This past Sunday, June 5, 2011, a dear friend I had only known for about 9 months passed away. His name was Brego and he was a beautiful Blue Roan Thoroughbred mix. Evidently he had eaten something (we really don’t know) that did not agree with him and whatever that was caused a lot of problems, eventually leading to liver failure.
Each evening when I went to feed Brego and his mare friend, Aoife, they would walk up to me and allow me to pet and love on them. They knew my vehicle and they knew me. They both towered over me with Aoife even taller than Brego, but Brego always led the way and to and from the stalls. He was the leader.
I had noticed the previous Friday and Saturday that he did not eat his feed like he usually did. But, we all attributed that to the early heat this June with temperatures 10 to 15 degrees above normal. Other than that, he appeared to be fine. Saturday evening when I went to feed him and his partner Aoife, he did not want to eat his feed deciding he would rather eat the alfalfa flake I had put in Aoife’s stall instead. So, he left his stall and walked around to Aoife’s and ate alfalfa and hay. When I turned them out for the evening, he still appeared to be okay.
The next morning, he was stumbling and all cut up where he had been running into the tin on the stalls and other structures and would not eat. He did not know anyone and just wanted to walk. He walked through a round pen and also a fence before he could be corralled and brought back. A vet was called and an IV was administered. The vet left thinking he would be okay until Monday, but before he even got home was called to return to the stables. Brego’s condition was worse and wen the vet checked his eyes and gums (they had been normal earlier) they had turned yellowish.
At that time a gut-wretching decision was made to euthanize him. I hate the phrase “put down” or “put to sleep”. We need to call it as it is: a decision to keep him from suffering by euthanizing him.
I’m still sick about the whole thing and so are a lot of other folks, who were closer to him for many more years, than I. He was a sweet and gentle horse though he probably weighed well over 1500 pounds. He was a horse you could put anyone on to ride. In fact, one young lady started riding him when she was 3 years old. It just doesn’t seem right. Yesterday, when I fed Aoife, she really didn’t want to come in – she was still looking for her friend, Brego. It will take a while before she realizes it is just her now.
But, in my heart I know the owner will one day again ride that gentle, brave giant in pristine woods – together forever.
Until then, Brego!