside eventually and we will see each other again. I know this so I will continue.

But, I probably will not fill her stall for awhile. Who knows how long.

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