I saw this photo today on my Facebook page. Wow! What a gorgeous shot!
I was really excited until I read the caption…
Evidently, this horse, Tom, was being memorialized on the hour he was put down — right then. I didn’t know the story but I was gripped to be an unwitting but willing voyeur to this event. I had to find out what I was reading about… Who is/was this huge gelding in such a loving embrace with this young girl? Why did he pass? How did he live? Those people who loved him must be very sad right now…
So, I did a bit of investigation and found that Tom was a resident at Blue Star Equiculture Draft Horse Sanctuary and Organic Farm. Hmmmm. They are in Palmer, Mass. I had never heard of this group. The website was deep and involved. Obviously they cared about many humane endeavors as well as the rescue and rehab of draft horses. Here is what they say about Tom on their website:
Tom is a retired carriage horse from Philadelphia, where he worked for about 8 years. He arrived in Philadelphia already having suffered some flare ups of lymphedema in his left hind leg. Fortunately, pulling a carriage was excellent exercise, the best treatment for the disease, which is a swelling of the limb due to poor lymphatic circulation which ultimately leads to a deterioration and scarring of the lymphatic system. Tom’s leg, however, got to where it was continuously noticeably swollen, despite all available veterinary options. The general public did not understand that working as a carriage horse was helping his leg – they thought it was making it worse. So Tom was retired to Blue Star Equiculture, where he continues to receive the latest in treatments for his condition, which unfortunately still baffles scientists and has no known cure. Tom is hopelessly smitten with Duchess and Chyna.
I so much wanted to know more. I so much wanted to know how he effected people and how he died. I’m sure he passed in dignity. I’m sure they helped him in every way they could.
And then I saw the “click here” for the video. A tribute video. I knew I shouldn’t watch it…. I still bawl every time I think about my Aladdin’s passing and I knew this was a trigger. But, of course, I clicked anyway. You can, too. Here is the link. By the end, I was dripping tears for Tom, for all those who loved Tom and for my Aladdin.
BUT LIFE GOES ON…
And boy does it! In the same breath, everywhere on Facebook are updates on the Pilot Valley Mustang rescue in Nevada. I’m sure you’ve heard about the 172 Mustangs that were saved from slaughter this week… The event was epic. Some people organized, some got on the Internet, some drove the trailers, some organized the holding pens many volunteered and one woman donated all the money. Wow. Here is documentation from one who was there.
So, as Tom passes onto the Rainbow Bridge of love and light, 172 horsey souls are spared a horrible death. I’m guessing there was no relation of these events in horsey heaven, but I’m tying them together because nothing helps the pain of passing more than the renewal of life. For me, anyway.
And, there was an amazing renewal of life in that rescued herd. Not only all the single lives saved, but one mare in there had TWINS by her side! Yup. All on her own, out on the range, this mare delivered and nursed two babies. Here is a photo. Amazing. This amazing mare and her survivor tiny foals were saved.
Mostly though, these events help my heart, personally, because I see that slowly the awareness of the horse is being elevated. I had never heard of Tom before today — or the group that loved him — yet now I’m passing this onto you.
This herd was going to be sent to slaughter in relative obscurity but the wheels were stopped.
Maybe we are slowly starting to add the “e” back onto the end of “human” after all…
ADDENDUM: TODAY IS A BANNER DAY FOR THE MUSTANGS. EVERYONE PLEASE TAKE ONE MINUTE TO MAKE A SIMPLE AND RESPECTFUL PHONE CALL TO WASHINGTON. (THE PEOPLE ON THE PHONE DO THIS ALL DAY – IT IS THEIR JOB TO ANSWER AND TAKE YOUR COMMENT.) TELL THEM YOU WANT TO STOP THE ROUND-UPS. TODAY IS THE DAY. THE HEARING IS TOMORROW. THANK YOU. White House 202.456.1111
HORSE AND MAN is a blog in growth… if you like this, please pass it around!
Please consider donating to THE GOLDEN CARROT SANCTUARY a home for older and forgotten equines, July’s Bucket Fund — click on the photo (photo credit, Trish Lowe)